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Revisiting the Carroll Jarnagin story


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Revisiting the Carroll Jarnagin story

Carroll Jarnagin was the Dallas attorney who wrote to J. Edgar Hoover on Dec. 3, 1963 an account of a claim to have overheard a conversation in the Carousel Club on Oct. 4, 1963, between Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald discussing a contract killing for hire of the governor of Texas to be carried out by Oswald on a parade route, shooting a rifle from the Carousel Lounge. (The FBI report on Jarnagin requested by FBI headquarters in response which has all the documents and interviews starts here: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=56992#relPageId=98&search=jarnagin.)

This story has been practically universally regarded on all sides as discredited, primarily because (a) it sounds so bizarre and there is no other known credible association established between Ruby and Oswald, let alone discussion of an assassination plot between the two; (b) Jarnagin completely bombed a polygraph test administered by the Dallas Police Department, in which deception was found to every question Jarnagin was asked except for being truthful when he said he had been drinking that night and had been drunk that night, in the evening in question; and (c) the date of the evening Jarnagin said it happened, Friday night, Oct. 4, 1963, it cannot have been Oswald because Oswald was in Irving with Marina and Ruth Paine that evening. 

And yet, a story so bizarre and outlandish when claimed as a sighting of Oswald, the story becomes much less bizarre and takes on sinister new light if it is considered that this was in fact, unbeknownst to Jarnagin, one more of the multiple other cases of witnesses of Larry Crafard, who (just as was the case with Jarnagin), upon seeing Oswald on television after the assassination, mistakenly believed the man they had seen had been Oswald. I have elsewhere argued exactly that was the case with the Ralph Yates' hitchhiker story from Nov. 21, 2021 (https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27399-did-oswald-sell-the-mannlicher-carcano-the-day-before-the-assassination/)--a witness claim, unquestionably sincere and similarly practically universally rejected, of having picked up Oswald hitchhiking carrying a rifle-compatible package, conversing about the president's visit the next day and the possibility of assassination from a tall window, asking Yates if he had ever been to the Carousel, and then being dropped off at Elm and Houston at Dealey Plaza. What is so outlandish as a story of Oswald takes on new meaning read as a mistaken identification of Crafard.

Similarly with the Jarnagin story, which if it were not for the Dallas Police department polygraph assurance that there is nothing to see there, could be the closest eyewitness account in existence to overhearing a discussion in Dallas of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy that did happen, except it was not Oswald seen by Jarnagin with Ruby, but Crafard.

Here is what I see weighing against the notion that Jarnagin fabricated his story. He was a practicing attorney in Dallas, of socially reputable standing apart from the alcoholism issue. He reported a detailed account timely, directly to the FBI in Washington, D.C., twelve days after the assassination and two months after the event (this was not a story emerging years later). As an attorney he would know the seriousness of knowingly making false claims in a letter such as that to J. Edgar Hoover. He had no prior known criminal record or record of fraud or fabrication and there is no claim he was of unsound mind. He showed zero sign of attempting to monetize or sell his story or financially benefit from it, yet insisted for the rest of his life that he had told the truth without changing or repudiating his story. He claimed there had been an attempt on his life, which he believed was connected to his testimony and caused him so much fear that he disappeared for a period of several years, out of fear for his life. In his final years he became clean of alcohol and yet continued to hold that his story had been true without wavering. One family member (assuming an online claim to be such is credible which it appears to be), a granddaughter, passionately upheld his character and truthfulness against criticism and mockery reported by Myers (to his credit Myers lets the comment stand following his critical discussion of Jarnagin, here: https://jfkfiles.blogspot.com/2008/02/wading-through-muck.html), and there is no known report of a family member who claims Jarnagin made up the story. There is no known unambiguous evidence of Jarnagin having made up false claims otherwise. This is not on its face the expected pattern of someone who made up a Ruby/Oswald sighting story. All that needs to be explained is reasonable explanation of mistakes in the story itself, and that it was not Oswald (as Jarnagin thought) but rather a mistaken identification of Crafard--and the negative polygraph result. My source for description of the later years of Jarnagin from persons who knew him is here:  https://www.covertbookreport.com/carroll-jarnagin-did-he-actually-witness-ruby-with-oswald/.

Bear in mind at the time Jarnagin wrote his letter to the FBI with this story, he had no knowledge of Crafard. All he knew was Kennedy in the company of the governor of Texas had been assassinated by a shooting in a parade, that it looked like Oswald had done it, and Oswald had been killed by Ruby--and he recognized Oswald on television as looking like the man he had seen discussing an assassination of the governor of Texas with Ruby in the Carousel Club. But though Jarnagin himself may never in his life have considered that the man he saw was other than Oswald, that the man instead was Ruby's newly-hired employee and later self-professed ex-hitman Crafard, who was soon to be living at the Carousel Club, that is what we can consider here.

Jarnagin, in his attachment of narrative to his cover letter to J. Edgar Hoover of Dec. 3, 1963:

"Report of events which took place in The Carousel Club 1312 1/2 Commerce Street Dallas, Texas on Friday Oct. 4, 1963 from about 10 P.M. until about 11:45 P.M. The club is located on the second floor, and is entered by a stairway leading up from the sidewalk on the south side of Commerce Street.

"Witness, who is an attorney, and a client, who is an 'exotic dancer', walk up the stairs to the Carousel Club Oct. 4, 1963 at about 10 PM, on business, the dancer, stage name 'Robin Hood', desires to talk with Jack Ruby, the owner of the club, about securing a booking for employment. The witness and the dancer enter the club, and sit down at the second table on the right from the entrance; the dancer faces the stage, which is against the East wall and to the left, North, of the passage way which leads East from the second floor entrance door; and the witness sits facing the entrance doorway; the ticket booth is at the South en of the landing at the top of the stairs, and the entrance door way on the second floor is to the left coming off the landing, that is East would be the direction a person faces entering the club.

Comment: Date and setting established. Jarnagin at the end states that he has verified this is the correct date from contemporaneous dated phone call notes at the time. The dancer, who had been a legal client of Jarnagin, was interviewed and confirmed to the FBI the existence of her "date" with Jarnagin (as she called it), and both of their presence in the Carousel.

"Several minutes after the witness and dancer are seated, the witness notices a man appear in the lighted entrance area and tell the girl in the ticket booth: 'I want to see Jack Ruby.' In a short period of time the bouncer appears and with a flash light shines a beam of light upon the ceiling on the inside of the club at the entrance area. The man who has asked to see Jack Ruby is dressed in a tan jacket, has brown hair, needs a haircut, is wearing a sport shirt, and is about 5'9 or 10' in height, his general appearance is somewhat unkempt, and he does not appear to be dressed for night-clubbing;

Comment: a physical description. Crafard was 5'8", brown hair. The "unkempt appearance" agrees with other descriptions of Crafard (does not agree with normal descriptions of Oswald who was remembered as neat). 

