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John Armstrong blasts the mail order rifle “evidence”


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Version 5

Innocent Explanations for Mail Order Rifle Anomalies

Version 6 Date: 3/14/16

Substantive changes in red.

UNEXPLAINED ANOMALIES IN ALL CAPS

FBI Locates the Hidell Purchase Order at Klein's

  1. The FBI has the Carcano rifle in their possession by 2:15 Dallas time on Friday the 22nd, from which they get the serial number C2766.

  2. The FBI discovers from a gun dealer in Dallas that Italian surplus WW2 rifles were being distributed by Crescent Firearms in New York City. This leads the FBI to Klein's in Chicago after discovering that Crescent had sold the C2766 rifle to Klein's.

  3. The FBI searches Klein's records and the Internal Invoice matching the C2766 rifle is found. (This is "Waldman Deposition Exhibit No. 7").

    SDL HYPOTHESIS (3/4/16): It takes seven hours to locate the Hidell order because only the rifle's serial number and an approximate date of sale were known. Thousands of internal invoices have to be pulled and inspected.

    The FBI then finds on microfilm two purchase orders that matches the price and payment method as indicated on the Internal Invoice. One was paid for with an American Express MO, the other with a postal MO. The latter is suspected of being the offending purchase order, or what Chief Curry will later call the "Order Letter." (This is CE773). The Order Letter consists of an order form clipped out of the Feb. 1963 American Rifleman magazine, and the envelope in which it was mailed.

    The FBI quickly determines that the writing on the Order Letter was that of Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Internal Invoice Information: A. Hidell customer name; 3/13/63 receipt date; 3/20/63 processing & shipping date; $19.95 rifle cost; $21.45 total cost; C2766 serial number; paid via money order; "W/ 4X SCOPE".

    Order Letter Information: a few words in Hidell's handwriting; Hidell's address; $19.95 rifle price.

    HOW COULD THE FBI AUTHENTICATE OSWALD’S HANDWRITING FROM WHAT LITTLE TEXT WAS IN THE ORDER LETTER? (THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY ORDER YET.)

    Purchase Order Information is Released to the Press

  4. SDL HYPOTHESIS (2/23/16): Somebody in the FBI was given a copy of the Internal Invoice (and perhaps also the Order Letter) and was assigned the task of searching for Klein's ads matching the C2766 rifle. He finds one. The ad has a large "$12.78" price printed on it. The agent notes the 3/20/63 processing/shipping date on the Internal Invoice, and determines it to be a suitable "purchase date." He clumsily doesn't realize that the $12.78 price didn't include the scope. (Or perhaps he has heard that the Texas Sports Shop had added the scope later.) This information is passed on to Chief Curry of the DPD.

  5. SDL HYPOTHESIS (2/24/16): The Texas Sports Shop episode (with Dial Ryder) is an unrelated event. The FBI nevertheless investigates it. It may reveal that the original scope was replaced with a second one.

    EVEN I, AS THE AUTHOR OF THIS HYPOTHESIS, HAVE A HARD TIME BUYING IT. MAYBE THE PART ABOUT A REPLACEMENT SCOPE COULD BE BELIEVABLE. BUT TO ME THE WHOLE DIAL RYDER THING WREAKS OF CONTRIVANCE THAT IS BEYOND WHAT WC APOLOGISTS ATTRIBUTE TO DIAL RYDER. I THEREFORE CALL UPON DVP TO ANSWER THIS.

  6. In a hallway press conference on the night of Nov. 23 at ~7:00 PM Dallas time, Chief Jesse Curry comments on the Order Letter. He reports that the price of the rifle, including the scope, was $12.78; that it “was advertised in some magazine for that [price];” that the purchase date was Mar. 20, 1963; and that the writing had been authenticated as Oswald's. This info had been provided to the DPD by the FBI.

  7. On the evening of Nov. 23, the media began reporting the following information regarding the rifle purchase: 1) Mar. 20 purchase date; 2) $12.78 price tag; and 3) that the order handwriting was Oswald’s. Some in the media had a Klein’s catalog ad showing the $12.78 price. (See the Frank Reynolds Video in Post 102.)

