17. The Great Hughes Heist

The private files and documents of the late Howard Hughes were reported stolen from his supposedly impregnable Hollywood headquarters on June 5, 1974. These files, including thousands of his private papers and verbatim transcripts of telephone calls, could expose illicit connections with the CIA, the Mafia, the White House, and private industry. It is said, for the first time, detailed knowledge of political bribes, financial "favors" to circumvent established government laws, and inner dealings within existing government agencies would become available to the American public. Yet, after more than two years of reportedly inept investigations by various police and governmental agencies and repeated accusations of a cover-up, the documents have not been recovered nor is the American public generally aware of their existence. The recovery and exposure of these papers could reveal to the American people the inner workings and structure of a national and international power elite. The dearth of coverage by the mass media of the burglary of these potentially explosive documents and of the. subsequent investigation qualifies the "Hughes Heist" for consideration as one of the "best censored stories" of 1976.

SOURCE: New Times Magazine, January 21, 1977, "The Great Hughes Heist," by Michael Drosnin.