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Tim Gratz

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On October 31, 2004 the New York Times Review of Books printed a review of Max Holland's book "The Assassination Tapes". The review was by Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine's Garage. In the review, Mallon states that forty years after the publication of the WCR there is still no compelling reason to believe that Oswald was anything other than a lone nut seeking a place in history (words to that effect).

My writing colleague Mark Howell sent a reply (on letterhead of the Key West Citizen) discussing the absurdity of that proposition. Due to space considerations, we limited the letter to two incidents we had researched for our 2003 articles:

1) the Odio incident; and 2) the sighting, by the well-respected manager of the Key West Airport, of LHO and Jack Ruby together in the Key West Airport in the summer of 1963. (We consider the airport manager the most credible witness to an Oswald-Ruby association.) We also pointed out, of course, that Oswald's actions after his arrest were inconsistent with a theory that he shot the president to gain fame and notoriety in the history books.

As of last Sunday (December 5) the NYT had not published Mark's letter (or any other letter, for that matter) in response to the Mallon review. By looking at other letters published, it is possible they could still publish Mark's letter this coming Sunday, but that would probably be the latest!

It will be interesting to see if the Times publishes any protests to Mallon's remarks. I assume his remarks must have generated other replies as well.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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On October 31, 2004 the New York Times Review of Books printed a review of Max Holland's book "The Assassination Tapes".  The review was by Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine's Garage.  In the review, Mallon states that forty years after the publication of the WCR there is still no compelling reason to believe that Oswald was anything other than a lone nut seeking a place in history (words to that effect).

My writing colleague Mark Howell sent a reply (on letterhead of the Key West Citizen) discussing the absurdity of that proposition.  Due to space considerations, we limited the letter to two incidents we had researched for our 2003 articles:

1) the Odio incident; and 2) the sighting, by the well-respected manager of the Key West Airport, of LHO and Jack Ruby together in the Key West Airport in the summer of 1963. 

I would certainly add Oswald's defection and repatriation, his relations with the White Russian [read Nazi] community, the Paines [bell Hellicopter], sharing a building with Banister [anti-Castro; anything but communist (ABC)], and his destroyed note to the local Dallas FBI. How can anyone easily dismiss all of this?


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On October 31, 2004 the New York Times Review of Books printed a review of Max Holland's book "The Assassination Tapes".  The review was by Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine's Garage.  In the review, Mallon states that forty years after the publication of the WCR there is still no compelling reason to believe that Oswald was anything other than a lone nut seeking a place in history (words to that effect).

My writing colleague Mark Howell sent a reply (on letterhead of the Key West Citizen) discussing the absurdity of that proposition.  Due to space considerations, we limited the letter to two incidents we had researched for our 2003 articles:

1) the Odio incident; and 2) the sighting, by the well-respected manager of the Key West Airport, of LHO and Jack Ruby together in the Key West Airport in the summer of 1963. 

I would certainly add Oswald's defection and repatriation, his relations with the White Russian [read Nazi] community, the Paines [bell Hellicopter], sharing a building with Banister [anti-Castro; anything but communist (ABC)], and his destroyed note to the local Dallas FBI. How can anyone easily dismiss all of this?


Absolutely right. So much information refutes the "lone nut" scenario, but our problem was needing to articulate several good reasons why the WCR was wrong within the space constraints of letters responding to book reviews.

One can debate whether every member of the WC was part of a deliberate cover-up but it is interesting how much information was deliberately withheld from the WC. For instance, Helms was asked if the CIA had any information on Ruby and after a long delay he answered (almost, if I recall, on the eve of publication of the WC report) "No" in almost so few words. But of course the CIA had a report that a witness had seen Jack Ruby visiting Trafficante in Castro's prison in 1959. This is just an example I recently noticed. (Of course we all know that the CIA withheld info re its plots to assassinsate Castro.) It would be interesting to put together a paper on how much information, and possible leads, the FBI and CIA withheld from the WC (without even considering deliberate falsification and destruction of evidence). The WC was clearly a "rush to judgment" and I cannot think of a better example than its not waiting a few weeks for the FBI to complete its investigation of the Odio incident--but had the publication been put off, the FBI investigation would have shown that Hall, Howard and Seymour were all denying visiting Odio, which destroyed the WC's "resolution" of the Odio incident as a simple case of mistaken identity.

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The New York Times Needs to Do a Powerful Piece on Oswald.

Here's a guy who defects to USSR for two and a half years,

was at Atsgui Japan with the MK/Ultra station, studying radiotelemetry.

U-2 Northern high altitude radiotelemetry and signals radio communications for U2 countermeasures, stuff lke that. What is most improbable about Mr Oswald is the Easy out, Easy back in. For him, the Cold War US borders were easier than a handstamp nightclub to get in and out of. When Oswald went to Mexico City and visited Nosenko's contemporaries at the 2nd/13th KGB station, was that unusual. His best friend was a Baron with white russian internationalist aristocratic counterintelligence profiles. LH.Oswad leads literally everywhere, to Castro, to US brainwashers, to Soviet brainwashers, and back to David Ferrie, MI, Marine MI, ONI-MI, Central Agency, Dallas underworld, etc... his entire existence is totally improbable, everything from he did 1959-1964 is a big fat OP/PROGRAM.

Not 1 chance, not one in five billion that Dallas 11/63 was one individual's ill will.

