The Murder of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

In April 1945, the end of World War II was finally in sight. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, recently elected to an unprecedented fourth term as president, was at his Warm Springs, Georgia, retreat, sitting for a painting. He reminded the artist that she only had 15 more minutes to work, then complained of a sudden, blinding headache, lost consciousness, and died.

Quite frankly, even someone as suspicious as I would have bought that story, hook, line, and sinker. Roosevelt had been in bad health for years, after a bout with polio left him dependent upon crutches or a wheelchair. The doctors, seeing no real need for an autopsy, decided that it must have been a cerebral hemorrhage.

And so, FDR was buried and Harry S. Truman became president.

People think that conspiracy theories have come into their own only during the Internet age. But within four years of Roosevelt’s demise, a book titled The Strange Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt was published. And while speculation about Roosevelt’s death has remained in the background, over the years it has continued to be one of the most persistent conspiracy theories out there. Even the infamous Colonel X of Oliver Stone’s JFK, L. Fletcher Prouty, has weighed in on the question. So there it is: was Roosevelt murdered or did he die by natural causes?

The fact of the matter is that all presidents accumulate enemies, and a man who succeeded in winning four elections can be assumed to have accumulated far more than most. President Barack Obama is said to average more than 10,000 death threats a year. Even the relatively benign Dwight Eisenhower is reported to have received more than 15,000 such threats annually. And Roosevelt’s views in certain areas were likely to have created even more enemies for him. For instance, he:

  • Opposed using the atomic bomb on Japan
  • Opposed establishing Israel
  • Intended to dismantle the various British colonies scattered across the globe and help them become self-governing nations.

Just those positions alone would have painted a bull’s-eye on him several times over. Yes, FDR had his share of enemies, but could he have been murdered? What do those who buy into this idea hang their hats on?

Mostly, the “evidence” consists of allegations that cannot, today, be proven without exhuming Roosevelt’s body and conducting a full forensic examination. His last breakfast was supposedly laced with cyanide. His body turned black within hours of his death, an alleged result of arsenic poisoning. Although Georgia law demanded an autopsy, as in the case of JFK twenty years later, Roosevelt’s body was whisked out of the state without the legally mandated autopsy by state officials. That’s not an unsubstantiated allegation; that did happen. But that it was done for some nefarious reason is unsubstantiated.

The suspects are fascinating as well. Bill Hanson, in his book Closely Guarded Secrets, lays blame on the Nazis. Colonel Prouty says that Stalin advised presidential son Elliott Roosevelt that the “Churchill gang” had his father murdered, because they were afraid FDR’s postwar plans would destroy British influence around the globe. This was accomplished by a program of poisoning begun at the famous Yalta Conference and perhaps continued at Warm Springs. Emanuel Josephson, author of The Strange Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, points out that one of Roosevelt’s closest aides, General Edwin Watson, became suddenly ill and died on the return from Yalta, the implication being that he had been poisoned as well. 

It is easy to make these claims, but difficult to back them up at this late date.  That Roosevelt’s body turned black within hours of his death could be indicative of a number of conditions. People with circulatory problems sometimes turn dark very quickly after death. This is hardly conclusive evidence of poisoning. Bill Hanson claims to have spoken to a member of the assassination team, but of course everybody is dead now and substantiating such statements is impossible. 

Was Winston Churchill capable of ordering Roosevelt’s death? Probably. Churchill was a pragmatic politician with a great love for his country. But all existing evidence indicates that the two men shared a warm friendship. Of course, that’s what’s out there for public consumption and the truth could be a different story.  Could be. That’s the pivotal phrase.

Two new theories have been put forward over the last decade. One pair of experts believes that Roosevelt actually died of melanoma, pointing to photographs of the late president with a tell-tale patch of skin discoloration above his eye. Yet another pair of experts postulate that Roosevelt never suffered polio, but rather that his paralysis stemmed from Guillaume-Barre Syndrome, an incurable condition of the nervous system. But the effects of GBS usually clear up in a short while after an attack, which seems at odds with Roosevelt’s long-term paralysis.

