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Barry Ernest

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  1. At least he didn't shoot Lester Holt as he demonstrated how he wrestled with Jack Ruby that day. Remember too that it was Leavelle who made Victoria Adams very uneasy when he appeared unannounced on her darkened doorstep one night in February 1964. She had recently moved to this apartment, which was in her roommate's name as was the telephone listing, and had not yet told anyone about her relocation, including friends, her boss, or the post office. When she asked Leavelle why she had to be interviewed again by the Dallas police, for she had already done so earlier, she said Leavelle told her it was because there had been a fire at headquarters and her file had been burned. When I asked Leavelle about Vicki in 1999, he remembered Miss Adams, but then told me her story wasn't "germane." When I inquired what he meant by that, his words were, "We were preparing for trial and if the witness couldn't provide anything we could use against Oswald, it wasn't important."
  2. I rarely respond in forums such as this, Mr. Morrow’s tone and denigrating style representing an obvious reason why. In this instance, however, I have been accused of “…dumping on people on the Grassy Knoll who are pretty much telling the truth.” This assessment by Mr. Morrow was made from his interpretation of my comments in a recent National Journal article titled, “The Last Stand of the JFK Truthers.” Ironically, a portion of that piece deals with unflattering attitudes within the JFK research community, a group the reporter accurately describes as “…a fractious, infighting family.” To set the record straight, and as anyone who has read my book firmly knows, I have gone to great lengths in order to determine truths in this ever-expanding mess we call the crime of the century. I have always admired and supported those who tend to speak of such things. Therefore, if these “people on the Grassy Knoll” were indeed telling truths, I would have absolutely no reason to “dump” upon them. But we are not talking here about the John Judges and the Debra Conways and the Robert Grodens. And therein lies the difference. When someone rudely confronts me as I walk down Elm Street, saying I “need” to buy his five-buck, grocery-store-type, mass-produced newsletter if I really want to understand the “truth” of this land – that “without any doubt whatsoever” it was Oswald in the doorway, and that the shots came from everywhere, “including the trees” – then I object. His motive is not truth; his motive is to go home that day with pockets lined in cash. When another proclaims he just got off work as a “tour guide” at the Sixth Floor Museum (Gary Mack never heard of him) but is still willing to spend some time and discuss with me “the facts” of what went on in Dealey Plaza – like Oswald watching the motorcade from a “first-floor lunchroom window,” and “clear evidence” of a shooter hanging from the Hertz Rent-A-Car sign atop the Depository –then I object. His motive is not truth, but an Oscar-nominating attempt toward earning the “$10 donation” he seeks for his efforts. Unlike Mr. Morrow, I do not find "those folks" credible. Nor do I perceive them to be "pretty spot on" with any theory they may endorse, even if it happens to be one of my liking. And that is what I meant when I said in the National Journal, “There are a lot of hucksters roaming the area, coming up to tourists and selling tabloid papers and a lot of disinformation.” And that is what Mr. Morrow misunderstood. The keyword was hucksters. The definition is, to promote by showmanship. As clearly stated in the Journal article, that is precisely the kind of activity that I feel should be eliminated from Dealey Plaza, not only for the upcoming commemorative events, but forever. In my humble opinion, the credibility of a researcher embroiled in this particular subject is based on his/her ability to realize that at least up until right now, a final solution to an absolute certainty is simply not possible, despite what others may say in support of your own unvarying agenda. No less a researcher than Harold Weisberg expressed this very worthy sentiment: that speculation, conjecture and theory are simply that, and nothing more. And therein lies the difference.
