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Ron Lewis and his book, FLASHBACK: The Untold Story of Lee Harvey Oswald

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When 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

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Paul, I read his book ages ago....could you give us a list of at least a few points of factual information that you found to corroborate his story? Not points of "consistency" with other information - given that his book came out decades later at a time when there was extensive detailed information on Oswald already in circulation - but independent confirmation.

-- Larry

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Letter to the Editor: Flashback: The Untold Story of Lee Harvey Oswald
by Peter Whitmey

From The Fourth Decade: A Journal of Research on the John F. Kennedy Assassination (Jerry D. Rose, ed., November 1994, vol. 2, no.1), © State University College 1994. p. 22-3. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.

To the editor: Those of you who have read Flashback: The Untold Story of Lee Harvey Oswald (Lewcom Productions: Roseburg, OR 1993) by Ron Lewis (who was one of many consultants to Oliver Stone in the making of JFK) will have noted brief reference to Priscilla McMillan, whom Lewis corresponded with. In a letter to Lewis, Mrs. McMillan encouraged him to write his book, especially if it could "...contribute to the understandive (sic) of Oswald...," even though she felt it "...would probably not bring (Lewis) any happiness." Lewis described McMillan as a "...former Kennedy employee who had interviewed Lee Oswald when he was a defector in the Soviet Union, and later wrote the Marina Oswald biography, entitled Marina and Lee." (P. xiv)

Lewis also received some assistance from Priscilla in locating a prospective publisher. His manuscript was accepted by the Doe Coover Agency in Medford, Mass., but "...after much consideration, it was decided the manuscript needed additional work." (p. 241)

In early 1992, Lewis began working for Oliver Stone at Ixtlan (which he described in his book), and received a letter from Stone dated April 14, 1992 indicating that he was not able to "...finance books, movies, documentaries, etc., but I like your book and wish I could find a publisher. I tried, but right now, if Bill Schaap and Ellen Ray won't take it, I can't think of anyone who would take that chance. Can Larry Howard do anything?" (A copy of this letter was sent to me by Lewis when I questioned his credibility, along with a Sept. 13, 1992 memo from Stone's assistant, Azita Zendel, providing a one-paragraph endorsement of Lewis' self-published book.)

In the epilogue (p. 264), Lewis again made reference to Mrs. McMillan, whom he had been warned by certain Dallas researchers "...was a CIA agent who had hindered their investigations by holding up the Marina Oswald biography for many years. They felt she did this on orders from her superiors." However, in her letter to Lewis dated Dec. 6, 1991, Priscilla emphatically denied any connection to the CIA, stating "No, I never worked for the CIA, and no, I didn't hold up my book on anybody's orders." (Lewis described her as "...my friend, and I feel empathy for her because of the unkind things the Dallas community of researchers said about her. Needless to say, I do not share their sediments, and Priscilla's eventual contribution is invaluable.") (p. 264)

Quoting again from the same letter, Priscilla also described "one of the dark spots in my life," making reference to an unnamed researcher, who "...had pestered her for years about this." Lewis implied it was a researcher from Dallas, although I learned in correspondence with him earlier this year that Priscilla was referring to me. The "dark spot" in her life was related to my periodic letters which began in October, 1987, none of which she has ever responded to (except for a short note dated Feb. 6, 1990 along with the return of my 76-page manuscript, which she presumably read, requesting that I not contact her again "...in any way." She also kindly sent me a copy of her original 1959 published article for NANA dealing with the defection of Oswald, after I spoke to her again two years later.)

In an apparent attempt to discredit me, Priscilla indicated to Lewis that "The one time I talked to him over the phone, he got everything wrong, wrote an article based on what I had and hadn't said, but it's against my principles not to talk to people since I've made my living on their willingness to talk to me, but in this case I'll make an exception from now on." (Undated letter from Lewis to Whitmey--Jan. 1994). My series of articles on Mrs. McMillan's career certainly have not been based on what she told me during two lengthy conversations in the fall of 1987, and if I have been in error in any way, she hasn't been willing to correct the record, other than to tell me in early 1992 that I might "misinterpret" her answers to a long series of questions I had sent her.

