Researcher Bart Kamp has uploaded his movie on “Prayer Man” at YouTube (see here). It is a very well put together movie which guides the viewer through the evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD building at the time President Kennedy was assassinated; and that Oswald is the figure researcher Sean Murphy dubbed “Prayer Man.” Kamp also explains to the viewer why the so-called second floor lunchroom encounter between Oswald, the TSBD superintendent Roy Truly, and DPD officer Marion Baker was a fabrication. I commend Kamp for the extraordinary effort he has put into making this fantastic movie. If you want to know why Oswald was not the sixth floor shooter, then watch this movie!!!
Sunday, 29 November 2015
Just recently, I finished reading my copy of the book Prayer Man: The exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald authored by researcher Stan Dane. The book is based on the brilliant research by Sean Murphy; who presented compelling evidence that at the time of the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD watching the Presidential motorcade pass by (see here). Had it not been to some personal problems I have been experiencing for quite a while, I would have purchased the book and read it much sooner. As a matter of fact, I won my copy of the book from a raffle ticket draw at the 2015 ROKC conference in Melbourne. My brother (who attended the conference with me) was the person who drew the ticket that won me the book. I guess it was my lucky day.
Throughout the book, Dane guides the reader through Sean Murphy’s research which demonstrates (beyond a reasonable doubt) that Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD at the time of the assassination; and is the figure which Sean Murphy dubbed as “Prayer Man.” If you want to know why Oswald was innocent of shooting President Kennedy, this is the book you MUST read; and as Dane wrote towards the beginning of his book, this is the book he wished Sean Murphy had written. But despite Murphy’s ground breaking research, there will always be those who disagree that Oswald was standing outside the TSBD at the time of the assassination; from those who simply can’t handle the reality that Oswald was not the lone assassin, to those whose egos won’t allow them to admit that Murphy has demonstrated that Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD because they didn’t do so themselves.
One of the most truly absurd claims against Oswald being “Prayer Man” is that “Prayer Man” was a woman. I submit that anyone who honestly believes this to be the case needs to get their eyes and/or head examined by a professional; as “Prayer Man” is clearly a male figure! Others have argued that if Oswald really was “Prayer Man,” he would have shouted out to news reporters every chance he got that he was standing on the front steps of the TSBD building. However, given the utter shock, fear, and humiliation the innocent Oswald would have experienced after being told that he was being charged for the assassination of the President, I think it’s only perfectly reasonable that he would have been at a loss for the right words to say. There is another factor to take into account in this regard. As researcher Greg Parker and (to a lesser extent) I have discussed, there is good reason to believe that Oswald was an undiagnosed sufferer of Asperger’s syndrome (see here). If this was in fact the case, it would most likely have been more difficult for Oswald to find the right words to say (see here for why).
Some researchers have argued that as President Kennedy’s motorcade was passing the TSBD building, Oswald was using a camera to take a photograph(s). Others have argued that Oswald would not have been taking a photograph(s) from the “Prayer Man” position, as it was a poor position to take a photograph(s) from. Although I am not entirely convinced myself that Oswald was taking a photograph(s) as the motorcade passed by, if Oswald was a sufferer of Asperger’s syndrome, it would make sense for him to take a photograph(s) from the “Prayer Man” position; as it was away from the crowd and associated noise. But regardless of what one believes Oswald was doing at the time of the assassination, Sean Murphy’s research stands on solid ground, and Stan Dane is to be commended for writing this book.
Sunday, 22 November 2015
On November 21 and 22 of this year, the very first conference on the JFK assassination in Australia was held in Melbourne, Victoria, at the Mercure Hotel. The conference was organised by researchers Greg Parker and Frankie Vegas. I had the privilege of attending the conference, and as a Melbournian myself, I was extremely proud of the fact that the conference was held in Melbourne. I was very pleased to have met researchers such as Greg Parker, Vanessa Loney, Colin Crow, Glenn Gilbert, Mick Purdy, and a host of others for the very first time in person. Overall, the conference was terrific; with some very well put together presentations. For example, Phil Hopley discussed the history of the Fair Play for Cuba committee (which I found to be rather enlightening), and Peter Morris discussed the Mannlicher Carcano rifle (which I also found to be quite enlightening).
One of the highlights of the conference was the various items owned by Peter Morris which were put on display. These items included a jacket once owned by Jack Ruby, a piece of the picket fence on top of the infamous “Grassy knoll,” and a brick which was part of the TSBD building. Following the conclusion of the conference on Sunday the 22nd, I took a stroll to what is known as the Treasury Gardens directly across the Mercure Hotel with my brother (who also attended the conference) to take several photographs of a memorial there which was dedicated to President Kennedy. At the time the Mercure Hotel was selected as the venue for the conference, it was not known by either Greg Parker or Frankie Vegas that there was a memorial dedicated to President Kennedy just across the road from there. It was one very interesting coincidence. When time allows, I will upload the photographs I took of the memorial (and the aforementioned items which were put on display) to this blog.
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Throughout my research into the JFK assassination, there are three groups of people whom I have come to believe deserve the most attention by researchers:
1). Those who wanted the Vietnam War to escalate into a full scale War
2).Those with anti-Semitic beliefs
3). Those who were either directly or indirectly connected to U.S. Army intelligence; namely the 112th Military Intelligence Group.
What I hope to accomplish in this essay is to demonstrate to the reader that the aforementioned groups were the ones most likely responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. Although many researchers are of the belief that the conspirators desired the escalation of the Vietnam War, a much smaller proportion believe that individuals with ant-Semitic beliefs and/or those with either a direct or indirect connection to U.S. Army intelligence were involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President. I have already discussed much of what follows at Greg Parker’s terrific research forum in separate threads. However, I felt that it was important to put it all into a single essay. Let’s begin with the evidence that U.S. Army intelligence were involved in the assassination, and were responsible (along with the FBI) for placing Oswald into the TSBD building; with the purpose of framing him for the assassination.
The 112th Military Intelligence Group and the TSBD
As most researchers of the assassination are probably aware, the man who owned the TSBD building at the time of the assassination was David Harold Byrd. Byrd was an Oil operator and co-founder of the Civil Air Patrol; the very same organisation which Oswald joined in July 1955. One of Byrd’s acquaintances was Jack Alston Crichton. Crichton was a right-wing Oil and natural Gas industrialist from Dallas, Texas, who founded the 488th Military Intelligence detachment in 1956. The 488th Military Intelligence detachment was a reserve Army intelligence unit, which included several members of the Dallas Police Department. During an interview, Crichton remarked that there were “about a hundred men in that unit and about forty or fifty of them were from the Dallas Police Department” (See here). Two such members from the DPD were Deputy Chief George Lumpkin and detective L. D. (Don) Stringfellow; who worked in the DPD’s criminal intelligence section (I discuss the significance of this further on in the essay).
Crichton was also acquainted with George DeMohrenschildt; the man whom many researchers have described as Oswald’s best friend and “baby sitter,” and who was acquainted with Army intelligence officers such as Sam Kail (see here). What’s also important to bear in mind is that Crichton was the owner and co-director of the Dorchester Gas Producing company. One of the co-directors of that company was David Harold Byrd. Although this doesn’t prove that there was a direct connection between Army intelligence and the TSBD, the reader should take the following into account. On May 22, 1964, Jack Charles Cason; the President and Treasurer of the TSBD Corporation, wrote an affidavit in which he claimed the following “The Corporation acts as an independent agency for a group of thirty-three publishers to warehouse and distribute textbooks to the various schools in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico” (see here). When Lt. Colonel Robert E. Jones of the 112th Military Intelligence Group in San Antonio, Texas, testified before the HSCA, he made the following remark “The 112 MI group had seven regions under its operational control which encompassed a five-state area: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma” (see here).
As the reader can see, the TSBD Corporation covered the exact same five states as the 112th Military Intelligence Group. And as pointed out previously, David Harold Byrd was an acquaintance of Jack Alston Crichton; the man who founded the 488th Military intelligence detachment in Dallas, Texas. It is difficult to ignore the intriguing “coincidence” that the man who owned the TSBD building was acquainted with a man who was a founder of a reserve Army intelligence unit; and that the TSBD Corporation which had its offices inside that very same building covered the exact same five states as the 112th Military intelligence group. What’s also intriguing is that in 1948, Byrd became the Regional Coordinator (later renamed Regional Commander) of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southwest Region. The Southwest Region included the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona (see here). As the reader can see, with the exception of Arizona, the Southwest Region of the CAP covered the same states as both the TSBD Corporation and the 112th MIG.
Oswald and the 112th Military Intelligence Group
But what exactly does this have to do with Oswald himself? Aside from the fact Oswald worked inside that building for the TSBD Corporation as an order-filler, let’s take the following into consideration. On the evening of November 23, 1963, Oswald tried to place a phone call to a John David Hurt or a John William Hurt from the DPD jail. The phone numbers of both men were written down on a piece of paper by Louise Sweeney/Swinney; who worked as a telephone switchboard operator for the DPD. Sweeney’s/Swinney’s colleague, Alveeta Treon, retrieved the piece of paper after Sweeney/Swinney purportedly through it into a waste basket. What’s important to bear in mind is that John David Hurt had worked for Army intelligence; and then Army counterintelligence, in Europe and Japan during World War II (see here, and here on page 12).
One must ask why Oswald would be trying to call a man connected to both Army intelligence and Army counter intelligence following his arrest for the assassination of President Kennedy. When we take into consideration the likelihood that Oswald was working for Army intelligence and/or counterintelligence, it seems likely that Oswald was trying to contact Hurt to ask for his help. Although John David Hurt denied knowing Oswald, his denial may have been because he thought that by acknowledging he knew Oswald, he would come under suspicion of being involved in a conspiracy with Oswald to assassinate the President. The reader should also keep in mind that Mrs Sweeney/Swinney denied that Oswald ever tried to call a John Hurt from the DPD jail. However, it’s quite likely that her denial was because she was threatened to keep quiet about it; as the implication of Oswald’s attempted phone call was that he was possibly working for Army intelligence and/or counterintelligence.
It is also important to keep in mind what Lt. Col. Robert Jones told the HSCA with regards to his role in the 112th Military Intelligence Group; “I was directly responsible for all counterintelligence, operations background investigations, domestic intelligence and any special operations in this area” (see here). If Jones’ testimony is to be believed, the 112th MIG was not only responsible for intelligence operations, but also counterintelligence operations. In my opinion, this reinforces the notion that Oswald was trying to call John David Hurt following his arrest. Let’s now take the following into account. As most researchers are probably already aware, Oswald’s immediate supervisor at the TSBD was William Hoyt Shelley. When Shelley testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that he had “worked in defense plants a little bit during the war” before he started working at the TSBD in 1945 (WC Volume VI, page 327).