  3. Barry, Attached is a copy of the two-page Redlich memo you are looking for. I obtained it from the NARA.
  4. I ran across what I suppose is a rough draft of the February 17, 1964 Adams statement ostensibly taken, by the document I have by J.R. Leavelle. I do not have the resources to buy books as I once did, and if I did I would have to get a new computer, for the kindle version of Bloody Treason, which I believe is the best single book on the assassination to this day. At any rate, I am happy for Mr. Ernst and am glad he has shared his research with us. I copied this from the Microfiche Library documents on the JFK Assassination, it may be much ado about nothing. Spelling errors are included. STATEMENT OF VICKIE ADAMS I talked with Vickie Adams at 8:10 pm this date, February 17, 1964 The following statement is what she said happened November 22, 1963. My name is Vickie Adams, 3909 Cole, Apt. D., no phone. My job is office service representative. I reported to work that day about 8:30 am, and I worked in that capacity until noon. A friend of mine, Elsie Harmon, who lives in Oak Cliff and works in the office, wanted to take some moving pictures of the motorcade. I opened a third floor window about the third one from the front of the building. She took pictures of the motorcade. When the President got in front of us I heard someone call him, and he turned. That is when I heard the first shot. I thought it was a firecracker. Then the second shot I saw the Secret Service man run to the back of the President's car. After the third shot, I went out the back door. I said, "I think someone has been shot." The elevator was not running and there was no one on the stairs. I went down to the first floor. I saw Mr. Shelly and another employee named Bill. The freight elevator had not moved, and I still did not see anyone on the stairs. I ran out the back door of the depository and around to the front. I started down toward the railroad tracks when an officer storped me and turned me back. I asked the officer if the President was shot, and he said he did not know. As I turned back I saw another employee Molena standing by the front of the building facing Elm Street. I stopped and talked with Avery Davis another employee. I saw two men in street clothes, one was gesturing with his hands and asking questions. I asked Mr. Davis who he was. I later saw Jack Ruby on TV and thought it was the same man. No one had surrounded the building at that time. I went back into the building and the passenger elevator, but the power was off. I went to the back to the freight elevator. There were two plainclothes men on it. However, the power on it also was turned off. I went up the stairs to the fourth floor to my office. We were later told to leave. This concludes Miss. Adams' statement to me. J. R. Leavelle END Here is the URL for her affidavit in CE 1381 http://www.maryferre...bsPageId=171462 What is interesting about the Leavelle interview with Vicki is the background to it. Vicki said this guy (Leavelle) came to the front door of her apartment, scaring her because he stood in darkness that night, and asked to interview her about what she had seen and done after the assassination. She was suspicious because, at that time, she had recently moved from the address where she had previously lived in order to share expenses with a roommate. She had not as yet given a forwarding address to her boss, the post office, or even any of her friends. She didn't have a telephone and the apartment was listed in her roommate's name, not hers. Yet the police still had found her. She had been interviewed by the Dallas Police much earlier. She told me when she asked Leavelle why the need for a second interview that covered the exact same things that she had been asked in that earlier interview, Leavelle told her that there had been a fire at DPD headquarters and her previous file had been destroyed. There is no record of such fire. This interview with Leavelle is the first time mention of Shelley and Lovelady occurred in any of her many interviews with authorities. It took place nearly three months after the assassination. All other interviews with her do not mention a word about Shelley and Lovelady, even though in those interviews she discusses the same thing each time and talks about arriving on the first floor and then going out the back door. When I forwarded a copy of this interview to Vicki (she had not read it before), she was surprised by the Shelley/Lovelady reference. On further study and thought, she felt the line about the two men had been inserted into her interview because it seemed out of context with what she was saying both before and after. Was this why a second interview was done and the explanation about a DPD fire was offered? Interesting too is when I interviewed Leavelle on October 7, 1999, in Dallas, I asked him about Victoria Adams. He vaguely remembered her and said, "But it wasn't germane with what we were looking for." When I asked him what he meant by that, he replied: "We were preparing for trial and if the witness couldn't provide anything we could use against Oswald, it wasn't important."
  5. Jim, Victoria Adams never made a change to her testimony regarding the 15 to 30 second time period. It was always that estimate. The only changes she made to her testimony involved spelling and grammar, none of which appeared in the final version in the 26 volumes. Those changes were made in her fourth-floor office of the TSBD. Coupled with the fact Miss Adams did not see or hear anyone let alone Oswald, her sighting of Shelley and Lovelady on the first floor, two men who claimed they did not return to the TSBD until several minutes after the assassination, became a major factor in the WC's logic of saying she was wrong about when she descended the back stairs. It is that logic which continues to be used today to discredit her, and on it's face, it does appear to be reasonable. In my interviews with her, however, Vicki insisted the Shelley/Lovelady passage had been inserted into her testimony and the reasons she felt that way are spelled out in my book. She said those were not her words, they didn't sound at all like the way she would have said it, and the passage was NOT in the original testimony she examined in her office that afternoon. No mention was made of the Shelley/Lovelady encounter in any of the other interviews she did with authorities except for the one with Det. Leavelle of the DPD. A close and objective reading of that statement does seem to indicate that the passage saying she saw Shelley and Lovelady is out of context with the rest of what she is saying at that point. Perhaps that is why the DPD interviewed her twice, the second time with Leavelle under the reasoning that a fire at police headquarters had destroyed Miss Adams' file. No such fire occurred. Reading Shelley and Lovelady's testimony, it's clear they did not see her, Shelley especially and in Lovelady's case, there is every indication that he was "coached" into making the even mild statement that he evenutually did, admitting he couldn't "swear" to the fact a girl he saw was Vicki. Sandra Styles confirmed for me that Shelley and Lovelady were not there. She knew both men well and told me she didn't understand why Vicki would have made the statement ("if she did," she said) that the two men were there when, in her words, "they definitely" were not. She seemed adamant about it. The Martha Jo Stroud letter as well confirms the timing of Vicki's early descent. How then do we account for the questioned passage in Vicki's testimony when Vicki and Sandra did NOT see Shelley and Lovelady, Shelley and Lovelady did not see them, and the Stroud letter now confirms the accuracy of what Vicki had been saying all along about her early descent down the stairs? And thank you for being kind! As for Groden, Stone, and Mack, those were simply my observations recorded at that moment and should not be interpreted necessarily as criticisms or endorsements.
