There is no such thing as E. Howard Hunts Last Confession, contrary to claims currently being circulated by Mr. Hunts two elder sons, Howard St. John and David Hunt in recent articles published in the Los Angeles Times and in Rolling Stone magazine following Mr. Hunts death. Motivated by an apparent need for notoriety and financial gains, these theories regarding Mr. Hunts alleged knowledge of a JFK assassination conspiracy involving the late President Johnson and now dead CIA agents have no basis in fact and are not credible. There is nothing inherently newsworthy in the sad tale of rogue relatives sewing seeds of dissension after the death of a well-known public figure. What is true is that in his lifetime, E. Howard Hunts two elder sons were a deep disappointment to their father and family. If these theories rest on the credibility of the two elder sons, then their own backgrounds and reliability are well worth investigation. St. John Hunt has actually revealed his decades of drug use, abuse and drug dealing in the Rolling Stone article. Considering their source, reputable journalists should dismiss these claims as entirely lacking in credibility.
The theories advanced by his two elder sons after his death are totally inconsistent with Mr. Hunts tireless efforts to fight any and all conspiracy allegations during his lifetime. The Warren Commission report investigating the Kennedy assassination is a matter of public record. Unhappy with its findings that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, a veritable conspiracy industry has arisen, and because of Mr. Hunts CIA background, some theorists have speculated that Mr. Hunt was connected in some way. Allegations caused Congress to act and the JFK investigation was renewed in the early 1970s. In 1974, Mr. Hunt repudiated and rejected these absurd theories as part of a 90-page sealed deposition before the Senate investigative committee. In that recently declassified and released transcript, which is available online, Mr. Hunt detailed each and every CIA assignment and every contact during his 21-year CIA career. During Mr. Hunts deposition, each bizarre conspiracy theory involving President Kennedy was detailed exhaustively, and Mr. Hunt testified that he had absolutely no knowledge of anything pertaining to the assassination. In addition, Mr. Hunt engaged in protracted litigation against Liberty Lobby, a political newspaper that had published conspiracy allegations concerning him. Although he won at trial the verdict was overturned on appeal. Mr. Hunt continued to fight against defamatory accusations, and specifically repudiated each one in detail in a chapter included in his final memoirs. Mr. Hunt also resisted several Hollywood big money offers to cash in on assassination speculations by lending credibility to CIA-connected JFK assassination scenarios. It is curious indeed, and perhaps sinister, that his elder sons would wait until after their fathers death to propagate conspiracy theories in an alleged last confession when Mr. Hunt is no longer able to personally repudiate them. All of Mr. Hunts knowledge concerning LBJ and any CIA agents is dealt with extensively by him in his new book American Spy (Wiley, 2007).
Mr. Hunt had also always firmly rejected any and all conspiracy theories involving the death of his first wife. The National Transportation Board and Federal Aviation Administration exhaustively investigated her accidental death on board a United Airlines passenger plane in 1972. Should there have been a conspiracy to murder her, the opportunities were many, and it is ludicrous to believe that the most effective method was to cause an airliner to crash, killing more than a hundred others. The verdict of the inquiry into the causes of the crash was that it was pilot error combined with extremely poor weather conditions, a verdict on which rational persons agree.
In 2005, Mr. Hunts two elder sons proposed a book project in conjunction with an individual with film industry connections. Unfortunately, as things developed, it was clear that the project was not about the interesting details of Mr. Hunts life. Rather, it was a vehicle to promote further conspiracy-fueled speculations involving rogue CIA agents and LBJ in the Kennedy assassination. Mr. Hunt definitively rejected that project, and he specifically rejected the theories it contained, both to his attorney, William A. Snyder, Jr. and to his youngest son, Austin, who was living at home and finishing his college courses. When that project did not proceed because of the bizarre conspiracy theories initially promoted, the elder brothers opportunities for financial gain faded. Their resulting reaction has been to continue to exploit Mr. Hunt, to create conflict and division within the family, to threaten their siblings and worst of all, to further a very selfish and greedy personal agenda.
In the interests of truth and fairness, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Austin Hunt should be consulted as the familys spokespersons on this issue as their first-hand accounts are critical to emphatically contradict these spurious claims on behalf of Mr. Hunt, his widow and his remaining four children.
The Hunt Estate and the Hunt Family