British paper got anonymous tip before JFK was assassinated
Just minutes before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a British newspaper received an anonymous call about “some big news” in the US, according to newly released documents.
A memo to the director of the FBI revealed that the call was made to the senior reporter at the Cambridge News at 6:05 p.m. Nov. 22, 1963, the day Kennedy was shot in Dallas.
The missive from CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton read: “The British Security Service (MI-5) has reported that at 1805GMT on 22 November an anonymous telephone call was made in Cambridge, England, to the senior reporter of the Cambridge News.
“The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up,” the news outlet reported Friday.
According to the document, dated four days after the assassination, MI5 calculated that the call came about 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot as he rode in a presidential motorcade in Dealey Plaza.
Anna Savva, a current Cambridge News reporter, said Friday that the paper has no record of who took the call – adding that learning about it was “completely jaw-dropping.”
The memo was included in a batch of more than 2,800 declassified documents released Thursday to satisfy a 25-year deadline set forward by the Oct. 25, 1992, enactment of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act.
President Trump held back the release of many files after the CIA and FBI asked for more time to redact information that could cause “potentially irreversible harm.”
The document from Angleton added: “After the word of the President’s death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the anonymous call and the police informed MI-5.
“The Cambridge reporter had never received a call of this kind before and MI-5 state that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record.”
The memo also says that “similar anonymous phone calls of a strangely coincidental nature have been received by persons in the UK over the past year,” particularly in the case of a Dr Ward.
That reference may have been about Dr. Stephen Ward, one of the central figures in the Profumo affair, a 1961 British political scandal about a sexual relationship between politician John Profumo and 19-year-old model Christine Keeler.
Ward was a physician and socialite who had taken Keeler under his wing.
The memo ends: “The British Security Service stated its desire to assist in every way possible on any follow-up investigations required within the United Kingdom.”
On Friday, reporters at the Cambridge Evening News said they were sifting through its archives to investigate the mysterious call.