As researcher Greg Parker has pointed out, the FBI (at the behest of the U.S. Navy and Army) had informants working in defense plants (see here). The reader should also take note of the fact that Shelley was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) while he was enrolled at Crozier Technical High School in Dallas, Texas (see here). The significance of this is that as Greg Parker discovered; “The Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) had also instituted programs for training both Military Intelligence and...” (see here). With this information in mind, it is entirely possible (and even likely) that Shelley was an Army intelligence officer acting as an informant inside defense plants at the behest of the U.S. Army, prior to commencing work at the TSBD.
Finally, let’s take the following important bit of information into consideration. In volume two of his seminal book Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War, researcher Greg Parker writes about a plan being hatched by the national Civil Air Patrol in the late 1940s; “The plan released by the Pennsylvania Wing [of the Civil Air Patrol] indicated the organization was getting set to send selected CAP recruits to the Army Counter-Intelligence School at Holabird Signal Depot, Baltimore, Md. It declared that these recruits would be taught the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics and all characteristics of the Russian people.” As Parker has also discussed, the purpose of Oswald’s so-called defection to the Soviet Union was to deliver radar information to the Soviets to help with negotiations of a nuclear test ban treaty between the Soviets and the United States (see here). We should also keep in mind that in February 1959 (8 months before his arrival in the Soviet Union), Oswald was given an Army aptitude test to grade his fluency in the Russian Language (Warren Report, page 257).
Keeping in mind everything discussed above, the reader should ask him/herself the following question. What are the odds of it being just a coincidence that Oswald; someone who had joined the Civil Air Patrol (the very same organisation which had hatched a plan to send some of its recruits to an Army Counter-intelligence School where they would be taught the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics and all characteristics of the Russian people), ended up working in the building which was owned by the co-founder of that very same organisation? Furthermore, the reader should ask him/herself the following question. What are the odds of it being just a coincidence that Oswald; who had gone to work for a corporation inside that very same building which likely had ties to the 112th MIG, just happened to try and contact a man who had worked for Army intelligence and then Army counter-intelligence during World War II, following his arrest by the DPD? In my opinion, the odds of all of this being just a coincidence are extremely slim.
At this stage, the reader is probably wondering what any of this has to do with framing Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy. Let’s now take the following into account. After Oswald was arrested by the DPD, a delegation of DCLU (Dallas Civil Liberties Union) members went to the DPD with the alleged intention of ensuring that Oswald’s legal rights were not being violated by the DPD. As researcher Greg Parker notes, the man who suggested the DCLU check to see that Oswald’s legal rights were not being violated was divorce attorney Grier Raggio. Raggio was one of the board of directors of the DCLU, who was also part of the delegation that went to the DPD (WCE 987). Raggio’s presence at the DPD following Oswald’s arrest was confirmed by Dallas district attorney, Henry Wade, during his testimony before the Warren Commission (WC Volume V, page 222).
Raggio had his divorce practice set-up inside the Rio Grande building in Dallas; the very same building in which the 112th MIG had its offices (see here and here). Although that’s not significant on its own, let’s take following into account. As Greg Parker explains here, after Raggio got drafted into the U.S. Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, he was rejected for Army intelligence training allegedly on security grounds. Furthermore, after Raggio was sent to the pacific theater, he sent home multiple letters complaining about the Army. On a final note, Raggio was accused of being a communist by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities committee). As most people reading this will probably agree, the 112th MIG would have (by all likelihood) carefully investigated every single individual and company who intended to occupy the same building as them for security reasons.
As most people reading this will also probably agree, the 112th MIG would have had a record of the fact that Raggio was rejected for Army intelligence training “on security grounds” and probably knew that Raggio sent home multiple letters complaining about the Army and that he was accused of being a communist by the HUAC. With all of this information in mind, it seems highly unlikely that the 112th MIG would allow Raggio anywhere near the Rio Grande building; unless he was working for them! If this was the case, then the letters Raggio sent home complaining about the Army and his rejection for officer intelligence training were probably just a ruse. What’s particularly important to note, is that as researcher Greg Parker writes, Raggio actually saw to it that Oswald did not receive legal help prior to his murder by Jack Ruby (this will be further explained in Volume 3 of Parker’s book). The reader should also note that Raggio’s wife, Louise, was Ruth Paine’s divorce attorney (the significance of which I return to further on in this essay).
Raggio’s wife was also acquainted with Lyndon Johnson, and was once an assistant district attorney for Henry Wade (see here). As most researchers are undoubtedly aware, after Johnson became President, he overturned President Kennedy’s decision to remove 1,000 U.S. military personnel from South Vietnam by the end of 1963; and eventually, drastically escalated the Vietnam War. As discussed in my essay Gerald Hill and the Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald (here), there is very good reason to believe that DPD Sgt. Gerald Hill framed Oswald for the murder of DPD officer J.D. Tippit by pretending to remove the gun most likely used to kill Tippit (WCE 143) from Oswald during his arrest inside the Texas Theater. Furthermore, as I discussed in the essay A few words on former DPD Captain, William Ralph Westbrook (here), Westbrook was likely involved with Hill in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder; and that following his retirement from the DPD in 1966, Westbrook went on to become a Police advisor in South Vietnam.
Although several researchers are of the belief that the Tippit murder and the assassination were not related, there are several reasons to believe that they were related. Firstly, we should take into account the evidence that a wallet bearing identification for Oswald and his alleged alias, Hidell, was left in the vicinity of the Tippit murder scene. Secondly, as discussed in my aforementioned essay on Gerald Hill, there is very good reason to believe that contrary to Hill’s claim that he was on the sixth floor of the TSBD when Dallas deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney discovered the spent rifle shell casings there, he was on the sixth floor before Mooney discovered the spent shell casings, and that therefore, Hill knew in advance where they were. As mentioned previously, there is also good reason to believe that DPD Captain Westbrook; who went on to become a Police advisor in South Vietnam following the escalation of the Vietnam war by President Johnson, was involved in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder. Finally, as discussed in my essay Did Larry Crafard kill J.D. Tippit (here), there is good reason to believe that Crafard (who was allegedly Jack Ruby’s multi-purpose employee at the Carousel club) was the shooter on the sixth floor of the TSBD, and the man who killed officer Tippit.
I return to Hill and Crafard further on in this essay. For now, let’s return to Jack Crichton. As discussed towards the beginning of this essay, Crichton knew both David Harold Byrd and George DeMohrenschildt; and was the founder of the 488th Military intelligence detachment in Dallas, Texas. When we take this information in conjunction with the evidence that Oswald was working for Army intelligence/counterintelligence, it is quite likely that Oswald knew Crichton. Following Oswald’s arrest on the day of the assassination, one of Marina Oswald’s translators at the DPD was Ilya Mamantov. Mamantov was a native Russian with ant-communist beliefs, who knew both Ruth Paine and George DeMohrenschildt (WC Volume IX, pages 104, 107, and 120). As researcher Lee Farley discusses here, Mamantov had likely mistranslated Marina’s words with regards to the rifle her husband allegedly owned following their return from the Soviet Union; to give the impression that the Soviets were involved with Oswald in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.
During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Mamantov explained that it was Crichton and DPD deputy chief George L. Lumpkin who had asked him to be Marina Oswald’s translator at the DPD (ibid, page 106). As stated above, Lumpkin was a member of Crichton’s 488th Military intelligence detachment, and was also one of the occupants of the pilot car of the Presidential motorcade in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Another occupant of the pilot car was Lt. Colonel George Whitmeyer. Whitmeyer was in overall command of all Army reserve units in East Texas; this included Crichton’s 488th Military intelligence detachment in Dallas (see here). Although I don’t know exactly what significance there is to Lumpkin’s and Whitmeyer’s presence inside the pilot car, I nevertheless believe it is something important to keep in mind.
The reader should also keep in mind that Crichton was purportedly involved in the arrangements for President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. Given the presence of both Lumpkin and Whitmeyer inside the pilot car, it seems likely that Crichton was in some way involved in the planning of the motorcade route. Many people reading this essay are probably wondering why Mamantov would admit during his testimony before the Warren Commission that Crichton and Lumpkin had asked him to translate for Marina Oswald if there was anything sinister about it. In my opinion, by admitting that Crichton and Lumpkin had asked him to translate for Marina, Mamantov probably thought that the Warren Commission wouldn’t suspect he was involved with Crichton, Lumpkin, and others in framing Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy.
Oswald and the FBI
As implied at the beginning of this essay, the FBI was likely involved with Army intelligence in placing Oswald inside the TSBD. What follows are my reasons for believing this to be the case. As mentioned previously, in Volume two of his book Lee Harvey Oswald’s cold war, researcher Greg Parker writes about a plan being hatched by the national Civil Air Patrol in the late 1940s to send selected recruits of that organisation to the Army Counter-intelligence School in Baltimore, Maryland, where they would be taught the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics, and “all characteristics of the Russian people.” As Parker also writes in his book, the plan not only required the approval of the FBI for it to be implemented; but Colonel Philip F. Neuweiler (the commander of the Pennsylvania wing of the CAP) had asked the FBI for its cooperation in screening candidates for this training.
Furthermore, the plan required that the recruits report on individuals known to have “Communistic leanings or subversive tendencies” in the organisation at which they are employed. As we have already seen, the TSBD building was owned by David Harold Byrd; one of the co-founders of the Civil Air Patrol. Working inside that building with Oswald for the TSBD Corporation was Joe Rodriguez Molina. At the time of the assassination, Molina was employed at the TSBD as a credit manager (WCE 2036). Molina was a Mexican American; who was also one of the co-founders of the Dallas chapter of the American G.I. Forum (see here). For those who are unfamiliar, the American G.I. Forum was an organisation established to protect the rights of Mexican Americans. One of the members of the Dallas chapter of the American G.I. Forum was William James Lowery. As researcher Lee Farley explains here, Lowery was a long time FBI informant who had been reporting on Molina to the FBI.
As Farley writes, one of the FBI agents whom Lowery would provide information to was James Hosty. As most researchers of the assassination are probably aware, following his arrest on the day of the assassination, it was discovered that Oswald had Hosty’s name and phone number inside his address book. It is my belief that Oswald was informing on Molina to Hosty during his brief employment at the TSBD. In addition to what has already been discussed, let’s take the following into account. In late September, 1963, William Lowery publicly revealed that he was an FBI informant. This now surely meant that he could no longer be used as an FBI informant. On October 9, 1963, the FBI removed their FLASH (security watch) on Oswald; which they had issued following Oswald’s alleged defection to the Soviet Union. As far as I am aware, the FBI never provided an explanation as to why they cancelled the FLASH on Oswald. What’s most intriguing is that the FLASH was removed right between the time Lowery publicly revealed himself to be an FBI informant and the time Oswald obtained his job at the TSBD as an order-filler on October 15, 1963.
If Oswald commenced working for the FBI as an informant, then this would certainly explain why the FLASH was removed. What’s also most intriguing is that Lowery was running a shoe store named the Shoe Haven a mere three blocks to the West of the Texas Theater where Oswald was arrested. Although many reading this may believe that all of this was simply a coincidence, I believe it is unlikely that this was the case. The reader should also note that during an interview with the HSCA, Lowery remarked that he thought Oswald was coming after him when he allegedly ducked into the lobby of Hardy’s shoe store to hide from DPD squad cars after allegedly shooting officer Tippit (see here). It is my belief that Lowery made this comment to bolster the notion that Oswald did duck into the lobby of Hardy’s shoe store, by giving the impression that Oswald mistook Hardy’s shoe store for his own shoe store.
