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The Postmark On CE773


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#46 David Von Pein

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:41 PM

On October 15, 2012, while attempting to acquire still more information about the "12" in the postmark on Oswald's envelope, I sought the opinion of a man with whom I recently became "friends" at Facebook, Jimmy Orr, who not only has a great interest in the JFK assassination, but who is also, coincidentally, a supervisor for the United States Postal Service. Here is my conversation with Mr. Orr:

Hi Jimmy,

I just noticed that you are a Manager/Supervisor at the U.S. Postal Service, which is an occupation that comes in mighty handy when discussing the topic at the link provided in this post. And since you're also interested in the JFK assassination, you would be the perfect person to add your USPS expertise to this topic. I've had several people from the "Post Mark Collectors Club" and the "Machine Cancel Society" chime in with their views, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer (yet). Here's the discussion:

http://jfk-archives....xhibit-773.html

David Von Pein
October 15, 2012

================================

JIMMY ORR SAID:

At first glance, David . . . the postmark seems to be of a Model G flyer, of which we still use one in Greenville [South Carolina] to this day. An electric machine, it probably dates to the 1930's, but is still useful to cancel heavy, non-automation pieces.

There would have been absolutely NO local zone classification for cancellations in 1963, as there are absolutely none to date on this equipment. The number 12, most assuredly, would have indicated a machine number at the processing plant in Dallas. Nothing more, nothing less. I have been with USPS for 29 years now. Nothing on a postmark other than city, state, and zip code has EVER indicated an origination.

[The] MPO [Main Post Office] in Dallas would have typically had a large workroom area with multiple flyer machines in 1963. It is also quite probable that they had as many as twelve mechanized Mark II cancellation machines. The dies would be nearly identical and would merely indicate the machine number. I believe, firmly, that no conclusion can be drawn about the origin of the letter within the Dallas community by observing the postmark.

Also David, the time of 10:30 [which is also stamped on Commission Exhibit 773] would indicate the 'clearance' time for delivery. Anything before 10:30 would constitute next day service. That which was received later would not. There would have been ABSOLUTELY no changing of the dies to reflect what time the letter was received . . . with the letter volume of 1963 as compared to today's internet generation . . . the notion is ludicrous . . . cancellations in Dallas at the time were probably upwards of 300,000 letters per day.

==============================

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Thank you very much, Jimmy. The information you have provided is very helpful indeed. And doubly so, considering it comes from a 29-year veteran of the United States Postal Service. I very much appreciate your valuable assistance on this matter.

Edited by David Von Pein, 15 October 2012 - 08:42 PM.


#47 David Von Pein

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:38 PM

DAVID VON PEIN ADDED:

Hi again Jimmy [Orr],

I'd like to get a clarification if I could about this statement you made earlier. You said: "There would have been absolutely NO local zone classification for cancellations in 1963. ... I have been with USPS for 29 years now. Nothing on a postmark other than city, state, and zip code has EVER indicated an origination."

I'm curious to know how you know for a fact that "there would have been absolutely NO local zone classification for cancellations in 1963"? Since you started working for the USPS in 1983, which was years after Zip Codes came into existence, it's obvious that you would have never seen any postmark with a "Postal Zone" code attached to it in these last 29 years.

I'll also point you to the following quote from a Mr. A.J. Savakis of the "Machine Cancel Society":

"It [the "12" on Oswald's envelope] could be a postal zone OR a machine number OR a dial given to a specific postal worker to work a machine OR represents a special tour of processing mail at a special point OR any other representation decided by the Dallas postal authorities. I can't rule it out."

So, Mr. Savakis seems to think that the "12" in the 1963 Dallas postmark could be a postal zone after all. I'm just trying to pin down a definitive answer on this matter, if that's possible to do. But, as you can see, there are some disagreements--even among people who belong to organizations specializing in all things relating to postmarks.

Any further observations or information you can provide would be, as always, appreciated.

Thanks.

DVP

Edited by David Von Pein, 15 October 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#48 David Von Pein

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:40 AM

FYI:

More Follow-Ups:


USPS MANAGER JIMMY ORR SAID:

David,

True that I have managed a USPS cancellation unit for more years now than I care to remember and it is true that my remarks were made in good faith.

In the very beginning I was accustomed to the exact equipment that would have been used in Dallas in 1963, and I had folks in my unit who were 'veterans' of that postal era. None of the above precludes the possibility that my reasoning might be erroneous. I firmly believe that I am right, but I will do a little investigating of my own now and get back to you as soon as possible.

Just a further note:

My hometown of Greenville [South Carolina] has zip codes that were established when zip first came into existence in the 1960's. The codes denote sub-stations in Greenville. Station A, Station B, Parkplace, Federal Station, Berea Branch, etc.

When the carriers assigned to each of these stations return in the afternoon, everything is consolidated and trucked to the Sectional Center Facility, or SCF, as it was known for most of my years and those previous to my tenure. In this facility (such as in downtown Dallas) the whole was 'cancelled' in one large workfloor space and trayed for manual or machine distribution. It is extremely unlikely to me that this particular mailpiece could have ever been traced back to a certain municipal or surburban area of Dallas once it was dropped in the mailbox.

By contrast, as much as things have changed, I think they still tend to stay the same; somewhat. I have four automated advanced facer canceller machines running to date in Greenville, and by the postal indicia stamp killer bars, I cannot tell you where in Greenville the piece was mailed from, but I can tell you which one of my machines cancelled the stamp.

