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Lee Harvey Oswald's Cold War Supplement

Greg R. Parker

JFK Conversations with Alan Dale: Part One

Get Me to Helsinki in a Hurry

Two questions that always crop up about the journey itself: how did LHO obtain such a quick visa to the Soviet Union (it took one day according to Peter Wronski who runs the Oswald in Russia website) and why did he pay for $300.00 worth of Soviet Intourist vouchers?

The answer to the first part is via the CIA manipulation of the Soviet Consul in Helsinki, Gregory Golub. Some of what I’m about to go through has been covered by Bill Simpich and perhaps others, but it also includes new data.

Golub was initially a CIA target for defector-in-place under the CIA REDCAP operations and it had compiled a substantial personality profile on him as a result.

They gave up on that objective when they realized he was Communist “True Believer.”

Instead, they targeted his perceived weakness and worked to manipulate him into giving US citizens easy and quick entry into the Soviet Union.  His marriage was not a happy one, and his wife spent long periods away for “health” reasons.  So they sent in a young female student who had been recruited under the REDSKIN PROGRAM to befriend him, while his US counterpart also wined and dined him. The interesting thing is that they gave this student nothing. They made no suggestions whatsoever, gave her no information on Golub. Nada. They let her wing it because they feared that Golub was smart enough to detect any such assistance they might provide. I think that is a valuable piece of information to have regarding this case generally. Total control in some situations is not a good thing.

 Two other crucial pieces of information the CIA had about Golub on file.

1. He was to be sent back to the Soviet Union by the end of 1959.

2. He believed non-Soviet bloc communists were “swine” because as he put it “How can we trust a person like that when his own country can’t trust him?”

So, what do we have now? If you needed to get someone into the Soviet Union quickly, legally and without fuss, you had to act quickly before Golub left his Helsinki post because who knows what the replacement will be like and how long it may take to work on him? This then, is the most logical reason for the fraudulent early “out” from the Marines.

The other thing is that you would instruct your guy not to flag his intention to defect to Golub because he would automatically distrust you.

What eventually happened was that Golub notified the US Consul shortly before Oswald’s arrival that he would grant quick visas to Americans if they seemed alright and purchased Intourist vouchers. Indeed, he had just granted two such visas. Despite Golub’s seeming approachability, one thing Oswald did not do was what anyone in his shoes probably would: seek help in defecting from the Soviet Embassy. After all, Finland and the Soviet Union had the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance in place.  But this non-attempt in Helsinki was even confirmed by Snyder who claimed that this was what Oswald had told him. This failure to seek assistance in defecting in Helsinki in my opinion had to be the result of what was in the Golub file regarding his distrust of foreign Communists. It does at least offer a sane reason for the otherwise frugal Oswald to purchase $300.00 worth of vouchers – something he would not have had to do by defecting right there and then.

After Oswald arrives in Moscow, he meets his Intourist guide and keeps a low profile until Halloween when he attends Snyder’s office.

Next, let’s dispense with Joan Hallett. Joan was hired to fill in for the regular receptionist who was helping at the American Exhibit. That exhibit was over by October 31 and it is obvious from what Joan recalled decades later that she was confusing the person who did defect during that exhibition, with Oswald – that person being of course, Robert Webster. For example, Oswald was there outside of office hours on a Saturday and was not taken upstairs to be interviewed. But that is what happened with Webster who, as shown in the records, was interviewed conference style by consular officers along with executives from his employer, Rand Development Corporation. Joan’s husband Oliver remains of interest though, as he was most assuredly an intelligence officer, intercepting Russian radio transmissions from the submarine he commanded prior to the Soviet gig, and later, at the time of the assassination, manning the Situation Room in the White House.  

But there was one person who was present and who is of interest. His name was Ned Keenan (aka Ed aka Edward). In brief, he was a Harvard graduate who had been spotted for the CIA REDSKIN program by none other than Richard Snyder who was being used at the time as a CIA “spotter.”  What Keenan’s role was may have been given to us by Russell Langelle who was working for the CIA under diplomatic cover as the head of security where he acted as Popov’s contact. Langelle was interviewed by the HSCA. He told them that the CIA had X number working in the Embassy and Y number outside which included 3 or 4 students who handled “orientation” projects. Keenan was among the earliest batch of US exchange students to go over. If we apply the ordinary meaning of “orientation” then it implies that those students were advising defectors and travelers about living or staying in the USSR. Keenan would much later claim his reason for being there was a visa problem, but such problems would not require an exchange student to travel from Leningrad on a Saturday. In any event, Keenan was eventually kicked out for “spying” – a claim he would deny in 1967 when that news finally leaked out. He probably could deny that charge on a technicality if he was only obtaining information legally available to him – and that may well have been the case, since it was the alleged aim of the program. But the point is, I believe he was there in that office to assist with any issues that might be foreseen on the Soviet side of this deal going on with Oswald.

 

    Atomic Spies & Purloined Stories 

 

Oswald’s first press interview in Moscow was with Aline Mosby and as a result, a story was published in the US under her name titled Fort Worth Defector Confirms Red Beliefs. It was a straightforward, perhaps even slightly sympathetic story that painted Oswald as thoughtful and earnest.

Post-assassination however, Mosby wrote a second story. This time the story was overtly sympathetic – to the government portrayal of Oswald as having a mother-complex, having a shallow understanding of Marxism, and of being arrogant, among other epithets not brought out in the original – yet allegedly based on the same interview notes.

The second story also added this purported quote from Oswald, “I became interested in Marxism about the age of 15 from an ideological viewpoint. An old lady handed me a pamphlet about saving the Rosenbergs”. In the original 1959 story, all that was stated was that he had been “a devoted believer in communism and had read books on the subject since he was 15.” The alleged pamphlet incident was in New York and he had left New York only a couple of months after his 14th birthday. What the reading and age does fit with is his time in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and a possible recruitment into its anti-subversive program.

The Rosenberg leaflet incident written about by Mosby post-assassination never happened. It was a lie based on an incident described in Julius Rosenberg’s letters from prison.

Here is what Rosenberg himself wrote about his own political awakening: “Although only fifteen years old, I was fully aware of conditions around me and felt a deep social responsibility to do something about themNow one day on my way home from school I stopped to listen to a speaker at a corner meeting on Delancey St in the lower east side. His topic was the campaign to win freedom for Tom Mooney labor leader who was imprisoned on a frameup. The same night I read a pamphlet I had bought from the speaker that presented all the facts of this case and listed how the reader could help free this innocent victim.”

But the borrowing from the Rosenberg files do not stop there. 

We now come to the story of a torn box-top as revealed in the Rosenberg trial. David Greenglass was the brother-in-law of Julius Rosenberg and had been recruited into the spy while serving in the army and working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.  Greenglass had buckled under pressure when his wife Ruth was implicated. To save her, he turned state witness against Julius and his own sister, Ethel.

This is the way it is currently written up on the FBI website:

Greenglass further stated that at the time he turned this material over to Rosenberg, Ruth Greenglass remarked that David’s handwriting was bad and would need interpretation. Rosenberg answered that it was nothing to worry about because Ethel, his wife, would retype the information.

A day or two later David and his wife went to the Rosenberg apartment for dinner where they were introduced to a woman friend of the Rosenbergs. After she left, Julius told the Greenglasses that he thought this person would come to see David to receive information on the atom bomb. They discussed a tentative plan wherein Ruth Greenglass would move to Albuquerque; this woman would also meet Ruth in a movie theater in Denver, Colorado to exchange purses. Ruth’s purse would contain the information from David concerning Los Alamos.

To identify the person who would come to see Ruth, it was agreed that Ruth would use a side piece of a Jello box. Julius held the matching piece of the Jello box. David suggested that meeting be held in front of a certain grocery store in Albuquerque. The date of the meeting was left to depend upon the time that Ruth would depart for Albuquerque.

In another part of this FBI write-up, we find that

Rosenberg also advised David that he had a way of communicating with the Russians by putting material or messages in the alcove of a theater and that he had received from one of his contacts the mathematics relating to atomic energy for airplanes.


The police swooped straight up onto the balcony after being told the Tippit suspect was in the that area of the building. The balcony itself has a series of alcoves.

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But more than that, according to a 1967 CBC interview with Gerald Hill, Oswald was subjected to a “fast frisk” as soon as he was handcuffed in the theater. When asked to explain what that meant, Hill replied “an officer checks under your armpits, your crotch, your pockets, your shirt, your waistband of your trousers, and anywhere a weapon could be concealed, even as small as a razor blade, or anything of this type you could be conceivably get to and either hurt the officer or hurt yourself”.   Hill has accurately described the search and its singular aim: finding weapons.  However, in this case, “the plain feel” doctrine would also apply. That is if, during the pat-down, the officer feels an object whose “contour or mass” makes its identity immediately apparent, and the officer has probable cause to believe that the object is evidence of a crime, or is itself contraband, it may be seized.” At the very least then, the 5 shells said to have been found by Detective Elmer Boyd just prior to the first line up (more than 2 hours after Oswald’s capture), should have been enveloped at the time of the “quick frisk” on the basis that the “feel” of the pocket would easily tell you what they were. Additionally, since you were investigating a homicide, they could reasonably be suspected as being evidence, therefore validating their seizure. Even worse, body searches are often used to cover either illegal searches for other contraband, or more ominously here, to plant incriminating evidence.

So the official sequence was this:

1: 50 pm arrested and frisked. Nothing taken.

2:20 pm first interrogation. Nothing taken

4:05 pm taken away for first line up. Searched by Boyd and Sims. Shells taken from trousers, bus transfer ticket, cash, key, card with phone number, American Bakeries pay slip and part of a Cox’s box top all taken from shirt pocket, ring and bracelet taken from hand and wrist.

Based on the above, the best we can safely say is that no shells were in Oswald’s pockets at the time of his arrest, otherwise they would have been taken as evidence. 

A new find however, adds another item to the list of items pulled from Oswald’s pockets – an item that is, within itself proof that it was the sole item which could have been found by Sims and Boyd. It was a police property receipt.

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Boyd and Sims who did lie about finding the shells, let the cat out in their testimony with no memory of most of the other items:

Mr. STERN. The memorandum mentions the cartridges--bus transfer, except that he had a ring on his finger which he took off and he gave it to Mr. Sims. Do you remember any other items that he had that you got from him during this search? 
Mr. BOYD. No, sir; I know that Mr. Sims did get the bus transfer and took his ring--he took his ring off and give it to Mr. Sims, and I got those five shells, and that's all that I recall being taken from him. 

 

Sims testimony is more detailed, but again, the only items he recalls are the bus transfer, shells and bracelet and ring.

In short, Oswald, except for a missed bus transfer, already had his pocket litter confiscated. The only items taken by Boyd and Sims, other than the transfer, were his jewelry and belt.  

The Cox box top was yet another page ripped from the Rosenberg playbook. There is eyewitness evidence suggesting Oswald was to be killed in that theater. Reporter Jim Ewell watched from the balcony as a shotgun was poked through the tangle of bodies at Oswald. It would seem too many witnesses and his own yelling that he was not resisting, combined to save his life, at least in the short term.

Whoever was setting Oswald up was intimately aware of the minutia in the Rosenberg case and was using that knowledge to try and set Oswald up as a communist member of a spy ring. We will look at members of the Rosenberg ring in more detail later, as well as identify the most likely source of the Rosenberg case details.

 

  Saving the Disarmament Talks

 

September 20, 1959: Lee Harvey Oswald departs the United States with the Soviet Union as his final Destination.

September 25, 1959:  Eisenhower and Khrushchev meet at Camp David. After two days of talks, they release a joint statement which includes among other things, the shared belief that “the question of general disarmament is the most important one facing the world today.” And to that end, both agree to reopen talks on Berlin, cultural exchanges and trade and additionally to hold another summit soon and that Eisenhower would visit the Soviet Union during the following year.

The U2 program had begun in July 1956 only after the Soviets had rejected Eisenhower’s Open Skies proposal which would involve the exchange of maps locating each country’s military installations and each side giving permission to do aerial surveillance.  But one thing we can take out of Eisenhower’s Open Skies offer is his willingness and propensity to end hostilities first and foremost by the sharing of data.

It is also obvious from the records firstly that Eisenhower was very keen to keep the flights to the barest minimum needed and secondly that there is ongoing debate as to whether he authorized Powers’ flight on May 1, 1960. In my opinion, if he did authorize it, it was either under duress or he was deceived into giving the approval. 

In any case, the shooting down of Powers’ U2 scuttled the upcoming disarmament talks and Eisenhower’s Soviet visit.

But let’s back up and look at how those disarmament talks were shaping up. There was one major stumbling block on the Soviet side. The US had Project Vela, which in 1959, was a small budget research program to build satellites which could monitor test ban compliance. This research was already being shared with NATO allies.  The Soviet objection to this was that the satellites could be used to test the improvement of weaponry just as easily as it could be used to monitor testing.  To unblock the path, the US decided to use various hidden methods of sharing this and related data with the Soviets. It had to be done in this covert fashion as an expedient to hide the sharing from the Hawks inside both adversary’s administrations.


The evidence comes from Ike’s own Special Assistant for Science and Technology,  George B. Kistiakowsky.  Following is an excerpt from the introduction to his published diaries:

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Let’s just let that sink in. The Soviets objected to Project VELA. That objection was blocking progress in disarmament negotiations – so to get around it, the White House secretly shared information with the Soviets, including blueprints.

Let’s now zoom in a bit closer on Lee Harvey Oswald.

His main work experience prior to joining the USMC was as a “runner” for freight forwarding businesses and a dental lab. A “runner” here is another name for “messenger” or “courier”. But more than that, courier services were a core component of Civil Air Patrol work. And as noted in Volume 2 of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War, a Marine (whose name was redacted in the records) was interviewed by ONI in 1968. According to this report, he had been used by Ferrie as a messenger and delivery boy for the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front and was soon requested by Ferrie to obtain a passport with the intention of sending the youth to an unnamed South American country for training in “infiltration” into Cuba. As also shown in the second volume of my book, it was Ferrie who had pushed Oswald towards the Marines and had most likely also recruited Oswald into a version of the CAP anti-subversive program first leaked in 1948. This program seemed to have two components: one in which recruits would be employed by businesses and be allotted a list of “subversives” to watch and report on. The other component was seemingly designed to train recruits for assignment behind the Iron Curtain as it entailed training in the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics and characteristics of the average Russian. As noted in talk #2, throughout this pre-USMC (CAP) period is when Oswald was reading up on Communism. He was also attempting to entrap others by getting them to seek and join Communist Cells in New Orleans and he worked with one of those he targeted – Palmer McBride. 

It is important to note here also that the CAP sought permission from both the FBI and CIA to commence these endeavors. There would be no need to seek CIA approval if the program was restricted to activity within the borders of the United States. Indeed, the seeking of approval itself suggests FBI and CIA involvement at arms-length – a distance both bodies favored.

Based on this research, it is my opinion that Oswald was indeed recruited and used in both areas of this program – that is domestic and foreign.  

When the White House needed a way to covertly give blueprints to the Soviet Union, the assignment was given to Oswald who in turn would be supported by the REDSKIN/REDSOX programs. In a quid pro quo deal, Oswald would be sent to Minsk and allowed to observe and takes notes of the factory. The talks would now be back on track… until Powers was shot down on May Day 1960.  The CIA, forced to help with Oswald’s mission to save the disarmament talks, soon acted to make sure they were scuttled.

Oswald was never charged with treason because he had done nothing illegal.

The question at this point is where did Oswald really stand politically? Could he be a witting party to saving the disarmament talks?

Firstly, he didn’t have to a be a witting party. He didn’t have to know what he was delivering. But in any case, his August 1963 talk to the Jesuit seminary in Alabama reveals that the disarmament talks and subsequent shoot down of Powers and its aftermath were subjects of deep concern to him as he included both in his speech. He also made it clear he had no time for communism, socialism or capitalism, and what was needed was a system that incorporated the best of them. In Alabama at least, we got the real Oswald.


We touched on Robert Webster earlier, so let’s look at what happened with him. He was with Rand Development Corp helping demonstrate plastic spray guns used to apply heat resistant material to space-craft.  The Soviets were keen to replicate this technology and Webster said he would share it with them and could help make the guns. The Soviets responded by putting him to work at the Leningrad Scientific Research Institute of Polymerized Plastics (NIIPP). The Soviets claimed that his work was substandard while Webster himself would blame his supervising engineer for the problems. It is noted that the NIIPP had an experimental factory on site, but that Webster was never allowed in there.


What happened with Oswald? He was sent to Minsk to work at the Horizon Factory which made domestic radios and televisions. But like the NIIPP, it also had an experimental shop, and Oswald was initially placed in that shop. Although I have not learned what it produced in the early 1960s, in more modern times has produced optical components for control systems of radars and lasers.  Oswald was there for 2 weeks before being transferred to the main factory.

As for the U2, its downing and subsequent scuttling of the summit talk… one thing that the CIA knew was that the Soviets had more information on the U2s than previously admitted to. They knew this from Pyotr Popov who, in April 1958, told his then CIA case officer George Kissevalter that a senior KGB official had boasted of having “full technical details” of the U2. All that had to happen was for a U2 to fly over the right place at the right altitude and the Soviets would bring it down. Cue Gary Powers.


But that produced a secondary dilemma: what to do about Popov who it was believed had become exposed, had ceased producing quality information and moreover may now know or have guessed too much about other matters in play.

Popov and new case officer Russell Langelle were caught red handed exchanging notes in Moscow. Popov was executed. The Soviets couldn’t touch Langelle however because he was working under diplomatic cover. Was Popov burned by his handlers on both sides the day Oswald entered the Soviet Union?

And what happened in Minsk that somehow has been deemed to be unrelated to the Oswald story?

The capture and execution of REDSOX Agent Mikhail Platovsky who had been arrested in Minsk in October 1960.  Initially, REDSOX agents were no more or less than British/OPC backed Solidarists (the same groups Oswald would hook up with in Dallas) parachuted into the Soviet Union be the remnants of the Ghelan network. And it was on the British side via Kim Philby that the program was such a disaster.


At that time of arrest, Platovsky had in his possession two radio transmitters, ciphers, codes, duplicating equipment and other spy paraphernalia. According to the Soviets, his mission had been twofold – to collect information on defense and industrial installations and to recruit cell-members who could be easily found among “morally loose” elements. The idea of such cells is that they would be dormant until an internal uprising could be fomented, at which time they would spring into action.
 
By some accounts, Marina would fit the “morally loose” target group.

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Possibly due to Platovsky’s arrest and one other in Leningrad, the CIA cut those operations in the Soviet Union. At that very same time, Oswald was starting to make plans to head back to the US. It would be 3 months before he would meet and marry Marina and add her to his plans to come in from the Cold.   

              Black Maria

In May 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the creation of a biological weapons program.

A year later a two-story building dubbed Black Maria was built at Camp Detrick. The purpose of this building was to fulfill a British order for 7 pounds of Clostridium botulinum – a bacteria which causes botulism. The person chosen to head the team was Harvard bacteriologist Alwin Pappenheimer, Jr. The team succeeded within 2 months and the program continued to grow from there.

So who was Pappenheimer? He was interviewed by the FBI as one of the regular holiday residents on the Forbes owned Naushon Island and he was married to Mike Paine’s aunt – a sister to Mike’s mother.


This admittedly is not directly relevant to the assassination, but it is another nail in the carefully crafted image presented regarding the Paine and Hyde families.  Some may defend Pappenheimer’s involvement on the basis that bio warfare is somehow more humane than guns and bombs, or perhaps defend it on the alleged basis of bringing a quicker end to war. Both of those arguments, if offered though, should be vigorously rejected. The fact is that Pappenheimer’s counterparts in Germany and Japan were regarded as evil incarnate, and bioweapons in any case, were already banned by the Geneva Protocol.  Pappenheimer himself may or may not have conducted experiments on unwitting human guinea pigs, but as sure as night follows day, the bioweapons he created killed innocent victims and enemy combatants alike without discriminating.

British Cabinet Subcommittee documents in fact kept the subject of botulism ever closer to their chests than any other toxin subject to testing. It was referred to simply as “Toxin X” and labelled “secret” and “to be kept under lock and key”. In one instance, the papers were even labelled “not to be circulated”.

 Black Maria at Fort Detrick where Pappenheimer produced Botulism for the British.

Black Maria at Fort Detrick where Pappenheimer produced Botulism for the British.

            Star Wars Trilogy

Cliff Shasteen own and operated an Irving barbershop. He employed two or three others; got to know all the locals, includes kids, if not by name then at least by sight or reputation. For example, he knew Ruth Paine by sight, and knew the car she drove.  Like all barbers, he had an opinion on everything, but tried to discourage talk on politics and religion as being bad for business.

Prior to cutting hair, Shasteen had, during the Korean War, been a security informant at Chance Vought when the company had a major military contract for the F4U Corsair Fighter plane.

If you wanted to stage a little vignette in Irving to help create a certain impression and ensure that this impression would be made known, Shasteen was your man.

And so it was, Shasteen claimed to have cut Oswald’s hair on a number of occasions in October and November 1963 and perhaps on one occasion earlier in the year. On two of those occasions Oswald was accompanied by a 14 years old boy who never got his hair cut or said anything on those occasions.