There were really only two shell cartridges found on the 6th floor, two ejected shells and one live round.

Magicker and Magicker, that bolt action nut.


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  • 11 months later...

On October 31, 2004 the New York Times Review of Books printed a review of Max Holland's book "The Assassination Tapes". The review was by Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine's Garage. In the review, Mallon states that forty years after the publication of the WCR there is still no compelling reason to believe that Oswald was anything other than a lone nut seeking a place in history (words to that effect).

Tim, Here's my review of Mallon's Garage.


THE ANNOTATED GARAGE - Bill Kelly’s Review of Thomas Mallon’s “Mrs. Paine’s Garage.”

There's Ghosts in the Attic, Skeletons in the Closet and Here's the Best of What’s Left Out of "Mrs. Paine’s Garage and the Assassination of President Kennedy", by Thomas Mallon (Pantheon Books – Random House, 2001) By Bill Kelly. bkjfk3@yahoo.com

The answers to the most outstanding questions concerning the crime of the last century aren’t in Thomas Mallon’s book, "Mrs. Paine’s Garage and the Assassination of President Kennedy," though they say that the primary evidence and the main suspect were at one time lodged in her house, where there’s still ghosts in the attic and skeletons in the closet.

Of those still outstanding, the first question that comes to mind is why Ruth and Michael Paine - the patrons and sponsors of the family of the man accused of killing President Kennedy - how come they weren’t primary witnesses before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) or the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB)? Certainly their testimony under oath should be on the public record, and the public shouldn’t be left with their lame Warren Commission questioning and now, this book by a would-be novelist on a foundation scholarship who got his facts right but the story wrong.

Mallon wanted to write this book as a fictional novel, and while some literature often comes closer to the truth than the most factually detailed history, this story isn’t one of them. It is to Mrs. Paine’s credit that in order to obtain her cooperation she insisted he write non-fiction, but somebody should have explained to Mallon that in writing such a thing he should use footnotes, document his sources and include an index. While Mallon is more comfortable writing fiction, this case is not myth or legend, nor even history yet, as in the lifetime of living contemporaries it remains an unsolved homicide, and the contents of the Paine’s garage are not historical artifacts, but are legally considered to be evidence in a murder case.

What became of the evidence and the contents of the garage is interesting and that the major questions still go unasked, let alone unanswered, is typical of the attitude exhibited by Mallon, a conspiracy denier who divides the world into two camps – the Conspiracy Theorists (CTs) and the Lone Nuts (LNs). Mallon is a LN, along with Ruth and Michael Paine, so he has sympathy with their plight, which is mitigated by the general belief that if there was a conspiracy, the Paines too must have been involved.

That the ratio of those who know there was a conspiracy to those who believe in the Lone Nut thesis is 80% - 20% in favor of conspiracy doesn’t make this truth a democratic decision. Mallon’s book may be comforting to the LNs who want to believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy on a “spur of the moment decision,” as Mrs. Paine puts it, but the evidence is supportive not only of the understanding of most rational people that there was a conspiracy, but that the assassination was a well planned and successfully executed coup d’etat.

Alas, the world is not so simple as to be divided into just two camps, as there is also a third group that includes those who keep an open mind about such things as who is responsible for shooting the President of the United States in the head, and they try to approach the case as a homicide detective would. As with the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, whose killer was convicted some thirty years after the crime, and the Birmingham bombings, the Mississippi Freedom Rider murders, the York, Pennsylvania race riot killings and other political crimes of the 1960s that are only now being resolved, the murder of President Kennedy still may eventually receive belated, but necessary justice. The truth, it seems, is even harder to come by, but a lot of it, they say, was at one time in the Paine’s garage.


How the police obtained the address of the Paine’s at 2515 W. Fifth St., Irving, Texas home is itself confusing. The Army Intelligence file on Hidell/Oswald that was being shared with the FBI had an old address, while FBI agent Hosty, who had been to the Paine’s house on two occasions in early November, obtained the address from the New Orleans FBI office. They in turn, learned of it from the New Orleans Post Office, which had received a change of address form for Oswald with the new Irving address on October 11. The problem here is that Oswald left New Orleans and was in Texas at the time, so someone else must have filled out this form.

Roy Truly, Oswald’s supervisor, said that he suspiciously noticed Oswald was missing almost immediately - within fifteen minutes of the assassination, obtained the address from Oswald’s employment application, wrote it down and gave it to Capt. Fritz. When Fritz got back to his office at the DPD, he ordered his men to obtain a search warrant and go out to Irving and bring in Oswald, who he was then told, was sitting right there in front of him, under arrest for the murder of a policeman.

According to Mallon’s account, Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine were watching the news accounts of the assassination on television when, “…there was a knock at the door. Ruth answered it and discovered a whole group of law-enforcement officers, including men from the Dallas County sheriff’s department. She surmised that they were there to serve papers in connection with the divorce, until one of them announced that Oswald was in custody for shooting a policeman. When the officers asked to come in, she managed to inquire if they had a warrant. They didn’t, but assured her they could get one right away. She did not pursue the point: ‘That’s okay,’ she said. ‘we’re all upset. Come on in.’ Ruth thought ‘they’d come in an sit on my sofa and talk to me.’ Instead, ‘six guys spread out all over the house right away, like water.’ They asked whether Lee owned a gun, and Ruth said no. She then translated the question to Marina,…”

“ ‘Yes, Marina responded, to Ruth’s astonishment; Lee did have a gun. Marina then led the way to the garage…”

When the authorities came to her house with a search warrant the next day, Mrs. Paine did what every red blooded American housewife would have done, she went shopping while the cops rooted through her garage and bedroom for evidence, taking out boxes of belongings, which according to a neighbor, made Mrs. Paine madder than he had ever seen her before.