"he, the new arrival, sits with his back to the wall at the first table to his right from the entrance area; after a few minutes he orders and is served a bottle of beer; he continues to sit alone and appears to be staring at the dancer; the dancer leaves the table and the new arrival stares intently at the witness; the witness notices that the new arrival's eyes are dark, and his face is unsmiling; after some minutes a man dressed in a dark suit, about 45-50 years of age, partially bald, medium height and medium to heavy build, dark hair, and more or less hawk faced in appearance from the side, joins the new arrival at the table; the new arrival appeared to be about 25 years of age; (the older man dressed in the dark suit was later indicated by the dancer to be Jack Ruby); and the following conversation was overheard:

Comment: one detail I noticed in Crafard's Warren Commission testimony is Crafard repeatedly would not hear a question asked the first time and would say, "How's that?" whereupon the question would be repeated, differing from other witnesses in this. Therefore Crafard, though only 22 years old at the time (23 at the time of his Warren Commission testimony) was hard of hearing. I have noticed that men of all ages who are hard of hearing tend to talk more loudly than normal, also it is necessary for people talking to them to speak a little more clearly and distinctly than normal--extremely quiet or whispering will not work. I see this as background to a question which might be wondered, how Jarnagin could overhear what was being said at the next table.

"Jack Ruby: '------------- (some name not clearly heard or not definitely recalled by the witness)--what are you doing here?"

Comment: they have met before.

"Man who had been sitting alone. 'Don't call me by my name, . .'

"Jack Ruby: 'What name are you using?'

"Man who had been sitting alone. 'I'm using the name of H. L. Lee."

Comment: Recall this is Jarnagin writing after the assassination remembering two months earlier. Curtis LaVerne Crafard (Craford after 1964), true name, was known at that time of the assassination by the name "Larry". Although this part of Jarnagin's story at first sight sounds like Oswald or an Oswald impersonator, I do not think it was either of those, but instead a misunderstanding or mishearing on Jarnagin's part. Another detail concerning Crafard, this from Laura Kittrell of the Texas Employment Commission who had dealings with Crafard concerning an unemployment claim, noted that Crafard spoke with a distinctive southern accent, drawn out and almost exaggerated making two syllables out of some single-syllable vowel sounds (unlike Oswald who spoke standard midwest American). Jarnagin is hearing, not necessarily perfectly, from the next table remember. So if Crafard answered Ruby's question something like, "Way-ul--Larry" or "hell, Larry" or "hay-ell, Larry", that could be misunderstood in hearing or memory as "H. L. Lee". Jarnagin hears the name starting with "L" and ending with an "ee" sound and missed the "ar", but it was close, close enough, that he did hear a name that sounded like "Lee" which became an apparent but mistaken association with Oswald.

"Jack Ruby: 'What do you want?'

"Lee: 'I need some money..'

"Jack Ruby: 'Money?'

"Lee: 'I just got in from New Orleans. I need a place to stay, and a job.'

Comment: this was the most puzzling detail to me to explain in terms of a non-impersonation mistaken-identification Crafard reading. For Oswald had just gotten in from New Orleans by way of Mexico City, whereas supposedly nothing is known of Crafard in New Orleans or Louisiana. That detail I think however may become cleared up from analysis of the Laura Kittrell story of her Texas Employment Commission dealings with Crafard in Oct-Nov 1963, in which she dealt with both Oswald and Crafard on different occasions but confused the two in her memory as both being Oswald, making the Laura Kittrell story sound bizarre. But once it is realized Laura Kittrell's story was not a fabrication but instead a mistaken conflation in memory of two persons, as she herself came to see that she had actually dealt with two not one and that the other one was Crafard as soon as she saw a photo of Crafard, the Laura Kittrell story can be cleared up and her story too rehabilitated to credibility and reasonableness. Once the Oswald and Crafard aspects of the Laura Kittrell story are distinguished and separated out from each other, in the Crafard part, Crafard tells Laura Kittrell some story of having worked in a factory with a forklift in New Orleans, shortly before Crafard's application to the Dallas office. That New Orleans forklift job was the basis for Crafard (not Oswald) telling Laura Kittrell that he, Crafard, had just received a membership in the (mob-connected) Dallas Teamster's Union, which Laura Kittrell thought was unbelievable and Crafard thought her reaction so hilarious, since Crafard did not have a driver's license. The point: Crafard, whose movements really are little known, hardly more than what he volunteered in his Warren Commission testimony, does in this way have an independent testimony or indication of New Orleans in his recent history, supporting that the present allusion to New Orleans could be genuine Crafard. (The other alternative would be that Jarnagin's memory mistakenly intruded a few details cross-fertilized from the post-assassination Oswald narrative without meaning he fabricated the whole thing.)

"Jack Ruby: 'I noticed you haven't been around in two or three weeks, what were you doing in New Orleans?'

Comment: The timeline does not agree with Oswald. Here Ruby refers to the man (Crafard) having been in the Carousel or somewhere in Ruby's sphere of awareness two or three weeks earlier. Evidently the New Orleans trip was within the past two or three weeks before Oct. 4, Dallas to New Orleans and back to Dallas, a brief trip, unknown reason why. (The Marcello organization?)

"Lee: 'There was a street fight and I got put in jail.'

"Jack Ruby. 'What charge?'

"Lee. 'Disturbing the peace.'

Comment: The similarity to Oswald's arrest (though that occurred more than two or three weeks earlier) does evoke an Oswald spillover in memory generated from a post-assassination Oswald narrative. Crafard was known to have gotten into a very violent fistfight a couple of weeks later in Dallas after the Jarnagin evening, such that a street fight would not necessarily be out of character. However an FBI background check on Crafard which included a criminal record search did not turn up any arrest for Crafard in New Orleans or for disturbing the peace, which was the case for Oswald. 

"Ruby. 'How did you get back?'

"Lee: 'Hitch-hiked. I just got in.'

Comment: This fits Crafard, who was a hitchhiker, not Oswald who was a bus-rider (I don't think Oswald is known to have hitchhiked more than maybe one time involving a missed bus). Crafard famously hitchhiked (or said he did) all the way from Dallas to Michigan starting out with $7 in his pocket, deciding to do so a few hours after the assassination and the killing of Tippit. Crafard as the hitchhiker of Ralph Yates hitchhiked.

"Ruby: 'Don't you have a family? Can't you stay with them?'

"Lee: 'They are in Irving--they know nothing about this; I want to get a place to myself. They don't know I'm back.'

Comment: The "Irving" detail matches pregnant Marina and their 2-year old in Irving, Oswald's family. Crafard also had a wife with whom he was not living who had two small daughters, one a baby born in the spring of 1963. (I do not recall where in the Dallas area they lived but do not think it was Irving.) Again Jarnagin is remembering from two months later, trying to be accurate (per reconstruction), but could have mistakes in hearing or memory and/or unintended influence from post-assassination Oswald narrative. Apart from the Irving detail, Crafard had a wife with children from whom he spent most of his time apart, such that, Irving aside, the rest of the statement would agree with Crafard as well as Oswald. 

"Ruby: 'You'll get the money after the job is done.'

"Lee: 'What about half now, and half after the job is done?'

"Ruby: 'No, but don't worry, I'll have the money for you, after the job is done.'

"Lee: 'How much?'

"Ruby: 'We've already agreed on that..'

(Ruby leans forward and some of the conversation following is not heard by the witness)

"Ruby: 'How do I know that you can do the job?'

"Lee: 'it's simple. I'm a Marine sharpshooter.'