Then the boy appeared a few days before the assassination on his own, got a cut and began a dialogue on the benefits of one world government, and the plight of the “have nots” in society as it is. Shasteen blew a fuse. He found what was coming out of this kid’s mouth so surprising and disturbing that he asked how old he was. He later tried to find out who he was, without success. What he did know was the kid was not a local Irving kid.

The fact that this happened so close to the assassination, the fact that the boy never said anything until he was there on his own, the fact that he never returned and the fact that the FBI showed no more than token interest, all point to this being a play for an unsuspecting, but targeted audience.

And the boy’s identity only adds further fuel to that fire.

To discover his identity, I simply searched through the records looking for someone the right age who had known or possible access to Oswald in the time frame given.

Based on those parameters there was only one candidate and as it happens, he matched the description given by Shasteen perfectly.

That description was

a husky kid, he wasn't what you call fat, but he was strong--broad-shouldered--he had a real full, and when I say full, I don't mean a round fat face, he was a wide-faced kid. You know, he was a nice-looking kid. I mean, if he had had the personality and the teaching and the understanding to go with his looks, he could have done anything he wanted to do, but his personality to me made him look terrible and what he thought, and naturally when somebody disagrees with you to the point you get angry with them, you don't think much of their looks, but if you bring it down to his looks, he was blue-eyed, blonde-headed--he was not a light blonde he was a dark blonde. In fact, a lot of. people might call him brown-headed. But he wasn't nobody's dummy because a 14-year-old boy can't spit out-

Or to shorten that, he was a nice-looking, wide-faced kid with broad shoulders, blue eyes and dark-blonde hair who was extremely intelligent and well-spoken.

Who potentially, had access to Oswald during this period and fits that description?

Ruth Paine’s sole private Russian language student, William Hootkins.  Note that Hootkins had turned 15 by the time the FBI interviewed his mother in February 1964.

 Bill Hootkins, 1963. Courtesy of Stan Dane.

Bill Hootkins, 1963. Courtesy of Stan Dane.

 William Hootkins as an adult. The round face, broad shoulders and hair color are all evident

William Hootkins as an adult. The round face, broad shoulders and hair color are all evident

Ruth had been a fill in Russian language teacher at St Marks, a prestigious school for the elite of Dallas, after which she had come to an arrangement with the school to tutor students privately, but using the school facilities. Thus, Ruth was supposed to pick young Hootkins up at his home, drive him to St. Marks for the one on one lessons, then take him home.

It appears however, that Ruth was picking William up and taking him to Irving instead.

Hootkins’ acting career began at St Marks, along with Tommy Lee Jones.  It was a career which took him all the way to a part in Star Wars during an illustrious career as a character actor.  It appears though that his star turn in the barber shop was his first public acting gig. Either William was practicing as a provocateur or infiltrator, or he was smearing Oswald as a communist by association.

Firstly, on the face of it, the then high school student had no need of paid private tuition from the likes of Ruth since he was of White Russian heritage and should have been able to access the help of native speakers.

Secondly, His father, Seymour Hootkins, was in the oil and gas business and was a financial contributor to Republican Party candidates such as Sam Johnson, Ray Farrell, David Hobbs, Paul Pilzer and Joe Barton. Looking at the backgrounds of these politicians, most were/are on the hard right and some attended St Marks and/or SMU. Seymour did not exactly bring young William up to be a Utopian Warrior.

St Mark’s may hold also hold a clue. The assistant head master at St Mark’s was Edward Oviatt. Prior to then he had worked at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

The Williams College newspaper ran a story in 1954 about a secretive anti-communist student organization known as Students for America

Students for America clipping.jpg


This story obviously does not disclose whether Williams College had a chapter, but Oviatt worked there at the time of this story, and the name Robert Munger is a famous one in Dallas, though I have not found any connection between the founder of the student group and the extremely wealthy Cotton Gin founder. Perhaps someone can look into it, or better still, find confirmation that the school was - or was not - one of Munger’s 120.

Munger’s organization was formed in 1951 and was originally known as Students for McArthur. The 120 campuses claimed by Munger to have a chapter did include high schools.   


The FBI knew all about this. Hosty himself went to St. Mark’s pre-and-post assassination, the former ostensibly to do a background checks on Ruth, the latter checking into the Hootkins’ lessons.  That no one in the FBI put Hootkins together with Shasteen’s worrisome kid, beggars belief.  In fact, it raises the question of whether the FBI itself was somehow involved in this affair.

Other bits and pieces:

Recall that Shasteen was very impressed by the kid’s intelligence. After leaving St Mark’s, young Bill studied astro-physics and Mandarin at Princeton.

Hootkins was good friends with Martin Sheen, despite serious differences over Israel and Palestine.

Hootkins played a role in a BBC radio play: Oswald in Russia.

In her Warren Commission testimony, Ruth Paine described the entry of Hootkins’ contact details in her address book as being of just “mild significance” before cutting Jenner off regarding the phone number and giving him the “move-on-to-the-next-name” treatment.

As alluded to earlier, the FBI investigation of the kid in the barbershop was token. It consisted of asking Ruth Paine if she had any idea about who it was. Her recorded response was classic Ruth. The FBI report readsshe has no child even as old as school age and knows of no boy of about 14 with whom Oswald was ever associated in the neighborhood. " A true but misleading statement indeed because Hootkins was not from that neighborhood. The document continues onto the next page where she again denies ever allowing Oswald to take her car by himself anywhere. In Ruth-speak this could have one of at least two other alternative meanings (a) that she did allow him to take her car so long as he had another person with him, or (b) it was husband Michael who gave him the permission. The lesson is that in questioning a Quaker, you should leave no wiggle room for such misleading responses.

 

        Jerry Belknap – the Dealey Plaza “Epileptic”

 

The basic facts are set out in a letter from Jesse Curry to the Warren Commission dated July 17 1964. In that letter, Curry advised that at 12:19 on Nov 22 1963 an ambulance was requested for the 100 block of North Houston to pick someone up who had suffered an epileptic seizure.  The ambulance departed just prior to 12:25. 

Only two of the four officers who went to aid Belknap testified to the Warren Commission, and of the two, only Joe Marshall Smith talked about the incident. In doing so, Smith gave the time of the seizure as approximately 11:50 or 12 noon. If that is the case, them it took at least 19 minutes for someone to decide to call for an ambulance. 

At 12:48, an unknown officer was recorded on police radio logs as saying “We have an epileptic before this [assassination]. The person went to Parkland Hospital. Send a squad [car] there to get all the info.

Not much more was made of this episode until 10:15 pm on May 12 1964 when a Dan Dawson, a former employee of O’Neal Funeral Parlor (who also operated an ambulance service) phoned the FBI. Dawson advised that he had been the telephone operator who took the call to pick up the epileptic in Dealey Plaza on Nov 22 the previous year. It was Dawson who advised that the person “disappeared” while in the process of being registered for admission to Parkland.  Dawson was unable to give the person’s name but was furnishing the information because he thought it possible the whole incident was planned as a diversion. Note however that Smith’s timing is probably too soon for it to be an effective diversionary tactic – although happening too early may be explained by the motorcade being late, and it may also explain any undue delay in phoning O’Neal’s.  At this point, further understanding of the event is needed.

Belknap lived in Irving with his parents. He worked at the Dallas Morning News at the time of the assassination (but had switched jobs by the time the FBI caught up with him).

The family were Baptists which indicates they may have attended the same church as the Randles in Irving.     

The FBI report on Belknap states in part:


Regarding the nature of his illness, Belknap explained that several years ago he was struck by a car and suffered head injury. He stated since that time he had suffered fainting spells and is required to take medication three times daily to prevent this. He stated he does not believe his fainting spells are any type of epilepsy. 


The document goes on to state that a nurse gave him some water, he took his medication which he had missed taking that day, felt better and left without giving any admission details.

That rang alarm bells with me right there - but some simple fact-checking got to the bottom of it.

"Fainting is not caused by head trauma, since loss of consciousness after a head injury is considered a concussion. However, fainting can cause injury if the person falls and hurts themselves, or if the faint occurs while participating in an activity like driving a car."

While fainting spells are not a direct result of head trauma from say a car accident, there are a few conditions around head trauma which may affect balance especially if some damage is to the inner ear. Conditions such as post-trauma vertigo itself result in falling. One treatment today which would have also been a common treatment in 1963 is Dramamine. This medication would certainly give relief to any such episode as it was originally designed for motion sickness.

With all of this in mind, Jerry’s story about fainting, and then taking his meds before feeling better and leaving the hospital without being admitted makes perfect sense. In his situation, where it was obvious there was a major emergency unfolding and I knew I didn’t need hospitalizing, I too would have left. Jerry had no way of forecasting how suspiciously that would be viewed decades later.

What I am surprised about is that he never ended up on the so-called suspicious deaths list. He died aged 45 in 1985. I Have not been able to verify the cause of death, but it would not surprise me if it was suicide resulting from abusing Dramamine.  According to the FDA, depression can be a side-effect of the drug even at just recommended use.  Risks obviously increase with addiction and abuse. The drug is used by some recreational drug users because of the hallucinatory effects. Here are some comments describing the experience in an online forum:


I had read about how bad most of these trips were, but the hallucinations sounded fascinating none the less. So my first time, I took 10 pills, or 500mg Dimenhydrinate [another brand name of the same drug]. 

After about 30 minutes I started to feel almost drunk, but a lot more heavy, and way more mellow. After about 45 minutes I felt as if my mind was working incredibly slow


After about an hour later I started to feel extremely drowsy and it was hard not to fall asleep. I didn't want to ruin my trip, so I just closed my eyes to rest a little bit. After about five minutes I started to use my computer, I didn't really use it, I just looked at it. Then I opened my eyes and jumped because my computer was never even in my lap where I was looking at it and using it. This was extremely scary at the time.

My second, third, and fourth trip I experienced the same dream like experiences but did not have the same strong heaviness to it, and it didn't feel the same. These doses were all at least 600 mg, or 12 pills. I can't forget to mention that this feeling was incredibly uncomfortable, disturbing, and just plain bizarre. About 5 days later, I decided that I would go on one last trip with
Dramamine, doing a dose of 750mg or 15 pills.

This experience was the most bizarre as I had heavy dream like experiences and auditory hallucinations. I heard whispering and my name being called, but honestly I cannot remember much from after the hallucination other than that. I once again felt heavy, disoriented, and very uncomfortable and foreign in my own body. I fell asleep during my almost lucid dream-like experiences and when I woke up my lights were off (They were on during 4/5 trips) and I was under my covers. I don't know how this happened, but didn't question it. I woke up about 5 times that night, but couldn't tell the difference between being asleep and awake. The only way I knew is if I would look at my clock, and see what time it was, that was my sign of reality.

On the other hand, if we want to look at Jerry’s fainting from a conspiracy viewpoint, it is possible to bring on a seizure with an overdose of Dramamine. So the scenario put forth by some is possible. At this stage however, I don’t believe there is enough evidence to dismiss the explanation offered by Belknap to the FBI at the time. There are no holes in his story when properly investigated; no internal contradictions, which is what you always look for.  In short, Belknap should have the benefit of the doubt.

 

The False Mystery of the Lonesome Death of Albert Guy Bogard

 

The brief official version of the official story is that Bogard worked for the downtown Lincoln Mercury dealership and nearly 2 weeks prior to the assassination, he took someone for a test drive he mistakenly believed was Lee Harvey Oswald. On February 14 or 15 (both dates are used in various reports), 1966, Bogard committed suicide.

The counter-narrative is that Bogard took an Oswald imposter for a test drive and that in 1966, he was murdered with the scene staged to mimic a suicide to stop the truth coming out.

Which story has it right? Neither.

Bogard, as we will discover, took the real historical Lee Harvey Oswald on a test drive. In 1966, he did commit suicide.

In an FBI report on an attempt to polygraph him dated Jan 24 1964, Bogart advised that on January 11 of that year while managing a bar, he was assaulted by several men with beer bottles and ended up in Baylor Hospital from Jan 11 to Jan 18 where he said he was treated by a Dr. Reynolds and prescribed Dramamine. He said he last took Dramamine on Jan 23 (the day prior to the interview). This assault, as with Bogard’s death, has generally been linked to the assassination. What those who promulgate these scenarios leave out is that Bogard had been served with divorce papers and that it was a messy separation due to bad debts. Those who visited the bar may well have been friends or family of his former partner reminding him to get his affairs sorted out or perhaps to cease contact with her. Alternatively, it may have been loan shark henchmen wanting payment. There was no shortage of loan-sharks in Dallas to whom desperate people might turn. Either possibility leaves us with a far more real-world probability for the assault than a warning concerning his Close Encounter of the Oswald Kind, the purpose of which is never fully explained by the theorists. It is certainly not clear to me what these shadowy figures expected. Was he supposed to not talk to authorities at all? Tell authorities it was not Oswald, instead of what he did tell them? Do either of those possibilities make any sense? Wouldn’t the plotters want everyone to believe their Doppelganger really was Oswald? Wasn’t that the whole point?

In any case, the FBI contacted Dr. Reynolds who confirmed that he had treated Bogard for a head injury in January and that Bogart specifically had a traumatic injury to his middle ear for which he had prescribed our friend, Dramamine. The FBI asked Dr. Reynolds about giving Bogard a lie detector test and Reynolds advised against it if Dramamine had been taken the day prior.

Bogard was finally given the lie-detector test on Feb 25. Bogard passed the test insofar as the report notes that it showed he honestly believed the person who took the test drive was the same person identified by agents as Lee Harvey Oswald in a photo shown to him. This is not proof it was Oswald, but it does add to the overall picture.

Did Bogard take the real historic Lee Harvey Oswald on a test drive? Other evidence (apart from Bogard’s ID) includes

·         Oran Brown confirming that Bogard had asked if he would look after a prospect named Lee Oswald should Oswald come back when Bogard was not available

·         Oran Brown’s wife confirming that she had seen some paper or a card with the name Lee Oswald written on it among her husband’s clutter

·         Eugene Wilson who confirmed that the demonstrator models could be taken for a test drive at any time by any of the salesmen without permission, that the customer in question had no cash and no credit and had only been in employment for a short time. Wilson could not confirm that this person was or was not Oswald, or that it was this person who had commented that he may have to “go back to Russia to buy a car”.  This however dos confirm the statement being made by someone around that time.

·         Assistant manager Frank Pizzo recalled after Oswald’s name was announced as the suspect in the assassination that he recalled Bogard having a prospect by that name.

·         In 1963, the requirement to hold a driver’s license in Texas before driving a vehicle was only 27 years old. They were easy to get, though probably thought of by many as an imposition in a state priding itself on independence and freedom. With that in mind, it is no surprise that Bogard did not ask to see a driver’s license before allowing Oswald behind the wheel. 

What else do we know that may help?

Lee’s ability to drive: Ruth Paine testified that Oswald had been allowed to drive his Uncle Dutz’s car in New Orleans during May of ’63. She further testified that she began giving him lessons on October 13, and at that time, he had got in and started the car drove it to the shopping center parking lot despite Ruth’s stated misgivings about him doing so without a learner’s permit. When asked how he went, Paine replied “I would say he did modestly well; but no means skilled in coming to a stop and turning a square right angle at a corner.”

From this we know that Oswald had driven a car before arriving in Dallas in October. We know also know he knew how to start a car and that he had the confidence to drive it to the shopping center.

On top of this experience, Oswald had two more lessons from Ruth who had also given him the driver’s road manual to study. 

That is not to say there are no issues with Ruth Paine’s testimony.

Buell Frazier testified that no learner’s permit was required.


Representative FORD - Do you have to get a learner's permit in Texas before you can get a driver's permit? 

Mr. FRAZIER - No, sir; I say, you don't…

It is possible that Ruth Paine, not being a native daughter, merely assumed that Texas had learner’s permits, so we will accept the word of the local here.

The bottom line on his true driving ability may have been given to the Secret Service by Paine on Dec 5 when she told Special Agent Brady that “insofar as driving a motor vehicle is concerned, in her opinion, Oswald was perfectly capable of doing so. She did not consider him to be a proficient driver however” and by Bogard himself who testified that Oswald “might have drove a little reckless, but other than that, he knew how to drive”. All of those who write books and blogs claiming things like Oswald drove like he was crazy, are referencing hearsay, and not always even accurately quote that hearsay. They do so only to prop up dangerously misleading theories.  As for the witnesses who stated Oswald could not drive; all that can be said is that their knowledge of his driving ability was out of date.

The non-driving Oswald legend should now be buried along with the myriad spin-off theories emanating from it. He could drive sufficiently well but not with the proficiency that comes only with experience.

Ruth testified that Oswald had gone to the Driver Examination Station three times attempting to take his driver’s test. The first on Saturday morning of November 9, only to find it closed due to it being an election day. The next was on Monday November 11 – Veteran’s Day – and the line was too long and he was advised it would not be worthwhile waiting as it was too close to closing-time. Oddly, he allegedly went too late in the day the following Saturday the 16th and encountered the same issue.

According to Ruth Paine, during most of this period Oswald wrongly believed there was an actual driving test, as well as a written one. 

Mrs. PAINE - Just prior to the assassination. The 16th I was having a birthday party for my little girl and said I couldn't possibly take him again to this place so he could take a test. But that he didn't need a car. This was news to him. He thought he needed a car for his initial test, learner's permit. I said he could go himself from Dallas.

It is also a fact that Mike Paine testified to showing Lee a car he had just purchased for $200.00 and that this seemed to give encouragement regarding affordability.

Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate to you that he planned to purchase an automobile? 
Mr. PAINE - I bought this second-hand car for $200. 
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of a car is that? 
Mr. PAINE - That is a 1956 Oldsmobile. 
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you buy it? 
Mr. PAINE - I bought it while they were there, while Marina was staying with us, which was sometime in November. Either October or November, probably the early part of November. They went out to admire the car. $200, I suppose, didn't seem out of their reach then.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate to you that he was thinking-- 
Mr. PAINE - Therefore, I think Ruth, they went out to admire the car and, of course, I was thinking that it, this might make it appear to them that the car was within reach, and driving was something to be sought. 

The fact that Oswald ended up taking a $3,000 car for a test drive despite having no chance of buying it, is something a lot of young men would do. Why does anyone think this is so unusual? His statements about coming back with the cash in a few weeks were only made after being informed that he did not qualify for credit, so those statements about coming back were exactly the sort of face-saving lies a young man might tell.

Bogard, according to the records, committed suicide by attaching some garden hose taken from his parents to the exhaust of his rental car.  He was reportedly depressed in the weeks leading up to that and it was known that he had romantic and financial problems. The depression may have been exacerbated if he was still taking Dramamine. No doubt some of the depression also stemmed from his status as an unwanted witness whose life and background had been examined under a microscope and then used to diminish him. This would explain the stack of stories on the assassination found in the trunk of his car. Ironically that fish-market wrap only added fuel to the speculation that he was murdered.

For the record, I believe Bogard had indeed taken the historic Lee Harvey Oswald on a test drive. Oswald was attempting to take driver’s test during this period and believed he needed his own car to take it.

Moreover, Mike Paine had been encouraging him to buy a car telling him he could get one for as little as $200.  That he ended up taking a $3000 car for a test drive despite having no chance of buying it, is something a lot of young men would do. Why does anyone think this is so unusual? His statements about coming back with the cash in a few weeks were only made after being informed that he did not qualify for credit so those statements about coming back were exactly the sort of face-saving lies a young male would make.

So why did the Warren Commission give no credence to Albert Bogard, despite all of the supporting evidence. Timing.

Oswald’s official timeline for November 9 is:

·         Trip to the Driver Examination Station – closed

·         Trip to five and dime

·         Back to the Paine residence to work on a letter to the Russian Embassy regarding his trip to Mexico City.

And there it is. The so-called “Kostikov” letter. No time for test driving cars.

Problem is, the letter was not authored by Oswald, but that’s an investigation for another time.

ROKC Thread Summary - Buell Wesley Frazier – Where’s Your Rider, Part A and Part B by Mick Purdy

This thread had to be split because it became so big. This is therefore just a brief overview and it is highly recommended that anyone interested in exploring the subject matters further, should visit the links provided.

It started with discoveries in the interview transcripts of different TSBD employees produced by the HSCA. Edward Shields for instance told investigators that when Buell drove into the carpark on the morning of Nov 22, he (Buell) was on his own. The carpark was over by the Houston St warehouse. 

SHIELDS: I think Charles Givens hollered out there and asked Frazier where was his rider and he told him: "I dropped him off at the building." Yeah, that was it...Well, I was down on the floor when they hollered out and said and the answer he gave them, I don't know, I think he said: "I dropped him off at the building." Now, whoever it was hollering asked him, I don't know.
DAY: This is the morning of the assassination?
SHIELDS: Mm-hmm.
DAY: Somebody hollered out the window and say: "Where is your rider?" And to your recollection, Frazier says, "I dropped him off at the building."
SHIELDS: Yes.
DAY: Alright. The day of the assassination, did you see Oswald come to work with Frazier?
SHIELDS: No, I didn’t.

One of the oddities about this is that it was a Friday morning. According to the official story, Oswald only rode to work with Frazier on Monday morning, so why would anyone be inquiring about Oswald not being with Frazier on a Friday?

Maybe because Oswald usually rode with him daily. Jarman told the HSCA investigator that Oswald was not just a Monday morning rider with Frazier.