Peter R. Whitmey
A-149 Salton Rd.
Abbotsford, B.C.
Canada V2S 5B6

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Paul, I read his book ages ago....could you give us a list of at least a few points of factual information that you found to corroborate his story? Not points of "consistency" with other information - given that his book came out decades later at a time when there was extensive detailed information on Oswald already in circulation - but independent confirmation.

-- Larry

Yes, Larry, thanks for responding.

Yes, I'm aware of the difficulties that face every story about the JFK murder from an eye-witness when their story is presented only after Oliver Stone's movie, JFK (1991).


For example, the story offered by James Earl Files, who claims to have been the Grassy Knoll shooter himself -- is suspect because it appears in 1996 (in the Blockbuster video, Confessions of an Assassin). Former CIA officer John Stockwell reviewed Files' story in detail, and found several contradictions.

The bottom line, according to Stockwell, is that James Files did not present any new detail that had not been previously published in the 100 or so books about JFK that had been published by 1991, when Oliver Stone demonstrated that a mass marketplace exists for JFK conspiracy material.

Nobody doubts that James Earl Files was a chauffeur for prominent Mafia figure Charles Nicoletti, or that Nicoletti was close to Johnny Roselli, or that Roselli was involved in the JFK murder, by his own confession in 1970's. But the details -- it's always the details -- didn't add up to support the direct participation of James Files in the plot. The bottom line is that Files deserves attention only for being the outlaw chauffeur for Charles Nicoletti -- and this inspires the imaginations of those who believe that only the Mafia killed JFK.

Now contrast this with Ricky Don White, the son of Roscoe White, and also Ron Lewis, whose book I'd like to debate here.


Ricky White admits that his main evidence (i.e. his father's diary) has "disappeared," and admits that this is suspicious. But is it true that we only have Ricky's word for his claim that his father was the Grassy Knoll shooter? Let's look at the data. First, Ricky White announced his claims in 1990 -- before the Oliver Stone movie proved the JFK conspiracy marketplace was enormous. That's a minor point, but it counts.

Secondly, there was one material bit of evidence -- Ricky's mother, Geneva White, possessed a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald holding his weapons in a pose that the Warren Commission had never seen (in the artifact now known as photograph 133-C). This has to be explained, but to the best of my knowledge hasn't been satisfactorily explained.

In my theory, the best explanation for the evidence starts with this evidence: (i) The Warren Commission saw three different versions of Oswald's "backyard photographs"; (ii) Marina said repeatedly that she snapped the camera button only ONE time; (iii) Oswald was an amateur cryptographer and photographer; (iv) Oswald in early 1963 worked at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, a sophisticated photographic studio; (v) Oswald was known to use company equipment for his personal purposes, e.g. his Alek Hidell ID card; (vi) the newspaper The Militant, later admitted it received one of those photos; (vii) we know that George De Mohrenschildt received one of those photos -- signed; (viii) we know that Roscoe White received one of those photos.

Based on that material evidence, I surmise that Lee Oswald himself made photo-shop variations of Marina's single photograph, probably for purposes of "plausible denial," partly for fun and games, and partly to impress various influential people in his secretive life.

Apparently, Lee Harvey Oswald was in contact with Roscoe White -- and our material evidence is this photograph (133-C) in the possession of Geneva White. Therefore, Ricky Don White's claims about his father are IMHO stronger than the claims of James Files.


Now, finally, with these two eye-witness claims as comparison points, let's look at the claims of Ron Lewis.

(1) Ron Lewis' book formally came out in 1993, however, his story was already circulating in some form before Oliver Stone's movie, JFK, came out in 1991. This is clear because Oliver Stone himself had selected Ron Lewis to be a consultant for him in his movie.

(2) Ron Lewis' story can be reduced to five basic claims that are subject to easy verification; (i) that Ron lived in New Orleans at a specific address during the summer of 1963; (ii) that Ron worked at a specific meat-packing plant during that summer; (iii) that the walking route from Ron's address to work did pass by places where Lee Harvey Oswald worked and promoted the FPCC; (iv) that Ron did volunteer for the Russell Long campaign during the summer of 1963; and (v) that Guy Banister was keeping a file on Russell Long in 1963.

(3) Now, I grant that even if we verify all five of these basic claims, that this by itself doesn't confirm Ron Lewis' story. But they count. That is, if one of these basic claims is false, then all of Ron Lewis' story must be discounted.