Comment: The "Marine" word is certainly an influence of post-assassination Oswald narrative. However, Crafard had served in the Army (not Marines), in Germany, and as part of his military training would have had sharpshooting training. Is it possible Jarnagin heard some reference to that and in his memory, alert to the connections with Oswald, "remembered" or filled in in his memory, hearing "Marine"?

"Ruby: 'Are you sure that you can do the job without hitting anybody but the Governor?'

Comment: Throughout the Jarnagin story there is no mention of an assassination of Kennedy, only the Governor. There are a couple of ways that could be interpreted, but the one that seems to make the best sense internal to this narrative is that that is what Ruby thought it was, was told it was at this point, or was telling Crafard at this point, a plot to kill Connally. Practical advantages in this at this stage might be: easier for Ruby to go along with it; and less negative fallout if the plot leaked than if it was said to be a plot against the President. Note that the entire context implies it is relatively soon to come (Crafard asking for half now of the sum promised for doing the killing). 

"Lee: 'I'm sure. I've got the equipment ready.'

"Ruby: 'Have you tested it, will you need to practice any?'

"Lee: 'Don't worry about that. I don't need any practice; when will the Governor be here?'

"Ruby: 'Oh, he'll be here plenty of times during campaigns...'

(distraction)

"Lee: 'Where can I do the job?'

"Ruby: 'From the roof of some building.

"Lee: 'No, thats too risky, too many people around.'

"Ruby: 'But they'll be watching the parade, they won't notice you.'

"Lee: 'But afterwards, they would tear me to pieces before I could get away.'

Comment: Is Crafard being set up to be a patsy? But the dynamics of Ruby being dominant and boss agrees with the Warren Commission testimony of both Crafard and Andy Armstrong that that was the relationship Ruby had with employees, such that this seems in character with a Ruby employer-employee relationship. Crafard when living at the Carousel employed by Ruby was not a business relationship between equals but was an employer-employee (boss-servant) relationship. 

"Ruby: 'Then do it from here (indicating the North end of the Carousel Club) from a window.'

Comment: The JFK/Connally parade on Nov. 22, 1963 went west on Main, parallel one block north of Commerce St, but at this time, early Oct, all of that would be uncertain (even whether there would be a JFK/Connally visit to Dallas that year may not have been certain). If this was for real this would seem to be making provisional plans in place subject to modification later as circumstances developed and called for. But note that the focus on the assassination of the Governor with a rifle is now situated as happening at the Carousel Club, which is where Crafard was soon to be living. 

"Lee: 'How would I get in?'

"Ruby: 'I'll tell the porter to let you in[.]'

Comment: That would be Andy Armstrong (who actually functioned competently with full manager responsibilities at times, more than a "porter", but being African American in a Club where Ruby did not allow blacks admission, it is not surprising that Andy Armstrong would be called a low-status "porter"). Note again this is all Crafard/Carousel now, nothing obvious from a post-assassination Oswald narrative. 

"Lee: 'But won't there be other people in the place?'

"Ruby: 'I can close the place for the parade, and leave word with the porter to let you.'

"Lee: 'But what about the porter?'

"Ruby: 'I can tell him to leave after letting you in, he won't know anything.'

"Lee: 'i don't want any witnesses around when I do the job.'

"Ruby: 'You'll be alone.'

"Lee: 'How do I get away. there won't be much time afterwards.'

"Ruby: 'You can run out the back door.'

"Lee: 'What about the rifle, what do I do if the police run in while I'm running out?'

"Ruby: 'Hide the rifle, you just heard the shot and ran in from the parade to see what was going on; in the confusion you can walk out the front door in the crowd.'

"Lee: 'No, they might shoot me first; there must be time for me to get out the back way before the police come in; can you lock the front door after I come in, and leave the back door open?'

"Ruby: 'That would get me involved, how could I explain you in my club with a rifle and the front door locked?'

"Lee: 'You left the front door open, and it was locked from inside when somebody slipped in while you were outside watching the parade.'

"Ruby: ---(distraction---)

"Lee: 'But what about the money, when do I get the money?'

"Ruby: 'I'll have it here for you.'

"Lee: 'But when? I'm not going to have much time after the shooting to get away.'

"Ruby: 'I'll have the money on me, and I'll run in first and hand it to you, and you can run on out the back way.'

"Lee: 'I can't wait long, why can't you leave the money in here?'

"Ruby: 'How do I know you'll do the job?'

"Lee: 'how do I know you will show up with the money after the job is done?'

"Ruby: 'You can trust me, besides, you'll have the persuader.'

"Lee: 'The rifle, I want to get away from it as soon as its used.'

"Ruby: 'You can trust me.'

"Lee: 'What about giving me half of the money just before the job is done, and then you can send me the other half later?'

"Ruby: 'I can't turn loose of the money until the job is done; if there's a slip up and you don't get him, they'll pick the money up, immediately.

Comment: a first reference to "they" above Ruby. Ruby is simply a middleman, not the instigator or head of the operation. 

"Ruby: 'I couldn't tell them that I gave half of it to you in advance, they'd think I doublecrossed them. I would have to return all of the money. People think I have a lot of money, but I couldn't raise half of that amount even by selling everything I have. You'll just have to trust me to hand you the money as soon as the job is done. There is no other way. Remember, they want the job done just as bad as you want the money; and after this is done, they may want to use you again.'

"Lee: 'Not that it makes any difference, but what have you got against the Governor?'

"Ruby: 'He won't work with us on paroles; with a few of the right boys out we could really open up this State, with a little cooperation from the Governor. The boys in Chicago have no place to go, no place to really operate, they've clamped down the lid in Chicago, Cuba is closed; everything is dead, look at this place, half empty; if we can open up this State we could pack this place every night, those boys will spend, if they have the money; and remember, we're right nest to Mexico; there'd be money for everybody, if we can open up this State.'

"Lee: 'How do you know that the Governor won't work with you?'

"Ruby: 'Its no use, he's been in Washington too long, they're too straight up there; after they've been here awhile they get to thinking like the Attorney General. The Attorney General, now there's a guy the boys would like to get, but its no use, he stays in Washington too much.'

"Lee: 'A rifle shoots as far in Washington as it does here, doesn't it?'

"Ruby: 'Forget it, that would bring the heat on everywhere, and the Feds would get into everything, no, forget about the Attorney General.'

Comment: The ones above Ruby, in this narrative, are Mob. Attorney General Robert Kennedy was the bete noir of Mob figures such as Marcello and Hoffa, in keeping with known plotting of Hoffa to assassinate RFK. 

"Lee: 'Killing the Governor of Texas will put the heat on too, won't it?'

"Ruby: 'Not really, they'll think some crack-pot or communist did it, and it will be written off as an unsolved crime.'

Comment: If this were Oswald, who was considered a communist, it would be odd for Ruby to be speaking to Oswald this way, which would sound like a plan to blame Oswald. However it makes sense with Crafard, who is not Oswald nor is Crafard a communist. Note the indication in this narrative, this early on, that the idea would be to have "some crack-pot or communist" be thought to have done it, instead of the Mob actual killers. In this narrative, Ruby seems somehow confident that this can be how it will work or is the general plan, almost as if law enforcement contacts are in place who may assist in that.

"Lee: 'That is if I get away with it.'

"Ruby: 'You'll get away, all you have to do is run out the back door.'

