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John Cesar Grossi


Tim Gratz
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Has anyone ever researched John Cesar Grossi, who worked with LHO at Jaggars-Chiles-Stowall?

Yo Tim,

FYI, John Caesar Grossi, aka John Leslie Bowen, and a half dozen other aliases, including a Bishop, worked with LHO at JCS in Dallas.

And it's Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall - not Stowal.

LHO used Grossi/Bowen as a reference on his library card. He reportedly had mob connections, and his FBI file indicates that he knew Joe Bonnano and Pete Licovalli, and lived for awhile at Licovalli's Grace Ranch.

Here's his FBI file as Rex Bradford recently posted it:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/docset/getList.do?docSetId=123903&relPageId=8

It appears Grossi worked at one time as a porter at the Flamingo Hotel in Miami, impersonated a Navy officer to cash bad checks, and was quite the ladies man, having a wife in Canada and a girlfriend on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas - a popular neighborhood.

After his wife moved back to Canada in 1963-early 64, Grossi leased a 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix and took off to California and Canada, running up $1500 on his girlfriend's gas credit card, and switching the license plates. Later he was driving a red 1963 Cadillac convertable.

I don't know he did that's worth redacting but the first three arrests on his rap sheet are redacted, and the best story on him is probably here:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=699://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...;]

://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...mffweb/a...;]

://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...mffweb/a...;]

BK

Sorry the links don't work but JCG is listed under the new releases of FBI subject files.

Edited by William Kelly
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Good stuff, Bill.

I did look at this guy briefly once and basically he was a career criminal. Some of his aliases were -

Jack Leslie Bowen

Jack Dale Williams

Charles T. Bishop

George Edgar Van Buren

Roger Garland Dieckman

Jack Groves

Jack Robinson

Michael John Bolen

Roy Lee Mantooth

Back in the 1950's, Grossi was close friends with a guy named Harold Van Buren who at the time was spokesman for the Dallas County Supporters for Gen. Douglas MacArthur for the Presidency.

FWIW.

James

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Thanks for the info, gents.

I am sure it is just a coincidence that one of his aliases (last name) was the same as that gentleman itinerant minister that LHO met on the bus on his way to Mexico.

Interesting security policy at Jaggers that allowed the firm to hire a former defector to the Soviet Union and a man with Grossi's criminal background.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Bill, I really appreciated your quick reply but I cannot get your links to work.

I wanted to point it out to you because I did want to look at them and others may want to as well.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

In your opinion are the aliases "Bowen" and "Bishop" simply coincidences?

Also, while I suspect you may not endorse a "Mafia did it" theory, is it possible that this character with his long rap sheet rapped to some of his buddies about his friend Lee Harvey Oswald?

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Bill, since you have seen the FBI files, could you tell us (can be brief) were any of the files generated AFTER the assassination?

In other words, was the FBI investigating this gentleman in connection with its investigation of the assassination because Oswald put his name as a reference on his library card? Or were the FBI files solely related to his criminal issues?

What a reference, by the way! A career criminal who probably would steal a library book without a second thought!

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Bill, since you have seen the FBI files, could you tell us (can be brief) were any of the files generated AFTER the assassination?

In other words, was the FBI investigating this gentleman in connection with its investigation of the assassination because Oswald put his name as a reference on his library card? Or were the FBI files solely related to his criminal issues?

What a reference, by the way! A career criminal who probably would steal a library book without a second thought!

All of the ones I read, and there's dozens - were post assassination, but none of them even mentioned the library card, at least the ones I read, though I didn't read them all.

Many are redundant.

What is most interesting is his rap sheet of arrests - the first three or four arrests are redacted - I think because he claims, upon one arrest in the 70s, that he was an informant for the FBI in upstate New York, and they confirmed that but said he didn't provide anything useful.

There seems to be no interest whatsoever in LHO's library card with Grassi's name on it.

Also interesting is his association with Joe Bonnano and Pete Licavelli in Tuscon, where Grassi worked with Locavelli at an art studio - which supports Chauncey Holt's claim that he gave art lessons to Licavelli, who was originally from Detroit.

Grassi also lived at Licavelli's Grace Ranch, named after his wife, which is also part of Holt's story.

Somebody wake up Wim and tell him this.

BK

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Great post, Bill!

Much appreciated.

I'm going to look into Licavelli.

We all know what Bonnano's book says about Rosselli. I think it says he had never met Rosselli until they were both in the same fed pen.

My idea of a truly successful mobster is one who never spent significant time behind bars and died a natural death. Very few qualify for those criteria.

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  • 1 year later...
Bill, since you have seen the FBI files, could you tell us (can be brief) were any of the files generated AFTER the assassination?

In other words, was the FBI investigating this gentleman in connection with its investigation of the assassination because Oswald put his name as a reference on his library card? Or were the FBI files solely related to his criminal issues?