It is my professional opinion that the number 12 designates either a mechanized flyer or perhaps even the more advanced mechanical canceller, the Mark II. There is nothing logical to me that would assign the number to a point of origination or to a particular postal operator. It just doesn't make any sense to me. However, as I said, we are onto something here, and I will investigate it further, for my own peace of mind.

Edited by David Von Pein, 16 October 2012 - 07:42 AM.


#49 David Von Pein

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:45 AM

JIMMY ORR SAID:

David, to cut to the chase . . . it IS my professional opinion that the letter was cancelled at the Dallas Main Post Office. The number 12 merely indicates a Model G flyer (much like a Singer sewing machine) or a Mark II unit at the Main Office.

I cannot tell you where it was dropped into a mail slot, could have been downtown or might have been in Oak Cliff. Delivery zones are for delivery, there is no such designation for collections. Few living souls actually realize what 100,000 letters look like, much less how the tooth-fairy sorts them all out. Dallas City was by 1963 shipping everything to the SCF. It would not have been practical, nor plausable to run a cancellation unit in every nook and cranny of the city and suburbs.

================================

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

There is no doubt (per Dallas Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes' Warren Commission testimony) that Oswald purchased the $21.45 money order for his mail-order rifle at the Main Post Office in Dallas. That's evidently an ironclad fact. Therefore, it stands to reason that he dropped it in the mail while he was right there inside the post office on March 12, 1963 (which is the date on the money order and on the postmark).

The two main "Post Office"-related arguments that conspiracy theorists have made over the years relating to this particular envelope and mail-order transaction are:

1.) If the "12" on the envelope represents postal zone #12 for the city of Dallas, which apparently was located miles from the Main Post Office, then why did Oswald walk miles out of his way to mail the letter when he could have mailed it right there at the Main Post Office? But this argument is pretty much debunked by these words written by Jimmy Orr: "I cannot tell you where it was dropped into a mail slot, could have been downtown or might have been in Oak Cliff. Delivery zones are for delivery, there is no such designation for collections."

2.) How did Oswald's letter get all the way to Chicago in just 24 hours? It was stamped with a "10:30 AM" postmark on 3/12/63, and Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago received it and processed the order for the mail-order rifle the very next day (per Waldman Exhibit No. 7, which plainly shows a stamped date of "Mar. 13, '63" at the top of that internal Klein's invoice).

You, Jimmy, being in the postal industry for so many years, can probably also provide some good information concerning that second argument made by the conspiracy theorists.

I have no doubt whatsoever in my own mind that Oswald's letter did, in fact, reach Chicago from Dallas in just one day--departing Dallas on the morning of March 12, and arriving in Klein's hands in Chicago sometime on March 13. Every scrap of evidence indicates it DID happen that way. We must also consider the fact that Oswald mailed the letter via Air Mail too. Wouldn't that have sped things up quite a bit (circa 1963)?

Jimmy, in your experience, in general, how long does it take an air mail letter to go from Dallas, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois (provided the letter was mailed no later than 10:30 AM local Dallas time)?

Edited by David Von Pein, 16 October 2012 - 08:46 AM.


#50 David Von Pein

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

JIMMY ORR SAID:

I regret that I disappoint you, David. But when you try to ascertain who mailed their boss a letter bomb or a sack of shit via USPS you might understand the frustration.

I worked in local law enforcement for eight years prior to my postal career. It is no small wonder to me that the mystery of the 'anthrax' letters has never been solved, nor the ricin incident at my own facility in Greenville and at the White House.

Terms such as Cancellation, Processing, Origin, and Delivery are as different as night and day in the postal world. It is a complex network.

I certainly believe that Oswald bought the money order at the Dallas Terminal Annex Facility. I firmly believe that he mailed the envelope there and that the same was cancelled there perhaps by an antiquated flyer given the mystic number 12.

Conspiracy's argument that a delivery zone designation constitutes a point of origin makes no goddamned sense to me. The Zip Code was implemented in 1963 as a delivery device. While in modern perspective it is used in conjunction with indicia to indicate origin, I have as yet to find such to be the case in a historical perspective. In short, they either printed the goddamned town or station name on the cancellation die or not . . . . Hence, what does Dallas, Tex mean to you ? :)

=========================================

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

When did I ever give you the impression that I am "disappointed" in you regarding this matter, Jimmy? Quite the contrary. I greatly appreciate the time you've taken to explain a lot of this USPS stuff. Each post you've made concerning this topic has been quite valuable.

In point of fact, though, all of this talk about the "12" on Oswald's envelope is relatively unimportant in the larger scheme of things relating to the JFK assassination, because the physical evidence proves, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Lee Harvey Oswald positively did mail that money order and rifle coupon to Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago on 3/12/63. And the evidence further proves, beyond all doubt, that Klein's received that exact envelope in the mail by March 13, 1963.

But the loony conspiracy theorists aren't satisfied at all with PHYSICAL evidence all over the place that proves, for all time, that Oswald ordered, paid for, and was shipped Carcano rifle #C2766. The conspiracists want to pretend that ALL of the documents associated with that rifle purchase are phony and fraudulent. That's how bad it is in the JFK "research community". Pretty soon, I imagine they'll have Jack Ruby actually ordering the gun instead of "Hidell"/Oswald, and they'll have Ruby planting it on the sixth floor too.

