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The Oswald family at the Furniture Mart, a rifle scope installation in November 1963, and why it matters: a sale of the rifle before the assassination


Greg Doudna
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PART 2a OF 3

OSWALD’S RIFLE SCOPE INSTALLATION AT THE IRVING SPORTS SHOP 

Mrs. Whitworth identified Oswald as having first entered her Furniture Mart store alone, with the rest of the family waiting outside, as he walked in carrying something in his hands and asking for a gunsmith. Mrs. Whitworth’s description of the size and shape of the package Oswald was holding is in agreement with the size and shape of a rifle scope. Mrs. Whitworth referred Lee to the Irving Sports Shop, a little over one block away. Lee was last seen by Whitworth and Hunter driving Ruth Paine’s car, with Marina and their little girl and baby, intending to go to the Irving Sports Shop, on a date which can only have been Monday, Nov 11.

At the Irving Sports Shop, an employee, Dial Ryder, on Monday Nov 25 told the FBI and showed the FBI a job ticket he had found, authenticated by Dial Ryder as his handwriting, for a rifle scope installation done sometime between Nov 1 and 14 for a customer named “Oswald”.

The Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop Oswald visits go together. Logically there is something of a one plus one equals three phenomenon here, in terms of weight of evidence. That is, if either Oswald identification is credible or correct, that adds to the credibility of the other.

Between Nov 1 and 15 Dial Ryder was doing all of the gunsmithing work of the Irving Sports Shop in the absence of the owner, Woodrow Greener, while Greener was on vacation. Greener knew nothing personally of any Mannlicher-Carcano having been worked on in his shop, which he would have known if it had been before Nov 1 or after Nov 15. Dial Ryder, who told of installing dozens of scopes in that time period due to deer hunting season soon to begin, said he did not remember a physical description of the customer or the date of his Oswald job ticket but confirmed that the job ticket itself was authentic and that he indeed had done the work for a customer of that job ticket.

The FBI made a serious effort to find some different Oswald in the greater Dallas area who had had a scope installed, to account for that Oswald job ticket, with no success. Nevertheless the Warren Commission rejected that Lee Harvey Oswald had a scope installed at the Irving Sports Shop.

Ryder’s memory of his Oswald customer and rifle

Ryder’s account showed changes over time. His final position, represented in his Warren Commission testimony, was that while the job ticket was in his handwriting and reflected a real customer sometime Nov 1-14, he could not remember either the customer or the rifle, followed by several reasonings why he did not believe the rifle he had worked on of that job ticket could have been the Mannlicher-Carcano found at the Texas School Book Depository.

That narrative has been so widely publicized that it is surprising to realize that in his earliest statement to the FBI, on Nov 25, 1963, Dial Ryder gave indication that he did have some specific memory of both the customer and the rifle. Because Ryder’s statement on Nov 25 was so early and his first law enforcement interview, it has a good chance of reflecting information missing in his later statements and testimony in which he presents himself as having no memory of the customer or the rifle of that Oswald job ticket. Here is this earliest FBI interview report of Dial Ryder, Nov 25, 1963:

“Mr. Ryder viewed a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald, taken August 9, 1963, after which he stated that he cannot be positive that Oswald has been a customer in the Irving Sports Shop but is quite sure that he has seen and/or talked to Oswald probably in the store. He stated he associated Oswald’s picture with that of an individual who brought in an Argentine made rifle about two weeks ago and he, Ryder, attached a scope on that gun. He pointed out that an Argentine rifle of the type he has in mind has a different bolt assembly than does the gun used to assassinate President Kennedy; therefore, he cannot be definitely sure that the person he has in mind is identical with Lee Harvey Oswald.” (CE 1333, FBI document of April 2, 1964, telling of an FBI interview of Dial Ryder of Nov 25, 1963).

Key points:

·      When shown a photo of Oswald, Dial Ryder recognized Oswald as someone he had seen “probably in the store”.

·      Dial Ryder connected not simply the name on the Oswald job ticket (“Oswald”) but the photo of Oswald to a particular customer he remembered “about two weeks ago” before Nov 25, who had had a scope installed.

·      Ryder thought the rifle of this customer, connected by photo and by name by Ryder to Lee Harvey Oswald, had been an “Argentine made rifle”. This is other language for saying he thought the rifle had been a Mauser. That is the identical identification originally given to Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano by Dallas police officers Weitzman and Fritz and deputy sheriffs Boone and Craig, upon discovery of the rifle on the sixth floor of the TSBD on Nov 22. Film footage of Tom Alyea of WFAA-TV showed the rifle found on the sixth floor was Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano, not a Mauser, so there is no doubt as to the reality in that case; the Mauser identification had been a mistake. The memory of Dial Ryder, who had never before seen a Mannlicher-Carcano at the time he worked on the rifle of his Oswald job ticket, reflects the identical mistake in identification of the identical rifle made by law enforcement officers on the day of the assassination.

Therefore contrary to Dial Ryder’s later versions in which he claimed he had no memory of either the customer or the rifle, Dial Ryder in this earliest interview by the FBI did have some memory of both the customer and the rifle of the Oswald job ticket. And this earliest date estimate of Ryder for the job of that job ticket is noteworthy—“about two weeks” before Nov 25, in agreement with the Nov 11 date determined from independent argument as the date of the Oswald Furniture Mart visit which dates the Irving Sports Shop visit since the two happened together. 

Ryder would later tell the Warren Commission that at that time he had never before seen a Mannlicher-Carcano. It is therefore not surprising that he did not recognize it at the time as a Mannlicher-Carcano but assumed (like the later police and deputy sheriffs of Nov 22) that the rifle had been a Mauser. After the assassination Greener discussed with Ryder the differences between a Mauser and a Mannlicher-Carcano with Ryder and Ryder was able to see and handle Mannlicher-Carcano rifles for himself. Ryder then cited that later-acquired knowledge of such differences—learned by Ryder after the assassination—as backward reasonings why his Oswald’s customer’s rifle would not have been the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald. 

The conclusion here is straightforward: Ryder’s job ticket customer named Oswald was Oswald and the rifle was Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano, not a Mauser as Ryder mistakenly identified. Although Dial Ryder would go back and forth on his levels of certainty—whether he remembered seeing Oswald, whether he remembered the rifle—in this first FBI interview of Nov 25 he did reveal some memory, which is in agreement with the known Oswald.

The scope which came with Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano from Klein’s was considered a piece of junk

Robert Prudhomme reposted this written by an Alex (last name was in the original but blocked out by Prudhomme) from Martin B. Retting, Inc., the company which bought the inventory of 4x scopes from Ordnance Optics one of which had been installed on the 40” Mannlicher-Carcano shipped to Oswald (“Hidell” at Oswald’s PO Box). (Orig. date unknown; reposted Oct 20, 2015, https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/22360-more-on-the-rifle-scope/page/3/)

“When Ordnance Optics went out of business, we (Martin B. Retting, Inc.) bought their remaining inventory of 4x scopes. From what I hear…it was a pretty big lot and the scopes were such poor quality that Jim Thompson (who was the mgr at the time and responsible for the purchase) never heard the end of it. For a while the scopes were sold on the floor for use with .22 rifles, I think they were under $10.00 in the late 70’s. I remember buying one as a kid for my 10/22. Their more infamous role came when one of the scopes that we sold Kline’s ended up on a certain Carcano. Here are the facts as I know them to be:

"a) There was only one lot of scopes sold off by Ordnance Optics… but there were two slight variations within it. The one on Oswald’s rifle had a knurled ocular lens bell housing. The remaining scopes have smooth ocular bell housings. Otherwise the markings are the same.

"b) There is only one type of mount, both the 3 hole and 4 hole started out the same. Some mounts were ground to fit 95 Mausers (in order to clear the bolt stop). The Carcano should have had a four hole mount, with no need for grinding…but Kline’s had both styles and simply installed the wrong one.

"c) The best photo of the rifle, for reference of the scope and mount, appears in the November, 1983 issue of Life Magazine. A photographer was allowed access to the Oswald rifle. The resulting photos show much more detail than the Warren commission pics. 

"d) The scopes themselves are horrible…very poor optically…very frail crosshairs! In addition, the crosshairs are not self centering, so depending on the rifle, the sight picture may be a little annoying. The mounts are also prone to bending. If I had to vote, I go along with the school of thought that argues that Oswald either used the iron sights or simply pointed the rifle by looking over the scope. (. . .) Alex” 

It is no surprise, and would be expected, that Oswald would take the scope off the rifle after receiving it from Klein’s

Robert Prudhomme, who has firearms expertise, wrote:

“I strongly maintain the scope on C2766 is the weak link in the conspiracy lie. It was basically a toy scope designed to be mounted on a pellet gun or .22 calibre rifle and, with its extremely limited field of vision, meant for shooting at very close ranges. As admitted by the FBI's SA Robert A. Frazier, it was of very poor quality and quite difficult to make adjustments on while sighting it in. (. . .) Not only was this a cheap poorly made scope, the very mechanics of the 6.5mm Carcano rifle required it to be mounted in an awkward and unusual fashion. Even then, further modifications were required to allow the rifle to function properly. Each of these problems by themselves would make sighting this rifle in to a target very difficult. Together, they presented what I believe would be a scope so difficult to sight in, it is difficult to believe Oswald could have accomplished this feat.

