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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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20 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

Paul Jolliff, I will run down some comments on the points you make.

That could be in the spring of 1963, but the problem with Oct-Nov 1963 is simple logistics: when? And if it was an affair, what kind of hot date is it to take Marina, cranky toddler and baby in tow, on an exciting trip to a local gun repair shop? If Marina asked, "why are we here at this sports shop?" what would she have been told? I do not think another man in Marina's life in Oct-Nov is very likely to have occurred without Ruth's knowledge. Why suppose that as the explanation of the Furniture Mart in the first place, instead of simply Lee with Marina?

Its possible (that that was the point of the anonymous phone calls). But anonymous tips often point to true things not necessarily false things. As I understand it you do see as true that a man representing himself as Oswald was at the Irving Sports Shop with a rifle. What I do not follow is how a later malevolent intent to show past linkage of Oswald to a rifle being used to frame Oswald means Oswald was not linked to that rifle, i.e. that the past link pointed to was fraudulent. That is the logical leap I am not following. 

I am suggesting Oswald was framed with that rifle because it had been a rifle in Oswald's possession. That was the beauty of having that rifle believed to be the assassination weapon. 

OK.

OK, except . . . 

There is the claim of David Surrey, son of Robert Surrey, assistant to Gen. Walker, that as a young boy he accompanied his father and Oswald ("Lee") taken by his father to "the woods, which at that time would be modern day Richardson, a norther suburb of Dallas, to shoot" (told in Gayle Nix Jackson, Pieces of the Puzzle: An Anthology (2017), p. 225. Since this was told in a video made in 2012, a long time later, it is understandable to view this story critically, principally over the question of whether the Oswald identification in memory was correct. David was the older of two brothers. Gayle tracked down a younger Surrey son, William, and William too says he remembered going shooting with his father and Oswald, whom William too says was Oswald, though William claims Gen. Walker himself was with Surrey Sr. and Oswald and young William in going shooting (p. 226). 

While that sounds far-fetched and maybe it is (but the full chapter of Gayle's book merits reading because there is more there than this), there is that separate story of Bradford Angers (a spooky sounding character to me, but he definitely was not stupid), the "private investigator" who used to work for H. L. Hunt and who claimed he had a taped account from Larrie Schmidt-- (Angers did not make the Larrie Schmidt identification of the person whom he kept anonymous but that is who it clearly is)--telling a version of the Walker shooting different from the familiar narrative (this in an interview in 1992 reported by Dick Russell).

"Somehow that spring of '63, the brother [= Robert Schmidt] had made friends with Oswald, who was trying to get close to Walker. But this fellow I knew [= Larrie Schmidt] had never met Oswald, I don't think, until his brother introduced them that night in April. The three of them got drunk together. They got in a car and the brother said, 'Somebody ought to shoot that no-good son of a bitch Walker.' And this fellow said, 'I've got news for you, I got him kicked out of the goddamned Army in Germany.' Then Oswald said, 'I've got a rifle, let's go hit the son of a bitch.' The three of them drove down St. John's Avenue, and stopped the car next to a little stone bridge that went over Turtle Creek. The brother and Oswald went down the creek, and Oswald laid on the embankment looking at Walker's house. Remember the great big window Walker had in the front? Walker was a nut, he would turn up a lamp and just pace back and forth reading in the room. They saw his shadow against the back wall and Oswald pumped off a shot. It hit the wall instead. Then they jumped in the car and took off." (Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much [1992], pp. 325-27)

Russell reports he contacted Walker (still living at the time) and asked him about this story, and Walker said he had been told that story and that it could be true (p. 327). I have read that Larrie Schmidt denied the story (cannot immediately locate the reference on the denial). 

In one of the most amazing lacunas of the JFK assassination saga, Robert Schmidt--whom a veteran investigator in the surveillance equipment business with Army security background, has soberly alleged having been told by Robert's brother that Robert was with Oswald when the shot was fired through Gen. Walker's window--Robert Schmidt has never, to my knowledge, been interviewed or attempted to be interviewed by any researcher or journalist or investigator, ever. And he is apparently still alive today but nobody thinks that very important to check.

That there was something to do with Oswald, a shot fired through Gen. Walker's window, and a rifle, is not easy to say was a complete fabrication out of thin air. There is Marina. There is DeMohrenschildt's account of getting the pale, frozen look from Oswald when he, DeMohrenschildt, asked of Lee as a joke after the Walker shooting was in the news, "Did you take a potshot at Walker?" (DeMohrenschildt's claim of the question) or "How could you have missed?" (Marina's earlier version; that wording denied by DeMohrenschildt)--referring to neither of them liked Walker's politics. There is the letter in Lee's handwriting of instructions to Marina, dated about that time, of what to do if Lee was arrested. There is the photo of Walker's house found among Oswald's belongings. There is the Backyard Photo copy produced by DeMohrenschilt with epigraph in Marina's handwriting, written in Russian, making a joke about Lee: "Hunter of fascists. Ha ha!" There is this credible story told by Dallas Russian emigre Mrs. Natasha Voshinin (told in a 1992 interview of her by Dick Russell):

"[N]ot long after the Walker shooting, Mrs. Natasha Voshinin recalled de Mohrenschildt dropping by to see them one evening. 'He said, "Listen, that fellow Oswald is absolutely suspicious, you are right.' Thousands of times before, he would say we were wrong. "Imagine," George said, "that scoundrel took a potshot at General Walker. Of course Walker is a stinker, but stinkers have the right to live." Then he told us something about the rifle. But Igor [husband] and I felt Oswald had some connection with CIA. Anyway, I immediately delivered this information [from de Mohrenschildt] to the FBI.'

"That last statement seemed to me a remarkable one, for according to the Warren Commission Report, 'The FBI had no knowledge that Oswald was responsible for the attack until Marina Oswald revealed the information on December 3, [1963].' Yet Mrs. Voshinin was saying she had alerted the FBI of the possibility sometime back in April. Had the FBI looked into this at the time? Was the bureau's disclaimer of any foreknowledge in the Walker matter a fabrication, designed to cover up its prior awareness of Oswald? 

"Not only the FBI but, according to de Mohrenschildt, the CIA knew about Oswald's connection to the Walker incident long before November 22, 1963. On the day of de Mohrenschildt's death, author Epstein asked him whether he had discussed this--and the gun-toting Oswald photograph that Marina passed along to the baron--with his CIA contact, J. Walton Moore. 'I spoke to the CIA both before and afterward,' de Mohrenschildt is said to have replied. 'It was what ruined me.'" (Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1992 edn, pp. 317-18)

Here is another random civilian who either is telling a glimpse of truthful testimony, or part of the ever-expanding number of civilian witnesses making up what you say are total fabrications about Oswald and the rifle.