Let’s also take the following into consideration. One of the co-founders of the Dallas chapter of the American G.I. Forum was Felix G. Botello. As researcher Greg Parker points out, Botello was a member of an extreme militia group found with a large cache of weapons being sent to Mississippi to aid former Army general Edwin A. Walker during the racial riots there in October, 1962. As Parker also explains, weapons were disappearing from Army armories (see here). One such example is the theft of weapons from the National Guard Armory in Terrell, Texas, on November 14, 1963. The two men arrested by the DPD for possession of these stolen weapons were Lawrence Reginald Miller and Donnell Whitter/Whittier (see here). Curiously, Whitter/Whittier was a mechanic who had once serviced Jack Ruby’s car.
Although this is simply speculation on my part, given Oswald’s probable connection to Army Intelligence and Army counter-intelligence, I believe Oswald was lured into the TSBD by the conspirators under the pretense that he would be keeping an eye on Molina to see if he was involved in the theft of weapons from the aforementioned armories. I also believe the FBI were unwittingly working with the conspirators in placing Oswald into the TSBD; with their intention merely being to use Oswald to keep an eye on Molina with regards to any communist/subversive affiliations on his (Molina’s) part, and to report any such information to them. Before concluding this section, it is worth mentioning that former FBI agent Carver Gayton told HSCA investigators that James Hosty told him (Gayton) that Oswald has been a PSI (Potential/probationary security informant) for the FBI (see here). Although it is debatable as to whether Hosty would admit to such a thing, it is nevertheless something we should keep in mind.
Oswald before the TSBD
With the likelihood in mind that Oswald was part of the training being conducted at the aforementioned Army Counter-intelligence School in Baltimore, Maryland, let’s now consider the following. As most researchers are probably aware, in October 1962, Oswald began working at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall; a typographic services company in Dallas which had contracts with the U.S. Army Map services (see here), (WC Volume X, pages 168 and 191). What’s also noteworthy is that one of Oswald’s co-workers at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall in the photographic department was Dennis Hyman Ofstein. Prior to his employment at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, Ofstein had served in the U.S. Army and the Army security agency; which was the signal intelligence branch of the U.S. Army (WC Volume X, pages 194 and 200). Curiously, Ofstein had studied the Russian language whilst serving in the Army security agency (ibid, page 200). At this point, the reader should recall that not only was Oswald fluent with the Russian language, but he was also given an Army aptitude test see how fluent he was with the Russian language prior to his so-called defection to the Soviet Union.
But just how did Oswald obtain his employment at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall? Let’s consider the following. When Marina Oswald testified before the Warren Commission, she claimed that that the person who helped Oswald obtain his job there was George Bouhe (WC Volume I, page 7). Bouhe was a Russian ancestry and a so-called leader of the “White Russian” group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (WC Volume VIII, page 357). Prior to his immigration to the United States in 1923, Bouhe had worked for the American relief commission in Russia (ibid). One of the directors of the American relief commission with whom Bouhe was acquainted was Major General William N. Haskell (ibid). Following his resignation from the regular U.S. Army, Haskell went on to command the Army National Guard in New York in 1926 (see here). As the reader can see, Bouhe had connections to the U.S. Army.
When Bouhe testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that he first met Oswald in August, 1962 (ibid, page 358). Bouhe went on to tell the Warren Commission that Oswald had physically abused his wife sometime within the first two weeks of September, 1962 (ibid, page 365). In fact, several members of the so-called “White Russian” community who were acquainted with the Oswalds, such as Elena Hall and Anna Meller, claimed that Oswald had physically abused his wife (ibid, pages 386 and 395). Although Marina Oswald also told the Warren Commission that Oswald had physically abused her, unlike what Bouhe told the Warren Commission, Marina claimed that Oswald had abused her after they had moved in to their apartment on Elsbeth Street in Dallas (WC Volume I, page 10). The Oswalds were both living there in November, 1962.
What’s interesting is that on or about September 1, 1962, Ruth Paine separated from her husband Michael, due to what was described as “unkind, cruel, harsh and tyrannical treatment and conduct” by him beginning about six months prior to their separation (WCD 849, page 34). Curiously, this corresponds to the period of time in which George Bouhe claimed that Oswald had physically abused his wife. Although the Oswalds allegedly first met Ruth Paine at the home of Dallas chemist Everett Glover on the evening of February 22, 1963, there is good reason to believe otherwise. Let’s consider the following. On November 30, 1963, the FBI interviewed Robert Stovall; the President of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, concerning Oswald’s employment there. Stovall more or less told the FBI that when Oswald commenced his employment there, he claimed that his address was in Irving, which he later changed to a post office Box number “presumably in Dallas” (WCD 7, page 122).
As the reader may already be aware, Ruth and Michael Paine moved into their home at 2515 West fifth street in Irving, Texas in 1959 (WC Volume II, page 432). Let’s now take the following into account. From July 1952 to April 1954, Michael Paine served in the U.S. Army; after which he was transferred to the Army reserve “by reason of release of overseas returnees” (see here). Paine served in the Army reserve (inactive status) from April 1954 to July 1960. As many researchers have noted, Paine was employed by Bell Helicopter as a research engineer from about 1958 (WC Volume II, pages 385 and 386). The reader should keep in mind that Bell Helicopter manufactured Helicopters for the U.S. Army (such as the UH-1) which were used during the Vietnam War.
As we can see, Michael Paine was another person associated with Oswald who had connections to the U.S. Army. As stated previously, the woman who was Ruth Paine’s divorce attorney was Louise Raggio; who worked with her husband Grier inside the Rio Grande building in Dallas, where the 112th MIG also had their offices. As also stated previously, Grier Raggio was most likely working for the 112th MIG. Taking this into account with everything else discussed above, it is my belief that Ruth and Michael Paine were working with George Bouhe and the 112th MIG in placing Oswald at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall; and that contrary to what researchers have been led to believe, Oswald was living with Ruth Paine when he commenced working there. It is also my belief that the Paines and the Raggios were likely working together in placing Oswald inside the TSBD as part of the frame-up for the assassination. It is noteworthy that after the assassination, the Paines were once again living together; despite the allegation that Michael had subjected Ruth to “unkind, cruel, harsh and tyrannical treatment and conduct” (WCD 849, page 34).
Gerald Hill and Larry Crafard
So far in this essay, I have mentioned several individuals who were (or likely were) connected to Army intelligence and the 112th MIG. I will now discuss two other individuals who I believe were connected to Army intelligence and the 112th MIG, namely; former DPD Sgt. Gerald Hill, and Jack Ruby’s so-called multipurpose employee, Larry Crafard. Let’s begin with Hill. I mentioned above that as I discussed in my essay Gerald Hill and the Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald, there is very good reason to believe that Hill framed Oswald for the murder of DPD officer J.D. Tippit by pretending to remove the gun most likely used to kill Tippit from Oswald during his arrest inside the Texas Theater. As a result, I believe that anything Hill had to say with regards to Oswald and the assassination should be treated as highly suspect.
On March 19, 1978, an article entitled Army apparently didn’t tell commission of Oswald’s alias was published in the Dallas Morning News newspaper. The article was written by Dallas Morning News reporter, Earl Golz. In the article, Golz discusses how the 112th MIG in San Antonio, Texas, first learned that Oswald allegedly used the name Alek James Hidell as an alias. In that very same article, Gerald Hill is quoted as saying the following with regards to how the 112th MIG learned that Oswald allegedly used that name as an alias “…in all probability Army intelligence got their information from [the Department of Public Safety in Austin, Texas] who had it probably 10 minutes after we got back here (to the Dallas Police Department) with [Oswald]” (see here).
Hill’s remark was most certainly a falsehood. Consider the following. During his testimony before the HSCA, Lt. Colonel Robert Jones of the 112th MIG in San Antonio, Texas, made the following remarks as to how his unit learned that Oswald used the name Hidell as an alias; “…I would believe it was the middle of 1963 when he was arrested in New Orleans, and I had liaison with the New Orleans police and through our regional office in New Orleans, they provided me with his arrest, his activities and we carded him under both the name of A. J. Hidell and Lee Harvey Oswald” (see here). Jones was referring to Oswald’s arrest in New Orleans on August 9, 1963. Despite Jones’ claim, Greg Parker has shown that his claim was most certainly a falsehood (see here). It is my belief that Gerald Hill was the individual who informed the 112th MIG in San Antonio, Texas, that Oswald used the name Hidell as an alias shortly after he arrived at the DPD following Oswald’s arrest at the Texas Theater.
Let’s also consider the following with regards to Hill. When Hill testified before the Warren Commission on April 8, 1964, he claimed that on November 24, 1963, he travelled to San Antonio, Texas, to allegedly attend a “state board meeting of the Texas Municipal Police Association” (WC Volume VII, page 63). As mentioned above, Jones’ 112th MIG unit was in San Antonio, Texas. It is my belief that Hill travelled to San Antonio to provide the 112th MIG with false information on Oswald and the assassination. The reader may be wondering why Hill would tell the Warren Commission that he had travelled to San Antonio if this truly was the case. We should consider that Hill may have thought that the Warren Commission was already aware he had travelled to San Antonio, and therefore claimed that he travelled there for a meeting of the Texas Municipal Police Association as a cover for why he was actually there.
I previously mentioned that as discussed in my aforementioned essay on Hill, there is very good reason to believe that contrary to Hill’s claim that he was on the sixth floor of the TSBD when Dallas deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney discovered the spent rifle shell casings there, he was on the sixth floor before Mooney discovered the spent shell casings. In that essay, I also discussed that detective V.J. (Jack) Brian of the DPD was most likely lying when he told the Warren Commission that Hill was on the sixth floor when the spent shell casings were discovered (see under the subheading Did Hill Lie about his location?). In fact, as far as I am aware, Brian was the only law enforcement official who claimed to be with Hill on the sixth floor of the TSBD when the spent shell casings were discovered. Let’s now take a close look at Brian’s background.
From June 1955, Brian worked as a detective in the criminal intelligence section of the DPD (WC Volume V, page 48). On January 1, 1964, Brian told the US Secret Service that he had interrogated James Powell; a special agent/officer of the 112th MIG in Dallas, after Powell was trapped inside the TSBD following the assassination. This was due to the fact that the DPD sealed off the building (see here). When Brian testified before the Warren Commission, he was asked who was inside the DPD car with him after he left the TSBD. Brian remarked “Let me see, Lieutenant [Jack] Revill, myself, [detective Roy] Westphal, [detective O.J.] Tarver, and we gave a man a lift, and I don't remember whether he was a CID, I don't know the man, I don't remember whether he was a CIC agent or a CID or OSI, he was some type of, as I recall, Army intelligence man” (WC Volume V, page 57).
