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Did Oswald Take Any Rifle to the Depository

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More from George Michael Evica on LHO and CE 139

Did Oswald Take Any Rifle to the Depository?

The Warren Commission did establish (or seemed to have established) that a folded blanket had once rested on the floor of Ruth and Michael Paine’s garage (at least Marina and the Paines thought so, and the police allegedly found such a blanket). The Commission was unable to place a rifle in that blanket except for Marina’s testimony about seeing the stock (or the barrel) of a rifle when she peeked – but then Marina was an incredible witness and admittedly could not recognize a rifle. Mrs. Paine testified she did not “see” the blanket in her crowded garage any earlier than October 7th, 1963. Ruth Paine also testified that the rifle she allegedly saw in Oswald’s possession had a sling unlike the one on the CE 139 rifle. Michael Paine tried to help; he testified that on some unspecified date before November 22nd, 1963, he remembered “moving about this package [in his garage] which, let’s say, was a rifle, anyway it was a package wrapped in a blanket.” But Paine didn’t help Marina’s credibility much:

“I have read … that Marina looked in the end of this [garage] package and saw the butt end of a rifle. Now I didn’t remember that it was something easy to look into like that. I thought it was well wrapped up.” (italics added)

The Warren Commission seemed to have discovered an ill-identified “rifle” (which could not be placed in the Oswald’s possession during their various moves) in an alleged package/blanket allegedly in the Paine garage – but not before October 7th, 1963.

The Commission did establish that Lee Harvey Oswald was present at the Paine’s residence, Thursday evening, November 21st, but could not place him in the Paine garage. It also could not establish whether he left the Paine residence on Friday morning, November 22nd, with a paper bag, a rifle, or anything in his hands. To suggest that Oswald might have taken a rifle in a paper bag, the Commission took testimony from four witnesses. The Commission’s intention was to suggest that Oswald might have (1) stolen the paper-bag materials from the Depository; (2)constructed the paper gun-case at the Paine house on Thursday night; (3) dismantled the rifle (thereby saving himself only a few inches in length but increasing the time necessary to prepare for the assassination when he would be forced to re-assemble the rifle; (4) placed the rifle in his home-made bag; (5)transported it to the Depository, and (6) carried it to the sixth floor of that building. The Commission was unable to establish as fact any one of these six sequential speculations. (emphasis added by Drago)

Had the Commission been able to establish Oswald’s possession of the CE 139 Mannlicher-Carcano through the evening of November 21st, or the fact of that possession any time on the 22nd, its “reconstruction” of possibilities could have been accepted as circumstantial evidence for the transportation of the Mannlicher-Carcano to and into the Depository on November 22nd. In fact, the Commission neither established Oswald’s possession of any rifle through November 22nd nor his transportation of any rifle on November 22nd. Its four paper bag/rifle transportation witnesses offered abundant material for the counter argument that Lee Harvey Oswald did not transport the rifle to or into the building, could not have borrowed the paper bag materials, and did not take those materials to the Paine house. Two of those witnesses testified on March 11th, 1964 – the only two alleged to have seen Oswald with his “bulky” package – that it was too short for even a disassembled Carcano. The difference in lengths given was significant: the CE 139 rifle (dismantled, according to F.B.I. agent Frazier), 35 inches; Oswald’s alleged package, about 28 inches.

The Warren Commission was unable to place any rifle in Oswald’s possession and was even unable to argue persuasively that Oswald might have transported a package containing a rifle to (or into) the Depository.

Did Oswald Possess a Rifle Inside the Depository?

Was Lee Harvey Oswald in possession of a rifle or a short or long package inside the Depository on November 22nd, 1963? No testimony was elicited, either by the Commission or by its investigators and staff members, in answer to that question; it was not, it seems, asked. The Commission tried neither to establish how Oswald got any rifle from the Depository’s first floor to the sixth floor nor to determine whether it was possible to transport a weapon. The Commission could have asked the Depository’s first-floor workers, but it seems to have avoided asking them any questions about Oswald’s possible rifle-carrying trip. Why?