When asked if he associated Oswald with anyone, Jarman replied “I can’t think of the dude’s name – the one that brings – brought him to work all the time.” Thus, Mick came to believe that Frazier had not driven Lee to work at all that morning – that the whole story was a fabrication to get Oswald into that building with a package in his hand.

A review of some of the evidence tends to support this thesis:

The initial point to note is that the whole period is made up of a series of (alleged) firsts.

·         The first time Oswald arrives at the Paine’s on a Thursday

·         The first time Lee wants to take something other than lunch to work

·         The first time Frazier is running late

·         The first time Oswald is not picked up at the Paines, but walks to the Randles

·         The first time Lee walks 50 yards ahead of Frazier from the carpark to the warehouse

All those firsts incrementally add to the appearance of Oswald’s guilt.

Among the myriad problems: every neighbor between the Paine house and the Randle house was interviewed as to whether they had seen Oswald that morning walking past to get his lift. None of them had. But just picture what we are expected to believe here anyway – the police on several occasions described the package as “rifle-shaped” or as looking like a rifle case.  Yet despite that, Oswald supposedly risked being seen carrying it to the Randle residence.

One of those neighbors, Mr. Schneider, did pass on some hearsay to the effect that another neighbor, Mrs. Roberts, had seen Lee get a lift that morning with Bill Randle – Wes’s brother-in-law.  Moreover, Roberts had apparently added that Oswald had a package big enough to carry a rifle with him.

Bill had driven that day to Austin on a job for his employer – his brother Marvin. He had taken with him another employee, Barry Caster. Caster lived on Shady Grove Rd over 2 miles from the Randle house, so it seems likely that Bill would pick his co-worker up. There was certainly no suggestion that Caster had driven to the Randle residence and left his car there. In short, there is no evidence that the person Mrs. Roberts saw drive off that morning with Randle was Caster and not Oswald.  It is possible then, that Bill did drive Oswald on some pretext, picked Caster up on the way and took a slight detour on the trip to Austin to drop Oswald off.

As Mick put it, “what sort of investigation is it that receives hearsay evidence such as the above and fails to follow up to confirm or refute it with the parties involved? We are indeed, expected to believe that no follow up was done, because there is no evidence any follow up was done. Yet, there is circumstantial evidence that the authorities did believe that Randle was the man who gave Gave Oswald a lift with a package because that same night, the FBI was attempting to trace the origins of the scope in the names of Lee Oswald OR Willie Randall” [sic]

Let’s now return to the sack.

According to the official story, Oswald went up to Frazier’s car and was able to put the package on the back seat as the door never locked properly. He is allegedly seen before that, heading to the car with it by Linnie-Mae Randle.  When Frazier and Oswald get in the car, Frazier notices the package and asks Oswald what it is and is reminded that Lee had come a day early to pick up curtain rods.  We are expected to believe here, that Frazier very well remembered that he was taking Oswald to work that morning – but had completely forgotten why – that is – Lee coming for the rods. This is despite Linnie Mae confirming that Wes had told her about the rods being picked up.

The memory lapses continue post-assassination with Linne-Mae now forgetting anything about the rods and instead, according to Det. Rose, going to the Paine house and telling Det. Adamcik all about the suspicious bag Oswald was carrying.  That is the actual wording in Rose’s report – that the sack made her “suspicious”.

We are really left with 3 choices regarding Buell and Linnie-Mae

1.       They told the truth and everything more-or-less happened as they said it did

2.       They changed the story from what really happened to incriminate Oswald and they themselves had been part of the frame

3.       Very little if any of it happened as claimed and Buell and Linnie-Mae were co-opted (or otherwise agreed between themselves post-assassination) to agree to a different version of events

It is slightly odd that Det. Adamcik for instance, made no mention of talking to Linnie-Mae in his initial statement. As above, that came via a report made well after the event by Det. Rose. It is odd because her alleged statement that the package made her suspicious would seem a rather important point for Adamcik to include in his initial report.  However, by the time of his Warren Commission testimony, his memory had improved enough to be able to recount the episode.  Unfortunately, Linnie-Mae herself was not asked about this when she had her turn before the commissioners.

That she talked to the police after they arrived at the Paine’s is beyond question. Apart from the “suspicious” bag, she also told them that they could find Buell at Parkland Hospital visiting his step-father. In saying this, she sent the police to the wrong hospital, though they eventually found him at the Irving Medical Clinic where he was placed under arrest.   

Mick believed that sending the police to Parkland was simply to buy Wes some time.

To summarize what we have so far… no one claimed to see Lee Harvey Oswald walk to the Randle residence that morning. No one claimed to see Lee Harvey Oswald in Frazier’s car that morning – except Frazier himself. No one saw Lee Harvey Oswald that morning with any package except Buell and Linnie Mae. Linnie-Mae reported Oswald carrying a “suspicious” bag even though she had previously been informed that Oswald was picking up curtain rods. Just the fact that was in Irving on a Friday morning, which was an alleged break from regular habit, should have caused her to recall why. Linnie-Mae then sent police on a wild goose chase looking for her brother. This in turn left a significant amount of time unaccounted for in Frazier’s time line. Added to that we have hearsay evidence regarding Bill Randle taking Oswald to work that morning with a large package, with no sign of that being investigated – yet the FBI that night is searching for the origins of the scope in the names of Oswald or “Randall”. If this lift to work did happen, there is no reason not to believe that this package was Randle’s and related to his job on Austin. He may have simply passed it to Oswald to put on the back seat. Or Any number of other scenarios may explain it. The point is, we do not know because there are no records pertaining to it.

Does the size of the bag described by Buell and Linnie exonerate them from any roles they may have played? Mick made the point that had Frazier described the bag as being big enough for the rifle, he was in grave danger of being charged as an accomplice – which almost happened anyway. The size of the bag was immaterial to the police case. The police just needed a bag witness. They got two for the price of one. They also had his alleged rifle missing from its place in the Paine garage, a statement that he claimed the bag contained curtain rods – and a statement that no curtain rods were missing from the Paine house, nor any found at the TSBD. The size described by Buell and Linnie Mae could now be dismissed as just the usual witness error on an estimation of dimensions. Classic Win/win.

 

Larry Crafard and Neely St - Decoded

Part One: Crafard’s early out from the army

From Crafard’s testimony:

Mr. HUBERT. How long did you serve altogether? 
Mr. CRAFARD. Thirteen months. 
Mr. HUBERT. Is that the usual tour? 
Mr. CRAFARD. No, sir. The usual tour is 3 to 4 years. 
Mr. HUBERT. Well now, what caused you to get out sooner? 
Mr. CRAFARD. As far as I understand it is the next thing to a medical discharge. 
Mr. HUBERT. What was it based upon, do you know? 
Mr. CRAFARD. General, under honorable conditions.

Meanwhile Larry’s cousin Gail Ann Cascaddan, told the FBI that Larry “reportedly had received an undesirable discharge.”

It should also be noted that Larry had his discharge papers with him which confirm his version. The importance of his cousin’s statement is that it indicates his discharge was based on issues one might expect to warrant an “undesirable” status and further digging confirms that the “undesirable discharge” was replaced (at least in the Army) by two other types -  "general, under honorable conditions" and "other than honorable". Both are less favorable than “honorable”, though obviously “general under honorable conditions” is better than both “undesirable” and “other than honorable”. Why did Gail Cascaddan believe Larry’s discharge was undesirable?

Let’s have a look at some other things she said about her cousin, from the same FBI report as linked to above:

Mrs. Cascaddan said he was ‘nuts’ and he made her ‘puke’. She elaborated on this characterization by stating that Crafard was obviously of below-average mentality, unreliable and unpredictable. He was a ‘loner,’ drifted around the country from job to job, and had no close friends or associates… He was conceited and frequently bragged of his muscular strength and his ‘excellent’ physique. He claimed to have an extensive knowledge of judo. To support this latter claim, on occasions he would use a ‘judo chop’… on the exterior wall of a house to show the power of his blow. He told Mrs. Cascaddan’s mother that by continuously snapping his finger on a certain spot on a woman’s breast he could cause the woman so much pain that she would beg him to kill her rather than be further tortured. Mrs. Cascaddan further stated that Crafard was oversexed and she never liked to be alone with him. He always wanted to put his hands on her body, smell her hair and try to kiss her, despite the fact that she and Crafard were first cousins. At times, Crafard said he ‘got the spirit so bad’ that he had to pick up The Bible and read from it. On such occasions, he would read in a mumbling fashion and what he read could not be completely understood by the person listening to him. This conduct on his part was not ostensibly in jest, but suggested religious fanaticism to Mrs. Cascaddan.

We can dispense with some of those items. Firstly, Larry’s Warren Commission testimony shows him to be of at least average intelligence – certainly not “below average” as claimed by his cousin. Secondly, he did have at least one friend or associate close enough to give Larry a ride to Dallas. More on him later. Thirdly, the claim that he was “unreliable” may or may not have been true at times but he was a loyal and reliable assistant to Jack Ruby up until the assassination.  This loyalty and reliability was somewhat confirmed by Larry later being employed by one of Jack’s brothers.

Most of the rest of Mrs. Cascaddan’s portrait of her cousin points straight to Larry having a truly manic personality,  possibly with an accompanying bipolar disorder characterized specifically by his hypersexuality and hyper-religiosity combined with his apparent belligerence and high energy.

Larry’s discharge on “medical” grounds was in fact a “Section 8” which was commonly used in sexual perversion cases in the 1950s resulting in an undesirable discharge - until this discharge type was abandoned and replaced as previously stated.  “Sexual perversion” in the Army in the 1950s would most often be the term used for homosexual conduct, and in the absence of females, and given Larry’s mania, he almost certainly would have been involved in homosexual relationships – or at least would have attempted to instigate them. Section 8 comes under Army Regulations 635-200 and utilizes numerous separation codes. Crafard’s Section 8 code was 264 ("Unsuitability. Character and behavioral disorders").

Crafard1.jpg
PP.jpg

Although outside the parameters of this paper, it is worth at least noting that among the places Crafard was misremembered as Oswald was at “gay” parties with Jack Ruby where, in one report, he was described as “trade”.  Additionally, Crafard’s wife was a lesbian.  In an era of repression, an arrangement like this would provide cover for both.

The question now arises: Was Crafard offered a deal by the Army whereby he would be given his General Discharge under “honorable” condition instead of “other than honorable” if he would make himself available at various times for various “off the book” duties?  To any who believe no intelligence service would ever recruit the likes of Crafard, I refer you to the case of Mikhail Platovsky, an agent placed in Minsk during Oswald’s time there and who was instructed to recruit among “morally loose” elements.  Intelligence agencies do not have a single inflexible standard for recruitment when looking at low level “street work”. Ivy league recruitment is for James Angleton types, not Phil Geri types. Geri had a 23 years long career as an ASIO (Australian equivalent of FBI) informant-infiltrator of the Communist Party.  His background was simple. He had come from a large, dirt poor family, had dropped out of school in the 8th grade and had been employed in a series of menial jobs. He was most likely recommended to ASIO by his superiors in the Citizens’ Military Force (now known as the Australian Army Reserve).

Part Two: Operation Bongo

During his testimony, Crafard was asked about his post-army employment with the Federal Aviation Administration – the FAA

Mr. HUBERT. Now, we have some information that you worked for Federal Aviation Agency through July and October of 1960 in Los Angeles? 
Mr. CRAFARD. Yes; in Los Angeles--I believe they were out of Los Angeles, where I worked for them that was over in Nevada. 
Mr. HUBERT. What kind of work did you do? 
Mr. CRAFARD. Surveyor's assistant. I had forgotten I had worked for them.

That is the sum of the information we have from Crafard and the authorities on this job. Neither the Warren Commission nor the FBI could have initially learned of this employment through Larry since he claimed to have forgotten all about it. It would be interesting to learn where the information did come from, why it was raised at all, and why, having raised it, it was never explored or investigated in any more detail. It is the epitome of the appearance of completeness to give the impression that the item is of little significance. The Warren Commission was giving us the puff without the pastry.  

Still, there are enough clues in the short exchange to learn just about everything worth knowing about this job. It was simply a matter of digging into what the FAA was doing in Nevada in 1960 that entailed any type of “surveying”.

The answer to that is Operation Bongo.

Operation Bongo commenced in 1958 at Wallap’s Island, Virginia, continued from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada in 1960 and 1961, in St Louis in 1961 and 1962, and culminated in Operation Bongo II in Oklahoma City, 1964.  The surveying for Bongo II was conducted by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center. According to Crafard, it must have been conducted by the FAA at the Bongo I test sites.


Operations Bongo and Bongo II were intended to quantify the effects of transcontinental supersonic transport (SST) aircraft on a city. The program was managed by the FAA, which enlisted the aid of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Air Force. Up to 8 sonic booms per day were being created over selected populations to test the effects – which is where the surveying comes in.  One of the planes used was the B-52. I mention this because it becomes important in helping to identify the friend of Larry’s alluded to earlier.

This project would have needed some type of clearance. A security clearance is needed for any job in the FAA, the level depending on the nature and location of the work. How does someone who was “sectioned 8” out of the Army get a clearance for a sensitive project like this? Has does Larry even find out about a job like this?

Part Three: Larry as Agent Provocateur?

Now it gets even weirder.

Note that the WC has Crafard working for the FAA through July and October 1960.

But straight after that, we get this testimony which covers almost the exact same period:

Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us anything about your employment with Stewart-Hill in Berkeley, Calif., 1052 Dwight Way, Berkeley, Calif? 
Mr. CRAFARD. I don't remember even. 
Mr. HUBERT. That would have been between July and September of 1960? 
Mr. CRAFARD. I don't remember.

This shows that according to the WC, he worked simultaneously in Nevada for the FAA and for a company called Stewart-Hill in Berkeley California. Crafard reluctantly admitted the FAA work but denied remembering anything about Stewart-Hill.

Stewart-Hill was a catering company. As with the FAA work, this information must have come from somewhere other than Crafard himself. It is all very strange that the only jobs he seemed to recall very well at all were the carnival jobs, and with the Stewart-Hill and FAA jobs clashing timewise, we would have to assume the timing given by the WC was slightly out for one of them. The bigger issue though is why Larry would not want to talk about work for a catering company.

A little speculation here is warranted. The head of Stewart-Hill was William J Milliken.

Millikin enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, retiring from the reserves in 1972 at the rank of captain.

Just after college, Mr. Milliken worked as general manager and comptroller of St. Mary's College in Moraga, where he was also an instructor in investments and insurance. From 1946 to 1966, he worked at Stewart-Hill, rising to become president before retiring from the firm.

Milliken himself was a graduate of UC, Berkeley and remained one of its staunched allies and supporters. He was also a long-time president of the alumni association. In 1964, Millikan gathered together a bunch of like-minded conservatives to fight the Free Speech Movement.

But problems with the Left didn’t begin in 1964 at the Berkeley campus. In May 1960 the HUAC came to Berkeley to investigate commies on campus. A huge riot ensued. My speculation is that Milliken would be the type to hire agent provocateurs during this period, or to facilitate this being done by the FBI and/or military intelligence (MI). Larry was the right age and there at the right time for such work. Moreover, paying those provocateurs through Stewart-Hill would seem to be a good idea. Larry may not have even been aware that on paper anyway, Stuart Hill was his employer, which would explain his lack of memory of having worked for them.  Since he was in Nevada from July through October, we must assume his employment with Stewart-Hill was prior to July.

There is no doubt that agent provocateurs were being used at the Berkeley campus at the time.

Let us also add this excerpt from a Peter Whitmey article titled Creating a Patsy. Whitmey interviewed Crafard more than once. I have highlighted relevant sections

During my initial interview with Craford at a bar/restaurant in the small town where he lives in a rural area of Oregon, he revealed to me that he had been a “hit-man” in the early sixties in San Francisco, prior to going to Dallas.  While living there he got involved with the granddaughter of the local “Don”, and, unfortunately for Craford, she became pregnant.  However, in exchange for leaving town and promising never to contact her again, Curtis was spared the usual harsh treatment associated with organized crime.   Although I was somewhat skeptical of Craford’s claim, his older brother, whom I later spoke to by phone, appeared to confirm what Curtis had revealed to me.

Earlier, after dropping out of high school in Dallas, Oregon (!) in 1958, Craford had joined the Army, following in the footsteps of his brother (who was, by then, a sergeant).  In November 1959 he was abruptly released, however, after serving most of his fourteen months in West Germany (where he might have been exposed to General Walker’s anti-communist propaganda), because of a medical problem of some sort. Despite having “messed up”, as he put it to me, he claimed to have been selected for several covert operations as a demolition expert, which took him over the Berlin Wall as well as into southeast Asia (presumably either Laos or Vietnam).  He even showed me a scar on his leg, which he treated as a badge of honor related to one of those operations.  Craford was vague about whom he was working for, but emphasized to me that there would be no written records related to his covert operations.

Although I didn’t think to ask him, Curtis likely bragged about his “intelligence” experience while working for Ruby. A woman named Beverly Oliver, who was only seventeen in 1963, sang at the Colony nightclub, and hung out at the nearby Carousel.  Years later, after her first husband had been gunned down in a shootout with the Texas Rangers, she claimed to have been introduced to “Lee” by Jack Ruby, a few weeks before the assassination.  Ruby mentioned that his new friend was with the CIA.  Given what Craford told me, it’s very likely she actually was introduced to “Larry”, not “Lee.”   I wrote to Beverly in this regard, having met her at the 1996 Sudbury, Ontario JFK conference, but in her reply, she confused Craford with Corky Crawford, another seedy associate of Ruby’s, and didn’t remember having ever met Ruby’s handyman.  However, her unflattering description of him (featured in the movie “JFK”) is clearly much more consistent with Craford than Oswald.

Nothing incriminating, of course, was revealed to Burt Griffin and Leon Hubert during Craford’s three-day Warren Commission “interrogation” in Washington D.C., although Judge Griffin told me at a Chicago conference in 1993 that he and Hubert felt that Craford was holding back and not being honest about himself and his activities while in Dallas.  After interviewing Craford, I decided to provide Judge Griffin with a summary of our conversations, but for some reason, I did not receive a response.  Later, I did get a brief reply in regard to a Berkeley, CA company (“Stewart-Hill”), which Craford was asked about during his W.C. interview, but which he didn’t remember working for during the summer of 1960.  Unfortunately, Judge Griffin couldn’t recall what kind of company it was or how the information had been obtained.  Possibly this was when Craford was working as a hit-man.

Do I believe what Crafard spun to Whitmey? No. It was either all lies spun from whole cloth, or an exaggeration of the facts. I believe it was the latter.

For example, it is true that the US Army was providing specialized training to Lao forces in communications, motor maintenance and demolition in 1959 through the US Military Assistance Program. That is not proof that anyone from D Battery, 2nd Missile Battalion was involved. There were of course, also Special Forces operations, but they are unlikely to have involved anyone from the 2nd Missile Battalion, let alone Crafard.

It is also not hard to imagine that someone like Crafard may spin being an “agent provocateur” at a university on behalf of the alumni and/or an intelligence agency into a “hit man” for the Mafia and/or the CIA. Whatever the case, it is inspiring to find that Judge Griffin also thought there may be something odd about the Stewart-Hill employment.

Larry in Dallas Tx, March to June ’63.

Crafard married Wilma Jean, by then a divorced mother of one boy, on June 16, 1962. She had her second child, another boy, on March 1, 1963. Crafard expressed some doubts to the WC that this child was his, although his name went on the birth certificate.

The marriage did not last long before the couple separated in December 1962. However, after the birth of Wilma’s second baby, Larry, according to his testimony, ventured to Dallas in search of a reconciliation. He arrived soon after the birth and a reconciliation did follow.

Wilma was living at the time with her parents in Letot Trailer Parker on Lombardy Ave and according to his testimony, he moved in with them and started work at Ablon Poultry. At some stage, her parents moved out and her brother and sister-in-law moved in. That is four adults plus at least two kids (more if the Cases had kids) which would be breaking occupancy limits in most jurisdictions today for a standard 2 bed-room trailer.

Who Really lived on W. Neely?

Coincidentally, at around the time that Crafard arrived in Dallas, the Oswald’s were allegedly busy moving into 214 West Neely St which was 12 miles from the Letot Trailer Park.

Post-assassination however, Lee Oswald denied ever living at that address.

The complete list of evidence that he did

·         The testimony of Marina Oswald

·         The testimony of Ruth Paine

·         The testimony of Michael Paine

·         The testimony of George De Mohrenschildt

·         The testimony of Jeanne de Mohrenschildt (Jeanne was unable to recall the street and number but described the location)

·         The affidavit of landlord M. (for Malcolm) Waldo George

·         The FBI statement of George Gray (misspelled as Bray in the report) who lived in the bottom apartment

·         A hand-written note in the Dallas Power and Light Company file for the premises “reflected that on March 29, 1963, 214 W. Neely was occupied by Lee Harvey Oswald

·         An FBI report stating a visit to 214 W. Neely on March 14, 1963 showed the mail box had a name plate attached reading Mr. and Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald

·         An American Bakeries pay slip found on Oswald post-arrest and tracing back to a previous occupant of the top apartment at 214 W, Neely St

·         The Walker letter in which Oswald stated he had paid the water and gas at an unspecified address presumed to be 214 W. Neely

·         An FBI document stating that water and gas had been paid by Oswald at 214 W. Neely

·         The Backyard Photos   

·         Photos of June Oswald on the Neely St Balcony

Problems with the evidence and counter evidence

The Warren Commission Witnesses

Marina Oswald, the Paines and the de Mohrenschildts all gave other evidence that was at best, twisted and at worst, provable lies.  Each potentially had motive to lie in this instance.