Sometimes, I think we want there to be more to a story than that offered up for the public. We want there to be a mystery. And sometimes there truly is. It is irresponsible to label every conspiracy as false and every conspiracy theorist as a nutcase. As always, I fall back on my vastly abbreviated version of Occam’s Razor—the simplest answer is usually the correct one. In this case, here’s a 63-year-old, paralyzed president with a history of high blood pressure, who served twelve of the toughest years in U.S. history. Even now, having read all of these varied theories, I am inclined to point at a cerebral hemorrhage myself. But the fact is, we’ll never know for certain.

When Tony Hays isn’t traveling the world, teaching students, and adopting puppies, he takes time out to write the Arthurian Mystery series from Tor/Forge.

See all posts by Tony Hays for Criminal Element.


  1. Peter T

    Having recently been re-elected for a fourth term (and therefore politically unassailable) and with WW2 reaching its conclusion, Roosevelt was in a position to prosecute Corporate America for its continuous support of Hitler throughout the war and retrieve the massive profits made by those corporations from their german subsidiaries. Furthermore Henry Morgenthau (FDRs Treasury secretary) proposed to dismantle the remaining German Industry now largely owned by corporate America restricting their ability to continue to make massive profits from Germany as they had ever since FDR’s “New Deal” has made profitability so difficult at home. Through reading this article I found myself wondering whether FDR’s oh so convenient (for the corporations)death was no accident and this then led me to this article. This oldest and most persistent “conspiracy theories” has just been given a continuous connection extending back to the 1929 Wall St. Crash. A major part of FDR’s New Deal was the Glass-Steigal Act which global corporate has spent the best part of 40 years dismantling under the guise of “free market economics” every removal of a tranche of this egislation has seen a boom & bust cycle within a year, the final piece was removed in 2006 ending with a global recession almost identical to 1929. This complete cycle is currently in the process of being repeated.

    • Steven Trop

      Curiously not mentioned is Roosevelt’s utter disdain for European colonialism, and his closness to Stalin, his remark “the best way to make friends is to be one” not what anti-Communists wanted to hear near the end of WWII.

  2. IQ-Party

    Some facts, digged out by science, must be considered.
    All these happenings must be seen in the context of the Askinasi-attack on Europe to get Europe free op people with the intention to establish there a new Askinasi kingdom. See genocide 1945-1948 in Germany. Both, FDR and Hitler (=Hitler-Rothschild) , were leading members of the Askinasi-Clan. FDR’s minister Morgenthau was a leading member of the Askinasi-Clan. He invented a new murder technology, applied in the Morgenthau-Plan 1945-1948 in Germany, killing at least 10 million people. FDR supported Morgenthau until his death 4/1945.
    It’s not probable, that FDR and Hitler were ennemies. It’s probable, that they were allies. Hitler was the Trojan Horse of FDR and the Askinasi-Clan in Europe.
    Should FDR have been assassinated, then not by Hitler and the Nazis.
    See (Genocides in past and future)

  3. Annie Mack

    Wow! This is the first story I’ve read of your’s in which I disagree! FDR and STALIN faked their own deaths. Anything TRUTHFUL about FDR, JFK, and STALIN is guarded by IRON CLAD COPYRIGHTS! That’s why EVERY BOOK WRITTEN ABOUT THE JFK ASSASSINATION IS BULLSHIT! Those that killed him have a copyright on the WARREN REPORT! I registered my email if you’d like me to elaborate. However, if you wrote this article you must already know!


    Thankyou for this Post; I had recently visited the Berlin Spy Museum, where I was astounded to find a number of high-profile assassinations by poisoning; Yasser-Arafat being a key figure hit by Mossad poisoning.

    FDRs death had the most peculiar timing, and I have been questioning this myself over the past few days. Yes, perhaps Forensics may be able to detect cause of death even today, yet it will not be easy, according to the attached weblink.

    Very recently, a large number of Public Personalities have been dying of heart-attacks; these are very possibly poisoning assassinations also.