"Lee: 'What kind of door is there back there, it won't accidentally lock on me will it?'

"Ruby: 'No, you can get out that way without any trouble.'

"Lee: 'It doesn't open onto an open fire escape, does it? I don't want to run out onto an open fire escape with a rifle in my hand right after the shooting.'

Comment: Although humor does not come through well in transcripts, I wonder if the last comment of Crafard above is a joke. 

"Ruby: 'No, its a safe way out, I'll show you, but not now.'

(distraction------)

"Lee: 'There's really only one building to do it from, one that covers Main, Elm, and Commerce.'

"Ruby: 'Which one is that?'

"Lee: 'The School Book Building, close to the triple underpass.'

"Ruby: 'What's wrong with doing it from here?'

"Lee: 'What if he goes down another street?'

(distraction--------)

"Lee: (looking up and staring directly at the witness) 'Who is that? he's from the F.B.I.

"Ruby: (half turning in his chair, looks at witness who tries to appear to be looking at the floor show); Ruby gets the attention of the exotic dancer who says: 'Mr. Ruby, can I see you on business?' Ruby: 'Yes, later, but come here now.' (The dancer moves her chair over to the other table and remains for two or three minutes.. the conversation is too low to hear;

(Comment: the dancer is not hard of hearing like Crafard so Ruby can talk softly to her)

"(Ruby, con'd). when the dancer returns to the witness's table she says: 'What was that about? They asked me if you were with the F.B.I., I told them you were an advertising man from Arizona; you're not with the F.B.I., are you?' Witness: 'No.'

---

"Lee and Ruby huddle closer over the table, and talk in lower tones---

"Lee: 'I know he's from the F.B.I., they talked with me in New Orleans, and they followed me.'

"Ruby: 'He couldn't hear anything over there.'

"Lee: 'He heard everything; we'll have to get rid of him.'

"Ruby: 'No, they work in pairs, ... we'll have to think of something else..'

"-- Ruby and Lee talk in inaudible tones... Ruby leaves and makes some introductions of guests from a microphone close to the stage; later returning to the table and asks Lee to come over and meet a celebrity; a spot light is turned on the table at which Ruby has made some introductions, and at least one flash photo appeared to have been made by the night-club girl photographer, which probably included Lee in the back of the other guests at the spot lighted table, standing;

"---

"Some twenty or thirty minutes later, Lee walks out alone; in a few minutes the witness and the dancer walk out; at the bottom of the stairs partially blocking the doorway Lee is standing; he stares intently at the witness, and appears to have his hand in his jacket; after some delay the witness manages to position a departing customer between himself and Lee. (. . .)"

Overall comment and the polygraph test

Jarnagin claims he called the Texas Department of Public Safety the next morning and delivered an anonymous description of what he had heard to an answering officer with request that it be relayed to the Governor's office. Jarnagin claims he phoned back and was told the message had been relayed. The FBI could find no corroboration from that agency of having received such a call. Jarnagin explained privately that the reason he did not report it to the local police was because he knew Ruby was well-connected with contacts in the Dallas Police Department and thought it safer to keep his mouth shut to them, and for the same reason with District Attorney Wade, these two law enforcement agencies "both of which were well-known to be corrupt and under the influence of mob money, according to Jarnagin" (from link given above). One possibility could be that Jarnagin heard something but reported it to no one (not the Texas Department of Public Safety), but claimed the Texas Dept of Public Safety call to preempt the question of why he had not reported before the assassination what could have saved the President's life. 

Jarnagin had no known track record of publicity-seeking, or profiting from putting himself into the center of high-profile stories or fabrication, and it is fair to say that his reporting of what he said he heard that night in the Carousel, in his letter to the director of the FBI shortly after the assassination, as was the case with other witnesses who came forward thinking they were doing the right thing, unalterably damaged his life for the worse, with no known upside or gain to him from having reported what he had heard that night. 

He is remembered in history with mockery.

As for the polygraph test, if there were other evidence or convincing reason for supposing Jarnagin had made up his story that would be one thing, but I think the total picture comes down on the side of Jarnagin not having lied about this, Dallas Police polygraph notwithstanding. I suspect Jarnagin has been a maligned witness--the only known witness to have overheard in Dallas an early stage of the assassination plot that was carried out and to have told--discredited by means of that polygraph report.

The report of results of that polygraph are in DPD records. But the underlying information by which that polygraph test could be rechecked, reviewed and vetted by other experts in terms of procedure and method, do not exist (so I understand), that is, there is no way to know basics such as what control questions were asked to establish levels and what those control levels were. That polygraph was conducted by a Dallas Police Department under intense pressure to support an official narrative in which, by decision and policy from the top, there could neither be investigated nor found a Mob role in the assassination of JFK (referring to 1963-1964 FBI/Warren Commission, not the later HSCA of the late 1970s which did investigate and find such a role central to the assassination). I do not consider that polygraph as trustworthy in establishing that Jarnagin lied, and do not rule out that that polygraph was corrupt.

Myers cites an interview of Dallas Police James Leavelle in 1983 as saying (Myers' paraphrase or summary): 

"Jarnagin was a bit more forthcoming with the Dallas police when questioned about his flunking the polygraph exam and admitted that he made the whole thing up and said that he felt that the police would connect Ruby and Oswald sooner or later and just wanted to get in on the ground floor and get a little extra publicity." (With Malice, 410)

I think there is better-than-even odds that Jarnagin is simply straight-up being smeared here. Note that Myers is paraphrasing Leavelle's paraphrase of other officers going back an unknown number of hearsays to some officer who paraphrased Jarnagin as allegedly saying that. That is, Leavelle did not claim to have heard Jarnagin say that himself. There is no statement verified from Jarnagin saying what Leavelle alleged, nor am I aware of an on-the-record statement from an officer or witness who heard Jarnagin say that, and it is contradicted by Jarnagin reportedly for the rest of his life claiming his story was true. 

A final point on which Jarnagin's name should be cleared. One of the items used to discredit Jarnagin, unfortunately publicized by the usually-meticulous Myers, is what appears to be a wholly baseless allegation that Jarnagin was the source of Mark Lane's story of an anonymous witness to a meeting in the Carousel of Ruby, Tippit, and Bernard Weissman. Myers states,

"After his initial tale collapsed, Jarnagin approached Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Waldo Thayer with a new claim that he witnessed Bernard Wessman, Jack Ruby, and Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit meeting in the Carousel Club on November 14, 1963, just a few days before the assassination ... the secret source, of course, was Carroll Jarnagin. Suffice it to say, there is no credible evidence that J.D. Tippit knew Jack Ruby or was ever at the Carousel Club. The testimony of friends and colleagues provides considerable evidence that Tippit had never been there." (With Malice, 410-11)

Myers gives no footnote or documentation for this claim that Jarnagin was the source for Waldo Thayer, in With Malice. In an earlier blog post of 2008 Myers did give a source, which was "Aynesworth, Hugh, JFK: Breaking the News, International Focus Press, 2003, p. 231". I obtained that Aynesworth book to check that citation and found that citation fails to provide any evidence or basis either, only unsubstantiated assertion on the part of Aynesworth, who gives no clue as to his basis for that assertion. In terms of published information or documentation that is baseless. Perhaps that is why Myers does not cite that Aynesworth reference in his later 2013 edition of With Malice. But, that leaves Myers citing the unsubstantiated allegation itself used as a finale in the evisceration of Jarnagin's reputation, unmoored to any source of claimed evidence for it.