Malcolm Waldo George

Nothing is known of M. Waldo George except for what he told the FBI. It is notable that he stated his wife took the initial rent inquiry, but was never interviewed by any officials. In 2007 when I first started considering the issues around W. Neely St, Tom Scully contributed some (albeit tenuous) connections between the owners of the company George worked for and the FBI, speculating that pressure was brought to bear on George via those connections to verify that the Oswald’s had rented from him.

George and Clydie Gray

Let’s start by stating that only George was Interviewed by the FBI and he spoke for himself and his wife. Furthermore, he was the only person interviewed in the neighborhood who claimed to recall the Oswald’s at all.

Members of the Gray family were interviewed however by Ed Ledoux during that 2007 investigation previously mentioned.  Included in the interviews was Minnie Williams who was living with George and Clydie at the 214 W. Neely address. Like Clydie, she was ignored by the FBI. By 2007, George was deceased and Clydie initially was too sick for a lengthy interview.  Like Marina, Minnie had a toddler, and this gave her and Marina something in common to chat about. According to Minnie, Marina spoke unbroken English in those conversations. She also told Ledoux that she never heard either Marina or Lee speak Russian. Here I should note that George Gray reportedly told the FBI that Marina spoke no English – but then the report also states that neither he nor his wife had any contact with her due to both working, so it is hard to imagine how they would know. In any event, Clydie was reinterviewed by Ed and she confirmed the English conversations between Marina and Minnie (though she may have simply been taking Minnie's word for it). She was also able to confirm that there were many loud arguments coming from the top apartment.

Other Neighbors

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Friddle reported that they did not know Oswald and that a young man, his wife and two small children resided at the upstairs apartment for a very short time around April and May of 1963.  The other neighbors had not lived in the area at the time in question. Note that the document linked to here also states that M. Waldo George believed that George Gray worked for Dallas Power and Light, but that the FBI looked for him instead at Davey Tree Expert Company where  it was advised he had left that job on July 1. Ed Ledoux also reported some confusion about the employment background of George Gray from his own family members.

MJ Fish of Dallas Power & Light

The handwritten notation made by Fish in the file that “reflected that on March 29, 1963, 214 W Neely was occupied by Lee Harvey Oswald” is belied by the fact that the meter reader reported on April 19 that the apartment was occupied. This information prompted the company to write not to “Lee Harvey Oswald”, but to “the occupant” on April 24. There is no explanation given for the notation, nor any information about the original source. Any question about the ability of a meter reader to see if the upstairs apartment was vacant was answered by James Jackson, a previous tenant tied to the American Bakeries pay-slip, who was also tracked down and interviewed by Ledoux and specifically asked about this issue. Jackson replied that there was a stairway on the outside which connected to the second-floor balcony. Lastly, Oswald’s electricity account was continued at the previous Elsbeth address until being cut on April 23 – the day prior to his move to New Orleans!

The Name Plate

If the mail box had a name plate showing that Mr. and Mrs. Oswald lived at the address as at March 14, why was it reported by the meter reader on March 20 that the premises were empty? Why in fact, would Oswald be advertising his whereabouts only a few months after being hounded by the authorities over receiving communist literature from overseas? Other questions would be where did he get the name plate, what became of it, and if the FBI knew they lived there, why was no attempt made to interview? From this distance, the name plate looks a lot like backstopping for a false address.

The American Bakery Pay-slip

The issues with this are numerous and complex. For complete information, see here, here & here. The bottom line is that this alleged pocket litter appears to be more planted backstopping connecting Oswald to the Address.

The Walker Letter

The so-called Walker letter was found in a cook-book missed in two searches of the Paine residence and handed in to Irving Police by Ruth Paine in early December. The police in turned handed it (and a child care book Ruth had also found) over to the Secret Service who still had Marina in “protective custody”. 

In 2010, I had a Russian speaker from one of the Baltic states compare the Walker letter to letters written by Oswald whilst living in Minsk.

His preliminary advice was that the Walker letter was definitely written by a non-Russian while the Minsk letters had few elements showing that the author was non-Russian. He concluded that they were not authored by the same person.

He went further and gave a direct translation for part of the Walker letter and rewrote it in Russian as it should have looked:

Direct translation:  "This is key mailbox main post office located city, on ERVAY street same street where is drugstore where you always stood. 4 blocks from drugstore this street to main post office there you'll find our mailbox. I did pay for mailbox last month, so you are not emoting about it."

How it looked in Russian: “Эта клуч почтовый ящику почтам главнем, находиться городу, на улице ERVAY тот же улице где апека где ты всегда стояла. 4 блоков от апека на эту улицу к почтаму там наидёш наш ящику. Я платил за ящику прошем месяце, так ты не переживаеш об этом.”

How it should have looked in Russian with corrections highlighted: “Это ключ к почтовому ящику в главном почтамтекоторый находится в городе, на улице ERVAY - та же улица, где аптека, где ты всегда ждала. 4 кварталов от аптеки на той жеулице к почтамту ты найдешь наш ящик. Я заплатил за ящик в прошлом месяце, так что не волнуйся об этом.”

He repeated this process with other parts of the letter, with similar results.

He then did the same analysis with a letter written in Minsk on October 22, 1961.

The translator noted here “minor mistakes and 2 wrong choices of words or expressions (author uses word closer to `chatting` rather than `talking`, and he says something like `I don't like your chatting that you are anticipating of losing me`, instead of `I don't like your talking that you have feeling of losing me`, what he obviously was trying to say. Another thing is use of commas. I have feeling this author uses commas more correctly than author or Walker note - most commas are missing in Walker note, and only few in this chapter.”

Slighter better results still were found for a letter dated October18, 1963. At this point I also asked for an analysis of Ruth Paine’s written Russian which was found to be almost perfect, with the only negative being a slight stylistic clumsiness.

Since I do not believe Oswald's ability in the Russian language diminished to any degree, and since I do not believe the evidence supports that Oswald took any kind of pot-shot at Walker, I must conclude that someone else wrote the so-called Walker note and tried to imitate what they thought was Oswald's level of ability.

And since Ruth Paine thought Oswald's level of ability was not that high...


Senator COOPER - Yet he was intelligent enough that he had learned to speak Russian. 
Mrs. PAINE - His Russian was poor. His vocabulary was large, his grammar never was good.


…despite the more expert opinion of Peter Gregory... (“I gave him a short test by simply opening a book at random and asking him to read a paragraph or two and then translate it. He did it very well. So I gave him a letter addressed to whom it may concern that in my opinion he was capable of being an interpreter or a translator.”) I would have to conclude Ruth Paine is a likely candidate as the author.

Water & Gas

The FBI notes that water and gas had been connected in Oswald’s name, but no documentary evidence is supplied, and no names given for those allegedly interviewed at those utility companies.  Yet we do get at least one name of an employee interviewed at the power company where Oswald had not connected.

This leads to a realistic suspicion that the FBI was keen to document his connection of gas and water for the sole purpose of matching up with what was written in the Walker letter.

The Backyard Photos

Marina, as she did in most instances, initially told the truth – in this case, that she only took one photo and that it was with a camera held up to the face. This photo was described by Marguerite Oswald in her testimony


Now, gentlemen, this is some very important facts.


My daughter-in-law spoke to Mrs. Paine in Russian, "Mamma." she says. So she takes me into the bedroom and closes the door. She said, "Mamma, I show you." She opened the closet, and in the closet was a lot of books and papers. And she came out with a picture a picture of Lee, with a gun. 


It said, "To my daughter June"-written in English.  I said, "Oh, Marina, police." I didn't think anything of the picture. 


Now, you must understand that I don't know what is going on on television--I came from the jailhouse and everything, so I don't know all the circumstances, what evidence they had against my son by this time. I had no way of knowing. But I say to my daughter, "To my daughter. June." anybody can own a rifle, to go hunting. You yourself probably have a rifle. So I am not connecting this with the assassination--"To my daughter, June." Because I would immediately say, and I remember--I think my son is all agent all the time no one is going to be foolish enough if they mean to assassinate the President, or even murder someone to take a picture of themselves with that rifle, and leave that there for evidence. 


So, I didn't think a thing about it. And it says "To my daughter, June." I said, "The police," meaning that if the police got that, they would use that against my son, which would be a natural way to think. 

She says, "You take, Mamma."

Marguerite goes on to describe how Marina destroyed the photo the following day. The inscription and pose of Oswald tells us more about this photo. It was most likely taken soon after the February 15, 1962 birth of June in Minsk and shows Oswald holding his shotgun aloft in apparent joy and triumph. When Marina was first interviewed by the FBI about the Backyard Photos, she confirmed they were taken at the W. Neely St address and gave the time-frame of late February or early March. The time-frame I believe is accurate if we take it back a year and relocate to Minsk. Marina confirmed her FBI statements to the Warren Commission. However, after giving that WC testimony, she was re-interviewed by the FBI and changed the timeframe to late March. This new timeframe now conveniently and happily conformed to the date of arrival of the weapons seen in the photos.  Marina was never cross-examined by the WC about Marguerite’s testimony on the single destroyed photo (which did not contain a pistol or any newspapers).

It may be noteworthy as well, that Ruth Paine was there and involved in some of the conversation between Marguerite and Marina regarding the photo inscribed to June. Did knowledge of this photo serve as the inspiration to fake a series of photos far more damning than this one was? The photos were not found until the day after this conversation took place.

Photos of Junie on the Balcony

Again, I refer to the interviews done by Ed Ledoux. Ed sent the “Baby June” photos to James Jackson who in turn showed them to his daughter, Patricia. Patricia believed that the photos were of her.  If that was not the case, we are left with them being genuine photos of June on the Neely St apartment balcony.

My conclusion from all of this is that either

a.       The Oswald’s did not live at the W. Neely St address. The real occupants were a young English speaking couple with two very young children. The male was employed and was not friendly. This couple had numerous loud arguments. The timing and description fits Larry and Wilma Crafard.  Crafard was less than two years younger than Oswald and his exit papers from the Army listed him as 5’ 8” and 149 pounds – close enough to Oswald’s 5; 9” and 140 pounds. In this version of events we would have to embrace the Friddle’s statements to the FBI.

b.      Oswald, for reasons unknown, did rent the apartment, but for his wife and daughter only. The electricity account from the Elsbeth address supports the possibility that he remained there until leaving for New Orleans. This would not preclude Lee going to the W. Neely St. apartment and being seen on occasion going in and out and nor would it preclude the loud arguments described by the Grays. In this version, we would have to discount the Friddle statements and accept that Marina spoke far better English than she ever let on.  This version also allows that Marina did write to Ruth Paine advising she had moved to this address, and that subsequently, Ruth did visit and pick Marina up on two occasions. March 12, 1963: Ruth Paine visits Marina at the new apartment. Also on that day, Oswald allegedly orders a rifle from Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago under the name Alex Hidell. March 20, 1963: Ruth Paine makes her second trip to visit Marina at the W. Neely St address. Also on that day, the rifle and the revolver are said to be shipped.

Crafard Returns to Dallas early Oct 1963

In early October – on or about the same day we find Oswald returning to Dallas, Larry is driven into town by a friend he named in testimony as Mickey Corday who he claimed to have met at fairgrounds in Dallas or Memphis.

Once again, no attempt was made by the WC or the FBI to find Corday, so who was he?

Mr. CRAFARD. I traveled to Dallas, Tex. 
Mr. HUBERT. How did you travel? 
Mr. CRAFARD. With a friend of mine, Mickey Spillane. 
Mr. HUBERT. Mickey who? 
Mr. CRARARD. Mickey Corday
Mr. HUBERT. How do you spell the last name? 
Mr. CRAFARD. C-o-r-d-a-y. 
Mr. HUBERT. How did you travel? 
Mr. CRAFARD. Traveled down in his car. 
Mr. HUBERT. Where is he from, do you know?
Mr. CRAFARD. I don't know where his home is. 
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know him prior to this time? 
Mr. CRAFARD. I had seen him prior to this time and heard of him prior to this time. 
Mr. HUBERT. I mean it wasn't a hitchhike? 

Mr. CRAFARD. No, sir; I met him at the fairgrounds in Dallas, Tex., or in Memphis.

In my own efforts to identify “Mickey Corday” I drew a total blank. Knowing however that so many names in the records are misspelled, I tried slight variations on both names and eventually found a “Michael Cordray”.  In 1984, Cordray was a staff sergeant at Carswell Airforce Base in Fort Worth and specialized in B52s and radar systems. Recall that the US air force had used B52s in the sonic boom tests conducted in Nevada 3 years earlier and in which Crafard had been involved. 

PPP.jpg

Note that Crafard initially referred to Mickey Corday/Cordray as “Mickey Spillane”. Spillane was a popular author of detective novels with gangsters as usual villains but also with occasional forays into Communist bad guys. Just as interesting and relevant, he had been in the Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot, so on all counts, it would be no surprise that Crafard would give Cordray the nickname of “Mickey Spillane”. 

Bottom line: Neither Crafard nor the Neely St apartment are what we have been told, and history will one day catch up and confirm this.

 

ROKC Thread Summary – Roll-Call Remedy by Ed Ledoux

The first thing to know about the TSBD roll-call is that it never happened. There was no roll-call. Roy Truly mentioned no such thing.  Captain Fritz never said that Truly mentioned anything like that.

The first official information about a roll-call came from Gerald Hill who testified on April 8, 1964 that “I asked the captain why he wanted him [Oswald], and he said, 'Well, he was employed down at the Book Depository and he had not been present for a roll-call of the employees.”

But the roll-call story had been printed in the media well before that. For example, on Nov 28, 1963, the Dallas Morning News reported that “When Oswald failed to answer a roll-call in the Texas School Book Depository after a rifleman shot President Kennedy from its 6th floor, officers issued a pickup. Records in the building showed Oswald lived at Irving.

The last we hear of a roll-call came from Buell Wesley Frazier during a 2002 CSPAN interview where he described a roll-call being made, including describing how names were called and how you had to respond. He also added the crucial detail that this was when Oswald was noted as missing, but that this was only adversely regarded when it was realized he was not coming back.

This is difficult to reconcile with the known facts. 

But it’s an implausibility that skates by those not overly familiar with the evidence. It will seem right to those will have a vague memory of reading about a roll-call, and it will seem right to others just because it sounds like something that should have happened.

Moreover, as Ed pointed out, if you had a name, why not broadcast it? Instead, the description put out was not that of Oswald and no name was attached to it. The broadcast description was that of a generic young white male. 

In some ways, the role of the Warren Commission was to unscramble the egg that the first investigation had created. Case in point:  Captain Glenn King of the DPD gave a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors. In that speech, King stated:

At the location of the assassination investigators were able to quickly determine that an employee had been at work prior to the assassination, but was missing after the offense. A description of this man was secured and broadcast on the police radio. The description was “a slender white male, about 30 years of age, about 5; 10” tall, weighing about 165 pounds, carrying what looked like a 30-30 rifle or some type of Winchester.”

 It has to be assumed that King had plenty of time to make sure he had the right story. After all, you’re addressing professional fact-checkers. That should be enough to ensure you take care to be accurate.  Yet here we see again, despite claiming they had a name, no name was broadcast -  just an incorrect description.

 How did the Warren Commission address this issue? They addressed it in their rumors and speculation section:

 

Speculation--A detailed and remarkably clear description of Oswald was sent over the police radio in Dallas at 12:36 p.m., November 22, 1963. 

Commission finding--The radio logs of the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County Sheriff's Office show that no description of a suspect in the assassination of the President was broadcast before 12 :45 p.m. on that day. No reference to Oswald by name was broadcast before he was arrested. The description of the suspect that was broadcast was similar to that of Oswald, but it lacked some important specific details such as color of hair and eyes. The information for the initial broadcasts most probably came from Howard Brennan, who saw Oswald in the window when he was firing the rifle.

 

No roll-call – no broadcast description or name.

Yet there is no doubt that Oswald’s name was given to Fritz by Truly. It was overheard by reporter Kent Biffle.  But Truly had no real basis for giving out Oswald’s name. He had allegedly seen him in the 2nd floor lunch room 90 seconds after the shooting, and in any case, as Ochus Campbell told the press, “Of course he and the others were on their lunch hour…” though Campbell inexplicably then added “but he did not have permission to leave the building and we haven't seen him since."  Of course, no one required permission to leave the building during their lunch break… which would be why Truly claimed it took 15 minutes after returning from leading the charge upstairs in search of the sniper to notice Oswald was not around. That now moves him into being missing on company time. It also however should have been of no concern since by now, the police were stopping anyone entering the building, and Truly knew others were not present for this reason.

The cops were making a rod for their own backs.  Now they had to suggest Tippit was killed because he stopped Oswald due to Oswald matching the description from Dealey Plaza even though he only matched with wide margins of error in weight and age. Apart from that, who knows how many others Tippit passed in his driving around who also “matched” this generic description?

It was getting almost schizophrenic in the DPD.

Whilst claiming that the JFK shooter was stopped by Tippit on the basis of the broadcast description, they were ignoring the fact that another description was broadcast from Tippit witnesses that was only vaguely similar to what came out of Dealey Plaza.

After all the dust settled, no cop - wisely - was prepared to say they suspected it was the same guy. How could they? This guy was different in appearance and was wielding a handgun, not a rifle. At that point, no one knew Oswald had allegedly gone “home”, changed and grabbed another gun.

But were those denials by police true? Did one or more in fact “know” it was “the same” person in both murders? Reporter Vic Robertson was a witness at the Texas Theater. During his Warren Commission testimony, he was asked if he had any idea that the person being arrested might be the same person who killed the president. Robertson responded, If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been there. It seems logical that the only source Robertson could have for that information would be the police.

Let us now return to the TSBD to discover how Oswald really left.

We know Truly told Lumpkin that Oswald was missing, and then went upstairs to tell Fritz. We know from Truly’s testimony that there was some fudging going on with the time-frame for this. We know that this triggered precisely no broadcast of an accurate description or Oswald’s name. We know that Fritz met with Sheriff Decker before going back to the Dallas Police HQ where he found his man already under arrest on the Tippit murder.

What has been missed in all of this however, unravels the whole story of Oswald’s alleged escape. Almost amusingly, the only person not to bury it was Jesse Currie who included the information in his book, otherwise the only place it can be found is in the report of the Texas AG.

Starting on page 21 of that report, it reads:
“As each office and floor was cleared, the employees were stopped by Kaminski and Mr. Truly, manager of the firm, at the front door where their names, addresses and telephone numbers were written down and they were identified by Mr. Truly as to their employment. “

Kaminksi worked under Revill and the list compiled was later typed and became known as Revill’s list.

The first name on that list reads as “Harvey Lee Oswald”. In the real world, being first name on such a list would indicate you were the first person cleared to leave. But no.  To some, that was never even a consideration. As always happens, conspiracy just grows around such seeming anomalies. The biggest belief along those lines encountered was that the name and address for Oswald on this list had been supplied by Military Intelligence and some vague notion that Col Jones ex of 112th MIG had spilled the beans on it during his HSCA interview.

It’s wishful thinking and the need to create mega-conspiracies and that’s all it is. It never happened. Jones said no such thing and there is not one iota of evidence in existence that supports that information coming from any intelligence source.

It came from Lee Harvey Oswald – not the army, not the CIA and not some imaginary doppelganger.

What the list shows is a person listed as Harvey Lee Oswald, with an address at 605 Elsbeth.  That slightly wrong information only fuels the suspicion.

But it does have a rational, non-conspiratorial explanation. Oswald approached Kaminski and Truly and was questioned about his identity, was cleared as an employee by Truly and then asked to “step aside” as per the testimony of Postal Inspector, Harry Holmes.

 

But a police officer asked him who he was, and just as he started to identify himself, his superintendent came up and said, "He is one of our men." And the policeman said, "Well, you step aside for a little bit."

 

In context, the above played out at the front entrance, exactly where Truly and Kaminski were station. At that stage, they were probably still getting themselves organized and when they were ready, Oswald flashed his old library card at Kaminski. 

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The library card upside down now reads left to right "Harvey Lee Mr Oswald". Additionally the smudged "2" upside down could be mistaken for a 5. Read quickly under such dire circumstances, the brain would in my opinion, disregard the “Mr.” Shown below is the top of Kaminski's list after it was typed.

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In short, Oswald left the same way everyone else did and received clearance to leave.  He just happened to be the first.

Oswald could not have known about this process for leaving unless he himself had experienced it. But the information about it was buried, and the incident tweaked and switched to the 2nd floor lunchroom which made it theoretically possible for Oswald to have gotten down in time from the so-called sniper’s nest.

But the evidence does not stop there. Earliest newspaper accounts – quoting police – also confirm this happening at the front door. The cops were giving this information out before it was realized how destructive it was of Oswald’s guilt.

In one early newspaper account, it confirms that “police were posited at exits to the warehouse. Police said a man, identified as Oswald, walked through the door of the warehouse and was stopped by a policeman. Oswald told the policeman that “I work here” and when another employee confirmed that he did, the policeman let Oswald walk away.

