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The Alpacuna box


Royce Bierma
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Greg, this is mostly for you. It turns out that there is no such thing as an "Alpawna box", as Leon Hubert suggested. Later in the evening of November 22, 1963, John McCullough, reporter from the Philadelphia Bulletin, bumped into Jack Ruby. McCullough said Ruby was wearing a gray porkpie hat, very wooly, and a blue topcoat. He was holding a box that had a blue background and white lettering on it that spelled, "Alpacuna" Alpacuna was a brand of men's outerwear manufactured by the Jacob Siegel Co., then of Philadelphia. Earlier, in 1946, Siegel sued the FTC in order to retain the use of his brand name, Alpacuna, since lower courts had threatened to make him abandon it on the grounds that it was misleading, bordering on false advertising. Although the coat was partially made of alpaca, there was no vicuna in it. Further, Siegel had advertised products as including material that was not actually in them. Eventually, Siegel had to stop false advertising as regards non-included materials, but was allowed to keep the Alpacuna label. Now just what Ruby was doing holding such a box, measuring 8 inches by 5 inches by 3 and one-half inches, is beyond me. Questioned by Burt Griffin, McCullough was informed by Griffin that people had seen Ruby with neither topcoat nor hat that evening. Yet McCullough was certain that it was indeed Ruby he had encountered.

Roy

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Greg, this is mostly for you. It turns out that there is no such thing as an "Alpawna box", as Leon Hubert suggested. Later in the evening of November 22, 1963, John McCullough, reporter from the Philadelphia Bulletin, bumped into Jack Ruby. McCullough said Ruby was wearing a gray porkpie hat, very wooly, and a blue topcoat. He was holding a box that had a blue background and white lettering on it that spelled, "Alpacuna" Alpacuna was a brand of men's outerwear manufactured by the Jacob Siegel Co., then of Philadelphia. Earlier, in 1946, Siegel sued the FTC in order to retain the use of his brand name, Alpacuna, since lower courts had threatened to make him abandon it on the grounds that it was misleading, bordering on false advertising. Although the coat was partially made of alpaca, there was no vicuna in it. Further, Siegel had advertised products as including material that was not actually in them. Eventually, Siegel had to stop false advertising as regards non-included materials, but was allowed to keep the Alpacuna label. Now just what Ruby was doing holding such a box, measuring 8 inches by 5 inches by 3 and one-half inches, is beyond me. Questioned by Burt Griffin, McCullough was informed by Griffin that people had seen Ruby with neither topcoat nor hat that evening. Yet McCullough was certain that it was indeed Ruby he had encountered.

Roy

Thanks Roy. Looks like you were right. It had a Ruby connection, not an Oswald one.

Another mystery solved.

Wasn't that long ago I read McCullough's testimony while looking into Ruby having a press pass. Didn't put "alpacuna" and "alpawna" together at the time.

Still puzzled as to why Hubert apparently thought it was some type of radio-connected instrument (he referred to it as an instrument, and the only two people asked about it were both radio men).

Wonder if this is what it was?

alpacuna cigar box

Maybe his plan was to offer Oswald an explosive cigar left over from one of those whacky whack Castro plots? ;)

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Greg, this is mostly for you. It turns out that there is no such thing as an "Alpawna box", as Leon Hubert suggested. Later in the evening of November 22, 1963, John McCullough, reporter from the Philadelphia Bulletin, bumped into Jack Ruby. McCullough said Ruby was wearing a gray porkpie hat, very wooly, and a blue topcoat. He was holding a box that had a blue background and white lettering on it that spelled, "Alpacuna" Alpacuna was a brand of men's outerwear manufactured by the Jacob Siegel Co., then of Philadelphia. Earlier, in 1946, Siegel sued the FTC in order to retain the use of his brand name, Alpacuna, since lower courts had threatened to make him abandon it on the grounds that it was misleading, bordering on false advertising. Although the coat was partially made of alpaca, there was no vicuna in it. Further, Siegel had advertised products as including material that was not actually in them. Eventually, Siegel had to stop false advertising as regards non-included materials, but was allowed to keep the Alpacuna label. Now just what Ruby was doing holding such a box, measuring 8 inches by 5 inches by 3 and one-half inches, is beyond me. Questioned by Burt Griffin, McCullough was informed by Griffin that people had seen Ruby with neither topcoat nor hat that evening. Yet McCullough was certain that it was indeed Ruby he had encountered.

