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# Rectangular and round punch codes on the Hidell money order explained.

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It has been brought it to my attention that I haven't really explained how the holes punched in the Hidell money order are to be decoded. Yes, I see that I am guilty of that. So I will explain it here. It's not difficult.

But first, for the record, the topic was first brought up on this forum when David Von Pein proclaimed that the "money order wasn't cashed" theory had been debunked. He and other LNers came to that conclusion when they notice that one Brian Castle had theorized that the holes were punched during the processing of the money order. They assumed that the holes were being used as a substitute for traditional bank stamps, and that this explained the absence of those stamps on the reverse side of the money order. As I will show, they are wrong.

Following are the front and rear sides of the money order:

You can see the tiny rectangular holes near the left end of the front of the money order.

I drew straight lines through the holes, both vertical and horizontal, so it would be easy to keep them in order. And also so I could label the meaning of each row, as you will see in a moment. Here is the reverse side of the money order with my lines added:

You can see that I have numbered some of the horizontal lines 0 through 9. A popular punch code used at the time was the Hollerith code, widely used for computer punch cards. Because the Hollerith code uses twelve rows, not ten, I had to add two extra lines, which labeled X and Y.

It's easy to read the code once that the rows are labeled. The first number is marked by the right-most vertical line. What you do is see where that line crosses over a hole. Unfortunately it's difficult to see that particular hole. It's also difficult to see the hole crossed over by the second vertical line from the right. For now, just trust me that these first two lines cross their respective holes at horizontal line 2. So the first two numbers are decoded as 22.

The next hole is easy to see. Look at the third vertical line from the right and see where it crosses its hole. It crosses at horizontal line 0. So that digit is 0, and so far we have 220.

Repeat this procedure for the other seven vertical lines to get the seven remaining digits. The fourth hole is also difficult to see. It is at horizontal line 2. With that we have 2202. The remaining holes are all easy to see. The fifth line from the right crosses its hole at horizontal line 1, so we have 22021. Continuing on, we end up with the following ten digits:

2202130462 or 2,202,130,462

This is precisely the same number that is printed on the front of the the money order. It is the money order number, the equivalent to a check number.

LNers may want people to believe that these holes are punched when the check is being processed, and that this somehow signifies that the money order was actually cashed. But that is simply not true. The holes merely duplicate what is printed on the front of the money order and has nothing to do with clearing of the check. The holes are punched at the same time the money order number is printed, before the money orders are even issued to post offices.

You may have noticed two more vertical lines located further to the left. The first crosses two holes and this pair represents the letter P. The last (leftmost) line crosses the horizontal line labeled "Y" and this represents the "-" (dash) mark. (You need to have access to a Hollerith code table to see these.) I haven't spent any time trying to figure out the meaning of these.

Finally, there are five round holes on the opposite half of the money order. At first I ignored them since five digits isn't sufficient to represent a number on a bank stamp. I thought perhaps they represented a post office routing number. But I have since spent more time on them and discovered that they actually represent the number 02145, which obviously refers to the \$21.45 value of the of the money order.

So in summary, the ten rectangular holes represent the money order number and are punched when the money order is manufactured. The round holes represent the price/value of the money order and are punched when the money order is purchased.

I like to use the Hidell money order against LNers because it is extremely reliable evidence that Oswald was being framed as the shooter of the assassin's rifle. It's impossible for LNers to explain away how bank stamps can be missing from a canceled money order. But of course they will try.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Sandy, may I be the first to shake your hand, pat you on the back and say "Damn, boy, one helluva job! Glad you're on our side!"

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Very nice job Sandy.

I was going to jump on and make many of these same points. But you have done such a good job that I will wait a couple of days for this to sink in, and my comments will be mostly more background on how this works and why Castle and Davison were so wrong that its kind of dumb.

DVP is such a sucker for Jean Davison, it is a bit ridiculous. Anyone who could write a book that bad about Oswald is not to be trusted with the evidence.

http://www.ctka.net/2014_reviews/Davison%20review.html

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Sandy - great work!

