Recently, this case was featured on the True Crime Garage Podcast as a two-part episode. Mary Pinchot Meyers also attended Vassar College- which is an area I am familiar with- coming from that region myself. Living in the Washington, D.C. area, she built her career as painter and was married to the Central Intelligence Agency (C.IA.) official Cord Meyer in the 1940s-1950s.
Later, she was connected with her prior neighbor and late President John F. Kennedy. Even her brother-in-law confirmed the relationship, who was also an editor for the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee. A lover letter (love being used loosely), was auctioned at one time for almost $89,000.
This case hit the headlines as she was shot on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O) Canal Towpath in 1964. There has been conjecture that it may have been due to her connection to the Warren Commission Report- which was three weeks after its release which was criticized by Meyers. Some of this was due to her outspoken opinions on the C.I.A., the wiretapping (who wasn't wiretapped during this time) and the efforts by the C.I.A. to retrieve her diary immediately following. The 1960s was a time of Cold War and espionage.
Mary Pinchot was a journalist, besides a writer, and even though she was married to a CIA official, she was also under the investigation or "watch" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) due to her pacifist viewpoints and her involvement in the American Labor Party. When she married Cord Meyers and they became pillars in the Georgetown Society. During this time, despite their association with Joseph Alsop, Katharine Graham, Anne Truitt and Frank Wisner; she was openly critical. Her opinions even brought attention by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who accused her of being a Communist in 1953. Her husband became disillusioned as well over time, and he was involved in Operation Mockingbird (another article in itself) and tried to leave the C.I.A. to no avail.
This case hit the headlines as she was shot on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O) Canal Towpath in 1964. There has been conjecture that it may have been due to her connection to the Warren Commission Report- which was three weeks after its release which was criticized by Meyers. Some of this was due to her outspoken opinions on the C.I.A., the wiretapping (who wasn't wiretapped during this time) and the efforts by the C.I.A. to retrieve her diary immediately following. The 1960s was a time of Cold War and espionage.
Mary Pinchot was a journalist, besides a writer, and even though she was married to a CIA official, she was also under the investigation or "watch" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) due to her pacifist viewpoints and her involvement in the American Labor Party. When she married Cord Meyers and they became pillars in the Georgetown Society. During this time, despite their association with Joseph Alsop, Katharine Graham, Anne Truitt and Frank Wisner; she was openly critical. Her opinions even brought attention by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who accused her of being a Communist in 1953. Her husband became disillusioned as well over time, and he was involved in Operation Mockingbird (another article in itself) and tried to leave the C.I.A. to no avail.
"Someone help me, someone help me," on the morning of October 12, 1964, mechanic Henry Wiggins heard a woman call out while trying to fix his car on Canal Road. He heard two gunshots and ran to a low wall looking over the path. He saw a man standing over the body of a woman. She had two bullet wounds- one in the head and one in the back. Forensic testing later indicated they were likely point blank or close range.
“Someone help me, Someone help me!”
When the police officers arrived to the scene, they found Mary Pinchot Meyers laying on her side as if she was asleep. Her studio was nearby and she went out for her daily walk this day, on a perfect fall day. The detective looked in the area for possible suspects- they found one. John Warner, a Washington, D.C. police detective, spotted a soaking wet African American man named Ray Crump less than a mile from the scene. This was also about forty minutes since the shooting. His hand was cut and he gave several different reasons for being in the area. A weapon was never found. Ray Crump Jr. was identified by the two men who called the police saying he was the one standing over the body.
Crump told the police that he was fishing and drinking- and his rod went in the water, and he got wet when he tried to retrieve it. His jacket and coat were in the river, his fishing rod across town in his closet. According to the author Peter Janney in the book Mary's Mosaic, the FBI Crime Report was withheld from the defense which indicated that there was no forensic evidence linking Ray Crump to the murder at the time. Crump did not have any blood on him and he was never linked with any weapon that was used in the murder.
Judge Howard Corcoran upfront indicated Meyer's private life could not be discussed in the courtroom when Ray Crump's case went to trial. Despite the prejudice at the time, he was acquitted.
There has been much speculation between Mary Pinchot Meyer's death was sexually motivated, to the indication it was related to her relationship with President Kennedy or her criticism of the C.I.A.