    WHY DID IT TAKE NEARLY A WEEK FOR THE FBI TO CORRECT THE PRICE OF THE RIFLE BEING REPORTED BY THE PRESS? The price being $19.95, not $12.78.

    FBI Locates the Money Order

  8. According to FBI report CD75, on Nov. 23, the following information is received from the VP of Klein's bank, Robert Wilmouth.

    -- On Mar. 15 1963, Klein's deposited $13,827.98 in its bank. The deposit included a $21.45 postal money order.

    -- On Mar. 16 the bank sent the $21.45 PMO to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It would have been received by the FRB on Mar. 18, according to Wilmouth.

    SDL HYPOTHESIS (3/4/16): Klein's deposit slip is accidentally hand-dated Feb. 15, 1963 instead of the correct date of deposit, Mar. 15, 1963.

    Only the carbon copy of the deposit slip, without any bank deposit stamps, was presented to the WC as evidence. William Waldman, the VP of Klein's, testified that he couldn't tell from that what the date of deposit was.

    WHY DIDN'T THE WC VERIFY THE CORRECT DATE OF THE DEPOSIT BY PRESENTING INTO EVIDENCE THE BANK RECEIPT (SUPPOSEDLY) STAMPED ON THE BACK SIDE OF KLEIN'S DEPOSIT SLIP? OR BY PRODUCING A KLEIN'S BANK STATEMENT SHOWING THE DEPOSIT?

  9. DVP HYPOTHESIS: Somebody in the FBI transmits the wrong total price to other FBI personnel ($21.95 instead of $21.45). This leads to confusion when the FBI and Secret Service began searching for the PMO stub.

    SDL HYPOTHESIS 3/14/16): Similarly, the wrong PMO receipt date is transmitted (March 20, the processing/shipping date, instead of March 13). Which also resulted in trouble finding the PMO stub.

    Postal Inspector McGee of Chicago calls Postal Inspector Harry Holmes of Dallas and informs him that the correct PMO amount is $21.45, and the correct PMO receipt date is March 13. Holmes passes this information on to those who are searching for the PMO.

  10. The PMO stub is found at the issuing post office within ten minutes. It bears the 2,202,130,462 serial number and is dated Mar. 12, 1963. It was purchased by an Alek James Hidell and is payable to Klein's in the amount of $21.45.

  11. According to Harry Holmes, the postal money order was found in Washington at about 8:00 PM EST (7:00 PM Dallas time) on Nov. 23.

  12. The following contradicts Harry Holmes:

    According to SS report CD87, at about 8:30 PM EST (7:30 PM Dallas time) on Nov. 23 a request was issued to locate and obtain postal money order #2,202,130,462.

    The postal money order was recovered at 9:35 PM EST (8:35 PM Dallas time) on Nov. 23.

    WELL WHICH IS IT? WAS THE PMO RECOVERED AT 8:00 PM EST (SEE PARAGRAPH #11) OR 9:35 PM EST?

    [Need to explore the search in Kansas City. Was a PMO found there too?]

Corrections to Address

Jim DiEugenio: Post 161 on this page. Addressed!

Information to Review

David Josephs: Posts 129 and 135 on this page.

Jim Hargrove: Post 145 on this page.

Important Topics to Address Later

Jim DiEugenio: The 1962 rifle shipment that was replace with a 1963 one.

(See post 161 on this page, item 2. Also previous related posts.)

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alternate explanation for incorrect rifle information being reported

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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EVEN MORE EVIDENCE THAT

THE MAGIC MONEY ORDER WAS FAKED

Money%20Order.jpg

“Lee Harvey Oswald” allegedly purchased postal money order 2,202,130,462 in Dallas on March 12, 1963. That money order was allegedly used to purchase the rifle that, according to the Warren Commission, killed JFK. But it is VERY likely that the postal form bearing that serial number would have been put into service far later than March, 1963.

From http://harveyandlee.net/Mail_Order_Rifle/Mail_Order_Rifle.html:

LHO_MOs.png

The above shows LHO's purchase of money orders that he used to

to repay his loan from the State Department. Note the money orders

from Ft. Worth (Sept 1/Oct, 6 1963) run sequentially, as do the

money orders from Dallas (Nov 13/Dec 6, 1962) and (Jan 5-25, 1963).