It seems to me there is a false alternative set up: either Oswald was guilty in the narrative the Warren Commission set up, or he never had a rifle at all and everything--paperwork and witnesses--everything was forged, faked, suborned, and fabricated for the purpose of pinning a random rifle, which had nothing to do with Oswald, on Oswald. There have been plenty of law enforcement framings of innocent persons in history, but has there ever been a law enforcement conspiracy to falsely frame someone this grandiose, this far-sweeping, as you are supposing (referring to inventing a rifle for Oswald which he never had)? Breathtaking in scale, across multiple states, agencies, decades, broad swathes of civilian witnesses, the widow herself, and never a single of these false witnesses or agents involved in all that fabrication ever breaking ranks to tell of this vast operation for which not a single shred of actual evidence exists showing that it existed? Is there any falsification possible to that kind of thinking? 

Interpretation (mine): I do not think Oswald had anything to do with the assassination of JFK or the killing of Tippit, but the Walker shooting is a somewhat different matter. There was something going on in which Oswald was involved there, but exactly what is not clear. Rather than either-or--either Oswald tried to kill Walker or the whole rifle/Oswald is entirely a fabrication--it should be considered that there are more than those two alternatives. There are already variant versions of that shooting, as noted above. There is the longstanding suspicion starting from Night One on the part of Dallas police, that Walker or Walker's people had staged it. Walker's very slight injuries, his fortuitous escaping of serious injury, and his instant (with no evidence) laser-like focusing of public nationally reported accusations on domestic communists as the culprit, heighten that question. There is the lack of actual knowledge of where Walker was at the time of the shooting (though he did have splinters of debris penetrating skin on his arm seen by reporters minutes after). There is the only one shot and not second or third followups. Only one shot is very likely not to kill, raising the question of whether one shot through the window was intended to kill at all but only to frighten, and whether the shooter (if Oswald) even believed Walker was in the room at the time of the shot. There is the fact of Oswald not being a very good shot anyway (no secret to Oswald himself), along with no evidence of serious target practice at any point. 

There is the story of Mrs. Voshinin, and the separate story of Epstein claiming DeMohrenschildt told him he had told his CIA friend Moore about the Walker shooting and Oswald suspicions. Cases in which otherwise very strong suspects for crimes are mysteriously released by law enforcement or law enforcement looks the other way, often are because that person is protected by some agency and law enforcement is tipped off or quietly asked not to go there. There is the circumstantial appearance that that is what could have been going on with the Walker shooting and Oswald's involvement. The truth of the Walker shooting is misty and not clear. The still-living Robert Schmidt, whom nobody is ever known to have talked to or tried to talk to, conceivably could shed light on what happened, but apparently a living firsthand witness of the Walker household, whose own brother is alleged to have said he was with Oswald at the moment the shot was taken at the Walker house, is not considered of sufficient interest for any investigator to simply find and ask him.

And Walker, where something involving Oswald and a rifle happened but not clear exactly what, is the only connection of Oswald to firearm violence, there is no other. 

I do not think the solution is to try to deny that Oswald ever had a rifle, and that the entirety of all of the documentary evidence and the entirety of the witnesses are all forged and lying, 100% of them across the board. Such an easy explanation! But not the right explanation! These false easy solutions--just say the whole body of disparately acquired evidence is all forged and all lies, simple as that!--function to prevent genuine inquiry from getting at what actually did happen.

I would not call it a benign reason. I would call it an alternative speculation as to why. I don't really know why. I just doubt that attempting to fabricate a connection of Oswald to the rifle was the reason in itself, since there are abundant other reasons independently indicating such.

I think there was. This is my theory of the case, which of course must be argued, but I think Tippit might have been a witness of Oswald at the time of the rifle conveyance, if not the conveyance itself, to the people who did the assassination, the day before the assassination. Tippit was witnessed present in the same restaurant at the same time as Oswald was there, eating at separate tables, by extremely high-quality witness testimony (a waitress who had known Tippit a long time). The rifle would be planted at Oswald's workplace and a "noisy" shooter would intentionally draw focus of attention to that window and that rifle, the rifle would be traced to Oswald, the rifle would have been seen the day before given by Oswald . . . the Backyard Photos . . . q.e.d. a Castro-sympathizer did it.

There was the Yates' hitchhiker attempting to show the random driver who picked him up carrying a rifle-sized package to the TSBD the day before, a Backyard Photo (?).

The anonymous tipoffs to the journalist and FBI of the past rifle sighting work at the Irving Sports Shop would be added bonus, if that too was phoned in by the ones who obtained the rifle from Oswald and did the assassination.

That the FBI/Warren Commission rejected the Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop Oswald presence is true. But I disagree that the reason the (FBI/)Warren Commission rejected that was because of fear that knowledge of an impersonator would be discovered. As if they knew better but were covering up the imposter.

I think the reason the FBI/Warren Commission rejected those stories was because they did not believe they could be true, in terms of timeline, the testimony of Ruth Paine, the driving of a car, and possibly Marina's denial (though this last may not have been so much a factor to FBI/Warren Commission).

You are saying the FBI/WC rejection of the Furniture Mart and Irving Sports Shop Oswald events was a bad-faith rejection when secretly FBI/WC knew better (knew their imposter working for them had been there with Marina). I think the rejection of the Furniture Mart and Sports Shop Oswald events was a good-faith rejection (in these two instances) which they just got wrong. Just like Ruth Paine's absolute certainty it could not have happened was in good faith and also wrong. 

Greg,

Very simply, I do reject the credibility of these various witnesses. All of them are compromised, to wit:

When it was really, really important for DeMohrenschildt to testify about any specifics at all of his (supposed) April 1963 sighting of "Oswald's" rifle, DeMohrenschildt did not do so. Whatever his true observations and feelings about "Oswald" were, are now clouded, thanks to his shocking death in March of 1977, immediately after speaking with Edward Epstein, and just before Gaeton Fonzi. As I pointed out to you earlier, no one, not even you or I, can ascertain the details of the (assumed) rifle at Neely incident from DeMohrenschildt's later manuscript. Its authenticity will remain forever unknownable.

Any story linking "Oswald" to Surrey or the Schmidt's as part of a "Oswald shot at Walker with the rifle" scenario needs to be fully fleshed out. Instead, what you've presented is the most convoluted third-hand hearsay from fanatical men who, at the time of the assassination, said nothing at all! As you've admitted, the DPD immediately suspected that Walker's own men had staged it themselves. Their belated "story" tying in "Oswald"  did not even persuade General Walker himself! ("it could be true . . .")