If Mrs. Paine was subjected to the same justice that the Military Tribunal dished out to those who assisted John W. Booth in his flight from Ford’s Theater after shooting President Lincoln, she would have been hanged, whether she was part of the conspiracy or not. As Mallon points out the coincidence that when detectives searched Mary Surratt’s boarding house, where Booth had lodged, “they found that Mrs. Surratt’s daughter, Anna, had hidden a daguerreotype of Booth behind a picture…within three months her mother would become the first women ever hanged by the federal government…”

Indeed, as Philadelphia attorney Vincent Salandria has said, if there was true justice in this case, Ruth and Michael Paine would have been indicted for complicity rather than treated as victims, and truth, if not justice, would have been better served.

In the pursuit of truth, Mallon’s book adds little, other than what it doesn’t tell us, which if examined closely, leads us closer to the full truth for those that want to go there. Hopefully, justice will eventually follow. While most of the facts in “Mrs. Paine’s Garage” are correct, the best parts are left out, and the Big Lie is the Big Picture that portrays the alleged assassin’s family being taken care of by the generosity of Ruth Paine the Quaker, whose role as a Good Samaritan was a coincidental accident of history. If Marianne Sullivan’s Kennedy Ripples: A True Love Story is the Harlequin Romance version of the assassination, then Mrs. Paine’s Garage is the “Days of Our Lives” or “As the World Turns” Soap Opera rendition, with the murder of the President unintentionally being hatched in Mrs. Paine’s kitchen over a cup of coffee.

The lie is laid out clearly in the dusk jacket notes: “Nearly forty years have passed since Mrs. Ruth Hyde Paine, a Quaker housewife in suburban Dallas, offered shelter and assistance to a young man named Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife Marina….Mrs. Paine’s Garage is the tragic story of a well-intentioned women who found Oswald the job that put him six floors above Dealey Plaza – into which, on November 22, he fired a rifle he kept inside Mrs. Paine’s house. But this is also a tale of survival and resiliency: the story of a devote, open-hearted women who weathered a whirlwind of investigation, suspicion, and betrayal, and who refused to allow her enmeshment in the calamity of that November to crush her own life. Thomas Mallon gives us a disturbing account of generosity and secrets, of suppressed memories and tragic might-have-beens, of coincidences more errie than conspiracy theory…”


Rather than just throw every ironic coincidence into the pile, as Mallon tries to do, let’s at least try to determine the difference between the actual happenstance and the contrived incidences that are the earmarks of a covert operation and conspiracy. The idea of Six Degrees of Separation actually works, and anybody can make a connection between any two people through six or less connections, but there is a point when such connections are closer and less of a coincidence. While it may have been a coincidence, or rather, as Mallon puts it, “a little cosmic conjunction” that Mrs. Paine’s friend from Philadelphia, Raymond Entenmann, was at her home on Kennedy’s election night and was the last person to receive a telephone call from Kennedy before he was shot, it’s certainly more than a coincidence that Michael Paine’s mother was best friend and traveling companion with Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles’ agent and mistress who had been involved in a previous assassination plot and coup d’etat.

To paraphrase Allen Dulles himself, “The intelligence profession does not encourage one to accept coincidence as an explanation for events,” and as Ian Fleming once noted, there is a clear difference between coincidence, happenstance and “enemy action,” and we too, must be able to make that difference in order to understand these events.

So the lists of Lincoln-JFK assassination connections are merely coincidences of fate, while the purchase and movement of the alleged murder rifle was not. That Ruth Paine’s daughter lives within two miles of Caroline Kennedy is a coincidence, that the Oswalds lived with the Paines was not. That Michael Paine was talking about assassinations at the time of the murder may have been a coincidence, but that he was at work at Bell Helicopter was not. That George DeMohrnschildt was related to Jackie Kennedy is a coincidence, while the positioning of Oswald with the opportunity to kill the President was not. That the Paines lived across the street from members of Jack Ruby’s band was a coincidence, though Ruby’s murder of Oswald was not.


The entire premise of Mrs. Paine’s Garage rests on the assumption that Lee Harvey Oswald is the assassin of the President, but what if it can be convincingly demonstrated that Oswald didn’t shoot anybody that day, and the alleged murder weapon was purposely left at the scene to implicate him in the crime? It doesn’t make any sense for him, as many LNs contend, that he killed the President to make a name for himself in history, but then denied the deed. Why buy weapons through the mail with an alias and a traceable identification when you can walk into any gun shop or department store in Texas and buy a gun off the shelf without any i.d. or traceable paperwork, unless you intend to establish a paper trail? When the evidence is looked at more closely than Mallon sees it, it’s more than likely that Oswald was framed for the crime and was exactly what he claimed to be – “a patsy.”

