Mini bonus post: Were Richard Cox’s FBI documents kept in the Identification Division’s ‘missing person file room’ too?

Richard Colvin Cox

Considering how similar the Ron Tammen and Richard Cox disappearances seemed to be, one question that may have crossed your minds at some point is: were Richard Cox’s missing person documents handled the same way as Ron Tammen’s? In other words, were some of Cox’s documents stamped “Return to Ident Missing Person File Room” too?

Also, you may recall that other Tammen documents had been stamped “Retain permanently in Ident jacket #358-406-B”—Ron’s fingerprint jacket—before they were “removed from Ident files” in June 1973. Was there a phrase on Cox’s documents to “Retain permanently in Ident jacket” too? We know the FBI had Cox’s fingerprints on file because of his Army ties, so he should have had a fingerprint jacket too.

To the best of my knowledge, the answer is “no” to both questions.

I know that some of you aren’t convinced that there was a missing person file room per se. But even so…the FBI seemed to be treating the two cases differently, even though there were distinct similarities between them and they’d occurred only three years apart.

Admittedly, I’ve been eyeballing hundreds of pages today and there’s a chance I may have missed something.

And so…I’ve decided to post all of Richard Cox’s FBI documents on this website. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the FBI’s files on Cox have ever been posted in their (supposed) entirety online before. Feel free to explore them at your leisure. There’s quite a bit there and some of it makes for fascinating reading. Also, if you do spot either of the above phrases, or anything else of interest, please let me know. You can find the three CDs’ worth of documents at the bottom of the home page, in the same area as the other documents I’ve posted.

Lastly, if their estimate is still on target, I should be hearing from the Department of Justice by early February regarding my appeal concerning Richard Cox’s Additional Record Sheets. It would be a huge deal if they rule in my favor. I don’t think anyone has ever requested—and received—Additional Record Sheets from the FBI before. Fingers crossed.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Julie
Julie
11 months ago

1. I suspect the supposed Florida sighting was faked by the FBI. It seems odd that he’d tell some strange guy at a bar that he was the AWOL student from West Point and to watch the news because something big was stirring in Cuba (presumably Bay of Pigs). That’s not a great way to keep your cover. Then Mr. Random also happens to be an FBI informant…let’s just say a literary agent would send that one back to the author.

2. I wonder if the reason(s) Cox and Tammen’s files were treated differently was because of their assignments within the CIA*, if that’s where they did go. Section 1, page 9 of the Cox files I’m reminded that he had a prominent scar on his arm and a “trick knee” that caused an occasional limp, which might not be ideal for certain work if you’re trying to remain unmemorable (assassinations, tailing people, whatever).

3. Only a bit into Section 1, but I’m going to need convincing that Richard was gay. Page 27 would be more helpful without the redactions, but it reads to me as at best, nasty gossipy hearsay, and at worst like they think Cox is a terrible person for running away and needs his life completely ruined.

4. I would say there is some similarities in how the cases were treated, since the FBI seemed to not follow up on Mr Sandage’s 1952 tip, so they either knew where Richard was and didn’t need to, didn’t find it credible for some reason, were pursuing other leads and dropped this one, or “forgot” to include anything else that had to do with this part of their investigation.

*I’m also thinking the NSA was formally established in 1952, though its roots go back to 1917, and its existence not revealed to the public until ’75. The NSA rarely does in-person evidence gathering, instead does more cypher breaking, data analysis, in more recent years computer and cyber intelligence, etc. I’m going to presume, though, you could probably learn something that might make you believe your loved ones would be in danger if you returned home…like knowing your organization fudged information about the Gulf of Tonkin incidents or wiretapped prominent American citizens critical of the Vietnam War.

I feel like perhaps the biggest commonality the two men had were perhaps feeling disrespected or misunderstood by their families. Everyone insists Cox was close to his mother (the same mother who wouldn’t get him medical attention for his arm and had to be taken by a neighbor). And his sister said he couldn’t have joined the CIA because he didn’t have the “brains or heart” for intelligence work, which makes me wonder if they discouraged him (once would be bad enough, but if it were regularly!) about his dreams and aspirations. His siblings were also certain he wouldn’t have voluntarily disappeared and made no effort to come home, but perhaps he believed it would be an adventure for a few years, then he’d be returning, and something happened.

