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I’ve read aspects of the Roscoe White story in bits and pieces throughout the years, and never gave it much serious thought. A few nights ago I watched this video “Evidence Of Revision – JFK Assassination Rarities” on YouTube. It put some pieces together in a startling way, and I’m doing some more research into it. I’m curious as to what others here think, and if anyone knows of any further research.

The section concerning Roscoe White is between 16:00 and 35:35.

I also consulted Livingstone’s “High Treason 2” and the revised version of Marrs’s “Crossfire” for more information. From my research, these seem to be many of the facts:

Geneva White – Roscoe’s wife

  1. Worked for Jack Ruby
  2. Says she confirms existence of Roscoe’s diary
  3. Says she overheard Ruby and Roscoe planning to kill JFK
  4. Owned an alternate version of the backyard photo of Oswald

Ricky White – Roscoe’s son

  1. Says Roscoe’s diary existed and contained information about Roscoe’s role in the JFK assassination
  2. Says the FBI absconded with the diary
  3. Has copies of alleged CIA cables obliquely referring to the assassination

Reverend Jack Shaw

  1. Says he took deathbed confession from Roscoe
  2. Says he audio taped Geneva’s recounting of her experiences
  3. Says he also had a CIA affiliation?

Other witnesses of unknown name and number

  1. Recall seeing Roscoe’s diary

Roscoe White

  1. Knowledgeable about photography? Was, or was about to become, a police photographer?
  2. Joined Dallas PD early October 1963 (a little over a week before Oswald got his job at the TSBD)
  3. Former Marine as was Oswald, sailed on the same ship as Oswald going to Japan
  4. Marine-era photo of Oswald and a man with bump on right wrist and face that resembles Roscoe White
  5. Mysterious death in an explosion, allegedly saw someone leaving the scene just prior
  6. Allegedly gave deathbed confession to Rev. Jack Shaw
  7. Chin resembles chin on Oswald’s backyard photograph
  8. Posture resembles posture on Oswald’s backyard photograph
  9. Bump on right wrist resembles bump on Oswald’s right wrist in the backyard photograph


Roscoe’s alleged diary reportedly has a brief description of what he did that day, from Ricky White’s memory. It allegedly indicated that Roscoe shot from the grassy knoll and rode with Tippit to pick up Oswald. Roscoe tried to get Tippit to drive Oswald to Redbird airport. When Tippit balked and suspected Roscoe’s and Oswald’s involvement with the reports coming in about JFK, Roscoe had to kill Tippit.

The weird thing is, this seems to explain some things. Acquilla Clemons described seeing two people at the scene of Tippit’s killing (though the physical description of one of them doesn’t seem to match either Oswald or Roscoe.) And, if Roscoe was the shooter on the grassy knoll dressed in a policeman's uniform, then that appears to explain Badgeman. (For the record, I am agnostic on Badgeman's existence.) I believe Tippit had some clothes hanging in the back of his police car, if I recall correctly. Roscoe could have changed out of his policeman's uniform and into street clothes after giving the signal by honking outside Oswald's rooming house. I believe Earlene Roberts said she saw two policemen in the police car honking outside,

So, normally I would be able to discount a lot of this. I did discount a lot of it when I heard just bits and pieces.

The matching chin doesn’t prove anything, but they do match. The posture doesn’t prove anything, yet it too matches the backyard photograph.

The bump on the wrist, however, can’t easily be dismissed. If Roscoe was previously knowledgeable about photography, that also seems quite suspicious. 

The statements of Rev. Jack Shaw, while not conclusive, are compelling, in my opinion. I'd like to know more about his tapes of Geneva and what became of them.

The fact that Geneva worked for Ruby is certainly quite a coincidence and difficult to write off as happenstance. And that Roscoe joined the Dallas police department less than two months before the assassination makes me very suspicious.

But the one thing that seems to be the biggest is that the White family owned an alternate pose of the backyard photograph. A pose that was re-created by investigators PRIOR to its official discovery. I don’t know how that ownership of that alternate photo could be anything but damning. You’d have to ignore all of the other “coincidences” and believe that Roscoe was just a random cop that just happened, by another coincidence, to be in a position to steal an important and incriminating piece of evidence in the crime of the century, wouldn’t you?