In the aforementioned article by Earl Golz, Golz writes that Lt. Jack Revill (who was in charge of the criminal intelligence section of the DPD) claimed that he gave a lift to an Army intelligence Officer from near the TSBD after the assassination; but he couldn’t remember if the officer’s name was James Powell. Although I can’t state this with absolute certainty, given that Brian had interrogated Powell inside the TSBD, Powell was by all likelihood the Army intelligence officer to whom Revill and Brian gave a ride following the assassination. With this in mind, it is curious that Brian told the Warren Commission he didn’t know “the man” who was in the car with him after he left the TSBD; despite knowing who Powell was as evident from his aforementioned interview with the Secret Service.
The obvious question is why did Brian deny that he knew Powell when he testified before the Warren Commission? In my opinion, the most plausible answer is that Brian knew that individuals with connections to Army intelligence were behind the assassination, and that Brian himself was probably involved in the assassination. Let’s now consider the following. Captain W.P. Gannaway; who was in charge of the DPD’s special services bureau (which included the criminal intelligence section), was a reserve Lt. Colonel in the Army intelligence corps/service (see here and here). As Jack Revill told the HSCA, from 1960, the intelligence section of the special services bureau was physically moved to a building located at the Dallas State Fairgrounds (see here). Also located at the Fairgrounds (beneath the Dallas Health and Science museum) was the Dallas Civil Defense Emergency Bunker; a nuclear bomb proof “cellar” which contained “special communications equipment.”
According to researcher Russ Baker “On April 1, 1962, Dallas Civil Defense, with [Jack] Crichton heading its intelligence component, opened an elaborate underground command post under the patio of the Dallas Health and Science Museum” (see here). Provided this information concerning Crichton is accurate, and given that Gannaway was a reserve Lt. Colonel in the Army intelligence corps/service, it seems unlikely that Crichton and Gannaway didn’t know each other. We should also keep in mind that Crichton admitted during an interview that there were “about a hundred men in [the 488th Military intelligence detachment] and about forty or fifty of them were from the Dallas Police Department” and that one of those men was DPD detective L. D. (Don) Stringfellow of the Criminal Intelligence Section (see here). This makes it all the more likely that Crichton and Gannaway knew each other; and that detective V.J. Brian was a member of Crichton’s 488th Military intelligence detachment.
Although none of this proves that Gerald Hill was involved with Army intelligence and the 112th MIG, when we take into account the fact that Hill travelled to San Antonio, Texas (of all places) two days following the assassination, and that the officer who (by all likelihood) lied about Hill being on the sixth floor when the spent shell casings were discovered was connected to Army intelligence and Jack Crichton, it seems likely that Hill was also connected to Army intelligence and Crichton. In my aforementioned essay on Hill, I also explain that shortly following Oswald’s arrest, Hill falsely claimed during an interview with Bob Whitten of KCRA radio that Oswald had admitted to being an “active communist” (See under the subheading Hill’s possible motive). As several researchers have noted, detective Stringfellow was named as the source of information in a confidential cable on the night of assassination from Army intelligence in Texas to the U.S. strike command at MacDill Air Force base in Florida.
According to the cable, information “obtained from Oswald revealed that he had defected to Cuba in 1959 and is a card-carrying member of the Communist Party” (see here). This information was false, since Oswald never defected to Cuba, and was not a “card-carrying member of the Communist Party.” It’s important to note that MacDill Air Force base in Florida had the capability of providing a swift retaliatory attack against Cuba. Such a provocative cable may have led to an attack against Cuba by the United States; as it suggested that Oswald was involved in a conspiracy with Cuban Communists to assassinate the President. This could then have led to a war between the United States and the Soviets, in which nuclear weapons may have been used. If this was to occur, the Dallas Civil Defense Emergency Bunker at the Dallas State Fairgrounds would surely have been utilised.
As mentioned above, individuals of interest such as detective V.J. Brian had ties to the Dallas state Fairgrounds. Another individual of interest with ties to the Fairgrounds was Larry Crafard. During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Crafard claimed that when he arrived in Dallas, Texas, he went to work for an “outfit” located at the Fairgrounds called “How Hollywood makes movies” (WC Volume XIII, page 416). Crafard also told the Warren Commission that he enlisted in the U.S. Army in September, 1958, and was discharged in November, 1959, under honorable conditions (ibid, page 405). Taking this into account with the fact that Crafard was in close proximity to both the Dallas Civil Defense Emergency Bunker and the Criminal intelligence section of the DPD shortly before the assassination, it seems likely that Crafard was involved with Army intelligence. The reader should also keep in mind the evidence that Army intelligence was involved in the assassination and that there is good reason to believe that Crafard was the shooter on the sixth floor of the TSBD and the man who shot officer Tippit.
Blaming the Jews
At the beginning of this essay, I mentioned that one of the groups of people whom I believe deserve the most attention by researchers is those with anti-Semitic beliefs. What follows are my reasons for believing this to be the case. As the reader may be aware, on the day of the assassination, an advertisement with a black border around it entitled “Welcome Mr. Kennedy” was printed in the Dallas Morning News newspaper. The advertisement asked President Kennedy to answer several questions; with the implication being that he was soft on communists (WCE 1031). The person whose name appeared at the bottom of the advertisement was Bernard Weissman. Weissman was a right-wing conservative of Jewish Ancestry, who served in the U.S. Army from August 1961 until August 1963 (WC Volume V, pages 489 and 500). Although the advertisement stated that Weissman was the chairman of “The American Fact-Finding Committee,” no such committee actually existed (WCE 1052).
Given that the advertisement appeared in the Dallas Morning News newspaper on the very same day that the President was assassinated, this may have led many people to suspect that Weissman; and by implication, the Jews, were behind the assassination. It is my belief that this was in fact the purpose of the advertisement. Let’s take into account the following. One of the financial contributors to the advertisement was Nelson Bunker Hunt; one of the sons of the eccentric oil billionaire, H.L. Hunt (WCE 1885). Both Bunker Hunt and his father held extreme right-wing and anti-Semitic beliefs, and were opposed to President Kennedy (see here and here). One individual of interest who was associated with the elder Hunt was Warren Hasty Carroll. As I discuss here, Carroll was a CIA analyst who was good friends with Larry Jones of CUSA (Conservatism USA) fame and had worked as a script writer for H.L. Hunt’s right-wing radio program, Life Line. Carroll also served in the U.S. Army signal corps (see here). As researcher Greg Parker discusses here, there is good reason to believe that Larry Jones was involved in the assassination.
There is also good reason to believe that Larry Jones was involved in placing the aforementioned advertisement into Dallas Morning News newspaper. Let’s consider the following. Despite telling the Warren Commission that Jones had left Dallas before he (Weissman) arrived in Dallas in early November, 1963, when senator John Sherman Cooper asked Weissman “Would you state now to this Commission the idea of printing this ad was conceived by you and Larry Jones – what is the other’s name?” Weissman failed to contradict Cooper by telling him that Jones wasn’t involved; thus indicating that Jones was involved (WC Volume V, pages 498 and 510). We have already seen that H.L. Hunt’s own son had contributed funds to place the advertisement into the newspaper. When we take into account the fact that Larry Jones was acquainted with Warren Carroll with the fact that Carroll worked for Hunt, we can see another connection between the anti-Semitic Hunt and the advertisement.
Let’s also consider the following. Jack Crichton was a trustee of the H.L. Hunt foundation, and in July 1963, he was elected the director of the foundation (see here). Furthermore, on the day following the assassination, Hunt met with Crichton and “other Army intelligence officers” to purportedly discuss the “first interrogation of Marina Oswald” (see here). Although there is no proof of this as far as I am aware, we should keep in mind that Hunt’s long time assistant, John Curington, claimed that he had seen Marina Oswald come down on an elevator from Hunt’s executive offices a few weeks following the assassination (see here). We should also keep in mind that as pointed out previously, Jack Crichton asked Ilya Mamantov to act as Marina Oswald’s interpreter at the DPD following Oswald’s arrest for the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit.
Another person of interest, who was well acquainted with H.L. Hunt, was Lt. George E. Butler of the DPD. At the time of the assassination, Butler was assigned to the Juvenile Bureau (WC Volume XIX, Batchelor Exhibit 5002). Prior to that, Butler was a supervisor in the intelligence unit. According to an article printed in the Oak Cliff Tribune on January 10, 1980, Butler was an avowed anti-communist and a friend and confidante of H.L. Hunt, who also handled personal investigative assignments for the Hunt oil company. According to that same article, Butler “was certain that Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina were Communists agents, that Fidel Castro ordered the Kennedy killing, [and] that Oswald and Jack Ruby were probably in cahoots” (see here). As I discuss below, Butler was also likely well acquainted with Sgt. Gerald Hill.
On December 9, 1963, Lt. Jack Revill and detective H.M. Hart of the special service bureau reported that Butler had advised them he had information that Oswald was the illegitimate son of Jack Ruby. As most researchers of the assassination are aware, Ruby was of Jewish ancestry. Since Oswald was framed for the assassination, the implication of Butler’s claim is that Oswald was part Jewish; and that the assassination was a Jewish conspiracy. Whilst some might find this to be an absurd notion, we should bear in mind that Butler was closely associated with the anti-Semitic H.L. Hunt, and claimed that he believed Oswald and Ruby were “probably in cahoots.” Revill and Hart also reported that Butler had information that Ruby had applied for a visa to Mexico at about the same time Oswald was allegedly there, and suggested that the Mexican Consul be contacted to confirm this information (see here).
Let’s now take the following into account. One of the news reporters at the DPD basement on the morning of November 24, 1963, when Ruby shot Oswald was Thayer Waldo. Butler was also present. When Waldo testified before the Warren Commission, he made the following remarks with regards to Butler’s demeanour just before Ruby shot Oswald; “What I wanted to say about Lieutenant Butler was that this almost stolid poise, or perhaps phlegmatic poise is a better word, that I had noticed all through even the most hectic times of the 22d and the 23d, appeared to have deserted him completely on the morning of the 24th. He was an extremely nervous man, so nervous that when I was standing asking him a question after I had entered the ramp and gotten down to the basement area, just moments before Oswald was brought down, he was standing profile to me and I noticed his lips trembling as he listened and waited for my answer. It was simply a physical characteristic. I had by then spent enough hours talking to this man so that it struck me as something totally out of character. Now, he may merely have had a bad night” (WC Volume XV, page 594).
As we can see, Waldo claimed that Butler was extremely nervous just before Oswald was brought down to the basement. The obvious question is why? I believe the most viable explanation is that Butler knew that Ruby was about to shoot Oswald. According to John Curington, on the day before Oswald was shot, H.L. Hunt ordered him (Curington) to “spy” on Police security surrounding Oswald; and that after he reported to Hunt that “there was no security around Oswald,” Hunt was delighted and elated (see here). Although this doesn’t prove by any means that Butler knew Oswald was about to be shot, it is nevertheless extremely curious that Hunt had asked his trusted assistant to report to him on Police security surrounding Oswald; and that according to Thayer Waldo, the man who was considered Hunt’s confidante was uncharacteristically nervous just before Oswald was shot.