In the comments following the Dale Myers blog post on Jarnagin of Feb. 18, 2008, there is this comment from a "Jen", dated Aug. 7, 2016. Jen writes:

"Everyone worked so hard to discredit my grandfathers eye witness account but, he did have attempts on his life so that would change any testimony when it's life or death. I think there is much more than anyone in Dallas wanted to admit. Corruption and greed contacted to the underworld and Carroll may have had an alcohol issue but, it is not logical to label him a xxxx. Especially when the lie detector tests are not admissible in court. That was character assignation [sic] on Carroll for stepping up and being the only man to report what he witnessed. Putting his life after truth and justice! That's who Carroll Jarnagin was from those who really knew him."

I do not know who Jen is or if she will ever see this, but if so, I have a message: I believe you, and your grandfather.

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8 hours ago, Sean Coleman said:

Wow. Never heard this  before, very interesting, well researched!

So did Crafard actually resemble Oswald? Seen only one pic and it’s a very slight resemblance 

Sean, I agree anyone who knew Oswald would not confuse him with Crafard, and vice versa. But the issue is not whether we think the faces look similar, but the actual record that there were exactly these witness confusions at the time, in which witnesses who had seen Crafard reported after the assassination to law enforcement details of where they believed they had seen Oswald. These witness confusions are not a matter of conjecture but a matter of record, from witnesses not intending to lie or be mistaken but who were mistaken. When Ruth Paine, who knew Oswald very well, was shown photos of Crafard, she commented that it was not so much a direct facial resemblance but an overall manner or bearing that she saw as having some similarity. Then there is the similar height, weight, clean-shaven, brown hair of similar length, and associations with Ruby which contributed to retroactive belief that someone had seen Oswald instead of Crafard. There is also the Laura Kittrell Texas Employment Commission case in which, operating entirely from memory, she wrote down after the assassination her memories of pre-assassination office encounters with both Oswald and Crafard which she confused and conflated in memory as if they were the same person, thereby making a story of Oswald that sounded so bizarre and outlandish it could not be believed by anyone, even though once the mechanism of her mistake is understood her story becomes sensible and her interpretation of her memories mistaken but the memories themselves not fabricated out of whole cloth. And finally among the voluminous JFK assassination literature there is the whole massive and when fully examined, baseless claimed Oswald "doubles" and impersonators running around Dallas turning up in every obscure place like Elvis sightings, supposedly micromanaged by sophisticated unseen spy agency handlers whose names to this day have never come to light nor any written documentation of Oswald-impersonation spy-agency activity being run in Dallas. There is no hard evidence Crafard ever pretended or represented himself to be Oswald (there are a couple of witness claims which seem that way but fall short of justified confidence that those claims are accurate), but there is hard evidence that some sincere ordinary, everyday citizens of Dallas after the assassination, upon seeing news and pictures of Oswald on television and in the newspapers, mistakenly believed they had seen Oswald before the assassination --when those stories, when tracked down, showed they had seen Crafard, not Oswald. So it is not a question of would we or anyone then have confused Crafard as Oswald, but making the best sense of the cases of this that did happen.     

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8 hours ago, Benjamin Cole said:

Greg-

Have you ever looked into Thomas Peasner, Korea war vet who became POW, played piano for Jack Ruby, bought a .22 rifle a few days before the JFKA with a bounced check, and then left town? 

Benjamin, never heard of him before, but looking him up now I cannot see anything substantial to indicate significance. 

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10 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

Benjamin, never heard of him before, but looking him up now I cannot see anything substantial to indicate significance. 

Well, probably so. 

But see this:

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=11134#relPageId=51&search="thomas_peasner"

OK, Peasner paid $75.99 for an automatic rifle in 1963 on Nov. 9, but acquired by a bad check, and a paper trail made. BTW, $75.99 is about $894 in today's dollars, a Browning automatic, so this is a real rifle. 

Remember, JBC said bullets were entering the cab of the limo as if by automatic weapons fire. 

Peasner served as a POW during Korean War, but was carrying a Chinese communist "safe conduct pass" when captured, considered a cardinal sin. He then participated in inculcating US troops while in captivity, should have been denied a pension or disability due to his conduct, but instead received full benefits upon return to US. He was even mentioned by name in a TIME magazine in a story on Truman and treatment of veterans.  And Peasner then ends up playing piano for Jack Ruby.

Portions of his file were deleted or redacted during the HSCA days and through to 2008, when I lost track. Much are unintelligible due to dark copying. 

Just a thought.  If nothing else, sets the milieu in which Ruby worked. 

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Benjamin, interesting. Wonder if Peasner was fronting for someone with that rifle purchase, who knows, and with his possible spy agency contacts and history is "only the piano player" (literally) in Ruby's place just before the assassination. But I have found running into people at bars and lunch counters, strange coincidences are more common than dirt, all sorts of unusual stories from random people. In terms of the JFK assassination, static vs. signal issues.   

Speaking of Korean POWs, when growing up in Akron, Ohio I knew a man who was said to have been the only American POW to have escaped from a North Korean prison camp. His name was Joe Goertzen (sp?). James Michener wrote about him in a book though I do not think by name. He escaped and walked a long distance near a road moving only at nights to the south to safety. He was more a friend of my father, and had his own business as an auto mechanic. I believe he is still alive and in Florida now.  

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Posted (edited)

I found what I think could be a possible reference to the Larry Crafard meeting with Jack Ruby that I think Carroll Jarnagin witnessed on Oct. 4, 1963. It is from a Nov. 24, 1963 WFAA-TV interview of Joy Dale, stage name of Joyce McDonald, a dancer in the Carousel Club.

"Well, I have a friend out here that came to Dallas, unemployed, know--not knowing anyone. He had met Jack once. Jack gave him a place to stay until he found him a job, gave him money to live off of until he went to work, until he could move out." (24H796, https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1140#relPageId=814)

In this same interview she says she went to the Carousel Club at a little after 3 pm on Fri, Nov 22, and saw Ruby there where Ruby talked of Oswald needing to be killed. Joy Dale in this interview gave an excellent, perhaps first or same-day, testimonial for what would become Ruby's defense for what he did Sunday morning, that Ruby was distraught over and sympathetic to Jackie.

On Nov 25, 1963, in an FBI interview, Jack Ruby listed names and addresses of employees at the Carousel Club, one of whom was "Joyce McDonald, a dancer whose stage name is Joy Dale, 410 1/2 - 10th Street, Dallas, Texas" (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1137#relPageId=60)

Officer Tippit's police car was stopped between 404 and 410 E. 10th St. when he was killed. 

The argument against Joyce McDonald having lived at 410 E. 10th St. I believe would be the city directory of Dallas for that year showed that address as vacant, no one living there. However, has it been excluded that what Jack Ruby told the FBI was Joyce McDonald's address of 410 1/2 10th Street was the address in front of which Tippit parked and was killed?

