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Rare: Sylvia Meagher Interview

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I have never heard an interview with her before.  So I think this will be the first time you hear her voice.


Interesting how she takes no prisoners about the WC.

Near the end, did Marina lie about the license plate to cover up Lee's informant status?


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Again, do any our Paine experts have an opinion on her clear implication that Marina could not have recorded the Hosty info in Oswald's notebook.

If not, then it was either Oswald or Ruth Paine, correct?  

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I think the answer to the "license plate" controversy/mystery is a very simple one --- Marina Oswald simply walked out to the curb where James Hosty's car was parked and looked at the license plate. She then wrote down the number and later gave it to her husband, Lee. Lee then wrote the license number in his address book [see Commission Exhibit No. 18].


And the scenario I just laid out above is also exactly what Vincent Bugliosi asserts in his 2007 book, "Reclaiming History". Let's have a look at what Bugliosi wrote....

(Quote On:)

"The next day, Tuesday [November 5, 1963], Jim Hosty made another trip to Fort Worth. Since his route took him past Irving and Ruth had told him she would try to get Lee's address in Dallas for him, he decided to stop by to see if she had done so. His partner, Agent Gary S. Wilson, went up to the door with him, and Hosty spoke with Ruth on the doorstep for a few minutes. She had not asked Lee for his address in Dallas, but she had given him Hosty's telephone number and thought he would call.

Ruth mentioned the fact that Lee had told her that weekend that he was a Trotskyite Communist. She found what Lee told her more amusing than anything else, and told Hosty Lee was "an illogical person." Hosty wondered to Ruth whether Lee had mental problems. Ruth responded that she did not understand the thinking of anyone who espoused Marxism, but that was far different from a judgment that Lee was unstable or unable to function in a normal society.

The interview at the front door lasted only a few minutes, and Hosty and Ruth recalled Marina appearing briefly just as the agents were leaving. She had actually been outside while Hosty was talking to Ruth, memorizing the license plate number of Hosty's official FBI car and walking around the car several times to see if she could determine the car's make, which she could not. The two women watched from the front window as the FBI agents drove away from the curb, made a U-turn, and went back the way they had come, heading for the highway to Fort Worth.

Then Marina, in accordance with Lee's instructions and still without Ruth's knowledge, wrote the license plate number down on a piece of paper. Either she got one number wrong or Lee copied it wrong into his address book, where it was found, written in his hand, after the assassination."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 777 of "Reclaiming History"

(End Quote.)

Mr. Bugliosi utilized several different sources for the above book excerpts. Here's a complete list of those sources (with links included, where available, plus additional comments made by Bugliosi within two of the source notes):

.... 1 H 48, WCT Marina N. Oswald;

.... 3 H 99, WCT Ruth Hyde Paine;

.... Hosty with Hosty, Assignment: Oswald, p.51 (in Hosty’s testimony before the Warren Commission [4 H 453] he said he didn’t see Marina);

.... McMillan, Marina and Lee, p.498;

.... 9 H 398–400, WCT Ruth Hyde Paine;

.... License plate in address book: CE 18, 16 H 64 (the entry is a few spaces below the date, November 1, and name James P. Hosty; Ruth told Oswald on November 1 about Hosty’s visit earlier in the day; the license number almost assuredly would have been put into his address book after Hosty’s second visit on November 5, when Marina got it for Lee);

.... One digit off on license plate number: 5 H 112, WCT J. Edgar Hoover.


Despite the fact I disagree very strongly with virtually everything Sylvia Meagher said in the January 1967 interview presented above, I still enjoyed listening to the interview very much. It seems quite obvious to me when listening to her speak that Sylvia was a very intelligent and articulate lady. I think she was 100% wrong when she said that the 888-page Warren Commission Report "is a false document", but I still respect Sylvia's savvy and her communication skills.

In my opinion, one fairly big mistake that Meagher makes when talking about Lee Harvey Oswald's supposed "Coke alibi" is that Sylvia seems to totally ignore the fact that during the Warren Commission's re-enactment of Oswald's alleged movements just after the assassination (which culminated in Oswald being confronted by Dallas policeman Marrion L. Baker in the Book Depository's lunchroom on the second floor approximately 90 seconds after President Kennedy was shot), the Secret Service agent who performed the re-creation (John Howlett) was only moving at two different "walking" speeds when travelling from the sixth-floor Sniper's Nest to the second-floor lunchroom [Warren Report, Page 152].

