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Rio Grande Building


Steve Thomas
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I, along with a lot of other people over the years, have been puzzled by the idea that, after the assassination of JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald would leave the TSBD, walk several blocks east on Elm St., and catch a bus heading back west towards the TSBD and Dealey Plaza. This doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, unless...

 

What if Lee was trying to contact someone and let them know about the assassination? I know that the power went out in the TSBD right after the assassination. Did that include the telephones too? I seem to have a memory of one of the secretaries at the TSBD testifying to the WC that the phones went out too.

 

I was reading through the transcripts of the HSCA "Critics Conference" in 1977. This was a fascinating group of people that included, Sylvia Meagher, Mary Ferrell, Paul Hoch, Peter Dale Scott, Josiah Thompson, Gary Shaw, et.al and I ran across these references:

Transcript of HSCA Critics' Conference of 17 Sep 1977

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10375&search=%22Charles_T.+Brecht%22#relPageId=1&tab=page

 

Mary Ferrell, p. 206: Oswald got on the bus in front of the Rio Grande Building headed back toward Houston and Oak Cliff.

Gary Shaw p. 179: “Pat Russell, DeMohrenschildt's attorney officed in the same building with the Army Intelligence Fourth Division.”

Ms. Ferrell: “Up there in the Rio Grande Building? I didn't know that.”

 

The Rio Grande Building, 251 N. Field St. was a 297 ft. tall, 19 story building in downtown Dallas now known as the Rio Grande Life Building. The street address was changed to 249 N. Field St. It was one block north of Elm St.

https://www.emporis.com/buildings/118467/rio-grande-life-building-dallas-tx-usa

It has been demolished?

http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=40597

 

This is what I have come up with so far.

 

The Rio Grande Building was at 251 N. Field St. Oswald wrote to the INS at 251 N. Field in 1962 about June's citizenship status. She was classified as an "alien" and Lee wanted her status to be changed to a U.S. citizen.

The INS had an office at 1402 Rio Grande Building


 

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=11246&relPageId=35&search=Rio_Grande Building

On April 1, 1964, Miss Brenda Route, Deputy Clerk, Domestic Relations Court, Dallas County, Texas, advised SA James Hosty...that on November 13, 1963, Mrs. Ruth Paine filed a petition for divorce from Michael Paine citing “cruel and tyrannical treatment” that made living together impossible. No action was taken, and after six months the matter was automatically dismissed by notice to the attorney, which in this case would be Raggio and Raggio, 734 Rio Grande Building, Dallas, Texas.


 

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1199&search=Rio_Grande+Building#relPageId=50&tab=page

In her Orleans Parish testimony, Ruth said that it was the firm of Roggio and Roggio in the Rio Grande Building. Her lawyer was a woman.


 

The 112th INTC Region II office was at 912 Rio Grande Building.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=96524&relPageId=59&search=Rio_Grande%20Building


James Powell's statement, April 12, 1996. Taken in California by Timothy A. Wray, ARRB Chief Analyst for Military Records


Powell: That's what the other agents were doing except for those that, there was always a staff in the building ­ in this case the Rio Grande Building ­ and there were probably three or four of those people there at the time when I had my time off. The other agents were just out doing their regular job.


https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=77654&relPageId=20&search=Rio_Grande Building

The owners of the Republic Investment Company, located at 848 Rio Grande Building were suspected of bookmaking operations in Dallas with close ties to Campisi and Vincent Marcello of New Orleans.


See also https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=83307&relPageId=6&search=Rio_Grande%20Building

concerning an investigation of James Henry Dolan. Dolan was also connected to the people at the Republic Investment Company.


https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=141087&search=Rio_Grande+Building#relPageId=2&tab=page

is a March 26, 1965 letter from Gordon Shanklin to Lieutenant Colonel Roy Pate of the 112th INTC at Room 912 of the Rio Grande Building referencing two copies of a letterhead memo on the Dallas/Fort Worth Minutemen Club. The letterhead memo is not attached. The referenced memo is a summary of a separate memorandum previously submitted.

(I only include this letter to show that the FBI was sharing information on the Dallas Minutemen with the 112th INTC)


 

William Kelly wrote in the Education Forum on Posted March 12, 2014 that the Secret Service had their office in the Rio Grande Building.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/21070-view-from-the-snipers-nest/#comment-285539


Jack White posted in the Education Forum on Posted August 7, 2006

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/7628-order-in-the-courts/#comment-71655

“The SS may have been in the "federal building/postal annex" on the

south edge of Dealey Plaza. I seem to remember that the FBI was

in the Rio Grande Building several blocks east of the plaza. Or maybe

it was vice versa.”

 

What if Lee Oswald went to the Rio Grande building looking for someone, couldn't find them, and got back on a bus to go back home?