“What I intend to prove is that Oswald, who the records show owned or used no other scoped rifle in civilian life and who had no training with scopes in the USMC, would have had such difficulty sighting in this scope, it is probable the scope never was sighted in at all. Knowing this, Oswald would have been forced to use the open sights; an awkward and limiting practice if one has the scope in one's face while doing so. From this I draw the obvious conclusion: with such deficiencies in the scope, Oswald would have removed the scope and mount weeks before he brought the rifle to the assassination.” (https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/22360-more-on-the-rifle-scope/)

The scope would be taken off by unscrewing, no gunsmith necessary

The scope was removed by unscrewing (https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=4268#relPageId=21). Oswald could do that on his own, without cost out of pocket or need to go to a gunsmith.

Why a professional gunsmith was needed to put the scope back on Oswald's rifle

Putting the base mount and scope back on would not normally require a gunsmith since it would be a simple matter of screwing it back on. Oswald would therefore have first attempted to screw the scope mount back on but stripped the threads in the process, requiring going to a gunsmith to drill and tap new screw threads for the reinstallation. 

The evidence that screw threads were stripped is that the drill and tapping was done. If the screw threads on Oswald’s rifle where the scope base mount was attached were not stripped, there would not have been any drill and tapping done, and Oswald would not have needed to have brought the rifle to a gunsmith in the first place. 

An article on GunsAmerica, a firearms site, “Repairing Damaged Screw Holes”, explains that stripping of screw threads on scope mounts is common (https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/repairing-damaged-scope-mount-holes/): 

“This is not an uncommon problem in hunting rifles in general. Somewhere along the line, someone who doesn’t know how, attempts to mount a scope on a rifle and damages the holes in the process.” 

As the article explains, the method of installation of a scope with stripped threads is to drill and tap new holes of a slightly larger thread size over the same holes. This is what Dial Ryder did on the rifle of Oswald. 

Reinstallation of original scope

Oswald’s arrival to the Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop, scope in hand wanting it to be reinstalled, is evidence he had taken the scope off. The scope was not on his rifle, yet he had the scope in hand because it was the scope he had taken off the rifle. This is a different interpretation than usually given. From the Warren Report on, there has long been a perceived contradiction: if Oswald’s rifle was shipped with a scope as the order records of Klein’s of Chicago indicate (also in the Backyard Photos), why would Oswald put on a new scope at the Irving Sports Shop? From this perceived contradiction or premise all sorts of erroneous and speculative conclusions have been drawn: that therefore it could not have been Oswald at the Irving Sports Shop; that maybe it was Oswald but a different rifle; that it was an imposter pretending to be Oswald, an operative in a vast operation so successfully concealed that not a single document or witness has ever told of it, an imposter supplied with a fake Marina and fake children at the earlier Furniture Mart as part of the deception, etc. and etc. 

Those ideas are all baseless. It was simply Oswald putting the scope back on the rifle that had been shipped to him from Klein’s.

Three drill and taps or two?

The Dial Ryder job ticket for the Oswald scope installation showed $4.50 for drill and tapping, and $1.50 for bore-sighting, for a $6.00 total charge. The $4.50 for drill and tapping was the normal shop charge for three drill and taps, charged at $1.50 each.

This evidence of the charge corresponding to three drill and taps was later cited by the Warren Commission and by Dial Ryder himself as indicating the rifle of his job ticket would not have been Oswald’s Mannicher-Carcano, since the Mannlicher-Carcano scope base mount only has two screws.

Upon analysis that is only superficially a seemingly serious discrepancy. The key point here is that although it is true there are only two screws on the Mannlicher-Carcano scope base mount, the base mount itself on Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano has three screw holes. While most scope base mounts had four holes (if used on a Mannlicher-Carcano only two would be used), the one on Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano has three (only two used). From the account of Alex from Martin B. Retting, Inc., cited above:

"There is only one type of mount, both the 3 hole and 4 hole started out the same. Some mounts were ground to fit 95 Mausers (in order to clear the bolt stop). The Carcano should have had a four hole mount, with no need for grinding…but Kline’s had both styles and simply installed the wrong one."

It is important here that Oswald at the Irving Sports Shop was not buying a new scope or base mount. He brought in his own of both to be installed. Nor had Oswald bought a new base mount or scope somewhere else; there is no evidence for that and there was no need to do so, given that he already had a base mount and scope for the rifle (the ones he had taken off from it). He was having the same scope and base reinstalled that had been on the rifle as received from Klein’s. But the base mount itself had three holes for screws. By Dial Ryder’s own later testimony, at that point he had never before seen a Mannlicher-Carcano. Oswald brought his scope and base mount with three screw holes to the Irving Sports Shop where Dial Ryder was. He would have told Dial Ryder what he wanted and Dial Ryder would have quoted the price up front.

With this background in place it can fairly easily be reconstructed approximately what must have happened: Dial Ryder, who knew nothing about Mannlicher-Carcanos and had never seen one before, took a look at Oswald's base mount with its three screw holes and quoted a price for drilling and tapping three screw holes, $4.50 for drill-and-taps, plus $1.50 for bore sighting afterward, and Oswald said “fine, do it”, provided it could be done on the spot, to which Ryder agreed.

The job was done while Oswald waited. Dial Ryder would have taken the rifle, the scope, and the base mount, all brought in by Oswald and handed over the counter, to the back of the shop to his workbench. Dial Ryder there realized that only two drill-and-taps were needed, not three. Ryder did the two professional drill-and-taps, installed the scope, bore-sighted the rifle, and brought the finished work back out to Oswald with the job completed. When Ryder returned the finished work to Oswald Ryder simply followed through on the originally quoted charge. Oswald paid, Oswald left happy with the job completed as wanted, and Ryder had made $6.00 additional to his pay that day. It was not an intentional overcharge at the outset, and the charge could be retroactively justified in several ways (for doing it rush on the spot, for unforeseen difficulty in doing the drill and taps, etc.). The job ticket itself does not say the charge was for three drill-and-taps, only the price of $4.50 for an unspecified number. 

The charge for drilling and tapping quoted to and paid by Oswald is therefore not cause to conclude the rifle of the Oswald job ticket was not Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano. 

Cash transaction

The Warren Commission interpreted certain anomalies in the Oswald job ticket—Dial Ryder not telling his employer of the job ticket even though he told the FBI of it; lack of verification of the Oswald $6.00 transaction in the store’s cash register tapes—as suggesting Dial Ryder forged the job ticket. These things are better understood in terms of a phenomenon well-known in the world of retail which the Warren Commission failed to consider: that this was a case of a cash transaction which had gone into the employee’s pocket directly, rather than processed through the cash register as it should have been. That explains why Ryder did not immediately tell his boss about it. Once Greener learned of the Oswald job ticket Greener would have realized what had happened, but publicly Greener defended his long-time productive employee and praised him, rather than humiliate Ryder by making that indiscretion public. But with that said, there is no basis for assuming Dial Ryder forged the job ticket, ever contacted a journalist, or sought any of the public scrutiny that came upon him over that job ticket.

The Oswald scope installation was done the same day he brought it in

Oswald’s scope installation came during what Dial Ryder described as a busy time for the shop, with dozens of scope installations pouring in. Reference is made in Greener’s Warren Commission testimony to a “rack” in the shop in which rifles were left by customers to be worked on and picked up on a later day. The impression given is, particularly during a busy season, that rifles needing the attention of a gunsmith typically or most commonly would be left for later pickup, and would take their turn in a queue to be worked on. But in the case of Oswald on Nov 11, it would not have been possible for Oswald to return later to pick up his rifle. It can therefore be expected that Oswald would have asked if the work could be done while he waited, would have explained that was essential and the only way it could be done because he was unable to return later. Shops vary in their responses to this kind of request, but in my experience many business owners will attempt to accommodate such requests if feasible. That the Oswald scope installation happened at all is pretty good evidence in itself that it was done while Oswald waited, because otherwise Oswald would have left with his rifle and no job would have been done there. That Dial Ryder agreed and that is what happened is further indicated from the minimal customer identification information written on the job ticket, as well as the ticket stub not being removed and given to the customer for a later pickup. If the rifle had been left for pickup at a later time, the stub of the job ticket likely would have been torn off and given to Oswald. (It is not that the stub would be required by the shop for the customer to later retrieve his or her property, but because customers are normally given paperwork or a receipt of some kind for their own sake, as evidence that their property is in the shop.) But that did not happen, which is in agreement with the Oswald rifle not having been left at the shop to be picked up later.

That there was no possibility for Oswald to leave the rifle and return on a later day for pickup is also confirmed from simple logistics. Oswald was at the Irving Sports Shop Mon Nov 11. On Tue Nov 12 Oswald returned to Dallas riding with Wesley Frazier to work and Oswald did not return again to Irving until the night of Thu Nov 21, and by the time Lee was there Thursday evening it would not have been possible to get to the Sports Shop and back to the Ruth Paine house without the trip being noticed by Ruth Paine that evening.