But rather than take away the importance of Mrs. Paine’s role in the affair, “The Patsy’s Garage” makes its contents and owners even more significant, as only your friends can set you up and frame you for a crime you didn’t commit. Which brings us back to Michael and Ruth Paine, at whose home the accused assassin spent the night before the murder, and where the rifle, said have been used in the crime, was kept in the garage, even though no one ever admitted to ever actually seeing it there.

Although George Lardner of the Washington Post said in his review of Mallon’s book that the Paines weren’t questioned by the HSCA and ARRB because everyone was “satisfied with their Warren Commission testimony,” literally dozens of major issues remain unresolved, and the most frequent question the public asks Judge John Tunheim, the former chairman of the defunct Assassination Records Review Board, is why the Paines weren’t deposed and questioned under oath. Both Tunheim and Mallon try to answer this question, Tunheim’s being that the ARRB, like the HSCA, just didn’t have the time, while the real answer is that the government doesn’t have the institutional willingness to ask the questions that it doesn’t want answered.

That doesn’t prevent us from asking them however, and the list of questionable issues regarding the Paines is long, but one day they may be answered.

For beginners, to believe the Lone Nut thesis, you must assume that Oswald killed the President himself for his own perverted psychological reasons, that Oswald and his Russian wife met the Paines quite coincidently at a social party, that the Paines agreed to let Oswald’s family move into their home and obtain room and board and driving lessons in exchange for Russian language lessons, that Ruth and Michael Paine never knew anything about a rifle even though Ruth transported the gun in her car from Texas to New Orleans and back again and Michael packed and unpacked the car on both occasions, and that Oswald got the job at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) quite innocently through Mrs. Paine’s morning neighborhood coffee klatch.

Of course the entire Lone Nut scenario falls apart if any one of these “coincidences” can be shown not to be so coincidental, and in fact all of them can be proven to be contrived.


In order to address the most important issues I’ve set them up as Serials and placed them in the chronological order in which they occurred so we can better understand what is at stake, which is the bare bones, basic nature of democracy, truth and justice in America.

You would think that the first question would be how the Oswalds met the Paines, which was at a February 22, 1962 party [serial #1 – The Party], first suggested by George DeMohrnschildts to Volkmar Schmidt [Neither of whom appear in “Mrs. Paine’s Garage”] because DeMohrnschildt thought that it would be interesting for Lee Harvey Oswald to meet Michael Paine, both of whom were interested in discussing “ideology.”

DeMohrnschildt and Schmidt, were both oil geologists with an interest in politics and psychology. Schmidt worked for Magnolia Oil Co., as did most of those who attended the party at Schmidt’s house, which he shared with Everett Glover and two other men - son of Radio Free Europe director Norman Fredricksen and Richard Pierce, both of whom worked for Magnolia Oil and are also missing from Mallon’s “Garage.” Nor would Mallon be expected to know the interesting tidbit that the widow of the founder of Magnolia Oil married Jim Braden’s best friend, and Braden would be taken into custody as a suspicious person at Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination].

The odd thing about the party is that the host, Schmidt, and one of the guests of honor, Michael Paine, were no-shows, but Ruth Paine met Marina Oswald and they enjoyed talking together in Russian, setting up their relationship.

But there are at least two instances on record suggesting that there was a connection between Ruth Hyde Paine and Oswald before they met at this party, the first being Ohio police reports of Oswald attempting to enroll at Ruth Paine’s alma mater Antioch College, before he had a high school diploma. [serial # 2 Antioch]. The second instance is the Russian pen pal program that Ruth participated in [serial #3 Pen Pal]- Nina Aparina], a program that was monitored by the intelligence agencies and is said to have included others participants that knew of Oswald’s defection to Russia after he was discharged from the Marines. Then there’s Mrs. Marie Hyde [serial #4- Marie Hyde], who either is or is not related to Mrs. Ruth Hyde Paine, and who met Oswald in Russia twice, in a matter of a few days in two different cities, and was photographed with Oswald, a photo that ended up in the CIA photo archives.

[serial #5 Ruth Hyde’s family background] – Ruth’s father William Hyde, was an Ohio insurance executive who also worked for the government’s AID - Aid for International Development, for which DeMohrenschildt was associated and served as a notorious CIA cover agency, while her sister Sylvia was also affiliated with the CIA, and her brother, a doctor who lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, home of Antioch college, where Oswald is reported to have tried to enroll before joining the Marines.

But it really isn’t Mrs. Paine we should be interested in, it’s her husband Michael, who owned the house and garage and is the principle character worth writing a book about.

Michael Paine’s family [serial #6 Paine family] the Forbes and the Cabots, go back generations to the American revolution, with one ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence and another who was President Taft’s governor of the Philippines. His grandmother, and primary benefactor, had two brothers, one of whom was the President of United Fruit and the other an important State Department official 1948-1954 when U.S. covert action in Guatemala [OPERATION PB/SUCCESS] would set the pattern for what the CIA would later carry out successfully in Iran and unsuccessfully at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba.

Michael’s father, George Lyman Paine, would be at the other end of the political spectrum and help found the Trotskyite political party in the U.S. Somewhere in the middle, Michael would flunk out of Harvard and drift to Philadelphia, where he attended Swathmore, a Quaker college, and meet Ruth Hyde at a folk dance. Michael Paine and Ruth Hyde would become protégés of Michael’s mother, Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her husband Arthur Young, the inventor of the Bell Helicopter.

