Amazing Investigation: How a Real Life James Bond Got Whacked by a Bag Lady Assassin
Continued from previous page
An untraceable hit is the best hit, and the mind of a “nut” is all but untraceable. Hoffa associate Sheeran identified two high-profile examples in America. One took place during Hoffa’s trial in Nashville in 1962, when, during a break in the trial, a young paranoid-schizophrenic named William Swanson rushed into the courthouse and began firing at Hoffa. Hoffa’s attacker had been released from a California mental institution a few months before coming out to Nashville. “I had been struggling with something in me that told me I had to kill someone for over a year, but I didn’t know who,” Swanson told police after he was arrested. “Then a voice told me, ‘You have to kill Hoffa’ — it said it twice.” Hoffa had always assumed that rival mobsters had trained Swanson to take him out. A few years later, in 1971, New York’s top Mafia don, Joseph Colombo, was gunned down at an Italian-American pride rally by a 24-year-old African-American paranoid-schizophrenic, who was killed seconds later by someone in the crowd.
The Colombo assassination made headlines for months, and although everyone from the police chief down assumed mob involvement, the hit was never solved. Assassin Jerome Johnson was a black neo-Nazi as well as a practiced marksman and member of the NRA. He also thought he was God. The night before murdering Colombo, he arrived by bus from Cambridge, Mass., carrying a caged monkey. No one ever figured out whom Johnson visited in Cambridge, how he got his money, or why he had the monkey.
Lois Lang spoke to police and doctors on the day of her own arrival by bus. As during subsequent interviews with psychiatrists, she was incapable of offering more than sketchy and incoherent autobiographical information. She was hospitalized for eight years before a judge finally declared her fit to stand trial in 1993. The prosecution team found the case very odd — the D.A. reportedly still thinks about it — but didn’t spend much time delving into the motivations of the madwoman. Lang has been in Bedford Hills federal prison ever since. Her longtime attorney is deceased. She has grown a beard like a billy goat and ignores all interview requests. Her most recent parole interview was last August. Like every previous date, she failed to attend.
* * *
If the tossed-off human byproduct of a half-baked CIA assassin program was indeed recruited by one of many potential-suspect crime syndicates to kill Deak, how did it go down? Who provided Lang’s name to whom? Who helped her to buy a bus ticket to Florida via Tijuana? Who helped her buy a Saturday Night Special in Orlando and taught her to shoot?
Some of those loose ends may be tied up by opening government files. Since the 1980s, the CIA and Department of Defense have had to reveal thousands of pages of documents and settle scores of lawsuits filed by victims of various mind-control experiments. Recently a major class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of over 7,000 veterans subjected to chemical and biological experiments at the 11th Circuit federal courts.
Arkadi Kuhlmann, the ING Direct CEO, may hold a few important leads. During our conversation, we told Kuhlmann that Lang was hospitalized under the supervision of at least one doctor with a documented interest in drug-induced hypnosis. He wasn’t at all surprised. “How does a woman like her actually handle a gun and get off two clean shots?” he asks. “That’s execution-style. It’s hard to function like an executioner one minute, but be loose around the edges. Unless you’re brainwashed like a robot.”