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DOCUMENTS: THE GRAY ARCHIVE

When Richard Helms resigned as director of central intelligence in January 1973, he and his secretary spent his last ten days in office destroying his files. When Pat Gray left the FBI three months later, his secretary, Marge Neenan, spent the following week segregating his personal papers from the Bureau's official files in his office. She gave the official files to Mark Felt. The personal files she then packed into forty-five boxes which were carted to the basement of the Justice Department until two of Gray's sons retrieved them a few weeks later.

Various Documents from the Gray Archive

Armed with the contents of those forty-five boxes, Pat Gray began creating the narratives that appear in his book. Most of them he wrote out longhand, preserving each draft as he went. Sometimes he dictated a draft and then edited the typed transcriptions by hand. The first accounts, begun within days of his resignation, were for his lawyers as they helped him prepare his testimony before the congressional hearings and grand juries spawned by Watergate. Those writings were narrowly focused on the specifics of the events in question. For a short time in 1974 and again a few years later, as the last prosecutorial white flag was about to fly, he wrote more expansively, filling in personal details and observations. His background source for everything he wrote was his extensive archive of personal papers.

Two events led to the expansion of that archive. Because he knew that at his confirmation hearings he would be asked detailed questions, not only about Watergate but also about such events as the disbanding of Tom Bishop's Crime Records Division and the arrest of Jack Anderson's associate Les Whitten, Pat Gray first posed those questions hypothetically to his personal confirmation task force. The answers came to him in writing, backed by copies of FBI documents. Then, when he needed corroboration or amplification of an actual response he had given to a particular senator at the hearings, his team provided copies of backup material from the FBI files. Those answers and copies he took with him. The result is almost certainly the most complete set of Watergate investigative records outside the government, one that contains many personal notes and other original documents held only by Pat Gray.

The other event that added substantially to Pat Gray's archive was his indictment in the Weatherman "black bag job" case. In the two and a half years before the government publicly exonerated him by dropping the indictment in open court, Pat Gray was entitled to the discovery process. He and his lawyers used it to obtain copies of hundreds of otherwise locked-up documents and those, too, now reside in the Gray archive.

The Gray family intends one day for this archive to be open to the public. For now, however, it remains private and subject to very limited access. Interested researchers and reporters should contact us at the link provided below.

Copyright 2008 LPGIII Pages LLC
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