After spending time living in the Young’s barn (Where I’ve also spent some time), Michael and Ruth moved to Texas where Michael worked for Bell Helicopter. This company, founded by Michael’s stepfather, also employed former German Army Gen. Dornberger, who worked on the Nazi V-2 missile program with Weiner Von Braun. They were brought into the U.S. under the CIA’s PROJECT PAPERCLIP, which attempted to utilize the German scientific advances against the Russians during the Cold War. Arthur Young himself sported Quaker ideals, and was proud that his Bell 47b – the MASH helicopter, was used for medical evacuation, while at the same time developing interests in esoteric arts like mental telepathy and ESP. Ruth and Michael Paine also maintained their close ties to the Youngs and Micahel’s family on his mother’s side – the Forbes, as Mallon’s book attests.

Since Michael Paine didn’t meet Oswald at the previously arranged party, Ruth set up a dinner engagement for them to get acquainted, and since Oswald didn’t have a car, Michael drove from Irving to the Oswald’s apartment in Oak Cliff, Dallas, to pick them up. Although he didn’t mention it to the Warren Commission, a major bone of contention, Michael Paine did admit on a CBS TV special and to Mallon that he knew about the rifle from the first day he met Oswald because Oswald showed him the famous photo [serial #7 –Photo] later found in the Paine garage, of Oswald with the rifle, pistol and two communist publications, one “The Worker,” the official publication of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party.

Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the 1917 revolution and founder of the Communist Party in Russia, was exiled to Mexico City and executed there by Soviet trained assassin Ramon Mercader. Issac Don Levine, the epitome of the psych-warrior and Life magazine executive who bought the Zapruder film and the rights to Marina’s story, wrote the book on Trotsky’s assassin and exposed him as a Soviet agent. With Oswald however, he went the other way, and purposely failed to expose Oswald’s intelligence connections, branding him a lone-nut although for awhile, they were prepared to label him a Communists as well.

When Oswald and Michael Paine discussed this “Trotskyite” publication, Paine quoted Oswald as saying, “You have to read between the lines to understand what they want you do.” Well you have to read between the lines of Mallon’s book too, if you want to learn the truth, as I will try to fill in the blanks he leaves out.

That Michael Paine and Lee Oswald would talk about communist ideology is a given yet, it is inconceivable to me, that while talking about such “ideology,” as George DeMohrenschildt and Volkmar Schmidt expected them to do, [serial #8 –George Lyman Paine] Paine didn’t bother to tell Oswald, the self-proclaimed “Trotskite,” that his father – Lyman Paine was the founder of the Trotskite political party in the United States.

Both DeMohrenschiltd and Volkmar Schmidt, who met Oswald at another Magnolia Oil party, and Michael Paine, talked to Oswald about shooting General Walker [serial #9 – Walker Shooting], Schmidt before and DeMohrenschildt and Paine shortly after someone – ostensibly Oswald, took a pot shot and barely missed killing Walker.

After that incident Oswald decided to relocate back to his hometown New Orleans. When Mrs. Paine drove the family to the Dallas bus station, Mrs. Paine suddenly suggested that Marina and the baby stay with her until Oswald got settled with an apartment and a job and then she would drive them there, which was quickly agreed upon. Because Oswald didn’t take the rifle [serial #10 – Rifle] on the bus with him, Mrs. Paine must have drove the rifle to New Orleans, and then back again the following October, while Oswald went to Mexico City.

With her kids in the Chevy station wagon, Ruth Paine took a long cross country jaunt in the summer of 1963 [serial #11- Ruth’s Summer vacation & The Quaker Connections], visiting Quaker friends, spending time at the Forbes family island off Woods Hole, Mass., and visiting Michael’s mom and her husband Arthur Young, as well as her own family in Ohio. She wrote to Marina, asking her to come live with her in Texas, and asked Marina to respond by writing to her in care of Arthur Young, Paoli, Pa., a letter that ostensibly got through because Ruth stopped in New Orleans and picked up Marina, the baby and the Oswald’s belongings, including the rifle, and took them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico.

In Mexico City, Oswald was seen with another American, “Steve Kennan,” a Quaker student from Philadelphia [serial #12 – Steve Kennan] , who also wanted to go to Cuba, and who drove Oswald around town on the back of his motor bike. Now one thing Mrs. Paine and her Quaker friends have yet to be asked is whether they told Oswald about the Quaker hostel in Mexico City where Oswald met this fellow, or if anyone else knew him as well.

Michael Paine packed the car for the trip to New Orleans and unpacked it when they returned, yet testified he didn’t know there was a rifle among the effects, saying that he thought the gun wrapped in a blanket was “camping equipment,” which was kept stored in and frequently moved about the garage.

Mallon’s book has one photo – on the dust cover jacket – of Mrs. Paine, Marina Oswald and two children and Oswald’s mother Marguerite in the Paine kitchen, a nest of domestic tranquility amidst a scene of total national chaos, and where, if the Lone Nut thesis is correct, the plot was hatched to give the assassin the opportunity to kill the President of the United States. This was how the Paine’s neighbor, Lillie Mae Randle, over a cup of coffee, said that there was a job opening at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), where her brother worked. So Mrs. Paine called there and talked with Roy Truly, the same guy who would turn over Oswald’s name and Irving address to Capt. Fritz within fifteen minutes of the shooting.