  6. Two points need to be made here: 1) First, a note of thanks to Joseph and Jim for taking their time to review "The Girl on the Stairs." It was, for the most part, an accurate reflection. I agree with Mike Hogan, however. It was taken from the e-book version, and it was presented more as a synopsis rather than a review. Perhaps, in the end, they felt it was a kinder way of doing it. 2) Second, a note of clarification. Reference was made in Mike's post to Jerry McKnight's "Breach of Trust" and that author's description of Victoria Adams. On page 113 of his book, Jerry states that Miss Adams testified that within thirty seconds to a minute after witnessing the shooting she ran down the back stairs. This, of course, is wrong and he knows that, for he clarifies the timing when, in a footnote (#13 on page 399), he writes: "Actually Adams would later report that she started down the stairs not thirty seconds to a minute but fifteen to twenty seconds after she saw the head shot. Adams corrected the Commission's account of her testimony when on February 17, 1964, she went to the U.S. attorney's office in Dallas to check a transcript of her testimony." It is the footnote that is inaccurate. A. Even though Miss Adams waived her right to examine her testimony (as indicated in her deposition), a copy was hand-delivered to her office for her to examine, which she did, notated some spelling and grammar errors, and then signed. (Perhaps this was done to put on record the fact she had seen her testimony prior to publication.) None of her corrections involved the timing issue, however, which in the original stenographer's copy of her testimony is shown as "Between 15 and 30 seconds, estimated, approximately." In my interviews with her, she said the gentleman who delivered the copy of her testimony "stood over" her, watching intently as she made the corrections, which you can see in her handwriting in the original testimony. None of those corrections involved the "15 and 30 seconds" passage, and she did not make the trek to the U.S. attorney's office to make the changes. B. Jerry states Miss Adams went to that office on February 17, 1964, for the express purpose of viewing her testimony. That was not possible for a second reason: her testimony was taken April 7, 1964. C. When I called Jerry to inquire about this confusion, he understandably couldn't recollect that passage. So he looked in his own copy of "Breach of Trust" and found that he had written the word "error" next to the footnote in question. The document he cites in that footnote as "confirmation" of Miss Adams changing the time (from 30/60 to 15/30) is indeed, as he states, a letter from Martha Jo Stroud to Lee Rankin. But that letter is the June 2, 1964, one I show in my book. That letter does, in fact, list several changes Miss Adams made when she reviewed her testimony in her office, but none of those changes involve timing, and none of those changes she did mention were ultimately made to the final version of her deposition as shown in the 26 volumes. I am not bringing this up as a criticism but merely for the sake of accuracy. I've known Jerry for a while (our mutual friend was Harold Weisberg) and I know he is diligent and meticulous in his research. I'm sure it was simply human error, something we are all victims of regardless of our care.
