313. Editorial Note

In telegram 261 from Ciudad Trujillo, December 17, 1956, Ambassador Pheiffer reported the following: “Embassy opinion Octavio De La Maza, CDA co-pilot possible key to breaking case. Appeared Embassy highly agitated condition two days after Murphy’s car discovered. Urgently wished to obtain visa for father and sister. At time Embassy discounted obvious nervousness, but now evaluation of actions indicate possible serious involvement some deep problem necessitating urgent removal relatives from this country.” Pheiffer added that he “suggested to Dominican authorities that De La Maza be interrogated.” (Department of State, Central Files, 239.1122–Murphy, Gerald Lester/12–1756)

In telegram 286 from Ciudad Trujillo, January 7, 1957, Stephens reported that Dominican Minister of Justice Rafael F. Bonnelly had informed him that De La Maza committed suicide that morning in the prison cell where he was being held by Dominican authorities. Stephens stated he was shown an “alleged suicide note claiming De La Maza responsible for Murphy’s death.” (Ibid., 239.1122–Murphy, Gerald Lester/1–757)

In telegram 233 to Ciudad Trujillo, dated January 8, the Department informed the Embassy it was “not satisfied Dominican version de la Maza death.” The telegram, drafted by Julian P. Fromer, stated further: “Dept believes GODR attempting discourage further Murphy [Page 886] investigation especially his activities their behalf prior disappearance.” (Ibid.)

A typescript copy of the purported De La Maza suicide note and an English translation were transmitted to the Department of State in despatch 370 from Ciudad Trujillo, January 9. (Ibid., 1–957)