On March 12, 1963, Oswald allegedly purchased postal money order 2,202,130,462 in the amount of $21.45 from the Dallas General Post Office (GPO). The rectangular holes, punched at the printing office when the money order was created, identified the serial number of the money order by code as 2,202,130,462. The round holes identified the purchase amount of the money order as $21.45. This was the postal money order allegedly purchased at the Dallas GPO and mailed to Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago to pay for the Mannlicher Carcano rifle. Fact or fiction??

Let's begin by comparing the serial number of this postal money order (2,202,130,462) with the serial numbers of postal money orders previously purchased by Oswald at the same post office. Look at the serial numbers of money orders purchased by Oswald at the GPO (General Post Office) in Dallas (above) from November 13, 1962 thru December 6, 1962. The Dallas GPO sold 3887 money orders during this period, or about 1296 money orders per week (these were the old, blue-tinted money orders).

In preparation for the new yellow-tinted postal money orders, which were to be issued on January 5, 1963, the post office issued postal bulletin #20338. This bulletin, issued on 11/29/62, read, "The initial distribution will be automatic and based upon records as to usage in prior years. The initial supply should be sufficient for at least 3 months or until the next requisition cycle."

Based upon the only information currently available to researchers (the serial numbers of the money orders purchased by Oswald, as shown above) the Dallas GPO was selling about 1296 money orders per week. A 3-month supply of the new yellow-tinted money orders, first issued on January 5, 1963, should have contained around 16,000 money orders and lasted the Dallas GPO thru April 5, 1963 (a 3 month supply). The beginning serial number of the newly issued money orders was probably 2,202,000,000 (see above where LHO purchased order 2,202,000,060), and the serial number of the last of the initial batch of 16,000 money orders was probably around 2,202,016,000.

On the first day of issue (January 5, 1963), Oswald purchased a money order in the amount of $100 (2,202,000,060). Three weeks later, on January 25 Oswald purchased a money order for $100 (2,202,003,534) and another for $6.00 (2,202,003,535). From January 5 thru January 25, 1963, the Dallas GPO sold 3535 money orders, or about 1178 per week. The number of money orders sold during this period (1178 sold per week) is similar to the number of money orders sold in November/Dec, 1962 (1296 per week). At this rate (average of 1250 per week sold), the serial number of a money order sold on March 12, 1963 should have been around 2,202,014,137. A money order sold to Oswald on March 12, 1963 should have been within the first batch of money orders issued to the Dallas GPO on January 5, 1963. But it wasn't.

The serial number of the money order allegedly sold to Oswald (on March 12, 1963) was 2,202,130,462--a difference of 116,325 money orders. At this rate, assuming the post office was issued sequentially numbered money orders, the Dallas GPO would have to have sold 12,925 money orders per week (instead of the usual 1250 per week). There is no definitive answer or explanation as to why postal money order 2,202,130,462 is so much larger than expected, because the serial number of a money order sold on March 12, 1963 should have been within the original batch of 16,000 money orders furnished to the Dallas GPO on January 5, 1963(2,202,000,000 thru 2,202,016,000). Could postal money order 2,202,130,462 be from a subsequent batch/supply of money orders issued to the Dallas GPO? Yes, but only after the Dallas post office sold their original 3-month supply, which was supposed to last thru April 5, 1963.

Postal money order number 2,202,130,462 is consistent with the serial numbers of money orders issued to the Dallas GPO in January, 1963, beginning with 2,202,000,000. Serial number 2,202,130,462 suggests that this money order, if issued to the Dallas GPO in sequential order, should have been sold/issued in late 1964 or early 1965.

If Oswald did not purchase postal money order 2,202,130,462 on March 12, 1963, then how did this postal money order become an item of evidence?

Devil's advocate explanation would be that the postal service didn't issue enough of the new PMOs to the Dallas GPO, and had to issue more prior to March 12. That would explain the huge jump in the PMO serial number.

So this, in and of itself, isn't a smoking gun. But it is one more of the many irregularities that have been identified.

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Devil's advocate explanation would be that the postal service didn't issue enough of the new PMOs to the Dallas GPO, and had to issue more prior to March 12. That would explain the huge jump in the PMO serial number.

