Family of CIA scientist who died in Cold War say he was murdered

CIA scientist who was privy to the agency’s darkest Cold War secrets was ‘murdered by agents when he got cold feet’, says family in new book

  • Frank Olson was found dead in the street after allegedly falling from his 13th story hotel room in New York City in 1953 
  • His death was ruled a suicide but his family was suspicious about it 
  • In 1975, it emerged in The Rockefeller Report that Olson had LSD in his system 
  • President Ford apologized to his family and they were given $750,000 
  • In 1994, his body was exhumed by his son who still had lingering questions
  • A forensic pathologist ruled his death was not a suicide and that he’d likely been hit on the head in his room and thrown from his balcony
  • Weeks before his death, Olson had seemed as though he was having a moral crisis
  • His family believe he had become disapproving of the CIA’s methods and was a security concern to them  

Frank Olson died in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 28, 1953

The family of a CIA scientist who was privy to some of the agency’s darkest secrets during the Cold War believes he did not kill himself, as they have been told for decades, and was instead murdered because he posed a risk to them.

Frank Olson died in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 28, 1953 outside The Statler Hotel in New York City, after having apparently fallen from his room on the 13th floor.

His family were not allowed to see his body, instead being told he had suffered significant facial injuries in the fall, and that he had killed himself by jumping.

But the man’s nephew Paul Vidich is now claiming in his new book, The Coldest Warrior, that Olson was in fact killed by the CIA. 

He says that after the family had Olson’s body exhumed, they were told that he died as the result of blunt force trauma in the hotel room and that he was thrown to the street below. 

He had LSD in his system which Vidich thinks he was given at a clandestine, off-site meeting earlier in the day to test his trustworthiness. 

At the time, he says his uncle had become privy to some of the agency’s closely guarded secrets about strategies and techniques the US used in The Cold War.

Among them were interrogation techniques and the facts that the CIA had cooperated with Nazis and some Japanese war criminals following World War 2.  

Vicih lays out his evidence on an article for The Daily Beast on Monday. 

He told how in 1975, 18 years after Olson’s death, the family learned about the LSD in his system because it emerged in The Rockefeller Commission, a report commissioned by President Gerald Ford to investigate the CIA. 

President Ford invited the family to the White House where he apologized to them.

Olson’s body was found in the street after falling from the 13th floor of The Statler Hotel 

In 1975, the Olson family was invited to the Oval Office to meet with President Gerald Ford (shown). They took a settlement of $750,000 

Paul Vidich, Olson’s nephew, believes he was murdered because he knew too much 

They were also given a $750,000 settlement but had to sign a release form in exchange which protected the CIA.

In 1994, still uneasy with the narrative he’d been given, Olson’s oldest son had his body exhumed. 

Vidich recently released his book The Coldest Warrior 

The pathologist ruled that Olson did not suffer disfiguring facial injuries, as they had been told, and that he had an injury on his head which was consistent with him being murdered in his room and then thrown from the window.

‘Olson’s death remains officially classified as “undetermined,” but all the evidence that has emerged over several decades points toward murder and none of it points away. Like a black hole, existence is proven by evidence that points to existence and not by direct observation,’ Vidich wrote.  

Weeks before his uncle’s death, he spent three weeks with Vidich’s father re-roofing a house. He was not suicidal, he said, but was having a moral crisis and had started reading the Bible.

Another suspicious development, he said, was that the CIA signed a memorandum after Olson’s death which allowed them to keep illegal operations secret if it was in the public interest or national security. 

He also claims to know that Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, used his uncle’s death as an example of the ‘perfect murder’ in its training programs. 

Vidich said: ‘I wrote The Coldest Warrior with the freedom that fiction enjoys to imagine the world beyond the precipice of knowledge.’ 


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