The FBI Updated Dead List Identified Two Supreme Court Justices As Communists

I spoke to the need of the Internet being free and being a source of much information that is not available elsewhere. I was looking for an article by Clarence Walker written in April 2005 asking whether FBI Agent John Connolly could “Go FREE?” I clicked on an article that seemed to have some of what I was looking for. It didn’t. Rather it was a document which the FBI called its Dead List.

It described it as  “This is an updated list of the people the FBI understands are deceased. It amounts to a list of notable or famous individuals for whom there are FBI files (usually) or cross references to FBI files.” A little later it states: “FBI files on any of the individuals contained in this list may be requested by writing a letter.”

To say that this FBI list is disgraceful is to give it much more credit than it deserves. It shows an agency with no pride in its product. After spending a few minutes reading it I was dismayed to think such a shabby product would be put out by a government agency. But it tells us that the FBI filing system must be very sloppy and full of wrong information.

It also gives us an idea at who the FBI has been looking at over the years. If this product is an indication of how the FBI files are kept in-house then there’s little wonder we are being ill-served.

Here is what I read:

“Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C. 20535  November 21, 2011


The enclosed documents were reviewed under the Freedom of Information (FOIA),  . . . Deletions have been made to protect information which is exempt from disclosure,  . . .  In addition, a deleted page information sheet was inserted in the file to indicate where pages were withheld entirely. . . . 671 pages were reviewed and 671 pages are being released.”

Each page had five columns: “Last Name; First and Middle; Suffix; Other Info; Original Dead List.” The last entry, “original dead list” indicated that there may have been several different dead lists.  Examining that column it appears those were: Pearl Harbor, FBI Officials, LCN, and Communists.

I initially was skimming fast through the alphabet looking for gangsters. I came upon the entry: BRANDEIS LOUIS D. d. 1939

Interesting, I thought, what would the FBI be doing with a file on a Supreme Court Justice. Maybe they had files on all the justices. I checked on Robert H. Jackson who I referred to in this blog a couple of times. Nothing. That’s strange he was also attorney general and chief counsel to the Nazi Nuremberg trial.

I then thought that Jackson had a dispute with Hugo Black so I checked him. I found BLACK HUGO L. d. 9/25/1971”. Black was considered very liberal so I want to see if some conservative justices like Rehnquist were there. I found: REHNQUIST WILLIAM H. ‘. d.2005” I was sure Earl Warren was there and found “WARREN EARL d. 7/9/1974.”

It occurred to me that Abe Fortas, LBJ’s buddy, had some legal trouble. I checked him. His entry read: “FORTAS ABE COMMUNIST”  So the FBI had Abe on its Communist list, that’s was a surprise. I checked Felix Frankfurter. “FRANKFURTER FELIX J. d. 1965 COMMUNIST.”  The FBI had at least  two of our Supreme Court justices on its Communist list.

I decided to get away from the justices. I thought of Martin Luther King knowing there had to be a file on him. I wondered if he was also considered a Communist. I found “KING MARTIN LUTHER JR.” and “KING MARTIN LUTHER SR” No dates of death or any other description.  I thought of Thurgood Marshall and saw: “MARSHALL THURGOOD d. 1993”

An interesting entry a few down from him caught my eye: “Lesbian Activist MARTIN DEL d. 8/27/2008U” I wondered if it was her sexual preference that caused her to have a file.  I searched the word “gay”. I found: “D. 1/26/2011 KATO DAVID Ugandan gay activist; D. 5/15/2009 McFARLANE RODGER advocate for gay rights”; “D. 12/10/2010 gay rights activist, founder of ·STARR . ADELE Parent FLAG, ·PFLAG”,

I then turned back to see what it said about others I felt might be considered Communists: I found  “b. 4/1/1901 CHAMBERS WHITTAKER (JAY DAVID) d. 7/9/1961 COMMUNIST;” “HISS ALGER d: 11/16/1996,11/15/1996 COMMUNIST.  I checked on Gus Hall and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and found they were not on the Communist list.

I wondered about presidents: I found nothing on FDR but the FBI did (as I expected) have a file on Eleanor Roosevelt; no file on Harry Truman but a file on his daughter Margaret Truman; no Eisenhower files; KENNEDY ROBERT F. d. Jan 1995; (wasn’t it 1968) KENNEDY JOHN F. d. 11/22/1963D.(nothing about president)  8/26/2009 KENNEDY EDWARD M. US SenatorONASSIS . JACQUELINE KENNEDY d. May 1994;“ nothing on LBJ but a file on Lady Bird. It had a file on  NIXON · RICHARD MILHOUSE US President;” “FORD GERALD R. d.  12/26/2006 (no president).” The notice on REAGAN RONALD WILSON listed him as an Official with the notations “d. 6/5/2004 also was SAG and MPIC”; (it also listed files on Reagan’s daughter Maureen and brothers John Neil, and Neil, even though he had only one brother); nothing on Jimmy Carter;

I gave up when I went looking for gangsters and found a guy listed as “Meyer, Lansky” and another called “Lansky, Meyer;” and found Gerry Angiulo’s name misspelled.  Gerry had been on the LCN list but his right hand man Larry Zannino aka Baione was not.