Aside from his connection to both Hunt and the DPD, Butler was also the first President of the Dallas Police Association. The DPA is an organisation which was founded in 1959 to protect the rights of Dallas Police officers. Butler served as its first President from 1959 until 1964/1965 (see here). As mentioned previously, Gerald Hill told the Warren Commission that on November 24, 1963, he had flown to San Antonio, Texas, to attend a meeting of the Texas Municipal Police Association. In fact, Hill told author Larry Sneed that he was the secretary-treasurer of that organisation (Sneed, No More Silence, page 301). Although Hill’s obituary in the Dallas Morning News states that he served as the secretary-treasurer of the Dallas Police Association, this was most certainly an error (see here). What’s significant is that both Hill and Butler held high positions in organisations which represented the rights of DPD officers. With this in mind, it is difficult to believe that Hill and Butler were not well acquainted with each other before the assassination.
Let’s also consider the following. One of the past Presidents of the Dallas Police Association was DPD Officer Charles Terry Burnley. Burnley served in that position from 1973 to 1978. With this in mind, it is likely that Burnley was acquainted with Butler (and Hill for that matter) long before he became President of the DPA. In previous essays, I have argued that Gerald Hill was one of the Officers whom Earlene Roberts (the housekeeper at the rooming house on 1026 North Beckley avenue in Oak Cliff where Oswald was allegedly living at the time of the assassination) observed outside the rooming house in DPD squad car 207 (see here for example). As the reader may be aware, Roberts told the Warren Commission that one of the officers in the car sounded the horn just as Charles Burnely and an officer named Alexander would do (WC Volume VI, page 443).
The implication of Roberts’ claim is that Charles Burnley was one of the officers inside the car. As researchers such as Lee Farley, Greg Parker, Ed LeDoux, and I have argued, Oswald was not living at the aforementioned rooming house at the time of the assassination. In fact, as I argue in my essay Did Larry Crafard kill J.D. Tippit, there is good reason to believe that it was Larry Crafard who was living there, and that Hill (and quite likely Burnley) had given Crafard a lift from the rooming house to a location east of where officer Tippit was shot (see under the subheading Was Crafard living at 1026 North Beckley?). The implication of all of this is that Burnley was involved in the Tippit murder and the assassination; as both crimes were more than likely related to each other. Taking this into consideration with the strong likelihood that Butler was acquainted with both Hill and Burnley, it reinforces the notion that Butler himself was involved in the assassination.
Let’s now take a look at some other individuals of interest whom George Butler was associated with. One such individual was Earl William Lively Jr. Lively was a right-wing extremist who was ostensibly writing an anti-communist book which would “stress [the] pro-Cuban activities of Oswald.” According to Lively, Butler was assisting him in writing the book, and that he (Butler) was going to try and obtain any information the FBI provided the DPD in relation to Oswald for Lively (see here). Another individual of interest who was assisting Lively in writing the book was the extreme right wing attorney, Robert Morris. With this in mind, it is entirely likely that Morris was also acquainted with Butler. The significance of this is that Morris was apparently acquainted with Lawrence Howard of INTERPEN fame (see here). As I discuss in my essay Did Larry Crafard kill J.D. Tippit? there is good reason to believe that Howard was the dark complected man who gave Larry Crafard a lift from Dealey Plaza following the assassination in the Nash Rambler Station Wagon observed by Dallas deputy Sheriff Roger Craig (see under the subheading Was Crafard living at 1026 North Beckley?). It is also noteworthy that Howard had served in the U.S. Army (see here).
If what I have discussed previously has not convinced the reader that individuals with anti-Semitic beliefs deserve close attention, then the reader should also consider the following. On August 21, 1964, Larry Crafard informed the FBI that he had seen Bernard Weissman at the Carousel Club after they showed him (Crafard) photographs of Weissman (WCE 2430). Crafard also told the FBI that he had served Weissman drinks at the Club, and that he heard Ruby refer to Weissman by his name (ibid). As far as I am aware, no other employee of the Carousel Club claimed that they had seen Weissman at the Club. The implication of Crafard’s claim is that Weissman and Ruby were well acquainted. Taking into account the likelihood (as discussed previously) that certain individuals involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President wanted to make it appear as though the Jews were behind the assassination in conjunction with the likelihood that Crafard was involved in the assassination, it is apparent that Crafard was intent on leaving the impression that the Jews were behind the assassination.
But despite what Crafard claimed during his aforementioned interview, when he was interviewed by the FBI on August 27, 1964, he left the impression that he was now less certain that Weissman had been in the Carousel Club (ibid). However, the reader should consider that the FBI may have realised that Crafard’s claim suggested that Weissman and Ruby were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, and as a result, they faked Crafard’s latter remarks to make it appear as though Crafard is not a trustworthy source of information. Suffice it to say, it is my belief that Crafard was intent on leaving the FBI with the impression that Ruby and Weissman were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the President. On a final note, the reader should keep in mind that the man who provided Crafard with his alibi for the time of the assassination (Andrew Armstrong) had worked for the Holiday Hills Apartments which were owned by the Hunt Oil company (WC Volume XIII, page 304).
Throughout this essay, I have argued that the three groups of individuals who deserve the most attention by researchers are those with direct/indirect connections to Army intelligence and the 112th MIG, those with anti-Semitic beliefs, and those who wanted the Vietnam War to escalate into full scale war. Although I don’t pretend for even a second to have proven that these three groups were the ones behind the assassination, I nevertheless believe that this was indeed the case. Given the likelihood that many important pieces of evidence were destroyed over time, I don’t believe that the assassination of President Kennedy can ever be completely solved. However, through the research of highly talented and dedicated researchers such as Greg Parker and the fantastic team of researchers at the Reopen Kennedy Case forum, I believe we can come close to solving who was behind the assassination.
I would like to thank Greg Parker for his research and hard work which made it possible for me to write this essay. My appreciation also goes out to researchers such as Lee Farley; whose research and hard work also made it possible for me to write this essay. Over the next few months, I may add additional information to this essay through addendums.
Click here to go to part 2 of this essay.
Click here to go to part 2 of this essay.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
With all of the evidence we have in this day and age demonstrating that contrary to the Warren Commission’s conclusions, Lee Harvey Oswald was not President Kennedy’s assassin (and was framed for the assassination), one would think that there would be no more books published declaring that Oswald was the lone assassin. But sadly, this is not the case. In September, 2013, a book entitled The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the real target in Dallas was published. The author of the book is James Reston Jr. Reston had worked as a research assistant and then as a speech writer for President Kennedy’s secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall. As a matter of fact, Reston dedicated his book to Udall. Reston is also the author of several other books such as The Conviction of Richard Nixon, Warriors of God, Defenders of the Faith, and the biography of former Texas Governor John Connally entitled The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally, which was published in the year 1989.
Although Reston is a supporter of the Warren Commission’s ludicrous conclusion that Oswald was President Kennedy’s sole assassin, unlike the majority of lone assassin theorists, Reston argues in his book that Oswald’s intended target on that dreadful day was actually Governor Connally; and that Oswald shot the President by mistake. As most researchers of the assassination are probably aware already, following his alleged defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, Oswald’s honourable discharge from the United States Marine Corps was downgraded to “undesirable” by the Marine Corps Reserve on September 13, 1960 (Warren Report, Appendix XIII, page 689). On January 30, 1961, Oswald wrote a letter to Connally; who at the time was the Secretary of the Navy, protesting this decision (ibid, page 710). According to Reston, Oswald’s reason for wanting to shoot Connally was because he held a grudge against him (Connally) over the fact that his honorable discharge had been downgraded. What follows below is a discussion of how Reston cherry-picks evidence to support this absurd notion.
Oswald’s so-called defection
Like many lone assassin theorists before him, Reston posits that Oswald had a genuine desire to renounce his American Citizenship and to defect to the Soviet Union. In his book, Reston recounts the all too familiar tale of Oswald’s visit to the American Embassy in Russia on October 31, 1959, at which time he allegedly demanded the right to renounce his American citizenship. As Reston writes; “[Oswald] presented himself to a wry and experienced professional named Richard Snyder… Oswald got right to the point. Slapping his passport down on the desk, he demanded the right to renounce his American citizenship” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 7). But what Reston never mentions is that on that very same day, a man named Edward Keenan was present at the Embassy. As author and researcher Greg Parker explains, Keenan was a student at Harvard University at the same time that Richard Snyder was a recruiter for the CIA’s REDSKIN program; a program which involved using people travelling legally into the Soviet Union for the purpose of collecting information (see here). Parker’s belief is that Oswald was recruited into the REDSKIN program at the embassy, and as Parker explained to this reviewer by email, it is his belief that Keenan’s role was to brief Oswald on what he could expect living conditions to be like in the Soviet Union.
It is also worth mentioning here that Parker believes the purpose of Oswald’s so-called defection to the Soviet Union was to deliver radar information to the Soviets to help with negotiations for a nuclear test ban treaty between them and the United States; and that Oswald’s mission was being supported by the REDSKIN and REDSOX/REDCAP programs (see here). This will be explained in much greater detail in Volume two of Parker’s book Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War. In this reviewer’s opinion, there are two things which give credence to this notion. First of all, as even Reston writes in his book, Oswald was in agreement with a nuclear test ban treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States (ibid, page 54). Secondly, on July 26, 1963; the very same day President Kennedy announced the passage of the Partial Test Ban Treaty (see here), someone claiming to be Oswald wrote down his (Oswald’s) name on the visitor’s registry at the American Museum of Atomic energy at Oak Ridge, Tennessee (WCD 835, page 3). According to the FBI’s investigation, the word “USSR” was written on the registry next to Oswald’s name (ibid). It is almost as if Oswald was trying to make a point. Although the FBI claimed that the handwriting on the registry was not Oswald’s, one has to ask why someone would be impersonating Oswald at the museum (ibid, page 4).
As stated towards the beginning of this review, Reston postulates that Oswald’s intended target was Governor Connally. Reston is at pains to convince his readers that Oswald harboured a grudge against Connally over his undesirable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps. For example, Reston writes that after learning that his honourable discharge had been downgraded to undesirable “Lee Harvey Oswald was devastated at the news. That he would care at all is noteworthy. Why should a true convert to Communism, one so desperate for political action, one so ready to take up arms against America – in short, a person who was described by the Warren Commission as a Marxist – have even a moment of anxiety over what the fascist United States and its most dangerous military force might do in his buried military records? The true believer would be amused. But Oswald did care. He cared deeply. At bottom, his military service gave meaning to his life – beyond his new family it was the only thing that did” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, pages 18 and 19).
