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Ruby and Oswald Together in Key West?


Tim Gratz
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What rekindled my interest in the assassination was reading Gaeton Fonzi's book, "The Last Investigation", and in particular Chapter Seve, Searching for Ghosts in Key West. In that chapter, Fonzi tells the story of his week-long visit to Key West in 1975 when he was on the staff of the Church Committee, to investigate the report of the former manager of the Key West airport that, in the summer of 1963 he had seen LHO and Jack Ruby at the airport, waiting for a plane to Cuba. I think that the airport manager was the most reputable witness to a pre-assassination connection between LHO and Ruby. Curiously, I have not seen this story reported in any of the assassination literature other than Fonzi's book. I would like to solicit comments from Forum members what you think of the story.

Mark Howell of the Key West newspaper and I researched the story, including interviewing the manager's widow (who had entertained Fonzi in their home) and a former sports reporter who had accompanied the airport manager on a trip to Cuba for fishing (but the airport manager used it for a little surveillance and was briefly detained by the Cuban police).

Here is a link to our story about Oswald and Ruby at the Key West airport:

http://cuban-exile.com/photo/jfk/KW-JFK2003nov23.pdf

WARNING: BECAUSE IT IS A PDF FILE, WITH PHOTOS, IT TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO OPEN.

Permit me to comment why I want to solicit your assessment of Faraldo's story.

In Fonzi's book he indicates a certain wariness of Faraldo's story. I think he puts it that he was "not sure what to make of it". Part of his ambiguity is that he believed Faraldo had ties to the CIA (and Mrs. Faraldo seemed to verify that when we met with her).

Is there any reason the CIA would want to promote such a story in the mid-seventies?

Moreover, Faraldo had told the story to others much earlier. Quite sure Mrs. Faraldo said he discussed it with her shortly after the assassination. And he had told the story to a Miami tv reporter while the Garrison investigation was in the news.

So Faraldo's connections, if any, to the CIA seem irrelevant to an assessment of the veracity of his story. And there is no indication he ever used the story in an attempt to gain personal attention or financial advantage.

In any event, does any Forum member see any reason to disbelieve his story? I suppose one reason would be if LHO's known whereabouts in the time period involved would prohibit him spending a day at the Key West airport, followed by a day in Cuba.

Again, I would appreciate your comments not only because the story is of personal interest to me (turns out I had lived within four houses of the Faraldos' house) but also because, if true, it is, I think, a very strong indication of a conspiracy.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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What rekindled my interest in the assassination was reading Gaeton Fonzi's book, "The Last Investigation", and in particular Chapter Seve, Searching for Ghosts in Key West.  In that chapter, Fonzi tells the story of his week-long visit to Key West in 1975 when he was on the staff of the Church Committee, to investigate the report of the former manager of the Key West airport that, in the summer of 1963 he had seen LHO and Jack Ruby at the airport, waiting for a plane to Cuba.  I think that the airport manager was the most reputable witness to a pre-assassination connection between LHO and Ruby.  Curiously, I have not seen this story reported in any of the assassination literature other than Fonzi's book.  I would like to solicit comments from Forum members what you think of the story. 

Mark Howell of the Key West newspaper and I researched the story, including interviewing the manager's widow (who had entertained Fonzi in their home) and a former sports reporter who had accompanied the airport manager on a trip to Cuba for fishing (but the airport manager used it for a little surveillance and was briefly detained by the Cuban police).

Here is a link to our story about Oswald and Ruby at the Key West airport:

http://cuban-exile.com/photo/jfk/KW-JFK2003nov23.pdf

WARNING:  BECAUSE IT IS A PDF FILE, WITH PHOTOS, IT TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO OPEN.

Tim: Some years ago this copy of letter was sent to me by an investigator from Austin Texas. It is sealed along with other important documents with my attorney in Colorado. I thought you might find it of interest, in view of your current interest.

Bob: June transcribed this for you. I hope all is well. Please write and let us know what is going on. Thanks Don.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

CERTIFIED COPY and REGISTERED #7506-9341

April 10,1975

Dear Smithy;

It was good to hear from you. It has been awhile. I am glad to hear Susan is doing fine after her surgery.

You ask me about the airport in Key West and Jack Ruby. I can’t remember the name of the manager off hand, but I first heard the story from Chubby Weiner of Starlight Cruisers out on Marathon. He knew the pilot who was going to fly Jack and others to Cuba. That was in the early summer of 1963. The pilot was Bill Pearson and he had a room at the old Jack Tarrs ( now the Salty Dog I think) across from the airport at Marathon. Hank Mitchell, I think was his name, had a small fleet of airplanes based there and Bill was one of his part time pilots. It was local knowledge that Pearson was CIA and had worked with the Cubans a few years ago in Miami. He used to fly the Texaco PBY Catalina down here from Miami into Cuba but that was to help Castro before he came into power. Before 1959. I remember when they painted the seaplane plane black. Bill also flew the black P-51 that was such a hit down here around that time. He used to fly it upside down over hiway 1 and Marathon then land. They were a routtie bunch of young men and never paid their bills, but the bills always got paid by someone else, somehow.