    • Kyuho Tae

      Tony and everyone— Col. Prouty knee what he was talking about when he told Elliott Roosevelt that FDR has been murdered and that it was the handiwork of the Churchill Gang.

      Most people assume wrongly that FDR and Churchill has a close relationship, as the author of one of the replies states. The fact is, Stalin and FDR basically played games on end with Winston, often teasing him about his part-time avocation in selling fake masterpieces of Rembrandts and Renoires—the masters!—which he himself had reproduced (quite expertly, being almost as good a painter as he was a writer), all in order to subsidize his income.

      Tony and others would do well to read books by Thomas Toughill, Robert Stinnett and especially Pat Buchanan, as they collectively will inform your understanding.

      Most simply, the Second World War turns out to have been a war between (….drum roll…) the United States and Great Britain! This is not a conspiracy theory, but a natural conclusion based on an institutional analysis (regarding the British Empire, her unfortunate Stimulus-Response like policies which effectively led to the demise and dismantling of the Empire when Winston Churchill chose to wage an “Unnecessary War,” to borrow Buchanan’s title, against Hitler, who really didn’t have design on the Empire, but rather, wanted to join with her in opposing the United States—despite the fact that it was, indeed, American industrialist and American capital that helped prop up Hitler, an enemy the U.S. knew Churchill wouldn’t be able to refuse!

      Consider the net effect of the Second World War in case you are skeptical: The U.S. effectively dismantled the British Empire, her age-old nemesis (remember that they fought not one, but two wars against each other), without firing one single shot against her! In order to do that, the U.S. simply needed to create an attractive, hard-to-ignore enemy which standing British policy required be put down. Britain required that its navy be bigger than the next two countries’ navies out together, for one thing, and that any would-be hegemon in the Continent be quashed like a bug.

      All that was required was for U.S. war planners and policy makers to design a situation that would trigger a Pavlovian response on the part of one Winston Churchill, who incidentally has been singlehandedly responsible for the downsizing and cutting down to size, literally, of the once proud and mighty Royal Navy, when he was serving as First Lord of the Admiralty after World War I. it was a reckless, budget-driven cost-saving measure with quite disastrous foreseeable effects. On top of that, it was Churchill who as a young cabinet member did most of the saber-rattling in agitating war against King Kaiser Wilhelm (Bismarck being the PM) of Germany who happened to be the nephew of King George V of Britain; he wore the uniform of a British Admiral at his late uncle’s funeral, prior to the break I oof that war—the one known as the Great War, aka WW I.

      Does anyone remember King Edward and Mrs. Simpson (the American divorcée for whom he abdicated in order to marry)?

      How about the movie, The King’s Speech shoeing Edward’s brother’s struggle to overcome his speech impediment?

      They are all related and everyone reading this thread needs to remember that there were a lot of German sympathizers during both wars!

      Going back, Churchill also instigated the murder of acromegaly Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo, so turns out to have been responsible for not one, but two—i.e., both!—World Wars, at least from what the evidence leads one reasonably to conclude. In other words, it was Churchill’s reckless moves that first resulted in the deleterious weakening of the Royal Navy both before as well as, and especially, after World War One, as a result of which many young men in the prime of their age were suddenly taken out of the work force, weakening the British economy (remember that it was Britain that had the industrial revolution, not America!).

      By the time Churchill ended up committing he Second Major Policy Faux Pas, he had effectively ended up hocking the destiny of the Empire to FDR’s Lens-Lease Program, only to realize way to late that he’d been lured into an elaborate game (might as well call it a con game, for those who wish) of Bet-the-House!

      At Potsdam, Yalta, etc., Stalin and FDR we’re openly poking fun at poor Winston, who despite his famous protestations that he was not keen on presiding over the undoing of the Empire (I paraphrase), he ended up doing just that, or had started everything that led to that, depending on how you want to put it.

      Recall that Churchillsaid “History will be kind to me. For I will write it!”?

      Well, his wonderful postwar “fiction” about the History of the Second World War was one terrific self-exonerating piece of brilliant PR, wherein he was his own press agent and crisis management team!