 From the Sydney Morning Herald. This initial account of the assassination quotes an un-named police source now known to be Det. Hicks

From the Sydney Morning Herald. This initial account of the assassination quotes an un-named police source now known to be Det. Hicks

We also have the transcript of the HSCA interview with fellow employee James Jarman:

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What we are left with is that Truly allowed Oswald to leave and then reported him missing. He set the rabbit loose and then sent the hounds after him. The roll-call was fabricated to help cover this up.

But we will get to Truly and his role in our final talk.

 

Key figures from Volumes One & Two of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War

The research has never stopped, and additional material developed since publication is provided here. This will be added to future editions of these volumes.

Edwin Ekdahl

Edward Ekdahl’s potted bio:

·         Born Boston, September 26, 1895

·         Engineering degree from MIT 1916

·         World War I service

·         Aid work for NY Lutheran operated Society of Inner Mission and Rescue up to 1919. The work involved arranging alleged holidays with parishioners in rural areas for underprivileged children. The Gettysburg Times notes that year that the demand for girls outstripped what could be supplied due to parental refusal to allow their daughters to take part  

·         Moves to China in 1919 to work for Amos Bird & Co (a canning company) in Shanghai and marries Danish national Rasmina

·         Has a son whom they name Dewey – it is likely this is after psychologist and philosopher John Dewey who is also living in China at the time

·         Date of return to the US is unknown but the family is listed in the 1940 census as living in New York

·         The Hydes likewise are listed in the 1940 census as living in New York. Daughter Ruth is the same age as Dewey Ekdahl. William Hyde takes Ruth to Socialist Party rallies headed by Norman Thomas. The Hydes, the Ekdahls and Norman Thomas and John Dewey are all heavily involved in the Cooperative Movement. They would also all have anti-communism in common. These facts combined lead to the distinct possibility that they all knew each other.  In fact, at the very least, Thomas and Dewey knew each other very well.

·         By this time Ekdahl is employed by Ebasco, an electrical engineering and project company with government contracts in nuclear energy

·         It can be stated here that the nuclear spy ring is made up largely of Electrical Engineers including Julius Rosenberg himself. Other electric engineers involved include Martin Sobell. Sobell works for Ebasco parent company General Electric.

Note: I am not advocating that Ekdahl was part of the spy ring but that the possibility exists that he knew one or more of them, with that knowledge becoming useful at some stage, or even that he was an informant against one or more of them. It is known that while married to Marguerite Oswald, they travelled around because of his work and that this travel did place them in the same locations where some of the spy meetings were taking place, including Santa Fe.

Overview of “A Spy's Guide to Santa Fe and Albuquerque

When thinking of New Mexico, few Americans think spy-vs.-spy intrigue, but in fact, to many international intelligence operatives, the state's name is nearly synonymous with espionage, and Santa Fe is a sacred site. The KGB's single greatest intelligence and counterintelligence coups, and the planning of the organization's most infamous assassination, all took place within one mile of Bishop Lamy's statue in front of Saint Francis Cathedral in central Santa Fe.  

The assassination referred to above was that of Leon Trotsky. Michael Paine’s father had once stood as a Socialist Worker Party (SWP) candidate for the Council of Manhattan – the party which he would later help split through Trotskyist factionalism, and which the Hydes and (probably) Ekdahls had supported. Parenthetically (and perhaps also paradoxically, perhaps not), Michael Paine’s mother was friends with Mary Bancroft who would go on to be recruited by the OSS in WWII and have an affair with future head of the CIA, Alan Dulles. Both Bancroft and Dulles would become entangled in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

 

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Note that Paine is campaigning on keeping the US out of WWII as per SWP policy at that time.

The SWP in New York circa 1940 may in fact lead to a connection between not just the Hydes and Ekdahls, but also put the Paines into the mix. In fact, such connections could be the very reason that both Mike and Ruth claimed such poor memory of the politics of their parents during this period.

From Marguerite’s testimony:

That was all the money I had from Mr. Ekdahl, and when we traveled, for instance, we were in Santa Fe, N. Mex., and he was with all the businessmen…

From the Smithsonian Magazine

“When Klaus Fuchs confessed in January 1950, his revelations would lead to the arrest of the man to whom he had passed the atomic secrets in New Mexico, even though the courier had used an alias. Harry Gold, a 39-year-old Philadelphia chemist had been ferrying stolen information, mainly from American industries, to the Soviets since 1935. When the FBI found a map of Santa Fe in Gold's home, he panicked and told all.” 

Edwin only has eyes for Marguerite

Ekdahl left his wife and child in New York sometime in 1942 for the southern states and began his New Orleans pursuit of Marguerite Oswald.

The circumstances and timing of the meeting between the two are somewhat clouded by differing accounts. Without going into the details and the evidence, it is my opinion that they met while Marguerite was working at Algiers Naval Base – a job she never mentioned to the FBI or WC but was discussed in her biography by author Jean Stafford. It’s possible it wasn’t mentioned prior simply because the base itself was not her employer – that she was working for a private company on the base. If so, then it was probably Pittsburgh Plate Glass – an employee she was known to have, though the location of the employment was never raised.

It is also possible that Ekdahl had a hand in getting the kids into the Lutheran Orphanage given his past association with Lutheran mission work in New York with kids.

Meanwhile there are question marks over some of Marguerite’s addresses throughout this period. Two addresses she gave a doctor for example, were unable to be confirmed by the FBI. However, one of those addresses – the one on Atlantic Ave did contain a family of Oswalds – headed by 80 years old Bob Oswald who may or may not have been related to our Oswalds. The FBI simply failed to investigate that possibility.  I suspect that Marguerite was already living with Ekdahl and that she had given phony (mail only?) addresses to hide this since they were not married.

Today this may be considered a pre-marriage trial period. In the end, Marguerite rejected him and he went to stay at the Roosevelt Hotel – where CIA asset George Hunter White was headquartered while he and his team toured Southern Bases testing marijuana as a truth drug.  The Algiers Naval Base would be one of those bases since it was so close by.

In the end, Ekdahl’s sister Elvira came down and talked Marguerite into marrying her brother, as discussed by Albert Jenner with Marguerite’s friend, Myrtle Evans.

Mr. JENNER - His sister came down from Boston, is that right, to sort of see how he was getting along here, is that correct? 
Mrs. EVANS - That's right. I guess that's what prompted her to come down here, because he had had this trouble, and I guess she was concerned about him. 
Mr. JENNER - And that courtship between him and Marguerite ripened into marriage then; is that right? 
Mrs. EVANS - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - Did Ekdahl's sister approve of Marguerite? 
Mrs. EVANS - Oh, yes; she wanted her to marry Ekdahl, and before she went back to Boston, Margie made her a promise that she would look after him. 
Mr. JENNER - Then Margie moved to Texas with Mr. Ekdahl; is that right? 
Mrs. EVANS - Yes, sir.

The whole deal with this was bizarre on the surface of it. Ekdahl was a married man, very comfortably off financially and not in the best of health. He separated from his wife and son, moved to New Orleans and allegedly became infatuated with a struggling widow with three kids. Even more bizarre is that the Secret Service – not the FBI – was asked by the Warren Commission to find evidence that Edwin had divorced Rasmina, but the search proved fruitless in Dallas and Tarrant Counties. On advice from Robert Oswald that Ekdahl was from Boston, a search was made of the Suffolk Superior Court Probate records which also proved negative. It appears that they never did divorce and the marriage to Marguerite was bigamous. Indeed, Edwin and Elvira ended up being buried side by side.

After the marriage and subsequent temporary periods of separation from Marguerite we get yet more story twists. The Fort Worth school records contain two records showing that Edwin Ekdahl was the “father” of Lee with no mother listed during his time at Lily. B Clayton Elementary and at his next school, George C Clark Elementary

On the face of it, those records indicate that Lee was in the sole care of Edwin Ekdahl between January 29, 1947 and June 2, 1948. The dates used here represent the start date at the first school and the exist date for the second. Edwin was granted the divorce on June 24.

The wedding itself, as shown, seems to have been a bigamous one. Moreover, Marguerite seems to have been specially targeted for this marriage, sight unseen, for purposes not yet exposed?

Was the divorce (required to extinguish even a bigamous marriage) therefore nothing but an indicator that this hidden purpose had been achieved, or had failed?  In any event, a divorce here would require some disregard of the legal requirements for annulment.

Following is an excerpt from the article “Systemic Lying by Julia Simon-Kerr. This part of the article looks at systemic lying in court during divorce proceedings to get around the need to find “fault”. It references the era preceding “no-fault” divorce. I have emboldened relevant passages.

In response to fault requirements that seemed out of step with social beliefs and the wishes of an increasing number of couples seeking divorce, a familiar pattern emerged. Divorce seekers began to “perjure themselves in order to have their marriage[s] dissolved.” Couples either went to a state where they could more easily obtain a divorce, made a “fabricated statement of domiciliary intention” in order to gain citizenship in the state and then petitioned for divorce in that state, or they made out a case for divorce in their home jurisdiction by “perjuring themselves as to . . . the conduct of their spouses.” As a law professor put it in the New York Times, “Americans adjust to strict divorce laws in either of two ways: by running away from them (seeking out-of-state or foreign divorces) or by staying at home and resorting to collusion and fraud.”  Both responses to strict divorce regimes present examples of systemic lying. Litigants, attorneys, judges and often paid witnesses cooperated in maintaining and accepting the lies that facilitated fault divorces in large numbers of cases in which no actual fault, or alternatively no jurisdiction over the case, existed. This lying became routine and was done across cases (and states) all for the same reason: to obtain a legal divorce when one would otherwise not be available. These practices became an accepted and acknowledged feature of the U.S. divorce system. Couples with sufficient means who lived in states with relatively strict divorce regimes could leave the state for a short period, comply with facial domiciliary requirements in a state with a less strict fault regime, such as residence for six weeks, falsely swear that they intended to remain in the state, and obtain a divorce from courts fully aware that the whole enterprise was a charade. In Nevada, for example, a popular state for migratory divorces because of its relaxed fault grounds, a divorce plaintiff, in addition to meeting the six-week residency requirement, would be asked if it was still his or her present intention “to live here indefinitely and make Nevada your home?” Affirmative answers would go unchallenged, “even if the plaintiff leaves Nevada the day after receiving a decree.” These so-called “migratory divorces” were all the more appealing because several states allowed for an uncontested divorce requiring the presence of only one spouse.  If a couple did not have the means or time to leave a state with a strict fault regime, their best option was to fabricate fault. In New York, for example, a de facto regime developed under which “all that is required [to obtain a divorce] is proof that the defendant was found in a room with a person of the opposite sex (who need not be identified beyond the positive fact that such person was not the husband or wife of the defendant).” An industry arose involving private detective agencies who hired women who would “arrange to be found in bed in the same room as the newly arrived defendant.” The industry was profiled in a 1949-1954 report of the New York County District Attorney describing “a woman who played the role of a correspondent in scores of arranged hotel raids.” Another report that looked at testimony in divorce cases between 1929-1933 identified a “surprising state of undress in which the defendant and co-respondent are generally found.” A smaller study looking at 104 undefended divorce cases in New York revealed that “close relationships” existed between the defendant and witnesses for the complainant in 81 of those cases. Yet another report from a New York County Grand Jury Presentment found that “widespread fraud, perjury, collusion and connivance pervade matrimonial actions of every type.”  Judges presiding over divorce cases were aware that perjury was routine. One New York Supreme Court Judge described the prototypical divorce case as follows: “[s]he is always in a sheer pink robe. It is never blue – always pink. And he is always in his shorts when they catch him.” Nevertheless, courts accommodated those seeking divorces on trumped up fault grounds by not demanding rigorous proof and ignoring clear indicators that the participants lacked credibility. Many factors made it obvious that divorce proceedings often involved collusion, fraud, and perjury, including the large number of uncontested cases, the large percentage of unnamed co-respondents, the large numbers of defendants and hotel room women who opened the door while scantily clothed, the commonplace of the defendant’s friend testifying against him, and the “unusually short period commonly intervening between the alleged adultery and the service of process.” Sworn complaints alleging adultery and evidence to the effect that “a man and a woman who are not married [were] found together in a hotel bedroom” were accepted “despite the fact that in many cases the court is probably not actually deceived.” 

From Marguerite Oswald’s testimony. Again, relevant sections have been bolded:

So, I called his office, I was familiar with, knew his secretary, and I was going to tell her that Mr. Ekdahl would be delayed 3 or 4 days. But immediately she said, "Mrs. Ekdahl, Mr. Ekdahl is not in, he has gone out to lunch." 

So, I said, the general conversation went "When will he be back" and so on, and so that evening 1 took the car and I went to the Texas Electric Co., works for the Ebasco, the main office in New York, but he was working in Fort Worth at the time, went to the building and saw him leave the building and I followed him and to an apartment house, saw him go into this apartment house. 


Then I went back home, and my oldest son, John Edward Pic, who is in the service, had a friend at the house who was about 2 years older. I told them about what happened. So it was night by this time. The kids went with me.

I called Mr. John McClain, who is an attorney, and we live next door to Mr. McClain, and told him that I had seen Mr. Ekdahl go into a home when he was supposed to be out of town and what should I do.

He said, "Mrs. Oswald, just ring the phone. Do you know the woman?" 
And I said, "Yes."


"Just ring the phone and let him know that you know he is there, that you saw him." After I thought about it I thought that is not a good idea because he could leave and say he was just there on business and I wanted to catch him there. 


So the kids and I planned that we would say she had a telegram, so we went up the stairs, I believe it was the second or the third floor, and the young man knocked on the door and said, "Telegram for Mrs. Clary"--was her name.

 
She said, "Please push it under the door" and I told him no; he said, "No, you have to sign for it."


So with that she opened the door to sign for it and with that I, my son, and with the other young man walked into the room and Mrs. Clary had on a negligee, and my husband had his sleeves rolled up and his tie off sitting on a sofa, and he said, "Marguerite, Marguerite, you have everything wrong, you have everything wrong."

Who was this other woman named as “Mrs. Clary”? She was the mother of Fred Clary, a friend of Robert Oswald! We are expected to believe then that this mother of a boy the same age as Robert was lounging around in a negligee with a partially dressed Ekdahl in the early evening? Unfortunately, we never got to find out what color Mrs. Clary’s negligee was because Edwin decided to take a different tack and filed for divorce before Marguerite – a decision which would severely cut any win-fall Marguerite may have otherwise obtained. In the end, the divorce was granted after Ekdahl’s lawyer, Fred Korth, paraded a series of witnesses, none of whom Marguerite had previously met, but who all swore that Marguerite had treated Edwin very badly indeed!

The marriage was a sham. The divorce was a sham. The eldest boys were kept away in orphanages and boarding schools. School records indicate that Ekdahl had sole care of Lee for around 18 months leading up to the divorce.

If all those points are valid, we can speculate that the hidden purpose of the marriage was to give Edwin Ekdahl access to young Lee, though this too, would be for purposes unknown.

And it presents yet another problem. If Ekdahl came to New Orleans specifically to marry Marguerite to in turn obtain access to Lee, how did he find out about her and Lee in the first place?

If these lines of inquiry have any validity, this question cannot be ignored.

More inter-connections
As it happens, there is a possible answer. Lee Oswald had an aunt on his father’s side, Hattie, who had married a wealthy New Orleans businessman named James Coker. The following research on Coker was by a trusted correspondent who requires anonymity for professional reasons. His work is quoted here as it was sent to me.


Coker was a partner in the Wall Street firm, E. A. Pierce (forerunner of Merrill Lynch) from 1935 until 1940.  After that he became a member of the New York Cocoa Exchange, and soon after joined the Agricultural Marketing Administration.  I am wondering if this move may have been associated with Nelson Rockefeller's appointment as Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs.  One of the goals of that office was the control and stockpiling of Latin American commodities -- and of course, cocoa would qualify in this respect.  Coker was already a member of the Cotton Exchange.
 
Interestingly, one of E. A. Pierce's clients was William F Buckley, Sr -- and his Pantepec Oil firm.  I am wondering if Coker may have known Buckley.  In fact, two of Coker's partners -- Edward A. Pierce and Joseph Hendrix Himes -- were very close to Buckley and were in fact among the directors of Pantepec.  Buckley was president and Pierce was vice president of the firm.
 
Joseph Himes was, furthermore, a member of the New York Cotton Exchange -- another reason he would have been close to Coker.
 
But most interesting of all, Joseph Himes turns out to have been a long-time board member of General Dynamics Corporation.  In fact, during the 1950s he sat on the board with Frank Pace, who would later head the firm, and would have known people such as Mason Lankford, Max Clark, I B Hale, etc.
 
Of course, the official story is that James and Hattie Coker had nothing whatsoever to do with Marguerite, Lee and family.  But the connections are interesting.   

Sidney Souers was a Naval Reserves Intelligence Officer for 8 years until 1940. In 1945, he became Deputy Chief of Naval Intelligence and in the following year, was first Director of the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), soon to morph into the CIA. Souers had lived for many years in New Orleans where he was involved in banking, real estate, mortgages and insurance. But he had also been Vice President of the New Orleans Dock Board where he would have become acquainted with Adolfo Hegewisch who passed his freight forwarding company on to his understudy, Gerald F Tujague. Also interesting is the identity of the person who was Dock Board president above Souers. His name was Edward S. Butler – grandfather to Ed Butler of INCA fame. Souers cited Butler as a “close personal friend” as his reason for not taking his place as president, though urged to by Huey Long.  Finally, Souers has been connected to Joseph H. Himes, partner of James Coker and Edward A. Pierce through board membership of the Piggly Wiggly Company.

Himes himself is of no less interest - and not only for his board membership of General Dynamics. He got on board the Military Industrial Complex in its infancy. He was also publisher of the Army and Navy Journal. 

Although unproven, it is more than possible that Hattie and James Coker ran in the same circles as the Paines, Hydes and Ekdahls.

The common denominator may again be the SWP/Norman/Dewey connections.

This excerpt is from “Offensive Intelligence: An Epistemic Community in the Transition from Cold War

Liberalism to Neoconservatism” a thesis by Tom Griffin of the University of Bath. I have bolded the most relevant parts.

Josselson had worked in psychological warfare in the US army during the war before

joining OMGUS and later the US High Commission (Saunders, 1999, p.12). Some months

after the Tagliche Rundschau’s attack, in the autumn of 1948, he joined the CIA’s new

covert action arm, the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) (Saunders, 1999, p.42).

Josselson’s work would soon involve him in countering communist propaganda in the

United States itself. On 25 March 1949, he was in New York for the Cominform’s Cultural

and Scientific Conference for World Peace, where with the help of David Dubinsky, he

funded a group of intellectuals who sought to subvert the conference at the Waldorf

Astoria, and who subsequently held a rally at Freedom House (Saunders, 1999, pp.54-55).

Calling itself Americans for Intellectual Freedom, this group was led by the philosopher

Sydney Hook, who had founded the Committee for Cultural Freedom in the late 1930s.

Two points:

·         Michael Paine recalled David Dubinsky during his testimony

·         Sidney Hook had co-founded the Committee for Cultural Freedom with John Dewey

It can also be noted that Souers had set up the Office of Strategic Operations (OSO). James Angleton became its Deputy Director in 1951.

Meanwhile the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) mentioned in the excerpt, was formed by Frank Wisner. In simple terms, OSO collected intelligence while OPC was involved in subversion.  Two sides of one coin. Flipping that coin was Kim Philby.

The Committee for Cultural Freedom had aims that reflect some of the apparent thinking of people like Mike Paine and Lee Oswald in later years. This is from the above link:

The Committee for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was an American political organization active from 1939 to 1951 which advocated opposition to the totalitarianism of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in foreign affairs, and promoted pro-democratic reforms in public and private institutions domestically. Co-founded by influential philosopher and educator John Dewey and the anti-Soviet Marxist academic Sidney Hook, it was reorganized in January 1951 into the American Committee for Cultural Freedom.

The Committee for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was founded on May 14, 1939. The genesis of the CCF was a disagreement among communists, socialists, leftists, and centrists in the United States over the value of forming a popular front and the need for violence, revolution, and dictatorship in establishing a more just society. Many American far left-wing intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s were Trotskyists who believed in democracy and were opposed to the totalitarianism advocated by Joseph Stalin and Stalinism. The CCF was an attempt by John Dewey and other leftists to break with what they argued was the totalitarianism of the Communist Party USA and "cleanse" left-wing politics to make it more palatable to the mainstream of American voters. But the goals of the group's founders were not uniform on this. Dewey saw the CCF as an independent organization. Hook saw the CCF as a means of undermining the popular front. Dewey believed that he could persuade other left-wing organizations to give up their belief in revolution and dictatorship and join with the CCF in promoting leftist ideals.[8] Hook secretly worked against him in these negotiations. The CCF's statement of purpose was signed by 96 intellectuals in May 1939. However, it did not hold its first meeting until October 1939.

The Committee for Cultural Freedom was also in lock-step with the Cooperative Movement insofar as they were both seen as part of the wider Socialist and Labor movements and crossed paths at various junctures.

Sidney Hook among others, however were Cultural Warriors for the intelligence community.  It was out of this Trotskyist milieu that the Neoconservative movement sprang.

 

Fred Korth

Fred Korth’s potted bio:

·         Born in Yorktown, Texas September 9 1909

·         Obtain law degree at George Washington University in 1935

·         Married September 12, 1934 separated soon after the assassination and finally divorced in 1966

·         Had 4 children – one – Verita – committed suicide via 20 gage shot-gun on May 1 1969 in her home in Austin Texas. She was married to lawyer and banker Alex Sheshunoff.