Reston also points out to his readers that in his letter to Connally concerning his undesirable discharge, Oswald wrote “I shall employ all means to right this gross mistake or injustice to a boni-fied U.S. citizen and ex-service-man” (ibid, page 20). On February 23, 1962, Oswald received a letter from Connally in which Connally wrote to him “Your letter of January 30 has just been called to my attention. As I am no longer connected with the Navy, I have referred your letter to the office of the Secretary of the Navy in Washington, D.C.” (See here). The letter was sent to Oswald in an envelope with the words John Connally for Governor and Connally’s smiling face (centred within a Texas star) on the front of it. According to Reston “…Oswald had been spurned by a fellow Texan, and he resented it deeply. The change in his discharge was only one, but perhaps the worst indignity that Oswald felt he had suffered. Now he had [Connally’s] face, in the middle of a star with a derisive smile, to go with his torment. Connally’s face became the face of the U.S. Government, and Connally’s perfunctory snub fortified Oswald’s bitterness against the country” (ibid, page 23).
The reader should bear in mind that at the time Oswald’s honourable discharge was downgraded to “undesirable,” Connally was not the Secretary of the Navy. In fact, Connally became the Secretary on January 25, 1961 (a mere five days before Oswald wrote his letter to him concerning his discharge). The witnesses Reston uses to bolster the ludicrous notion that Oswald was shooting at Connally on the day President Kennedy was assassinated are Marina Oswald, George Bouhe, George DeMohrenschildt, and Alexandra DeMohrenschildt (DeMohrenschildt’s daughter). Let’s take a look at how Reston cherry-picks the statements of these witnesses to support his case, beginning with Marina Oswald. Reston points out to his readers that Marina told the Warren Commission “I feel in my own mind that Lee did not have President Kennedy as a prime target when he assassinated him… I think it was [Governor] Connally. That’s my personal opinion – that perhaps he was shooting at Governor Connally, the Governor of Texas” (ibid, pages 60 and 61).
In his book, Reston incorrectly sources this claim to Marina’s third testimony before the Warren Commission (ibid, page 60). In actual fact, Marina made this claim during her sixth testimony before the Warren Commission; on September 6, 1964 (WC Volume V, page 607). Reston also points out that during her same testimony before the Warren Commission, Marina claimed “I feel that the reason that he had Connally in his mind was on account of his discharge from the Marines and [the] various letters they exchanged between the Marine Corps and the governor’s office, but actually, I didn’t think that he had any idea concerning President Kennedy” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 61). Although Reston points out the fact that Marina testified that Oswald never expressed his displeasure or hatred of Connally to her, he never points out that on February 5, 1964, Marina told the Warren Commission that “…while we were in Russia [Lee] spoke well of [Connally]. It seems to me that Connally was running for Governor and Lee said that when he would return to the United States he would vote for him” (WC Volume I, page 72).
In this reviewer’s opinion, Marina most likely believed that Connally was running for Governor due to the fact that Oswald had received his letter from Connally inside the envelope with the words “Connally for Governor” on the front of it. Reston criticises Commission members Hale Boggs and Richard Russell for what he claims was their mistreatment of Marina. According to Reston “Instead of pursuing this new and highly significant tack or calmly attempting to elicit more from her, Boggs and Russell proceeded to browbeat the widow with the inconsistency of this [claim about Connally being Oswald’s intended target] with her prior testimony, and they quickly left the subject altogether” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 61). But what Reston doesn’t mention is that one of the questions Russell asked Marina during her testimony on September 6, 1964, was “…do you think [Lee] would shoot and kill a man that he would vote for, for the Governor of his state [Texas]?” (WC Volume V, page 610). The fact that Reston never mentions to his readers that Marina told the Warren Commission that Oswald would vote for Connally for Governor while they were still living in Russia, shows just how dishonest and agenda driven he is.
Let’s now take a look at how Reston uses George Bouhe to convince his readers that Oswald’s intended target was Connally. For those who are unaware, Bouhe was a prominent member of the “White Russian” community in the Dallas and Fort Worth area who became acquainted with Lee and Marina Oswald following their return from Russia to the United States. Reston quotes the following from Bouhe’s Warren Commission testimony “If anybody asked me, did [Oswald] have any hostility [against] anybody in the government, which I didn’t hear myself, I would say Governor Connally” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 28). Although Bouhe did in fact state this in response to the question “Did [Oswald] ever express any hostilities toward any individual in the Government?” Reston omits the section of Bouhe’s response which this reviewer has underlined (WC Volume VIII, page 374). Reston also omits the fact that when Bouhe was asked if he had any knowledge of Oswald’s “displeasure” with Connally, he remarked “Absolutely not” (ibid).
The reader should keep in mind that the reason why Bouhe believed that Oswald may have had a grudge against Connally was because he (Bouhe) had read in the newspaper about the letter Oswald wrote to Connally, in which Oswald claimed “I shall employ all means to right this gross mistake or injustice to a boni-fied U.S. citizen and ex-service-man” and considered this to be a threat (ibid). As stated previously, another witness whom Reston uses to convince his readers that Oswald’s intended target was Connally is George DeMohrenschildt; an oil geologist who had reportedly become acquainted with Oswald at the behest of J. Walton Moore, the chief of the CIA’s Dallas station (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, 2nd edition, pages 152 and 153). In his book, Reston describes DeMohrenschildt as “A Pompous, flamboyant dandy…” who was “…drawn to Oswald largely for reasons of self-amusement” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, pages 29 and 30). Quoting from DeMohrenschildt’s manuscript on Oswald (which was given to the HSCA in 1978), Reston writes that Oswald told DeMohrenschildt “I received an honorable discharge and then those bastards in the Navy changed it into an undesirable discharge, just because I went to Russia and threw my passport in the face of the American Consul” (ibid, page 34).
Further quoting from the manuscript, Reston writes that Oswald exclaimed to DeMohrenschildt “And Connally signed this undesirable discharge” (ibid), (the manuscript can be read here). Whilst Reston is eager to use this as evidence that Oswald’s intended target was Connally, what Reston never mentions to his readers is that DeMohrenschildt told the Warren Commission in 1964 that he never discussed Connally with Oswald (WC Volume IX, page 255). As a matter of fact, DeMohrenschildt told the Warren Commission that he learned about Oswald’s “dishonourable” discharge after the assassination! (ibid). We should also keep in mind that DeMohrenschildt’s wife, Jeanne LeGon, told the Warren Commission that Oswald never mentioned Connally at any time, and claimed (in so many words) that she and her husband learned about Oswald’s “dishonourable” discharge by reading about it in the newspapers after the assassination (ibid, page 326).
Finally, let’s look at how Reston uses the statements by Alexandra DeMohrenschildt (Mrs. Donald Gibson) to convince his readers that Connally was Oswald’s intended target. Reston describes Gibson as “…a good witness, for in the fall of 1962, she had been married to an engineer with liberal politics named Gary Taylor and had listened as Oswald and Taylor engaged in political discussion” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, pages 35). When Gibson testified before the Warren Commission, she was asked “Was President Kennedy ever mentioned in the course of the discussions between your husband [Gary Taylor] and Lee?” Gibson responded “Never, never… the only person ever mentioned pertaining to that was the Governor of Texas” (WC Volume XI, page 145). Gibson would go on to explain that “…for some reason Lee just didn’t like [Connally],” and that Oswald had a “definite aversion” to Connally (ibid). However, Gibson could offer no definitive answer as to why Oswald allegedly disliked Connally, remarking instead that “I just know Lee never spoke too much about why he left the Marines or anything like that. I don’t know. Maybe it was a dishonourable discharge, I don’t know. All I know is that it was something he didn’t talk about. And there was a reason why he did not like Connally” (ibid).
Although Reston has no qualms about using Gibson as a witness to Oswald’s so-called aversion to Connally, there are several reasons why she should not be considered a credible witness. First of all, as pointed out above, Gibson could offer no definitive answer to the Warren Commission as to why Oswald disliked Connally. Secondly, when Gary Taylor testified before the Warren Commission, he was asked if Oswald ever mentioned Connally. Taylor claimed that he didn’t; and further remarked that he never heard Oswald take exception to Government officials (WC Volume IX, page 95). Reston never mentions this to his readers. Finally, it is also perhaps worth keeping in mind that Gibson had to be reminded by Counsel Albert Jenner that Connally was the Governor of Texas, after she made the statement “…you are going to have to tell me who the Governor [of Texas] was” (WC Volume XI, page 145).
As the reader can see, Reston selectively quoted from the statements made by the aforementioned witnesses to bolster the ludicrous notion that Oswald was shooting at Connally. Reston also includes the claim by Carroll Jarnagin; an attorney who was acquainted with Jack Ruby, that a man whom he thought was Oswald had discussed the possibility of assassinating Connally with Ruby at the Carousel club (Reston, The Accidental Victim, pages 82 to 93). According to Reston, he included the Jarnagin’s claim “as an example of how dramatic testimony can generate conspiracy theories, why they are given credence or ultimately debunked, and what type of individual can sometimes be behind them” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, pages 83 and 84). This reviewer would like to point out that Jarnagin was given a polygraph examination by the DPD concerning the conversation he allegedly heard between Oswald and Ruby; which he purportedly failed (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 18, Folder 4, Item 3).
Jarnagin also admitted to the FBI that he was drunk on the night he allegedly heard the aforementioned conversation between Oswald and Ruby at the club (WCE 2821). According to Jarnagin, he also telephoned the Texas Department of Public safety one day after he allegedly heard the conversation; and informed a State Highway Patrolman of same (ibid). However, according to Major Guy Smith of the Texas Department of Public safety and Captain Robert Crowder of the Texas Rangers, no such information was received by them from Jarnagin (ibid). Although this reviewer can go on, as discussed, there is good reason to believe that Jarnagin’s claim should be taken with a grain of salt. The reader should also keep in mind that the following people who were related and/or acquainted with Oswald either claimed or implied that they had no knowledge of Oswald’s so-called aversion to Connally: Oswald’s mother Marguerite (WC Volume I, page 224); Oswald’s brother and half-brother, Robert Oswald and John Pic (ibid, page 450), (WC Volume XI, page 79); Declan and Katherine (Katya) Ford (WC Volume II, pages 315 and 328); Michael and Ruth Paine (ibid, page 414), (WC Volume IX, page 373); Oswald’s Cousins Marilyn and John Murret (WC Volume VIII, pages 173 and 193); Max Clark (ibid, page 351); Anna Meller (ibid, page 386); Elena Hall etc. (ibid, page 405).
The Walker shooting and the “Nixon incident”
Like his fellow lone assassin theorists, Reston claims that on the evening of April 10, 1963, Oswald took a shot at former Army General Edwin Walker using the Mannlicher Carcano rifle he allegedly owned (WCE 139). To bolster this claim, Reston quotes Marina Oswald; who told both the FBI and the Warren Commission that Oswald had confided to her that he had taken a shot at Walker (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 42). Reston also uses George DeMohrenschildt’s manuscript which was given to the HSCA; in which DeMohrenschildt wrote that his wife Jeanne noticed a rifle inside the bedroom closet at the apartment at 214 West Neely Street in Dallas, where the Oswalds allegedly lived in early 1963 (ibid). However, what Reston omits is that DeMohrenschildt wrote in his manuscript that he had also seen the rifle after his wife allegedly told him about it (see here). Although Reston is more than eager to use the statements by Marina and DeMohrenschildt to sell the notion that Oswald took a shot at Walker, let’s take a look at the numerous problems with this allegation.