Roy

Thanks Roy. Looks like you were right. It had a Ruby connection, not an Oswald one.

Another mystery solved.

Wasn't that long ago I read McCullough's testimony while looking into Ruby having a press pass. Didn't put "alpacuna" and "alpawna" together at the time.

Still puzzled as to why Hubert apparently thought it was some type of radio-connected instrument (he referred to it as an instrument, and the only two people asked about it were both radio men).

Wonder if this is what it was?

alpacuna cigar box

Maybe his plan was to offer Oswald an explosive cigar left over from one of those whacky whack Castro plots? ;)

Thank you Roy,

A feather for your cap.

And I know Greg spent a lot of time on this lead, and sometimes they just don't go anywhere, and sometimes they go places you don't expect them to go.

I knew that such mysteries can be solved by mortal men, but such revelations then lead to other questions worth pursuing.

Like, what's with this Jacob Siegel company, 1843 W. Allegheny Ave., Philadelphia?

They're pretty interesting too. Jewish overcoat company that dates back to the 30s, took Alpacuna case to Supreme court in 40s, had own line and imported London Fog and other major brands.

Phone number: 215 - 229 - 9900

Is this number among Ruby phone records?

McCullough, the reporter for Philadelphia Bulletin, got there pretty quick from Philly.

He says he recognized Ruby, and could identify his hat and the box he was holding as an Alpacuna box because he was from Philadelphia.

The big question is whether Jacob Siegel is the origin of the jacket found under the car at the Oak Cliff gas station?

BK

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Greg, this is mostly for you. It turns out that there is no such thing as an "Alpawna box", as Leon Hubert suggested. Later in the evening of November 22, 1963, John McCullough, reporter from the Philadelphia Bulletin, bumped into Jack Ruby. McCullough said Ruby was wearing a gray porkpie hat, very wooly, and a blue topcoat. He was holding a box that had a blue background and white lettering on it that spelled, "Alpacuna" Alpacuna was a brand of men's outerwear manufactured by the Jacob Siegel Co., then of Philadelphia. Earlier, in 1946, Siegel sued the FTC in order to retain the use of his brand name, Alpacuna, since lower courts had threatened to make him abandon it on the grounds that it was misleading, bordering on false advertising. Although the coat was partially made of alpaca, there was no vicuna in it. Further, Siegel had advertised products as including material that was not actually in them. Eventually, Siegel had to stop false advertising as regards non-included materials, but was allowed to keep the Alpacuna label. Now just what Ruby was doing holding such a box, measuring 8 inches by 5 inches by 3 and one-half inches, is beyond me. Questioned by Burt Griffin, McCullough was informed by Griffin that people had seen Ruby with neither topcoat nor hat that evening. Yet McCullough was certain that it was indeed Ruby he had encountered.

Roy

Thanks Roy. Looks like you were right. It had a Ruby connection, not an Oswald one.

Another mystery solved.

Wasn't that long ago I read McCullough's testimony while looking into Ruby having a press pass. Didn't put "alpacuna" and "alpawna" together at the time.

Still puzzled as to why Hubert apparently thought it was some type of radio-connected instrument (he referred to it as an instrument, and the only two people asked about it were both radio men).

Wonder if this is what it was?

alpacuna cigar box

Maybe his plan was to offer Oswald an explosive cigar left over from one of those whacky whack Castro plots? ;)

Thank you Roy,

A feather for your cap.

And I know Greg spent a lot of time on this lead, and sometimes they just don't go anywhere, and sometimes they go places you don't expect them to go.

I knew that such mysteries can be solved by mortal men, but such revelations then lead to other questions worth pursuing.

Like, what's with this Jacob Siegel company, 1843 W. Allegheny Ave., Philadelphia?

They're pretty interesting too. Jewish overcoat company that dates back to the 30s, took Alpacuna case to Supreme court in 40s, had own line and imported London Fog and other major brands.

Phone number: 215 - 229 - 9900

Is this number among Ruby phone records?

McCullough, the reporter for Philadelphia Bulletin, got there pretty quick from Philly.

He says he recognized Ruby, and could identify his hat and the box he was holding as an Alpacuna box because he was from Philadelphia.

The big question is whether Jacob Siegel is the origin of the jacket found under the car at the Oak Cliff gas station?

BK

When entering Jacob Siegel 1843 W. Allegheny Ave. on google, one of the synopsis it pulls up contains the following....