Julie
Julie
11 months ago
Reply to  jwenger

I started last night and went to bed forgetting to send it. Luckily I just closed my laptop lid without clicking out of the browser tab and losing most of it! 🙃

Julie
Julie
11 months ago
Reply to  jwenger

Sadly, my brain is pretty much a card catalogue of random information that’s been through the shredder then tossed by a tornado. Useful for connecting random things in ways no one else sees, also highly distracted by the newest shiny piece of information. Also likes to confuse where I got previous information as well as names, dates, times, locations, etc, so that’s fun. 😩

1. I’m going to be somewhat stubborn about this one and say while the sighting is plausible, it’s equally likely made-up, and the FBI would at least have known how to create an alias. RE: the CIA & FBI rivalry – I had the thought that perhaps this sighting didn’t even have anything to do with Richard, and everything to do with Hoover being a Type-A personality and keeping his fingers in everyone’s business. This would be a pretty eye-catching way to show Dulles he knew what was going on in the organization.

2. I didn’t explain myself clearly. A trick knee or prominent scar definitely doesn’t rule out undercover work so much as the specific work or with whom Cox would interact (IE, probably not under multiple aliases where highly-trained KGB agents could sniff him out, but perhaps deep cover with one alias gaining the confidence of locals).

3. I’ll defer to your expertise. Right now I’m not sure I can even concentrate enough on poorly-scanned, type-written documents that are half whited out and can’t be searched and I need to magnify 350% to read to even be helpful with any of them for any reason, let alone that.

4. I agree respected and misunderstood, but having suffered from mental health issues from the age of 7, misunderstood often feels like disrespect, particularly as a teenager or young adult, until you get more life experience (and therapy). Even if it’s a reality check coming from a place of love, if it’s worded crassly it hurts more than helps. I was also listening to the podcast, and heard your interview with Marcia. What are the chances that the FBI’s follow-up interviews in later years were not because they were looking for Tammen, but looking for someone looking for him (KGB or an American associate of such)?

Also, Yahoo News just published this article. It’s about a military intelligence officer who committed suicide, and there were other, underlying factors, but it kind of gives insight into how the US intelligence community operates as a whole, but you can extrapolate how much worse things were back in the 50s and 60s. Particularly interesting was that operatives have to remain highly vigilant even when they’re not on a mission, but just around family and friends, to not accidentally let slip classified information.

https://news.yahoo.com/an-army-clandestine-operative-concealed-his-mental-health-problems-until-it-was-too-late-is-the-military-to-blame-100004941.html

Deena B
Deena B
1 year ago

My thoughts are that if the theories of FBI/CIA recruitment of Richard Cox and Ron Tammen are both true, then the two men were absolutely connected in some way. And if there is no way to connect the dots between the two men, at least one of those two theories has to be wrong. Unless the FBI and CIA were just randomly plucking up college age men from Ohio willy nilly. And if both theories are true, I’d expect to see at least a few other similar missing persons cases. Ron and Richard wouldn’t be the only two, I’d think.

Deena B
Deena B
1 year ago
Reply to  jwenger

I hear you. I don’t readily see it either. But it all feels too random otherwise. Random, but with a thread tying them together. And the CIA and FBI are not just random in their activities. And that’s just my immediate gut reaction. I wasn’t too familiar with Richard Cox before. That possible sighting in Oxford is intriguing.

Deena B
Deena B
1 year ago
Reply to  jwenger

The story of the apparent restaurant encounter between Richard and the West Point acquaintance made me wonder what might have happened in New York when the Miami acquaintance saw Ron but said nothing.

Deena B
Deena B
1 year ago
Reply to  jwenger

Excellent. Thank you. So here I go down another rabbit hole…

Brett Nelson
Brett Nelson
1 year ago

Oh, my! I can’t wait to go through these documents in-between my current screenwriting projects! Anything pertaining to Cox has my attention! And any possible connection to Ron, too! Thank you, J! And for all your hard work!

Brett Nelson
Brett Nelson
1 year ago
Reply to  jwenger

Thank you! Screenwriting-wise… things are getting very *exciting!*

Jule
Jule
1 year ago

My prayers, keep at it.

Kyle
Kyle
1 year ago

Fingers definitely crossed here 😀
This is great stuff as always.
Possible you could end up 2 birds one stone in all of this?
Would be incredible.
All the best

Deena B
Deena B
1 year ago

Thank you for posting the Richard Cox info. I look forward to diving into that.