While we know as an historical fact that John Wilkes Booth traveled to Montreal and was recruited in this city by Confederate agents to participate in a plot again Abraham Lincoln, “history” is less affirmative about the Montreal presence of James Earl Ray and Lee Harvey Oswald, the two men that “history” designated as assassins of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.
In fact, “history” only accept the reality of the James Earl Ray presence in Canada and even open minded researchers of the JFK assassination are perplexed about any presence of Oswald in Montreal. So, even if chronologically the Kennedy assassination happens before, let start by examining the least controversial of the two Montreal presences.What we know about James Earl Ray presence in Montreal is basically due to his own account delivered in his autobiography: Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?: The True Story by the Alleged Assassin.
The same facts, with further research on the characters and events reported by Ray, are also exposed in two important books by his last lawyer William F. Pepper: Orders to Kill: The
Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr and An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King.
After escaping from a Missouri jail in April 1967, James Earl Ray traveled to Canada. In July 1967, he was in Montreal, hanging around at Neptune’s, a seamen bar near the port. In search of papers or some work on a boat going to Europe, Ray, according to his own story, met a shadowy smuggler named “Raoul” or “Raul”. Even if Ray feared to go back in the United States, Raoul who told Ray that he would be able to get him a forged passport in return for his help, convinced the fugitive to participate in a smuggling scheme between Canada and US.
Most of the researchers of the MLK assassination didn’t pay a lot of attention to this Canada-USA smuggling scheme. Since Ray alleged that he was framed-up by Raoul who asked him to buy the murder weapon in Memphis for smuggling purpose, researchers were more interested by Ray and Raoul’s later guns smuggling activities between USA and Mexico. But Ray and Raoul’s Canada-USA traffic activities shouldn’t be overlooked because they reveal an essential aspect of the MLK conspiracy: the fact that its source is deep rooted in the French Connection heroin traffic milieu.
Even if it is not worded in black ink on white paper, it is clear from the context that what ray and Raoul were carrying across the border was dope. Ray wrote in his book how he used taxis to smuggle packages between Windsor and Detroit; it is evident that Ray wasn’t passing guns in a cab. More specifically, Ray wrote about Raoul and himself that: “we'd meet in Windsor, he'd hand over the contraband and leave, then I'd carry his package down to Detroit, where we'd hook up again.” It is clear that the contraband he is talking about is something small, something that neither the uncooperative taxi drivers or the Customs officers will notice in a cab. And for sure this thing can only be drug.
That James Earl Ray might have been drawn, against his knowing, in the MLK conspiracy by members of Montreal’s French Connection is interesting when one take in account that William Pepper reported in An Act of State that: “Raul was identified as a person seen in the company of Jack Ruby in 1963, usually at the Carousel, Ruby's other Dallas club. Beverly Oliver said
that on one occasion, she remembered Raul giving Ruby $20,000.”
From the research done for my book “De Dallas a Montreal” (see previous posts) and from information gathered after its publication, I can confirm that Jack Ruby, already known to be implicated in heroin traffic, was in contact with member of Montreal French Connection, more specifically with Lucien Rivard, an important arm and heroin trafficker linked to Jos Bonanno and
Montreal Cotroni family.
Since he was arrested in 1965, it is sure that Rivard could not have been an active part of the MLK assassination. But still according to author William Pepper, other people from the Montreal Mafia
took a part in it. In his book, Orders to Kill, Pepper reports that Jules Ricco Kimble, a CIA contract agent, confided to him that Luigi Greco, one of Bonanno family top lieutenant in Montreal, had a part in it. According to Kimble, some of Greco’s men did fly from Québec to Memphis to take part in Martin Luther King assassination.