Dead in the Wake of the Kennedy Assassination

Mrs. Earl E.T. Smith: Mysterious Death?

Mrs. Earl E. T. Smith (Florence Pritchett) is included on the lists of "mysterious deaths" on the basis of her being a colleague of Dorothy Kilgallen — the conspiracist columnist for the New York Journal-American.

As was the case with Kilgallen, there is no evidence, nor any reason to believe, that her death was in any way "mysterious."

The Journal-American announced her death in a front-page story in the November 9, 1965 edition.

Mrs. Earl E.T. Smith, wife of the former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and columnist of The Journal-American, died today in her apartment at 1120 5th ave. She was 45.

Mrs. Smith, the former Florence Pritchett, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She had been in ill health since mid-August, and only recently had been discharged from Roosevelt Hospital.

Interestingly, she and her husband were close friends of the Kennedys, as the article makes clear.
She and her husband were counted among the closest friends of the late President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy. The Smiths often were included in the small intimate gatherings arranged by the Chief executive and Mrs. Kennedy during their years in the White House.
The New York Times ran an obit on November 11, and it likewise said that she died of a cerebral hemorrhage and had been in ill health since mid-August. It's not clear that the Times had any independent source of information on this, and they may have used the Journal-American story as a source.

The only basis for believing that her death was in any way mysterious is the claim that Dorothy Kilgallen had some secret knowledge about the assassination that threatened to "blow the case open" and that she shared this secret, sinister information with Smith.

But it's extremely doubtful that Kilgallen had any such knowledge.

And even if she had any such knowledge, there is no evidence at all that she shared it with Smith.

It's also a mystery why conspirators would make her sick in August, but allow her to linger — with her dangerous sinister knowledge — until November.

Like the vast majority of persons on the JFK assassination "mysterious deaths" lists, her inclusion is more a matter of free-association in the minds of conspiracist writers than of evidence.

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