I suspect, Greg, that you are willing to lend great credence to this Oswald/Walker story not because the support for it is strong, but because it fits your thesis. 

So be it, but, as evidence, it is hard to imagine anything weaker. (You didn't even cite it yourself originally.)

As for Voshinin, I bet she did relate to the FBI what she heard from DeMohrenschildt about "Oswald's" supposed involvement in the Walker incident. Precisely when she alerted the FBI after the April 1963 Walker incident is unknown. Dick Russell used the word "soon". (Hours? Days? Weeks? After November 2, 1963, perhaps?)

My point is that if Voshinin is to be believed, then the FBI (allegedly) allowed "Oswald" to continue doing . . . what exactly? The suspicion that our "Oswald" was some sort of informer for the FBI was first discussed by the Warren Commission themselves, and was so disturbing, they didn't transcribe the infamous January 27, 1964 session until 1974!

Did our "Oswald" have some sort of clandestine relationship with the FBI? So it would appear from the extant record. 

Was the Walker house photo (complete with a hole punched through photo right in the license plate of a visible vehicle)  really a part of "Oswald's" possessions seized by the DPD, or was it planted later? I don't know, but if it was authentic, it strongly lends itself to some sort of intelligence recon, not the drunken, half-assed buffoonery as related in the Surrey/Schmidt version of the Walker incident.

By the way, if the photo was taken by "Oswald", then why did he keep it? It only served to incriminate him! (Which, of course, was exactly what the conspirators wanted.)

 

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On the notion of Oswald impersonators

Paul J., I hope you will not object that I quote a portion of a post you gave this morning at a different topic on the Forum ("The Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald--Part II"). I prepared a response which goes off topic there but is relevant here. The main point is that the assumption of Oswald impersonators in the Dallas area in the runup to the assassination has no sound basis, no matter how deeply rooted it is in so many conspiracy theory books. This means the Furniture Mart Oswald sighting also will have been either Oswald or a mistaken identification, one or the other, but will not have been an impersonation (an actor pretending to be Oswald), since there is no sound evidence that phenomenon was happening in Dallas in any other case, therefore it is unlikely in this case for which there also is no evidence. In what you write below there are a couple of factual mistakes noted which is not my intent to embarrass but are common misconceptions worth clarifying. You write there (in part):

1. Someone went to the Sports Drome Rifle Range and used the name "Oswald". Actually, on one occasion, two men went, and one of them used the name "Frazier". This would seem to be evidence of a pre-assassination plot to frame Buell Wesley Frazier and "Oswald." 

I have long believed that the plotters intended the conspiracy to be known as a pro-Castro plot, complete with multiple shooters. All of the "single-bullet-theory" nonsense was necessitated by the decision to pin everything on the dead "Oswald." 

2. Ralph Yates did pick up a hitchhiker who used the name "Oswald" (complete with a rifle!) and dropped him in Dealey Plaza. This person was not our "Oswald". 

3. The CIA deliberately withheld from the rest of the national security state (including the FBI) the key "information" (now demonstrably false, but at the time it would have seemed to be true) that the "Oswald" in Mexico City had met with a suspected KGB agent/assassination specialist, Valery Kostikov. 

Such a message from the CIA would have triggered the security alarms around JFK, and our "Oswald" could not have been patsified by the plotters, if the Secret Service and the FBI knew about this (supposed) meeting with Kostikov.

4. The Sylvia Odio incident, complete with incriminating phone call. (I discussed that at length elsewhere, but my short version is that our man "Oswald" was indeed at the Odio apartment on Sept. 25 or 26 in the company of two virulent anti-Castro Cubans. I believe that "Leopoldo" placed his follow-up call to Odio to frame our "Oswald" ("He is loco. He says we Cubans have no guts. He says he would shoot Kennedy . . ." etc.) outside of "Oswald's" immediate presence. After all, if the original in-person visit was a deliberate impersonation of our "Oswald", intended to cast him as a violent, crazy anti-Kennedy maniac, our "Oswald" did not say or do anything in front of Odio to show it! Nothing! Not a word, not a sign! This proves beyond any doubt, that the original visit was NOT meant to frame "Oswald" as the assassin. No, that came a few days later in the phone call, when "Oswald" was not present to hear it!

5. The Downtown Lincoln Mercury incident in early November, in which an LHO impersonator claimed he would be in financial position in a couple weeks to buy a new car. This, of course, implied that our man was anticipating a payoff for some future (sinister) action. Our "Oswald" was never there, but someone was, used the name "Oswald" and made their visit memorable.

My response: 

There is no evidence of impersonation in the examples cited. None of the Sports Drome witnesses reported hearing any shooter there naming himself or identifying himself as Oswald. No one at the Sports Drome self-identified or was identified there as "Frazier"--that story came post-assassination from one of the Sports Drome witnesses who saw a young man with his "Oswald", and since he believed it must have been Frazier, said it was Frazier. The Sports Drome was simply mistaken identifications, not impersonations. 

Ralph Yates' hitchhiker never used the name Oswald or claimed to be Oswald. If one takes the Ralph Yates' hitchhiker story seriously, which with you I do, the hitchhiker was carrying a rifle-sized package--i.e. a rifle, which would become the next day the assassination rifle--to a dropoff at Elm and Houston near the TSBD; talked of the hypothetical possibility that someone could shoot the president from a tall building; asked if the driver knew of any changes in the parade route; and attempted to show the driver (maybe) a Backyard Photo of Oswald (Yates said he saw out of peripheral vision while driving that it was a photo of a man standing holding a gun but he did not look directly). All of these would heighten incriminating focus on Oswald after the fact by connecting the assassination rifle to a photo and workplace of Oswald, but it does not necessarily mean the hitchhiker intended himself to be identified as Oswald, even though Ralph Yates did suppose he was. If it had been impersonation Ralph Yates might have remembered the hitchhiker calling himself "Lee" or "Oswald", or referring to his time in the Marines, or discussing employment in the Texas School Book Depository, or having been in Russia, etc. something distinctive of Oswald, but there is none of that in Yates' account. The Yates' identification of the hitchhiker as Oswald can well be understood just as other known post-assassination mistaken identifications of Larry Crafard as Oswald, without credible reason to suppose Crafard intended or planned any of those mistaken identifications. (And I think Yates' hitchhiker was Crafard.)