So this, in and of itself, isn't a smoking gun. But it is one more of the many irregularities that have been identified.

Sure, but it is also consistent with Dallas postal inspector/FBI informant Harry Holmes grabbing a blank PMO form from some book hanging around the Dallas Post Office right after the assassination, typing in some bogus stuff on Post Office equipment, and sending it off for… uh… special processing by a good buddy.
Also, if I were going to send someone a three month supply of something, and I could do it with taxpayer dollars, I'd send a few extra… just in case. If that logic was followed in the distribution of the new money order forms, the Dallas shortfall might be approaching 33 percent, pretty sizable!
Sometimes, as you imply above, you've got to look at the big picture… and not just make step-by-step excuses… any one or two sounding entirely reasonable, but adding up to an enormous stinking pile of….
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It may even be simpler than that, it appears that Marina was interested in foreign visitors and the higher quality of entertainment they tended to enjoy. She hung out at the right places, dated some of them and ultimately came under GRU attention, hence her relocation under her Uncle's over sight in MInsk. She might have been a source in Russia, she may have just been interested in more interesting dates. There our some pretty solid interviews on this, including her move. The source escapes me but somebody else should have this well in mind. Letting her leave with Oswald might have been an administrative bonus, and no doubt they held open the vague possibility she might become some sort of "legal" open source in the US, certainly that appears to have concerned Hosty.

Larry,

What do you think of this?

61-11.jpg

The Central Intelligence Agency (ClA) issued a report titled, "Indications of Intelligence

Involvement by Marina Oswald." 61-11 In the report they listed 29 points which indicated

Marina's possible involvement with Russian intelligence (KGB). A few of the indications

were:

Mystery of fatherless patronymic. Could be deliberate to obscure a cover-damaging

father.

Questionable aspects of her move to Minsk in 1959; where did she get travel funds?

What did she expect to do there, since job prospects were poorer and she did not know

in advance that she could stay and live with the Prusakovs?

Casual attitude about ignoring Komsomol; no apparent ill effects.

Refusal to identify certain individuals in her story, while identifying and giving infor­

mation on others. Cover story incomplete or forgotten?

Complete uncheckableness of her story.

Marina's statement that she had not been interviewed by any officials in connection with

her marriage and that the only documentation necessary was registration of intent and

then certification ten days later. Even Oswald said in the diary that she had to get

permission to marry a foreigner.

Her surprisingly quick decision to marry an ill-tempered misfit foreigner.

Irregularities in her trade union booklet: 1) no dues from 1956 to 1959, hence she must

have had another booklet; why? how? where? 2) why no year given in registration and

de-registration entries re pharmacy school?

--From Harvey and Lee, pp. 337-338

Copyright © 2003 by John Armstrong

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Devil's advocate explanation would be that the postal service didn't issue enough of the new PMOs to the Dallas GPO, and had to issue more prior to March 12. That would explain the huge jump in the PMO serial number.

So this, in and of itself, isn't a smoking gun. But it is one more of the many irregularities that have been identified.

Sure, but it is also consistent with Dallas postal inspector/FBI informant Harry Holmes grabbing a blank PMO form from some book hanging around the Dallas Post Office right after the assassination, typing in some bogus stuff on Post Office equipment, and sending it off for… uh… special processing by a good buddy.
Also, if I were going to send someone a three month supply of something, and I could do it with taxpayer dollars, I'd send a few extra… just in case. If that logic was followed in the distribution of the new money order forms, the Dallas shortfall might be approaching 33 percent, pretty sizable!
Sometimes, as you imply above, you've got to look at the big picture… and not just make step-by-step excuses… any one or two sounding entirely reasonable, but adding up to an enormous stinking pile of….

I agree with you entirely. And FWIW I believe that the whole rifle purchase was faked and then covered up.

But I'm hoping to find more anomalies that cannot be explained away. So far I think the one that is hardest to brush off is the PMO with no bank stamp.

One of Jim DiEugenio's favorites, I think, is that the PMO was deposited in Chicago the day after it was mailed from Dallas. That's promising, but I don't know that it's a home run. Because the goal for air mail back then was 24 hour delivery or faster.

