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.
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.