(4) We don't have material evidence, like a photograph, or independent witnesses, to the best of Ron Lewis' knowledge.

(5) The claims about resigned General Edwin Walker, however, are not a typical part of the JFK conspiracy literature. To the contrary -- almost to a book, Ron's claims about General Walker have been DENIED by JFK researchers.

(6) The claim that Guy Banister blackmailed and controlled Lee Harvey Oswald because of the Edwin Walker shooting on 10 April 1963 does not appear in any previous JFK conspiracy literature.

These, Larry, would form my starting point for arguing the plausibility of Ron Lewis' claims. In my view, the claims of Ron Lewis are stronger than those of James Files, and perhaps on the order of the strength of the claims by Ricky Don White.

Other supporters of Ron Lewis have used different points than those I've used here.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

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Thanks Paul, that was sufficient for my interest, I'll leave any further dialog to others - just wanted to see if there was anything new or if you had developed any additional confirmation, Larry

Well, Larry, if you're asking about new developments in the confirmation of Ron Lewis' story, then I can only point to my own, indepedent research into the personal papers of resigned Major General Edwin Walker -- the only US General to resign in the 20th century.

There was something that Ron Lewis said in his book, FLASHBACK, that he did not get from any other JFK literature of any kind -- and there was no incentive for him to say it -- namely, his claims about Edwin Walker.

As I already noted -- JFK literature before 1993 tended to be unanimous -- Edwin Walker was just some old right-wing has-been who made a fool of himself at Ole Miss in 1962, and just faded away, talking to himself ever since.

The only thing that JFK literature before 1993 tended to agree upon was that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't shoot at Edwin Walker on 10 April 1963 -- but that an alleged fabrication was made up by the FBI, the CIA, Edwin Walker, the Dallas right-wing, Marina Oswald, George De Mohrenschildt, Jeane De Morehnschildt, Volkmar Schmidt, Michael and Ruth Paine and so many others -- for the sole purpose of making Lee Harvey Oswald look bad.

As if killing JFK didn't make Oswald look bad enough.

That part of the JFK literature never made sense to me. Why and how could all these people (who agreed on nothing else) would never break their pact of blaming the Walker shooting on Lee Oswald? It had NOTHING to do with the JFK murder, anyway.

Why invent such a useless story, and then risk somebody breaking the pact? That made no sense, either.

It feeds a myth of a bizarre conspiracy that involves the FBI and CIA to kill JFK -- that's what comes from the denial of Marina's sworn testimony (and George and Jeane De Morenschildt's sworn testimony; and the easy confessions of Volkmar Schmidt) that Lee Oswald decided to join a plot to murder Edwin Walker, the fanatic right-winger of 1962 (and in many eyes, a "fascist").

I've just never agreed with that level of paranoia. If the CIA is guilty, then show me a smoking gun. Don't neglect to show me a smoking gun, and then tell me that the lack of a smoking gun is the same as a smoking gun in this case, because it's the CIA. That's not good enough. This is the JFK murder, for heaven's sake.

The majority of JFK researchers have the Edwin Walker story all wrong. That's been my theory from the start. Well, it just so happens that Ron Lewis' book, FLASHBACK (1993) agrees with me.

This is the main difference that I see between James Files' claims (all which can all be traced back to previous books by JFK researchers) and the claims of Ron Lewis. Ron's claims about Edwin Walker cannot be traced to any previous books.

Also, there is no incentive for Ron Lewis to say what he's saying.

Also, the charge that Ron Lewis was simply trying to support what Priscilla Johnson McMillan wrote in Marina and Lee (1977) is simply incorrect. In fact, McMillan tried to prove that the Warren Commission conclusion was correct -- and that Lee Harvey Oswald was the "Lone Shooter." Ron Lewis, to the contrary, always opposed the "Lone Shooter" theory.

Lewis and McMillan are 180 degrees opposed to each other on the basics. I know this because I also spoke with Priscilla McMillan about using her material about Marina Oswald to supplement our screenplay, FLASHBACK, and she turned me down flat. She said she would never have anything to do with any portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald in which Lee was anything except the "Lone Shooter" of JFK.