Ive seen mention of, I think, a PMO being being found in Kansas City. If that is "true" then that should be a smoking gun right there.

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3. The FBI searches Klein's records and the Internal Invoice matching the C2766 rifle is found. (This is "Waldman Deposition Exhibit No. 7").

SDL HYPOTHESIS (3/4/16): It takes seven hours to locate the Hidell order because only the rifle's serial number and an approximate date of sale were known. Thousands of internal invoices have to be pulled and inspected.

The FBI then finds on microfilm two purchase orders that matches the price and payment method as indicated on the Internal Invoice. One was paid for with an American Express MO, the other with a postal MO. The latter is suspected of being the offending purchase order, or what Chief Curry will later call the "Order Letter." (This is CE773). The Order Letter consists of an order form clipped out of the Feb. 1963 American Rifleman magazine, and the envelope in which it was mailed.

4. SDL HYPOTHESIS (2/23/16): Somebody in the FBI was given a copy of the Internal Invoice (and perhaps also the Order Letter) and was assigned to search for Klein's ads matching the C2766 rifle. He finds one. The ad has a large "$12.78" price printed on it. The agent notes the 3/20/63 processing/shipping date on the Internal Invoice, and determines it to be a suitable "purchase date." He clumsily doesn't realize that the $12.78 price didn't include the scope. (Or perhaps he has heard that the Texas Sports Shop had added the scope later.) This information is passed on to Chief Curry of the DPD.

Sandy,

If the FBI really had what you call Klein's Internal Invoice for C2766 on Nov. 22nd, why would they tell Curry that it was “Oswald's” handwriting on the order for a $12.78 rifle? The Internal Invoice we have now clearly shows the order was for $21.45. Do you seriously expect us to believe your #4 hypothesis, that an FBI agent who had “Klein's Internal Invoice” as we're shown today would really go by an advertisement instead of the clear document in his hand? That doesn't make sense.

The microfilm I believe you are referring to contains not two but seven different entries of $21.45, as shown below. How can you possibly tell what method of payment was used for those entries?

Waldman_10_List.jpg

Here's what I think really happened….

Sitting at SOG in D.C., J. Edgar Hoover knows he's got to put the whole thing on Oswald alone fast. He sends his agents out looking for rifle ads matching the Carcano found on the 6th floor. He quickly gets handed an ad like the one below.

Klein%27s-Ads.jpg

Hoover himself (who else would dare to do this?) looks at the ad and decides the 6.5 Italian Carbine for $12.78 comes with a scope (as you might certainly think by looking at the ad). Hoover puts the word out to Curry that our man “Oswald” had his handwriting all over the order for that $12.78 rifle, knowing that he would prepare all the necessary “documentation” in the days to come.

But oops, J. Edgar made a mistake!

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SL: One of Jim DiEugenio's favorites, I think, is that the PMO was deposited in Chicago the day after it was mailed from Dallas. That's promising, but I don't know that it's a home run. Because the goal for air mail back then was 24 hour delivery or faster.

According to the WR, it was not just delivered.

It was actually deposited. That is what makes it so hard to buy.

That means that it went through Klein's sorting process, which John Armstrong describes in his book, and then someone messengered it over to the bank the same day that Klein's got it.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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3. The FBI searches Klein's records and the Internal Invoice matching the C2766 rifle is found. (This is "Waldman Deposition Exhibit No. 7").

SDL HYPOTHESIS (3/4/16): It takes seven hours to locate the Hidell order because only the rifle's serial number and an approximate date of sale were known. Thousands of internal invoices have to be pulled and inspected.

The FBI then finds on microfilm two purchase orders that matches the price and payment method as indicated on the Internal Invoice. One was paid for with an American Express MO, the other with a postal MO. The latter is suspected of being the offending purchase order, or what Chief Curry will later call the "Order Letter." (This is CE773). The Order Letter consists of an order form clipped out of the Feb. 1963 American Rifleman magazine, and the envelope in which it was mailed.