I'll ask this question again, since you might have missed it the first time:

Jimmy Orr, in your experience, in general, how long does it take an air mail letter to go from Dallas, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois (provided the letter was mailed no later than 10:30 AM local Dallas time)?

Thanks.

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 01:10 AM.


#51 David Von Pein

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:23 PM

Jimmy Orr, in your experience, in general, how long does it take an air mail letter to go from Dallas, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois (provided the letter was mailed no later than 10:30 AM local Dallas time)?



David, Cancelled in Dallas by 10:30 AM and flown to Chicago that afternoon. Arrival for mail processing at a Chicago General Mail Facility during the early morning hours of the 13th and on the street for delivery to Klein's that same day. Makes perfect sense considering the volumes handled in 1963.



Thank you again, Jimmy. That's exactly what I hoped to hear from you regarding the next-day delivery.



#52 David Von Pein

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:57 AM

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

A related topic for USPS manager Jimmy Orr (regarding the application forms filled out by Lee Harvey Oswald for Dallas Post Office Box No. 2915):

Any thoughts, Jimmy O., about the controversy discussed in the article linked below? ....

http://jfk-archives....plications.html

===============================================

JIMMY ORR SAID:

The subject of whether Hidell was on the [post office box] application or not is irrelevant. Post Office Window Clerks do not reference applications when delivering parcels across the counter. Not even by today's security standards.

If Oswald was required to sign for the delivery, he simply produced a DD-217 bearing the name ALEK JAMES HIDELL. We are talking about a moment in time when there was no such thing as a picture ID, and a driver's license was little more than an engraved metal dog tag. My first law enforcement credentials in South Carolina during the mid 1970's did not bear a photograph.

The handwriting analysis performed is sufficient alone to indicate him as to the box rental and the order of the rifle. Also, the interpretation of Postal Regulation varies from office to office. There is generally no prescribed enforcement, not then, and not now.

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 04:58 AM.


#53 Greg Parker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:14 AM

Thank you again, Jimmy. That's exactly what I hoped to hear from you regarding the next-day delivery.


Whereas someone without any ax to grind would probably just hope to hear the facts -- no matter which way they fell.

Nevertheless, I for one am, am happy to be rid of all false beliefs in this fiasco of an investigation.

And none of this proves Oswald purchased any weapons.

#54 David Von Pein

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:07 AM

And none of this proves Oswald purchased any weapons.


Right, Greg. That fact was proven in 1963-1964, via the handwriting of Oswald's on the various documents.

I thought you would have realized that by this time.


Nevertheless, I for one am happy to be rid of all false beliefs in this fiasco of an investigation.


It's only a "fiasco" for the conspiracy theorists (and mainly because of the conspiracy theorists). It was really a very good investigation, with the authorities acquiring all the major facts within hours of Oswald's arrest, proving Oswald committed two murders before anybody's head hit the pillow on the night of November 22nd.

The investigators didn't need to investigate utter silliness like the "12" on Oswald's envelope. That's a game played only by conspiracy-happy clowns (the ones who most certainly have an "ax to grind"). And look how far it got them. Noplace. Just as it had to be, because other facts tell us that Oswald did order, pay for, and receive Rifle C2766, with or without that "12" on that envelope.

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 06:17 AM.


#55 Greg Parker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:53 AM

And none of this proves Oswald purchased any weapons.


Right, Greg. That fact was proven in 1963-1964, via the handwriting of Oswald's on the various documents.

I thought you would have realized that by this time.

What I realize is that there is no hard evidence that the rifle was ever in the Paine garage; that the rifle in the BY photos is not the same rifle; that this rifle was used to shoot at walker or; that this rifle was ever fired on Nov 22. That is enough to cast doubt on the documentation as potentially fraudulent.

Nevertheless, I for one am happy to be rid of all false beliefs in this fiasco of an investigation.


It's only a "fiasco" for the conspiracy theorists (and mainly because of the conspiracy theorists). It was really a very good investigation, with the authorities acquiring all the major facts within hours of Oswald's arrest, proving Oswald committed two murders before anybody's head hit the pillow on the night of November 22nd.

A "good" investigation entails the proper handling and marking of evidence; it entails not making false statements to the media; it entails asking the right questions of witnesses.

A "good" police force provides adequate protection of prisoners. A "good" police force ensures due process. A "good" police force follows all leads through to until they are exhausted. A "good" police force isn't party to manufacturing mock arraignments.

The investigators didn't need to investigate utter silliness like the "12" on Oswald's envelope. That's a game played only by conspiracy-happy clowns (the ones who most certainly have an "ax to grind"). And look how far it got them. Noplace. Just as it had to be, because other facts tell us that Oswald did order, pay for, and receive Rifle C2766, with or without that "12" on that envelope.

There are axes on both sides ever ready for the grinding. Like I said, I'm happy to have all the bull swept off the table. But that includes the bull from your side, as well. What's left gets us closer to resolution.


Edited by Greg Parker, 17 October 2012 - 07:54 AM.


#56 David Von Pein

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:43 AM

What I realize is that there is no hard evidence that the rifle was ever in the Paine garage.