Ron Lewis and Priscilla McMillan are 180 degrees opposed to each other on the topic of accomplices that Lee Oswald had in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. McMillan told me directly that she is confident she covered all the spare time of Lee Oswald in New Orleans, and that he had no spare time for any interaction with Guy Banister, David Ferrie or Clay Shaw.

Yet we have abundant evidence of their relationships in the research by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison himself! How could she be so blind in the face of the material evidence?

Besides, that, I showed her the numbers -- she actually failed to account for all of Lee Oswald's spare time. For example, as with other jobs, when Oswald was fired from Reily Coffee, he kept this from Marina for weeks, and yet he continued to get up early in the morning, and come home for dinner, and then go out again (presumably to some night-school or other lie he told Marina).

But McMillan wouldn't budge. Anyway, my point is about Ron Lewis. Ron Lewis' story does not mirror McMillan's story, nor does Ron mirror the majority of JFK researchers from 1968-1993 (and even after).

Ron Lewis doesn't jump on the CIA plot bandwagon. He doesn't jump on the FBI plot bandwagon. He doesn't jump on the Mafia plot bandwagon (like James Files later did).

Also, we should remember that Ron Lewis' story was in circulation earlier than his book, so that Oliver Stone had the chance to hire Ron as a consultant on his movie, JFK (1991). Presuming that older tradition was the same as his book, then Ron Lewis was naming Roscoe White as a JFK shooter even before Ricky Don White named his father, Roscoe White.

So, this is further sideways confirmation of Ron Lewis' book. He wasn't copying anybody (as James Files was).

But what made the final difference for me, Larry, was when I researched the personal papers of Edwin Walker at UT Austin, and realized that here was a motherlode of historical materials that JFK researchers have, by and large, neglected.

Edwin Walker admitted knowing about Lee Harvey Oswald since Easter Sunday 1963. I admit that Edwin Walker's sworn testimony to the Warren Commission says that he never heard of Lee Oswald until the day JFK was murdered. But Walker's personal papers tell the opposite story in multiple versions, year after year, for the rest of his life.

Ron Lewis could not have known about Edwin Walker's personal papers, because they weren't open to the public until the turn of the 21st century.

So, why would Ron Lewis -- who opposed the Warren Commissions key conclusion about Lee Harvey Oswald being the "Lone Shooter" at JFK, also oppose the overwhelming majority of JFK researchers to agree with the Warren Commission about Oswald shooting at Edwin Walker?

The rational answer, IMHO, is exactly what Ron Lewis claims -- namely, that Lee Harvey Oswald personally told him that he shot at Edwin Walker!

Now, Larry, you know my position about Harry Dean -- I disagree with some of the key tenets of Harry Dean (e.g. the LDS angle) while I greatly value Harry Dean's claim that Edwin Walker and some of his radical JBS connections spoke openly about Lee Harvey Oswald in mid-September 1963.

It's the Edwin Walker angle -- and the fact that most JFK researchers scoff at it -- while Harry Dean never changed that story since 1965 when he first came out publicly with it, that makes me sit up and take notice of Harry Dean's story.

The same applies with Ron Lewis. There is no incentive for Ron Lewis to make up a yarn about Edwin Walker when the whole JFK research community would only mock it.

Yet Ron Lewis never backed off of that story -- no matter the consequences.

That's because it was simply true. Ron Lewis gives us an additional, important clue to naming the REAL conspirators who murdered JFK. That's my reading.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

Edited by Paul Trejo
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I'm certainly not going to wade into this further, I was interested to see if something substantive had emerged since I read the book - a story about Oswald being involved in shooting at Walker certainly is nothing novel and has not been for decades. Its a wonderful diversion just now as it was in the beginning... Knowing the depth of Stephen's research on matters in New Orleans I'm content with his assessment. I do thank Paul for his response, something might have come up, always good to be current.

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I've studied the New Orleans angles A LOT. Ron Lewis's story is simply not true.

Stephen, I'm sincerely interested in your opinion. Would you kindly summarize your position on Ron Lewis' story for me?

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

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The only thing that JFK literature before 1993 tended to agree upon was that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't shoot at Edwin Walker on 10 April 1963 -- but that an alleged fabrication was made up by the FBI, the CIA, Edwin Walker, the Dallas right-wing, Marina Oswald, George De Mohrenschildt, Jeane De Morehnschildt, Volkmar Schmidt, Michael and Ruth Paine and so many others -- for the sole purpose of making Lee Harvey Oswald look bad // TREJO
GEE ARE NOT THE WC volumes JFK literature ?? // GAAL.