4. SDL HYPOTHESIS (2/23/16): Somebody in the FBI was given a copy of the Internal Invoice (and perhaps also the Order Letter) and was assigned to search for Klein's ads matching the C2766 rifle. He finds one. The ad has a large "$12.78" price printed on it. The agent notes the 3/20/63 processing/shipping date on the Internal Invoice, and determines it to be a suitable "purchase date." He clumsily doesn't realize that the $12.78 price didn't include the scope. (Or perhaps he has heard that the Texas Sports Shop had added the scope later.) This information is passed on to Chief Curry of the DPD.

Sandy,

If the FBI really had what you call Klein's Internal Invoice for C2766 on Nov. 22nd, why would they tell Curry that it was “Oswald's” handwriting on the order for a $12.78 rifle? The Internal Invoice we have now clearly shows the order was for $21.45. Do you seriously expect us to believe your #4 hypothesis, that an FBI agent who had “Klein's Internal Invoice” as we're shown today would really go by an advertisement instead of the clear document in his hand? That doesn't make sense.

Jim, thanks for taking the time to scrutinize my Innocent Explanations list and hypotheses.

Let me answer your question by pointing something out. Once the Internal Invoice was found, nothing more was needed to show that Oswald ordered the rifle. Because the P.O. box printed on the invoice would lead directly to Oswald. Therefore it was definitely Oswald's rifle... case closed. (In the pretend WC world, that is.)

So why did the FBI bother to look for the money order as well? Clearly one reason was so that the ENTIRE chain of events leading up to the assassination could be explained. Oswald, the America-hating communist secured a P.O. box, used the Hidell alias to purchase a money order, and sent that with an order form to Klein's in order to purchase the assassination weapon. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately enough superfluous evidence was gathered to fill 26 volumes plus.

The same reason can be cited as to why it was decided that the actual ad Oswald saw, and that he cut the order form out for, should be identified.

So some FBI agent was assigned the task of finding the ad. He found what he thought was the correct ad and gave it to someone at the Bureau. This person looked at the ad and noted the prominent $12.78 price for the rifle. This figure was mistakenly passed on to Chief Curry.

Multiple people were working on the rifle investigation, and the left hand likely didn't always known what the right hand was doing. Screw-ups happened.

The microfilm I believe you are referring to contains not two but seven different entries of $21.45, as shown below. How can you possibly tell what method of payment was used for those entries?

Jim, I am in the middle of trying to answer this question. Problem is, I've been up far too long an can no longer think. I'll leave here what I've already written and come back tomorrow to finish it up.

Here is what allegedly happened:. At first, all the FBI had to go on was the rifle's model and serial number, and a date range in which the rifle could have been sold. The FBI spent seven hours manually looking through thousands of Internal Invoices till they found the one that had the matching serial number printed on it. From the Internal Invoice they got the order amount, $21.45, and the method of payment, money order.

From there they decided to find the order form used to order the rifle. I suppose they did this by first consulting the list you post below. From this it is seen that there are seven matching deposits of $21.45.

Klein's also had kept microfilms of order forms submitted by customers. FBI agents look through those and examined more closely the seven with the matching $21.45 amount. Strangely, they found only SIX orders for $21.45. One of these was paid for with an American Express money order, but wasn't for the correct rifle. So what happened to the seventh $21.45 order?

Eventually it was discovered that Hidell had written $19.95 on the order form, not the full $21.45 purchase price. And this is why they didn't realize...

Waldman_10_List.jpg

Here's what I think really happened….

Sitting at SOG in D.C., J. Edgar Hoover knows he's got to put the whole thing on Oswald alone fast. He sends his agents out looking for rifle ads matching the Carcano found on the 6th floor. He quickly gets handed an ad like the one below.

Klein%27s-Ads.jpg

Hoover himself (who else would dare to do this?) looks at the ad and decides the 6.5 Italian Carbine for $12.78 comes with a scope (as you might certainly think by looking at the ad). Hoover puts the word out to Curry that our man “Oswald” had his handwriting all over the order for that $12.78 rifle, knowing that he would prepare all the necessary “documentation” in the days to come.

But oops, J. Edgar made a mistake!

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SL: One of Jim DiEugenio's favorites, I think, is that the PMO was deposited in Chicago the day after it was mailed from Dallas. That's promising, but I don't know that it's a home run. Because the goal for air mail back then was 24 hour delivery or faster.

According to the WR, it was not just delivered.