Oswald, therefore, could very easily have shaved many seconds off of Howlett's fastest re-enactment time of 74 seconds if he (Oswald) had been moving faster than just the "normal walking pace" or the "fast walk" that were employed by Special Agent Howlett during the re-creations of the event.

I think it's quite logical to believe that Oswald was, indeed, very likely moving quite a bit faster than Howlett was moving when Oswald left the Sniper's Nest and headed downstairs on 11/22/63. But judging by the words we hear spoken by Sylvia Meagher in her 1967 radio interview, Mrs. Meagher doesn't seem to allow for even the possibility that Oswald could have arrived in the second-floor lunchroom ANY faster than Agent Howlett's quickest re-created time, which was 1 minute and 14 seconds. [More here.]

Plus, Meagher doesn't allow for other possibilities with respect to the crossed-out "Drinking a Coke" reference found in Marrion Baker's 9/23/64 signed statement. More discussion about "The Coke" can be found in this article.


Edited by David Von Pein
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I'm no Paine or any other kind of expert.  This was evidenced when the license plate number came up for discussion on Chris Newton's  Where's Ruth's Couch Thread.  I mentioned something I'd read once elsewhere, that Marina saw it out the bedroom window.  Chris corrected me by pointing out that if it couldn't be seen from the living room if the car was sitting in front of the house because of the angle the same would be true from the bedroom.   Another thing discussed there relates here.  The front door to back door sight line.  If Ruth was talking to Hosty at the front door Marina would have been seen by him if she tried to slip out the back door and go around the house where she could see it. 

There are multiple possibilities but it's obvious if it was in Oswalds handwriting in his address book he, Marina or Ruth one saw it at some time.  Has it been established that Marinna or Ruth could not have seen it as Hosty was pulling away?   In Chris thread it was mentioned by you Jim and or Chris that there is the possibility that the FBI made more than two visits to, or close to the Paine residence.  We know Hoover stopped the FBI investigation as soon as he became "convinced" they had their man, and, that he reprimanded multiple agents for their actions / not folliowing his directions to the "T".  Given his disposition towards the Warren Omission why would anyone possibly think Hoover revealed everything the FBI knew about Oswald?  

On one of the two recorded visits Hosty parked down the street.  A tactic used for observation of the coming, going and activities of suspects.  If the FBI was keeping perhaps closer tabs on Oswald than they admitted maybe they already knew where he worked.  Might they have not followed him and Fraizer home one Friday evening to see where he went on the weekends.  Could they have parked down the street to watch and see if he left again, with someone else, or if anyone visited him while he was there?  If Lee did have any intelligence training it would have included awareness of your surroundings.  If he went out in the front yard might he have not noticed a vehicle not normally seen in the neighborhood parked a house or two away, especially if it was a government sedan and/or someone was sitting in it?

I think Marina testified as she was told and rehearsed to or at a minimum told them what she thought they wanted to hear, the truth or not.  I think she was scared, confused and didn't want to go back to Russia.  I've read that someone on the Warren Omission said word's to the effect that her testimony was "all over the place", much of it useless.  Yes Ruth might have tried to ingratiate herself with Oswald by writing down and the license number and giving it to him.  Marina may have followed his instructions to do so.

As far as the article itself it seems Jenner stonewalled Ms. Meagher in her effort to resolve this issue.  That didn't stop her from writing one of the most important books on the assassination ever. 

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I agree that its kind of a puzzle as to how it got there in the notebook Ron.

And I also agree that at that time, with the threat of deportation and the money coming in to her in piles, that Marina was a very problematic witness.

I really do not know how the plate got there.  And I am quite interested in Chris' suggestion that there was more than the meetings described in the WC by and with Hosty.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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8 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:


Yes, many heavily traumatic things happening to Marina way beyond what almost every other person called to testify to the WC could even imagine going through.







Edited by Joe Bauer
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