An informant told the FBI in 1965 that it was rumored, though never substantiated, that mafia bosses hoped to use associates of entertainer Frank Sinatra to ensnare brothers Robert and Edward M. Kennedy in compromising positions with women in retaliation for a crackdown on organized crime.
The rumor is mentioned in a memo that was part of the FBI files released Monday on the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
The agent who sent the memo to the office of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the information as "nebulous and vague."
Agents in Milwaukee took the information from an unidentified source "who had furnished reliable information in the past," according to the memo. However, the informant couldn't verify that any of the details about the rumor were true.
"This is allegedly to be accomplished by working with outfit associates of Frank Sinatra to arrange for their women to be placed in compromising situations in the presence of any or all of the two Kennedys and Peter Lawford," the Aug. 3, 1965, memo stated. At the time Lawford, an actor who was part of the Sinatra "Rat Pack," was married to Kennedy sister Patricia Kennedy.
The memo came nearly two years after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His brother Robert had been attorney general from 1961 until September 1964 when he resigned to campaign for a Senate seat from New York, which he won that fall. As attorney general, he lobbied for legislation that expanded federal powers against organized crime and greatly increased the resources available to the Justice Department's organized crime section.
Edward Kennedy had been representing Massachusetts in the Senate since a special election in 1962.
The FBI files include a one-page document generated about the same time that talks about sex parties at the Hotel Carlyle in New York City. Among those mentioned as participants were the Kennedy brothers along with Lawford, Sinatra, actress Marilyn Monroe, who died in 1962, and entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.
Unlike the Milwaukee memo, the reference to sex parties came with no documentation that would indicate where the information came from or what the FBI thought of its veracity.
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