It was actually deposited. That is what makes it so hard to buy.

That means that it went through Klein's sorting process, which John Armstrong describes in his book, and then someone messengered it over to the bank the same day that Klein's got it.

Yeah, it really is hard to buy. I don't know of any business that operates that fast.. even if it means getting money into their bank account faster.

But when I recall that the flight from Dallas to Chicago is only... what?... four hours, then the feat seems possible if only everything happened to have been in perfect alignment. Including that a Kleins employee must have gone to the Post Office to pick up their mail and not waited for delivery.

Do we know what time of day the money order was supposedly deposited?

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Jim, thanks for taking the time to scrutinize my Innocent Explanations list and hypotheses.

Thanks for taking the time to put all this together. A worthwhile exercise, especially since the WC apologists seem to have given up.

Let me answer your question by pointing something out. Once the Internal Invoice was found, nothing more was needed to show that Oswald ordered the rifle. Because the P.O. box printed on the invoice would lead directly to Oswald. Therefore it was definitely Oswald's rifle... case closed. (In the pretend WC world, that is.)

That's a VERY good point, and, as you suggest, leads to even more problems. If the FBI really had this info on the night of Nov 22/23, how could they POSSIBLY have thought the rifle cost $12.78? I believe that figure only lives on today because Hoover couldn't take back the newspaper and media reports about it.

So why did the FBI bother to look for the money order as well? Clearly one reason was so that the ENTIRE chain of events leading up to the assassination could be explained. Oswald, the America-hating communist secured a P.O. box, used the Hidell alias to purchase a money order, and sent that with an order form to Klein's in order to purchase the assassination weapon. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately enough superfluous evidence was gathered to fill 26 volumes plus.

The same reason can be cited as to why it was decided that the actual ad Oswald saw, and that he cut the order form out for, should be identified.

So some FBI agent was assigned the task of finding the ad. He found what he thought was the correct ad and gave it to someone at the Bureau. This person looked at the ad and noted the prominent $12.78 price for the rifle. This figure was mistakenly passed on to Chief Curry.

Who in the FBI would have dared guess at the cost of the order for the gun that killed JFK by just looking at an advertisement for a rifle that looked similar? Can you imagine anyone other than Hoover doing that?

Multiple people were working on the rifle investigation, and the left hand likely didn't always known what the right hand was doing. Screw-ups happened.

The microfilm I believe you are referring to contains not two but seven different entries of $21.45, as shown below. How can you possibly tell what method of payment was used for those entries?

Jim, I am in the middle of trying to answer this question. Problem is, I've been up far too long an can no longer think. I'll leave here what I've already written and come back tomorrow to finish it up.

The FBI had a week or more to fix up this paperwork, but it still is a country mile from perfection. The money order wasn't cashed, its serial number seems out of sequence, the paperwork shows it was deposited a month before it was received, or, as Jim Di likes to point out, the revised story said it was deposited in Kleins' Chicago bank the day after it was mailed in Dallas. And now the fixed paper trail shows no way the $21.45 payment could be traced to any particular payment method, and I'm probably forgetting many of the other issues. WHAT A MESS!!!

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3. The FBI searches Klein's records and the Internal Invoice matching the C2766 rifle is found. (This is "Waldman Deposition Exhibit No. 7").

SDL HYPOTHESIS (3/4/16): It takes seven hours to locate the Hidell order because only the rifle's serial number and an approximate date of sale were known. Thousands of internal invoices have to be pulled and inspected.

The FBI then finds on microfilm two purchase orders that matches the price and payment method as indicated on the Internal Invoice. One was paid for with an American Express MO, the other with a postal MO. The latter is suspected of being the offending purchase order, or what Chief Curry will later call the "Order Letter." (This is CE773). The Order Letter consists of an order form clipped out of the Feb. 1963 American Rifleman magazine, and the envelope in which it was mailed.

4. SDL HYPOTHESIS (2/23/16): Somebody in the FBI was given a copy of the Internal Invoice (and perhaps also the Order Letter) and was assigned to search for Klein's ads matching the C2766 rifle. He finds one. The ad has a large "$12.78" price printed on it. The agent notes the 3/20/63 processing/shipping date on the Internal Invoice, and determines it to be a suitable "purchase date." He clumsily doesn't realize that the $12.78 price didn't include the scope. (Or perhaps he has heard that the Texas Sports Shop had added the scope later.) This information is passed on to Chief Curry of the DPD.

