By Alex Constantine
VAUGHN MARLOWE: Known as Vaughn Snipes in 1963, he sat on the executive committee of Fair Play for Cuba in Los Angeles, a CIA cold war front. He also ran a leftist bookstore in L.A. Snipes/Marlowe spoke to investigator-author Dick Russell about the John Kennedy assassination and appears in The Man Who Knew Too Much. By his own account, he was "considered for recruitment as a rifleman in a June 1963 plot against JFK in L.A."
Marlowe, now in his '60s, lives in Newport, Oregon. In 1990, when Russell made contact with him, he ran a small sign shop and homeless shelter. He went to work for KPFK-FM in 1964. At this time he changed his name to Marlowe after Raymond Chandler's fictional detective.
In 1967 he sent a letter to Jim Garrison, signed "Don Gordon," to inform him of Richard Nagell's interest in him. One telegram sent to Nagell in prison in 1964 from Santa Monica was attached to a note typed by Nagell: "The original of the xerox copy of a telegram is a significant piece of hard evidence substantiating the existence of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. It contains a coded message and was sent to me in El Paso in April 1964 before my first trial." The note describes a possible personal relationship between Oswald and Marlowe.
Marlowe served in Korea, and after the war lived in Flint, Michigan, where he associated with a group of Trotskyites. He moved in the early '60s to San Francisco, then L.A. Marlowe became an organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality, and joined the board of Fair Play for Cuba. He was an unusual Trotskyite, arriving at a political rally held at UCLA in 1963 with a dozen ex-convicts in tow.