Silvia Odio's Oswald was no impersonation since that was the real Oswald. A detail: "Leopoldo" who later phoned Silvia did not actually have "loco" Oswald saying he, Oswald, would personally shoot Kennedy, rather he claimed Oswald had taunted the anti-Castro Cubans for not killing Kennedy. Close enough to be about the same thing, but that is incrimination, not impersonation. 

The Downtown Lincoln Mercury customer who gave his name as Oswald which was written down by salesman Albert Guy Bogard was no impersonation since that also was the real Oswald. The reckless driving related by Bogard is accounted for by Oswald's inexperience in driving. The main reason the Warren Commission rejected the Downtown Lincoln Mercury account as being Oswald was a timeline difficulty since Bogard said it was Sat. Nov 9 and that conflicted with Ruth Paine's testimony that Oswald was in Irving all day that day so could not have been there. However that difficulty is removed by the report of another salesman there that day at the Downtown Lincoln Mercury, Eugene Wilson, who convincingly told that that date accepted by the Warren Report was mistaken and that the correct date had been Sat. Nov. 2 (http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/W Disk/Wilson Eugene/Item 01.pdf). Nov 2 happens to be the one Saturday Ruth Paine said Oswald may not have been in Irving. The facts of Oswald at the Downtown Lincoln Mercury test-driving a car are sufficiently compelling that even Bugliosi was persuaded that could be the real Oswald.

Bugliosi brings up two other details on this of interest. Both Bogard and Eugene Wilson said it was raining that day, but both Sat. Nov 9 and Sat. Nov 16 were dry, ruling out both of those Saturdays. Bugliosi did not check out or report the weather for Sat. Nov 2 but I did: there was 0.3 inches of rain 8-10 am that day (https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/KDAL/date/1963-11-22); therefore that confirms the date. There has been an objection that the height of the customer was estimated by Eugene Wilson as only about five feet tall. But Bugliosi notes that the two other salesmen who gave height estimates for the Oswald customer agreed with Oswald's known height. Bogard: "medium" height. Frank Pizzo: "Maybe five feet, eight and a half inches". (Bugliosi's discussion, Reclaiming History [2007], 1030-1035.)

(There is another theory: there was a known "Oswalt" who had a car repossessed a couple of months earlier; some have thought maybe a man who had lost one car might be shopping for another and have been the Downtown Lincoln Mercury customer, though that was never verified; if that theory was true that also would be no impersonation. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95643#relPageId=287).   

Please consider that this whole business of impersonations (as distinguished from mistaken identifications) of Oswald in Dallas in the runup to the assassination are 100% insubstantial across the board, without credible evidence of such in a single case. Consider that there was active pre-assassination incrimination of Oswald but no evidence impersonation was involved.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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The shot fired by Oswald into Walker's house

I have come to my own theory of the case on the Walker house shot, which I think agrees with the facts. Oswald, as part of infiltrating a right-wing group, came to know people around Walker. By arrangement with Walker's people Oswald took the shot through Walker's window, but it was to be a single shot into a room with no one there. This would be used as publicity by Walker and blamed on Walker's enemies. There was no intent to murder in the shot. Walker was not in the room at the time of the shot.

After the shot Walker intentionally lightly self-injured by pressing the back of one arm down on broken glass shards and debris lying on a chair or table or floor, such that some shards and splinters cut into his arm, minor scratch or flesh wounds, plus some dust and debris in his hair (but no wounds there). Reporters arrived immediately, marveling with Walker at his extraordinary good luck in being spared serious injury, while Walker with no evidence implied domestic communists had done it (loosely equivalent to the Kennedys in Walker-speak). Walker criticized the Kennedys by name in the moments after the shooting ("The Kennedys say there's no internal threat to our freedom"), and the story of the despicable attack on a patriot standing for American values went out over wire services across the land.

Police that night arriving on the scene privately suspected the shooting was fake. If it was fake it may not have been the first time. Extremist-right Minutemen leader Robert DePugh knew Walker well and worked with Walker organizationally and ideologically. DePugh claimed that Walker asked him to arrange a staged kidnapping of himself for publicity:

"Minuteman leader Robert DePugh told the author that he [DePugh] visited Walker at his Dallas home during the primary campaign [for Texas governor in 1962]. Walker asked DePugh to have his men kidnap him in a publicity stunt, which DePugh refused. Walker had planned to blame the kidnapping on the Communist conspiracy, in an effort to help his campaign." (Jeffrey Caulfield, General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy [2015], 327, on the basis of author interviews with DePugh in 1999 and 2000)

On the Bradford Angers story of Walker employee Robert Schmidt driving Oswald and accompanying Oswald, helping him to take the shot, that sounds like a spun version of the truth of the Walker house shot, of Oswald taking the shot into Walker's house at the behest of Walker's people and Walker. The story as leaked casts it differently (in which Walker does not know and was victim), but that is what the facts of that story prima facie say. Someone was spreading a Walker-favorable version of the truth should the truth leak. A Dec 29, 1977 letter from Earl Golz of the Dallas Morning News to Walker: 

"Dear Mr. Walker,

"I received a copy of the material you sent to Tip O'Neill and others. It may open some eyes and I hope it does. I am especially interested in Marina's message on the back of the photograph which you say was dated five days before the shot fired at you by her husband.

"A friend of Larry [sic] Schmidt's recently told me that Larry and his brother, who he says was then associated with you, had accompanied Oswald in the brother's car to the scene of the shooting. Larry Schmidt supposedly has protected himself since that time by placing written accounts of his story in safe deposit boxes around the country (. . .)"

Caulfield reports that Walker answered Golz in longhand written on the back of the letter speaking of other things without comment on the Schmidt brothers' story. According to Angers, the private security contractor--perhaps the operations man tasked and paid to get this little operation done--a taped statement was coerced out of Larrie Schmidt (not a euphemism if one considers what preceded Larrie's "voluntary" taped statement to Angers), who at the same time may have been asked or sworn not to speak of it. If it did leak, it has been preemptively framed and spun in the desired way--that some of Walker's own people spontaneously joined with their good buddy Oswald one night and just decided to shoot the boss dead as a lark. Walker knew nothing about it and was the victim. So the Bradford Angers version leaked to Dick Russell and Earl Golz above. That version of the story is nonsense as it stands. But the tape of Larrie Schmidt is probably real. The part about Oswald assisted by Walker people in taking the shot into Walker's house is probably real. Underneath the nonsense is the truth.

