283. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency Station in Saigon to the Director of the National Security Agency (Blake)1

024. Critic. Young Vietnamese Saigon businessman who CAS casual source exhibited set of snapshots morning 3 Nov which showed [Ngo] Dinh Diem and Ngo Dinh Nhu covered with blood, apparently bullet riddled, lying dead on floor of armored vehicle with hands tied behind them.

Source claims pictures given to him by actual photographer who member of coup forces. Source would not identify photographer. Snapshots examined by CAS Saigon Acting Chief of Station and other senior case officer. Both agree photos appear authentic.

Source states pictures taken approx 1000 hours 2 Nov near Gia Long. Source adds it his understanding Diem and Nhu escaped Gia Long through underground tunnel and were driven by Cao Xuan Vy to church in Cholon, where they were captured. Vy has since disappeared. Source adds bodies were offered to wife of former Asst Defense Minister Tran Trung Dung, who niece of Diem. Mrs. Dung, near hysteria, refused accept bodies.

Pictures now being offered for sale to international press in Saigon. CAS does not now have copies but will obtain 3 or 4 Nov.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Secret; Flash. Received in the Department of State at 10:09 p.m., November 2. Passed to USIB agencies.