For all of these reasons the rifle scope installation and Oswald’s payment for it can only have taken place the same day he walked in, on Nov 11, with Dial Ryder’s work done on the spot while Oswald waited, whether outside in the car with Marina and their children or inside the shop. Dial Ryder might be in the back for 20-30 minutes or however long it took to complete the work, Oswald would have paid for it, then driven himself and Marina and their children back to Ruth Paine’s house and put the rifle back in the garage, all before Ruth returned from Dallas that day, which Ruth Paine estimated happened around 2 pm or so. 

There was a woman employee who worked every day at the Irving Sports Shop, who did no gunsmithing work. She had no memory of the Oswald job ticket customer. But Nov 11 was Veterans Day, and one explanation of her not remembering Oswald or is rifle is that she was not working on Veteran’s Day because it was a holiday for her. On the other hand Dial Ryder, perhaps backlogged with work, could very easily have come into the shop to get caught up on work in the queue, as a reason to be there whether or not the shop would be open anyways on Veterans Day. This context of an employee in a shop alone is consistent with the interpretation of the Oswald job ticket as from a job done on the spot for cash which did not enter the usual bookkeeping of the business.

Oswald putting the scope back on the rifle as intent to sell the rifle

Oswald’s scope reinstallation is unlikely to have been due to his own preference or for his own use, given that he disliked the scope and removed it. (The evidence that he had removed it is he had it put back on.) The only reason that makes sense for Oswald putting that scope back on is he was preparing the rifle for sale, restoring the rifle to the condition he had received it with stripped threads fixed and scope mounted. 

There is no reason to suppose the reinstallation of the scope was because Oswald was premeditating an assassination of Kennedy on Nov 22, 1963. Among other things, before Tue Nov 19 Oswald would not have known the presidential motorcade would even pass by the Texas School Book Depository. That information was first published only on Tue Nov 19, over a week after Oswald had the scope reinstalled. Nor did Oswald give any other sign, to anyone who knew him, in his papers or in anything he said or did prior to the assassination that he was premeditating violence toward President Kennedy. There is no credible evidence or likelihood that Oswald took the rifle after having the scope reinstalled anywhere to practice firing it at all. No rifle ammunition was found among Oswald's belongings. Therefore the rifle scope reinstallation was not for his own use of the rifle, but was for the purpose of preparation of the rifle for sale. It is hard to draw any other conclusion.

As for why Oswald would decide to sell his rifle at that particular time, we do not know but one possibility could be Marina was uncomfortable with Lee having the rifle in Ruth Paine’s garage without Ruth’s knowledge, in light of some anti-gun views Ruth had expressed to Marina. Marina could have asked or pressed Lee to remove the rifle from Ruth Paine’s premises for that reason. But to do so created a problem. Lee had no other place to store it, nor was he using it. In everyday life that is the kind of circumstances that produces garage sales or private sales of items. Of course there are other possibilities for why Lee might be preparing the rifle for a sale or conveyance. It is not known. What is known is that it appears that is what he was doing, whatever the reason why. 

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PART 2b OF 3

Police and FBI learn that the Oswald rifle had been at the Irving Sports Shop 

On Nov 24, 1963 Dallas Police Department officer F. M. Turner received a call from a journalist reporting an anonymous caller tip concerning Oswald having had his rifle sighted at the Irving Sports Shop. 

“On Sunday night, November 24, 1963, a Ray John of Cannel 8 News called this office stating that he had an anonymous phone call that stated they thought Oswald had the rifle sighted in on Thursday, November 21, 1963, at a gun shop at 211 or 212 Irving Boulevard. We checked and found an Irving Sport Shop at 221 East Irving Boulevard, BL 3-5309. A Woodrow Greener, BL 2-8492, owns this shop and has a man named Dial D. Ryder, 2028 Harvard, Irving, BL 3-4876, working for him. He states that he and Ryder have talked about this and have seen photos of Oswald and photos of the gun in the paper and neither can remember doing any work for this man, or any work on this gun.” (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=217802#relPageId=175&search=greener)

From an FBI report in CE 1334:

“On May 13, 1964, Ray John Television News Department, Channel 8, WFAA-TV, corner Young and Houston Streets, Dallas, Texas, advised that he recalls that on the afternoon of Sunday, November 24, 1963, following the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, he arrived at his office at approximately 1:00 PM. to coordinate the recent news events.

“John advised that he received a telephone call sometime between 3:00 and 3:30 P.M. of that day from an anonymous male caller, who stated that he believed ‘Oswald’ had had a rifle sighted at a gun shop located in the 200 block on Irving Boulevard in Irving, Texas. John advised he interpreted the name ‘Oswald’ to mean Lee Harvey Oswald. He stated he recalled asking the anonymous caller where he obtained this information and that the caller declined to elaborate. The caller did not support his statement by any other corroborating information, and for that reason John did not place too much credence in the story.

“John advised, however, he decided to offer this information to law enforcement for whatever it might be worth, and he, accordingly, called the office of J. Will Fritz, Captain Homicide and Robbery Division, Dallas Police Department, at about 3:45 P.M. and furnished this information to Detective Fay Turner of that Division. John advised he could recall the anonymous caller had a very husky, deep bass voice and was definitely a male.”

On Sun Nov 24, later that same day, a different anonymous caller told the same thing to the FBI:

“At 6:30 P.M. on November 24, 1963, an anonymous male caller telephonically advised a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Dallas, Texas, that at about 5:30 P.M. he learned from an unidentified sack boy at Wyatt’s Supermarket, Plymouth Park Shopping Center, Irving, Texas, that Lee Harvey Oswald, on Thursday, November 21, 1963, had his rifle sighted at the Irving Sports Shop, 221 East Irving Boulevard, Irving, Texas. He said he could furnish no further details concerning this matter and does not know if it is true or how the boy found out this information. The above anonymous male caller sounded as if he were a normal, stable individual, but said he did not desire to identify himself. ” (https://www.maryferrell.org/archive/docs/217/217802/images/img_217802_180_300.png ).

The FBI attempted to contact owner Greener of the Irving Sports Shop on Mon Nov 25, but Greener was away visiting friends that day. The FBI reached employee Dial Ryder instead. Dial Ryder disclosed to the FBI that he had found an Oswald job ticket while cleaning his work area two days earlier, on Sat Nov 23. Ryder did not phone and tell Mr. Greener what he had told the FBI. On Tue and Wed Dial Ryder still did not tell Greener of the Oswald job ticket. Greener only learned of the Oswald job ticket in his shop after an article about it appeared in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day, Nov 28. That morning reporter Hunter Schmidt phoned Dial Ryder around 7:30 a.m. waking him up. Ryder’s response to the article publication was an angry denial that he had told Schmidt the things Schmidt reported. Schmidt said Ryder did talk to him in answer to Schmidt’s questions and told him, Schmidt, everything that Schmidt wrote in his story which was published that day, including about the job ticket. From an FBI interview report of 5/19/64.

“Hunter Schmidt, Jr., county reporter, ‘Dallas Times Herald’, Herald Square, Dallas, Texas, was interviewed regarding an article appearing in the November 28, 1963, edition of the ‘Dallas Times Herald’, captioned ‘Oswald Gun Sight Mounted in Irving.’

“Schmidt advised he recalled writing his article on the morning of November 28, 1963, in his offices on the fourth floor of the Times Herald Building. He stated that on the morning of November 28, 1963, he arrived at work at 7:00 A.M., as is his usual custom; and, as he entered the city news room, he was advised by other reporters already on duty, to the effect that information had been received by them that the Dallas Police Department was in possession of information that Lee Harvey Oswald had had a telescopic sight mounted on his rifle at a suburban gun shop. He stated he was told that a gunsmith by the name of ‘Ryder’ had mounted a scope on a rifle for an individual by the name of ‘Oswald’ and that this matter was currently being investigated by the Dallas Police Department. (. . .) He stated he attempted to contact the Irving Sports Shop by telephone, but, after receiving no answer, then called Dial D. Ryder at his residence. Schmidt estimated the time of his call to be between 7:30 and 8:00 A.M. on the morning of November 28, 1963.

“Schmidt advised the telephone was answered by an individual claiming to be Dial D. Ryder of 2020 Harvard Street, Irving, Texas, and that, after identifying himself fully as a reporter for the “Dallas Times Herald” newspaper in Dallas, Texas, he then asked Ryder if he had attached a telescopic sight to a rifle for a man named Oswald. Schmidt advised that it was obvious from the opening conversation that he had awakened Ryder and Ryder made mention of the fact that he was quite sleepy and had not slept well the night before. Ryder, however, was very helpful and cooperative in answer to Schmidt’s questions, and appeared to be very happy to furnish answers to any questions submitted by Schmidt.

“Schmidt stated Ryder advised him he was employed at the Irving Sports Shop, located on Irving Boulevard in Irving, Texas, and that part of his duties consisted of performing repair work on rifles and other weapons for customers of that sports shop; and, in the course of his business, he recalled having attached a telescopic sight and bore sighted a foreign-made rifle for a customer named Oswald about a month prior to that time. Ryder told him he could not recall the make of the rifle, although he believed it to be foreign made, but would be unable to further identify it.