What a reference, by the way! A career criminal who probably would steal a library book without a second thought!

All of the ones I read, and there's dozens - were post assassination, but none of them even mentioned the library card, at least the ones I read, though I didn't read them all.

Many are redundant.

What is most interesting is his rap sheet of arrests - the first three or four arrests are redacted - I think because he claims, upon one arrest in the 70s, that he was an informant for the FBI in upstate New York, and they confirmed that but said he didn't provide anything useful.

There seems to be no interest whatsoever in LHO's library card with Grassi's name on it.

Also interesting is his association with Joe Bonnano and Pete Licavelli in Tuscon, where Grassi worked with Locavelli at an art studio - which supports Chauncey Holt's claim that he gave art lessons to Licavelli, who was originally from Detroit.

Grassi also lived at Licavelli's Grace Ranch, named after his wife, which is also part of Holt's story.

Somebody wake up Wim and tell him this.

BK

I thought I'd bring this thread back now that there's a discussion about Thomas Joseph Rossi and the man next to the Umbrella Man.

BK

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  • 5 years later...

Has anyone ever researched John Cesar Grossi, who worked with LHO at Jaggars-Chiles-Stowall?

Yo Tim,

FYI, John Caesar Grossi, aka John Leslie Bowen, and a half dozen other aliases, including a Bishop, worked with LHO at JCS in Dallas.

And it's Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall - not Stowal.

LHO used Grossi/Bowen as a reference on his library card. He reportedly had mob connections, and his FBI file indicates that he knew Joe Bonnano and Pete Licovalli, and lived for awhile at Licovalli's Grace Ranch.

Here's his FBI file as Rex Bradford recently posted it:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/docset/getList.do?docSetId=123903&relPageId=8

It appears Grossi worked at one time as a porter at the Flamingo Hotel in Miami, impersonated a Navy officer to cash bad checks, and was quite the ladies man, having a wife in Canada and a girlfriend on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas - a popular neighborhood.

After his wife moved back to Canada in 1963-early 64, Grossi leased a 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix and took off to California and Canada, running up $1500 on his girlfriend's gas credit card, and switching the license plates. Later he was driving a red 1963 Cadillac convertible.

I don't know he did that's worth redacting but the first three arrests on his rap sheet are redacted, and the best story on him is probably here:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=699://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...;]

://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...mffweb/a...;]

://http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/a...mffweb/a...;]

BK

Sorry the links don't work but JCG is listed under the new releases of FBI subject files.

John Caesar Grossi had a long criminal career consisting of impersonating a military man, passing hot checks, stealing vehicles, and robbing a Canadian bank in 1956. He is the subject of many FBI reports spanning from the 1940's to the 1970's.

https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/docset/getList.do?docSetId=1239

(In the "subject line," he's always referred to as "JCGR," as in J ohn C aesar GR ossi.)

I've only read a couple of these FBI reports, but here's an interesting one from 7/16/64 which says that Grossi rented a car from a Dallas company on 8/9/63 and that the company lost contact with him shortly thereafter. Among other things, the report is interesting for its redactions, for the physical description it gives of Grossi, and for stating that Grossi's alias at the time was "Jack L. Bowen."

https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=137397&relPageId=1

This is significant because Oswald's stated on his Dallas library card that he worked at Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval, and listed as a reference "Jack L. Bowen, 1916 Stevens Forrest Drive, WH8-8997." http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth49563/m1/1/ )

Supporting evidence that the "Jack L. Bowen" who lived at 1916 Stevens Forrest Drive in Oak Park was John Caesar Grossi can be found here. (Note that in this report the interviewee says that this "Jack Bowen" married a woman in 1960 or 1961 whose name was "Patricia Gervan Bowen," and that Patricia's mother's name was "Mable Gervan," all of which suggests that Grossi was already using the Bowen alias in 1960 or 1961.)

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=1007540

And here's one dating from 1966. It's also interesting for its redactions and for suggesting that John Caesar Grossi, using the name "Michael John Bolen," had recently worked for a photographic institute and a lithographic company in San Francisco, lending support to the assertion that this is the same Bolen /. Bowen who had worked with Oswald at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall.

https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=137446&relPageId=9

I stumbled upon this one separately. If "Bowen" told the FBI the truth, it would explain how Oswald knew "Bowen's" address and phone number:

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/R%20Disk/Reddell%20Eddie%20A/Item%2003.pdf

One can only wonder why there are so many redactions in these John Caesar Grossi FBI documents.

Could it be because the FBI wanted to hide the fact that this artistically-inclined forger / car thief / bank robber had worked at Jaggars-Chiles-Stoval with Oswald?

Could it be that Grossi had something to do with the creation of "the backyard photos?"

Why did Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall hire such a criminal in the first place?

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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