First of all, as researchers such as John Armstrong have shown, Oswald did not own the Mannlicher Carcano rifle he allegedly used to shoot at Walker and the President (see here). Secondly, although the bullet fired at Walker was allegedly a mangled 6.5 mm copper coated Mannlicher Carcano bullet (WCE 573), the DPD claimed that the bullet was steel jacketed; and the media reported that it was a 30.06 calibre bullet (see here). Furthermore, Walker; who had examined the bullet fired at him, claimed that WCE 573 was not the bullet fired at him! (see here). Although Walker made this claim many years after the incident, one would think that a man with considerable military experience; and who had examined the bullet fired at him, would vividly remember what the bullet looked like. Finally, as many researchers have noted, Oswald was never considered a suspect in the Walker shooting until after the assassination.
Let’s now look at the problems with Marina and the DeMohrenschildts as witnesses. Although Marina told the Warren Commission that Oswald owned the Mannlicher Carcano rifle allegedly used to assassinate the President, she initially failed to positively identify it as being Oswald’s when it was shown to her by the DPD and the FBI (Dallas Municipal Archives, Box 2, Folder 1, Item 1; WCE 1778; WC Volume I, page 119). In fact, she told the DPD that Oswald owned a “rifle” in Russia which he used for hunting, but failed to tell them that he owned a rifle following their return to the United States. Furthermore, she told the FBI that she would not be able to identify it if she saw it again (WCE 1778). The reader should also keep in mind that although Marina claimed that the gun Oswald owned in Russia was a rifle, it was actually a shotgun (WC Volume I, pages 327 and 328). During her testimony before the Warren Commission, she claimed that she didn’t know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun (ibid, page 13).
In order to understand why Marina eventually claimed that Oswald owned the rifle (WCE 139), the reader should take the following into consideration. Firstly, Oswald’s brother Robert told the Warren Commission that the FBI had implied (in so many words) that they might deport Marina back to the Soviet Union if she didn’t cooperate with them (WC Volume I, page 410). According to the report by FBI agents Charles Brown and James Hosty on Marina’s interview with them and the United States Secret Service on November 27, 1963, she was informed during that interview that if she cooperated with the government it could be of some assistance to her (WCE 1780). During that same interview, she allegedly claimed that it was all right with her if she wasn’t allowed to stay in the United States; but she also claimed that she would like to stay in the United Stated because of her two daughters, and asked for assurance that she would be allowed to stay (ibid). She was then told that the government needed her help and that “this might help” her (ibid).
The implication of the above is that Marina would have a better chance of being allowed to stay in the United States if she cooperated with the authorities. During her testimony before the Warren Commission, Marina claimed that a representative from the immigration office told her that it would be better for her if she helped the FBI; in the sense that she would have more rights in the United States (WC Volume I, page 80). Given the fact that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were determined early on in the investigation that Oswald was guilty of assassinating President Kennedy (see here for example), we have good reason to believe that Hoover and the FBI would threaten to deport Marina if she didn’t cooperate with them. Should the reader doubt that Hoover would threaten to deport her if she didn’t cooperate with the FBI, the reader should consider that Hoover had the legendary leftist labor leader Emma Goldman (whom he detested) deported to Canada by altering the trial testimony of Leon Czolgosz; the assassin of President William McKinley, to make it appear as though she encouraged him to shoot McKinley (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, page 214).
Although this reviewer could point out numerous other problems with Marina as a witness against her husband; such as her claim that she took the so-called “backyard photographs” of him posing with the rifle (WCE 133 A and B), when we take the above into account, her claim (amongst others) that Oswald owned the rifle allegedly used to assassinate the President should be taken with a grain of salt. As for the DeMohrenschildts, when Jeanne DeMohrenschildt testified before the Warren Commission, she claimed that Marina showed her the rifle (WCE 139) which was allegedly inside a closet at the aforementioned Neely street apartment where the Oswald’s purportedly lived, and that she told her husband about it when they were there (WC Volume IX, page 315 and 317) She also claimed that the rifle wasn’t hidden inside the closet (ibid, page 315). However, Marina told the Warren Commission that she couldn’t remember showing the rifle to the DeMohrenschildts (WC Volume I, page 14, WC Volume V, page 619).
On a further note, when Marina was asked if the rifle was ever placed inside a closet at the apartment, she remarked “No, it was always either in a corner, standing up in a corner or on a shelf” (WC Volume I, pages 13 and 14). She also remarked “You must know that the rifle –it isn’t as if it was out in the open. [Lee] would hang a coat or something to mask its presence in the room” (ibid, page 14). As pointed out above, George DeMohrenschildt claimed in his manuscript that he had seen the rifle. However, he told the Warren Commission in 1964 that he didn’t see the rifle (WC Volume IX, page 250). Therefore, his latter claim should be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s also take into account the following contradictions between the statements of Marina and the DeMohrenschildts. Marina told the Warren Commission that as soon as the DeMohrenschildts arrived at their apartment following the Walker shooting, George asked Oswald (with regards to what she claims she thought was Oswald’s attempt to assassinate Edwin Walker) “Lee, how is it possible that you missed” (WC Volume I, page 18).
But when DeMohrenschildt was asked if he had said this to Oswald during his testimony before the Warren Commission, he claimed “Never. I don’t recall that incident… my recollections are vague, of course, but how could I have said that when I didn’t know that he had a gun you see” (WC Volume IX, page 250). Suffice it to say, given all of the aforementioned contradictions between the statements of Marina and the DeMohrenschildts, there is good reason to believe that the DeMohrenschildts were both lying when they claimed that Oswald had a rifle inside the closet at the apartment. But this doesn’t prevent the likes of Reston from using them as witnesses to Oswald’s ownership of the rifle. Most researchers are also probably aware of the allegation by Marina that Oswald had intended to shoot former Vice President Richard Nixon, during an alleged visit by him to Dallas in April, 1963. According to Marina, Oswald learned of Nixon’s alleged intention to visit Dallas after reading about it in the newspaper (WC Report, page 188).
The Warren Commission dismissed this allegation on the basis that neither of the Dallas newspapers in the period from January 1, 1963 to May 15, 1963, mentioned any proposed visit by Nixon to Dallas (ibid). The Warren Commission also reported that Nixon had informed them that the only time he was in Dallas in 1963 was during November 20 and 21, and that “An investigation failed to reveal any invitation extended to Mr. Nixon during the period when Oswald’s threat reportedly occurred” (ibid). Although Reston believes that Oswald was about to leave his home with a pistol after reading the newspaper (as Marina claimed), he argues that Oswald was going after Connally! As Reston writes “…the governor was scheduled to open a conference of space scientists at the Marriott Motor Inn in Dallas” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 45).
This reviewer has been unable to verify if this is true. Essentially, Reston argues that Oswald was going after Connally due to his undesirable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps (and the envelope Oswald received which contained Connally’s letter to him and which had Connally’s smiling face on it inside a Texas star) and because of a speech Connally made at the San Jacinto Bay (which was printed in the newspaper Oswald allegedly read) during which Connally said that the spirit of the Texas revolution made him stand “just a little taller, just a little stiffer to men like [Fidel] Castro and [Nikita] Khrushchev” (ibid, page 46). Although Reston is free to believe whatever fantasy he wants to, for the reasons pointed out above by this reviewer, Marina’s claim that Oswald was about to leave their apartment with a revolver after reading about Nixon’s alleged intention to visit Dallas should also be taken with a grain of salt.
The Single Bullet Theory
If there is one thing more ludicrous than the notion that Oswald was trying to shoot John Connally, it is probably the single bullet theory. It will probably come as no surprise to the reader to learn that Reston is a supporter of this nonsense. According to Reston “Oswald’s first, wounding bullet had passed cleanly through the soft tissue of Kennedy’s lower neck, missing the spinal cord and any bone, passing cleanly through Kennedy’s neck-tie, then entering Connally’s back, streaking through the governor’s body, hitting his wrist and finally lodging in his thigh” (ibid, page 139). First of all, as any honest researcher of the assassination can acknowledge after viewing the photograph of the President’s back taken during his autopsy, the President’s back wound was not in his lower neck; but in his upper back. Secondly, as Dr. David Mantik has shown, in order for the so-called magic bullet (WCE 399) to exit the President’s neck after entering his back at the location shown on the autopsy photograph of his back, it most certainly would have struck his spinal cord; resulting in the nose of the bullet becoming deformed (see here).
But as photographs of the bullet show, the nose of the bullet is not deformed. Many researchers of the assassination are probably aware that during his autopsy, the President’s back wound was probed with a surgical probe to determine whether the bullet which entered his upper back had exited his throat. In their report on the President’s autopsy, FBI agents James Sibert and Frank O’Neill wrote that “…probing [of the back wound] determined that the distance travelled by this missile was a short distance in as much as the end of the opening could be felt with the finger” (WCD 7, page 284). Sibert also told author William Law that no exit for the back wound was found after it had been probed (Law, In the Eye of History, page 215). During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman claimed that as the autopsy doctors were probing the back wound, he asked Pierre Finck (one of the autopsy doctors) where the bullet which caused the back wound had gone. According to Kellerman, Finck remarked “There are no lanes for an outlet of this entry in this man’s shoulder” (WC Volume II, page 93). In other words, there was no exit for the back wound.
Although the wound clearly wasn’t in the President’s shoulder, given the fact that the wound was located in the President’s upper back, this could explain why Kellerman mistakenly remembered that the entrance for the bullet was in the President’s shoulder. Other witnesses to the President’s autopsy who claimed that no exit for the back wound was found by surgically probing it, were autopsy technicians James Curtis Jenkins and Paul O’Connor, pathologist Robert Karnei, and radiologist John Ebersole (Law, In the Eye of History, pages 40 and 74, DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, page 117). During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Commander James Joseph Humes (the chief autopsy pathologist) implied that there was no exit for the back wound when he claimed “Attempts to probe in the vicinity of this wound were unsuccessful without fear of making a false passage… We were unable, however, to take probes and have them satisfactorily fall through any definite path at this point” (WC Volume II, page 361).
To evidently bolster the notion that Connally and the President were both struck by the same bullet, Reston writes that the entrance wound in Connally’s back was 3 cm long (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 145). This is the same length as WCE 399, the Magic Bullet. Lone assassin theorists commonly use this as evidence that the bullet was tumbling as it entered Connally’s back; and that it had therefore hit another object (namely President Kennedy) prior to entering Connally’s back. However, measurements of the size of the bullet hole in the back of Connally’s shirt and suit jacket reveal that the largest diameter of the hole was approximately 1.3 cm and 1.7 cm respectively (HSCA report, Volume VII, pages 138 and 141). Furthermore, Dr Robert Shaw; the Parkland Hospital surgeon who operated on Connally’s chest wound, told the Warren Commission that the bullet entrance in Connally’s back was “approximately a centimeter and a half in its greatest diameter” (WC Volume IV, page 104).