“Ryder explained to him that he had located an undated ticket made out to one Oswald reflecting the notations, drilling and tapping $4.50, and bore sighting $1.50, total charges $6.00. Ryder explained this ticket could only reflect that he had drilled and tapped screw holes for mounting a telescopic sight and that, according to the charges reflected on the ticket, the work done on the rifle would consist of drilling three holes for which he charges $1.50 each, and the other $1.50 would reflect charges for bore sighting. (. . .)

“Schmidt advised he recalled Ryder volunteering that insofar as he could remember, the customer Oswald bought no ammunition for this rifle from him. Schmidt advised he recalls specifically questioning Ryder as to the further description of this Oswald for whom Ryder allegedly performed this work, but that Ryder explained to him that he had performed work of this type on a great many rifles during that time of year as the hunting season was approaching, and he had no recollection whatsoever of the individual named Oswald for whom he performed this work. 

“Schmidt stated that, based upon the information received from Ryder, he immediately sat down and wrote the article captioned ‘Oswald Gun Sight Mounted in Irving’, and that after submitting it to the rewrite department for approval, it was dispatched by messenger to the press rooms immediately thereafter so that it could be included in the next edition of the ‘Dallas Times Herald’. Schmidt explained that he believes this article came out in the 11:00 A.M. edition (. . .)

“Schmidt advised that while at his residence the evening of November 28, 1963, he observed a taped television interview on the 10:00 o’clock news of CBS Television, in which Ryder denied furnishing any of the information to a ‘Dallas Times Herald’ reporter as set forth in the article, and, although Ryder indicated the possibility existed the Irving Sports Shop could have performed work for Lee Harvey Oswald without the knowledge of Ryder, Ryder did not mention the work ticket or any of the items listed thereon as he had to Schmidt early that morning and, in effect, denied having furnished the contents of the article as written by Schmidt.

“Schmidt advised he was naturally upset over the denial by Ryder, and the following morning, November 29, 1963, at approximately 9:00 to 10:00 A.M., he telephoned the Irving Sports Shop again and spoke to a Mr. Greener, the owner of the shop. He advised Greener that the information set forth in his article of the preceding day was exactly as related to him by Ryder and that he had no other source of information. He asked Greener if Ryder had discussed this matter with him and inquired as to the reasons why Ryder had denied furnishing him, Schmidt, this information. Schmidt stated Greener advised him, Schmidt, that he, Greener, was completely unaware of any of the information set forth in the article of November 28, 1963, until he was contacted by CBS Television reporters on the afternoon of November 29, 1963, and, after being interviewed by the television reporters, he confronted Ryder with the facts set forth in the newspaper article, but that Ryder denied furnishing any of these facts to any reporter at any time. Schmidt stated Greener told him that Ryder did admit to receiving a telephone call in the early morning hours of November 28, 1963, but that he denied furnishing any information to the caller.” 

Rather than the Warren Commission’s suggestion that Dial Ryder forged the job ticket, this is better understood as a story of an average person, Dial Ryder, caught up in a million-to-one accident of finding himself the object of national news over a transaction which otherwise would never have come to his boss’s or anyone else’s attention. And because of the nature of that particular transaction, the publicity surrounding it could threaten the reputation and livelihood of Greener’s business. The reactions of Greener and Dial Ryder are therefore hardly neutral or disinterested as the information came out.

Here is the sequence: Greener learned of the Oswald job ticket in his shop only because of the article appearing in the paper Thursday afternoon quoting Dial Ryder telling of it. Greener gets on the phone to Dial Ryder, exact conversation unknown, perhaps some form of “what the &^%$ is going on?”. By Thursday night CBS national news was reporting to the nation a denial by Dial Ryder that he had told the reporter any of the things reported and denied having any memory of having installed a scope for Lee Harvey Oswald. The Dial Ryder denial had the effect of discrediting Hunter Schmidt’s story even though the story was accurate in its essentials in terms of the facts reported.

How did the story break?

The original sources of the disclosures to the journalist who called the Dallas Police Department, and to the FBI, of the information of the work done on Oswald’s rifle at the Irving Sports Shop remain unknown to the present day. The Warren Commission suspected it was Dial Ryder himself making those phone calls but that must be considered very unlikely. Ryder’s behavior indicates the opposite, that he was not seeking publicity, had been thrown into the national news spotlight through no doing of his own, and that it was not pleasant or his wish. As for the source of the news acquired anonymously by a journalist and anonymously phoned in to the FBI, some possibilities can be considered:

  1. How many persons did Mrs. Whitworth, owner of the Furniture Mart, and Mrs. Hunter, tell in their circles that Mrs. Whitworth had sent Oswald to the Irving Sports Shop to find a gunsmith for some work on a firearm? However these would not know the details of the job ticket.
  2. Mrs. Whitworth was discovered by two visiting journalists on Saturday Nov 23, who interviewed her and Mrs. Hunter and filed a story, the first reporting of the Furniture Mart episode. Did one of those journalists tell someone who anonymously called a journalist and then the FBI? But these too would not have known details of the job ticket. 
  3. Did Oswald himself tell someone, such as a potential buyer of his rifle, how and where he had had the scope reinstalled, and someone told someone who told someone, etc.?
  4. Dial Ryder said he told no one about the job ticket but his wife that first weekend. Did his wife tell someone who told someone etc.? Did Ryder himself, despite denial, tell someone other than his wife under promise of strict confidentiality, who told someone who told someone? Did someone in Dial Ryder’s or Dial Ryder’s wife’s circles via friendship or extended family get the information to a friend journalist (that would account for the journalist) who then made up a different story about having heard it from an anonymous source when phoning it in to the Dallas Police, in order not to violate a promise not to reveal the actual source? And similarly with the phone call to the FBI?

The details of the scope installation as part of two original anonymous phone calls argue against #1 and #2. The mechanism appears most likely to have been some version of #4, though #3 is also possible.

A second trajectory by which the story comes to light: the Furniture Mart

Oswald was in the Furniture Mart holding a scope-shaped package and looking for a gunsmith, directed to the Irving Sports Shop. That witnessed fact supports that Dial Ryder’s Oswald scope installation was what happened next after Oswald left the Furniture Mart, and that it was the same Oswald

The reasonability that Dial Ryder, the only employee qualified to work on rifles at the Irving Sports Shop, would do a scope installation for the man whom Mrs. Whitworth sent there, hardly makes logical the FBI/Warren Commission’s thinking, based on no evidence at all, that Dial Ryder forged the job ticket. Instead, the handwritten job ticket disclosed by Ryder to the FBI and the Furniture Mart testimonies are fortuitous revelations of an event concerning Oswald and the rifle whose significance and implications have gone unexplored and unappreciated. 

On Saturday Nov 23 visiting journalists by accident saw the gunsmith sign on the Furniture Mart in Irving and stopped in to talk to Mrs. Whitworth.

“Mr. Jerry Allen Herald, Box 81, Gonzales, Louisiana, advised that he had destroyed his notes and tapes made of interviews of persons regarding Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Herald advised that on November 22, 1963, he arrived in Dallas, Texas, at approximately 4:45 PM on an assignment from the New York Office of the “Paris-Match” magazine to make photographs regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. He advised that approximately five days after arriving in Dallas, he and Miss Jean Campbell, a correspondent for the “London Evening Standard,” were in Irving, Texas, to contact persons regarding Mrs. Oswald. He stated that as he and Miss Campbell were driving down the street they noticed a sign that said “Gun Shop” and decided to stop at this place to see if anyone there might know Oswald. Upon entering the shop, they found that it had been converted into a used furniture store and was no longer a gun shop.

“He advised that they talked to a woman in the store, a Mrs. Edith Whitworth, and asked her if she knew the Oswalds. Mrs. Whitworth advised them that Lee Harvey Oswald was in her store on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon about the first week in November, 1963. Mrs. Whitworth then stated that Oswald asked her for a gun part, and Mrs. Whitworth specifically named this part, calling it a ‘plunger.’ Mr. Herald advised that Mrs. Whitworth then stated that Oswald became interested in some of the furniture in this store, and a woman entered the store whom she assumed to be Oswald’s wife, and this woman had two children with her, one being a very young baby.

“Mr. Herald stated that he recalls that Mrs. Whitworth gave a very detailed description as to how Mrs. Oswald was dressed, and she also stated that the man conversed with this woman in a foreign language. Mrs. Whitworth advised Herald and Campbell that Oswald talked of furniture and stated that he would need some furniture for an apartment or a house in about three or four weeks. 

“Mr. Herald advised that Mrs. Whitworth stated Oswald had remained in the store for approximately twenty minutes and that when he and his wife left they entered a 1955 blue sedan, possibly a Ford, which automobile was parked directly in front of the window of the store. He stated that Mrs. Whitworth said that Oswald did not bring any weapon in the store and that she did not see him with any weapon of any kind at that time. He stated that Mrs. Whitworth advised them she had seen Oswald on television and his picture in the newspapers, and she was certain that he was the person who had been in her store.