American importers that import from the Dominican Republic

Mar 27, 2007 ... Siegel, Jacob, 1843 W. Allegheny Ave. Philadelphia, PA, 19132-1607, 215-229-9900. Windsor Coat, 1843 W. Allegheny Ave. ...

www.brazilexporters.com/dominican.html - 152k - Cached - Similar pages

See

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=J...mp;aq=f&oq=

Edited by Robert Howard
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Not likely.

The Bellew's gas station jacket was made in California.

Name Tag said "Created in California- Maurice Holman" per WC exhibit.

Should read "Maurice Holtman"

Edited by Ed LeDoux
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Not likely.

The Bellew's gas station jacket was made in California.

Name Tag said "Created in California- Maurice Holman"

Yes, but it was reported to have been sold in Philadelphia.

The jacket was a medium, when Oswald usually wore small.

Michael Paine had lived in Philadelphia before moving to Texas.

Siegel didn't just sell his own brand, but others, like London Fog, as well.

Just a hunch.

BK

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Yes, but it was reported to have been sold in Philadelphia.

Do you have a reference for this?

Yea, I got a reference for it Ed.

I'll look it up for you.

But I'm not interested in a debate about the jacket, just locating its origin.

My reference, which I will have to locate, says that the trace on the jacket manufacture indicates it was was sold at Strawbridge & Clothier department store in Philadelphia.

BK

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Bill,

"THE RADICAL RIGHT and the MURDER of JOHN F. KENNEDY" Harrison E. Livingstone (Page 336)

"In addition, the jacket bore a label saying it had been created in California, and the investigation showed that it had been sold only there and in Philadelphia, both where Oswald had not been as a civilian................*57"

What is Livingstone's source for this information?

Edited by Ed LeDoux
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Bill,

"THE RADICAL RIGHT and the MURDER of JOHN F. KENNEDY" Harrison E. Livingstone (Page 336)

"In addition, the jacket bore a label saying it had been created in California, and the investigation showed that it had been sold only there and in Philadelphia, both where Oswald had not been as a civilian................."

But....

What is Livingstone's source for this information?

Hi Ed,

I don't know what Harry's source is. I don't think he footnotes it. It appears he says

Footnotes 56 for laundry tag and 57 for WC conclusion that jacket belonged to Oswald.

In any case, Harry isn't my source since I haven't read that book and my source specifically mentioned that the only place in Philly where it was sold was Strawbridge & Clothier, one of the biggest Department stores in town.

My original speculation was that the jacket belonged to Michael Paine, purchased when he went to college in Philadelphia or when he worked with Art Young. It would make sense that Paine owned the jacket, his size, and Oswald just borrowed it, found it in the garage or something innocent like that.

But now I think there might be more to it.

Will try to remember and locate my original source, but it had to be an official document since who else could or would trace manufacturer's tags?

BK

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I can't find Livingstone's source for the reference.

I would hope someone has the book handy.....anyone?

If not I will wait for you Bill to find your source, yeah it does sound like it is from a FBI or similar document.

Who else would be able to trace such a garment from manufacture to wholesale to retail in various locations nationwide.

I thought that it had to do with Seaport Traders/the pistol/ and California where the jacket was retailed.

Your Philly/Paine/jacket connection seems just as plausible.

Either way I would like to see where all these references point concerning the sale of this piece of apparel.

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Greg, this is mostly for you. It turns out that there is no such thing as an "Alpawna box", as Leon Hubert suggested. Later in the evening of November 22, 1963, John McCullough, reporter from the Philadelphia Bulletin, bumped into Jack Ruby. McCullough said Ruby was wearing a gray porkpie hat, very wooly, and a blue topcoat. He was holding a box that had a blue background and white lettering on it that spelled, "Alpacuna" Alpacuna was a brand of men's outerwear manufactured by the Jacob Siegel Co., then of Philadelphia. Earlier, in 1946, Siegel sued the FTC in order to retain the use of his brand name, Alpacuna, since lower courts had threatened to make him abandon it on the grounds that it was misleading, bordering on false advertising. Although the coat was partially made of alpaca, there was no vicuna in it. Further, Siegel had advertised products as including material that was not actually in them. Eventually, Siegel had to stop false advertising as regards non-included materials, but was allowed to keep the Alpacuna label. Now just what Ruby was doing holding such a box, measuring 8 inches by 5 inches by 3 and one-half inches, is beyond me. Questioned by Burt Griffin, McCullough was informed by Griffin that people had seen Ruby with neither topcoat nor hat that evening. Yet McCullough was certain that it was indeed Ruby he had encountered.