      The rest, as they say, is his-story, if you get the drift.

      So, the great civilization that once was the British Empire was wound up by a stubborn, myopic and profligate politician who did put on a good show when it came to looking like he was there for the Londoners when the V-2 rockets began raining down. His brilliant writing and style, coupled with the carefully groomed and maintained “lionized” image are his only saving grace, but make no mistake— the man must have wanted to kill the one guy responsible for such Los’s of face and Empire: FDR!

      Should I also mention John Maynard Keynes’ “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” published in 1915? Keynes was critical of “the” peace eked out by way of the Treaty of Versailles. Just read it for yourselves, as you will see he (along with others) foresaw that it was only going to result in an inequitable situation that was a recipe for the next war, which most certainly came like clockwork.

      History has its villains and heroes as designated by various writers. Sometimes the actors are assigned roles that may or may not reflect reality, but that it how things go on the world stage.

      I hope it is clear that (the late) Ted Nugent wants his shirt back and the Empire wants her colony back: The Russia Gate scandal against Mr Trump was concocted by the Empire, in case you haven’t noticed. Mr. Trump and his supporters, which includes me, have been on top of things, fortunately, and are hoping to help realize Brexit and rescue the Britons from Brussels.

      It is also not unrelated to why the poor young son of the head of Britain’s M.I.- 6 unfortunately met an early demise very recently.

      Britain is a wonderful country, make no mistake. Sometimes, politicians can run their county into the ground and bring her to ruins.

      The study of history, not narratives, is what we must do. I hope this helps.

    • Gerald Goldberg

      Roosevelt turned against Zionist Israel having just spent 10 minutes with King Saud. He saw Israelis for the criminals they were and if he had lived another 6 months, he would have prevented the creation of Zionist, Bolshevik Israel.

  5. Steven Trop

    Besides the timing at the end of the war, you forgot Roosevelt’s acceptance and understanding for the Soviet Union was enough to have him eliminated. He was after all the first Peace-nik. We couldn’t have that.

  6. Barbara B

    Peter T’s remarks above are the most accurate. PLUS, by April 12, 1945 the CIA had already been drafting new operations for two years which were being put in play. Operation Mockingbird to end our free press/Phil Graham-WP/Council on Foreign Relations convinced newspaper owners and network owners to cooperate. Though there may have been force. Operation Paperclip brought in 200,000 ex-Nazis used to found the CIA, funneled into the FBI and other government agencies and to “hot” spots around the world. This guaranteed the fake Cold War with Russia and the McCarthy Era which was used to eliminate all liberals from government. And the right wing has continued to use subsequent purges of Congress to remove what was left of liberals and moderates and both parties. In my opinion, the CIA took over the NRA and used it to target and remove liberals and moderates who would have opposed the new interpretation of the 2nd amendment by a right wing SC and would have stopped it.
    Gun Violence and the Drug War (1970’s) were used to begin to create violence and chaos in US societies. Operation Gladio was a program which would ensure that only right wing candidates would rise and hold power in the countries over which the US held influence and control at the end of WWII.
    In fact, the US actually resurrected the Mafia in Italy in order to assure that the program would be carried out effectively. This would be Japan, Germany, Italy, France. CIA also used Gladio to run drugs and laundering money though Vatican to stage fake “terrorist” attacks to be blamed on Italian government. We know about perhaps 50 or more CIA programs — there were likely hundreds; possibly a thousand? FDR was after what we are still fighting today — corporate-fascism. The New Deal was a very successful fight against it. But humanity has still to date never found a way to deal with the violence of the right wing. Elites/Establishment. That answer must come soon.
    The New Deal ended Capitalism as a suicidal system and as a system intended to move the wealth and natural resources of nations from the many to the few. Un-regulated Capitalism is merely organized crime. FDR had not only regulated capitalism he had put in motion a New Deal which would exist for more than 70 years. Basically it was America’s move to democratic socialism — though very true that FDR did not actually end capitalism; nonetheless regulation of capitalism had that effect.