A photo of the Paine garage shows how cluttered it actually was. One of the Paine’s three cars, a 1955 Chevy station wagon with a luggage rack on the roof, was kept parked in the driveway in front of the garage. [serial #13- Oswald’s Driving & cars]. Although it is often claimed Oswald didn’t drive, Mrs. Paine’s Warren Commission testimony is quite clear on this – she gave him lessons, he knew how to drive, he knew where she kept the keys to the car and he did drive, much to Mrs. Paine horror, sans insurance.

Among the other evidence found in the garage was [serial # 14 - Blanket] the blanket that that rifle was supposedly kept wrapped in, another photo of Oswald with the guns and magazines, and [serial #15 – Minox Cameras] a Minox camera, which Michael Paine later claimed as his own. In the house were other items of evidence, including a [serial #16 – Ruth’s typewriter] typewriter that Oswald used to write a letter to the Soviet Embassy, a book that contained [serial #17 – Letter] a letter Oswald wrote to Marina with instructions on what to do if he was caught after the Walker shooting incident, and one of three of [serial #18 – Wallets] Oswald’s wallets.

Then there’s what Mallon appropriately calls “The Limbo Hour,” between the time of the assassination and the apprehension of Oswald, to which Mallon only devotes a few paragraphs, but which actually deserves a book length treatise.

At some point in the proceedings Michael Paine is overheard talking on the telephone with either his father or his wife, and someone says that they know Oswald didn’t do it and know who is REALLY responsible, but we are left in the dark as to who that responsible party is. Mallon wants us to believe they were talking about the Soviets. Yea, right.


In a review of the evidence against Oswald, it’s apparent that it comes down to the rifle.

Although no one has said that they actually saw the rifle in the garage (except Marina who only saw a wood stock and couldn’t identify the alleged assassination weapon), the blanket the gun was supposedly wrapped in was mentioned by Michael Paine, Ruth Paine, Marina and the cops who searched the garage, but for some reason it wasn’t photographed before it was picked up “and fell limp” without the rifle or camping equipment. What should have caught the attention of homicide investigators, but isn’t mentioned in the Warren Report is the fact that the well oiled and greased gun that was wrapped in the “dusty” blanket for months not only didn’t have any clear fingerprints, but it didn’t have any microscopic fibers from the blanket, a practical impossibility.

If you read the Warren Report on the fiber evidence, they found ONE single fiber on the stock of the rifle that DID NOT match the blanket, even in color, but the FBI forensic lab specialist testified COULD HAVE come from the shirt Oswald had on at the time of his arrest. It’s just a shame he changed his shirt after the shooting so that wasn’t the shirt that he had on when JFK was shot. To me, that’s a plant, as the FBI didn’t know Oswald changed his shirt at the time.

While the photo of Oswald, the rifle, blanket and Oswald letters to Marina and the Soviet Embassy are discussed in Mallon’s book, the Minox cameras, multiple wallets and other mysteries and questionable points are ignored completely.


Nor does Mallon bring out the full character in the slew of interesting characters that populate this story, beginning with Ruth and Michael Paine, Michael Paine’s father Lyman Paine and mother – Ruth Forbes Paine Young, her friend and traveling companion Mary Bancroft, Michael’s main mentor, step-father and Bell Helicopter inventor Arthur Young, Marina’s biographer Priscilla Johnson McMillan, and their joint association with the World Federalists. Anyone interested in these people would also want to learn more about the founder of the World Federalists, Cord Meyer, Jr., who became head of the CIA’s domestic contacts division and later International Organizations Division chief under Alan Dulles.

One thing Mallon’s book is quite clear on is that both Ruth and Michael Paine looked towards Michael’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her husband Arthur Young, as mentors for advice and guidance. Though you can’t find the Youngs listed in any of the assassination books, other than one line in Gerald Ford’s Portrait of the Assassin, [An example of Peter Dale Scott’s “negative template” hypothesis in which the least mentioned are the most significant], the Youngs directed much of the Paine’s critical actions, from moving from Philadelphia to Texas to work at Bell Hell, taking in Marina and Oswald’s family to the proper way to handle the spin on affairs after the assassination. It is Michael’s mother who helped establish the Philadelphia chapter and supported the World Federalists and the International Peace Academy at the UN, about which there has been little research done and where much of the backchannel JFK-Castro intrigue took place. Also among those whose post assassination advice Ruth Paine obtained was from Norman Cousins, the editor who they knew, according to Mallon, from the World Federalists.

The bottom line is that if JFK was killed by a lone, deranged nut case, then the President’s death would be an accidental, unconnected anomaly and unrelated to the policies, politics and character of the man or the office of the Presidency. We have such killers in our history – such as Howard Unruh, who snapped and killed 13 neighbors in a killing spree, and others, but Oswald isn’t one of those type of killers, as Ruth and Michael Paine and practically everyone who knew him has acknowledged.

If the accused assassin is Lee Harvey Oswald – the former Civil Air Patrol cadet, USMC radar operator trained in electronics, interrogation techniques and the Russian language, the guy who owned a Minox camera, defected to Soviet Russia, lived there for two years and returned with a Russian wife, went to Mexico City and knew exposed covert operators like David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, George DeMohrenschildt, Carlos Bringuier, Volkmar Schmidt, took a pot shot at General Walker and killed President Kennedy - all before he was 24 years old, then the assassination MO – modus operandi was that of a clear and clean cut covert operation conducted by an state controlled intelligence network. If Oswald had anything at all to do with the assassination, he fits the Operational Profile and could not and did not commit the assassination on his own, as all intelligence analysts knew from the moment they learned his background.