In this theory of the case, Oswald, working with Walker's people, shot into Walker's house but would have understood that no one would be hit, and it would have come as a surprise to Oswald that Walker claimed to have been in the room and injured and almost killed by the shot. If Oswald's role in taking the shot had leaked to law enforcement (and it is almost difficult to imagine that it would not), Dallas police did not act against Oswald, which may or may not be explained in terms of an agency protecting Oswald (asking police to look the other way), although there is no evidence of that. But there is also no evidence that that shot ever was solved otherwise.

Conclusion: Oswald did take the shot, growing out of a possible informant involvement in infiltrating the Walker group. Marina was not making it up about being freaked out by Lee's role in the shooting. Lee's precautionary list of contingency advice to Marina if he were arrested was not made up.

But Oswald was not involved in an attempted murder. Based on the reasonability of the above, there is no secure basis to assume that he was. There is more than reasonable doubt; there is likelihood that he is clean on this one, of the charge of intent to do violence to a person in the case of the Walker house shooting.     

Edited by Greg Doudna
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On 12/12/2021 at 11:14 AM, Jeff Carter said:

Michael Paine’s 1993 revisionist history re: Oswald showing him a backyard photo entirely contradicts two key facets of his Warren Commission testimony from 1964, both of which he spoke in great detail at the time. First,  recounting the initial meet with Lee, at Neely Street, when Paine arrived to drive the Oswalds to a dinner engagement at the Paine home in Irving, he describes a half-hour conversation in detail which fills ten transcript pages (WCH II, pp. 393-398). It is this encounter at which Paine would later claim Oswald showed him the photograph, but that incident is not recalled at all in 1964. Is his memory lapse, a year instead of thirty years after the fact, credible, particularly considering the weight or gravitas he would later apply to the supposed presentation? Second, Paine spoke of the “camping equipment” or a “folding shovel” during seven pages of transcript (WCH IX, pp. 437-443)  over-describing his thought patterns regarding the rolled blanket which he had unloaded from Ruth’s station wagon, carried into the garage, and had to move from time to time during the ensuing two months. While later accounts by members of the DPD that the blanket had the obvious form of a “rifle”, such thought does not even occur to Paine even though, should one take his 1993 revision seriously, he not only had direct knowledge that Oswald had been photographed holding a rifle the previous spring but also, according to his revisionist take, the photograph expressed Oswald’s deepest personal view of himself. It doesn’t really add up.

Note also that Marina Oswald was directly advised of a poor outcome concerning her U.S, residency should she not “cooperate” with a Secret Service interviewer on Nov 28/63, a threat which immediately followed the interviewer articulating details of Marina’s previous activities back in Leningrad, including specifically at a locale called the “Inter Club” (CE1792).

Jeff I took a little time to go back over and read Michael Paine's testimony where you cite, as well as your discussion of such in your published article for Kennedys and King (https://www.kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/a-new-look-at-the-enigma-of-the-backyard-photographs-part-5?tmpl=component&print=1). I agree with you that the 1993 claim of Michael Paine, so decisive and confident and specific, of having been shown a Backyard Photo on April 2, 1963, on the first night he met Lee--two days after the photos were taken--seems puzzling in light of his not having mentioned that earlier in his Warren Commission testimony. 

Does it contradict his earlier Warren Commission testimony? Was he asked?

There is one way in which I can see a certain plausibility to it. First, William Kelly judges that the Backyard Photos were a "mission photo" (https://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2018/09/evaluating-photo-evidence-in-jfk.html), a momento or something to show off, or an item to include with a resume--or a joke. I have a photo on the wall of me and my wife in 1800s period costume, me with a rifle looking mean like Davy Crockett or out of an old Western movie set. Its great fun to everyone who sees it given that I have never owned a firearm in my life. Marina's "hunter of fascists--ha ha!" inscription on the back of one, dated April 5, suggests a possible similar light sense in that photo's origin. The inscription I wrote for mine is, with Caroline looking demure with bonnet and peasant dress and milk pail next to mean-looking me with one arm around her and the other holding the musket and glaring at the viewer: "Nobody messes with my woman".

In Michael Paine's testimony he continually refers to Lee as believing change would come about through violence and revolution, and yet that characterization is actually poorly supported in terms of any specific thing Lee is supposed to have said in Michael's testimony. However, seeing a Backyard Photo could help explain where Michael got that about Lee.

If he did see a Backyard Photo from a proud Lee showing off a semi-humorous photo it would not necessarily mean the rifle and pistol are owned by the person in the photo; they could be props or lent for the photo, just as my 1800's period photo has me with a musket which was not mine. If Lee did show such a photo to Michael it would not necessarily follow that the firearms would be expected to be in Lee's things in the garage.

On the testimony about the camping equipment inside the blanket, I don't know whether it is actually true that it never occurred to him that the object in the shape of a broken-down rifle stock and barrel in the tied blanket that he moved around to get out of the way of his drill press could be a weapon (a rifle), even though he says it did not, but the extended details he gives on that can be explained in part in that the questioning of him by the WC on that point was prolonged and witnesses do not choose the questions or the topic but are to answer the questions asked. It is believable to me that Michael would not open the blanket or consider it his business to do so or care what was in the blanket. It also is not clear to me that a broken-down rifle inside the blanket would have been any big deal to him (speaking of prior to the assassination obviously). This was Texas ... probably dozens of rifles within nearby homes and pickup trucks. Buell Wesley Frazier had a rifle. Probably quite common. Ruth's scruples re guns would seem to be something of an outlier on that issue compared to mainstream Texans. 

As for the Backyard Photos themselves, as I understand it an HSCA panel of expert analysts found no evidence of inauthenticity, and Marina has always to the present day insisted in the most emphatic way that she took those photos. Marina in 1991:

"I did take those pictures of Lee ... I took them one Sunday. Yes. I swear on my children I'm telling the truth. I do not remember how many. Because I didn't want it; I didn't like it; but two [pictures] I definitely took." (https://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100backyard.html)

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

On the notion of Oswald impersonators

Paul J., I hope you will not object that I quote a portion of a post you gave this morning at a different topic on the Forum ("The Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald--Part II"). I prepared a response which goes off topic there but is relevant here. The main point is that the assumption of Oswald impersonators in the Dallas area in the runup to the assassination has no sound basis, no matter how deeply rooted it is in so many conspiracy theory books. This means the Furniture Mart Oswald sighting also will have been either Oswald or a mistaken identification, one or the other, but will not have been an impersonation (an actor pretending to be Oswald), since there is no sound evidence that phenomenon was happening in Dallas in any other case, therefore it is unlikely in this case for which there also is no evidence. In what you write below there are a couple of factual mistakes noted which is not my intent to embarrass but are common misconceptions worth clarifying. You write there (in part):

1. Someone went to the Sports Drome Rifle Range and used the name "Oswald". Actually, on one occasion, two men went, and one of them used the name "Frazier". This would seem to be evidence of a pre-assassination plot to frame Buell Wesley Frazier and "Oswald." 

