Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Another Watergate myth dispelled

Somehow I missed seeing any reference to the death of 'legendary Miami investigator' Martin Dardis last month. Joan Fleishman's column in the Miami Herald today gives notice of a memorial service, and Amy Driscoll's obituary ran May 18.

Dardis' life story is full of great stories, of course the most well-known is his identification of the Watergate burglars' connection to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (Nixon). Dardis complained in later years that his portrayal in All the President's Men was unfair:
Dardis, an ex-cop, despised his portrayal in the Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward book and movie, All the President's Men. He told The Miami Herald last year that his historical role had been unfairly diminished and that the movie made him seem like a shabbily dressed "buffoon." He said he had shown Bernstein exactly where the money had come from -- a Miami bank -- thereby filling in a key blank in the probe.
...When The Washington Post's Bernstein showed up at the state attorney's office in downtown Miami, Dardis showed him the critical link. In 1997, Woodward called the Dahlberg check the "connective tissue" that linked the burglars to Nixon's campaign.

And, another story I hadn't heard: about his rescue of an American airman during the Battle of the Bulge: the airman turned out to be Kenneth Dahlberg, whose check for $25,000, given to the CREEP, was found in Bernard Barker's bank account nearly 30 years later!

Lots of memories in the obit, from writers like Carl Hiaasen, former prosecutors, and Warren Holmes, the lie-detector expert who was involved in so many big Miami stories.


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