Edited by Denny Zartman
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the alleged evidence, such as the diary and the deathbed confession, would lie at the heart of the evidence if they were provable. The relationship with Oswald means little otherwise. 

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What I mean is that the bump on the wrist (assuming one can take that kind of photo analysis as valid) and alternate backyard photo don’t prove that White was a shooter. They are interesting in that they relate to Oswald, who in my opinion was set up as a patsy. Badgeman, as you say, isn’t conclusive, though in theory a shooter dressed as a cop, whether a real cop or not, would make sense. 

Have you read Into the Nightmare by Joseph McBride? 

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9 hours ago, David Andrews said:

Have you read John Armstrong on Capt. Westbrook and Officer Croy of DPD at the Tippit site?

I haven't read it but I've seen someone's hour lecture on it on YouTube. That was quite interesting as well.

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11 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

What I mean is that the bump on the wrist (assuming one can take that kind of photo analysis as valid) and alternate backyard photo don’t prove that White was a shooter. They are interesting in that they relate to Oswald, who in my opinion was set up as a patsy. Badgeman, as you say, isn’t conclusive, though in theory a shooter dressed as a cop, whether a real cop or not, would make sense. 

Have you read Into the Nightmare by Joseph McBride? 

I have Into the Nightmare and haven't finished it yet. I really would like to understand the Tippit shooting, so I need to go back to it soon.

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Okay, I'm sorry I came in here like I was the first person to ever discover this stuff. It's been discussed here recently, which I would have known had I done a little more research. Like I said, I had seen it in bits and pieces, but seeing it all together blew my mind a little bit.

I read these forum threads:
Roscoe White / Ricky White


Jack White: "The Roscoe White Curse"


And these articles:

"I Was Mandarin…" by Gary Cartwright - https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/i-was-mandarin/

"Who Speaks For Roscoe White?" and "A Few Words From an 'Amateur Sleuth'" by David B. Perry - http://dperry1943.com/roscoew.html - http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/sleuth.htm

Letter from Mary La Fontaine to Ned Butler - http://dperry1943.com/desperado.html


"Who Speaks For Roscoe White" was informative. It seems to be the most thorough "debunking" of the Roscoe White story I've been able to find so far. The essay does seem to knock down a few aspects of this story.

  1. Apparently there wasn't a deathbed confession by Roscoe, at least, not one given to Reverend Jack Shaw.
  2. It seems that Roscoe didn't have photography interest/knowledge according to family members.
  3. I looked closely, and I have to agree that the wrist bump is not definitive one way or the other.

"A Few Words From an 'Amateur Sleuth'" was strange, because even though it was by the same author, it seemed more strident in calling the Roscoe White story a hoax than in the earlier "Who Speaks..." where David Perry says he still writes about the story because "...there still might be something there."

On one of the sidebars of "...Sleuth" that calls the Roscoe White story a "sordid affair" and a "classic fraud" and directs readers to another story from the magazine Texas Monthly called "I Was Mandarin…" by Gary Cartwright. That was strange, because instead of debunking the story, "I Was Mandarin..." raised even more questions in my mind.

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Denny - you’re open minded and honest. None of us know for sure what happened, we all have opinions, and sometimes they change over time. Mine have for sure. 

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Hi Paul,

It amazes me that after so many years of reading on this subject, I can still find so many stories that just continue to surprise and perplex me. It's an endlessly fascinating mystery.

"I Was Mandarin..." raises so many questions. If one accepts the author's characterization of Ricky White as an honest person, it seems to follow that one would have to accept the existence of the diary and that it said what Ricky says it said. Then, it seems the question becomes: if the diary was a forgery, who forged it? If it existed, what happened to it? If it existed and it were a forgery, would the FBI take it and if so, why? Would the forgers decide to hide their own forgery for whatever reason, and still attempt to sell their story without it?

If the story of the metal canister in the burned out attic is true, why would a forger go to such lengths to hide it? If Roscoe made up a story in order to benefit his family after his passing, why try to hide it like that? Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see the debunking article try to address the "green" book or the alleged CIA cables either.