“Mr. Herald stated that Mrs. Whitworth advised them that there was another woman in the store at the time the Oswalds were there. He advised that he and Miss Campbell, upon leaving the store, telephonically contacted this other woman, and she told them basically the same story that Mrs. Whitworth had told them. Mr. Herald further advised that Mrs. Whitworth had referred Oswald to a local sporting goods store in Irving.”

Here is Miss Campbell to the FBI on Dec 6, 1963:

“At 9:30 a.m. today, Miss Jean Campbell, a correspondent for the “London Evening Standard” who maintains an office in Carnegie Hall in New York City (LT 1-3680), came in to see Wick. Miss Campbell is English and has covered for her paper all activities in Dallas for the past 8 days. She said she wanted to advise the FBI of the following:

“Miss Campbell, during her stay in Dallas, interviewed a Mrs. Edith Whitworth who has a shop on East Irving Boulevard (possibly number 145) in Irving, Texas. Mrs. Hunter resides at 141 South Hastings, Irving, Texas, and her telephone number is BL 3-2938. These two ladies are friends.

“Mrs. Whitworth has a sign ‘Gun Shop’ over her door. Mrs. Whitworth told Miss Campbell that Oswald came to her place between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 6 or 7, 1963, followed by Marina, his Russian wife who was holding a baby and his little girl. Marina wore an orchid color coat.

“According to Mrs. Whitworth, Oswald asked, ‘Is this a gun shop?’ Mrs. Whitworth said no, it used to be. Oswald then said, ‘I want a plunger for my gun.’ Mrs. Whitworth said, ‘Why don’t you go to the Irving Sports Shop (back toward Dallas about two blocks).’ Oswald said he would do so. Mrs. Whitworth said she used to run a gun shop but now sells only second-hand furniture. Oswald said he would look at some furniture because he intended to move soon. He was interested, he said, in a bedroom suit. He did look at the furniture but bought none. Mrs. Oswald took no part in this. Mrs. Whitworth commented on the two little girls, his daughters. Oswald said, ‘I wish I’d had a boy.’ Upon leaving the shop, Oswald and his wife got into a 1956, two-tone Ford, blue and white. Mrs. Whitworth said she thought Oswald drove. He turned around in the middle of the street. Mrs. Hunter ran out the door and said to him, ‘Don’t do this. It’s a one way street.’ Both Mrs. Hunter and Mrs. Whitworth said the people were a curious couple principally because Mrs. Oswald took no part in looking at the furniture, etc, and Oswald himself seemed strange. The couple was in the shop about ten minutes.

“Miss Campbell said later, in talking with Mrs. Paine where the Oswald couple stayed and where presumably Oswald lived only week ends, the matter became still more confusing. Miss Campbell said it was confusing because Mrs. Paine ‘vowed up and down’ that Mrs. Oswald never went anyplace either in a car or walking. Miss Campbell asked Mrs. Paine if Mrs. Oswald had been out of the house with the children the first part of November or the 6th or 7th. Mrs. Paine said absolutely not. Miss Campbell asked if Mr. Oswald had a car and she said, ‘Of course he doesn’t. He doesn’t know how to drive,’ and he never came to get her during the day at any time. Miss Campbell said Mrs. Paine was flustered when she said this because Miss Campbell pressed the point hard and Mrs. Paine would not talk with her anymore.”

Greener and Ryder aftermath

In the hours after the assassination on Nov 22 Greener the business owner wondered if Oswald had been a customer in his shop. As noted, the Oswald job ticket has every appearance of having been a cash transaction which had gone into the employee’s pocket, rather than processed through the cash register and store records. That will explain why Ryder delayed in telling his boss about it. In addition, Ryder would have known from Greener’s conversations on Friday Nov 22 that Greener did not want his sports shop to have done work on the rifle used in the president’s assassination, and this could have influenced Ryder in his denial which came about reported on CBS News following Greener learning of the job ticket and calling Dial Ryder about it.

Greener and Ryder’s final position reflected in their Warren Commission testimony was that either the customer was some different Oswald or Oswald had brought in a different rifle than the one in the news, one or the other. That can be understood as simply retroactive rationalization or heavy-duty wishful thinking. Greener for his part had no knowledge of either the customer or the rifle since he was not there, so Greener’s opinions of what the rifle or customer would or would not have been are irrelevant. It all comes down to Ryder’s changing story of first recognizing Oswald’s photo as someone he had seen probably in the store, which he connected to the customer of the Oswald work order . . . to saying he had no memory of an Oswald or Oswald rifle even though he said he did do the work for the customer of a job ticket named Oswald.

From all available information, that Oswald had a scope installed on his rifle at the Irving Sports Shop following his visit to the Furniture Mart on Nov 11, 1963, rises to the status of a fact, based on the job ticket authenticated by Dial Ryder and the juxtaposition with the Furniture Mart visit. Later statements by Dial Ryder, and arguments such as three screws versus two screws do not alter this fact. 

For whatever reason, after talking it over with his boss, Greener, Dial Ryder either came to believe or wanted to believe or represented himself as believing, whichever it was, that although he could not say what that customer’s rifle of that day was, he came up with various reasons why (he claimed) it would not have been the rifle of Oswald in the news for assassinating the president. For example, Dial Ryder said he doubted he would have worked on such a cheap scope without remembering it. If he had seen such a cheap scope he would have tried to sell the customer a better scope, etc. and etc. This can all be regarded as ex post facto rationalizations, reasons for not believing that the Irving Sports Shop had installed the scope that was used (so reported in the news) to kill the President of the United States. How horrifying that thought must have been to Ryder and Greener. In addition to the possible personal horror of having (albeit unintentionally) had a role in the assassination of a US president, there could be fears even in terms of personal safety. There was therefore every motive to find and cite reasons why that was not the case, even though there was that job ticket, in Dial Ryder’s handwriting, reading “Oswald . . . $6.00”.

The evidence indicates the Warren Commission erred in rejecting the Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop Oswald activity reports. There is abundant reason to accept them and no serious substantive reason to reject them as having occurred on Nov 11, 1963 for reasons given. It was Oswald who got a scope reinstalled on his rifle that day, pure and simple. 

Conclusion

This argument that Oswald had his rifle’s scope reinstalled on Nov11 is significant in ways not previously considered. The Furniture Mart witnesses and the Irving Sports Shop job ticket are evidence of an intent on Oswald’s part to prepare for sale the same rifle that, eleven days later, came to be central in the law enforcement narrative of the assassination of President Kennedy. 

Nothing in Oswald’s behavior in the runup to the assassination indicates intent to assassinate—nothing. Nothing in Oswald’s behavior in the runup to the assassination indicates any intent on Oswald’s part to do anything with his rifle other than sell it.

The $64,000 question therefore is: what happened to that rifle after Nov 11, now with the scope base mount drilled and tapped and scope reinstalled, rifle now readied for sale? Did Oswald sell or convey the rifle to anyone between Nov 11 and 22? 

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Greg, I always find your posts extremely interesting and logical as well as fairly lengthy!  😅

A question that comes to my mind is:- If LHO took his rifle into Ryder's workshop and Ryder re-fitted the scope etc., while LHO waited the short time for the job to be completed, why would Ryder write out a job ticket + keep that ticket if he intended to pocket the $ without any appearance in the businesses books?

Maybe your thinking is that he was mowed out with work & the ticket was an oversight.

However, the info on the foreign news correspondents at the furniture shop in Irving is completely new to me!

Fascinating stuff.  Thanks.

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11 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Obviously, Dial Ryder's boss Mr. Greener read Ryder the riot act and demanded he deny everything or his job was history.

Now THAT's the "real world."

Because every question raises 3 more. Why didn't Dial Ryder just find that tag [that said Oswald], tear it up, burn the pieces and flush the ashes? According to his testimony, the tags didn't mean all that much anyway.

Mrs. Whitworth and Mrs. Hunter ...Yeah that was your leak to the press but they weren't there in the gun shop were they? So Ryder could have just said 'Oswald? Nope never saw him.'

Roy Truly's buddy Warren Caster was in a gun buying mood and Lee was there as Caster was showing off his rifles that Wednesday before JFK. Oswald might have mentioned this rifle.. if he supposedly needed to get rid of one ASAP.

Why did the Commission guys show Ryder pictures of Larry Crafard?

Quote

 what happened to that [alleged] rifle after Nov 11, now with the scope base mount drilled and tapped and scope reinstalled, rifle now readied for sale? Did Oswald sell or convey the rifle to anyone between Nov 11 and 22?

  Obviously not. It was "found" on the 6th floor of the book building after the shooting...falsely traceable back to the accused. Someone placed it there and it was not Lee Oswald.

I believe that the story--- Marina taking the cops by the hand and showing them an empty blanket in the Paine garage was all a lie.

 

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3 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Greg, I always find your posts extremely interesting and logical as well as fairly lengthy!  😅

A question that comes to my mind is:- If LHO took his rifle into Ryder's workshop and Ryder re-fitted the scope etc., while LHO waited the short time for the job to be completed, why would Ryder write out a job ticket + keep that ticket if he intended to pocket the $ without any appearance in the businesses books?