Dead wrong. Marina saw the rifle inside the blanket while it was being stored in Ruth Paine's garage. Is she supposedly lying here? Or do you want to believe that the rifle Marina saw in the garage was some OTHER rifle besides Carcano #C2766?:

J. LEE RANKIN. Did you ever check to see whether the rifle was in the blanket?
MARINA OSWALD. I never checked to see that. There was only once that I was interested in finding out what was in that blanket, and I saw that it was a rifle.
Mr. RANKIN. When was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. About a week after I came from New Orleans.
Mr. RANKIN. And then you found that the rifle was in the blanket, did you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I saw the wooden part of it, the wooden stock.

1 H 52-53


The rifle in the BY photos is not the same rifle.


How many more centuries will this myth persist?

Why on Earth do you doubt the following determinations made by the HSCA's Photographic Panel?:

"The panel detects no evidence of fakery in any of the backyard picture materials." [6 HSCA 146]

"A comparison of identifying marks that exist on the rifle as shown in photographs today with marks shown on the rifle in photographs taken in 1963 indicates both that the rifle in the Archives is the same weapon that Oswald is shown holding in the backyard picture and the same weapon, found by Dallas police, that appears in various postassassination photographs." [6 HSCA 66]

More lies from the evil Government, Greg? Come on. What sensible person could possibly believe that the House Select Committee, fourteen years after the Warren Commission disbanded, would have had any reason whatsoever to want tell one lie after another about the murder of President Kennedy (such as the above conclusions concerning Oswald's rifle)?

And it's particularly silly to believe that the HSCA was involved in some kind of whitewash or cover-up, since that Committee DID conclude that a conspiracy probably did exist in JFK's murder.


[There is no hard evidence] that this rifle [Carcano No. C2766] was ever fired on Nov 22.


You must be joking about this one, Greg. And the reason you must be joking is because CE567 and CE569 exist in the evidence pile connected to JFK's assassination.

Do you really think the authorities fired a bullet through Oswald's Carcano rifle, making sure the bullet was banged up pretty badly (but not badly enough to prohibit a positive ballistics match to Oswald's rifle), and then they pretended that they found two large fragments from that manufactured missile in the front seat of the Presidential limousine?

You surely realize how utterly ridiculous the above argument sounds.

Sure, a conspiracy theorist can ramble on and on about "planted" or "fraudulent" evidence. But is it truly reasonable to believe in the kind of mass manufacturing of "Oswald Did It" evidence in this case (covering TWO separate murders [including Tippit's] and covering multiple law enforcement agencies--Dallas Police, FBI, and Secret Service)? Or do you think just ONE of those agencies managed to manufacture all of the stuff that screams "Oswald's Guilty" in this particular case?


A "good" police force isn't party to manufacturing mock arraignments.


If you're referring to Oswald's arraignment by Judge David Johnston at 1:35 AM on 11/23/63, then I can add this (see linked article):

http://jfk-archives.blogspot.com/2012/10/reclaiming-history-talk.html#Oswald's-Arraignment

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#57 Greg Parker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

What I realize is that there is no hard evidence that the rifle was ever in the Paine garage.


Dead wrong. Marina saw the rifle inside the blanket while it was being stored in Ruth Paine's garage. Is she supposedly lying here? Or do you want to believe that the rifle Marina saw in the garage was some OTHER rifle besides Carcano #C2766?:


J. LEE RANKIN. Did you ever check to see whether the rifle was in the blanket?
MARINA OSWALD. I never checked to see that. There was only once that I was interested in finding out what was in that blanket, and I saw that it was a rifle.
Mr. RANKIN. When was that?
Mrs. OSWALD. About a week after I came from New Orleans.
Mr. RANKIN. And then you found that the rifle was in the blanket, did you?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I saw the wooden part of it, the wooden stock.
1 H 52-53

Marina by her own admission, couldn't tell a shotgun from a rifle. Her testimony on this is worthless. What we do have is one Dallas cop saying the blanket, though empty, maintained the shape of a rifle... and another saying the same thing about the bag. Given that the shape (according to cops) was unmistakably a rifle, how is it that a former army vet claimed he thought it was camping equipment?

The rifle in the BY photos is not the same rifle.


How many more centuries will this myth persist?

Why on Earth do you doubt the following determinations made by the HSCA's Photographic Panel?:

"The panel detects no evidence of fakery in any of the backyard picture materials." [6 HSCA 146]

"A comparison of identifying marks that exist on the rifle as shown in photographs today with marks shown on the rifle in photographs taken in 1963 indicates both that the rifle in the Archives is the same weapon that Oswald is shown holding in the backyard picture and the same weapon, found by Dallas police, that appears in various postassassination photographs." [6 HSCA 66]

An expert panel found...? That's your argument?

An expert panel for the HSCA also found that the acoustical evidence proved a 4th shot. Do you believe that expert panel, or the next expert panel that disagreed with the HSCA expert panel?

They were fake - absolutely no doubt about it, but I have no intentions of debating it here.

More lies from the evil Government, Greg? Come on. What sensible person could possibly believe that the House Select Committee, fourteen years after the Warren Commission disbanded, would have had any reason whatsoever to want tell one lie after another about the murder of President Kennedy (such as the above conclusions concerning Oswald's rifle)?

And it's particularly silly to believe that the HSCA was involved in some kind of whitewash or cover-up, since that Committee DID conclude that a conspiracy probably did exist in JFK's murder.

Whitewash/False sponsors.


[There is no hard evidence] that this rifle [Carcano No. C2766] was ever fired on Nov 22.


You must be joking about this one, Greg. And the reason you must be joking is because CE567 and CE569 exist in the evidence pile connected to JFK's assassination.