Edited by Greg Doudna
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23 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

 

On Nov 25, 1963, in an FBI interview, Jack Ruby listed names and addresses of employees at the Carousel Club, one of whom was "Joyce McDonald, a dancer whose stage name is Joy Dale, 410 1/2 - 10th Street, Dallas, Texas" (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1137#relPageId=60)

 

Just for the heck of it, in late August, 1963, jack Ruby paid Joy Dale $110.00 (with varying amounts of money paid to several of his other dancers).

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=955#relPageId=1097

According to Little Lynn, dressing room gossip said that Joy Dale was pregnant with Jack Ruby's baby

(transcript of Dallas Police Department interview of Little Lynn)

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth190037/m1/3/?q="Joy Dale"

image.png.bfe5f77e89029e708e6b16c28f6ceab5.png

According to Little Lynn, Joy Dale lived at 4204 1/2 W. 10th in Fort Worth.

Steve Thomas

 

Edited by Steve Thomas
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Posted (edited)

Steve Thomas, this is interesting. That interview with Little Lynn (Karen Lynn Bennett) is undated but reads sometime after Ruby killed Oswald. Little Lynn does furnish to police a different address for Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald), a Fort Worth address, 4204 1/2 W. 10th, Fort Worth, than the pre-assassination Oak Cliff address of Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald) supplied by Ruby.

Little Lynn refers in the document to Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald) having received a letter from Ruby the same day Little Lynn gave this interview ("Joy Dale got a letter today, [from Ruby], he said to tell everyone hello for him", p. 3). The police interview says Little Lynn had cooperated with police on previous occasions in giving information, and receiving favorable treatment from police as a result (not being arrested when others were). It looks like this police interview report came about because she (Little Lynn) contacted police to inform them of the contents of the Ruby letter to McDonald. Little Lynn may or may not have had the actual letter to show police, and that letter would be the source of the exact address in Fort Worth for Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald) that Little Lynn was able to provide to the police in this interview.

But this does not mean Joy Dale was not living in Oak Cliff at the time of the assassination. As mentioned by Little Lynn in this same interview, another Carousel Club dancer, Tammy True, had moved to Oklahoma after the assassination. The Tammy True move analogy seems to be the best way to interpret the two addresses of Joyce McDonald--a move.

Records furnished by Jack Ruby the day after he killed Oswald clearly list Joyce McDonald at the time of the assassination as living at 410 1/2 10th St., the very address in Oak Cliff at which the Tippit cruiser stopped when Tippit was killed.

That Joyce McDonald lived in Oak Cliff on Nov 22, 1963--and not Forth Worth--appears confirmed by this article brought to attention by Stu Wexler, https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2009/nov/09/jack-ruby-featured-mural-20091109/. In this article from 2009, Joyce, now 66 years old, spoke of the day of the assassination so long ago. She tells of her then three-year old daughter Cynthia with her that day taking a bus to Parkland Hospital for a medical checkup for Joyce, then taking a bus with her 3-yr-old not back home but to the closed Carousel Club where she met Ruby who was talking about shooting Oswald. She refers to a boyfriend named Tommy with her "at home in Oak Cliff" on Sunday when hearing the news on the radio that Ruby shot Oswald.  

The address of Joy Dale provided by Little Lynn therefore does not mean the Ruby/Carousel Club record of address for Joy Dale was inaccurate. It simply means Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald) and her daughter were living elsewhere at the time Ruby wrote her from jail. Either Ruby wrote Joyce McDonald at her new Fort Worth address or Ruby's letter was forwarded there.

A City Directory lack of listing anyone living at 410 E. 10th in Oak Cliff that year would seem to be compatible with, rather than in contradiction to, Ruby's information that Joyce lived there, if it was not of long duration. Also, the "1/2" of the Joyce McDonald address of 410 1/2 10th suggests part of a house, an apartment, or separate structure on the same lot rather than occupancy of the full house.

Ruby's address for Joyce McDonald provided to the FBI is a straightforward documentary record that Joyce McDonald, Joy Dale, who referred to fellow Carousel employee Larry Crafard as a friend in a television interview on Nov 24, lived at the house where Tippit stopped his cruiser.

It has always been a puzzle why Tippit stopped his cruiser where he did. It has been conjectured that the killer flagged Tippit's attention, or that Tippit recognized him, but it is unclear. Witnesses said the killer first talked to Tippit through the car window on the passenger side, then Tippit got out, then the killer shot and killed him. All in front of the home address of a Carousel Club dancer closely associated with both Ruby and Crafard.

This is simply shocking. To show how little known this is: Dale Myers' exhaustive book on the Tippit slaying, With Malice, makes no mention of this. Neither does Joseph McBride's Into the Nightmare

Tippit did not stop and meet his killer in front of the home address of a friend of Oswald. 

Tippit met his killer in front of the home address of a close associate of Ruby and Crafard.

Following the killing of Tippit at the address of a close associate of Ruby and Crafard, that killer, with fully reloaded gun ready to kill again, went directly to the Texas Theatre and entered that theatre, where Lee Harvey Oswald was.

Lee Harvey Oswald was in that theatre. The very man Ruby was dead set on seeing killed before trial.

Only the quick arrival of the police and arrest of Oswald saved Oswald from being killed in that theatre at that time.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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3 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

Steve Thomas, this is interesting. That interview with Little Lynn (Karen Lynn Bennett) is undated but reads sometime after Ruby killed Oswald. Little Lynn does furnish to police a different address for Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald), a Fort Worth address, 4204 1/2 W. 10th, Fort Worth, than the pre-assassination Oak Cliff address of Joy Dale (Joyce McDonald) supplied by Ruby.

 

Doug,

CE 2158 WFAA’s interview with Joyce McDonald (Joy Dale) is dated November 24, 1963.

https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1140#relPageId=813&search=joy_dale

 

Jack Ruby’s interview with the FBI also took place on November 24th.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1137#relPageId=57&search=410_1/2%2010th%20Street%20joy%20dale

 

Little Lynn’s very specific address for Joyce McDonald of 4204 1/2 W. 10th Appt3 in Fort Worth

 

FBI interview of Joyce McDonald December 5, 1963

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=57014#relPageId=80&search=%22Joyce_McDonald%22

image.png.bc0d90b847844b21cc5a913552d980b2.png

Note that this address is on W. 10th. Tippit's shooting took place on E. 10th.

(Little Lynn had an extra digit in her address and the wrong town for Joyce. Maybe a transcriber error?)

WC testimony of Andrew Armstrong (13H361)

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=47#relPageId=371&search=%22Joyce_McDonald%22

image.png.99b38d1fa8c0a9f1fa5dade0f0c0974b.png

image.png.eb72507a72d11b2ff3f4223113be1a9c.png

Joy Dale and Little Lynn

Andrew Armstrong Exhibits 5301-D and 5301-C

image.png.1ca74fd7e1bb20b7eed2b171d883bfc2.png

https://www.jfk-assassination.net/russ/testimony/armstro1.htm

 

Mr. HUBERT. Now, tell us what you know about the girl in the left-hand side of the picture as you look at it, that is to say, the girl with the dark hair?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Well, all I know----
Mr. HUBERT. And whom I think you have identified as Joyce McDonald.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Whose stage name, shall we say, was what?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Joy Dale.

361


Mr. HUBERT. What do you know about her?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Just that she is a stripper at the club.
Mr. HUBERT. How long had she been there?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. She had been there some maybe 4 months before the assassination.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you think she came about the middle of the summer, then, July or August?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Let me see--let's---see September.
Mr. HUBERT. Mid-September?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Yes.

