The Monterey Herald - October 4, 1988

Conspiracy Theorist Mae Brussell Dies of Cancer

   Mae Brussell, the Carmel Valley conspiracy theorist who sometimes faced death threats because of her work, died from cancer Monday afternoon in Carmel Convalescent Hospital. Mrs. Brussell, 66, had been in the convalescent hospital about three weeks.
   She was widely known as a writer, radio commentator, lecturer and researcher of a premise that the United States is secretly run by powerful groups that will stop at nothing to maintain control.
   Mrs. Brussell started her conspiracy research and presentations after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
   "It started the day Kennedy died," her daughter, Barbara Brussell, said last night. "She thought something looked fishy, especially when (Lee Harvey) Oswald was shot."
   39 File Cabinets
   In the 26 years that have followed, Mrs. Brussell amassed enough reports, news clippings and notes on the Kennedy assassination and other events to fill 39 four-drawer filing cabinets, said John Judge, who has taken over her library to set up the Mae Brussell Research Center in Santa Cruz.
   She taught an accredited course in conspiracy at Monterey Peninsula College in the mid-1970s and wrote for such publications as The Realist, The Rebel, People's Almanac, The Berkeley Barb, Penthouse and Hustler.
   Mrs. Brussell's controversial radio show, "World Watchers International," was on the air for 17 years—851 weekly editions. It originated with KLRB in Carmel, then listener-supported KAZU in Pacific Grove, and was sent on to a half-dozen other radio stations. Mrs. Brussell gave up the weekly show this March, after she reported a death threat from a listener who telephoned her home.
   Death Threat
   In the mid-1970s, Mrs. Brussell reported a death threat from a Charles Manson follower. She had alleged in a radio broadcast that the Manson Family was working with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department to commit mass murders.
   She described herself as a political researcher and told a Herald interviewer in 1976:
   "I've never really pushed any of my ideas. I've just gone about my research slowly and steadily, but after Watergate I found a lot more people were listening to me."
   One friend in Pacific Grove, Bette Phillips, said Mrs. Brussell was perceived as "far out" by some, but she was careful to publicize only what she could prove. "She was a tremendous person and a true patriot," Ms. Phillips said. "Mae loved her country and she didn't like some of the things that were happening to it."
   Mrs. Brussell lived in Carmel Valley for 23 years.
 She was born in Los Angeles on May 29, 1922. Her father, Edgar Magnin, was a noted rabbi in Los Angeles. Her great-grandfather, Isaac Magnin, founded the I. Magnin clothing store.
   Mrs. Brussell is survived by two sons, David Goodwin and John Goodwin, both of Los Angeles; two daughters, Barbara Brussell of Los Angeles and Kyenne Brussell of San Francisco; and a brother, Henry Magnin of Los Angeles. Another daughter, Bonnie Brussell, died in a car wreck in 1970.
   Visitation has been scheduled from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday in the El Estero Chapel of Mission Mortuary. A graveside service will be held at noon Friday in Monterey City Cemetery.