(That's assuming the bus story is true. He could have gotten stalled in traffic, got off the bus, and hitched a ride with someone he recognized in a Rambler station wagon, or got in the Waley cab - if the Rambler story isn't true)

 

If anyone else has info on the occupants of the Rio Grande Building, I'd appreciate it.

 

Steve Thomas


 


 

 

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Louie Steven Witt, who claimed to be the Umbrella Man, worked at the Rio Grande Insurance Company in 1963. I assume it was in the building so named.

On the TSBD phones going out, the lady who testified about that was referring to the lights on the phones being off, indicating that there were no calls during the motorcade.

Are you sure the power went off in the TSBD after the shooting?

 

 

 

Edited by Ron Ecker
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7 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

Are you sure the power went off in the TSBD after the shooting?

Ron,

 

I'm pretty sure. I'll have to back and research it, but I remember the testimony of a policeman or two who had to get off the elevator going up and use the stairs, 'cause the elevator stopped moving, and I think I remember a secretary saying that the power went off for about five minutes or so.

  VICTORIA ADAMS, trying to get back into the building - Following that, I pushed the button for the passenger elevator, but the power had been cut off on the elevator, so I took the stairs to the second floor.

Miss ADAMS - I tried to get the (freight) elevator to go to the fourth floor, but it wasn't operating, so the gentlemen lifted the elevator gate and we went out and ran up the stairs to the fourth floor.

 

Jack Dougherty talks about using the "push button" elevator to come down from one of the upper floors after the shots, so it would have to be from the time Dougherty came down and Adams tried to go back up that the elevators quit working.

 

Steve Thomas

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9 hours ago, Ron Ecker said:

Are you sure the power went off in the TSBD after the shooting?

Ron,

 

I had to smile. If you do a simple google search asking the question, "Did the power go off in the TSBD?", you see that people have been debating this for years.

It looks like it comes down to a matter of interpretation when Geneva Hine, who is alone in the second floor offices said,

" Miss HINE. Yes, sir: I was alone until the lights all went out and the phones became dead because the motorcade was coming near us and no one was calling..."

Was she talking about the lights in the building, or just the lights on her telephone?

And just because the motorcade was coming "near us", doesn't mean that people in New York or Wichita or Abilene would quit calling.

After she witnessed the assassination, she went back to her office and on the way,

Miss HINE. And there was a girl in there talking on the telephone and I could hear her but she didn't answer the door.

Miss HINE. I called and called and shook the door and she didn't answer me because she was talking on the telephone; I could hear her. They have a little curtain up and I could see her form through the curtains. I could see her talking and I knew that's what she was doing and then I turned and went through the back hall and came through the back door.
Mr. BALL. Of your office, the second floor office?
Miss HINE. Yes; and I went straight up to the desk because the telephones were beginning to wink; outside calls were beginning to come in.

I wonder who "that girl" was.

I don't think you can dispute the fact that the elevators quit working though.

 

Steve Thomas

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2 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

Ron,

 

I had to smile. If you do a simple google search asking the question, "Did the power go off in the TSBD?", you see that people have been debating this for years.

It looks like it comes down to a matter of interpretation when Geneva Hine, who is alone in the second floor offices said,

" Miss HINE. Yes, sir: I was alone until the lights all went out and the phones became dead because the motorcade was coming near us and no one was calling..."

Was she talking about the lights in the building, or just the lights on her telephone?

And just because the motorcade was coming "near us", doesn't mean that people in New York or Wichita or Abilene would quit calling.

After she witnessed the assassination, she went back to her office and on the way,

Miss HINE. And there was a girl in there talking on the telephone and I could hear her but she didn't answer the door.

Miss HINE. I called and called and shook the door and she didn't answer me because she was talking on the telephone; I could hear her. They have a little curtain up and I could see her form through the curtains. I could see her talking and I knew that's what she was doing and then I turned and went through the back hall and came through the back door.
Mr. BALL. Of your office, the second floor office?
Miss HINE. Yes; and I went straight up to the desk because the telephones were beginning to wink; outside calls were beginning to come in.

I wonder who "that girl" was.

I don't think you can dispute the fact that the elevators quit working though.

 

Steve Thomas

FWIW, we can see a ceiling light on in the Powell photo, taken a few seconds after the assassination.

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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2 hours ago, Michael Walton said:

It's very simple.  Go here and you'll see how he walked east from the TSBD, got on the bus, and the bus headed back to the TSBD to go to Oak Cliff.  Traffic was snarled so he got a cab.

Not hard to figure out and nothing sinister.

Michael,

 

Yes, but my initial question was not "how", but "why.

Was he fleeing, or was he doing something else? And why that corner of Field and Elm? If he was walking just to catch any old bus, the McWatters bus wasn't the first bus he would have encountered, McWatters said that there were a whole bunch of buses tied up. And, if my memory serves me right, the McWatters bus wouldn't have taken him past his house on Beckley anyway.

We'll never really know.

 

Steve Thomas

 

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