The Mysterious Murder Of A JFK Mistress

President John F. Kennedy was known for his womanizing ways. It has been rumored that he was romantically connected with many beautiful and famous women throughout his presidency, including sex symbol and actor Marilyn Monroe. As one would expect, Monroe's glamorous life and mysterious death captured headlines, but not all of Kennedy's mistresses received the same treatment.

Mary Pinchot Meyer, a talented painter and the daughter of a wealthy progressive lawyer and a journalist, was another long-time Kennedy mistress whose death, although less well known, was no less shrouded in mystery.

Mary married Cord Meyer, a CIA official who managed the agency's clandestine services, in 1945. Following Cord's appointment to the CIA, the couple moved to Washington D.C. and ingrained themselves into Georgetown society. Mary became friendly with Jackie Kennedy after the two couples became neighbors in the summer of 1954. After Mary divorced Cord in 1958, however, she began a romantic affair with Jackie's husband, the president, which went on for years.

'After all these years - you should give me a more loving answer'

President Kennedy, for his part, seemed infatuated with Meyer, and his feelings were evident in a love letter that he had written shortly before his death in 1963, but never sent. In the letter, he pleaded: "Why don't you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th ... I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don't you just say yes?" via ABC News.

Less than one year after President Kennedy's assassination, Meyer was out for her regular afternoon walk in Georgetown when someone violently ended her life as well. On October 12, 1964, two men were changing a tire on Canal Road when they heard a cry for help and two gunshots, and called the police. Meyer's body was discovered on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath shortly after, with two bullet holes, from close range, in her head.

Mary Meyer was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon

A young Black man, Ray Crump, was found nearby, soaking wet and sporting a cut hand and a vague excuse as to how it had gotten that way. The police felt his answers were suspicious and arrested him, but he was soon acquitted due to lack of evidence, per Smithsonian Magazine. No one else was ever arrested in conjunction with Meyer's death.

The police eventually reached the conclusion that her murder was simply the result of a random attempted sexual assault gone wrong. Her ex-husband, who left the CIA in 1977, agreed, writing he was "satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape ... some journalistic speculation was published to the effect that I was convinced that Mary's death was the result of some complicated Communist plot. There was no truth whatever to these stories," via Facing Reality.

Meyer's death remains unsolved

By 1976, however, stories had begun to swirl that there was something more sinister about Meyer's murder. The journalist James Truitt raised suspicions in the March issue of the National Enquirer, stating her death may have actually been more closely linked to her affair with President Kennedy than the official conclusions had let on, writes John Simkin at Spartacus Educational.

According to Town and Country, there was evidence that Meyer's phone had been wiretapped, and her diary, in which she had documented her affair with the president, had been hidden or destroyed. Meyer had been openly critical of both the CIA and, later, the Warren Commission's finding that Kennedy's assassination had been caused by a lone gunman. This led to speculations that both Meyer's and President Kennedy's deaths had been orchestrated by the CIA, and Crump and Oswald had been mere patsies, set up to distract from the truth of their murders. Others theorized that her murder had been arranged by the CIA because she simply knew too much about the agency's clandestine affairs.

Despite these many theories, the mysterious case was never solved. To this day, no one knows who was responsible for the murder of Mary Meyer.