I have long believed that the plotters intended the conspiracy to be known as a pro-Castro plot, complete with multiple shooters. All of the "single-bullet-theory" nonsense was necessitated by the decision to pin everything on the dead "Oswald." 

2. Ralph Yates did pick up a hitchhiker who used the name "Oswald" (complete with a rifle!) and dropped him in Dealey Plaza. This person was not our "Oswald". 

3. The CIA deliberately withheld from the rest of the national security state (including the FBI) the key "information" (now demonstrably false, but at the time it would have seemed to be true) that the "Oswald" in Mexico City had met with a suspected KGB agent/assassination specialist, Valery Kostikov. 

Such a message from the CIA would have triggered the security alarms around JFK, and our "Oswald" could not have been patsified by the plotters, if the Secret Service and the FBI knew about this (supposed) meeting with Kostikov.

4. The Sylvia Odio incident, complete with incriminating phone call. (I discussed that at length elsewhere, but my short version is that our man "Oswald" was indeed at the Odio apartment on Sept. 25 or 26 in the company of two virulent anti-Castro Cubans. I believe that "Leopoldo" placed his follow-up call to Odio to frame our "Oswald" ("He is loco. He says we Cubans have no guts. He says he would shoot Kennedy . . ." etc.) outside of "Oswald's" immediate presence. After all, if the original in-person visit was a deliberate impersonation of our "Oswald", intended to cast him as a violent, crazy anti-Kennedy maniac, our "Oswald" did not say or do anything in front of Odio to show it! Nothing! Not a word, not a sign! This proves beyond any doubt, that the original visit was NOT meant to frame "Oswald" as the assassin. No, that came a few days later in the phone call, when "Oswald" was not present to hear it!

5. The Downtown Lincoln Mercury incident in early November, in which an LHO impersonator claimed he would be in financial position in a couple weeks to buy a new car. This, of course, implied that our man was anticipating a payoff for some future (sinister) action. Our "Oswald" was never there, but someone was, used the name "Oswald" and made their visit memorable.

My response: 

There is no evidence of impersonation in the examples cited. None of the Sports Drome witnesses reported hearing any shooter there naming himself or identifying himself as Oswald. No one at the Sports Drome self-identified or was identified there as "Frazier"--that story came post-assassination from one of the Sports Drome witnesses who saw a young man with his "Oswald", and since he believed it must have been Frazier, said it was Frazier. The Sports Drome was simply mistaken identifications, not impersonations. 

Ralph Yates' hitchhiker never used the name Oswald or claimed to be Oswald. If one takes the Ralph Yates' hitchhiker story seriously, which with you I do, the hitchhiker was carrying a rifle-sized package--i.e. a rifle, which would become the next day the assassination rifle--to a dropoff at Elm and Houston near the TSBD; talked of the hypothetical possibility that someone could shoot the president from a tall building; asked if the driver knew of any changes in the parade route; and attempted to show the driver (maybe) a Backyard Photo of Oswald (Yates said he saw out of peripheral vision while driving that it was a photo of a man standing holding a gun but he did not look directly). All of these would heighten incriminating focus on Oswald after the fact by connecting the assassination rifle to a photo and workplace of Oswald, but it does not necessarily mean the hitchhiker intended himself to be identified as Oswald, even though Ralph Yates did suppose he was. If it had been impersonation Ralph Yates might have remembered the hitchhiker calling himself "Lee" or "Oswald", or referring to his time in the Marines, or discussing employment in the Texas School Book Depository, or having been in Russia, etc. something distinctive of Oswald, but there is none of that in Yates' account. The Yates' identification of the hitchhiker as Oswald can well be understood just as other known post-assassination mistaken identifications of Larry Crafard as Oswald, without credible reason to suppose Crafard intended or planned any of those mistaken identifications. (And I think Yates' hitchhiker was Crafard.)

Silvia Odio's Oswald was no impersonation since that was the real Oswald. A detail: "Leopoldo" who later phoned Silvia did not actually have "loco" Oswald saying he, Oswald, would personally shoot Kennedy, rather he claimed Oswald had taunted the anti-Castro Cubans for not killing Kennedy. Close enough to be about the same thing, but that is incrimination, not impersonation. 

The Downtown Lincoln Mercury customer who gave his name as Oswald which was written down by salesman Albert Guy Bogard was no impersonation since that also was the real Oswald. The reckless driving related by Bogard is accounted for by Oswald's inexperience in driving. The main reason the Warren Commission rejected the Downtown Lincoln Mercury account as being Oswald was a timeline difficulty since Bogard said it was Sat. Nov 9 and that conflicted with Ruth Paine's testimony that Oswald was in Irving all day that day so could not have been there. However that difficulty is removed by the report of another salesman there that day at the Downtown Lincoln Mercury, Eugene Wilson, who convincingly told that that date accepted by the Warren Report was mistaken and that the correct date had been Sat. Nov. 2 (http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/W Disk/Wilson Eugene/Item 01.pdf). Nov 2 happens to be the one Saturday Ruth Paine said Oswald may not have been in Irving. The facts of Oswald at the Downtown Lincoln Mercury test-driving a car are sufficiently compelling that even Bugliosi was persuaded that could be the real Oswald.

Bugliosi brings up two other details on this of interest. Both Bogard and Eugene Wilson said it was raining that day, but both Sat. Nov 9 and Sat. Nov 16 were dry, ruling out both of those Saturdays. Bugliosi did not check out or report the weather for Sat. Nov 2 but I did: there was 0.3 inches of rain 8-10 am that day (https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/KDAL/date/1963-11-22); therefore that confirms the date. There has been an objection that the height of the customer was estimated by Eugene Wilson as only about five feet tall. But Bugliosi notes that the two other salesmen who gave height estimates for the Oswald customer agreed with Oswald's known height. Bogard: "medium" height. Frank Pizzo: "Maybe five feet, eight and a half inches". (Bugliosi's discussion, Reclaiming History [2007], 1030-1035.)

(There is another theory: there was a known "Oswalt" who had a car repossessed a couple of months earlier; some have thought maybe a man who had lost one car might be shopping for another and have been the Downtown Lincoln Mercury customer, though that was never verified; if that theory was true that also would be no impersonation. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95643#relPageId=287).   