Sandy,

If the FBI really had what you call Klein's Internal Invoice for C2766 on Nov. 22nd, why would they tell Curry that it was “Oswald's” handwriting on the order for a $12.78 rifle? The Internal Invoice we have now clearly shows the order was for $21.45. Do you seriously expect us to believe your #4 hypothesis, that an FBI agent who had “Klein's Internal Invoice” as we're shown today would really go by an advertisement instead of the clear document in his hand? That doesn't make sense.

The microfilm I believe you are referring to contains not two but seven different entries of $21.45, as shown below. How can you possibly tell what method of payment was used for those entries?

Here is what allegedly happened:. At first, all the FBI had to go on was the rifle's model and serial number, and a date range in which the rifle could have been sold. The FBI spent seven hours manually looking through thousands of Internal Invoices till they found the one that had the matching serial number printed on it. From the Internal Invoice they got the order amount, $21.45, and the method of payment, money order.

From there they went on to find the order form used to order the rifle. I suppose they did this by first consulting the list you posted (below). From the list it is seen that there are seven matching deposits of $21.45.

Klein's had microfilms of order forms submitted by customers. FBI agents looked through those and examined more closely the seven with the matching $21.45 amount. Strangely, they found only SIX orders for $21.45. One of these was paid for with an American Express money order, but wasn't for the correct rifle. So what happened to the seventh $21.45 order?

(I have to speculate a little here in order to account for the fact that the Hidell order form had $19.95 written on it, not the $21.45 full price.)

Eventually it was discovered that Hidell had written $19.95 on the order form, not the full $21.45 purchase price.

This answers your question as to how the FBI knew the method of payment on the seven $21.45 deposits. Or rather, that two of them were paid for with money orders.

Waldman_10_List.jpg

Here's what I think really happened….

Sitting at SOG in D.C., J. Edgar Hoover knows he's got to put the whole thing on Oswald alone fast. He sends his agents out looking for rifle ads matching the Carcano found on the 6th floor. He quickly gets handed an ad like the one below.

Klein%27s-Ads.jpg

Hoover himself (who else would dare to do this?) looks at the ad and decides the 6.5 Italian Carbine for $12.78 comes with a scope (as you might certainly think by looking at the ad). Hoover puts the word out to Curry that our man “Oswald” had his handwriting all over the order for that $12.78 rifle, knowing that he would prepare all the necessary “documentation” in the days to come.

But oops, J. Edgar made a mistake!

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Sandy, if you look at the envelope, it does not appear that it went to a post office box.

Therefore it was likely delivered.

That's a excellent point, Jim. You're absolutely right, that the Hidell order form was delivered to Klein's physical address. Not picked up at the post office.

As you can see here, the address is partly covered up. But you can easily make out enough to see that the address matches their physical address, as can be verified on this 1961 Klein's catalog

Here's the address:

Klein's Sporting Goods

227 W. Washington Street

Chicago 6, Illinois

This is looking more like another smoking gun. I don't know about other places, but where I live (Provo/Orem, UT) it takes two days for delivery to your next-door neighbor. It always has, as far back as I can remember (~1980).

There is one thing that concerns me, though. And that is the "6" after "Chicago." Does anybody know what that means? Could it mean that Klein's was such a big business that it was assigned a special number for mail collection? I have seen situations where a business is so large that the address is merely

Business Name

City, State

EDIT:

There is another address I see in the Klein's catalog on eBay. It is

Klein's Sporting Goods

4545 West Madison Street

Chicago 24, Illinois

This time the number after Chicago is 24. I wonder if these numbers are postal zones. And if they were the forerunner of the now-ubiquitous ZIP code.

EDIT:

Turns out I was right. I just read the following in the Wikipedia article on ZIP Codes:

The early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department (USPOD) implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example:

Mr. John Smith 3256

Epiphenomenal Avenue

Minneapolis 16, Minnesota

The "16" was the number of the postal zone within the specific city.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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