I am not sure what happen to the Jack Ruby matter, but there were a lot of investigators from Congress down here a few months ago. And they asked a lot of questions about that story and other things about Plum Key and the raid that Puto was in. I can’t recall their names on when the last time they were here. The FBI did talk to Chubby and he was a little shook up about that. He did tell them, or he told me he told them he saw Oswelld in the summer of 1963 at the Key West airport but he did not or could not identifie Ruby with him. After that things got real quite around here and people just left?

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help Smithy, but I never thought much about the story. There are so many stories about all that and it twist the mind if you believe all of um. Tell Sue Hi and you guys come down and see us soon. Write or call. Larry.

[ This was transcribed from a hand written letter from Larry Green of Key West, Florida to Smithy Parks in Indiana PA., in 1975] The subject was about a question Mr.Green asked Mr. Parks about Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald.

The original letter and post mark are sealed and recorded and on file with Attorney, Don Johnston, Pine Junction, Colorado (also recordered in Park County, Colorado, 1999 B-1017)

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What rekindled my interest in the assassination was reading Gaeton Fonzi's book, "The Last Investigation", and in particular Chapter Seve, Searching for Ghosts in Key West.  In that chapter, Fonzi tells the story of his week-long visit to Key West in 1975 when he was on the staff of the Church Committee, to investigate the report of the former manager of the Key West airport that, in the summer of 1963 he had seen LHO and Jack Ruby at the airport, waiting for a plane to Cuba.  I think that the airport manager was the most reputable witness to a pre-assassination connection between LHO and Ruby.  Curiously, I have not seen this story reported in any of the assassination literature other than Fonzi's book.  I would like to solicit comments from Forum members what you think of the story. 

Mark Howell of the Key West newspaper and I researched the story, including interviewing the manager's widow (who had entertained Fonzi in their home) and a former sports reporter who had accompanied the airport manager on a trip to Cuba for fishing (but the airport manager used it for a little surveillance and was briefly detained by the Cuban police).

Here is a link to our story about Oswald and Ruby at the Key West airport:

http://cuban-exile.com/photo/jfk/KW-JFK2003nov23.pdf

WARNING:  BECAUSE IT IS A PDF FILE, WITH PHOTOS, IT TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO OPEN.

Tim: Some years ago this copy of letter was sent to me by an investigator from Austin Texas. It is sealed along with other important documents with my attorney in Colorado. I thought you might find it of interest, in view of your current interest.

Bob: June transcribed this for you. I hope all is well. Please write and let us know what is going on. Thanks Don.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

CERTIFIED COPY and REGISTERED #7506-9341

April 10,1975

Dear Smithy;

It was good to hear from you. It has been awhile. I am glad to hear Susan is doing fine after her surgery.

You ask me about the airport in Key West and Jack Ruby. I can’t remember the name of the manager off hand, but I first heard the story from Chubby Weiner of Starlight Cruisers out on Marathon. He knew the pilot who was going to fly Jack and others to Cuba. That was in the early summer of 1963. The pilot was Bill Pearson and he had a room at the old Jack Tarrs ( now the Salty Dog I think) across from the airport at Marathon. Hank Mitchell, I think was his name, had a small fleet of airplanes based there and Bill was one of his part time pilots. It was local knowledge that Pearson was CIA and had worked with the Cubans a few years ago in Miami. He used to fly the Texaco PBY Catalina down here from Miami into Cuba but that was to help Castro before he came into power. Before 1959. I remember when they painted the seaplane plane black. Bill also flew the black P-51 that was such a hit down here around that time. He used to fly it upside down over hiway 1 and Marathon then land. They were a routtie bunch of young men and never paid their bills, but the bills always got paid by someone else, somehow.

I am not sure what happen to the Jack Ruby matter, but there were a lot of investigators from Congress down here a few months ago. And they asked a lot of questions about that story and other things about Plum Key and the raid that Puto was in. I can’t recall their names on when the last time they were here. The FBI did talk to Chubby and he was a little shook up about that. He did tell them, or he told me he told them he saw Oswelld in the summer of 1963 at the Key West airport but he did not or could not identifie Ruby with him. After that things got real quite around here and people just left?

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help Smithy, but I never thought much about the story. There are so many stories about all that and it twist the mind if you believe all of um. Tell Sue Hi and you guys come down and see us soon. Write or call. Larry.

[ This was transcribed from a hand written letter from Larry Green of Key West, Florida to Smithy Parks in Indiana PA., in 1975] The subject was about a question Mr.Green asked Mr. Parks about Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald.

The original letter and post mark are sealed and recorded and on file with Attorney, Don Johnston, Pine Junction, Colorado (also recordered in Park County, Colorado, 1999 B-1017)

* * * * * * * *

Thanks for the information!. Most interesting! As you know if you read Fonzi's book he and Faraldo spent a great deak of time looking for flight manifests and other information to verify a plane trip to Cuba but were unable to find any. (Some had been destroyed, as I recall, in a storm.) Do you have any info re who Mr. Green and Mr. Parks were?