These are far from the first things on the list that bother me about the Roscoe White story. The mere fact that he had a military connection to Oswald and his wife had a professional connection to Ruby is mighty suspicious, I feel.

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Great thread.   Thanks for starting it.   The following is my current opinion.

The problem with Ricky White is his lack of education.  He had no business debating a scholar like Harold Weisberg on TV.  Ricky White's main problem was that he was uneducated and inarticulate.   He could not fix his mouth to respond to the critics.   Foot in mouth -- that was Ricky White.

Nevertheless, the main elements of Ricky White's story remain plausible in my opinion.

The problem was that Ricky White didn't have enough information to understand how his father's confession of being a JFK shooter could fit in with a realistic CT scenario.

For example, Ricky White said that his father belonged to "the Right Wing of the CIA."   Well, there's no such thing as a "Right Wing of the CIA".   So that's ridiculous from the start.  But that was only Ricky White's opinion of the matter -- it's not necessarily what his father communicated.

Today we only have the word of Ricky White and his mother, Geneva White -- and her life was so chaotic that she became a neurotic mess -- and was less educated than Ricky.

The key, in my opinion, is to try to separate Roscoe White's CONFESSION from what Ricky White ADDED to it.   Their pastor's ideas are perhaps the most valuable, since he was, after all, an educated man -- at least in his own field.

My opinion  -- I AM MANDARIN -- sounds to me like Roscoe White was trying to write a fiction for sale.  He used real life experiences combined with drama and fiction -- and so it should not be considered a DIARY, but a MANUSCRIPT, which requires deciphering to separate FACT from FICTION.   It seems to me that Ricky White didn't understand this element -- AND TOOK IT ALL LITERALLY -- while Geneva White didn't know what to believe.

What is most interesting to me is that Roscoe White confessed to shooting not only at JFK but also at JD Tippit.  This conforms to at least one eye-witness who saw two gunmen at the scene of JD Tippit's murder.  

Jack White discovered Roscoe White's chin, neck, shoulders, lumpy right wrist and back-leaning stance in Lee Harvey Oswald's BYP.  By showing that Roscoe White knew Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas (and perhaps also in New Orleans, as Ron Lewis claims), then we have an extra dimension of a Radical Right plot to kill JFK.

Roscoe White was part of the Radical Right rogues within the Dallas Police Department.   Ron Lewis says (IIRC) that he also knew General Walker.

THE CRUCIAL THING IN MY OPINION -- is to do extra work now (a half-century later) to explore the connections of individual Dallas Police with the Dallas political group, "Friends of Walker."

There are still garages in Dallas and around Texas to this very day, I'm convinced, that have boxes stored in attics and garages with "Friends of Walker" literature in forgotten boxes.   These are valuable data.  The old folks who used to read this political screed are worth interviewing.

The real problem with the Roscoe White story is that it fails to feed any prevailing CIA-did-it, LBJ-did-it, or Mafia-did-it scenario.  So, only a handful of researchers will pursue it.   We missed a big chance in the 1990's, in my opinion.   Truly tragic. 

--Paul Trejo


Edited by Paul Trejo
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12 hours ago, Andrew Prutsok said:

I'm not sure a quality education is necessarily related to a person's honesty and truthfulness.


Although I agree with you, I'm not questioning Ricky White's honesty -- only his education.

He said his father, Rosoce White, was "a member of the Right Wing of the CIA."    Only an ignoramus would say that.  There never was and never will be any such thing as "the Right Wing of the CIA."

It's ridiculous.   Yet I've NEVER called Ricky White a L-I-A-R.   He's not lying -- he's simply MISTAKEN in half of his statements because of his IGNORANCE.

I believe that Roscoe White was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald, and was involved in the JFK Assassination on grounds OTHER than the claims made by Ricky White.   In my CT, Ricky White CONFIRMS the accounts made by OTHER people.  That's why I believe the ESSENCE of Ricky White's claims.

Yet the DETAILS of Ricky White's claims are very often NONSENSE.   They cannot be accepted by any intelligent readers, in my opinion.

So -- we must carefully separate what is FACT and what is IMAGINATION in the claims made by Ricky White.   The White family had an extra Backyard Photograph.   We must start there.   Let's not jump to conclusions.  What are the various possibilities?

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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