·         Lieutenant colonel Air Transport Command, Army of the United States, 1942-1946.

·         Partner in Wallace and Korth 1946 – 1951

·         Acted as divorce lawyer for Edwin Ekdahl against Marguerite Oswald.  Ekdahl at the time was working out of the Texas Electric Service Company (TESCO) Building at 408 West Seventh St. At 411 West Seventh was the office of Wallace and Korth.  I have not been able to pin down what, if any area of law Korth specialized in, but it’s hard to imagine a future Secretary of the Navy being a divorce lawyer, so it seems likely, his acting for Ekdahl in this matter would be a little unusual. Fred’s brother Romeo provides another link as he was heavily involved in the Rural Electrification Program and was president of the Texas Electric Cooperative.

·         Deputy Counsellor, Department, of the Army 1951-1952

·         Assistant Secretary of Army for Manpower & Reserve Affairs 1952-1953. This position was elevated in prominence at the time Korth took over the role because of the issues coming out of the Korean War. He left the post due to a change in White House admonistration but remained a consultant in these areas until 1960

·          Executive Vice-President Continental National Bank, Fort Worth 1953-1959

·         President Continental National Bank, Fort Worth 1959-1962

·         Director of Bell Aerospace and also Director of the Panama Canal Company 1961              

·         Secretary of the Navy Jan 4, 1962 – Nov 1, 1963. Was forced to resign because of the growing scandal over the TFX contract given to General Dynamics and because he had used Secretary of the Navy letterhead to invite “extra good customers” of the Continental National Bank for what amounted to a joy ride on the Navy’s official yacht, the Sequoia

·         Korth was also a trustee of Meridian International Center in Washington. It was one of those Department of State-NGO-private sector hybrids which provided a lot of cover for CIA activity

We are far from finished with Fred Korth and will return to him later.

John Pic

John Pic’s potted bio:

·         Half-brother to Lee Oswald and the eldest of Marguerite’s 3 sons

·         Married Marge Furhman who was born in NY to Hungarian immigrant parents

·         Joined the Coast Guard in January 1950

·         After boot camp, was attached to CG Cutter Rockaway May 1950 to Jan 1951

·         Jan 1951 to June 1951 was at CG Training Station on Groton Conn.

·         From June 1951 until January 1952, I was stationed at U.S. Coast Guard Base, St. George, Staten Island, N.Y.               

·         From January 1952 until April 1952, was stationed at U.S. Naval Training Station, Bainbridge, Md. This was during a major outbreak of streptococcal infection on the base which was being investigated by the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board under Charles Rammelkamp.  Also studying the outbreak were bacteriologists from Fort Detrick’s biological warfare unit. Recall that this team had commenced under the leadership of Alwin Pappenheimer, Harvard bacteriologist and uncle by marriage to Michael Paine. I do not believe he was still in that position in 1952, but have not been able to verify it one way or the other. Bottom line though is, he was a leading expert in this field, so his involvement in the work at Bainbridge would hardly surprise.

·         April 1952 until February 1953, was stationed at U.S. Coast Guard PSU, which is Port Security Unit, Ellis Island, N.Y. 

From “Security Isn’t Free”, a 2002 article from Naval History Magazine:

The port security mission dates to the beginning of the 20th century, but the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 presented a different challenge. President Harry S. Truman directed the U.S. Coast Guard not only to increase its patrols of the nation's harbors, but also to eliminate risks from suspected communist merchant seamen and waterfront workersThe number of those "weeded out" probably was greater than the toll of victims in any other loyalty or security program of the day. Yet this aspect of the Coast Guard Port Security Program attracted little attention at the time and receives little attention to this day… [the Coast Guard would determine], on the basis of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), who in the Merchant Marine were security risks.

Pic commenced in this role in April 1952. Lee Oswald and Marguerite came to live with him in August of that year. Lee was still only 12 years old. Immediately following his 13th birthday is when we see Lee start to become a truant. His truancy ended around the time Pic concluded his time at the PSU.

What was the reason Marguerite and Lee moved to NY in the first place – there are a number offered up, but one is most intriguing. It comes from Marguerite’s friend Myrtle Evans:

Mrs. EVANS - He [Ekdahl] was very high caliber, a very fine man, and he had a very fine position. The papers said she was dragged from pillar to post, but that wasn't true. It was his work that took them to places. That's why she went to New York, because of his position. He didn't drag her from pillar to post at all. I don't know what happened to them then, because I didn't see them again.

Ekdahl had indeed moved back to New York to work out of Ebasco head office – which happened to be at 2 Rector St – less than 8 miles from John Pic’s apartment on East 92nd St. He died in January 1953, only 5 months after Lee and Marguerite arrived.

Potted Pic bio continued:

·         February 1953 until September 1953, was stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Firebush. 

·         September 1953 until April 1954 stationed at US Naval Hospital Portsmouth, Va.

·         Apr ’54 to Jan ’56 on the Cutter Halfmoon

·         Joined the USAF and stationed at Mitchel AFB on Long Island Oct 1958

·         10 November 1958 until 17 July 1962 stationed at Tachikawa, Japan

·         From Aug 1962 stationed at Wilford Hall Air Force Hospital, Lackland Air Force Base where he was non-commissioned officer in charge of the Special Procedures Branch, Department of Pathology

Thanksgiving 1962 saw Pic drive his family to Robert’s place for what was purported to be a family reunion (minus Marguerite), but there was no shortage of strangeness about this get-together either. Pic brought with him a note-book he used to record mileage. This is most often done to claim travel expenses for work related trips and indeed, Pic did record the mileage from Lackland AFB to Fort Worth. But his notebook was also used to have a written conversation with Marina – making notes to each other on the subjects they had most in common – drugs and pathology – Marina having been a qualified pharmacist back in Minsk. I’m assuming that’s not a normal discussion for Thanksgiving.  The nature of the notes and the recording of the mileage for the trip (indicative of the trip being work-related) leads me to suspect that this get-together was more of a debrief than a reunion.

Sylvia Hyde Hoke

Hoke was employed by the US Department of Labor 1949 – 1953 – which was during the height of CIA recruitment of anti-Communist Labor leaders from across the globe, making this department a hive of intelligence activity.

She was employed as a Personnel Research Technician in the Placement and Employee Relations Division of the Army under the Director of Civilian Personnel. This however, was just cover. Her real employer by now – if not before – was the CIA.  Her employment in this position has been relatively well known. What was not known was the location or nature of the employment. This information was hiding in plain sight on the web in a series of technical reports from the Human Resources Research Organization based at Fred Korth’s alma mater, George Washington University. Recall that Korth, during this period, was a consultant to the Army on manpower issues, so it is not inconceivable that at some stage, he was literally peering over her shoulder. What is utterly incredible though, was the nature of the research being undertaken. It was on manpower issues concerning the FICON project, one of 2 or 3 precursor programs to the much better known U2 program. The focus was on maintenance and repair and the work appears to have been wound up in September 1956 – just prior to Oswald joining the Marines requesting assignment in –  you guessed it - aircraft maintenance and repair.  This was also around the same time that the U2 was first used. After placing only 46th out 54 in maintenance and repair, Oswald was transferred to study radar and aircraft surveillance. On what basis this transfer was made, eludes me.  In any case, he went from maintenance and repair of aircraft – potentially reconnaissance aircraft - to using radar to track reconnaissance aircraft in the form of the U2.

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Though Gary Powers and his U2 took off from Pakistan in its final flight over the Soviet Union in May 1960, the plane was based at Atsugi in 1957.

Sylvia Hoke was living near CIA headquarters when visited by her sister Ruth Paine in September 1963 on that circuitous journey to pick up Marina Oswald in New Orleans and take her to Irving.

The Rosenbergs

Julius Rosenberg was born in NY in 1918. He became interested in politics at 15 when, on a New York street corner, he was given some pamphlets on framed unionist Tom Mooney. Eventually he joined the Young Communist League. The story about Lee Oswald turning to Marxism at 15 after being given a pamphlet on the Rosenberg case has been lifted straight from this incident, first written about by Julius himself in his letters from prison.

The tale with Lee as the pamphlet receiver came from Aline Mosby in a story published post-assassination and allegedly based in notes made while interviewing Lee in Moscow.  This story not only included the incident in question, it was entirely unflattering in its portrayal of the young man. By way of contrast, Mosby’s original story, published on December 14, 1959, did not contain the Rosenberg pamphlet incident, and was much more even-handed in the language used in describing him.

Julius graduated from City College in Electrical Engineering along with future spy partner Morton Sobell and he married Ethel Greenglass in 1939.

The Rosenbergs lived in an apartment building at 142 Goerick St (which at some point had a change of name to Baruch, though apparently the FBI thought it was two separate addresses). This was built and operated by the Lavenburg Foundation, via Lavenburg Homes. The foundation itself was controlled by the Straus Family and it also built and operated Youth House where Oswald spent some time under observation.

The Director of Lavenburg Homes was Dr. Abraham Goldfeld. Goldfeld was listed as one of the references supplied with Rosenburg’s application for his civilian job with the Army Signal Corps.  He was also a sponsor of the Jewish People’s Committee which was characterized by the House Un-American Activities Committee as a Communist Front.

We are left then to ask how a former member of the Young Communist League and indeed, the Communist Party and, who had among his references, a sponsor of a Communist Front organization, managed to be granted a security clearance to work with the Army Signal Corps?     

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In 1943, Julius began to work for the Soviets and convinced Ethel’s brother David who was working at Los Alamos in the Manhattan Project, to steal secrets.  It was not just atomic secrets passed on. Two other electrical engineers in the group, Joel Barr and Alfred Sarrant specialized in radar and electronics, while Rosenberg also passed on a weapons part called a proximity fuse. This radar device is widely believed to have allowed the Soviets to shoot down Powers U2.

The conviction against Julius Rosenberg when it came, was cinched by David Greenglass when he testified about Julius tearing a jello box-top in half so that he (Greenglass) and his contact Harry Gold could recognize each other. The original plan was to meet in a movie theater in Denver but this was later changed to a grocery store in Albuquerque. The prosecution even produced a similar jello box-top and asked Greenglass to show what Rosenberg had done with it. This admitted court prop is now in the archives.

The conviction against Ethel Rosenberg when it came, was also cinched by Greenglass who sacrificed his sister to save his wife through the perjured testimony that it was Ethel who transcribed Manhattan secrets on a portable typewriter.

Both stories were bunk, but that was not known by many for a long time.  The first, about the jello box-top was torpedoed by one of the Roseberg’s sons, Michael Meeropol, who wrote in his review of “The Invisible Harry Gold

the famous story of Julius Rosenberg cutting a Jello-box in half is revealed as a total lie.  According to that report, before leaving for New Mexico to live with her husband, Ruth Greenglass will “give us material and verbal passwords in case we need to restore contact with her.”  The Jello-box could not have been cut in January if the “material and verbal passwords” had not been agreed upon by February.  Hornbloom either didn’t read “The Haunted Wood” or purposely ignored it

As mentioned previously, a torn box-top was allegedly found on Oswald just prior to the first police line-up. As with the false story of the Rosenberg pamphlet, the idea to plant this evidence was lifted straight from the Rosenberg case. It has the two key elements – the box-top and the theater.  Had Oswald been killed in the theater, this alleged evidence would have been used to show Oswald was to meet a KGB cutout contact.

In other ways, the Rosenberg jello box-top played a similar role to the infamous 6th floor bag, leading to the question as to whether Buell Wesley Frazier and his sister Linnie Mae Randle played similar roles to David and Ruth Greenglass?

The whole story of how Greenglass got to work on the Manhattan Project is even more unbelievable that how Julius got his job with the Signal Corp. According to a 2014 NY Times story, Greenglass, was an army sergeant with only a basic education, but had some talent as a machinist and on that basis, was sent to work on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos to replace a soldier who had gone AWOL. Then we find he had lied on his security clearance report (as Rosenberg must have) because he had been a former member of the Young Communist League. Additionally, he coached his references in how to respond so that only glowing reports came back. Army Intelligence would go on to record that “All evidence indicates subject to be loyal, honest and discreet.” It has to be somewhat doubtful that Greenglass could provide such coaching without knowledgeable help.

The story also reports that when he was drafted into the army, he was an “ardent, preachy Communist” but no one in the barracks took him very seriously. Does that not also sound like a familiar story? 

The Straus family – of Macy Department Store fame

·         Oscar Straus – first person of Jewish faith to occupy a cabinet position when in 1906 he was made Secretary of Commerce and Labor. This also made him head of immigration and the go-to man on matters of race, ethnicity and integration. As US ambassador to Turkey, he persuaded a wealthy baron to set up a fund to aid relocation of Jewish refugees from Russia.

·         Fred Lavenburg – brother-in-law of Oscar. Set up the Lavenburg Foundation. In early 1927, he built the Hanavah Lavenburg Home for Working Girls at 331 East 12th St in Manhattan. It was changed to Youth House for Boys in the 1940s.  At the heart of this work was integration and the two main barriers to integration were assessed as being housing and delinquency.  To help address the housing issue, the Lavenburg Trust was used in 1927 to build apartments at 124-142 Goerick St which was in the heart of Brooklyn’s slums. As noted, this was where the Rosenbergs lived.

·         Roger Straus – son of Oscar Straus and nephew to Fred Lavenburg. Lavenburg made Roger president of the Lavenburg Foundation shortly before his own death – thus giving Roger control of both Youth House and the immigrant apartments. Roger married into the Guggenheim family.

·         Roger Straus, Jr – son of Roger Straus. Co-founded the successful publishing house of Farrar, Straus & Giroux who published two pulp fiction books by E. Howard Hunt.  Whilst the Director of Lavenburg Homes had supplied a reference for Julius Rosenberg, Straus, Jr. gave a reference to the FBI for Hunt to work as Press Secretary for Avril Harriman who ran the European Recovery Program. This however was CIA cover and Hunt would later admit that the allocated recovery funds were nothing but a giant slush fund for CIA bribes to various politicians and unionists.

·         Donald B. Straus – cousin to Roger, Jr Donald was president of the American Arbitration Association and rented a holiday house on Naushon Island – owned by the Forbes family and regularly used by Ruth and Michael Paine for holidays. 

·         Nathan Straus III was the Grand-Son of Nathan Straus who was a brother to Oscar. In May 1971, it was reported that he was heading a “private” group including Leo Cherne and Morton Hamburg to keep an eye on the volatile situation in Haiti. The Group called itself “The American Friends of a Free Haiti.” Cherne was head of the CIA front, International Rescue Committee. Cherne would have been well known also to Donald B. Straus since Cherne was on the board and executive committee 1944 - 1969 of the American Arbitration Association of which Donald was president.

In short, this family had links to the CIA and to the Paine family. Moreover, members of the family ran Youth House and the apartment block where the Rosenbergs lived. But that’s not all. As we will see later, there is a possible link directly into Oswald’s interrogation room. 

 

Summary of New Research for Volume 3 of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War

 

Ruth Paine

George de Mohrenschildt once speculated that the assassination was the result of an argument that the Oswald’s had about obtaining their own apartment. Marina had objected that she could not move from the Paine residence unless she had her own washing machine. This dispute had allegedly taken place on the night prior to the assassination and caused Oswald to “strike out and hurt someone”.

But what really happened… and when did it happen?

It is apparent that Oswald was seeking a place to reunite his family from at least the previous Friday.

On that day he was seen at (and assumed, rightly or wrongly to be living at) 507 East Tenth Street in Oak Cliff. This is only about a tenth of a mile from the Tippit murder site – literally a 2-minute walk.

Also seen entering or leaving the apartment on that day, separately, were two others, believed by the witness to be Jack Ruby and Marina Oswald respectively.

The person believed to be Jack Ruby was described a wearing black coat with a fur collar. I have been unable to find any photo or document showing that Ruby had such a jacket. It is much more likely, in my opinion, to have been a member of the White Russian community.

The person believed to have been Marina is like-wise someone else. In this instance, the clothing and hair description help nail the person’s real identity. It was without doubt, Ruth Paine.

The description given: black hair, on one occasion wearing a plaid skirt with a light-colored top and another time, the same skirt with a black colored blouse or top

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Photo shows left to right, Ruth Paine,
Marguerite Oswald & Marina Oswald nursing
baby Rachel

The above photo was taken after the assassination, but prior to the sequestering of Marguerite and Marina. It clearly shows Ruth with dark or black hair and wearing a plaid skirt and a dark or black blouse.

On the same day that Ruth and Lee were seen at 507 East Tenth Street, someone phoned the Ridgewood Furniture Company in Garland asking about renting a washing machine for a Marina Oswald. This person was remembered as offering the name “Ruby” - last name unrecalled - as a credit reference.

This too was undoubtedly Ruth Paine, with the first name becoming confused with Jack Ruby’s surname post-assassination.

Ruth was duly interviewed - meaning that the FBI came to the same conclusion I did regarding the name confusion. In this interview, she gave one of her oh so clever non-denials - "a call to Garland would be a toll call and I therefore would remember had I made it." In no way did that statement rule out her having made the call. She is simply stating she would remember making it if she did. Yet the FBI chose to infer from it just such a blanket denial and failed to even check Ruth’s toll calls for that day. But then, the investigating agents also failed to interview the owners or landlords associated with 507 East Tenth Street as well, so we can hardly be surprised. This whole area was going to be deep-sixed, come hell or high water.


The following explains how Quakers avoid technical lies while also avoiding telling the truth:

Quakers who take not lying very seriously have traditionally still occasionally used not telling the whole truth as a way around that strictness. There are stories about people giving intentionally misleading but not technically false responses to questions like "why would you think that?" and non-quakers warning each other to force a quaker into giving a straight answer and not to be misdirected by apparent denials that aren't actually making any claimSo even if you do believe that you should be always telling the truth and nothing but the truth, I'm not sure about the whole truth.


Ruth’s Warren Commission testimony is full of similar examples for anyone who wants to depress themselves by looking.

Marina was also asked about this call to the Ridgewood Furniture Company. She denied knowing anything about it, but what we do learn is that the question of a washing machine for Marina was raised well before the night of November 21.

The final question to file under this is, why was information about Oswald seeking to reunite his family in their own apartment and obtain some modest modern appliances, not properly investigated and then buried? The answer is for the same reason as the Downtown Lincoln Mercury test drive was dismissed. Oswald looking to reunite his family and buy a car is an Oswald with an eye to a future beyond November 22. It does not fit the “lone nut” narrative.

 

Bill Lowery

Lowery was an FBI infiltration agent into the CPUSA. Additionally, he was co-founder of the Dallas chapter of the GI Forum with Joe Molina and others including Felix G. Botello who had also been a security informant against the extreme right and was associated with Ashwell Burchall in a Minutemen like group. Burchall had served under Edwin Walker in Germany. Amazingly, the FBI interviewed Jesse Curry for the information concerning the GI Forum membership and communist affiliations of Lowery. That the agents managed to keep a straight face while recording Curry’s words is a miracle because, as shown, Lowery was the FBI’s Communist snitch – not the CPUSA’s Communist stooge. Such duplicity amply demonstrates why the FBI should not have been allowed within a ten miles radius of this investigation.

Lowery at some point nominated Joe Molina to be chairman of the Forum, and Molina duly won that position, which is hardly surprising because just about everyone else who was there was reporting to one intelligence agency or unit or another. During his Warren Commission testimony, Molina made it apparent that he was a witting partner in this charade by stating “I know there's a fella that I talk with that belongs to the or had worked with the FBI that knows my position in this thing.” Obviously that line of discussion was quickly met with non-sequiturs and a change of topic.

According to Richard Helms, to "monitor" a group was merely to attend its public meetings and hear what any citizen present would hear; to "infiltrate" a group was to join it as a member and appear to support its purposes in general; to "penetrate" a group was to gain a leadership position, and influence or direct its policies and actions. Based on those definitions, the Lowery-Molina team was a "penetration", in which both were active and knowing participants. Why else would FBI informant Lowery nominate Molina as Chairman?  What Molina did not seem to understand was that he was being used as the token subversive to be “surveilled”.

In May 1960 Lowery informed the FBI he had attended a committee meeting within the CPUSA. The committee’s purpose was to support Charles Webster, a Law Professor at Southern Methodist University, in his run for Congress.

What follows is an old article by researcher Jerry Shinley:

John Stanford and William Lowery had been the subject of wide-spread publicity about two months before the assassination. John Stanford, then a resident of San Antonio, was being investigated by Texas state and Bexar County authorities because of his alleged membership in the Communist party. In July of 1963, U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked Texas officials to refrain from taking action against Stanford until after the completion of Federal proceedings. (San Antonio Express, p. 5-A) On September 23, 1963, a hearing on Stanford was held before the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) in Washington. One of those testifying was William J. Lowery, who revealed that he had been acting as an FBI informant within the Communist Party since 1945. (Dallas Morning News, September 26, 1963, s. 1, p. 1; San Antonio Express, September 24, 1963, p. 1- A) Lowery's testimony that he had infiltrated the American G. I. Forum and other reputable groups created some controversy. An FBI spokesman denied that the FBI had ordered the infiltrations and said Lowery had been following the orders of the Communist Party in joining those groups. (San Antonio Express, September 25, 1963, p. 10-D; September 27, 1963, p. 5-B) In December, state and county officials raided the home of John Stanford and seized many of his papers and belongings. (San Antonio Express, December 28, 163, p. 1-A). Thus, the Dallas Police were suspicious of Molina because he was associated with a man who had been identified as an FBI informant on the front page of a Dallas newspaper. During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Molina attempted to talk about Bill Lowery, but was cut short by Commission counsel, Joseph A. Ball. (6 H 373) Another question of interest in this matter is whether Lee Harvey Oswald might have had any contact with Lowery or Stanford. Also, the publicity Lowery received may have had some influence on later rumors that Oswald was himself an FBI informant.