Maybe your thinking is that he was mowed out with work & the ticket was an oversight.

However, the info on the foreign news correspondents at the furniture shop in Irving is completely new to me!

Fascinating stuff.  Thanks.

Thanks Pete. Good question on the job ticket. It is in pencil and an original, so how did that work exactly. Here is how I reconstruct. It was a writeup of the customer order at the counter when the customer comes in the shop. Dial Ryder writes up a list of tasks to be done, tells verbally to the customer what the charges will be and gives an estimated time of job completion. There is no carbon, this is the normal numbered tags used inside the shop to write up every work order coming in off the street. After writing it up the customer would be asked for a name ("And your name, sir?"). The answer received was "Oswald" and Ryder wrote that. The customer (Oswald) has been told it would be a $6.00 total charge and agreed to it and that is what is written up on the job ticket. The job ticket is all the necessary information for the technician (who is also Ryder) to do the job and then ring up the sale when the job is completed.

If the customer was going to leave the rifle at the shop and return on a later day for pickup, a numbered stub at the bottom of the job ticket (same printed number as the top part) would normally be torn off and given to an over-the-counter customer, but that did not happen in this case. This job by request and Dial Ryder's agreement is done while the customer waits. Dial Ryder would have told the customer, Oswald, some estimate of how long it would probably take, maybe as little as 15 minutes, maybe a little longer or whatever, and the customer (Oswald) waited at the front while Dial Ryder worked in the back. The job ticket goes with the rifle inside the shop. For a normal later pickup job the ticket would be physically attached to the rifle that was put on "the rack" with other rifle jobs to be worked on at a later time. In this case the job ticket would remain in Dial Ryder's hand or on his person while taking the rifle back to his work area. The job ticket might be set loosely to one side on a workbench while he worked, instructions of what exactly was to be done on that rifle, like a waitress's handwritten order for a customer's breakfast given to the cook. (Or in this case as if the cook had taken the customer's order for breakfast then went back to the kitchen to prepare it based on the written order.)

Dial Ryder took the rifle with scope and base supplied by Oswald to the back with the job ticket written out. Ryder does the work. Dial Ryder returns with the work completed to the front counter where Oswald is. Ryder hands him the rifle, explains whatever this and that and friendly talk, collects payment, $6.00, from Oswald (unless Dial Ryder decided to charge the customer some lesser amount than on the job ticket--unknown). A separate paper receipt for payment (not the job ticket) would normally be supplied the customer to go out the door with the customer, though that step might be optional if Oswald didn't care ("would you like a receipt?" "Nah."). But normally the customer would hand over the money, the person behind the counter (Ryder) would punch it into the cash register and either the cash register would print out a receipt if that is how the machines worked then as today; or if not the customer's charges and handwritten "paid" with date and signature would be written out on a form that had a carbon, the original top copy torn off and given to the customer, the carbon remaining with the store as store records, if that was the system. I assume it was the cash register printing out the receipt since I do not recall Greener in his testimony saying anything about searching through other than cash register tapes. Either way the paper receipt for payment (if that step was not skipped) is a distinct piece of paper from the job ticket which never leaves the shop. An employee in a cash on the side situation might handwrite the receipt to give to the customer confirming payment. 

The customer (Oswald) left with the finished rifle with or without a paper receipt showing payment. Dial Ryder still has the job ticket originally written up at the beginning, since that always remains in the store. Job tickets for completed work would likely be put into a box or something with other completed job tickets which would become store records of jobs done, which in theory could be matched up with identical dollar amounts with items on the cash register tapes, but, as reconstructed, that might not have happened in this case if this one was a cash on the side situation. 

That job ticket still physically existed two weeks later however and had not been destroyed. Dial Ryder says he found it on Nov 23 in his work area when cleaning up. Dial Ryder told his wife. Dial Ryder said he did not tell anyone other than his wife. I don't recall seeing a specific FBI statement concerning whether his wife was asked if she told anyone. The next day after he told his wife (Nov 24) a journalist got word to the police of that job ticket (at that point spreading informal knowledge of the job ticket to maybe a half-dozen DPD officers and/or staff, some of their spouses and any they told) and someone phoned in anonymous word to the FBI. After the FBI learned of this Sunday eve Nov 24, FBI investigated Monday morning Nov 25, failed to reach Greener, reached Dial Ryder. FBI knew of the job ticket already, Dial Ryder had already spoken of it to his wife such that Dial Ryder did not deny or lie to the FBI but told them what he knew about it and showed it to them. 

If Dial Ryder had destroyed that job ticket without telling his wife of it the story would have gone nowhere and he would have avoided all the grief. Like Nixon: "if only I had destroyed those tapes..." Dial Ryder--just an average guy minding his own business who got zapped big-time by history. 

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The story that Marina responded to the direct question if her husband owned a rifle by leading the police officers to a rolled-up blanket in the Paine garage appears in the Warren Commission testimony of DPD officer Gus Rose. He said that he was directed to ask the question during a telephone call with Fritz while the officers were at the Paine residence. Note that Ruth Paine, in her role as Marina’s interpreter, was the person who directly “asked” the question and interpreted the answer. Buddy Walthers was also part of the police contingent and his Warren Commission testimony does not mention overhearing the question/answer or that Marina led police to the blanket. DPD officer Harry Weatherford made a contemporaneous statement which says he “stayed with Mrs Oswald and Mrs Payne while the rest of the men searched the house” and doesn’t mention any conversation about a rifle. (Decker Exhibit 5323, 19H)

The officers present do agree a rolled up blanket was present in the garage, tied at both ends (one end loosened), and specifically that the blanket had a distinct impression which matched the form of an intact rifle with stock and tapering barrel. That is not consistent with a notion that an alleged rifle had been removed and presumably returned several times during October/November. It is also not consistent with Michael Paine’s WC testimony of assuming the blanket contained “camping equipment”. Or Ruth Paine’s obliviousness, as the officer’s claimed the rifle imprint was obvious.

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3 hours ago, Jeff Carter said:

The story that Marina responded to the direct question if her husband owned a rifle by leading the police officers to a rolled-up blanket in the Paine garage appears in the Warren Commission testimony of DPD officer Gus Rose. He said that he was directed to ask the question during a telephone call with Fritz while the officers were at the Paine residence. Note that Ruth Paine, in her role as Marina’s interpreter, was the person who directly “asked” the question and interpreted the answer. Buddy Walthers was also part of the police contingent and his Warren Commission testimony does not mention overhearing the question/answer or that Marina led police to the blanket. DPD officer Harry Weatherford made a contemporaneous statement which says he “stayed with Mrs Oswald and Mrs Payne while the rest of the men searched the house” and doesn’t mention any conversation about a rifle. (Decker Exhibit 5323, 19H)

The officers present do agree a rolled up blanket was present in the garage, tied at both ends (one end loosened), and specifically that the blanket had a distinct impression which matched the form of an intact rifle with stock and tapering barrel. That is not consistent with a notion that an alleged rifle had been removed and presumably returned several times during October/November. It is also not consistent with Michael Paine’s WC testimony of assuming the blanket contained “camping equipment”. Or Ruth Paine’s obliviousness, as the officer’s claimed the rifle imprint was obvious.

In my reconstruction the rifle would not have been removed from the blanket several times but only once, on Nov 11 when Oswald retrieved it to take it to the Furniture Mart gunsmith. I have an argument that Oswald sold the rifle, gave it to another party, on Wed or Thu Nov 20 or 21, near his Beckley Street rooming house in Oak Cliff. The question is how the rifle would get to Oswald's rooming house, and when. Based on Nov 11 and Nov 21 as separate arguments fixing those dates, this would mean he had to take the rifle with him in his ride in Wesley Frazier's car Tue morning Nov 12. After taking the rifle out of the blanket the morning of Nov 11, Oswald would have placed the rifle somewhere in the garage but not in the blanket Monday night Nov 11. The rifle would therefore be removed from the blanket only once.

What is your interpretation of the blanket found by police in the garage with "a distinct impression which matched the form of an intact rifle with stock and tapering barrel"? Are you suggesting the officers present that day planted that blanket? That Michael Paine was lying in claiming to have seen the blanket in the garage? That officer Gus Rose was lying re Marina showing the blanket?

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

In my reconstruction the rifle would not have been removed from the blanket several times but only once, on Nov 11 when Oswald retrieved it to take it to the Furniture Mart gunsmith. I have an argument that Oswald sold the rifle, gave it to another party, on Wed or Thu Nov 20 or 21, near his Beckley Street rooming house in Oak Cliff. The question is how the rifle would get to Oswald's rooming house, and when. Based on Nov 11 and Nov 21 as separate arguments fixing those dates, this would mean he had to take the rifle with him in his ride in Wesley Frazier's car Tue morning Nov 12. After taking the rifle out of the blanket the morning of Nov 11, Oswald would have placed the rifle somewhere in the garage but not in the blanket Monday night Nov 11. The rifle would therefore be removed from the blanket only once.

