[ Part One of the report ]
[ Part Two of the report ]
Part Two of the
report by Randall Sullivan, published in the Oct. 18,
1981 edition of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
LOS ANGELES HERALD
Sunday October 18, 1981
He took 'them' on - now he wonders
who 'they' were
The conclusion of our two part series.
Teddy D'Orsay's phone call from
New Orleans in May 1977 was Mike Ruppert's first voice
contact with her since Teddy disappeared from their Culver
City apartment 10 weeks earlier. During that conversation,
Ruppert wrote Teddy's new phone number and address in
Gretna, La., on a sheet of paper already filled with information
regarding his mother's pending $45 million real estate
deal. He had that paper in his jacket pocket, Ruppert
said, the next evening when he finished his shift at the
Police Academy and drove to Brennan's Pub in Marina del
Rey where he had met Teddy 17 months earlier.
While Ruppert was drinking in Brennan's, his car door
was unlocked by someone who used a metal shim, according
to the official police report, and the jacket, the sheet
of paper and Ruppert's service revolver all were stolen.
The next day Ruppert was back in the office with LAPD
organized crime Investigators Lee Goforth and Charles
Bonneau, attempting to convince his increasingly remote
fellow officers that Teddy's life was in danger. "They"
were going to kill her with Ruppert's own service revolver.
Goforth and Bonneau told Ruppert he looked tired. They
advised him to take some time off.
In July 1977 Ruppert took a weeks vacation and drove to
New Orleans pulling Teddy's furniture behind him in a
During his six days in New Orleans, Ruppert reported,
he was shot at as he and Teddy stood outside a bar. He
and Teddy were followed by car and on foot. In Teddy's
apartment he discovered more than a half-dozen phone jacks,
including one complicated electrical hookup unlike anything
he had ever seen before. He called a friend, a naval and
communications officer, described the phone and hookup,
and was told it sounded like the KY3 model scrambler phone,
which required top secret clearance.
Teddy was cold and stony. She would not sleep with him.
She told Ruppert that the smartest thing he could do would
be to forget that he had ever met her.
Teddy was visited at night by a friend who wore a 44-caliber
Magnum pistol in his boot and talked about the work he
was doing for Mafia don Carlos Marcello. During the day,
Teddy was visited by an Air Force sergeant named Johnny
who brought her Manila envelopes from Belle Chase Naval
Air Base filled with what he described as "communiqu³s."
Another friend who was employed by a company specializing
in offshore oil rig communications systems said he was
helping Teddy see that "some things got moved off
Teddy and Johnny gobbled speed and smoked grass that they
described in Ruppert's presence as "issued,"
laughed crazily at Ruppert's ardent, attentive expression.
He left New Orleans at the end of that week, Ruppert said,
Back in Los Angeles, Ruppert notified Goforth and Bonneau
that he now wanted to "drop the whole thing."
Shortly after Ruppert's return from New Orleans, his father
Ed, an Orange County businessman, received a phone call
"She said she was worried about Mike," Ed Ruppert
recalled. Teddy said she was "doing some sort of
sensitive work involving organized crime." An organization
she referred to alternately as "my people" and
"my company" had considered Mike for employment,
Ed Ruppert remembered Teddy telling him, but had decided
Mike "wasn't ready" for that kind of work.
Because Mike was "worried about bugs," Ed Ruppert
relayed the conversation to his son on the banks of the
Santa Monica Beach palisades.
[Pull Quote: "I've never seen anyone as committed
to something as Mike has been to this Imagine what he
could have accomplished if he had used the energy and
the dedication he has devoted to this over the past five
years to further a career" -Ed Ruppert, Mike's father.
End Pull Quote]
Two days later, as he left a theater in Westwood, Ruppert
said, he was chased around the perimeter of the UCLA campus
by two men in a white pickup truck.
Ruppert called Bonneau and Goforth. He had imagined the
tail, they told him. There had been no scrambler phone
in Teddy's apartment. Maybe three weeks vacation wasn't
That week, Ruppert signed in as a voluntary patient at
Woodview-Calabassas Psychiatric Hospital.
A battery of tests and hours of interviews during which
Ruppert repeated his "incredibly detailed story"
to staff psychiatrist, Dr. Robert A Cole, consumed much
of the two months that Ruppert was registered as a day
patient at the hospital. Cole noted that Ruppert's "ties
to reality were adequate with no evidence of bizarre thought,
processes, delusions or hallucinations." In Ruppert's
official "Discharge Recommendation" Cole referred
to his patient as "an exceptional individual with
no major weaknesses."
On Sept. 9, 1977 Ruppert saw Teddy again at his father's
house, where she had come to pick up the last of her personal
Ruppert used a hidden recorder to tape most of their conversation.