Do you really think the authorities fired a bullet through Oswald's Carcano rifle, making sure the bullet was banged up pretty badly (but not badly enough to prohibit a positive ballistics match to Oswald's rifle), and then they pretended that they found two large fragments from that manufactured missile in the front seat of the Presidential limousine?

You surely realize how utterly ridiculous the above argument sounds.

Then why the need to lie to the media that Oswald failed the paraffin test to his cheek?

Sure, a conspiracy theorist can ramble on and on about "planted" or "fraudulent" evidence. But is it truly reasonable to believe in the kind of mass manufacturing of "Oswald Did It" evidence in this case (covering TWO separate murders [including Tippit's] and covering multiple law enforcement agencies--Dallas Police, FBI, and Secret Service)? Or do you think just ONE of those agencies managed to manufacture all of the stuff that screams "Oswald's Guilty" in this particular case?

You're doing the rambling, not me. In fact, pushed a bit further, you'll become incoherent.

A "good" police force isn't party to manufacturing mock arraignments.


If you're referring to Oswald's arraignment by Judge David Johnston at 1:35 AM on 11/23/63, then I can add this (see linked article):

http://jfk-archives....9;s-Arraignment


David,

did I say there was no arraignment? No, I did not. I said they manufactured "mock arraignments". I took the trouble to look at the legal issues, much as you've taken the trouble to find out the meaning of "12". The legal situation was that under Texas law, arraignments MUST take place in an OPEN COURT OF LAW. Oswald's so-called arraignments were done privately in a room at City Hall. They were therefore NOT legal.

#58 David Von Pein

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:48 PM

The legal situation was that under Texas law, arraignments MUST take place in an OPEN COURT OF LAW. Oswald's so-called arraignments were done privately in a room at City Hall. They were therefore NOT legal.


I think Oswald's arraignments at City Hall at 7:10 PM (for Tippit) and 1:35 AM (for JFK) were merely to formally inform Oswald of the official charges against him. As far as I am aware, Justice of the Peace David Johnston never asked Oswald this question which is normally asked of a defendant at a formal arraignment -- How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

I, myself, have wondered about the lack of a "plea" given by Oswald at either of his arraignments. (Oswald wasn't asked that question, was he Greg?)

Therefore, if Oswald had lived beyond Nov. 24, it seems obvious that a SECOND official arraignment (in court) would have had to take place in order to hear Oswald's own plea. Unless Justice Johnston utilized Oswald's unsolicited comments of "That's ridiculous" and "I don't know what you are talking about" at the Kennedy arraignment to indicate an official "Not Guilty" plea. But somehow I doubt that was the case.

So an additional court arraignment on both charges would almost certainly have taken place prior to Oswald going to trial on either murder charge.

http://history-matte...Vol20_0167b.htm

http://history-matte...Vol20_0168a.htm

--------------------------

RELATED WARREN COMMISSION TESTIMONY BY HENRY WADE AND JESSE CURRY:

Mr. RANKIN. Under your practice, what do you mean by file on him? Is that something different than an arraignment?

HENRY WADE. Well, of course, it is according to the terminology and what you mean by arraignment. In Texas the only arraignment is when you get ready to try him. Like we arraigned Ruby just before we started putting on evidence. That is the only arraignment we have, actually.

Mr. RANKIN. I see. You don't bring him before a magistrate?

Mr. WADE. Well, that is called--you can have an examining trial before the magistrate to see whether it is a bailable matter. At that time, I don't believe he had been brought before the magistrate, because I told David Johnston as we left there, I said, "You ought to go up before the jail and have him brought before you and advise him of his rights and his right to counsel and this and that," which, so far as I know, he did.

=================================================

Mr. RANKIN - Will you just describe for the Commission what happened during the arraignment for the assassination, who was present, what you saw.

[...]

JESSE CURRY - As I recall it, he [David Johnston] read to him the fact that he was being charged with the assassination of the President of the United States, John Kennedy, on such and such day at such and such time.

Mr. RANKIN - Did he say anything about his right to plead?

Mr. CURRY - I don't recall, sir.

Mr. RANKIN - Did he say anything about counsel?

Mr. CURRY - I don't recall whether he did or not.

Mr. RANKIN - What else happened at that time that you recall?

Mr. CURRY - That is about all. After it was read to him, he was taken back to his cell.

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 09:33 PM.


#59 Greg Parker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:03 PM

The legal situation was that under Texas law, arraignments MUST take place in an OPEN COURT OF LAW. Oswald's so-called arraignments were done privately in a room at City Hall. They were therefore NOT legal.


I think Oswald's arraignments at City Hall at 7:10 PM (for Tippit) and 1:35 AM (for JFK) were merely to formally inform Oswald of the official charges against him. As far as I am aware, Justice of the Peace David Johnston never asked Oswald this question which is normally asked of a defendant at a formal arraignment -- How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

I, myself, have wondered about the lack of a "plea" given by Oswald at either of his arraignments. (Oswald wasn't asked that question, was he Greg?)

Therefore, if Oswald had lived beyond Nov. 24, it seems obvious that a SECOND official arraignment (in court) would have had to take place in order to hear Oswald's own plea. Unless Judge Johnston utilized Oswald's unsolicited comments of "That's ridiculous" or "I don't know what you are talking about" at the Kennedy arraignment to indicate an official "Not Guilty" plea. But somehow I doubt that was the case.