  7. Thanks, Steve. Hope you enjoy getting to know Vicki better.
  8. Barry's book is now available in hard copy: https://www.createspace.com/3575964 Len Osanic recently interviewed Barry on BlackOp Radio: http://www.blackopradio.com/archives2011.html The interview is very interesting. Barry, if you read this I have a question. In your book you wrote about your interview with Sam Holland. One of the things he told you: "Then I wasn’t too pleased with the way Mark Lane handled my interview." Can you elaborate on this? Thanks for the promo, Mike! I went back and reviewed my notes of the interview with Holland. He was not specific on this point, other than to say in general that he had been misquoted over the years and the misquoting began with the Warren Report. Then he said he was not pleased with both Mark Lane and CBS News (re: CBS Reports Inquiry in 1967) either, saying each had used only portions of what he had said and "not the whole story." I pressed him a bit on this, asking for specifics, but he refused. And remember, his "hawks" were hovering over me at the time! In hindsight, perhaps I should have been more aggressive. But in checking "Rush to Judgment" a moment ago, it appears what Mark Lane quoted Holland as saying coincides with what the witness told me in the hotel lobby that day, unless Holland elaborated on certain things with Lane that Lane failed to include. Charles Brehm also told me Lane misquoted him but as you'll recall from my book, I considered Brehm (and even his children at that time) to be somewhat of a "hostile" witness!
  9. "Hi Barry, welcome and thanks for joining the EF. I thought you made some very good points in your blog. Doing research for Harold Weisberg, Penn Jones Jr and David Lifton constitutes a pretty good pedigree. Are you planning to release a print version of The Girl On The Stairs? Kindle frightens me." Hi Michael, and thanks for your interest. The book is easy to download and can be done so even without a Kindle. There are several apps available for free, including one that will put it directly onto your PC. I have been trying to get it commercially published for years through a few literary agents. Several publishers expressed interest, but wanted me to come up with a final chapter that theorized a "solution" to the murder, regardless of its speculative qualities. I would not do that.
  10. "What Commission Document is the Stroud 6/2/64 letter in, Barry? I'll be able to find it with ease at Mary Ferrell's site if you can give me the CD number (or CE number, if it's part of a Commission Exhibit). Thanks." David, the referenced letter was neither a Commission Document nor a Commission Exhibit. It was therefore not a part of the public record. It is not in the Mary Ferrell database either, that I am aware of. A copy of it exists in the Harold Weisberg collection, which is actually a copy that I gave him shortly after discovering it in the National Archives. It was contained within a box of correspondence and other miscellaneous paperwork sent from the DOJ office in Dallas to the WC. It is a June 2, 1964, air mail, registered letter sent by Stroud to Rankin in which she lists several changes Miss Adams requested be made to her testimony, none of which were actually done by the way. The final paragraph, and I will quote this verbatim including the spelling errors, reads: "Mr. Bellin was questioning Miss Adams about whether or not she saw anyone as she was running down the stairs. Miss Garner, Miss Adams' supervisor, stated this morning that after Miss Adams went downstairs she (Miss Garner) saw Mr. Truly and the policeman come up."
  11. When I interviewed Sandra Styles in 2002, she said absolutely nothing of the kind to me. What she did say was, she couldn't be sure exactly how quickly she left the window and went down the stairs, but she recalled she did so "rather quickly," in her words, and "when Vicki did," again in her words. Why she would say otherwise now, especially when she said what she did then and added, "Vicki was the more observant one," is beyond me. Again, the Martha Joe Stroud letter can settle the matter.
  12. "Sandra Styles mentioned to me that this author [barry Ernest] had contacted her some years ago. She even knew the name of the book (which I hadn't heard of myself). Sandra claimed she told Ernest what she was now telling me: that she and Victoria Adams did *not* go to the rear stairs anything close to as quickly as Victoria had claimed. I find it a little worrying that there is no mention of Sandra's counter-version in any of the promotional material linked here." -- Sean Murphy; 1/27/11
  13. "Since Adams saw nobody and heard nobody, the very likely solution is that she was mistaken about her timing (which couldn't be a more common error with human beings), and she was on the stairs AFTER all three men (Oswald, Baker, and Truly) had already utilized the same stairs." Perhaps a reading of the book and, in particular, a look at the June 2, 1964, transmittal letter from Martha Joe Stroud to J. Lee Rankin may help clarify your point.
  14. Born and raised in Altoona, Pa., I received by BA degree in journalism and communications from Point Park College (now Point Park University) in Pittsburgh. I've written for newspapers in Pennsylvania and New York, and also did a stint with political public relations and speechwriting. I became interested in the JFK assassination back in 1967 when a friend mentioned inconsistencies he was finding in the Warren Report. I believed the government's version back then, but was intrigued by his comments. I've been researching it ever since, traveling to Dallas several times to interview witnesses and wearing grooves in the asphalt between my home and the National Archives in Washington. My focus was always the story (or lack thereof) behind witness Victoria Elizabeth Adams. It took me 35 years of searching to find this elusive woman. The result of those efforts is my first book on the subject, "The Girl on the Stairs."
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