The Warren Commission was unable to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald (1) took delivery of a rifle; (2) possessed a rifle; (3) practiced with a rifle; (4) transported a rifle to the Depository; and (5) carried a rifle to the Depository’s sixth floor.

And, of course, it was unable to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald ever fired a rifle on November 22nd, 1963. (emphasis added by Drago)

Edited by Charles Drago
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Polygraph operator Lewis told the FBI that Frazier was shown what appeared to be "a homemade brown heavy paper gun case" which Frazier declined to identify as the bag he'd seen Oswald carry. He described that bag as being "about two feet long" and made of "crinkly brown paper" which he later further described to the FBI as the type of bag you get from a five and dime store. Drain and partner did "convince" him he was wrong in that description, admittedly. :lol:

WC defenders often cite Buell as passing a polygraph on the bag. If the polygraph was actually administered, and not just used as a prop to scare him, it's little wonder he passed. All he had to do was tell the truth: "No, that's not the bag Oswald had, no sir!" But would... could he have passed if asked about the bag he himself carried into the building?

I think Oswald did have his lunch in that thin crinkly bag. Ruth Paine was asked if she had any brown paper of the type that allegedly carried the murder weapon. She was also asked if she had spare curtain rods in the garage. Why was she never asked if she had noticed any bread, cheese or fruit missing that morning, or any signs of Oswald having made his lunch?

But hey... as noted above...no one ever asked Buell what was in his bag that day (though he did offer in testimony that his lunch was bagged). Or why he let Oswald walk ahead for the first time while he revved the motor.

Or why he ate in the basement that day for the first time.

Mr. Ball.

When you get off your job, did you usually go to the lunch room on the second floor to eat your lunch?

Mr. Frazier.

No, sir; most of the time I don't.
Most of the time you see several of us guys sitting down at our own table and we just sit there. I say we usually go up there to get something to drink and I say I have ate up there several times but most of the times I eat with the guys I work with.

Usually we just sit down and eat, and we lay down on the big tables there and sometimes talk or go to sle

Mr. Ball.

That is on the first floor?

Mr. Frazier.


I once considered it possible (despite what he said above) that he actually ate in the basement all the time as a way of avoiding having close contact with those "colored" folk. But no. One other person testified to using the basement that day, at least to leave their clothes. Eddie Piper, the man without an alibi. and probably the un-named person reported in the media that weekend as having escorted Oswald to the 6th floor. Of course, assuming this, or something like it did happen, it was not Oswald - who needed no such escort.

The WC did in fact, ask Buell if he'd seen Oswald in the basement. Were they thinking this made a good place to keep a rifle until it could be moved elsewhere?



edit to correct info: straight after posting this, I remembered that RP was in fact asked about Oswald taking lunch:

Mr. JENNER - Was he in the habit on these weekends of making himself a sandwich which he would take with him?

Mrs. PAINE - No; there is no such habit. Perhaps once Marina prepared something for him to take with him, I think more for him to put in his room, partly for lunch, partly for him to have at his room in town and use the refrigerator.

Mr. JENNER - But in any event, on the morning of the 22d you saw no evidence of there having been an attempt by anybody to prepare?

Mrs. PAINE - No.

Mr. JENNER - Sandwiches for lunch or to take anything else in the way of food from your home?

Mrs. PAINE - I saw no evidence, and I saw nothing that was missing.


I do find it hard to believe that his lunch was only prepared once - and then by Marina. This indicates he normally purchased his lunch - but this is contradicted by fellow workers who said he always had a packed lunch, it's contradicted by his known frugality, and contradicted also by Marina who was quoted in Marina & Oswald as saying he would always help himself to food and drinks from the fridge of anywhere she happened to be staying.

Edited by Greg Parker
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