So an additional court arraignment on both charges would almost certainly have taken place prior to Oswald going to trial on either murder charge.

http://history-matte...Vol20_0167b.htm

http://history-matte...Vol20_0168a.htm

--------------------

Mr. RANKIN. Under your practice, what do you mean by file on him? Is that something different than an arraignment?

HENRY WADE. Well, of course, it is according to the terminology and what you mean by arraignment. In Texas the only arraignment is when you get ready to try him. Like we arraigned Ruby just before we started putting on evidence. That is the only arraignment we have, actually.

Mr. RANKIN. I see. You don't bring him before a magistrate?

Mr. WADE. Well, that is called--you can have an examining trial before the magistrate to see whether it is a bailable matter. At that time, I don't believe he had been brought before the magistrate, because I told David Johnston as we left there, I said, "You ought to go up before the jail and have him brought before you and advise him of his rights and his right to counsel and this and that," which, so far as I know, he did.


Thank you for your frank admission, David, that these were mock arraignments.


Mr. HUBERT. Were you the justice of peace that arraigned Oswald?
Mr. JOHNSTON. Yes; I arraigned Lee Harvey Oswald--let me give you the sequence of them--that's the easiest thing to do. I brought the complete record and I have everything here. The first charge that was filed was for murder with malice of Officer J. D. Tippit of the Dallas Police Department in cause No. F-153, The State of Texas versus Lee Harvey Oswald. This complaint was filed at 7:05 p.m. on the 22d day of November 1963.
Mr. HUBERT. By whom?
Mr. JOHNSTON. By Capt. J. W. Fritz, captain of the homicide bureau, Dallas Police Department, was accepted by W. F. Alexander who is William F. Alexander, an assistant criminal district attorney of Dallas County, Tex., which was passed over to me at 7:05 p.m. The actual complaint was signed at 7:04 p.m. and I arraigned Lee Harvey Oswald at 7:10 p.m. on November 22, 1963, advising him of his constitutional rights and that he had to make no statement at all, and that any statement he made may be used in evidence against him for the offense concerning which this affidavit was taken, and remanded the defendant to the custody of the sheriff of Dallas County, Tex., with no bond as capital offense.


Mr. HUBERT. Is it within your jurisdiction to do that?
Mr. JOHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Where did that occur?
Mr. JOHNSTON. That was in Captain Fritz' office of the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. HUBERT. Who else was present?
Mr. JOHNSTON. Mr. Bill Alexander--William Alexander--an assistant district attorney; Captain Fritz--these are--if I can remember them either two or three of the other homicide detectives; at least one Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, and which one I couldn't say at this time because we were just all in and out of there, and I'm almost sure it was one of the FBI agents, and which one, I couldn't say at this time because we were just all in and out of there, and I'm almost sure there was one of the FBI agents in the room and possibly a Secret Service agent.
------


Mr. HUBERT. This was not a court proceeding?
Mr. JOHNSTON. This was not the examining trial; no, sir. It was not the examining trial.
Mr. HUBERT. It did not call for a plea ?
Mr. JOHNSTON. It required no pleadings whatsoever; no, sir. This was merely to appraise him of what he was charged with and to advise him of his constitutional rights.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he make any comment upon that at all ?
Mr. JOHNSTON. Yes, sir; but I can't recall what it was. At this particular time he made some remark. Also at the second arraignment for the murder of President Kennedy, when he was brought through the door at this time, he said, "Well, I guess this is the trial," was the statement that he made then, but I don't remember what he said at the arraignment regarding Officer Tippit.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, let's pass to the arraignment concerning President Kennedy, and I wish you would dictate into the record the same information you did as to the first one.
Mr. JOHNSTON. All right, sir. This was the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald for the murder with malice of John F. Kennedy, case No. F-154, The State of Texas versus Lee Harvey Oswald. The complaint was filed at 11:25 p.m., was accepted by me at 11:26 p.m. It was filed at approximately 11:25 p.m. by Capt. J. W. Fritz, homicide bureau of the Dallas Police Department, and was accepted by Henry Wade, criminal district attorney, Dallas County, Tex., and was docketed as case No. 154, F-154 at 11:26 p.m.
Shortly after this is when the defendant was taken to the detail room or the assembly room.
Mr. HUBERT. What happened at this arraignment--was it the same as before?
Mr. JOHNSTON. He was not arraigned at this time. He was then arraigned after he was removed to the detail room where the press was allowed to have their first interview with the defendant, with Lee Harvey Oswald. Subsequently in a conference between Captain Fritz, Mr. Wade, and two or three of his assistants and myself, and Chief Curry--it was decided to go ahead and arraign him and that arraignment was held at 1:35 a.m., November 23, 1963, in the identification bureau of the Dallas Police Department, and once again I appraised him of his constitutional rights, read the affidavit, and advised him again that I remanded him to the custody of the sheriff, Dallas County, denying bond as capital offense. He was also told at both of these instances that he would be given the right to contact an attorney of his choice.
-------
Mr. JOHNSTON. That he had a right to be represented by counsel, that he had the right to make a telephone call to contact any person of his choice, and the assault to murder complaint, alleging the assault to murder of John B. Connally in cause No. F-155, The State of Texas versus Lee Harvey Oswald, this complaint was filed by Lt. Robert E. McKinney of the forgery bureau of the Dallas Police Department. This complaint was filed in my office at Richardson, Tex., at 6:15 p.m., on November 23, 1963, and the defendant was not arraigned in this case because he was already being held for two capital offenses. He would have been arraigned in this probably the following week had he lived.