As Shaw told the HSCA (and implied during his testimony before the Warren Commission), the wound only became 3 cm long in its greatest diameter after it had been surgically enlarged (HSCA report, Volume VII, pages 142; WC Volume IV, page 108). Although there are numerous other reasons to believe that the single bullet theory is nothing but a fantasy; such as the fact that the wound in President Kennedy’s back was anatomically lower than the wound in his throat (with the President sitting upright), and the fact that the size of the smallest diameter of the President’s back wound (4 mm) as measured during his autopsy was smaller than the diameter of the bullet (6.65 mm), it is not this reviewer’s intention to provide a lengthy discussion of these issues (WC Volume III, page 400). Suffice it to say, whilst Reston and his ilk are free to uphold this ludicrous theory as a fact, the evidence demonstrates otherwise.
Let’s now take a look at the issue of the discovery of the so-called magic bullet. Although this issue is not directly related to the question of whether the single bullet theory is true, this reviewer feels it is important to discuss it here. First of all, let’s take into the account the fact that Darrell Tomlinson, the senior engineer at Parkland Hospital who allegedly discovered the bullet on Governor Connally’s stretcher after it allegedly dislodged itself from Connally’s thigh, told the Warren Commission that he thought he found the bullet on a different stretcher (WC Volume VI, page 130). Secondly, O.P. Wright; a personnel officer at Parkland hospital to whom Tomlinson allegedly gave the bullet after he discovered it, told researcher Josiah Thompson that the bullet was sharp nosed and lead colored, whereas WCE 399 is a copper colored, round nosed bullet (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, page 66). Although both Tomlinson and Wright allegedly told FBI agent Bardwell Odum that they thought WCE 399 appeared to be the same bullet discovered at parkland hospital, during an interview with researchers Josiah Thompson and Gary Aguilar many years later, Odum (who knew Wright) claimed that he didn’t remember showing the bullet to either man (ibid, WCE 2011).
The reader should also bear in mind that according to an FBI Airtel dated June 20, 1964, neither Tomlinson nor Wright could identify WCE 399 as the bullet allegedly discovered on Connally’s stretcher (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, ibid). After Wright allegedly received the bullet from Tomlinson, he purportedly turned it over to Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen; who in turn allegedly turned it over to James Rowley, the head of the Secret Service at the time. However, both men told the FBI that they couldn’t identify it as the bullet which was given to them (WCE 2011). Furthermore, Johnsen wrote in his “chain of custody” note that the stretcher on which the bullet was allegedly found had rubber gloves, a stethoscope, and “other doctor’s paranphilnylia” (sic, WCE 1024). R.J. Jimison; the hospital orderly who placed Governor Connally’s stretcher onto the elevator after Connally was placed onto the operating table, told the Warren Commission that he noticed nothing but a little flat mattress and two sheets on the stretcher (WC Volume VI, page 126). We should also keep in mind that during his testimony before the Warren Commission, Tomlinson claimed that the stretcher which had “surgical instruments” on it was a different one to Connally’s (ibid, page 131).
It is also important to note that at the end of his “chain of custody” note, Johnsen wrote the time 7:30 pm (WCE 1024). According to FBI agent Robert Frazier, the FBI laboratory in Washington D.C. received the bullet at that exact same time (see here). However, FBI agent Elmer Lee Todd, who allegedly received the bullet from Chief Rowley at the white house and then handed it over to the FBI laboratory in Washington, wrote in his report that he received the bullet from Rowley at 8:50 pm (WCD 7, page 288). Whilst some might argue that this discrepancy was due to an error, we should keep in mind that FBI agents Sibert and O’Neill wrote in their report on President Kennedy’s autopsy that they were telephonically informed by FBI agent Charles Killion from the FBI laboratory in Washington D.C. that the laboratory had received the bullet through Richard Johnsen; with no mention of either Rowley or Todd. (ibid, page 284).
In light of the above, it seems likely to this reviewer that whatever bullet was found on a stretcher at Parkland hospital was given to the FBI laboratory by Johnsen, and that Rowley gave Todd a different bullet. It is also worth keeping in mind that Gerald Behn; the Secret Service agent in charge of the white house detail, claimed that Johnsen had possession of the bullet; but made no mention of the bullet being given to his superior, chief Rowley (ibid, page 286). On a final note, let’s keep in mind that Todd wrote in his report that he etched his initials on the nose of the bullet which he turned over to the FBI laboratory, for “identification purposes” (ibid, page 288). But as researcher John Hunt has shown, Todd’s initials are nowhere to be found on WCE 399 (see here).
No evidence of a conspiracy?
Like the majority of lone assassin theorists, Reston claims that there is no evidence of a conspiracy. In the preface of his book, Reston writes that “In a recent poll of Americans, 85% expressed belief in a conspiracy, even though no convincing evidence has been put forward to support that notion” and that “The evidence is overwhelming that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, with absolutely no encouragement from, or involvement with, a foreign government or a criminal organization” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 2). Towards the end of his book, Reston writes that “While the Warren Commission concluded definitively and correctly that Oswald acted alone, the various conspiracy theories about the famous Grassy Knoll have been thoroughly discredited by painstaking historical research. No convincing evidence of a conspiracy has ever come forward” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 176).
To refer to the above comments by Reston as malarkey would be an understatement. Contrary to what Reston wants us all to believe, there is very good reason to believe that there was a conspiracy behind the President’s assassination. For example, as both Pat Speer and this reviewer have discussed, there is very good reason to believe that there was a silenced shot fired at circa frame 224 of the Zapruder film which struck Governor Connally; and that this shot could therefore not have been fired from the sixth floor of the TSBD by “Oswald’s” Mannlicher Carcano rifle (see here). Furthermore, Speer has demonstrated that the majority of the eye/ear witnesses in Dealey plaza recalled hearing the last two audible shots fired in rapid succession; whereas it required a minimum of 2.3 seconds to fire back to back shots from the Mannlicher Carcano rifle (see here).
Most researchers are probably aware of the presence of fake Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. For those who aren’t, shortly following the assassination, DPD officers Joe Marshall Smith and David Harkness encountered men claiming to be Secret Service agents behind the picket fence and TSBD respectively (see here). The problem is that there were no genuine Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza within the first twenty minutes of the assassination. One has to wonder what these men claiming to be Secret Service agents were doing in Dealey Plaza shortly following the assassination. Given all of the evidence we have indicating that there was a conspiracy, it is this reviewer’s opinion that these men were by all likelihood conspirators. As Pat Speer has demonstrated, several railroad workers standing on top of the triple underpass (and other witnesses) observed smoke coming from the direction of the picket fence (see here). It is also in this area where eyewitness J.C. Price; who was watching the motorcade from the roof of the Terminal Annex building on Commerce Street, observed a man with what he thought might have been a head piece running towards the cars in the parking lot behind the picket fence (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 5, Folder 2, Item 49).
The reader may also be aware that in the parking lot behind the picket fence is where eyewitness Lee Bowers; who was working in the railroad tower in that area at the time of the assassination, observed three suspicious vehicles enter and leave shortly before the assassination; one of which was driven by a man with what appeared to him (Bowers) to be a “mike” or telephone in the car (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 5, Folder 2, Item 9). Finally, it is in this area where Dallas deputy Sheriff W.W. “Bo” Mabra claimed that he encountered a man he described as a “city officer” (see here). During an interview with author Larry Sneed, Mabra claimed that the “city officer” was wearing a uniform, and that he told him (Mabra) “I don’t know what’s going on, but there hasn’t been a thing move back here in an hour or more because I’ve been here all that time” (Sneed, No More Silence, page 519).
The reader should also bear in mind that at Greg Parker’s research forum, researcher Lee Farley has posted evidence that at the time of the assassination, a DPD squad car was parked behind the picket fence (see here). Whilst some might argue that there is nothing sinister about the presence of this squad car, one should ask why the officer(s) who was assigned to that car never came forward to claim that he/they was/were behind the fence; and that he/they not only didn’t observe any shots being fired from that area, but didn’t observe anyone acting suspicious in that area given all of the allegations by conspiracy advocates over the years? In this reviewer’s opinion, the most rational explanation is that the officer(s) was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the President which involved a shot(s) being fired from behind the picket fence.
Aside from all of the above, other evidence indicating that there was a conspiracy to assassinate the President includes the mock-up wallet containing Identification for Oswald and his alleged alias “Alek James Hidell” which was left behind in the vicinity of the murder scene of officer J.D. Tippit; to implicate Oswald for Tippit’s murder. This evidence was discussed in part 2 of this reviewer’s review of Dale Myers book With Malice (see here under the subheading IX: Hints and allegations). Although many researchers are of the opinion that Oswald had possession of the revolver which was most likely used to kill Tippit (WCE 143) at the time of his arrest at the Texas Theater, as this reviewer has discussed in the essay entitled Gerald Hill and the Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald, there is good reason to believe that DPD Sergeant Gerald Hill framed Oswald for Tippit’s murder by pretending to remove the revolver (WCE 143) from Oswald during his arrest at the Theater (see here). On a final note, researcher Sean Murphy has painstakingly shown that at the time of the assassination, Oswald was probably standing just outside the front entrance to the TSBD! Murphy’s brilliant and mind blowing research can be read here.
Overall, this is a very bad book. However, this reviewer doesn’t want to leave the readers of this review with the impression that this is a completely worthless book. On a positive note, Reston does a good job in showing that Oswald admired President Kennedy. But it is apparent to this reviewer that the only reason he does this is to bolster his ludicrous contention that Oswald was shooting at Connally. Another positive aspect of the book is a discussion of a conversation President Kennedy had with Texas congressmen Henry Gonzales about the war in Vietnam on board Air force one the day before the assassination. As Reston writes, the President allegedly said to Gonzales “…I’ve already ordered all the men and all the helicopters to be out of South Vietnam by the end of the year” (Reston, The Accidental Victim, page 111).
Gonzales allegedly told Reston the above during an interview with him. Although there can be very little doubt that President Kennedy was determined to remove 1,000 U.S. military personnel from South Vietnam by the end of 1963, as researchers such as Jim DiEugenio have discussed, the President’s intention was to remove all military personnel from South Vietnam by the end of 1965 (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, 2nd edition, page 371). It also makes much more sense to this reviewer if U.S. military personnel and helicopters were gradually removed from South Vietnam from the end of 1963 until the end of 1965, rather than removing all by the end of 1963 to provide the South Vietnamese military enough time to sustain themselves against the North Vietnamese communists. Therefore, it is this reviewer’s opinion that the aforementioned quote should be taken with a grain of salt.
I would like to thank researcher Greg Parker for generously taking the time to respond to my questions concerning his research. I would also like to thank researcher Jim DiEugenio for generously taking the time to proof read this review prior to it being published on this blog.