JFK’s assassination was supposed to happen in Chicago, not Dallas
Chicago was originally where Kennedy was to be assassinated. Had the plan succeeded, Thomas Arthur Vallee would have been the famous alleged assassin whose name would be remembered forever, rather than Lee Harvey Oswald.
On November 2, 1963, Kennedy was set to appear at the Army/Air Force football game in Chicago at 11:40 a.m. At the Chicago Secret Service Bureau, Special Agent in Charge Maurice Martineau informed agents about reports of assassins on October 30. Martineau was repeating a tip from the FBI, in which an informant identifying as “Lee” talked about a four-man sniper team of “rightwing para-military fanatics” with high-powered rifles, who would shoot at Kennedy as his motorcade was driving from O’Hare down the Northwest Expressway, around a slow loop off the highway exit of what is now ironically known as the JFK Expressway.
The tip from “Lee” wasn’t the only one. A landlady at a Northside boarding house called the FBI after she saw four men check into the house, each with a scoped rifle, and carrying a map of Kennedy’s motorcade route. The FBI then called the Secret Service office in Chicago, who searched for the riflemen. Two of the would-be assassins were found and detained for several hours for questioning, while the other two got away. The names of the two would-be presidential assassins are still unknown to this day, as the Department of the Treasury, which oversees the Secret Service, mysteriously destroyed all records of the Chicago plot when the Assassinations Records and Review Board asked for them in 1995, more than three decades after the incident.
In the meantime, the Secret Service had to respond to another tip about an ex-Marine named Thomas Arthur Vallee, who had been reportedly talking about shooting the president when he came to Chicago. Vallee was a paranoid schizophrenic, a disaffiliated member of the famously right-wing, anti-Communist John Birch society, collected guns, and was described as a loner. As a Marine in the Korean War, Vallee was injured by a mortar blast, was subsequently committed to several mental institutions, and received full disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. Like Oswald the expat turncoat, Vallee the mentally disabled fit the preferred profile of the lone wolf presidential assassin.
Vallee’s apartment was raided in his absence, and FBI agents found an M1 rifle, a carbine rifle, and 2500 rounds of ammunition. The Secret Service instructed Chicago Police to put 24-hour surveillance on Vallee and “get him off the street.” Vallee was pulled over and arrested by CPD officers Daniel Groth and Peter Schurla on the morning of November 2, as his 1962 Ford Falcon made its way toward the expressway on Kennedy’s motorcade route. The officers cited a missed turn signal as the result of the arrest. Upon seeing a hunting knife in the front seat of the Falcon, they charged Vallee with carrying a concealed weapon, and a search of his trunk yielded 300 rounds of ammunition.
Vallee’s connections to US intelligence soon came out. His New York license plates read 31-10RF. NBC Chicago employee Luke Christopher Hester learned of the arrest and asked Hugh Larkin, his father-in-law, to have a background check done on the plates by his former colleagues in the NYPD. The plates came back “frozen,” meaning that only US intelligence agencies could retrieve the classified information associated with Vallee’s registration.
Officers Groth and Schurla went on to have prominent intelligence careers. Groth led the December 4, 1969, raid on Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, who were both assassinated by police. Hampton was just 21, and Clark was 22. The families of Hampton and Clark, as well as Black Panthers who survived the raid, would successfully sue Daniel Groth and local, state, and federal agencies in 1983 for a $1.85 million settlement. While under Oath, Groth admitted that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI specifically requested the raid on Hampton. Officer Schurla became a high-level intelligence officer at the Chicago police headquarters.
Like Oswald, Vallee also worked on the CIA’s top-secret U-2 planes in Japan. Vallee told investigative journalist Edwin Black that his U-2 work was at Camp Otsu, but that he also helped the CIA train Cuban exiles to kill Fidel Castro at a CIA base in Levittown, Long Island. Oswald did similar work at a CIA training camp in Lake Pontchartrain, close to New Orleans. Vallee worked near a third floor window at IPP Litho-Plate, at 625 West Jackson Boulevard, directly above where the presidential motorcade would pass. Oswald worked on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, in front of where the Dallas motorcade would pass. It isn’t hard to see how the CIA blazed a path for both men to be set up as scapegoats in their elaborate plot to assassinate JFK.