(side note) Mid-September is the same time Little Lynn went to work for Jack Ruby)


Mr. HUBERT. Do--how do you fix that, Mr. Armstrong?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Well, it was around the time that Wally left. I don't know whether she was there right after Wally left or just before Wally left.
Mr. HUBERT. Had she ever been there before, do you know?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Had long did she stay after the assassination?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. She left sometime--during the about 3 weeks in January of 1964.
Mr. HUBERT. You mean she was there 3 weeks in January and then quit?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know where she lived?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. No.
Mr. HUBERT. What salary do those strippers get?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Anywhere from $100 to $125.
Mr. HUBERT. A week?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. A week--some of them made $150--some was $200.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what the relationship was between Joyce McDonald and Jack Ruby, if any?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Just a business relationship as far as I could see.
Mr. HUBERT. Did she go out to dinner with him?
Mr. ALEXANDER. Not that I know of.
Mr. HUBERT. Did there seem to be any kind of social relationship between them?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Not that I know.
Mr. HUBERT. Did there seem to be any kind of romantic or sexual relationship between them?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. No.

Mr. HUBERT. Well, coming to Joyce McDonald, do you think she--that he was on the make with respect to her?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. I would not state definitely, but I believe he probably tried.
Mr. HUBERT. Did she have any boy friends around there?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. No; not that I know of.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know whom she lived with?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. No; I sure don't.
Mr. HUBERT. Did she drive an automobile?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. She didn't drive.
Mr. HUBERT. How did she get to and from work; do you know?
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Usually somebody would bring her to work--I only saw her downstairs getting out of a car once and some man drove her to work, and that's the only time I ever saw her getting out of a car.

 

Steve Thomas

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Steve,  I accept what you show from the Dec. 5 interview report of Joyce McDonald that that may be her correct address as of Dec. 2 (date of the interview): 424 1/2 W. 10th St., Oak Cliff. It also becomes clear to me that Little Lynn's address given for Joyce McDonald (Joy Dale) of 4204 1/2 W. 10th Fort Worth is erroneous and an error for the correct address given by Joyce on Dec. 2. So the Little Lynn address for Joyce McDonald can be dismissed as of no further relevance.

I do not agree however that Jack Ruby's reported address for Joyce, certainly drawn from written records as the other employee addresses he furnished the FBI on Nov 25, can so easily be dismissed as a mistake.

Joyce McDonald's address (provided by Joyce Dec. 2): 424 1/2 W. 10th 

Joyce McDonald's pre-assassination address according to Ruby (provided by Ruby Nov 25): 410 1/2 10th St.

That record of Joyce McDonald's address from Nov. 25 can hardly be written off as a typo or error for the Dec 2 address, for this reason: it is the address of the Tippit killing. If the Nov. 25 were a mistake for 424 1/2 W. 10th St. why wasn't the mistake then random

How is it that a mistake, if such is what it was, landed of all possible addresses such a mistake could land, at the very address Tippit was killed, of all places? 

In addition, since the other employees' addresses seem accurate from Nov 25 and Ruby's information surely came from the same written records as the others, it is not likely that that address would be a typo or mistaken in any case. But if it was, it would not land by total accident on the address where Tippit had been killed. That just does not make sense.  

I think now the issue should be reframed differently than was the Tippit killing address the actual residence where lived Joyce McDonald and her 3-year old daughter. From her 2009 story Joyce refers to a boyfriend. The testimony you cite from Andy Armstrong says he saw her dropped off for work at the Carousel Club once by a man driving a car, and she had a 3-year old, which had to involve some childcare arrangements when she worked. 

Based on this information I accept that on Dec. 2 she was living at the address she gave the FBI on Dec. 2, which was not the house of the Tippit killing. At the same time the house of the Tippit killing was on record as her address (even though the "E." is missing in E. 10th). Joyce McDonald had a close relationship to Ruby (Little Lynn told police there was gossip that Joyce McDonald was at that moment pregnant with a child by Ruby). For some reason Ruby's records showed the address of the Tippit killing as the address listed for Joyce, instead of the address given on Dec. 2. For some reason (was it intentional as a favor?) Little Lynn made a mistake in the number of Joyce's address and then made a second mistake putting the entire mistakenly-numbeed address in the wrong city, in Fort Worth instead of Dallas (Oak Cliff). Some mistakes can be done on purpose to maintain privacy or avoid giving out a true home address; is that what was going on? But if so that could explain the Little Lynn wrong address, but it becomes more difficult to explain the Ruby-furnished address for Joyce.

One possibility would be Joyce's true address with her 3-year-old daughter was 424 1/2 W. 10th, but that she had some connection to 410 1/2 (E.) 10th as an address whether or not she lived there. Another possibility could be that following the assassination and the arrest of Ruby that she moved in with a friend elsewhere.

So never mind whether Joyce McDonald and her 3-year old did or did not live at the address Ruby gave for her on Nov 25. She may well not have lived there.

I agree there are three points of similarity between the Ruby-provided address for her and her home address of Nov. 2, namely 10th St; a three-digit street number in the 400s; and the "1/2". But there are two differences, namely the street number is different and the lack of "W." The two addresses do look related from the similarities. Yet to see one as a simple mistake in writing of the other requires two, not one, typo mistakes, in the midst of a list of names and addresses which seem accurate in the other cases.

Yet the fact is--never mind where Joyce McDonald actually lived--the earliest address provided for Joyce McDonald, seemingly the Carousel Club dancer to whom Ruby was closest, and the one Carousel Club dancer with the shared parallel employment at the Texas Fairgrounds as well as at the Carousel Club with Crafard, was the address of the Tippit killing. Were the two later addresses intended to shield that from significance? Or, on Nov. 25 did Ruby furnish that address with an exact match to where Tippit had been shot to death three days earlier, by some random freak accident?

If that was a coincidence, it was one hell of a coincidence. The city directory I understand has no one listed at the 410 E. 10th address in 1963. Who did own that house and was using it? Unknown. How did it come about that that particular address was what Ruby said the Carousel Club records showed for Joyce McDonald? Unknown.

That house, 410 E. 10th where Tippit was killed, was said by Virginia Davis, living two houses away at 400 E. 10th, at one point in her Warren Commission testimony, to have been the house where she thought a police officer lived, from familiarity in seeing a cruiser there.

"[Tippit's cruiser] was parked between the hedge that marks the apartment house where he lives in and the house next door [404 E. 10th]" (6H458)

And in his 2013 edition of With Malice, Myers reported what is presented as a credible, anonymous highly-placed source, among multiple unnamed other sources, who confirmed to Myers that there had been a police officer, identity kept secret by law enforcement officials who knew all these years, who had been present at the scene of crime "in a house that overlooked the Tippit murder scene. At the sound of the shots the officer looked out a window and observed the killer fleeing the scene" (With Malice, p. 374). "[T]he story never crept beyond a handful of lawmen for fear of unintentionally exposing the relationship. The story was confirmed in 1996 by a high ranking Dallas official who stated that the 'information received was sufficient to cause belief'," Myers writes. 