-------------------------------------------------------

Mr. BALL. Now, your records show that in your office at 6:37 there was an arraignment; do you remember that?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I remember that arraignment.
Mr. BALL. Will you tell us what happened then? It doesn't show arraignments.
Mr. FRITZ. Do you show arraignment for 7:30?
Mr. BALL. No; 6:30, 7 you discussed, you met with Alexander, the district attorney's office, didn't you?
Mr. FRITZ. I probably did. I probably talked to him about the evidence.
Mr. BALL. He was arraigned at 7:10.
Mr. FRITZ. He was in our outer office most all the time and I talked to him two, three different times.
Mr. BALL. Did he ever take part in the questioning of Oswald?
Mr. FRITZ. I don't believe so; no, sir.
Mr. BALL. What happened at 7:10?
Mr. FRITZ. 7:10 we had this arraignment with Judge David Johnston, and present, I was present, and Officers Sims, Boyd, Hall, and Mr. Alexander from the district attorney's office, and that was in my office.
Mr. BALL. How was the arraignment conducted?
Mr. FRITZ. Well, the judge gave him a warning, talked to him for a little bit.
Mr. BALL. What warning did he give him?
Mr. FRITZ. He advised him of his rights. I believe he had a form; I couldn't repeat it, of course, but I believe he had some forms that he went over with him.
Mr. BALL. What rights did he advise him of; do you know?
Mr. FRITZ. Of his rights for an attorney, and everything that he told was supposed to be voluntary and things of that kind.
Mr. BALL. He was advised that he had a right to an attorney, was he?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I am sure he was; I advised him on that on two or three different occasions.
Mr. BALL. Did---you have a rule in Texas, do you, that whatever a witness, a person in custody, says cannot be used against him unless he is warned?
Mr. FRITZ. We do have; yes, sir. We have to warn them before we can use the testimony. We have to warn them in the beginning before he is questioned.


=================================

Mr. RANKIN - Do you know when Lee Harvey Oswald was arraigned?
Mr. CURRY - It was about 1:30 in the morning. That would be on the morning of the 23d, I believe.
Mr. RANKIN - How long did he how long had he been in your custody then?
Mr. CURRY - About 11 hours. That was on the Tippit; yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN - When you say that he was arraigned the following day early in the morning, did you mean for the Tippit murder or for the assassination?
Mr. CURRY - No; that was for the assassination of the President.
Mr. RANKIN - All right, will you tell us when he was arraigned for the Tippit murder?
Mr. CURRY - I was not present but I believe it was about 7:30.
Mr. RANKIN - That same evening?
Mr. CURRY - Yes; that would be about 5 hours afterwards.
Mr. RANKIN - Do you recall whether he was arrested first for the assassination or for the Tippit murder?
Mr. CURRY - For the Tippit murder. There were some witnesses to this murder and they had observed him as he left the scene, and this was what he was arrested for.
The CHAIRMAN - May I interrupt Just to ask the chief a question? Chief, on your arraignments does the magistrate advise the petitioner as to his right to counsel?
Mr. CURRY - Yes, sir; he does.
The CHAIRMAN - Does he ask him if he has counsel?
Mr. CURRY - I don't recall him doing that. I am not customarily present when a person is arraigned.
The CHAIRMAN - You were not present at the arraignment?
Mr. CURRY - I was present when he was arraigned for the assassination of the President. I was not present when he was arraigned for the murder of Tippit.
The CHAIRMAN - I suppose they make a stenographic record of that, do they not?
Mr. CURRY - Yes, sir; I am sure they do.
The CHAIRMAN - That is all I have.
Mr. RANKIN - Chief, our people made an inquiry whether there was a stenographic record. They don't believe there was any.
Mr. CURRY - I am not sure of that. I know at the time he was arraigned for the assassination of the President I was present there at the time. It was decided that we should, district attorney was there at the city hall. He was there during most of the evening.
Mr. RANKIN - Will you just describe for the Commission what happened during the arraignment for the assassination, who was present, what you saw.
Mr. CURRY - As I recall, I know the Justice of the Peace David John Stone was there. It seemed like Sergeant Warren, but I couldn't be positive but some of the jail personnel brought him out into the identification bureau.
Mr. RANKIN - How was he taken out? Were there several people around him, what was the security arrangements?
Mr. CURRY - At that time there was only, we were inside the offices of the criminal identification section. He was brought out through a door that opens from the jail into the criminal identification section. There was only about a half dozen of us altogether there, I don't recall who all was there.
Mr. RANKIN - What do you mean by the criminal identification section. Could you describe what that is?
Mr. CURRY - That is the identification bureau.
Mr. RANKIN - Does that have a room that this meeting occurred in?
Mr. CURRY - It is not a room such as this. It was in the little foyer or lobby, and it is separated from the jail lobby.
Mr. RANKIN - Did the justice of the peace sit or stand or what?
Mr. CURRY - He stood. He stood on one side of the counter and Oswald on the other side of the counter.
Mr. RANKIN - What floor is this on?
Mr. CURRY - The fourth floor.
Mr. RANKIN - That is nearest the place where there are some filing cabinets?
Mr. CURRY - Yes; it is.
Mr. RANKIN - And besides the people that you have described, I assume that you yourself were there as you have said?
Mr. CURRY - Yes; I was.
Mr. RANKIN - Was there anyone else that you recall?
Mr. CURRY - Not that I recall, other than the justice of the peace.
Mr. RANKIN - Will you describe what happened?
Mr. CURRY - Lee Harvey Oswald was brought in and the complaint was read to him, and here again he was very arrogant and he said, "I don't know what you are talking about. That is the deal, is it," and such remarks as this, and the Justice of the peace very patiently and courteously explained to him what the procedure was and why it was.
Mr. RANKIN - What did he say about that?
Mr. CURRY - I don't recall his exact words.
Mr. RANKIN - Just tell us in substance.
Mr. CURRY - He didn't--as I recall, he didn't think much of it. He just said, "I don't know what you are talking about."
Mr. RANKIN - What did the Justice of the peace say about the procedure and any rights and so forth?
Mr. CURRY - As I recall it, he read to him the fact that he was being charged with the assassination of the President of the United States, John Kennedy on such and such day at such and such time.
Mr. RANKIN - Did he say anything about his right to plead?
Mr. CURRY - I don't recall, sir.
Mr. RANKIN - Did he say anything about counsel?
Mr. CURRY - I don't recall whether he did or not.
Mr. RANKIN - What else happened at that time that you recall?
Mr. CURRY - That is about all. After it was read to him, he was taken back to his cell.