You get the idea. The list is a mess. It is a shameful reflection on the image the FBI gives us of itself when no one is looking.



  1. You can easily request the file the FBI has on YOURSELF using the instructions below. The link is also below. You should all request your file. You might be surprised at what you find out about yourself.

    It is also interesting to see the records of the alleged “victims” in the Bulger case. For example, reports indicate Michael Donahue was a legbreaker for organized crime and had been hired by Halloran to collect Halloran’s Shylock money. Nothing can justify murder, but the portrayal of Donahue as an innocent Good Samaritan illustrates just how the public is deceived by the feds and the media. There may be some families who were greatly relieved that their appointment with Halloran and Donahue was cancelled that afternoon. The FBI files on the other deceased “victims” depict a rogue’s gallery of drug dealers, gangsters and murderers. Homicide is very rarely justified, but these are not quite the innocent victims that have been described to us in the media.

    Privacy Act Request

    The Privacy Act allows U.S. citizens and lawfully admitted aliens to request information on themselves or another living person.

    If you are requesting information about yourself, you must use one of the following options:

    Option 1: Use the U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361. You may submit an attachment listing additional information that may aid in locating responsive records. Please place your name and contact information on the attachment.

    Option 2: Following the instructions in U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361, submit a letter to the FBI, sign your request, and have it notarized or state, “Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that I am the person named above and I understand that any falsification of this statement is punishable under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1001 by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both; and that requesting or obtaining any record(s) under false pretenses is punishable under the provisions of Title 5, U. S. C., Section 552a(i)(3) as a misdemeanor and by a fine of not more than $5,000.”

    Mail, fax, or e-mail this letter to the following:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Attn: FOI/PA Request
    Record/Information Dissemination Section
    170 Marcel Drive
    Winchester, VA 22602-4843
    Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
    E-mail (scanned copy):

    • Patty:
      I’d no doubt be surprised, so surprised the I really don’t want to know what the file on me contains. I’ve been in a somewhat of an adversary position with the FBI since back in the 1970s; I’m sure there’s a few reports containing some derogatory information on me. I told Donald Stern I wouldn’t let the FBI take the lead in the Salvi Brookline abortion clinic murders because I didn’t want to have to be begging the FBI to tell us what was going on in the investigation. As is shown in Tsarnaev’s case, the FBI members of the joint task force didn’t tell the guys at the same desk with them that the Russians had sent a notice about Tamerlan. So I expect there’s much there to tear me down. If I confirmed that then the FBI could say my criticism of it was based on that, so I’ll not give them the opportunity to do that.
      The family of the victims in this case are lucky that the FBI’s top echelon informant program was put into existence so that families of some of the victims who were gangsters themselves can make claims against the government suggesting they’d still be alive had not the government empowered Whitey which is so much nonsense but the ivy tower judges buy into it so what can you do.

  2. My guess is with respect to Mr. Robert H. Jackson who headed up the Nazi Nuremberg trials, the FBI had no need to investigate him as they felt, given his support for allowing the FBI to initially begin
    wiretapping, that he was on the right side of things.

    I am not surprised about the FBI classifying Justice Frankfurter as a communist. At the bare minimum, to the FBI, he met the simple, two-pronged test: 1. He was Jewish and 2.) He was from Massachusetts. If both standards are satisfied, it becomes an irrebuttable presumption of “communism” in some conservative circles. In fact, the test is probably down to a one-pronger now! Moreover, there was the fact that he commented about the greed on Wall Street, he commented about the Saccho Vanzetti case, then there was that little meeting at Fanueil Hall in Boston on Armistice Day (1919) where he presided over a forum dealing with the Red Scare, and whether or not to officially recognize the Soviet Union/Bolshevik thing going on back then. Don’t even bring up the New Deal.

    Question though: Can you tell me, is the FBI required to put out a “PAL” as I call it: A “Political Affiliation List.” Perhaps it’s time the FBI shows the country who all its internal “PALs” are; showing the political affiliation/history of all its employees. In other words, does the FBI ONLY hire “conservatives”? Can someone FOIA that information?

    If the FBI is predominantly conservative (which I am assuming it is) and that it has gone after “liberal organizations” in the past,(which it has)then is a second look required with respect to the IRS scandal right now? In other words, as a result of the IRS’ (dumb) decision to go after conservative organizations such as the Tea Party (which was wrong for the IRS to do whether you are a Tea Party fan or not, no question about that), the FBI is now investigating the IRS —that’s a first in history, right? Or, am I wrong about that? Has the FBI been dispatched to investigate other federal agencies for their “wrongful leftism” in the past? I am not a history buff, so maybe the FBI investigating other “federal agencies” under a Democrat and/or Republican Regime is SOP.

    But, let’s think about that in the reverse for just a moment, when the FBI went after the Hollywood Hit List for example, did the President at that time or any President thereafter send in the IRS to investigate the employees of the FBI to determine who might be a radical conservative or “have other issues” vis-a-vis what their tax information could potentially reveal? Wouldn’t that have been outrageous, unheard of?

    Basic question – Is it normal for Federal agencies to attack eachother – only one will prevail in the turf battle. My money is on the FBI.

