Castro Killer

Westbrook Pegler

St. Louis Globe Democrat/July 12, 1960

A report from Mexico City recently related that Herman Marks, Fidel Castro’s professional American executioner, had fled Cuba, apparently with a woman, and turned up there as a refugee.

Although Castro is an open, avowed enemy of the United States, Marks may have been within his legal right under our laws in putting patriotic Cubans to death in Morro Castle at the entrance to the harbor. Nevertheless, Marks probably might be safer in Mexico or, say, Bolivia, than he would be anywhere in the United States. Castro operates a “center” at his consulate in New York which has rioters on call for spontaneous demonstrations. Assuming that Marks has defected, he might have trouble at their hands.

Marks is a common jailbird of degenerate character whose probation record relates that his mother’s fourth husband, a tavernier, tried to throw Herman out of their home for drinking his booze and sleeping in his bed. Herman, then 27 years old and a veteran jailbird with a file in the FBI, took umbrage at this and threw the old man out, instead. The report indicates that his mother took Herman’s part, but without pursuing the story of their infelicity.

Herman’s criminal career contains an itinerary reminiscent of Railroad Jack. He was arrested the first time in Milwaukee, but thereafter tagged up with the police in Fort Worth, Bangor (Me.), Key West, Galveston, Honolulu, Long Beach (Cal.) and New York. He also repeated in Milwaukee with a conviction of rape for which he served 30 months at Waupun and earned from John Burke, the warden, the title of “real stinker?”

There are 12 convictions among 30 entries on his “jacket,” but, unlike William Alexander Morgan, a kick-out from the American Army and a seasoned young veteran of numerous prisons and jails, Marks is a dull, unsightly brute without adventurous inclinations. Morgan, though ruthless, is a bright young man of about 32 who was a Major on Castro’s general staff a year ago and had joined the Cuban Communist party.

Our own FBI had reports that there were nine or 10 Communists on this general staff and that Morgan had made one foray back to Toledo to visit his parents, raise money for Castro, who was still pretending to be a social revolutionist, and, if possible, buy military aircraft. He was acclaimed as an undercover agent who lured a bunch of Dominicans to invade Cuba last year, but Generalissimo Trujillo said the whole exploit was a hoax.

Marks received recognition at the hands of Holiday Magazine, a Curtis publication, last winter in the course of a warm salute to Castro by an English writer named Kenneth Tynan. Tynan also reviews plays for the New Yorker.

Readers are superficial, so no offense is taken when an unknown Englishman mocks the United States by writing “I wish Castro well.”



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