How CIA contact George DeMohrenschildt introduced Oswald to the Paines and the White Russian community of Dallas-Fort Worth. And at one of the very first meetings of Oswald with this group, Lee talked to Volkmar Schmidt for three hours. And according to Schmidt, through Edward Epstein, "Oswald violently attacked President Kennedy's foreign policy ... Schmidt baited Oswald with a negative analysis of right-wing General Edwin A. Walker and an impending American fascism." (p. 237) Why Oswald would want to talk to Schmidt, who was a neo-Nazi fascist, is puzzling. But Schmidt concluded that "Oswald was completely alienated, self-destructive, and suicidal." This vignette encapsules what the Warren Commission would do with Oswald several months later: pin the shooting of Walker and murder of Kennedy on him, and paint him as a sociopath. I suppose it is just a coincidence that, at this time, Schmidt was living with Michael Paine. (ibid)
It was the same rifle Oswald purchased in March 1963, which he then used the following month in an attempt to assassinate the rabidly anti-communist Army Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker.

Reply: Walker denied that Oswald had shot at him. The bullet was not matched to any weapon owned by Oswald. At the time of the event, the Dallas Morning News reported a 30.06 bullet. (Of course, the Warren Report omitted this.) A witness, Kirk Coleman, saw two men, but neither was Oswald. A photograph of a car behind Walker's house turned up at Ruth Paine's house and was ascribed to Oswald. While the police had that photograph, the license plate disappeared from the back of the car. However, Chief Curry's book (1969) contains a photograph of Oswald's possessions, including that Walker photograph. In that version, the license plate is intact – which strongly implies that the police had cut it out of the other one.



Further, the best witness to the Walker shooting, young Kirk Coleman, said he saw two men escaping from the scene after the shooting. Both drove separate cars and neither resembled Oswald. Further, according to the Commission, Oswald did not drive.


Corsi states that DeMohrenschildt was an important link to several pieces of evidence that the Warren Commission used to conclude that Oswald killed Kennedy. Some of it had to do with the Gen. Edwin Walker shooting incident that occurred on March 10, 1963. At 9 pm that evening a bullet penetrated General Walker's window and slammed into the wall, only narrowly missing his head. De Mohrenschildt testified to the Commission that he had joked to Oswald if he was the guy who shot Walker. Although Oswald never said yes, the Baron saw guilt in his face. In 1967, four years after the assassination, and four years after the infamous backyard photos showing Oswald holding a rifle were found in Ruth Paine's garage, another backyard photo was found in DeMohrenschildt's storage unit. This backyard photo was signed "To my friend George from Lee" and dated "5/IV/1963, the Cyrillic version of April 5, 1963 (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, p. 82). This photo, because of its different boundary at the edge and finer resolution, is suspected of being a plant, in order to incriminate Oswald for the Walker shooting. Pacepa believes that this is a further proof that DeMohrenschildt knew more about the Walker incident than he ever admitted. Yet George was puzzled as to how is showed up in his belongings so many years after the fact.

Two pieces of physical evidence implicated Oswald in the Walker shooting. Photos of Walker's house, which were found in Ruth Paine's garage, and a handwritten note in Russian allegedly left from Lee to Marina. Pacepa found telltale clues in this note proving that Oswald was a KGB agent. He claimed that in that letter Oswald instructs Marina what to do in case he is arrested. In that note Pacepa recognized KGB codes like "friends" a code for support officer and "Red Cross" a code for financial help.