Art. 26.02. [492] [556] [545] PURPOSE OF ARRAIGNMENT. An arraignment takes place for the purpose of fixing his identity and hearing his plea. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., p. 317, ch. 722, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1966.

http://law.onecle.co...e/26.02.00.html


Art. 26.03. [493] [557] [546] TIME OF ARRAIGNMENT. No arraignment shall take place until the expiration of at least two entire days after the day on which a copy of the indictment was served on the defendant, unless the right to such copy or to such delay be waived, or unless the defendant is on bail.

http://law.onecle.co...e/26.03.00.html

I realize that what I'm posting is the law as it stood in 1966 - but I believe I did find the law as it stood in '63 when I looked into it before and was basically the same.

No court.
No public witnesses.
No pleading.
No stenographer.
No wait of at least two days and no waiver.

This is the police force you're defending? The magistrate stated under oath that he presided over two arraignments. The chief of police testified that there was a stenographer present. Neither of those things were true.

Mock arraignments held behind a lock door days before they were due for one one purpose: to do what they had not done already - read him his rights. Too many people were starting to ask questions about it and they panicked.

Edited by Greg Parker, 17 October 2012 - 10:07 PM.


#60 David Von Pein

David Von Pein

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:06 PM

Mock arraignments held behind a lock[ed] door days before they were due for [only?] one purpose: to do what they had not done already - read him his rights. Too many people were starting to ask questions about it and they panicked.


Greg,

You're making a great big mountain out of an "arraignment" molehill.

In my opinion, the Dallas authorities were merely being extra cautious with their prisoner named Oswald, and they wanted to make sure all the legal aspects were adhered to (re: reading the charges of murder in a formal way to Oswald; informing him of his rights; and informing him that he could not be released on bail; etc.).

It's quite possible that Oswald had not been OFFICIALLY read his "rights" prior to either "arraignment" hearing at City Hall. But, so what? The so-called "arraignments" served that purpose, even if nobody else had informed him of his rights. But we must also consider the fact that it wasn't until the time (or near the time) of Oswald's two arraignments with Justice of the Peace Johnston that Oswald was OFFICIALLY charged with the murders and formally notified as to those charges. So, logically, that would also be a point in time when his rights would be read to him.

It seems to me to be a confusion in terminology. And even Henry Wade, during his WC session, was trying to sort out the meaning of an official "arraignment" for the WC counsel.

According to online dictionaries, "arraign" means:

1. (Law) to bring (a prisoner) before a court to answer an indictment.

But a second definition in the same dictionary says only this (lacking the "Law" and "answer an indictment" portions):

2. to call to account; complain about; accuse.

http://www.thefreedi...ary.com/arraign

http://www.merriam-w...tionary/arraign


It's fairly clear from the testimony of DA Wade that it was Wade's own idea to have Johnston "arraign" Oswald. Wade probably was merely wanting to make sure all legal steps were followed with regards to formally charging Oswald with the two murders and formally advising Oswald of those charges. So, that's what Johnston did (at Wade's request):

Mr. WADE -- "At that time, I don't believe he had been brought before the magistrate, because I told David Johnston as we left there, I said, "You ought to go up before the jail and have him brought before you and advise him of his rights and his right to counsel and this and that," which, so far as I know, he did."

---------------

Of course, none of this talk about "mock arraignments" changes the physical evidence that exists against Lee Oswald. And it in no way changes the guilty way in which Oswald behaved in the Texas Theater, just 35 minutes after Officer Tippit was killed and just 80 minutes after JFK was killed in front of the building where Oswald worked.

All the conspiracy theorists can really argue here is semantics. Because that's what it boils down to -- i.e., were Oswald's two arraignments at City Hall really "arraignments" after all, or were they merely formal proceedings with a Justice of the Peace to officially inform the prisoner of the charges and of his rights?

In the final analysis, the best answer I can come up with to answer that last question I just asked
is -- Who cares?

Edited by David Von Pein, 17 October 2012 - 11:22 PM.





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