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Paul Trejo posted a topic in JFK Assassination DebateWhen I joined the JFK Forum back in 2011, I announced my interest in Ron Lewis and his book, FLASHBACK: The Untold Story of Lee Harvey Oswald (1993). I contacted Ron Lewis back in 2007, and transformed his book into a screenplay. Briefly, Ron tells his true story of his friendly relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. (Academic reviews of our screenplay informed us that there wasn't enough female participation in the story to generate the necessary human interest. Both Ron and I had to agree. Yet the only relevant female character in that story would have been Marina Oswald. To include Marina Oswald into this documentary screenplay would (in common courtesy) require Marina's permission to use her Warren Commission testimony as part of our screenplay. Yes, I know that the Warren Commission is part of the public domain, but I prefer social courtesies to strictly business.) Anyway -- I find FLASHBACK to be basically believable, and evidently so did Oliver Stone, because he briefly engaged Ron Lewis as a consultant for his movie, JFK (1991). For those of you who haven't read Ron's book, yet, here's a brief summary of his claims: 1. Ron was a dishonorably discharged Marine who was also on the lam for passing bad checks in Seattle and Texas, and during the summer of 1963 he was living in New Orleans as a meat packer. (Ron had learned his meat packing skills early in life, and he knew that he could travel anywhere in the USA and be accepted immediately in almost any meat packing plant in America.) 2. Although Ron had a family in the Northwest, he lived alone in a small duplex in New Orleans and he walked to work. 3. On his way to work one day, he met Lee Harvey Oswald handing out FPCC handbills near the Reilly Coffee Company. Ron was interested in Cuba at the time, so he struck up a conversation with Oswald. 4. They had much in common. Lee invited Ron to become further involved in local politics, and Ron thought might be fun, so he agreed. 5. Over the course of that summer in 1963, Ron learned a lot about Lee Harvey Oswald and the life that Lee had been keeping secret from Marina Oswald -- including a young girl on the side (probably Judyth Vary Baker, though Ron never met her personally). Ron never met Marina Oswald, personally at that time. 6. Ron did meet David Ferrie and Guy Banister -- once -- and worked for Guy Banister through Lee Harvey Oswald on a project to keep tabs on the political campaigns of Russell Long and his family. 7. Once, at Guy Banister's offices, Lee showed Ron a cache of illegal arms and explosives that Banister and Ferrie were accumulating on behalf of Cuban Exile revolutionary groups in New Orleans. 8. Ron and Lee remained fairly close during the summer of 1963, meeting each other in the mornings as Ron would walk to work, and sharing stories about the Marines, politics and guns -- Lee's favorite topics. 9. Throughout much of the summer of 1963, Ron Lewis believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was a left-wing activist, however, by the closing weeks of the summer, Oswald appeared to Ron Lewis to have changed into a right-wing activist. This was puzzling to Ron. 10. Ron was especially puzzled in August, 1963, when he saw Lee Oswald carrying his rifle in a bulky bag to a Russell Long speech. He could hardly understand Lee's reasoning during this period. 11. Ron watched as Lee went through many emotional changes, including trying to get Ron to help him hijack a plane to Cuba -- for a very unclear reason. 12. When Ron pressed Lee, he learned that Guy Banister had discovered that Lee was the shooter at resigned General Edwin Walker on 10 April 1963, and Banister was using this information to blackmail Oswald to do anything Banister demanded. 13. Ron claims that after Lee moved to Dallas, he still saw Lee one more time in New Orleans. On that occasion, Lee told Ron some vague details about his trip to Mexico, and about Guy Banister's plans to use Roscoe White to murder JFK in Dallas. 14. Lee also warned Ron, in very callous terms, to keep all this information secret. Lee was so callous about it, that Ron was glad to be rid of Lee at last. 15. Ron says he would have forgotten about Lee Oswald, except that the world went nuts when JFK was murdered later that same year. That's the basic story, in a nutshell. Several writers have found Ron Lewis to be believable. I find him believable in these basics. Ron doesn't go to the lengths of Judyth Vary Baker to make their brief relationship of a few weeks into a life-changing drama -- but sometimes Ron does try to give the impression that his friendship with Lee Harvey Oswald was something special to them both. I'd like to hear from others who have read Ron Lewis' book, FLASHBACK (1993), to discuss its merits and possible points of debate. Best regards, --Paul Trejo
Pamela Brown posted a topic in JFK Assassination DebateApparently, Judyth has rented a room at the Eden Prairie Library, in my neck-of-the-woods, to give a talk and sign her two books this Tuesday, 1-3. Of all the libraries in the Twin Cities, much less Minnesota, I find this choice reeking of irony. I don't know if I will be able to squeeze it into my schedule, but have had a request to have it taped. If anyone would like to do that, please let me know...Thanks...