He played this tape later for Cole, who described what
he heard as "a solid basis for his (Ruppert's) interpretation
of events." On the tape, Cole heard Teddy "admit
her involvement in investigative pursuits of an admittedly
Ruppert later turned the tape over to LAPD's Bonneau.
He never saw it again. During the summer of 1978, as the
foment in Iran built toward revolution, Ruppert, now a
senior training officer at the Police Academy, began once
again to make those long-distance connections that obsessed
On Aug. 17, 1978, Ruppert went to Bonneau to say that
he believed his ex-girlfriend Teddy was involved in a
plot that had something to do with the overthrow of the
Shah of Iran.
Twelve days later Bonneau called Ruppert and asked for
details of Teddy's "associations."
According to Ruppert, the "harassment" began
again immediately: hang-up phone calls, tails, break-ins.
On Sept. 7, 1978, Bonneau said he had been unable to contact
Teddy. What Bonneau did not mention was the FBI in New
Orleans had contacted Teddy. On Sept. 12, Ruppert said,
he was followed by a car with a license plate he checked
through the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was registered
to a post office box registered to the U.S. Government.
On Sept. 30, Ruppert was followed again, he said, by two
vans bearing license plates registered to post office
He ran a check on Teddy's license plate and discovered
it was also registered to a post office box.
On Nov. 17, Ruppert formally requested an interview with
LAPD's new chief, Daryl Gates. The connection was made
through Sgt. Virginia Pickering, who worked in Gates'
office. Pickering came to the Police Academy on Nov. 28
to meet with Ruppert and on Nov. 29 told the young officer
he would get five minutes with the chief the next day.
Five minutes was not enough time to tell his story, Ruppert
insisted. He was lucky to get one minute, Pickering told
him. On the morning of Nov. 30, 1978, Ruppert reported
that he has been followed to work by two vans, a Volkswagen
and a Pontiac Firebird. He failed to show up for his five-minute
meeting with Chief Gates. That afternoon, Ruppert submitted
his official resignation from the Los Angeles Police Department.
In an interview with the FBI four days later, Ruppert
sad he had left the LAPD "to save my life."
Three years have passed and Ruppert hasn't let go. His
fixation on Teddy and the international intrigue Ruppert
believes he was drawn into by her has become both his
vocation and his avocation.
Supported by files obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act, through research into the affairs of Mafia don Carlos
Marcello, through information contained in a U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency report on the exchange of drugs for
weapons - classified top secret because of a U.S. government
agency's alleged involvement in these transactions - and
through a historical study of the United States' involvement
in Iran, Ruppert insists he now knows what "this
incredibly story I stumbled into" was all about.
It was about suppressing the revolution in Iran,. Ruppert
believes Teddy, useful because of her childhood friendship
with the shah's niece, Minou Haggstrom, was assigned by
the CIA to cultivate relationships with organized crime
figures who would assist - in exchange for free access
to refined Mideast heroin - in the transport of weapons
to Kurdish counterrevolutionary forces in Iran.
"The actual transaction went down in New Orleans,"
Ruppert assures all who will listen, "under the supervision
of Carlos Marcello. Teddy helped coordinate it all."
What is perhaps most incredible about Ruppert's story
is that so many people in the best positions to evaluate
it consider it "plausible."
Aaron Kohen, former deputy director of the FBI and head
of the New Orleans Crime Commission considered the world's
foremost legal authority on Carlos Marcello, found Ruppert's
theory "entirely plausible." Speaking from a
lawn chair beneath a shade tree in the back yard of his
home in Lake Ponchartrain, Kohen said he, "would
not be at all surprised" to learn of either Marcello's
or the CIA's involvement in such enterprise.
Ruppert's attorney, Bill McCord, a former FBI agent, noted
that "LAPD probably has had closer connections with
the CIA and with SAVAK (the secret police of the shah
of Iran) than any police department in the country. If
Mike had been on to something, a lot of people would have
known about it." What McCord finds less plausible
is Ruppert's portrait of Teddy as a CIA agent. "It
sounds like Teddy was a bit of a party girl who knew law
enforcement people and also knew people on the other side
of the law." McCord's friend and former colleague
Buck Sadler, an FBI agent assigned to Los Angeles who
conducted the official agency interview of Mike Ruppert,
also found the theory "plausible," but added
that he had "been offered no facts whatsoever to
Other FBI agents, ones stationed in New Orleans, interrogated
Teddy during the autumn of 1977. Teddy was almost immediately
released, and the FBI has "no available record"
of her statement.
Freedom of information Act petitions concerning the matter
filled by Ruppert with the Central Intelligence Agency
and the U.S. Justice Department were answered with written
statements that "nothing pertaining to your request"
was found in the files of either agency.
On the evening of Oct. 9, I reached Teddy by phone at
a bar in Honolulu, and she called back later from her
home on the other side of Maui.