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Sandy,

Unless the procedures and methods of punching holes in U.S. Postal money orders have changed dramatically since 1963, then your explanation of WHEN the holes were put in the Oswald/Hidell money order is flawed. Because I found pictures of two other U.S. Postal money orders that both have specific amounts shown on them, and nowhere on these money orders do I see any punch holes whatsoever:

Now, granted, the two examples I cited above are money orders that were issued decades after Oswald purchased his M.O. for the rifle in '63. The two examples above come from the years 2000 and 2011 (I couldn't find any pictures of other non-Oswald money orders from 1963; maybe somebody else will have better luck). But do you think the method of identifying both the serial number of the money order and the dollar amount via punch holes has changed (and, in effect, been completely eliminated) since 1963?

I'll admit, I have no answer to my last question. Maybe you're correct and the holes were punched in the Oswald money order prior to a time when it would have been processed at any banking institution. But as my two money order examples above indicate, I think there's room for doubt when it comes to your explanation about WHEN those holes were punched in the Oswald/Hidell money order.

Even if the holes do represent what you say they represent (the serial number and the amount of the money order; and you make a good case for that being true), why couldn't those holes have been placed there by a banking institution as part of the processing of the document after it was deposited by Klein's into their First National Bank account (which is a deposit that certainly DID take place, as we can see via the Klein's inked stamped on the back of the money order)?

In other words, can it be PROVEN that all of those holes punched in that \$21.45 money order were put there BEFORE (and not AFTER) Lee Harvey Oswald dropped that document in a mailbox on March 12, 1963?

I'll also link to this information once again, supplied by Mike Giampaolo, which indicates that during the 1960s, a system by which keypunch operators would handle thousands of checks per hour was in place in many major U.S. cities. Now, yes, this excerpt below (from Giampaolo's post) talks about only "check-processing", and not specifically the processing of United States Postal Money Orders. But it's quite possible (even likely) that a similar keypunch process for handling money orders in this manner was in place in the 1960s as well....

"IBM 1401 Data Processing System 1960's era.....A visit to the check-processing department of a high-volume office like Atlanta or Jacksonville would mean walking into a room in which 70 to 85 women sat busily clicking away at Gray, 36-pocket IBM 803 proof machines, punching in payment amounts and bank identification numbers with one hand and, with the other hand, picking up checks one at a time from a stack and pushing them into a slot. The machine sorted the checks into pockets for eventual return to the bank on which they were drawn, while a record of the activity was printed on paper tapes. A skillful operator could handle 1,200–1,500 checks per hour."

[End Quote.]

Based on what I just said and presented above, I still think that the holes in the Hidell/Oswald money order could certainly be part of the result of bank processing and handling. But if (somehow) I am definitely proven wrong, and Sandy Larsen is proven correct, I'll certainly be willing to admit it on this forum in the future.

But if the day ever comes when I am positively proven wrong on this "Holes" matter, then the conspiracy theorists who think that the Hidell money order is a fake document that was manufactured by plotters who were trying to frame Lee Oswald should be scratching their heads and asking themselves this important question:

If these conspirators were so good and so thorough that they could perfectly fake Lee Harvey Oswald's handwriting on CE788 (the money order) so that it would fool some of the nation's top handwriting analysts (who had the ORIGINAL money order for comparison, not just a photocopy of same)....then how come those very same conspirators were so stupid and careless as to not place on the phony money order a single bank stamp that would indicate the document had been properly processed? After all, according to CTers, those plotters were able to fake the Klein's endorsement stamp on the back of the money order. And yet they failed to fake any bank stamps whatsoever. I wonder why?

Sandy,

Don't you agree with me that the question I just asked above is a reasonable one? And don't YOU too wonder how those super-skilled evidence manipulators could be so perfect one minute and yet so amazingly inept and bumbling the next?

Edited by David Von Pein
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More information (from 1962 newspaper accounts) on the punch holes, dug up by Tom Scully,

is available HERE and HERE.

Looks like a nice big defeat for the "LN" side regarding the "punch holes".

