by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Did you ever stop to wonder what it was like to grow up with a father who worked for the CIA?
Peter Janney answers this question in his book, “Mary's Mosaic,” which begins with his memories of being told of the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, the mother of his best friend, Michael Meyer, whose first thought was to comfort him when Michael was killed December 18, 1956, while crossing the street in front of the Meyer home in McLean, Virginia.
Peter's father was Wistar Janney, a former prominent advocate for peace, who went to work for the agency at its inception. This decision eventually ended his marriage to Mary, who remained an advocate for ending war.
The two boys, then nine years old had been inseparable. Cord Meyer, Michael's father, was also highly placed in the CIA.
Mary's murder was first characterized by police as a failed sexual assault and blamed on a meek black man who was near the site. Ray Crump. As the evidence falls apart the prosecution of Crump continues, ending in a verdict of innocent but providing, years later, additional facts Janney uses to piece together a mosaic which includes evidence the CIA, directly including Meyer and Peter's father, Wistar Janney, were involved in both the assassination of John F. Kenney and the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer.
Mary and Jack had been well-acquainted since their college years and became lovers.
Kennedy, impacted by the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis, had unilaterally announced the end of atmospheric nuclear testing in June 1963 with his speech, Strategy of Peace, given as the commencement address at American University, June 10, 1963, in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 14 – 28, 1962, an event which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
The Warren Commission Report, made public September 27, 1964 contradicted what Mary, herself, knew, focusing her on understanding what had really happened. This caused her to confront her former husband, bringing about her carefully orchestrated death because she would not be silent.
The book takes you through Peter's journey, beginning as an attempt to cope with the lies he realizes his parents told him surrounding the loss of Mary Pinchot Meyer. His story takes you through the inner world of the CIA from the perspective of a child who, needs answers. In Peter's words, that world emerges into our sight.