All that was incredible abut the story in her mind, Teddy
said, was "that Michael Ruppert is still trying to
make something out of this after all these years. Doesn't
it make you doubt the mental stability of someone who
has become so obsessed with things that happened so long
"Yes, I knew a lot of people," Teddy said, "I'm
friendly, I smile and I say hello. And if you're a girl
(Teddy is 32) and if you're friendly, you meet people.
I didn't always know what those people were involved in,
what they did for a living. Some of them may have been
into strange things."
The problem with Ruppert, Teddy said, was that "he
was always making connections - if I was friendly with
two people who he knew or thought were involved in something
together, then I was involved too."
Yes, she had told Ruppert that her vacation in Hawaii
during the spring of 1977 had been cover for her involvement
in a government-Mafia exchange of cocaine for automatic
weapons, Teddy said. "He kept me up for hours the
night I got back insisting that I tell him the truth,
so finally I told him what he wanted to hear so I could
go to sleep."
Yes, she had gone to San Francisco at the same time the
West Coast Mafia dons were meeting there in the wake of
Carlo Gambino's death, Teddy said: It had been a coincidence,
but she had "let Michael think what he wanted to
Eventually it became convenient to play the role Ruppert
had assigned her, Teddy said. Clandestine meetings and
undercover assignments were the best excuses available
for getting out of the house, for not coming home at night,
for taking a weekend out of town.
After she ran away to New Orleans and Ruppert followed
her, things got a little out of hand, Teddy said.
She was still a friendly girl and she had met people who
were involved in things she did not quite understand.
"Some of them may have been into - probably were
into - - weird things," she admitted. "But I
didn't know about that until later."
Ruppert had come into town and started asking questions
of people who did not want to give answers, Teddy said.
Some of her friends "had kind of done a number on
Michael." Some had implied their involvement in an
"operation" of international proportions. Others
had threatened him. Some had shown him government documents
"Its all kind of messed with his mind, and I'm sorry
for that," Teddy said. "I just wanted to get
rid of him at that point."
Yes, she had talked of her work as an undercover agent
during a taped conversation with Ruppert, Teddy said.
"I saw him slip this tape recorder behind the couch
as I came in and I figured if he was going to be this
ridiculous, so would I." The one question Teddy would
not answer was how she had supported herself without employment
during the 15 months she spent with Ruppert: "That's
nobody's business but my own."
She was sorry Ruppert had been hurt, Teddy said, but it
would never have happened if he had developed a sense
"She's lying, she's lying, she's lying." Ruppert
insisted pounding on the leather arm of a couch in the
Herald Examiner lobby the next morning. "She's very
good, I'll admit, and you wouldn't be the first person
He had been waiting three years to have his story told,
Ruppert said. "Don't cut me off now," he pleaded.
"This is the closest I've come."
Mike Ruppert's plight, his story, appeals to a collective
paranoia that has been cultivated in most of us. "They"
really are everywhere. And because we concede that much,
we also must concede the possibility that Ruppert's private
obsession is some aspect of responsibility the rest of
us have failed to assume.
Ruppert says he is a victim. We need victims. They put
a human face on the corruption and incoherence most of
us are unable to confront. The inept innuendoes used by
LAPD to rebut Ruppert's story only encourage sympathy
"He came in with a story, I believe, that his mother
was a CIA agent," said the department's official
press spokesman, Cmdr. William Booth. "And you were
aware, I'm sure, that he has spent time in a mental hospital."
Ruppert is a well-educated 30-year old who has been forced
to fall back on the financial support of his mother and
father. At least two jobs he had been promised after his
resignation from the LAPD failed to materialize. Ruppert
believes this was the work of "some agency interested
in closing all doors to me."
Broke and beat, this UCLA honors graduate who reportedly
possessed the highest IQ in the history of the Los Angeles
Police Department, eventually took a job as a clerk in
a 7-Eleven store. Two hours into his first shift, Ruppert
was arrested for selling liquor to a minor: "A setup,
without question," he says.
"I've never seen anyone as committed to something
as Mike has been to this," his father Ed said.
"Imagine what he could have accomplished if he had
used the energy and the dedication he has devoted to this
over the past five years to further a career."
It is Ruppert's "commitment" that has compelled
the attention of others who have helped him along the
"Whether or not I buy Mike's theory, I consider his
personal credibility above reproach," said McCord,
a former FBI agent. "I have absolutely no doubt that
Mike is telling what he believes to be the truth."
That same phrase "what he believes to be the truth"
was used by a retired LAPD Intelligence officer, another
FBI agent and psychiatrist Cole to describe Mike Ruppert.
Each of these three professionals professed both a measure
of admiration and a measure of fear of Ruppert.
Ruppert has stayed on the case. In a world where so much
seems possible and so little likely, you begin to wonder
if the courageous and the crazy are the same people.
<END of PART
[ Part One of the report ]
[ Part Two of the report ]