If Poppy Bush was busy on November 22, 1963, so was his friend Jack Crichton. Bush’s fellow GOP candidate was a key figure in a web of military intelligence figures with deep connections to the Dallas Police Department – and as previously noted, to the pilot car of JFK’s motorcade.
Crichton came back into the picture within hours of Kennedy’s death and the subsequent arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, when a peculiar cordon sanitaire went up around Marina Oswald. The first to her side was Republican activist and precinct chairman Ilya Mamantov, a vociferous anti-Communist who frequently lectured in Dallas on the dangers of the Red menace.
When investigators arrived, Mamantov stepped up as interpreter and embellished Marina’s comments to establish in no uncertain terms that the “leftist” Lee Harvey Oswald had been the gunman – the lone gunman – who killed the president.
It is interesting of course that the Dallas police would let an outsider – in particular, a right-wing Russian émigré – handle the delicate interpreting task. Asked by the Warren Commission how this happened, Mamantov said that he had received a phone call from Deputy Police Chief George Lumpkin. After a moment’s thought, Mamantov then remembered that just preceding Lumpkin’s call he had heard from Jack Crichton.
It was Crichton who had put the Dallas Police Department together with Mamantov and ensured his place at Marina Oswald’s side at this crucial moment.
Despite this revelation, Crichton almost completely escaped scrutiny. The Warren Commission never interviewed him. Yet, as much as anyone, Crichton embodied a confluence of interests within the oil-intelligence-military nexus. And he was closely connected to Poppy in their mutual efforts to advance the then-small Texas Republican Party, culminating in their acceptance of the two top positions on the state’s Republican ticket in 1964.