As Ruth Paine herself briefly suspected, and as she testified to the Warren Commission, Oswald didn’t “live” on Neeley Street, but like an agent, he was “operating from a base at 214 Neeley Street,” and posed the question herself: “I may say, also, I wondered, as I had already indicated to the Commission, I had wondered, from time to time, whether this (Lee Harvey Oswald) was a man who was working as a spy or in any way (was) a threat to the nation, and this thought,…I am interested to know if this is a real thing or something unreal. And I waited to see if I would learn anymore about it. But this thought crossed my mind.”

I too am interested to know if this is a real thing or something unreal, and would like to learn more about it, as this same thought has crossed my mind, and I look forward to having Michael and Ruth Paine help answer the important outstanding questions. But since the answers aren’t in Mallon’s book, we’ll have to look for the truth somewhere else.

LNs vs. CTs.

It’s not only the lack of the really pertinent information that makes Mallon’s book bad, but I also take exception of his characterizations of people who know there was a conspiracy. He doesn’t like those who recognize that Mrs. Paine is as much a pawn as Oswald, and are thus suspicious of her, including those who are so easily disparaged such as Oswald’s mother Margurete, who he never met, and his brother Robert, who wouldn’t talk with him, and Sue Wheaton. Wheaton is an American citizen who knew Ruth Paine in Nicaragua and objected to her keeping track of those who attended certain meetings in a country that was torn by revolution and civil war. While Mallon tries to paint Wheaton as a CT by calling her “an American aid worker in Central America who had been influenced by the writings of A.J. Weberman – co author of Coup d’Etat in America…” she’s just an American citizen seeking social justice in a third world country who read a book, and felt threatened by Paine and her associate, who identified himself as affiliated with the ubiquitous Antioch College. Paine’s excuse is, “I tend to take photographs and try to remember names…And that made them extremely nervous.” Indeed.

While I take odds with Mallon over his slipshod treatment of sincere citizens who feel threatened by Mrs. Paine and her Antioch cronies, I take offense at Mallon’s attitude and description of the independent researchers, many of whom are my friends and associates who have kept this case alive today. To develop this attitude Mallon checks in with John McAdams, a Marquette professor who “sees most CT’s playing a ‘kind of parlor game’ that American democracy is ‘robust’ enough to put up with.” Instead of trying to solve the murder the government refuses to, and attempt to restore a lost democracy as well as reveal how the coup took place so it can’t happen again, McAdams and Mallon believe we are merely playing a game of “Clue.”

Well, in serious academic and research circles “Professor” McAdams is clueless, he’s a conspiracy denier who is looked upon as a quack, and his web site of disinformation is a source no one in their right mind would use, even for a term paper. McAdams once tried to “infiltrate” a Coalition On Political Assassination (COPA) conference in Washington D.C. “posing” as a CT, but was exposed when a Washington Post reporter decided to interview him as a typical attendee. Talk about cosmic coincidences.

Mallon takes his readers to a JFK assassination conference, a JFK LANCER conference in Dallas which he characterizes as like a (Star) - “Trekie” convention. There, he manages to disparage the closest witness to the assassination, the late Jean Hill, put down retired English police officer Ian Griggs, who “rises for an almost heroically irrelevant presentation,” Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko for her “exceptionally rangy performance,” and he takes on Larry Hancock, “who brings out the Mafia theory.” Then there’s Carol Hewett, who is not “so friendly as she appears, with her short frosted-blonde hair and small-businesswomen’s manner.”

Well Jean Hill, as a school teacher and a real hero to her students as well as to many of the students of the assassination, spoke the truth as she knew it, a concept Mallon fails to grasp. Ian Griggs [see: web sites re: garage photos, Ruby strippers, et al.] has explored many of the most significant aspects of the assassination from a police officer’s perspective, and has repeatedly broken new ground in filling in the empty blanks left by official investigators. Anna Marie was one of the first researchers to actually go to the National Archives JFK Assassination collection, ask for and read the documents released under the JFK Act, and through informative articles in research publications such as The Fourth Decade, she revealed what she found and taught other new researchers who followed her the correct rules and procedures.

Larry Hancock is just now completing a new manuscript on John Martino, the mob and CIA associate who had foreknowledge of the assassination and knew of the role the anti-Castro Cubans played in setting up Oswald, but I’m sure it won’t be as easy for Larry to find a publisher as it was for Mallon, even though Hancock actually uses footnotes and cites his sources.

And finally, though others feel slighted that Mallon didn’t disparage them too, there’s Carol Hewett, Esq., a Florida attorney, who has spent the best part of the past decade researching the background of Ruth and Michael Paine with a small group of other researchers, including Barbara LaMonica, Steve Barber and Bruce Adams. The bottom line of the Paine Project report, published in part in various research publications (i.e. Probe ), is that there’s more to the Paines than meets the eye, and they’ve yet to come clean on the whole affair of their involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy. And Mallon’s Garage doesn’t even scratch the surface.