  7. Barbara B

    Look at the picture of FDR with Churchill shown above. Actually, most of his life FDR appeared robust
    other than the fact that he was unable to use his legs, he had great strength developed in his upper body. He was still able to enjoy life, food, drinks – cocktail hour – story telling – and a fantastic sense of humor the nation often enjoyed with him. There is a story that when Eleanor bowed out — which was probably fatal to FDR — his daughter Anna took over. She would not have had the experience and wisdom of Eleanor. Evidently a new doctor joined his long time physician and horror stories were told to Anna a very dangerous heart condition and blood pressure. And about the importance of controlling FDR’s diet which was completely changed — including drinks. Anna was made to believe this threat and supervised FDR’s diet. Meanwhile we see today that the original blood pressure medications which cost pennies have been replaced by very expensive drugs and with long lists of side effects. They have reduced the “danger” level of HBP to very low figures until pretty much all Americans will be taking HBP medications. It’s all farce. (Additionally, the cause of polio — which never actually disappeared but which is now called by new names — was DDT spraying all over city streets and everywhere on farmlands, including on cows, the source of summer’s ice cream cones.) We see that this interruption in FDR’s normal life style which had left him robust very quickly began to have a negative effect on his body and his life, now deprived of foods and drink he enjoyed and finally the company he enjoyed. Eleanor might not have become suspicious of what was happening, now leading her own life after happily escaping the White House. FDR was in his 4th term, loved by the public and most Americans – respected worldwide. The war was at an end — in fact with the attempted assassination on Hitler and attack on Russia, those who had recruited and funded Hitler/Nazis believed the war was over. Higher up’s in Hitler’s military began visiting our Pentagon to “make deals.” And it now very much looks as though the US “let Hitler go … with the money.” See: Grey Wolf which deals with the question of whether Hitler was a suicide or survivor. All signs point to survivor. Germany was in a position to make deals with the US, seeming turning over 3 atomic bombs to the US. Who knows if the US had actually succeeded in creating an atomic weapon in Los Alamos? CIA continued the concentration camp “experiments.” All of this was done in secret. And thus the catastrophic future for Nature and humanity was sealed in Global Warming.
    Violence and perpetual war, secrecy are the only way that the right wing can rise — always true and still true today. Capitalism is an Evil. Capitalism is suicidal.
    “Christianity” and Capitalism are two of the most important tools in the Elite toolbox.
    “Christianity” underpins Elite-Patriarchy.
    Our Founders did not create a democracy here, rather they created an Elite-Patriarchy, endowed them with land grants, gave only them the right to vote and gave them great influence and control over our “people’s” government, the nation’s wealth and natural resources. Iow’s, they privatized it all for Elites/wealthy. Our Founders saved and supported the system of Slavery for their fellow Elites/wealthy which guaranteed the Civil War and which further benefitted Elites by splitting the nation into two camps
    of hatred which continue to echo today.
    Columbus didn’t come alone; his highest goal was to spread “Christianity” here.
    Papal Edicts to “Enslave or Kill” which demonized native people here as “pagans … only fit to be fed to the pigs” were used to steal their land. Same violence of “Crusades, Inquisitions, and Burnings at the State” used to soak the soil of Europe in blood were brought here. And despite the alleged “Separation of Church & State” Our Founders instituted “Church Schools” to finish off the genocide against the native people here — 112 million of them — by forcing their children into these schools where they were beaten, tortured, mutilated, murdered — and sexually abused. Of course, “Enslave or Kill” also applied to the Africans enslaved here.

  8. jurnee

    hi this is so grat to know. byeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  9. jurnee


  10. Marty

    Can only say, “Wow!” That is quite an analysis! Can it be true??

  11. Geert Kok

    Alan Dulles had OSS operations going on in Austria. They cheated on Stalin by ending the war before the Russians. FDR committed on the negations with Stalin that he was in charge. But he was not. The secret service Alan Dulles was and they bailed out Wolf. Alan Dulles was involved in the fake Warren commision. And he was involved in this. He was a man that was an pragmatic and probably FDR would become his greatest enemy after the war.

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