Lyndon Johnson has a long history of illegal activities, from finding “missing votes” in his 1948 election to the Senate, the elimination of witnesses in the Billie Sol trial, his connections with Bobby Baker scandal and most of all being part of a conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
Billie Sol Estes was raking in $21 million a year from “growing” and “storing” non-existent cotton. When Henry Marshall was investigating Estes and his illegal activities Johnson ordered his hitman Mac Wallace to kill Marshall. The hit didn’t go well and Wallace ended up shooting Marshall five times and it was called a suicide and Wallace was set free, when he received assistance from Johnson’s cronies. The judge admitted he ruled it a suicide, only because the sheriff told him to rule the murder a suicide. Besides LBJ needed Wallace to finish off more of his enemies in the following years. The fingerprint of Wallace was reportedly found, in the 6th floor “sniper’s nest” in the Texas Schoolbook Depository building, so that raises the question of whether he was the one that shot JFK.
On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. County Sheriff Howard Stegall decreed that Marshall had committed suicide. No pictures were taken of the crime scene, no blood samples were taken of the stains on the truck (the truck was washed and waxed the following day), and no check for fingerprints were made on the rifle or pickup. – Spartacus Educational
The following paragraph states that Lyndon Johnson was not adverse to having his enemies killed:
On 4th April, 1962, George Krutilek, Estes chief accountant, was found dead. Despite a severe bruise on Krutilek’s head, the coroner decided that he had also committed suicide. The next day, Estes, and three business associates, were indicted by a federal grand jury on 57 counts of fraud. Two of these men, Harold Orr and Coleman Wade, later died in suspicious circumstances. At the time it was said they committed suicide but later Estes was to claim that both men were murdered by Mac Wallace in order to protect the political career of Lyndon B. Johnson. -Spartacus Educational
Then as if Johnson didn’t have enough to contend with the Billie Sol Estes situation his problems worsened, as the Bobby Baker scandal was being investigated by the Senate Rules Committee. The following three paragraphs tell why it was in the best interest of Vice President Johnson to conspire to assassinate President Kennedy.
According to the president’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy had decided that because of this emerging scandal he was going to drop Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate in the 1964 election. He told Lincoln that he was going to replace Johnson with Terry Sanford.
On 22nd November, 1963, a friend of Baker’s, Don B. Reynolds told B. Everett Jordan and his Senate Rules Committee that Johnson had demanded that he provided kickbacks in return for this business. This included a $585 Magnavox stereo. Reynolds also had to pay for $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Johnson’s television station in Austin. Reynolds had paperwork for this transaction including a delivery note that indicated the stereo had been sent to the home of Johnson.
Don B. Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Baker described as a “$100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract”. His testimony came to an end when news arrived that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. – Spartacus Educational
In conclusion the only way out of this political quagmire was for LBJ to have the president assassinated, since if he hadn’t he would have likely not been the vice-presidential candidate in 1964 and if he did nothing he wouldn’t have had the power to stop the Bobby Baker scandal investigation, before his part in the scandal was made public record. President Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy would have loved to see LBJ twisting in the wind, so there is no way they would have brought the investigation to an end.
Some of the facts about LBJ’s involvement with the Bobby Baker scandal were leaked to the press, but the press played the stories down, since President Johnson was a sympathetic figure, that was having to deal with a citizenry that was mourning the tragic loss of their president.
It is a miracle to me that Lyndon Johnson went to his death, with so many of his secrets unexposed starting with the corrupt 1948 Senate election, but then his enemies knew that Johnson not only vilified his enemies with his tongue, but his enemies had a way of ending up in the obituary column, soon after angering Johnson.
To summarize, LBJ saw that assassinating JFK was his only way out of a very bad situation, that could have sent him to prison for his illegal activities with Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker. I am surprised that President Johnson didn’t try to win a second term, if for no other reason than to protect his secrets from coming out another four years.
It was a surprise that President Johnson didn’t run for re-election in 1968, but maybe his pollsters were telling him, that there was no way he could win the election, so he may have decided discretion was the better part of valor and quietly faded away from the political scene. LBJ took a lot of secrets to his grave, but we can only hope that those who are still alive and know those secrets will tell us what he never told us.