If Faraldo's story was correct (and I tend to believe it was) it certainly is strong indication of a conspiracy.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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* * * * * * * *

Thanks for the information!. Most interesting! As you know if you read Fonzi's book he and Faraldo spent a great deak of time looking for flight manifests and other information to verify a plane trip to Cuba but were unable to find any. (Some had been destroyed, as I recall, in a storm.) Do you have any info re who Mr. Green and Mr. Parks were?

If Faraldo's story was correct (and I tend to believe it was) it certainly is strong indication of a conspiracy.

I did talk to a few investigators in 1975, in Phoenix and Washington D.C. There were some flight logs for a D-18 that belong to Steve Guthrie but it could not be proven that the aircraft went to Cuba. I told most of those people (investigators) they were going about it all wrong. We slipped into Cuba, secret and records were not kept, nor were flight plans. We had the radar time tables for the AIDZ and we would fly under them or between them on there overlaps.

Most of the airport logs at Marathon and Key West were lost. However most all trips to Cuba were not direct from Key West or Marathon. Sometimes a flight plan would be filed for Bimini and after about a hour we would cut south low and slow (for fuel) and make our way to Cuba. A secord aircraft a piggy back or tail end Charlie, would land at Bimini and close out the flight plan. Sometimes we almost hit the mast of frighters at sea in the Florida Strights, we were so low. We lost two aircraft that flew into the ocean at night in light fog and rain.

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What rekindled my interest in the assassination was reading Gaeton Fonzi's book, "The Last Investigation", and in particular Chapter Seve, Searching for Ghosts in Key West.  In that chapter, Fonzi tells the story of his week-long visit to Key West in 1975 when he was on the staff of the Church Committee, to investigate the report of the former manager of the Key West airport that, in the summer of 1963 he had seen LHO and Jack Ruby at the airport, waiting for a plane to Cuba.  I think that the airport manager was the most reputable witness to a pre-assassination connection between LHO and Ruby.  Curiously, I have not seen this story reported in any of the assassination literature other than Fonzi's book.  I would like to solicit comments from Forum members what you think of the story. 

Mark Howell of the Key West newspaper and I researched the story, including interviewing the manager's widow (who had entertained Fonzi in their home) and a former sports reporter who had accompanied the airport manager on a trip to Cuba for fishing (but the airport manager used it for a little surveillance and was briefly detained by the Cuban police).

Here is a link to our story about Oswald and Ruby at the Key West airport:

http://cuban-exile.com/photo/jfk/KW-JFK2003nov23.pdf

WARNING:  BECAUSE IT IS A PDF FILE, WITH PHOTOS, IT TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO OPEN.

Tim: Some years ago this copy of letter was sent to me by an investigator from Austin Texas. It is sealed along with other important documents with my attorney in Colorado. I thought you might find it of interest, in view of your current interest.

Bob: June transcribed this for you. I hope all is well. Please write and let us know what is going on. Thanks Don.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

CERTIFIED COPY and REGISTERED #7506-9341

April 10,1975

Dear Smithy;

It was good to hear from you. It has been awhile. I am glad to hear Susan is doing fine after her surgery.

You ask me about the airport in Key West and Jack Ruby. I can’t remember the name of the manager off hand, but I first heard the story from Chubby Weiner of Starlight Cruisers out on Marathon. He knew the pilot who was going to fly Jack and others to Cuba. That was in the early summer of 1963. The pilot was Bill Pearson and he had a room at the old Jack Tarrs ( now the Salty Dog I think) across from the airport at Marathon. Hank Mitchell, I think was his name, had a small fleet of airplanes based there and Bill was one of his part time pilots. It was local knowledge that Pearson was CIA and had worked with the Cubans a few years ago in Miami. He used to fly the Texaco PBY Catalina down here from Miami into Cuba but that was to help Castro before he came into power. Before 1959. I remember when they painted the seaplane plane black. Bill also flew the black P-51 that was such a hit down here around that time. He used to fly it upside down over hiway 1 and Marathon then land. They were a routtie bunch of young men and never paid their bills, but the bills always got paid by someone else, somehow.

I am not sure what happen to the Jack Ruby matter, but there were a lot of investigators from Congress down here a few months ago. And they asked a lot of questions about that story and other things about Plum Key and the raid that Puto was in. I can’t recall their names on when the last time they were here. The FBI did talk to Chubby and he was a little shook up about that. He did tell them, or he told me he told them he saw Oswelld in the summer of 1963 at the Key West airport but he did not or could not identifie Ruby with him. After that things got real quite around here and people just left?

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help Smithy, but I never thought much about the story. There are so many stories about all that and it twist the mind if you believe all of um. Tell Sue Hi and you guys come down and see us soon. Write or call. Larry.

[ This was transcribed from a hand written letter from Larry Green of Key West, Florida to Smithy Parks in Indiana PA., in 1975] The subject was about a question Mr.Green asked Mr. Parks about Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald.

The original letter and post mark are sealed and recorded and on file with Attorney, Don Johnston, Pine Junction, Colorado (also recordered in Park County, Colorado, 1999 B-1017)

_______________________________________-

Wow, flying upside down yet, you're making me very dizzy:))

Dawn

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