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Lucille Connell's testimony about April 10th, 1963


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I am trying to keep my mind off other things right now and thought I would present this to the Forum.  In my research, I found that Lucille Connell, a good friend of Sylvia Odio and Father Machann, testified to the WC that Sylvia Odio went to the Lakewood Theater with her younger sister Annie and her cousin, Marcella Insua.  During the movie, Sylvia said she had to go to the Ladies Room, but never came back.  Alarmed, Annie and Marcella searched for her frantically.  They then called Lucille Connell who called Father Machann to see if he knew where she was.  She was found wandering around the Turtle Creek area.  Now, the thing is, who picked her up?  How did she get there?  And why isn't there a record of this? This was April 10th, 1963.  The same date LHO allegedly took a shot at Walker.  The police picked Odio up and took her to Connell's home.  I asked the DPD, FOIA'ed, everything I could do to find evidence of this.  Does anyone else have any info?   I checked the KENNEDY RIPPLES thread to see if I could find any more info but to no avail.  I wrote a chapter I left out of my last book about all this because I couldn't find supporting evidence, just hearsay with no police report.

 

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ooh, I forgot to add this.  When I interviewed Faith Leicht before she passed away, she mentioned this story to me as well.  In the torchy romance novel, KENNEDY RIPPLES, Faith Leicht is the person Marianne Sullivan refers to as "HOPE".

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Can’t help you Gayle, but it sure is an interesting story. If you had to speculate, what do you think happened to Silvia on April 10, 1963? 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/16/2021 at 1:41 PM, Paul Brancato said:

Can’t help you Gayle, but it sure is an interesting story. If you had to speculate, what do you think happened to Silvia on April 10, 1963? 

Hi Mr. Brancato,

I think there was MUCH more to the DRE/JURE Silvia and her sister Sarita were dabbling in. Sarita did much more dabbling.  Was Silvia there because she was aware of the Walker shooting?  Had her sister Sarita told her?  I just don't know why she would be there.  It was so far away from where she was that evening and definitely too far away from her home in Oak Cliff.  

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On 7/16/2021 at 9:46 AM, Gayle Nix Jackson said:

I am trying to keep my mind off other things right now and thought I would present this to the Forum.  In my research, I found that Lucille Connell, a good friend of Sylvia Odio and Father Machann, testified to the WC that Sylvia Odio went to the Lakewood Theater with her younger sister Annie and her cousin, Marcella Insua.  During the movie, Sylvia said she had to go to the Ladies Room, but never came back.  Alarmed, Annie and Marcella searched for her frantically.  They then called Lucille Connell who called Father Machann to see if he knew where she was.  She was found wandering around the Turtle Creek area.  Now, the thing is, who picked her up?  How did she get there?  And why isn't there a record of this? This was April 10th, 1963.  The same date LHO allegedly took a shot at Walker.  The police picked Odio up and took her to Connell's home.  I asked the DPD, FOIA'ed, everything I could do to find evidence of this.  Does anyone else have any info?   I checked the KENNEDY RIPPLES thread to see if I could find any more info but to no avail.  I wrote a chapter I left out of my last book about all this because I couldn't find supporting evidence, just hearsay with no police report.

 

 

Hi Gayle--I loved your book, Pieces of the Puzzle (2017). in your description of this incident on p. 299 (quoted below) you indicate two sources for the story, one being testimony of Lucille Connell, and the other being what Faith Leicht told you. Since part of the story was a phone call to Father Machann attempting to locate Silvia on the night of the Walker shooting, you asked Father Machann if he could verify that, but Father Machann answered he knew nothing about it.

My question is, when you say 'I'm reading Lucille Connell's testimony about Silvia . . . She mentions a time with Silvia at the movies . . ." -- do you remember what testimony that was and where you read that? (It cannot have been classified if you read it?) I know Lucille Connell was interviewed by the FBI almost immediately, but I cannot find any Warren Commission testimony at all for Lucille Connell, and I cannot verify the Lakewood Theater story in any of the FBI interview reports or later HSCA reporting on Lucille Connell. Could it be possible that your reference in your interview with Father Machann (below) to reading testimony of Lucille Connell, was perhaps some confusion with the anecdote Faith Leicht told you? If it is distinctly memorable to you that you read words of Lucille Connell telling this story and that there were these two, not just one, sources for you telling the Lakewood Theater story, are you able to remember if the "April 10" and "Turtle Creek" elements of the story were in which one, or both, of those sources to you? Do you have notes or recording of Faith Leicht telling you the story that would be able to verify Faith Leicht's inclusion of those details? Can you say approximately how many years after 1963 when Faith Leicht told you that story?

The weak points of the story to me are the inability to verify the specifics of testimony of Lucille Connell; Father Machann's rather emphatic denial that his role in the story ever happened; and your being unable to find other verification.