Pacepa is really stretching things. He then stretches further. He constructs a myth to demonstrate that Oswald shot at Walker. The truth is that both the picture and the note were surfaced by Ruth Paine after the assassination. Again, the police had searched her house for two days after the murder and had failed to recover the items. After they got it, the Secret Service had the note returned to Ruth because they thought it was from her. (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, pp. 77-78). It is fairly evident that DeMohrenschildt and Ruth Paine were CIA assets. And it was Ruth who was the person that produced the most incriminating evidence that convicted Oswald in the public mind as the president's killer. This included evidence that Oswald was in Mexico, the Kostin letter, and the Walker photographs and note. Yet Corsi sidesteps her great importance in the case and chooses to listen to Pacepa. None of the crucial information above regarding Ruth Paine is reported in his book. In fact, Corsi seems to accept the idea that Oswald actually shot General Walker. As Gerald McKnight wrote in his book Breach of Trust , the bullet fired into the Walker house was a steel-jacketed 30.06 bullet. But after the assassination the FBI changed the bullet to a 6.5 copper jacketed bullet. Even the bullet stored in the National Archives today is copper jacketed (DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, p. 76).

The Pacepa story is not over yet. Corsi seems to believe Pacepa's claims that the KGB advised all the Eastern Bloc Intelligence services to spread the rumors that the CIA and LBJ had killed JFK so as to divert world attention away from the Soviet Union. To prove Pacepa right, Corsi brings up the case of Vasili Mitrokhin, a retired KGB officer who claimed that the KGB had financed Mark Lane, among others, to promote the JFK assassination conspiracies. There are many writers who think that the possibility exists that Mitrokhin, an dother former KGB officers, were used by western intelligence agencies after the fall of the USSR for their own agendas. Why Corsi would choose to waste so many pages on Pacepa's story is something I can't figure out. Especially since the Soviet Union and KGB do not figure in his list of conspirators at the end of his book. I believe he could have done himself a great favor if he had omitted this whole Pacepa section.

Corsi then tries to tie Oswald in with China by connecting the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) organization to the Maoist Progressive Labor Party (PLP). Oswald was corresponding with Vincent T. Lee, the national director of FPCC who was also a member of the PLP. Corsi wonders what would have happened if Oswald had been killed immediately after the assassination. The CIA would have claimed that he was a kGB agent who had become disillusioned with Russian Communism and had turned now to Maoist China. Corsi provides no evidence to support this except Allen Dulles who during the Warren Commission hearings said out of the blue "It would have been a blessing for us if (Lee Harvey Oswald) ... had taken his passport and gone to China as he may have contemplated" (p. 157). Unfortunately Dulles is not the most credible source, and the China angle is classic disinformation by Dulles to mud the waters and false sponsor China for the crime.



The Warren Commission changed the bullet in the Walker shooting to incriminate Oswald.

There was no previous firearms violence in Oswald's past to serve as behavioral precedent for the murders of Kennedy and Tippit. General Edwin Walker had been shot at in April of 1963. The case was unsolved by the Dallas Police as of November, and Oswald had never even been a suspect. In fact, his name appears to have never even been brought up. But if one turns to the Warren Report, one will see that the Commission uses the Walker incident to "indicate that in spite of the belief among those who knew him that he was apparently not dangerous, Oswald did not lack the determination and other traits required to carry out a carefully planned killing of another human being..." (WR, p. 406)

There is one major problem with this verdict (among others). If Oswald misfired at Walker, it would have to have been done with a rifle different than the one the Commission says he used in Dealey Plaza. Because the projectile recovered from the Walker home was described by the Dallas Police as being a steel-jacketed 30.06 bullet. (See Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust, p. 49 and the General Offense Report of 4/10/63 filed by officers Van Cleave and McElroy.)

There is no evidence Oswald ever had this kind of rifle. And the Warren Report never notes this discrepancy in the ammunition used in the Walker shooting versus the Kennedy murder



This was the precarious position that the Commission found itself in essentially from the start. With no independent investigative staff, they were largely at the mercy of the FBI, Secret Service, and CIA for their information. But mostly the Bureau, and the Bureau had already come to their verdict. For instance, to further incriminate Oswald and to show he had a sociopathic predisposition toward violence, the FBI report asserted that Oswald had tried to shoot General Edwin Walker on the evening of April 10, 1963. (When I talked to FBI agent Warren DeBrueys in New Orleans, he told me this was based on the testimony of Marina Oswald and the fact the assailant in both cases aimed at the victims' head.) But there were serious problems with this second case against Oswald:

  1. The Dallas Police never considered him as a suspect in over seven months. The evidence indicated more than one man was involved. The ammunition was steel-jacketed, not copper-jacketed as in the Kennedy case. Walker was a rightwing extremist who Kennedy had removed from his command for distribution of Birchite propaganda. So the political calculus behind the shootings was confused. The conspirators had access to a car which, officially, Oswald did not. The police deduced the weapon was a high-powered rifle, which the Mannlicher-Carcano was not.
  2. Walker and his private investigators suspected a former employee, William M. Duff, as the sniper. (pgs. 48-50)

But as McKnight shows, the capper in this regard is CE 573, the mutilated remainder of the bullet recovered from Walker's home. When assistant counsel Wesley Liebeler deposed Walker for two hours in April of 1964, he never mentioned it. This seemed odd since Walker held the bullet in his hands afterwards. Fifteen years later Walker was watching a televised hearing of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Chief Counsel Robert Blakey held up CE 573 for the camera while discussing the firearms evidence in the JFK case. As McKnight notes:

Walker, a thirty-year career army officer with extensive combat experience in World War II, and with more than a passing familiarity with military weaponry, was stunned. According to Walker, what Blakey represented as the bullet fired into his home bore no resemblance to the piece of lead the police had recovered, which he had held in his own hand and closely examined. (p. 52)

So there was no real ballistics evidence to connect Oswald to the Walker shooting. This left a mysterious note that Oswald, according to Marina, had left her that night. Even though Marina said she placed the note in a Russian book, it did not show up in the two day DPD search through Oswald's room or the Paines' household, where Marian was staying. It was not until November 30th that Ruth Paine sent the book to Marina through the Irving County police. After the police turned over the book to the Secret Service, the note was finally discovered on December 2nd. It was not signed or dated. When FBI fingerprint specialist Sebastian Latona was questioned by the Commission, he was not asked about the "Walker note". Perhaps because staff attorney Melvin Eisenberg had learned that Latona had found neither Lee nor Marina's fingerprints on the note.

McKnight finalizes this section by doing what he usually does. He takes us behind the scenes and shows us what was happening at the Commission and in the field. By doing this he cracks open the superficial front presented by both reports and shows us that in reality, the authorities themselves knew that there were serious problems with what they presented to the public and the media. On May 20, 1964 Rankin had written Hoover complaining that Marina's testimony on the Walker case "was riddled with contradictions". (p. 57) FBI agent Gordon Shanklin then assigned two agents to Marina because he agreed that "her statements just don't jibe." (Ibid)

In fact, the report that Shanklin commissioned to resolve Marina's "contradictions" did nothing but deepen them. The agents, Ivan Lee and Robert Barrett, interviewed two witnesses who both confirmed there were two suspects, that neither resembled Oswald, and they had access to a Ford. Their main witness, Walter Kirk Coleman, never testified before the Commission. What was left in the case against Oswald was the photo found in his possessions of the back of Walker's home. In light of the above, this now became as suspect as the infamous backyard photographs.

Yet despite all of the above, the Warren Report states that the Walker episode demonstrated Oswald's "disposition to take human life" and it "was considered of probative value in this investigation." (pgs. 56, 58) McKnight explores the Walker case at length and it is one of the best discussions of the incident that I have read. He concludes that it has value not just in and of itself, but that it "was just a microcosm of what was to follow in the government's investigation into the Kennedy assassination." (p. 58) He is correct.

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The only thing that JFK literature before 1993 tended to agree upon was that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't shoot at Edwin Walker on 10 April 1963 -- but that an alleged fabrication was made up by the FBI, the CIA, Edwin Walker, the Dallas right-wing, Marina Oswald, George De Mohrenschildt, Jeane De Morehnschildt, Volkmar Schmidt, Michael and Ruth Paine and so many others -- for the sole purpose of making Lee Harvey Oswald look bad // TREJO

GEE ARE NOT THE WC volumes JFK literature ?? // GAAL.

No, Steve, not the context of my post. When I said "JFK literature," I meant JFK conspiracy literature -- which was almost almost always a criticism of the Warren Report.

And with good reason.

The Warren Report claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the "Lone Shooter" on 11/22/1963, and yet there was ample evidence to indicate more than one shooter.

The sad part about the past 50 years with regard to JFK conspiracy literature is that the position that J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI and the Warren Report took about the "Lone Shooter" doctrine caused intelligent people all over the USA to question the integrity of the FBI.