Please consider that this whole business of impersonations (as distinguished from mistaken identifications) of Oswald in Dallas in the runup to the assassination are 100% insubstantial across the board, without credible evidence of such in a single case. Consider that there was active pre-assassination incrimination of Oswald but no evidence impersonation was involved.

Hmm.

"No evidence" is not correct. On its face, the above is absolutely "evidence." What you meant, I think, is "no proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

If that was your position, Greg, then I tend to agree: the above is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that our "Oswald" was deliberately impersonated. 

To take one example:

You dismissed a "Frazier at the rifle range" because one of the witnesses "saw a young man with his "Oswald", and since he believed it must have been Frazier, said it was Frazier. The Sports Drome was simply mistaken identifications, not impersonations. "

Yet you have no idea why Garland Slack identified the person with his "Oswald" as "Frazier" from Irving, Texas.

I don't know either, and thanks to the FBI's failure to ask Garland Slack about his apparent identification of "Frazier", none of us can ever say with certainty.

Maybe, Greg, your speculation that it was simply "mistaken identification" is correct.

Or maybe it isn't.

But since neither the Warren Commission nor the FBI followed up on this tantalizing line from Slack, we'll never know. 

https://history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh26/pdf/WH26_CE_3077.pdf 

Greg, your dismissal of Ralph Yates's statement to the FBI is beneath you (I hope.)

You've implied that you think Yates told the truth, but was merely mistaken. You apparently believe that Yates apparently picked up a hitchhiker (maybe Crafard) who had no connection to any later events in Dealey Plaza. 

But . . .

No one can seriously your belief that Yates' hitchhiker - who was a ringer for our "Oswald" - talked of shooting the president and then claim, as you did, that it was " mistaken identifications of Larry Crafard as Oswald, without credible reason to suppose Crafard intended or planned any of those mistaken identifications. (And I think Yates' hitchhiker was Crafard.)"

You've got to be kidding me! If Yates told the FBI the truth, then there was NO WAY his hitchhiker was innocent! This could not be an "innocent" Larry Crafard! Whoever was the hitchhiker, that person was not innocent!

Not once we read that Yates told the FBI that:

"the man then asked Yates if he thought that a man could assassinate the president. Yates replied that he thought such a thing could be possible. The man then asked Yates if it could be done from the top of a building or out of a window, high up, and Yates said he guessed this was possible if one had a good rifle with a scope and was a good shot.

Yates advised that about this time the man pulled out a picture which showed a man with a rifle and asked Yates if he thought the President could be killed with a gun like that one. Yates said he was driving and did not look at the picture but indicated to the man that he guessed so . . ."

Sorry Greg. Your attempts to portray this as "innocent" are completely wrong or in bad faith. Either Yates was a complete fabricator, xxxx and fool (it is a federal crime to lie to FBI agents) or there was something very sinister going on here. 

There is no 'innocent mistake" here.Nov63-22.jpg

Nov63-23.jpg

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On 12/7/2021 at 10:04 PM, Greg Doudna said:

 Laura Kittrell of the Texas Employment Commission who dealt with Oswald said Oswald told of his interest in firearms, while at the same time acknowledging honestly to Kittrell in agreement with some strikingly mediocre physical coordination aptitude scores that he in truth was not a very good shot.

 

Ditrral = Kitrell, a woman with whom he had established some measure of rapport, making her name (mangled though it was) something that was in his memory.

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6 hours ago, Tony Rose said:

Ditrral = Kitrell, a woman with whom he had established some measure of rapport, making her name (mangled though it was) something that was in his memory.

Tony thank you for the suggestion. The main problem I see with it is that Oswald used the name "Drittal" on the order form on March 12, 1963, whereas his first encounter with Laura Kittrell at the Texas Employment Commission did not occur until the first week of October 1963.

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On 12/11/2021 at 6:52 PM, Greg Doudna said:

Paul Jolliff, I will run down some comments on the points you make.

That could be in the spring of 1963, but the problem with Oct-Nov 1963 is simple logistics: when? And if it was an affair, what kind of hot date is it to take Marina, cranky toddler and baby in tow, on an exciting trip to a local gun repair shop? If Marina asked, "why are we here at this sports shop?" what would she have been told? I do not think another man in Marina's life in Oct-Nov is very likely to have occurred without Ruth's knowledge. Why suppose that as the explanation of the Furniture Mart in the first place, instead of simply Lee with Marina?

 

I had reviewed the testimony of Dial Ryder and what bothers me is that I could not find where Ryder stated anything .....nor was he even asked if he had seen this Oswald family...the wife and kiddos-- As it seems...he did not recall if it was actually Oswald that asked for the work. Only remembering the name Oswald was entered on a tag or something. So where was this family supposedly while the rifle scope work was being performed? Also...there was no interest in where the owner of the rifle may have been waiting while the work was done. One thing..the Carcano has a wonky scope that is offset to the left. Who could forget that? The whole issue concerning the gun shop and the gunsmith is really blurry.

Quote

Mr. LIEBELER. Where did you get Ryder's name in the first place; do you know?
Mr. SCHMIDT. Well, it was from a tip around the police station. Now, I don't remember. I have been trying to remember where who specifically it came from, but it was one of the many we were getting at that time.

https://www.jfk-assassination.net/russ/testimony/ryderschmidt.htm#schmidt

As a side comment.. I recall in the testimony of Ruth Paine that she had only met the DeMorenschildts once and didn't ever see them again. Odd... because she was apparently all so interested in perfecting her Russian language skills and there was the ideal teacher [aside from Marina] Of course maybe she didn't like them.

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On 12/13/2021 at 9:23 AM, Paul Jolliffe said:

 

Greg, your dismissal of Ralph Yates's statement to the FBI is beneath you (I hope.)

You've implied that you think Yates told the truth, but was merely mistaken. You apparently believe that Yates apparently picked up a hitchhiker (maybe Crafard) who had no connection to any later events in Dealey Plaza. 

But . . .

No one can seriously your belief that Yates' hitchhiker - who was a ringer for our "Oswald" - talked of shooting the president and then claim, as you did, that it was " mistaken identifications of Larry Crafard as Oswald, without credible reason to suppose Crafard intended or planned any of those mistaken identifications. (And I think Yates' hitchhiker was Crafard.)"

You've got to be kidding me! If Yates told the FBI the truth, then there was NO WAY his hitchhiker was innocent! This could not be an "innocent" Larry Crafard! Whoever was the hitchhiker, that person was not innocent!

Not once we read that Yates told the FBI that:

"the man then asked Yates if he thought that a man could assassinate the president. Yates replied that he thought such a thing could be possible. The man then asked Yates if it could be done from the top of a building or out of a window, high up, and Yates said he guessed this was possible if one had a good rifle with a scope and was a good shot.