Celebrate, CTers! Looks like you won this one.

But, I can't help but repeat....

How in the heck do CTers think the Hidell money order managed to get to the Federal Records Center in Alexandria, Virginia, if it wasn't cashed and then processed by someone?

~big shrug~

Edited by David Von Pein
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Also worth a replay....

"As for the lack of any bank stamps appearing on the back of Oswald's postal money order, I don't have a definitive answer to explain it. But I'd be willing to bet the farm that there IS a reasonable and non-conspiratorial answer to explain the lack of markings on the back of that document without resorting to the conclusion that the money order was manufactured and faked by a group of conspirators in a complicated and intricate effort to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for John F. Kennedy's murder. And I know that conspiracy theorists who think Oswald never ordered a rifle from Klein's Sporting Goods in early 1963 have a heck of a lot MORE evidence to explain away than I do -- such as all this stuff." -- DVP; October 27, 2015

Edited by David Von Pein
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You've almost given in to the possibility of a conspiracy, Dave, and it is obvious you are now grappling with your inner demons.

Don't fight it. Just close your eyes, and say softly to yourself, "They lied to us, they lied to us, they lied to us............."

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You've almost given in to the possibility of a conspiracy, Dave, and it is obvious you are now grappling with your inner demons.

Not even close, Bob.

The lack of a bank stamp (or even two) doesn't prove that money order is fake. It's got OSWALD'S writing on it and it's got KLEIN'S stamp on it. And it's a document that perfectly aligns with everything found in Waldman Exhibit #7 --

>> The "Hidell" name to whom Klein's mailed the rifle.

>> The PO Box number to which Klein's sent the rifle.

>> The exact dollar amount (\$21.45), which is precisely the amount found in Waldman 7 as well. (And the "M.O." notation written by Klein's right underneath the "Amount Enclosed" line on Waldman 7.)

>> And the dates line up nicely too (March 12 for the M.O. purchase; and March 13 on Waldman #7) --- although CTers think it was impossible for the letter/money order to get to Chicago in just one day; but a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Post Office [Jimmy Orr] thinks otherwise....

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

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)?

JIMMY ORR SAID:

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.

[End Quote.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So everything about the money order aligns with the Klein's internal paperwork. So that means KLEIN'S was a major part of the plot to frame Oswald too, if the CTers are right about this thing. And that's not a reasonable thing to think, IMO.

Edited by David Von Pein
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Easy there, Dave. No one says you have to make the transformation all at once. You have to ease into these things, or the shock to your system will be too great.

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Bob,

How do you think the Hidell money order managed to get to the Federal Records Center in Alexandria, Virginia, if it wasn't cashed and then processed by someone?

Or is CD87 (below) just 4 pages of pure fantasy (in other words, MORE fake stuff)?

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10490#relPageId=118

Edited by David Von Pein
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Many thanks, Sandy.

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More stuff to ponder re: the money order.....

HENRY SIENZANT SAID:

Why are you assuming a PO Money Order requires a bank stamp?

That hasn't been demonstrated anywhere, as far as I know.

Typically, there's a claim the MO should have one, then that's "demonstrated" by switching to a different financial instrument, a personal check, and a check is shown with the bank markings. But as I've pointed out in the past, those are two entirely different financial instruments, and there's no reason to assume they'd be handled the precise same way.

A personal check is backed only by the amount of money in the person's checking account. It can be overdrawn, and checks can bounce.

A Post Office Money Order is backed by the full taxation power of the U.S. Government. It can't be overdrawn, and the government has the power to raise taxes to pay its bills. In addition, because a Money Order is paid for by the purchaser at the time of purchase, it is more valuable than a personal check for the same amount. A personal check can bounce, a money order can't.

Given those differences, I've asked conspiracy theorists on a number of occasions why we should assume the two financial instruments should be processed in the same way by banks, and never gotten a satisfactory answer.

I think the problem here is that conspiracy theorists are putting forth an assumption as a fact (that the MO should have a bank stamp), and nobody is questioning that assumption.

DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Well, maybe you're right, Hank. I have no idea really.

But as far as my previous assumption (brought forth by other people online in 2014 and 2015) that the punch holes that are present in Oswald's money order were placed there as a substitute for an inked stamped endorsement of some kind, I stand corrected on that wrong assumption. And I say that based on the 1962 newspaper article that Tom Scully posted online today [November 10, 2015].

But your thoughts, Hank, are interesting ones to consider as well. It's certainly not very likely that a United States Postal Money Order, which as you say is backed by the U.S. Government, is going to bounce. And it was paid for by Lee Oswald when he purchased it at the Main Post Office in Dallas on 3/12/63. So we KNOW that the U.S. Government (the post office) got paid its \$21.45 for the amount of the money order. Otherwise, the M.O. would never have been handed over to Oswald in the stamped amount of \$21.45. [And I'm saying this based on my belief that the M.O. is NOT a fraudulent document and WAS purchased by the REAL Lee Harvey Oswald.]

Thanks for your post, Henry. It gives me even more things to consider with respect to the lack of any bank markings on the back of Oswald's money order.

I have never even considered the loopy idea of that M.O. being faked by a group of patsy framers, however. That idea is ludicrous, in my view. It's only because these things (like "the lack of bank stamps" topic) are brought up over and over again by the conspiracy theorists that makes me even want to look into them superficially (let alone in great depth).

But, of course, a JFK CTer sees sinister, underhanded activity almost everywhere he looks --- even, evidently, at Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago and the U.S. Post Office in downtown Dallas.

David Von Pein
November 10, 2015

Edited by David Von Pein
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[...]

If these conspirators were so good and so thorough that they could perfectly fake Lee Harvey Oswald's handwriting on CE788 (the money order) so that it would fool some of the nation's top handwriting analysts (who had the ORIGINAL money order for comparison, not just a photocopy of same)....then how come those very same conspirators were so stupid and careless as to not place on the phony money order a single bank stamp that would indicate the document had been properly processed? After all, according to CTers, those plotters were able to fake the Klein's endorsement stamp on the back of the money order. And yet they failed to fake any bank stamps whatsoever. I wonder why?

Sandy,

Don't you agree with me that the question I just asked above is a reasonable one? And don't YOU too wonder how those super-skilled evidence manipulators could be so perfect one minute and yet so amazingly inept and bumbling the next?

as Ben Holmes told you, David Von Pein, on that very same AMAZON forum:

--quote on --

"Conspiracy Buff Davey sobs: "Just make sure never to purchase a Carcano rifle with a Postal Money Order, Hank, because the CTers will start insisting that the M.O. is fake. (Even if your handwriting is verified on the document.)"
You're a gutless ****** and a ****, Davey.
The handwriting was *NOT* "verified" on the Money Order.

No handwriting expert in the world would have survived cross examination on their "verification" of a xerox copy made from a microfilm. (a copy of a copy)

You *DO* know that the money order was a xerox of a microfilm, right?

I *DEFY* you to produce a citation stating that handwriting can be "verified" under those circumstances.

But you won't.

And I know you won't retract your *** ...

As the HSCA stated, "Document examiners only render a qualified or conditional opinion when working from copies. They stipulate that they have to examine the original before a definite opinion will be made."

So I'll just label you a ****** and a **** right now...

And Henry as well, since he refuses to correct your outrageous ***."

--quote off--
Now that is a big time OUCH DVP!
note: all *'s are mine
Edited by David G. Healy
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As far as I am aware, the FBI saw and examined the ORIGINAL money order---not a Xerox copy of a microfilm. Klein's never even had a microfilmed record of the money order at all.

We know via CD87 that the original M.O. was recovered from the Federal Records Center at Alexandria, Virginia.

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10490#relPageId=118

So why would the FBI and the Treasury Dept. (Alwyn Cole) experts use a copy when the original was readily available? The same thing with the HSCA handwriting experts. It makes no sense at all to do that.

Edited by David Von Pein

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