In research of my own elsewhere, I developed argument as to a possible identification of that officer at the scene that day. I gave reasons why I see Deputy Sheriff Bill Courson as the person of interest with respect to the identity of an officer witness at the scene of the crime, if there was one (https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27362-tippit-a-second-officer-present-at-the-tippit-killing/?tab=comments#comment-446862). 

As Bill Courson tells it in Sneed's, No More Silence, his job description working for Sheriff Decker was to keep tabs on known criminals. As part of that would go in plain clothes every night to places where criminals hung out, which Courson explained in No More Secrets included frequent visits to the Carousel Club in the several weeks immediately preceding the assassination.

Courson was in Oak Cliff in plain clothes and cruiser immediately following the Tippit killing, without notification or instruction from a dispatcher to be in Oak Cliff and he did not live in Oak Cliff. By his own account Courson was wearing the same clothes on Friday as he had on the day before, Thursday. That is one odd detail, in addition to the circumstances of his presence in Oak Cliff. Of all officers who participated in the hunt for the Tippit killer in Oak Cliff, there is no known written report submitted by Courson of his actions that day, unlike most other officers.

So there it is, a case worthy of the fictional television detective "Colombo".

  • the dancer closest to Jack Ruby had a reported address of record at the Carousel Club where she was employed which is the address of the house where Tippit stopped his cruiser and was shot dead. 
  • the killer of Tippit, after killing Tippit, reloaded his gun prepared to kill again and went to the Texas Theatre
  • Oswald was at the Texas Theatre
  • By 2 pm Fri Nov 22 Oswald was arrested and taken away alive from the Texas Theatre
  • By 3 pm Fri Jack Ruby began talking in the presence of multiple witnesses of the need for Oswald to be killed before trial, as sympathy for Jackie Kennedy
  • On Sunday morning Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald while Oswald was in police custody
  • the dancer whose address of record at the Carousel Club was where Tippit was killed, was an associate at work with and said she was a friend of Larry Crafard.
  • Larry Crafard, a recent hire by Ruby with little specific job description, was a later self-proclaimed ex-hitman
  • Many witnesses who saw the killer of Tippit thought the person they had seen was Oswald
  • Many witnesses who saw Crafard under circumstances other than the killing of Tippit thought the person they had seen was Oswald
  • Hours after the killing of Tippit and the arrest of Oswald in the Texas Theatre, Crafard with no notice or goodby to anyone left Dallas hitchhiking to Michigan
  • Whereas the FBI by policy did not pursue Mob leads in the investigation of the assassination of JFK, the HSCA investigation of the late 1970s found that Jack Ruby had significant Mob associations and contacts in the runup to the assassination. 
  • Carroll Jarnagin, a maligned witness, arguably witnessed and overheard an early conversation between Ruby and Crafard in the Carousel Club in which Ruby discussed with Crafard carrying out a contract killing for hire related to the JFK assassination, on behalf of Mob interests.

 

 

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OK, just for fun, here is the record of Thomas Peasner getting captured, or defecting to the Chinese-North Koreans, by use of a "safe conduct pass" (SCP). An SCP was a leaflet dropped by the Chinese or Koreans telling the US soldier he could surrender and would be treated well, if he presented the SCP at time of surrender. My understanding is that to merely have a SCP on one's body in the US military was a court-martial offense, while it was a death sentence on the commie side (The UN forces dropped a lot of SCPs also). 

Peasner was a trained Army rifleman, in the infantry, but serving as radio operator and ammo carrier. 

In POW prison camp, Peaser very publicly became collaborator with his captors. 

Then Peasner comes home, but instead of being court-martialed is given a disability pension.

Meanwhile, after Peasner's return to the US, he is interrogated by Army counter-intel, who determine Peasner comes from a communist leaning family, but also that Peasner was "brain-washed" in Korean war camps and has some sort of mental issues. 

Pure speculation: Peasner was on a recon mission in Korea, a dangerous one. Before going on the mission he was given permission to carry the SCP. As a spy, if captured he could have been shot on the spot, under rule of war. For whatever reason, spies are not considered POWs. Peasner was also given pre-mission permission to cooperate with captors in generally meaningless ways while incarcerated, so he did, publishing newspapers and spouting the party line.  

Shades of LHO here? Peasner "defects," carrying a SCP, spouts communism while in camp, still talks up communism after coming home, but "gets off scot-free" and even gets a disability pension.  His situation was even briefly noted (not his communism, though) in TIME magazine. Peasner's counter-intel report says he remains suspicious (a dangle to moles inside Army intel?). 

Not speculation: OK, Peasner shows up playing piano for Ruby (btw, Peasner also played piano for captor upper ranks and officers while in camp. The irony....) 

Then Peasner bounced a check (another paper trail) buying a semi-automatic rifle, for about $800 in today's money on Nov. 9, 1963 and is not seen again. 

Oh, the above is probably just odd coincidences in the life of LHO and Peasner. But interesting....

Sorry the image is so dark. Peasner's whole file is this way. Too bad, a fascinating window into history, even if not a part of the JFKA. Most  pages are illegibly dark, and it is hard to tell what remains redacted. Some parts of Peasner's file were redacted even 1998, and possibly 2008. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 10/3/2021 at 5:13 PM, Greg Doudna said:

Benjamin, interesting. Wonder if Peasner was fronting for someone with that rifle purchase, who knows, and with his possible spy agency contacts and history is "only the piano player" (literally) in Ruby's place just before the assassination. But I have found running into people at bars and lunch counters, strange coincidences are more common than dirt, all sorts of unusual stories from random people. In terms of the JFK assassination, static vs. signal issues.   

Speaking of Korean POWs, when growing up in Akron, Ohio I knew a man who was said to have been the only American POW to have escaped from a North Korean prison camp. His name was Joe Goertzen (sp?). James Michener wrote about him in a book though I do not think by name. He escaped and walked a long distance near a road moving only at nights to the south to safety. He was more a friend of my father, and had his own business as an auto mechanic. I believe he is still alive and in Florida now.  

 

Edited by Benjamin Cole
typo save space
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Posted (edited)

Benjamin Cole, do you know the circumstances of how Thomas Peasner came to be a North Korean POW, whether he was captured unwillingly along with other soldiers or whether he voluntarily surrendered? I cannot find anything on that.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Steve Thomas, I found this FBI information obtained from Andy Armstrong dated Nov 26, 1963, in which Andy Armstrong furnished records of Carousel Club employees clearly from written records, and there it is, Joy Dale's address is 424 1/2 West Tenth Street, Apartment 3.( https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1136#relPageId=111 )

Then I rechecked the Jack Ruby FBI interview of Nov 25, 1963, where Ruby gives Joy Dale's address as 410 1/2 10th St. I see in that interview of Ruby, which would be in jail away from written records since it is the day after Ruby shot Oswald--Ruby lists many names which the FBI agents want to know, and Ruby gives address information only sporadically for a few of them from memory if he knows, and its all from memory ( https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1137#relPageId=60 ).

Therefore it is clear, Ruby was giving Joy Dale's address from memory and simply erred and gave the address of the Tippit murder by mistake. 

Two 10th Street addresses in his mind, similar street numbers, just got them mixed up for some reason, these things happen ... (but the Columbo question: wonder why the Tippit murder address was in his mind, in making that inadvertent mistake?) 

 

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