Roy

Back to the topic...for now.

Great find Royce.

Mr. Mccullough.

..... assignment in Dallas. But most of the time I was on the floor and in a corridor outside the room in which principals in the assassination of the President and the subsequent events were being questioned by Dallas police officials. And I believe by members of the Federal agencies.

I was not alone. There were at least 50 other reporters along this narrow corridor. It was around midnight, to the best of my recollection, when they brought a man who police told us was Lee Harvey Oswald into an interrogation room. Trying to get a look at the physical setup inside this room, I stood briefly on a metal ashtray that was on the corridor. And coming down from this metal ashtray, I hit with my right elbow a man who was standing beside me. I apologized for bumping into the man and expressed the hope that I had

not struck his notes, assuming he was another reporter. He explained to me that he was not a reporter, that he was a businessman in Dallas, and I noted then that he was carrying a box. I would guess it was about 8 inches to a foot square. And the reason I remember it is on one side, in white lettering, on a blue background, was the word "Alpacuna." It struck me as odd, that a reporter would be carrying a box. And then, of course, when he explained he was a businessman I took a good look at him, because I think reporters get annoyed--because there were enough of us in the corridor without outsiders being there. I mentioned this to another member of the Bulletin staff later, and then discovered after the shooting of Oswald, the man I had bumped into that night was Ruby...............

Mr. Griffin.

When you saw the man you believed was Ruby, did.he indicate to you what kind of business he was in?

Mr. Mccullough.

No; he didn't say what kind of business. This is what made the box stay in my mind. I assumed he was a shirt merchant or something, or that it was a sweater. And there, again, the reason for my remembering him was a bit of annoyance on my part that there was outsiders in that row, when it was terribly crowded.

Mr. Griffin.

Did this look like the kind of box one would carry clothes or shirts or sweaters in?

Mr. Mccullough.

Only because I in my own mind related the word Alpacuna to some sort of textile trade name. I had never seen the name before.

Mr. Griffin.

I don't know what Alpacuna is. Have you subsequently learned?

Mr. Mccullough.

No; and the man at the time was wearing, I believe it is called, a porkpie hat, and he had a topcoat. This, I remembered, because most of the reporters were not wearing topcoats, and certainly were not wearing hats................

Mr. Griffin.

I want to go back once again to the identification of the man you think was Ruby. Were you continuously on the third floor from the time that you arrived on Friday night at the police station until you saw this man with the Alpacuna box?

Mr. Mccullough.

If I was not, it was just briefly to leave and reach a telephone, to try to reach some other member of the Bulletin staff moving around Dallas. In other words, any absence would not be more than 5 or 10 minutes. Because all of the action I was covering was confined to that one floor.

Mr. Griffin.

Do you recall a man on the third floor who was standing near the homicide office and was identifying members of the police department, most particularly Captain Fritz and Chief Curry, to members of the press?

Mr. Mccullough.

There were several persons doing this. The persons who were making these identifications for me, actually, however, were local Dallas reporters, two men and a woman. All carrying press credentials.

Mr. Griffin.

Did any of those persons--obviously not the woman--but did either of the two men bear any resemblance that you recall to Jack Ruby?

Mr. Mccullough.

No; none at all. The man that I believed to be Ruby was quite stocky. The two reporters were slight, one wore glasses. I believe they were both light-haired.

Mr. Griffin.

If I were to tell you that so far as we have been able to determine Jack Ruby did not own an overcoat such as you have described, and in fact was not wearing an overcoat on Friday night, would that in any way affect the positiveness of the identification?

Mr. Mccullough.

Not the overcoat; no. Because, as I say, the only time I looked at this clothing really is as I was coming down, and from the top--what I saw actually was a dark outer coat which I assumed was a topcoat. If I said overcoat, I meant a topcoat.

Mr. Griffin.

Are you certain in your mind that this man did have a topcoat or outer coat on?

Mr. Mccullough.

Yes. I paid it no particular heed at the time, though.

Mr. Griffin.

Well, again, bearing in mind what I have said, that Ruby is not known by anybody else who believes they saw him on Friday night to have been wearing any sort of an outer coat, would that alter the certainty with which you have identified him here today?

Mr. Mccullough.

No. Actually, because the identification--what makes me believe that the man I bumped into and talked to at least for a moment was Ruby was his face, not the clothing.

Now the question, why did Ruby bring the box into the station? .......and what was in the box?

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