Two points stand out from Shinley’s piece:

the FBI had form in denying any association with an infiltration agent and instead insisting the agent was working for the communists. It pulled the same stunt in 1940 with the Christian Front conspiracy to overthrow the government. Of the two leaders in this, the first had verifiable previous contact with the FBI and the second testified that everything he did that led to the charges, he had done with the full knowledge of the FBI. The FBI responded by claiming both were Communist provocateurs.

The other issue is regarding RFK intervening and asking local and state authorities to lay off Stanford until the feds were done with him. As the reader may already be aware, Walker would end up claiming that Oswald had been arrested by Dallas police in April for the attempt on his life but that RFK had got him released. To me, this is obviously the Stanford/RFK event lifted out of very recent history and wrapped around Oswald like yesterday’s paper around fish from the markets.  Such lifting and transference has formed a patina across the Oswald legend.

To recap, those transferences identified so far:

·         Oswald arrested for Walker attempt and ordered to be freed by RFK. Lifted from the John Stanford case.

·         Oswald turned on to Marxism at 15 after given pamphlet on Rosenberg case. Lifted from Rosenberg letters from prison.

·         Box-top allegedly found on Oswald post theater arrest. Lifted from Rosenberg trial based on testimony of David Greenglass.

·         Back yard photos showing Oswald holding rifle, pistol and competing Leftist newspapers. Lifted from overheard conversation between Marina and Marguerite concerning a photo taken in Minsk showing Oswald holding his hunting shotgun aloft in triumph.

Lowery’s September 1963 testimony before the SACB in Washington spelled the end of his undercover career. But that opened the door for someone else to take over “surveilling” Molina, the token subversive. Three weeks later, the position was filled.


Prof. Charles Webster

Webster was a Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University and specialized in labor law.

 As previously stated, Webster made a run for Congress in 1960 and was supported by the local FBI branch of the Communist Party.

 Perhaps most tellingly, he was a member of the American Arbitration Association headed by Donald Straus who holidayed on Naushon Island where Ruth and Michael holidayed and which was owned by Michael’s family.

 Webster was present at DPD headquarters from at least the time that Oswald’s questioning began. We know this through Sylvia Meagher who wrote that Webster sat in on Oswald’s interrogations throughout that longest of days. His name is also mentioned in various pieces of testimony as being around late into the evening and appearing to be helping the police.  Remember, this is a law professor who – on the face of it – had been supported for a run at public office with the backing of communists. He should have been on the DPD subversive list himself, not acting like he was in the Good Ol’ Boys Club

One thing we can confirm Webster did was advise those in the DCLU (the local ACLU affiliate) who had come to check on Oswald, that his rights were being looked after and that he was not being denied any of them.  Largely on the say-so of Webster, the group broke up and left without talking to Oswald

We can also speculate as to what else he may have done. 

There is no reason to believe that Oswald had ever heard of John Abt. There is some reason to doubt that he had. Marguerite quoted Lee as saying he wanted a New York Lawyer – “Abt I think his name is…” That uncertainty about his name indicates he hadn’t heard it before that day. If he had not heard it before, where did it come from? Not the police. They would not have known about him. The only obvious source for the name and the information linking Abt to the Smith Act was Prof Charles Webster.

So which Smith Act case was Abt involved with? There was only one!

In January 1955 Abt defended Claude Lightfoot in Chicago, an African-American Communist on trial under the 1940 Smith Act for belonging to a group that advocates the overthrow of the US government. This trial marked the first time the government attempted to convict an individual solely as a member of a group conspiring against the nation, rather than for individual actions. Although Abt's short and simple defense failed at this trial, Lightfoot's conviction was ultimately overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1964.      

As at the time of Oswald’s arrest, Abt had one Smith Act trial and blew it!

The Lightfoot case marked a whole new ballgame in the legal fight against communism.

The DPD was telling the media that Oswald admitted being a communist (when he was in fact denying being one). By the time Abt came into the conversation, conspiracy was off the table – so telling Oswald he should get Abt was perfect for the DPD case. Abt had never tried a murder case, had lost his only Smith Act case, and because he was CPUSA Counsel, it would further reinforce Oswald as communist.

Webster is also the most likely source of information on the Rosenberg case, and the items “borrowed” from it to help frame this particular patsy.


Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

·         1938: Louise Ballerstedt joins the American Friends Service Committee and spends that summer working in Galena, Illinois for the Society of Friends

·         1939: Louise graduates from the University of Texas and is awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant for a one-year internship at the White House. Here, she meets the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, befriends LBJ and dates John Connally. While in Washington, she also works for the National Youth Administration (NYA)

·         1940: Louise returns to Austin still with the NYA, working under Jake Pickle

·         April 19, 1941: Grier Raggio and Louise Ballerstedt marry after a short courtship. Grier, a lawyer, is working for the Department of Agriculture investigating misuse of food stamps for purchase of alcohol and other illegal substances (hardly the type of work one would expect from a subversive bleeding-heart lefty he was later painted as)

·         December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese resulting in the US entering WWII and Grier is drafted

·         March 1942: Grier is sent to Pacific Theater after initially being sent to New Orleans to attend Officer's Training School for Intelligence where he is rejected on security grounds (maybe he would have had better luck if he had been a member of the Young Communist League like Julius Rosenberg and David Greenglass?). He serves with the 386th Air Service Group in the Pacific. Throughout the course of the war he would send many letters home highly critical of the US army

·         August 6, 1942: First son Grier, Jr is born

·         September 1945: Grier returns from the war and works for the Veteran's Administration Board

·         1946: Second son Tom is born

·         1947: At the insistence of Grier, Louise enrolls in Southern Methodist University Law School

·         1947: Third son Kenneth is born. Louise drops out of law school

·         1948: Grier is relieved of duties while answering 8 charges of "Un-American activities" including; being a member of the Communist Party; a member of the American Spanish Aid Committee; a member of the American Civil Rights Union; that he had advocated and praised the Russian system of government to co-workers and; that on another occasion had advocated the overthrow of the government by force. He and Louise travel to Washington where Grier appears before the Veterans Administrations Loyalty Board. He denies all charges except one - telling a fellow worker that “there is no difference between Stalin forcing Communism on the countries of Europe and the US forcing democracy on them”. This statement he asserts, had been taken out of context. He is cleared by the board and returns to work. Throughout this period and perhaps beyond, the Raggio's claim their phone is tapped and that they are under constant surveillance

·         1949: Louise and Grier join the Unitarian Church

·         1950: Louise returns to law school

·         1952: Louise graduates and does volunteer work for the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Alliance of the Unitarian Church while practicing law part-time from home. Meanwhile, Grier is again the focus of government interest in his activities

·         1953: Louise obtains a job as an assistant DA under Henry Wade through the help of friend and mentor, Judge Sarah T Hughes. Judge Hughes would, after the assassination of JFK, administer the oath of office to LBJ

·         March 1, 1954: Grier is guest speaker at a meeting of the Peace and World Relations Group of the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood. His subject is, "Are We in Danger of Losing Our Civil Rights and Liberties?"

·         1955: Grier Raggio opens a law office in the Rio Grande Building in Dallas.

The last entry warrants further comment. This building is the home of the 112th Military Intelligence Group. We thus have an allegedly embittered Army Intelligence reject who claims to be under constant surveillance, sets up his humble little divorce practice right under the noses of Army Intelligence. He either had a perverse sense of humor, or there is more to the story than we have been told.

Raggio’s “rejection” for intelligence work does remind me a little of the situation concerning Russell Langelle who had resigned from the CIA on the grounds of being embittered about his postings. This was however, just a cover story so that he could work at the US Embassy in Moscow. When he was finally kicked out for running agent-in-place, Popov, he would eventually return to the CIA with no break in his entitlements.

Was Grier’s “rejection” for military intelligence work a similar sham? I think that is very, very possible and plausible.

·         April 1956: Louise quits DA's office to join her husband's law practice. Firm is now known as Raggio & Raggio

·         1957: Louise's former employer, Jake Pickle, becomes director of the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee. Holds that position until 1960

·         1960: Louise serves on the newly organized Family Law Section of the State Bar

·         1961: Jake Pickle becomes a member of the Texas Employment Commission

·         1961: Sarah Hughes becomes a Federal District Judge

·         January 27, 1963: Grier debates Wyatt W Lipscomb, city attorney in Garland for the Soroptimist Club of Dallas at the Baker Hotel. Subject of debate is "Does Membership in the United Nations Serve the Best interests of the United States?" Louise is a club member

·         November 13, 1963: Ruth Paine files a petition for divorce stating she separated from Michael on September 1, 1962, and that for 6 months prior to separation, she had suffered a course of "unkind, cruel harsh and tyrannical treatment and conduct" at the hands of her husband. Ruth's attorney in this filing was Louise Raggio. Note that Mike Paine (and Ruth?) attend the same Unitarian church as the Raggios.

·         November 22, 1963 Morning: Grier and Louise are at the Trade Mart for the luncheon

·         November 22, 1963 Evening: Grier gets a call either from an ACLU member in Austin (according Greg Olds) or from Washington (according to Louise) concerning either finding out if Oswald was being denied counsel (according to Olds) or asking that he witness Oswald's arraignment (according to Louise). Grier phones Olds about this. In turn, Olds phones police, then calls Grier back. Grier suggests they go down and check out the situation

·         November 22, 1963, 11:15 PM: Olds, Raggio and 2 other DCLU members meet across from City Hall at the Plaza Hotel, then try to talk to Earl Cabell without success before speaking with Prof. Charles Webster outside the office of Captain Fritz

·         November 22, 1963, 11:40 PM: Webster takes delegation to Captain King

·         November 22, 1963, 11:50 PM: According to Wade, Grier Raggio and Charles Webster are both at a meeting just prior to the midnight press conference regarding the arraignment in the JFK case. David Johnston however, only named himself, Curry, Fritz, Wade and 2 or 3 assistant DAs as being present

·         Midnight: According to Olds, the others in the delegation go home at the time he goes down to watch the press conference.

Main source for the Raggio biographical data is Louise’s autobiography Texas Tornado. I do find the following short Amazon review for the book extremely tantalizing:

“Since I live in Texas and was acquainted with Mrs Raggio, I will never belittle all the good she did for women. But sometimes there is more to someone's story that that person wants to write.”

Ruth’s divorce petition, unless Mike had a hidden dark side, is further proof that Ruth was more than capable of stretching the truth.

 

Fred Korth

 

Let’s start this by looking at Joe Cooper. Cooper was a top notch private investigator, former cop and undercover operative for the FBI into the Klan. He had even foiled an assassination attempt on Hubert Humphrey in that undercover role.

By 1966, Joe Cooper was off on his own Kennedy investigation, focusing on Naval Intelligence. From 1966 to 1975, the detective put together bits and pieces of strange coincidences that he felt pointed to U.S. Naval Intelligence being involved in the Kennedy assassination. Looking at that angle as early as 1966 I think made him well ahead of his time.

An intensely patriotic man, Cooper felt he had to do whatever he could to help find the truth. "I love my country, but this was not the way to change it by killing a president," he said.

Cooper was convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Naval Intelligence agent, and was certain that nine mysterious passengers on a cruise on the aircraft carrier Shangri-La sponsored by Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth in August of 1963 had something to do with the assassination.

Memo to Jim Garrison. I have emboldened relevant sections:

From: Andrew J. Sciambra, Assistant D.A.

To: Jim Garrison, District Attorney

Re: Interview of Joseph Cooper, Baton Rouge, La. Relative to Lee Harvey Oswald

I interviewed Cooper who informed me that he and Marguerite Oswald communicate with each other by telephone from time to time. He said the last time he talked to Marguerite Oswald was about a month ago after he got out of the hospital.

Marguerite Oswald's private telephone number in Dallas, Texas is: A/C 817-732-6839.

Cooper said that he has established a fine relationship with Marguerite and would be glad to go to Dallas and talk to her for us.

In addition to some of the information which he has given us in the past, Cooper said that Marguerite told him that she called Clem Sehrt after the assassination and asked him to help her son. Sehrt informed her that he no longer practiced law. She said she had known Sehrt and Victor Schiro when she was living in New Orleans.

Marguerite told Cooper that she is very suspicious of Fred Korth and told him that Lee's discharge from the Marine Corps was handled by Fred Korth. [Written in the margin in Garrison's distinctive pen is: "Great Job! General Dynamics thru bank"]

Cooper said he found out that the house Marguerite was living in at the time of the assassination belonged to a close friend of Fred Korth, a Mrs. Mary E. McCarthy. Cooper said Marguerite also told him that Fred Korth played a part in Lee's life but did not explain any further.

Cooper said Marguerite also asked him some questions about Lee's CAP outfit that he was unable to answer.


In summary, Cooper suspected that Korth planned the assassination with 9 others on board the Shangri-La in August 1963. That’s all but impossible to verify of course, though some research on the others on board may shed further light. That’s by way of saying that Korth’s involvement does not hinge on this aspect.

More telling is Marguerite’s suspicion of him and her claims that he played a role in Lee’s life including that he aided in Lee’s fraudulent early out from the Marines. I think that is extremely plausible.


Korth by the way, was on the side of the Generals during the Missile Crisis and supported military action as opposed to the blockade and back channels.

 

Roy Truly

 

·         Born August 9, 1907

·         Began work for the Texas Book Depository in 1934 as head of the Miscellaneous Dept. – the same job Bill Shelley was filling in 1963

·         Became superintendent in 1944 and at some stage was made a co-director of the company

·         During WW II he held a second job at night at the North American Aviation Plant in Arlington by cutting down his hours at the depository

·         Defense plants during the war were protected from subversives and saboteurs by a network of informants on the floor. Although I cannot prove it, I believe Truly had such a role. Bill Shelley also worked in a defense plants during the war before starting with the TSBD in October 1945. He did not name the defense plants, but North American Aviation in Arlington with Truly seems like a safe assumption as one. At some point later in life, he told a journalist he was with the CIA after the war. That’s seems unlikely, but this may have been a misunderstanding by the interviewer or an exaggeration by Shelley. I think it is more than possible he too was a security informant inside those defense plants.

·         But who was Roy Truly? The answer came to me when I was reading about the alleged suicide of Fred Korth’s daughter and I noticed that she and Truly shared the same unusual middle name – Sansom. That to me, indicated they had both inherited the surname of a common ancestor.

·         Based on this hunch, I got in touch with a correspondent who I knew to have exceptional ability with genealogy

·         His report back was that I was wrong – Truly and Fred Korth were not related by blood – but by marriage.  Truly was in fact a cousin to Fred’s wife.   The inter-relationships traced below are based on this genealogical work

·         The respective grandfathers were 2nd cousins and without any doubt, knew each other because they lived in the same district in the same county - and Truly's grandfather was a Church minister so it's likely all the Sansom's in the area attended his church. He was also a druggist...

·         Truly's mother Josephine and Korth's mother-in-law, Nina were 14 years apart in age, but very likely knew each other - especially after 1897 when Marion Sansom moved his family back to Johnson County from Austin - before moving again this time to Forth Worth in 1902. Josephine married George Truly in 1900 and moved to the neighboring Hill County.

·         After 1912, Korth's future bride lived at her Grandfather's ranch for many years so she was close to her grandfather, grandmother and mother, all of whom were very likely to have known Roy Truly's mother - and therefore, possibly Roy as well. They all lived close enough to each other that they could have remained close and been frequent visitors. Thus, it is at least possible that Vera and Roy were acquainted as well -- and therefore maybe Fred and Roy, too.

My own thoughts: I already had Korth pegged as being involved in selecting Oswald for his Russian trip, so stumbling onto this connection to Truly was pretty mind-boggling to me. It seems possible that Roy was close enough to reach out to - and distant enough that no one would suspect a connection.

So – distant cousins – yes – but raised in small Texas communities were everyone knew each other, and especially so for those who were related. I can personally relate because my childhood was exactly like that – small rural communities where you knew everyone and were related to most of them.

But again – that’s not all. Based on my interest in the Truly – Korth connection, my correspondent did some checking on Truly’s wife Mildred. What he found was her father’s 1962 obituary from the Dallas Morning News reproduced below. The story confirmed that William Chenault was a cousin to Claire Chenault and listed among William’s surviving children was Mildred Truly. Unless there were 2 Mildred Truly’s living In Dallas, this was Roy’s wife, and she was a second cousin to the General.

On the same day that Ruth and Lee were seen at 507 East Tenth Street, someone phoned the Ridgewood Furniture Company in Garland asking about renting a washing machine for a Marina Oswald. This person was remembered as offering the name “Ruby” - last name unrecalled - as a credit reference.


This too was undoubtedly Ruth Paine, with the first name becoming confused with Jack Ruby’s surname post-assassination.


Ruth was duly interviewed - meaning that the FBI came to the same conclusion I did regarding the name confusion. In this interview, she gave one of her oh so clever non-denials - "a call to Garland would be a toll call and I therefore would remember had I made it." In no way did that statement rule out her having made the call. She is simply stating she would remember making it if she did. Yet the FBI chose to infer from it just such a blanket denial and failed to even check Ruth’s toll calls for that day. But then, the investigating agents also failed to interview the owners or landlords associated with 507 East Tenth Street as well, so we can hardly be surprised. This whole area was going to be deep-sixed, come hell or high water.


The following explains how Quakers avoid technical lies while also avoiding telling the truth:

Quakers who take not lying very seriously have traditionally still occasionally used not telling the whole truth as a way around that strictness. There are stories about people giving intentionally misleading but not technically false responses to questions like "why would you think that?" and non-quakers warning each other to force a quaker into giving a straight answer and not to be misdirected by apparent denials that aren't actually making any claimSo even if you do believe that you should be always telling the truth and nothing but the truth, I'm not sure about the whole truth.


Ruth’s Warren Commission testimony is full of similar examples for anyone who wants to depress themselves by looking.

Marina was also asked about this call to the Ridgewood Furniture Company. She denied knowing anything about it, but what we do learn is that the question of a washing machine for Marina was raised well before the night of November 21.

The final question to file under this is, why was information about Oswald seeking to reunite his family in their own apartment and obtain some modest modern appliances, not properly investigated and then buried? The answer is for the same reason as the Downtown Lincoln Mercury test drive was dismissed. Oswald looking to reunite his family and buy a car is an Oswald with an eye to a future beyond November 22. It does not fit the “lone nut” narrative.

 

Bill Lowery

 

Lowery was an FBI infiltration agent into the CPUSA. Additionally, he was co-founder of the Dallas chapter of the GI Forum with Joe Molina and others including Felix G. Botello who had also been a security informant against the extreme right and was associated with Ashwell Burchall in a Minutemen like group. Burchall had served under Edwin Walker in Germany. Amazingly, the FBI interviewed Jesse Curry for the information concerning the GI Forum membership and communist affiliations of Lowery. That the agents managed to keep a straight face while recording Curry’s words is a miracle because, as shown, Lowery was the FBI’s Communist snitch – not the CPUSA’s Communist stooge. Such duplicity amply demonstrates why the FBI should not have been allowed within a ten miles radius of this investigation.

Lowery at some point nominated Joe Molina to be chairman of the Forum, and Molina duly won that position, which is hardly surprising because just about everyone else who was there was reporting to one intelligence agency or unit or another. During his Warren Commission testimony, Molina made it apparent that he was a witting partner in this charade by stating “I know there's a fella that I talk with that belongs to the or had worked with the FBI that knows my position in this thing.” Obviously that line of discussion was quickly met with non-sequiturs and a change of topic.

According to Richard Helms, to "monitor" a group was merely to attend its public meetings and hear what any citizen present would hear; to "infiltrate" a group was to join it as a member and appear to support its purposes in general; to "penetrate" a group was to gain a leadership position, and influence or direct its policies and actions. Based on those definitions, the Lowery-Molina team was a "penetration", in which both were active and knowing participants. Why else would FBI informant Lowery nominate Molina as Chairman?  What Molina did not seem to understand was that he was being used as the token subversive to be “surveilled”.

In May 1960 Lowery informed the FBI he had attended a committee meeting within the CPUSA. The committee’s purpose was to support Charles Webster, a Law Professor at Southern Methodist University, in his run for Congress.