Not only was the evidence of multiple shooters swept under the rug -- but increasing evidence arose to suggest that FBI was actually tampering with JFK murder evidence whenever it contradicted J. Edgar Hoover's demand that only evidence that proved his "Lone Shooter" doctrine could be admitted.

Things reached a head in 1968 with the trial of Clay Shaw led by New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, whose defeat at the hands of unfair and unscrupulous opposition caused him to despair -- and to regard the Cover-up led by the FBI to actually be a part of the JFK murder conspiracy itself!

Why else would the FBI cover-up all this evidence of multiple shooters, except to allow the JFK murderers to ESCAPE? This was Jim Garrison's conclusion at the end of his long journey -- that the FBI and the CIA were both in collusion to cover-up the truth about the JFK murder -- because they were in on it.

It never occurred to Jim Garrison that the JFK Cover-up Team was radically separate from the JFK Kill Team. And with his conflation of the two Teams, the JFK conspiracy literature began in earnest.

The fact that the Cover-up Team had insisted upon a "Lone Shooter," while the JFK Kill Team always insisted on a "Communist schooter" somehow slipped past the embattled mind of Jim Garrison, to whom we owe so much (and yet who made so many errors).

And so, Jim Garrison himself said it in 1968 -- the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald shot at Edwin Walker was an invention by the JFK Killers, and actually (thought Jim Garrison) Lee Harvey Oswald never shot at anybody at all!

Oswald was framed from start to finish!

Well, I think we can see today that Jim Garrison simply jumped from one extreme to the other. The truth was really in the middle.

Yet to this very day, JFK conspiracy literature continues to get this part right -- Lee Harvey Oswald never acted ALONE. Yet, in my theory, JFK conspiracy literature tends to get this part wrong -- that Lee Harvey Oswald was an innocent little lamb, and had no reason to shoot at mean old Edwin Walker.

Yet George De Mohrenschildt told a different story in his booklet, I'm a Patsy! I'm a Patsy!

In that HSCA document, we glean the hidden secrets of the De Mohrenschildt's and the Paines -- that George De Mohrenschildt was the leader of the plot to murder Edwin Walker. Volkmar Schmidt, a mild, meek Christian gentleman, admitted to being part of this plot -- in the most innocent way possible, of course.

The great thing about Ron Lewis' book, FLASHBACK (1993), is that it takes the minority position on this question -- that even though Oswald never acted ALONE, nevertheless Oswald still took a shot at Edwin Walker.


--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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I'm not buying into Lewis, but if Oswald's mission was to dangle to the left and dangle to the right in order to collect information, what would prevent him from claiming that he shot at Walker?

Not to go off topic, but I still wonder if Oswald was instructed to view De Mohrenschildt as a handler, or as a mark to be played and reported on. Under those conditions, if G De M. was instructed to bring up involvement in the Walker shooting, Oswald might have made a field decision to encourage his inquiries, or might have been instructed to encourage all such inquiries. Intelligence legends are created through such manipulations.

Factor in that Oswald was compelled to work for FBI, a rival service to military intelligence, and you've got an operative who might conceivably cop to anything in conversation.

Has Walker's post-assassination claim that Oswald was picked up for the Walker shooting and then released by DOJ order ever been researched?

Edited by David Andrews
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It would take me a long time to list my exceptions to his story. There is no corroboration. Nobody I've interviewed ever met or heard of him. I can't believe that he kept silent for so long. Roscoe White - need I say more? There are lots of reasons, but one dealbuster for me is this:

"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."

In the summer of 1963? No way, did not happen. That's a gross misreading of the time sequence involving Banister and Ferrie.

I do have his book, BTW.

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Steven Gaal makes good points. Oswald never shot at Walker, and evidence was planted by the Paines to incriminate him so that the WC could participate in the greatest hoodwink in US history, run essentially by Allen Dulles. Btw, I had never heard before that Michael Paine was living with Volkmar Schmidt. Is that True?

I also tend to see Oswald the way David Andrews does - that his involvement with the NO crowd was not because he was blackmailed, or that he was a co-conspirator, but because he was part of an intelligence operation dangle.

I am more and more inclined to see DeM and the Paines as being intelligence operatives who participated in the incrimination of Oswald after the fact, and handled him before the fact. There is just too much coincidence otherwise.

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