What is your interpretation of the blanket found by police in the garage with "a distinct impression which matched the form of an intact rifle with stock and tapering barrel"? Are you suggesting the officers present that day planted that blanket? That Michael Paine was lying in claiming to have seen the blanket in the garage? That officer Gus Rose was lying re Marina showing the blanket?

Again, Greg, you've done much thinking about this, and that is a good thing.

I've long surmised that, contrary to some respected researchers,  the Furniture Mart/Irving Sports Shop story was NOT wholly an illusion (Peter Dale Scott, in his 1993 "Deep Politics" for example, DID argue that both Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop visits were indeed complete fabrications!), but that real people, including the real Marina with her children did visit the Furniture Mart, as witnessed by Whitworth and Hunter.

However, even the Warren Commission admitted that while both Whitworth and Hunter were convinced that Marina was there, Hunter could not identify the man as our "Oswald." When shown some pictures of our man, even Whitworth could pick him out in only some of them. 

My point is that the eyewitness identification of the alleged assassin as the same man in the Furniture Mart was shaky at best, as admitted by even the Warren Commission themselves!

https://books.google.com/books?id=TpzGMAmH2LEC&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=marina+oswald+testimony+furniture+mart&source=bl&ots=imr0yu0GXD&sig=ACfU3U0jPlkHUIlZqAr-DwSTugQvQUJc1g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiDy_aii9r0AhVJjIkEHc95D7wQ6AF6BAgQEAM#v=onepage&q=marina oswald testimony furniture mart&f=false

If Marina was there with some other man, she would never, ever admit it. 

Who then visited the Irving Sports Shop?

Dial Ryder never, ever said that it was definitely the accused assassin. The best that can be claimed is that someone came in a couple of weeks before the assassination and used the name "Oswald." That person may (MAY) have borne some resemblance to our man, if your interpretation of Ryder's statement of November 25 is correct. But even under FBI pressure, Ryder couldn't say for sure!

What makes me suspect there is something else fishy going on here are the two anonymous phone calls on Sunday afternoon/evening, after the news that "Oswald" was dead broke. These anonymous callers tied "Oswald" and "his" rifle  not only to the Irving Sports Shop, but to the exact employee, Dial Ryder,  complete with accurate spelling!

The first anonymous call was to a local TV reporter/journalist between 3 and 4 pm.  When the reporter asked the obvious question "how do you know about this?" to the caller, the caller declined to answer and hang up.

Nonetheless, the TV reporter/journalist eventually did call the DPD later that evening, but didn't attach any particular significance to it. 

In other words, there was no immediate effect from the anonymous call. 

So, a couple of hours later, around 6 pm, an anonymous caller rang up the FBI with the same specific information, but this time armed with a cover story ("I overheard a bagger at a local grocery mention it").  This time, authorities acted. The FBI tried to get ahold of Greener on Sunday night. 

I don't think these "anonymous" calls were innocent. 

No offense, Greg, but your suppositions about the origin of those calls don't cut it. Whoever placed those calls had some very specific information and was determined to tie that gun to "Oswald" through the Furniture Mart and the Irving Sports Shop and Dial Ryder.

I agree with you that a couple of weeks before the assassination, someone went into the Irving Sports Shop, asked Dial Ryder to do some work on their rifle (whether it was even a  Mannlicher-Carcano is unknowable), paid Ryder cash, and left with the rifle. 

I agree with you that Whitworth, Hunter and Ryder were essentially honest and correct in their recollections. 

I agree with you that Marina lied about never being at the Furniture Mart. 

But I am unconvinced that the man with her that day was indeed her husband. 

And there isn't any strong evidence that our "Oswald" was ever at either place. 

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12 hours ago, Jeff Carter said:

The story that Marina responded to the direct question if her husband owned a rifle by leading the police officers to a rolled-up blanket in the Paine garage appears in the Warren Commission testimony of DPD officer Gus Rose. He said that he was directed to ask the question during a telephone call with Fritz while the officers were at the Paine residence. Note that Ruth Paine, in her role as Marina’s interpreter, was the person who directly “asked” the question and interpreted the answer. Buddy Walthers was also part of the police contingent and his Warren Commission testimony does not mention overhearing the question/answer or that Marina led police to the blanket.

[From] The following affidavit executed by Ruth Hyde Paine on June 24, 1964...highlights-----

Quote

I was not present in my home for part of the day on November 11, 1963. As I testified, I made a trip that day, which was Armstice Day and a holiday, to Dallas, Texas. I was gone from approximately 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Not wishing to burden Lee and Marina with my children, I had, them stay at my neighbors the Craigs. Marina and Lee Oswald and their children were in my home when I left and were there when I returned. Based upon my conversation with Marina and Lee Oswald, and my understanding of their plans for the day, it is my clear opinion that all of them remained in my home during my trip to and from Dallas. I never drove Lee Oswald, with or without Marina, to any area or place in or about either Dallas, Fort Worth, or Irving, Texas, to enable Lee Oswald to engage in rifle practice. I did not know until the afternoon of November 22, 1963, that he possessed or owned a firearm of any kind or character. At no time prior to November 25, 1963, did I know or had I heard of anybody by the name of Dyal Ryder.

Usually an affidavit is drawn up immediately after police contact is made concerning a potential witness. This one was obtained three months after Ruth Paine's marathon testimony to the Commissioners in March 1964. 

Quote

Mr. JENNER - Now, I turn to March, and I direct your attention to the upper left-hand corner of that card, and it appears to me that in the upper left-hand corner are October 23, then a star, then "LHO" followed by the words "purchase of rifle." Would you explain those entries?
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. This was written after.
Mr. JENNER - After?
Mrs. PAINE - This was written indeed after the assassination.
Mr. JENNER - All right.
Mrs. PAINE - I heard on the television that he had purchased a rifle.
Mr. JENNER - When?
Mrs. PAINE - I heard it on November 23.
Mr. JENNER - Yes.
Mrs. PAINE - And went back to the page for March, put a little star on March 20 as being a small square, I couldn't fit in all I wanted to say. I just put in a star and then referring it to the corner of the calendar.

Mr. JENNER - That is to the entry I have read?
Mrs. PAINE - Put the star saying "LHO purchase of rifle." Then I thought someone is going to wonder about that, I had better put down the date, and did, but it was a busy day, one of the most in my life and I was off by a month as to what day it was.
Mr. JENNER - That is you made the entry October?
Mrs. PAINE - October 23 instead of November.

Mr. JENNER - Do you recall an occasion when you had a conversation with Marina--it would have to be on the 23d of November--about the blanket package and the gun in the package?
Mrs. PAINE - On the 23d?
Mr. JENNER - Did you have one--I will put it this way. Did you have any conversation with her on that subject, other than the one you have related that occurred in the presence of the police officers in your home on the 22d of November, 1963?
Mrs. PAINE - None that I recall; nor the day following, either.

Wasn't Marina sequestered that weekend?

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6 hours ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

Again, Greg, you've done much thinking about this, and that is a good thing.

I've long surmised that, contrary to some respected researchers,  the Furniture Mart/Irving Sports Shop story was NOT wholly an illusion (Peter Dale Scott, in his 1993 "Deep Politics" for example, DID argue that both Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop visits were indeed complete fabrications!), but that real people, including the real Marina with her children did visit the Furniture Mart, as witnessed by Whitworth and Hunter.

However, even the Warren Commission admitted that while both Whitworth and Hunter were convinced that Marina was there, Hunter could not identify the man as our "Oswald." When shown some pictures of our man, even Whitworth could pick him out in only some of them. 

My point is that the eyewitness identification of the alleged assassin as the same man in the Furniture Mart was shaky at best, as admitted by even the Warren Commission themselves!

https://books.google.com/books?id=TpzGMAmH2LEC&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=marina+oswald+testimony+furniture+mart&source=bl&ots=imr0yu0GXD&sig=ACfU3U0jPlkHUIlZqAr-DwSTugQvQUJc1g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiDy_aii9r0AhVJjIkEHc95D7wQ6AF6BAgQEAM#v=onepage&q=marina oswald testimony furniture mart&f=false

If Marina was there with some other man, she would never, ever admit it. 

Who then visited the Irving Sports Shop?

Dial Ryder never, ever said that it was definitely the accused assassin. The best that can be claimed is that someone came in a couple of weeks before the assassination and used the name "Oswald." That person may (MAY) have borne some resemblance to our man, if your interpretation of Ryder's statement of November 25 is correct. But even under FBI pressure, Ryder couldn't say for sure!

What makes me suspect there is something else fishy going on here are the two anonymous phone calls on Sunday afternoon/evening, after the news that "Oswald" was dead broke. These anonymous callers tied "Oswald" and "his" rifle  not only to the Irving Sports Shop, but to the exact employee, Dial Ryder,  complete with accurate spelling!

The first anonymous call was to a local TV reporter/journalist between 3 and 4 pm.  When the reporter asked the obvious question "how do you know about this?" to the caller, the caller declined to answer and hang up.

Nonetheless, the TV reporter/journalist eventually did call the DPD later that evening, but didn't attach any particular significance to it. 

In other words, there was no immediate effect from the anonymous call. 