    • Alex:
      You may be right about Jackson but he was concerned about the Nazis and the Axis powers and I believe he gave J. Edgar Hoover the right to go after pro-Axis groups. I’m not certain of that but I’ll have to check on it.
      After WWII J. Edgar got a letter that authorized him to do wiretaps and other illegal stuff from an attorney general which said he could do it in under limited circumstances involving great national threats. J. Edgar used that letter to expand into areas that were not contemplated by that attorney general and he carried the letter around in case anyone questioned him, which few did. Right up through the Kennedy presidency he was doing illegal wires and pointing to the letter.
      It was only when LBJ’s AG Nicholas Katzenbach called him on it that he stopped doing this. He knew all along the letter was a sham excuse but hoped that Katzenbach, like all the other AGs before him, would go along with the façade. Katzenbach probably would have done so but LBJ was upset that the FBI came close to nabbing one of his friends so he forced Katzenbach to call off Hoover’s dogs.
      Speaking of J. Edgar Hoover, the day after JFK was killed on November 22, 1963, he decided based on no more evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested that we were going to have on only person involved in the killing and that was Lee Harvey Oswald. The investigation into the assassination had hardly begun and Hoover shut it down. He directed his boys not to look any further than him and to stay away from trying to find accomplices. He wrote a memo to that effect on November 24, 1963. He decided that if Lee Harvey was in league with others it was best to give them a pass for the sake of not panicking the nation. I had forgotten about that until I just read a memo from Nicholas Katzenbach to Bill Moyers (of all people) allegedly written by Hoover telling him on November 25, 1963, to make every effort to ensure the public was convince of the lone gunman theory (sort of like the lone rogue agent theory). See:
      Of course one now wonders about the Tsarnaevs and whether a decision was made before all the evidence was in. The theory being if you don’t look beyond the tip of your nose you’ll be convinced the world ends there. Rather than seeking the truth they’d prefer to give comfortable assurances.
      I’d suggest most FBI agents come from the right side of the political ledger as do most cops but I’m sure that does not affect their work. I tend to still believe the individual agents and cops do the job as well as they can regardless of political leanings. It’s not the guys and gals at the lower levels that should concern us but those in charge. As I mentioned before, lower level guys follow orders.
      As for politics which I like to avoid in this blog I suggest we’ve been fortunate that all on the political spectrum from far right to far left up to this time has been thrown into one big stew and for the most part after mixing and boiling all these ingredients together we have produced the country we’ve been fortunate to live in. We must guard against the extremes for too much of one thing won’t be good.
      I believe the FBI has investigated every other agency in the government including Congress, you may recall ABSCAM. So you are right that in every contest the FBI will win. The reason is simple and it is one of the reasons why we have problems today. It is that there is no one that can investigate the FBI. It does what it wants even producing the Dead List which any other agency in America would feel embarrassed to put out with the multitude of errors it contained.
      Keep in mind the words in the Katzenbach memo that was allegedly written for him by J. Edgar: “I think this objective [to convince the public Oswald acted alone] may be satisfied by making public as soon as possible a complete and thorough FBI report on Oswald [which had been done a couple of days after] and the assassination. . . . the reputation of the Bureau is such that it may do the whole job.” In other words, whether true or not, the FBI’s reputation will carry the day. Pretty sad state of affairs we’re operating on in this nation.

  3. Interestingly, there is a file concerning John Edgar Hoover, as well, filed under the “GENERAL” category. I wonder what that is all about?


    • Jay:
      You ought to write to the FBI for a copy of it. You’ll probably received back 20 pages with everything redacted except the name.

      But seriously, I think the FBI tried to have a file on all its deceased members and the FBI Agent who compiled the list (as we’ve seen she is not the brightest bulb on the marquee) couldn’t figure out who John Edgar Hoover was, although she had heard of J. Edgar Hoover, so she just put the name in the general category.

  4. It’s almost comical lol. I imagine this is their only list they occasionally must remove a file when they discover a subject alive and standing in front of them…. Mistakes galore, actually being mistakenly added to this list would be one error in favor of a subject of interest. They would have loved to have added Whitey Bulger to this list as Bulger’s alleged demise by natural causes was often circulated via rumor, law enforcement, the media etc., however, that rumor never made sense as the law makers would have immediately, with wide media coverage, recovered and taken custody of his body joyously and with great relief burying all their secrets with him.

    • Jan:
      I was surprised that the list was so sloppily created that Whitey’s name was not on it. But your point is well taken that many would be better off if Whitey had died on the road then there would never have been an occasion to reexamine the story line that has been out there for many years as I have done and find that it is full of holes. It was all supposed to end with the trial of John Connolly and the gangster books and the re-runs by the newspaper people. The only thing left is for Whitey to tell his side of the story which will fill in some areas but may also be full of lies. The more I think of Whitey is that he was more a Saddam Hussein character, or better, the Wizard of oz, hiding behind a screen, depending on bluster to carry on his act. So he’s trapped into making himself into more than he was while trying to squeeze into it some truth to lessen his involvement in the most hideous of crimes, like the killing of the young women.