As a conjecture concerning how the story came about--no idea if this is right but just trying to make sense of it--would it be possible that: (a) Lucille Connell, known otherwise to have been reported by FBI to have made early claims that, according to the later Gaeton Fonzi/HSCA, Lucille Connell subsequently failed to confirm, things which were fairly clearly not true to begin with years before Lucille Connell said she did not remember telling FBI what FBI reported she had said; (b) in that context the present story may possibly be another doubtful Lucille Connell-originated story? and (c) Faith Leicht learned the story from Lucille Connell and Faith Leicht had no independent knowledge of the story other than from Lucille Connell? 

Separate question, as long as you are here: do you know if anyone, in all of history, has ever interviewed Robert Schmidt (Larrie's brother), the one who worked for General Walker? He may still be alive. Is there any chance you could obtain an interview with Robert even at this late date? Anyway thanks for the great interviews and digging you did in Pieces of the Puzzle, so interesting to read.

 

GAYLE: I have a big question to ask you and I’m going to try not to put you on the spot. I’m reading Lucille Connell’s testimony about Silvia. That’s why I asked about her earlier. She mentions a time with Silvia at the movies. Silvia, Marcella and Annie went to the movies near your office in Lakewood. Faith Leicht told me this story. She said that while the three were at the movies, Silvia said she would be right back. They figured she was going to the restroom. She didn’t show up after the movie was over. Do you know what I’m talking about yet? 
MACHANN: No, No. 
GAYLE: Well, Faith said that they later found Silvia wandering around Turtle Creek near General Walker’s home. This was April 10th of 1963. Faith said that Annie called you to see if you knew where Silvia was and then called Lucille Connell. They then called the police. The police picked her up on Turtle Creek and took her to Lucille Connell’s home. Do you know anything about that? April 10th was the date someone took a shot at General Walker while he was in his home office on Turtle Creek. 
MACHANN: I don’t think that happened. I think that must be made up. I don’t remember anyone ever calling me about Silvia
GAYLE: Well I brought you a present. (I give him the Silvia book) Look what I brought you!

 

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Hi Greg!

Thank you so much for your questions and for reading our book.  Most of my research is in a storage building, but I'm just now reading this so I'm going to go through several files I have here and see if I can give you the information you're asking me.  Faith Leicht told me the story first, about 6 years ago.  Unfortunately, she passed away.  I then found the Connell testimony and you know, what...it may be HSCA testimony (I know I should know that off the top of my head) Anyway, Dave Perry works with a suburban Police department and when I found this information, I immediately begged him to snoop around because the DPD told me they had no records going that far back.  He came up empty as well.  In a REALLY long answer here, i haven't answered a thing, but give me a bit of time and I'll find those files for you!  As for Father Machann saying he thought the story was made up, why would Lucille and Faith say the same thing?  They weren't even friends!  Faith and Marianne Rahmes (aka Sullivan) were friends and Father Machann remembers Faith well.  He also didn't remember Trudi and Colonel Castorr which I find odd.  Your conjecture could be right, but why would Lucille say that?  She too had a crush on Father Machann and eventually took him on a trip to Connecticut I think.  She, though friends with Silvia, was jealous of her too.

Be back with more info!

 

Gayle

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My notes must be in storage Greg, 

I'll get them as soon as I can.  I do remember though, how this line of research progressed.  Marie Fonzi, one of the most wonderful people in the world and the late Gaeton Fonzi's wife answered several of my questions regarding Silvia and Lucille through his notes.  Then I found a transcript of a tape that the late Harold Weisberg made of his interviews with Trudi and Colonel Castorr.  I'm going to try and upload part of that here.  Then I found the La Fontaine's book OSWALD TALKED (no critique here) but it mentioned all the people I just spoke about:  Silvia, Lucille, Marcella Insua, Father Machann, Sarita, etc.  I did more research and found that Lucille had shared her story in testimony.  It must be the HSCA and I haven't time to look right now.  Anyway, the La Fontaine book led me to a little known romance book (supposedly fiction) where the author changed from her married name.  Marianne Rahmes=Marianne Sullivan and the book is Kennedy Ripples.  I tried to contact the author who has passed away, but I did converse with her son for over a year.  He told me to get in touch with Faith Leicht, and I asked her about the movie story.  She remembered it clearly, but unfortunately, she too has since passed away.  Anyway, Gary Shaw told me that Wallace Milam had been studying this for years so I got in touch with him.  We share info back and forth and I finally went to meet Father Machann in person.  Since you've read the book, you know how that interview went.  So many people say that was the worst chapter of the book but I love it because I wrote out our interviews in longhand after transcribing them and sent copies to Machann.  He and I are still in touch though I'm quite worried about him.  He's in Thailand and he says he's being held there by his son who won't let him return to the US.  He has been emailing me cryptic letters saying, "Please help me get out, I'll tell you all you want to know" and it worries me.  Is he truly in jeopardy?  Is he just saying this because of his age?  WTH is going on?  

 

Okay the file is too big.  Go here:  http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/C Disk/Castorr L Robert Colonel/Item 02.pdf

 

More to come I promise!

 

Gayle

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