What follows is an old article by researcher Jerry Shinley:

John Stanford and William Lowery had been the subject of wide-spread publicity about two months before the assassination. John Stanford, then a resident of San Antonio, was being investigated by Texas state and Bexar County authorities because of his alleged membership in the Communist party. In July of 1963, U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked Texas officials to refrain from taking action against Stanford until after the completion of Federal proceedings. (San Antonio Express, p. 5-A) On September 23, 1963, a hearing on Stanford was held before the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) in Washington. One of those testifying was William J. Lowery, who revealed that he had been acting as an FBI informant within the Communist Party since 1945. (Dallas Morning News, September 26, 1963, s. 1, p. 1; San Antonio Express, September 24, 1963, p. 1- A) Lowery's testimony that he had infiltrated the American G. I. Forum and other reputable groups created some controversy. An FBI spokesman denied that the FBI had ordered the infiltrations and said Lowery had been following the orders of the Communist Party in joining those groups. (San Antonio Express, September 25, 1963, p. 10-D; September 27, 1963, p. 5-B) In December, state and county officials raided the home of John Stanford and seized many of his papers and belongings. (San Antonio Express, December 28, 163, p. 1-A). Thus, the Dallas Police were suspicious of Molina because he was associated with a man who had been identified as an FBI informant on the front page of a Dallas newspaper. During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Molina attempted to talk about Bill Lowery, but was cut short by Commission counsel, Joseph A. Ball. (6 H 373) Another question of interest in this matter is whether Lee Harvey Oswald might have had any contact with Lowery or Stanford. Also, the publicity Lowery received may have had some influence on later rumors that Oswald was himself an FBI informant.

Two points stand out from Shinley’s piece:

The FBI had form in denying any association with an infiltration agent and instead insisting the agent was working for the communists. It pulled the same stunt in 1940 with the Christian Front conspiracy to overthrow the government. Of the two leaders in this, the first had verifiable previous contact with the FBI and the second testified that everything he did that led to the charges, he had done with the full knowledge of the FBI. The FBI responded by claiming both were Communist provocateurs.

The other issue is regarding RFK intervening and asking local and state authorities to lay off Stanford until the feds were done with him. As the reader may already be aware, Walker would end up claiming that Oswald had been arrested by Dallas police in April for the attempt on his life but that RFK had got him released. To me, this is obviously the Stanford/RFK event lifted out of very recent history and wrapped around Oswald like yesterday’s paper around fish from the markets.  Such lifting and transference has formed a patina across the Oswald legend.

To recap, those transferences identified so far:

·         Oswald arrested for Walker attempt and ordered to be freed by RFK. Lifted from the John Stanford case.

·         Oswald turned on to Marxism at 15 after given pamphlet on Rosenberg case. Lifted from Rosenberg letters from prison.

·         Box-top allegedly found on Oswald post theater arrest. Lifted from Rosenberg trial based on testimony of David Greenglass.

·         Back yard photos showing Oswald holding rifle, pistol and competing Leftist newspapers. Lifted from overheard conversation between Marina and Marguerite concerning a photo taken in Minsk showing Oswald holding his hunting shotgun aloft in triumph.

Lowery’s September 1963 testimony before the SACB in Washington spelled the end of his undercover career. But that opened the door for someone else to take over “surveilling” Molina, the token subversive. Three weeks later, the position was filled.


Prof. Charles Webster

Webster was a Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University and specialized in labor law.

 As previously stated, Webster made a run for Congress in 1960 and was supported by the local FBI branch of the Communist Party.

 Perhaps most tellingly, he was a member of the American Arbitration Association headed by Donald Straus who holidayed on Naushon Island where Ruth and Michael holidayed and which was owned by Michael’s family.

 Webster was present at DPD headquarters from at least the time that Oswald’s questioning began. We know this through Sylvia Meagher who wrote that Webster sat in on Oswald’s interrogations throughout that longest of days. His name is also mentioned in various pieces of testimony as being around late into the evening and appearing to be helping the police.  Remember, this is a law professor who – on the face of it – had been supported for a run at public office with the backing of communists. He should have been on the DPD subversive list himself, not acting like he was in the Good Ol’ Boys Club

One thing we can confirm Webster did was advise those in the DCLU (the local ACLU affiliate) who had come to check on Oswald, that his rights were being looked after and that he was not being denied any of them.  Largely on the say-so of Webster, the group broke up and left without talking to Oswald

We can also speculate as to what else he may have done. 

There is no reason to believe that Oswald had ever heard of John Abt. There is some reason to doubt that he had. Marguerite quoted Lee as saying he wanted a New York Lawyer – “Abt I think his name is…” That uncertainty about his name indicates he hadn’t heard it before that day. If he had not heard it before, where did it come from? Not the police. They would not have known about him. The only obvious source for the name and the information linking Abt to the Smith Act was Prof Charles Webster.

So which Smith Act case was Abt involved with? There was only one!

In January 1955 Abt defended Claude Lightfoot in Chicago, an African-American Communist on trial under the 1940 Smith Act for belonging to a group that advocates the overthrow of the US government. This trial marked the first time the government attempted to convict an individual solely as a member of a group conspiring against the nation, rather than for individual actions. Although Abt's short and simple defense failed at this trial, Lightfoot's conviction was ultimately overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1964.

             

As at the time of Oswald’s arrest, Abt had one Smith Act trial and blew it!

The Lightfoot case marked a whole new ballgame in the legal fight against communism.

The DPD was telling the media that Oswald admitted being a communist (when he was in fact denying being one). By the time Abt came into the conversation, conspiracy was off the table – so telling Oswald he should get Abt was perfect for the DPD case. Abt had never tried a murder case, had lost his only Smith Act case, and because he was CPUSA Counsel, it would further reinforce Oswald as communist.

Webster is also the most likely source of information on the Rosenberg case, and the items “borrowed” from it to help frame this particular patsy.


Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

·         1938: Louise Ballerstedt joins the American Friends Service Committee and spends that summer working in Galena, Illinois for the Society of Friends

·         1939: Louise graduates from the University of Texas and is awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant for a one-year internship at the White House. Here, she meets the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, befriends LBJ and dates John Connally. While in Washington, she also works for the National Youth Administration (NYA)

·         1940: Louise returns to Austin still with the NYA, working under Jake Pickle

·         April 19, 1941: Grier Raggio and Louise Ballerstedt marry after a short courtship. Grier, a lawyer, is working for the Department of Agriculture investigating misuse of food stamps for purchase of alcohol and other illegal substances (hardly the type of work one would expect from a subversive bleeding-heart lefty he was later painted as)

·         December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese resulting in the US entering WWII and Grier is drafted

·         March 1942: Grier is sent to Pacific Theater after initially being sent to New Orleans to attend Officer's Training School for Intelligence where he is rejected on security grounds (maybe he would have had better luck if he had been a member of the Young Communist League like Julius Rosenberg and David Greenglass?). He serves with the 386th Air Service Group in the Pacific. Throughout the course of the war he would send many letters home highly critical of the US army

·         August 6, 1942: First son Grier, Jr is born

·         September 1945: Grier returns from the war and works for the Veteran's Administration Board

·         1946: Second son Tom is born

·         1947: At the insistence of Grier, Louise enrolls in Southern Methodist University Law School

·         1947: Third son Kenneth is born. Louise drops out of law school

·         1948: Grier is relieved of duties while answering 8 charges of "Un-American activities" including; being a member of the Communist Party; a member of the American Spanish Aid Committee; a member of the American Civil Rights Union; that he had advocated and praised the Russian system of government to co-workers and; that on another occasion had advocated the overthrow of the government by force. He and Louise travel to Washington where Grier appears before the Veterans Administrations Loyalty Board. He denies all charges except one - telling a fellow worker that “there is no difference between Stalin forcing Communism on the countries of Europe and the US forcing democracy on them”. This statement he asserts, had been taken out of context. He is cleared by the board and returns to work. Throughout this period and perhaps beyond, the Raggio's claim their phone is tapped and that they are under constant surveillance

·         1949: Louise and Grier join the Unitarian Church

·         1950: Louise returns to law school

·         1952: Louise graduates and does volunteer work for the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Alliance of the Unitarian Church while practicing law part-time from home. Meanwhile, Grier is again the focus of government interest in his activities

·         1953: Louise obtains a job as an assistant DA under Henry Wade through the help of friend and mentor, Judge Sarah T Hughes. Judge Hughes would, after the assassination of JFK, administer the oath of office to LBJ

·         March 1, 1954: Grier is guest speaker at a meeting of the Peace and World Relations Group of the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood. His subject is, "Are We in Danger of Losing Our Civil Rights and Liberties?"

·         1955: Grier Raggio opens a law office in the Rio Grande Building in Dallas.

The last entry warrants further comment. This building is the home of the 112th Military Intelligence Group. We thus have an allegedly embittered Army Intelligence reject who claims to be under constant surveillance, sets up his humble little divorce practice right under the noses of Army Intelligence. He either had a perverse sense of humor, or there is more to the story than we have been told.

Raggio’s “rejection” for intelligence work does remind me a little of the situation concerning Russell Langelle who had resigned from the CIA on the grounds of being embittered about his postings. This was however, just a cover story so that he could work at the US Embassy in Moscow. When he was finally kicked out for running agent-in-place, Popov, he would eventually return to the CIA with no break in his entitlements.

Was Grier’s “rejection” for military intelligence work a similar sham? I think that is very, very possible and plausible.

·         April 1956: Louise quits DA's office to join her husband's law practice. Firm is now known as Raggio & Raggio

·         1957: Louise's former employer, Jake Pickle, becomes director of the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee. Holds that position until 1960

·         1960: Louise serves on the newly organized Family Law Section of the State Bar

·         1961: Jake Pickle becomes a member of the Texas Employment Commission

·         1961: Sarah Hughes becomes a Federal District Judge

·         January 27, 1963: Grier debates Wyatt W Lipscomb, city attorney in Garland for the Soroptimist Club of Dallas at the Baker Hotel. Subject of debate is "Does Membership in the United Nations Serve the Best interests of the United States?" Louise is a club member

·         November 13, 1963: Ruth Paine files a petition for divorce stating she separated from Michael on September 1, 1962, and that for 6 months prior to separation, she had suffered a course of "unkind, cruel harsh and tyrannical treatment and conduct" at the hands of her husband. Ruth's attorney in this filing was Louise Raggio. Note that Mike Paine (and Ruth?) attend the same Unitarian church as the Raggios.

·         November 22, 1963 Morning: Grier and Louise are at the Trade Mart for the luncheon

·         November 22, 1963 Evening: Grier gets a call either from an ACLU member in Austin (according Greg Olds) or from Washington (according to Louise) concerning either finding out if Oswald was being denied counsel (according to Olds) or asking that he witness Oswald's arraignment (according to Louise). Grier phones Olds about this. In turn, Olds phones police, then calls Grier back. Grier suggests they go down and check out the situation

·         November 22, 1963, 11:15 PM: Olds, Raggio and 2 other DCLU members meet across from City Hall at the Plaza Hotel, then try to talk to Earl Cabell without success before speaking with Prof. Charles Webster outside the office of Captain Fritz

·         November 22, 1963, 11:40 PM: Webster takes delegation to Captain King

·         November 22, 1963, 11:50 PM: According to Wade, Grier Raggio and Charles Webster are both at a meeting just prior to the midnight press conference regarding the arraignment in the JFK case. David Johnston however, only named himself, Curry, Fritz, Wade and 2 or 3 assistant DAs as being present

·         Midnight: According to Olds, the others in the delegation go home at the time he goes down to watch the press conference.

Main source for the Raggio biographical data is Louise’s autobiography Texas Tornado. I do find the following short Amazon review for the book extremely tantalizing:

“Since I live in Texas and was acquainted with Mrs Raggio, I will never belittle all the good she did for women. But sometimes there is more to someone's story that that person wants to write.”

Ruth’s divorce petition, unless Mike had a hidden dark side, is further proof that Ruth was more than capable of stretching the truth.

 

Fred Korth

Let’s start this by looking at Joe Cooper. Cooper was a top notch private investigator, former cop and undercover operative for the FBI into the Klan. He had even foiled an assassination attempt on Hubert Humphrey in that undercover role.

By 1966, Joe Cooper was off on his own Kennedy investigation, focusing on Naval Intelligence. From 1966 to 1975, the detective put together bits and pieces of strange coincidences that he felt pointed to U.S. Naval Intelligence being involved in the Kennedy assassination. Looking at that angle as early as 1966 I think made him well ahead of his time.

An intensely patriotic man, Cooper felt he had to do whatever he could to help find the truth. "I love my country, but this was not the way to change it by killing a president," he said.

Cooper was convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Naval Intelligence agent, and was certain that nine mysterious passengers on a cruise on the aircraft carrier Shangri-La sponsored by Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth in August of 1963 had something to do with the assassination.

Memo to Jim Garrison. I have emboldened relevant sections:

From: Andrew J. Sciambra, Assistant D.A.

To: Jim Garrison, District Attorney

Re: Interview of Joseph Cooper, Baton Rouge, La. Relative to Lee Harvey Oswald

I interviewed Cooper who informed me that he and Marguerite Oswald communicate with each other by telephone from time to time. He said the last time he talked to Marguerite Oswald was about a month ago after he got out of the hospital.

Marguerite Oswald's private telephone number in Dallas, Texas is: A/C 817-732-6839.

Cooper said that he has established a fine relationship with Marguerite and would be glad to go to Dallas and talk to her for us.

In addition to some of the information which he has given us in the past, Cooper said that Marguerite told him that she called Clem Sehrt after the assassination and asked him to help her son. Sehrt informed her that he no longer practiced law. She said she had known Sehrt and Victor Schiro when she was living in New Orleans.

Marguerite told Cooper that she is very suspicious of Fred Korth and told him that Lee's discharge from the Marine Corps was handled by Fred Korth. [Written in the margin in Garrison's distinctive pen is: "Great Job! General Dynamics thru bank"]

 

Cooper said he found out that the house Marguerite was living in at the time of the assassination belonged to a close friend of Fred Korth, a Mrs. Mary E. McCarthy. Cooper said Marguerite also told him that Fred Korth played a part in Lee's life but did not explain any further.

 

Cooper said Marguerite also asked him some questions about Lee's CAP outfit that he was unable to answer.


In summary, Cooper suspected that Korth planned the assassination with 9 others on board the Shangri-La in August 1963. That’s all but impossible to verify of course, though some research on the others on board may shed further light. That’s by way of saying that Korth’s involvement does not hinge on this aspect.

More telling is Marguerite’s suspicion of him and her claims that he played a role in Lee’s life including that he aided in Lee’s fraudulent early out from the Marines. I think that is extremely plausible.


Korth by the way, was on the side of the Generals during the Missile Crisis and supported military action as opposed to the blockade and back channels.

 

Roy Truly

 

·         Born August 9, 1907

·         Began work for the Texas Book Depository in 1934 as head of the Miscellaneous Dept. – the same job Bill Shelley was filling in 1963

·         Became superintendent in 1944 and at some stage was made a co-director of the company

·         During WW II he held a second job at night at the North American Aviation Plant in Arlington by cutting down his hours at the depository

·         Defense plants during the war were protected from subversives and saboteurs by a network of informants on the floor. Although I cannot prove it, I believe Truly had such a role. Bill Shelley also worked in a defense plants during the war before starting with the TSBD in October 1945. He did not name the defense plants, but North American Aviation in Arlington with Truly seems like a safe assumption as one. At some point later in life, he told a journalist he was with the CIA after the war. That’s seems unlikely, but this may have been a misunderstanding by the interviewer or an exaggeration by Shelley. I think it is more than possible he too was a security informant inside those defense plants.

·         But who was Roy Truly? The answer came to me when I was reading about the alleged suicide of Fred Korth’s daughter and I noticed that she and Truly shared the same unusual middle name – Sansom. That to me, indicated they had both inherited the surname of a common ancestor.

·         Based on this hunch, I got in touch with a correspondent who I knew to have exceptional ability with genealogy

·         His report back was that I was wrong – Truly and Fred Korth were not related by blood – but by marriage.  Truly was in fact a cousin to Fred’s wife.   The inter-relationships traced below are based on this genealogical work

·         The respective grandfathers were 2nd cousins and without any doubt, knew each other because they lived in the same district in the same county - and Truly's grandfather was a Church minister so it's likely all the Sansom's in the area attended his church. He was also a druggist...

·         Truly's mother Josephine and Korth's mother-in-law, Nina were 14 years apart in age, but very likely knew each other - especially after 1897 when Marion Sansom moved his family back to Johnson County from Austin - before moving again this time to Forth Worth in 1902. Josephine married George Truly in 1900 and moved to the neighboring Hill County.

·         After 1912, Korth's future bride lived at her Grandfather's ranch for many years so she was close to her grandfather, grandmother and mother, all of whom were very likely to have known Roy Truly's mother - and therefore, possibly Roy as well. They all lived close enough to each other that they could have remained close and been frequent visitors. Thus, it is at least possible that Vera and Roy were acquainted as well -- and therefore maybe Fred and Roy, too.

My own thoughts: I already had Korth pegged as being involved in selecting Oswald for his Russian trip, so stumbling onto this connection to Truly was pretty mind-boggling to me. It seems possible that Roy was close enough to reach out to - and distant enough that no one would suspect a connection.

So – distant cousins – yes – but raised in small Texas communities were everyone knew each other, and especially so for those who were related. I can personally relate because my childhood was exactly like that – small rural communities where you knew everyone and were related to most of them.

Pertinent:

Looking over the 1880 census for Johnson County Texas we find:

District 5 - 085 p 3:

J W Sansom (transcribed as "Sansone")  age 33  druggist and minister

G V                                                            30

Ora                                                            11

Dissouri                                                       9

Lulu                                                             7

Josephine                                                     4

Bertha                                                          8 months

Josephine is Roy Truly's mother.

J W must stand for John Wesley, Roy's grandfather

G V is Georgia V, Roy's grandmother

District 5 - 085 p 27:

F M Sansom (transcribed "Sansum")        age 27  merchant

E J                                                              24

W                                                               3

M                                                                10 months

F M must be Francis Marion Sansom (in later years he went simply by Marion), Vera Connell Korth's grandfather

E J is Eliza, Vera's grandmother

W is Winifred

M is Marion, Jr.

(Nina, Fred Korth's mother-in-law, had not been born yet.)

It is therefore a virtual certainty that Roy Truly's grandparents and Fred Korth's wife's grandparents knew each other.

1) John Wesley and Marion were second cousins

2) they lived in the same county and in the same district within that county

3) John Wesley, being a druggist and minister, would certainly have been acquainted with most people in the area.  Marion and family could likely have attended his church.

Now whether Josephine and Nina/Ninette knew each other is not certain, but I think highly probable.  They were 14 years apart in age.  The Marion Sansoms lived in Austin from 1890 to 1897 http://books.google.com/books?id=YYBIAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA84-IA2&lpg=PA84-IA2&dq=%22marion+sansom%22&source=bl&ots=rPS1jmTSbj&sig=qv1vKAZrhQPNLMGnZFWVI0ZH5QA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-6RwULv0Iu66yAG9oYCACw&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22marion%20sansom%22&f=false.

But they came back to Johnson County in 1897, so presumably Josephine (Roy's mother) and Nina (Fred Korth's mother-in-law) would have known each other then, and until 1902 when Marion's family moved to Fort Worth.  Of course, Fort Worth was not far away, so they presumably could have continued to see each other from time to time.

Josephine, by 1900 though, was married to George Truly and living in Hill County.  But that is just the adjoining county, so they weren't far apart.

Nina married one Alan Benton Connell in 1912, but they were divorced not long after.  Their daughter Vera, Fred Korth's wife, was also born in 1912.

It is interesting to note that after the divorce and for some time thereafter, Nina and daughter Vera lived in the Marion/Eliza Sansom household (the Sansom Ranch, Azleway).  We find them there in the 1930 census. So we can conclude that Fred Korth's wife, Vera, was very close to her grandfather, grandmother and mother, all of whom were highly likely to have known Josephine, Roy Truly's mother, and maybe Roy as well.  They all lived close enough to each other that they could have remained close and been frequent visitors.  Thus it is at least possible that Vera and Roy were acquainted as well -- and therefore maybe Fred and Roy, too.

http://www.riveroakshistory.com/nina_maria_korth_cole

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/photographs/printRecord.php?id=46658&rr=

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But again – that’s not all. Based on my interest in the Truly – Korth connection, my correspondent did some checking on Truly’s wife Mildred. What he found was her father’s 1962 obituary from the Dallas Morning News reproduced below. The story confirmed that William Chenault was a cousin to Claire Chenault and listed among William’s surviving children was Mildred Truly. Unless there were 2 Mildred Truly’s living In Dallas, this was Roy’s wife, and she was a second cousin to the General.

Final z.jpg

Roy Truly, as discussed earlier in this series, gave permission to Oswald to leave and cleared him with an officer stationed at the entrance, before then informing Captain Fritz that Oswald was “missing.” Truly's actions raise important questions as to whether he may have been the “inside man.”

Fred Korth was related by marriage to Truly, and was under a cloud of suspicion over various activities and conflicts of interest. He was familiar with the Oswald family, and mixed in the same milieu as the Raggios and others.

 

Afterthoughts & acknowledgements

There is little doubt in my mind that this series of talks and papers form a road map to the historical facts of this case. There is also little doubt that further refinements will be needed on the way to putting this work into book form. I understand that some of the conclusions reached will be difficult for some to accept, yet I base such conclusions on where the evidence has led me. To do otherwise would be wrong, and even cowardly. I therefore stand by everything I have written. I also reserve the right to update or edit when further evidence demands.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the regular ROKC crew who provided research, ideas, critiques and insights along the way.  I am frankly out of superlatives for them. Other help came from interested forum “lurkers” who wanted to help, but could not, for one reason or another, do so publicly.

Lastly, I would like to thank Alan Dale who guided me through the talks, knowing that interviews are outside of my “comfort zone”.  Alan was patient, knowledgeable and committed to making this happen. 

 

 
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