So, a couple of hours later, around 6 pm, an anonymous caller rang up the FBI with the same specific information, but this time armed with a cover story ("I overheard a bagger at a local grocery mention it").  This time, authorities acted. The FBI tried to get ahold of Greener on Sunday night. 

I don't think these "anonymous" calls were innocent. 

No offense, Greg, but your suppositions about the origin of those calls don't cut it. Whoever placed those calls had some very specific information and was determined to tie that gun to "Oswald" through the Furniture Mart and the Irving Sports Shop and Dial Ryder.

I agree with you that a couple of weeks before the assassination, someone went into the Irving Sports Shop, asked Dial Ryder to do some work on their rifle (whether it was even a  Mannlicher-Carcano is unknowable), paid Ryder cash, and left with the rifle. 

I agree with you that Whitworth, Hunter and Ryder were essentially honest and correct in their recollections. 

I agree with you that Marina lied about never being at the Furniture Mart. 

But I am unconvinced that the man with her that day was indeed her husband. 

And there isn't any strong evidence that our "Oswald" was ever at either place. 

Thanks for your comments Paul. On the suggestion that it was really Marina but the man was a different man than Lee, yet who represented himself as Lee ("Oswald") in the Irving Sports Shop and had sufficient physical description similarity that Mrs. Whitworth could mistakenly identify him as Lee . . . how would that work? Would Lee know about this other man taking his wife and children on expeditions to local Irving business locations? When would it have happened? It could not be Nov 11 because she was with Lee all that day. It is not easy to see how it could be on weekends or weekdays otherwise because Ruth Paine knew her whereabouts and said Marina never went off on her own or with someone else.  

A prior question is what problem is this trying to solve? That is, what is the difficulty with the man with Marina appearing to be her husband and claiming the baby girl held by Marina was his own new baby girl, simply being Lee? What is the reason calling for invoking a stand-in lookalike, of whom neither Marina nor Ruth Paine ever said a word, when the genuine article is already there and requires not such extensive imagination? 

You note the anonymous phone calls on Sunday Nov 24 could be intended to implicate Lee, from sinister origins--not simply a leak from someone Dial or his wife told--I agree that is possible. It is included in the possibility I named that the source of the Sports Shop scope installation could have been Oswald himself. The buyer of his rifle per my argument was connected to the ones who did the assassination (reason for that conclusion: the rifle turned up connected to the assassination the next day). My reconstruction proposes that Lee sold the rifle Nov 20 or 21, and that it was people connected to the buyer, not Lee, who took the rifle inside the TSBD to the sixth floor connecting Lee to the assassination the next day. I do not think Lee shot the rifle or that he knew the rifle was in the building. Therefore those anonymous phone calls on Sun Nov 24 could come from persons intending to implicate Oswald, as part of this larger pattern, making opportunistic use of information learned from Oswald at the time of the rifle sale. Although I suggested the accidental leak by a wife's family member or something of that nature matched in terms of details and timing and plausibility Dial's telling his wife of his discovery of the job ticket, and that the anonymity of the calls was self-protective because promises of confidentiality were being violated, the more sinister background to the anonymous phone calls is also possible. I do not know how to exclude one or the other on the basis of present information.

A point of detail: none of the anonymous call reports on Nov 24 indicated the callers knew the name of Dial Ryder.

Of possible interest in light of the "sinister" explanation of those phone calls is that officer Turner of the DPD who received the original anonymous tip from the journalist, said the tip was that Lee had had a rifle sighted at the Irving Sports Shop on Nov 21, the day before the assassination--the wrong date for Oswald at the Irving Sports Shop, but if it was the date Oswald sold the rifle and disclosed the information to the buyer (Lee telling the buyer about the professional work done on the rifle at the Irving Sports Shop), could that be related to the date confusion?

"Detective Fay M. Turner, Homicide and Robbery Division, Dallas Police Department, advised he recalls that on the afternoon of Sunday, November 24, 1963, following the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, he was on duty in the offices of Captain J. Will Fritz and he received a telephone call from one Ray John, who he knows to be a member of the news staff for Channel 8, WFAA-TV, Dallas. To the best of his recollection, this call was received in his office at approximately 3:45 to 5:00 p.m.

"He advised John told him that he, John, had just received a call at the Channel 8 offices from an anonymous caller to the effect that "Oswald" had taken a rifle to a gun shop located in the 200 block on Irving Boulevard on November 21, 1963, to have the rifle 'sighted-in.' Turner stated he checked the city directories in his office and determined that the Irving Sports Shop was located at 221 E. Irving Boulevard in Irving, Texas, and this appeared to be the only shop of its type within several blocks of that address. Turner stated he contacted the Irving Sports Shop and talked to a Mr. Greener, manager of that establishment, regarding this information as received from the anonymous caller and that Greener told him he and his employee, Ryder had discussed [this discussion would refer to Friday Nov 22 afternoon at the shop--gd] the matter of the assassination in connection with repair work they may have done in their shop but that neither could remember having done any work for Lee Harvey Oswald and in particular could not recall having performed any work on a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle which rifle was believed at that time to be the assassination weapon." (FBI, 5/15/64, https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=58994#relPageId=67)

So that is my basic reaction to the real Marina/imposter Lee suggestion. I am not aware of positive evidence or indication of another man in Marina's life in Oct-Nov 1963 or how that could logistically be possible given that she had no money or transportation and her whereabouts were known practically every minute by Ruth Paine except for that one exception on Nov 11 when Ruth was gone and she was with Lee that day. There seems to be no room that I can see logistically for another man in her life in this period that would be unknown to Ruth Paine, to Lee, and to history given the level of scrutiny and investigation Marina's movements received in that time frame. If the man was another man why would the car be blue and white the same as Ruth's car, instead of the other man's car not matching the colors of Ruth's car. And although you have obviously thought about this for some time and must have reasons for proposing it, I do not at this stage understand what reasons call for the proposal in the first place. 

Please further defend yours if you feel I am missing some points, and thanks again for your comments. 

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23 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

In my reconstruction the rifle would not have been removed from the blanket several times but only once, on Nov 11 when Oswald retrieved it to take it to the Furniture Mart gunsmith. I have an argument that Oswald sold the rifle, gave it to another party, on Wed or Thu Nov 20 or 21, near his Beckley Street rooming house in Oak Cliff. The question is how the rifle would get to Oswald's rooming house, and when. Based on Nov 11 and Nov 21 as separate arguments fixing those dates, this would mean he had to take the rifle with him in his ride in Wesley Frazier's car Tue morning Nov 12. After taking the rifle out of the blanket the morning of Nov 11, Oswald would have placed the rifle somewhere in the garage but not in the blanket Monday night Nov 11. The rifle would therefore be removed from the blanket only once.

What is your interpretation of the blanket found by police in the garage with "a distinct impression which matched the form of an intact rifle with stock and tapering barrel"? Are you suggesting the officers present that day planted that blanket? That Michael Paine was lying in claiming to have seen the blanket in the garage? That officer Gus Rose was lying re Marina showing the blanket?

I’m applying deductive reasoning. Gus Rose’s testimony doesn’t really have corroboration, yet neatly establishes “Oswald’s rifle” as fact. The officers at the Paine house left for Irving before Oswald was tied to the JFK slaying, so a telephone call to Fritz was necessary to even know to ask such a question - if it even happened that way. Rose’s testimony checks the necessary boxes for sure.

If the blanket in the garage had the “distinct impression” of a rifle, which seems to imply it had held the object for some period of time, how does it move with Ruth Paine and be placed in the garage with Oswald’s seabag without comment from Ruth or Michael? Michael Paine’s testimony on the matter to the Warren Commission goes on for seven strained pages (WCH IX, pp. 437-443) in which he claims to have pondered intellectually what the blanket could have contained, including a folding shovel or camping equipment, yet several Dallas police officers on Nov 22 note the “distinct impression” of a rifle. By 1993, Michael Paine started claiming that Oswald had showed him a backyard photo in the Spring of 1963 - yet seven months later could not identify or suspect the “distinct impression” of a rifle in a wrapped blanket. Ruth Paine claimed she would never allow a firearm in her home because of the children, but does not overtly react when the supposed presence of such, associated with a house guest no less, is made by police officers several hours after the President had been shot near a building where the guest worked. If Oswald removed the rifle, why would he leave the blanket with the “distinct impression” still intact, or even the string ties still in place on either end?

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4 hours ago, Jeff Carter said:

If the blanket in the garage had the “distinct impression” of a rifle, which seems to imply it had held the object for some period of time, how does it move with Ruth Paine and be placed in the garage with Oswald’s seabag without comment from Ruth or Michael?

Jeff,

I got to wondering who put the rifle in the blanker in the first place. I don't think Oswald took it with him when he went to New Orleans in April, and he didn't have it with him when he returned in August or September.

Marina would had to have brought it with her when she moved down there.

Also, why would he feel the need to transfer the rifle from a blanket to a paper bag? He could just as easily have disassembled it and left it wrapped in the blanket and still claim the package was curtain rods.

The whole thing is fishy.

Steve Thomas

 

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