If any one of those truly independent researchers mentioned and disparaged by Mallon had received a grant or fellowship from Guggenheim as he did, we would have a much better understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy. Personally, I would like to receive such a grant to study how the CIA funded it’s covert operations through funneling millions of tax dollars through the private foundation system that included the San Jacinto Fund, the Catherwood Foundation, the H. Smith Richardson Foundation that are connected to the assassination of President Kennedy, and other such similar entities like Guggenheim, that now apparently continue to fund such half-truth propaganda as Mallon’s Garage.


Mallon has some unkind words for Philadelphia attorney Vincent Salandria, who he can’t seem to mention without linking to New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, even though Salandria began writing about the assassination before they even issued the Warren Report. And while Garrison did call and question Ruth Paine before a Grand Jury, as they did before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and the Warren Commission, they too failed to ask, let alone answer, any of the outstanding questions we are still waiting to be asked.

If Mallon really wanted to learn something about the assassination, he could have went to the November, 1998 COPA conference in Dallas. The Coalition On Political Assassinations is not a group of “Trekies,” but rather an association of doctors, lawyers, journalists and ordinary citizens who have continued to research and investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, as well as other political assassinations. Three board members of COPA – Professor Phil Melanson, former FBI agent William Turner and Dr. Cyril Wecht have been interviewed by CNN as professional specialists shortly after the September 11th terrorists attacks. The 1998 COPA conference, on the 35th anniversary of the assassination, took place not far from Dealey Plaza and included a keynote speech by Salandria in which he called for justice and the indictment of Ruth and Michael Paine. [Nov. 20, 1998; See: Fair Play].

In his speech Salandria said: “…Oswald’s family was brought to the Dallas area by Ruth Paine. Ruth Paine had been instrumental in getting Oswald a job at the Texas School Book Depository. The Manlicher Carcano, the alleged murder rifle, had supposedly been stored in a garage at the Paines. Following the assassination, Ruth Paine was called by Oswald during his detention to have her obtain a lawyer for him, a task which she failed to complete much to the benefit of the assassins.”

“Once a conspiracy was deemed to exist, the Paines had to be viewed as having been involved in it. An assassination Gestalt with the patsy serving as a lightning rod, cannot be successfully completed unless the patsy is delivered to the scene of the killing. Ruth Paine accomplished the crucial twin assassination tasks of getting Oswald into the Dallas area and arranging him to get him a job in the Texas School Book Depository building. Therefore the Paines, albet on a need-to-know basis, were involved in the plot.”

“In whose service were the Paine’s?… Ruth and Michael Paine could not have been Soviet, Castro or Mafia agents. They had to be agents of the killing force, our U.S. intelligence. If they had a been Soviet or Castro agents, an innocent government would have swooped down on them and seen them as clear beacons leading to the killers. Our government did not cause them any trouble. The Paines are criminal co-conspirators to the killing of President Kennedy and would and should now be prosecuted by a guiltless government.”

“There is no rational manner in which we can strip away the guilt…The government’s consistent criminal pattern of ignoring a whole series of data indicating conspiracy and constantly twisting the meaning of the evidence to suggest a single assassin scenario compels the conclusions that the U.S. national security state killed John F. Kennedy….The effect of the government’s deceit has been to create a confused and extremely protracted debate designed to hide the simple truth…The government has served on us, the people, who have always by a large majority disbelieved the Warren Report, a notice that we are powerless….We cannot consider ourselves a free and democratic people until we understand and address the evil nature of the …power that murdered President Kennedy. We can no longer afford to shield ourselves by asserting that the murder of JFK is a mystery. There is no mystery regarding how, by whom and why President Kennedy was killed…”

Now we need a Congressional hearing or an independent Grand Jury to subpoena the Paines and other important witnesses that have yet to be properly deposed, place them under oath and ask them reasonable and responsible questions that the Warren Commission, Mallon and everyone else has failed to ask, let alone answer.

William E. Kelly, Jr. is a freelance journalist, co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives, member of the Coalition On Political Assassinations, and author of two regional history books, 300 Years at the Point and Birth of the Birdie. His research on the assassination of President Kennedy is supported in part by a grant from the Fund for Constitutional Government Investigative Journalism Project.


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Thanks, Bill!

Even though I intuited correctly, that Ms. Paines Garage was going to be a "Lewis-Carrol Production," I actually took the time to read it from beginning to end.

Even though what I am writing is ultimately just "my opinion." That book is the single most perverted propaganda piece to have been written and reach the masses since the day's when all the major American media mouthpieces were publishing their "assenting, salutations" for the, then recently released Warren Commission Report. My suggestion for reading the newspapers these day's when it comes to mainstream editorial/op-ed/AP/UPI stories that have anything to do with the Bush administration, is to keep a copy of George Orwell's "1984" handy as a reference guide.

Final Thought

An old Dylan song, for us who have lived through the last few decades resonates with the following lines.

Senor, Senor do you know where were headin, Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?.......Seems like I've been done this way before, Is there any truth in that Senor?......Well, the last thing I remember before I stripped and kneeled

Was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field.

A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring

Said, "Son, this ain't a dream no more, it's the real thing."

Senor, senor, you know their hearts is as hard as leather.

Well, give me a minute, let me get it together.

I just gotta pick myself up off the floor.

I'm ready when you are, senor.

Senor, senor, let's disconnect these cables,

Overturn these tables.

This place don't make sense to me no more.

Can you tell me what we're waiting for, senor?

From -Blood On the Tracks

Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)

Copyright © 1978 Special Rider Music

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