William Sullivan is someone who would have been a problem for the conspirators if he gave evidence to HSCA. There are several reasons for this. He was given overall responsibility to carry out a FBI investigation into Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination of JFK. Presumably he found evidence that Oswald was working for the FBI.
Sullivan was also the FBI link man with the CIA Executive Action operation. He therefore knew more than anyone else in the FBI about the CIA assassination plots against Fidel Castro.
Sullivan was a strong advocate for the FBI war against liberals. Sullivan was in charge of FBI’s Division Five. This involved smearing leaders of left-wing organizations. This included the campaign against Martin Luther King. In January, 1964, Sullivan sent a memo to Hoover: “It should be clear to all of us that King must, at some propitious point in the future, be revealed to the people of this country and to his Negro followers as being what he actually is – a fraud, demagogue and scoundrel. When the true facts concerning his activities are presented, such should be enough, if handled properly, to take him off his pedestal and to reduce him completely in influence.”
One would have Sullivan to have kept quiet about his illegal activities. However, Sullivan eventually became disillusioned with FBI’s campaigns against the left. For example, by the early 1970s Sullivan began to disagree with Hoover about the threat to national security posed by the American Communist Party and felt that the FBI was wasting too much money investigating this group. On 28th August, 1971, Sullivan sent Hoover a long letter pointing out their differences. Sullivan also suggested that Hoover should consider retirement. Hoover refused and it was Sullivan who had to leave the organization.
After Hoover’s death Sullivan was brought back to office by Richard Nixon. This included supporting Nixon’s policy of expanding illegal surveillance methods (Huston Plan). I suspect Sullivan now became Nixon’s source of information on the involvement of FBI and CIA in the assassination of JFK. (See H. R. Haldeman’s book The Ends of Power for this).
Sullivan also started writing his memoirs after leaving the FBI. Giving the fact that he knew so much he clearly posed a danger to a great number of people. The book was eventually published after his death. I very much would have liked to read the “unedited” version.
William Sullivan was shot dead near his home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, on 9th November, 1977. An inquest decided that he had been shot accidentally by fellow hunter, Robert Daniels, who was fined $500 and lost his hunting license for 10 years.
On the surface it seemed to be an accident. However, I believe it was murder. Both Sullivan and Daniels were known to go out hunting for deer early in the morning. I suspect there was a third man in the woods on 9th November. He would have been armed with the same gun as Daniels. He would have either waited until the two men got close before killing Sullivan. Or he killed Sullivan and then with help moved him closer to where Daniels was firing his gun.