Yates advised that about this time the man pulled out a picture which showed a man with a rifle and asked Yates if he thought the President could be killed with a gun like that one. Yates said he was driving and did not look at the picture but indicated to the man that he guessed so . . ."

Sorry Greg. Your attempts to portray this as "innocent" are completely wrong or in bad faith. Either Yates was a complete fabricator, xxxx and fool (it is a federal crime to lie to FBI agents) or there was something very sinister going on here. 

There is no 'innocent mistake" here.Nov63-22.jpg

Nov63-23.jpg

Paul J., you misunderstand me. I do not dismiss Yates' FBI statement, I do not think the hitchhiker had no connection to the events at Dealey Plaza, and I nowhere said or implied Yates' hitchhiker was an "innocent Crafard". I think the hitchhiker was conveying the TSBD Mannlicher-Carcano assassination rifle, in a "noisy" manner (such that a random witness would be created), a witness who might later connect that rifle to Oswald by means of remembering a photo of Oswald shown by a hitchhiker who entered from an exit on Oak Cliff in proximity to where evidence could be produced showing that hitchhiker received that rifle from Oswald.

In my reconstruction the rifle that hitchhiker was carrying was the assassination rifle of the TSBD obtained from Oswald, whoever the hitchhiker was, whether Crafard or not. You agree the hitchhiker was not Oswald but was mistakenly thought to be Oswald by Yates. You propose no identity for the hitchhiker but for some reason seem certain my proposed identity is not right, even though you appear to have no idea who else it was. Why in your thinking is Crafard excluded as the identity of that hitchhiker?

I have argued elsewhere that Crafard was the killer of Tippit the next day, and sought to kill Oswald after Tippit but was prevented in doing so by officers who saved Oswald's life by arriving and putting him under arrest. I think Crafard abandoned the Tippit murder weapon, a snub-nosed .38 Special, tossed in a street near the Carousel Club in the early morning hours of Sat Nov 23, in the direction Crafard was leaving Dallas in those same early morning hours of Sat. Nov 23. FBI documentation establishes that weapon was found and reported to Dallas police in the same hours of Crafard's flight and in proximal location to Crafard's last location in Dallas prior to flight, but nothing has been heard since of that handgun found and turned in by a citizen on a Dallas street the morning after the assassination. (https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27367-an-argument-for-actual-innocence-of-oswald-in-the-tippit-case/)

The circumstances of Crafard's recent arrival in Dallas in the runup to the assassination (introduced to Ruby who let Crafard live at the Carousel Club); his reported hitman experience and Mob-related connections prior to arrival to Dallas; his being hosted and employed by the man who then killed Oswald; and his sudden flight from Dallas in the hours following the assassination, let us just say puts him on the short list of suspects.

Yet so far as is known Crafard was not himself a member of the Mob in the "made man" sense. He seems rather like an independent contractor paid to do occasional jobs, which if he does well he gets repeat business. I don't think Ruby was masterminding, but Ruby was on location, a Mob frontman with a legitimate legal business, and he hired and housed the newly-arrived hitman, Crafard, in the weeks prior to the assassination. 

The case for the identity of Yates' hitchhiker as Crafard:

  • the hitchhiker is connected to the assassination (conveying the rifle which ended up 6th floor TSBD), and Crafard as killer of Tippit and attempted killer of Oswald on Fri Nov 22 gives the appearance of being connected to the assassination.
  • the hitchhiker resembled Crafard in physical description and appearance, based on the mistaken identification of Yates that the hitchhiker was Oswald. Crafard is known to have been mistakenly identified as Oswald by witnesses in other instances, making that misidentification of Yates plausible in terms of Crafard, as one more instance.
  • the hitchhiker's mode of travel corresponds to Crafard's hitchhiking. 
  • the hitchhiker mentioned the Carousel Club to Yates, which is where Crafard was living
  • Crafard as the one who obtained the assassination-implicated rifle that morning from Oswald with Tippit present would give a mechanism for Crafard physically recognizing and being recognized by Tippit the next day, and physically recognizing Oswald his next target in the theatre.

I see no credible reason to suppose Crafard ever represented himself as Oswald or was aware that others would think he was Oswald. Any mistaken identifications of Crafard as Oswald that did happen I therefore interpret as accidents, such as Yates.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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An additional reconstructed detail re Oswald on Monday Nov 11 (the day Lee drove Marina to the Furniture Mart): Hutchison's market in Irving

It is possible that day could be when Leonard Hutchison, of Hutchison's market (grocery store) in Irving, said he saw Lee and Marina in his store buying a "full ticket" of groceries, meaning a full bill of food and household supplies. In rereading Hutchison's testimony at WC 10.327f, that is how I see a reading of that. Hutchison had some date and time confusion but his memory of the customer--Lee and Marina--seems credible, the only issue being when. (Hutchison's WC testimony: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=44#relPageId=335)

Hutchison identified Lee and Marina as having been in his store from photos in the news after the assassination, plus his description matches Lee and Marina. The physical descriptions match, and he said he was in one aisle and heard a man speaking in a foreign language which he did not recognize but knew it was not Spanish, French, or German. Hutchison came around to the aisle and saw the man speaking a little sharply to the woman in this foreign language and returning an item she had taken off the shelf, putting it back on to the shelf, as if telling the woman not to buy that item. The woman did not say anything. This is exactly the profile of Lee and Marina as observed at the Furniture Mart--Lee speaking, Marina silent and not saying a word. 

A confusion is that Hutchison saw an older, heavy-set "dumpy" looking woman, estimated 50-60 age, hornrimmed glasses, with Lee and Marina. Everyone has assumed this would be Marguerite (Lee's mother) yet it was impossible for Marguerite to have been in Irving, and Marguerite denied she was ever in Hutchison's store. Because of those impossibilities or incongruities, Hutchison's entire account of seeing Lee and Marina in that incident has been mistakenly rejected. I believe the simple explanation is that the older woman Hutchison remembered in the same aisle and thought was with Lee and Marina, was an unrelated shopper not connected to Lee and Marina. There was no other basis for Hutchison's conclusion than that he saw the third person, the older heavy-set woman, appearing to be with them, but he heard no speaking between them, and seems to have observed for only a few moments. Unlike with Lee and Marina, Hutchison did not claim to identify the older woman as Marguerite from photos. Yet Hutchison's testimony is credible as to the identification of Lee and Marina. The conclusion is the older woman was not Marguerite, was not with Lee and Marina, and Hutchison was mistaken on that detail.  

As for the date, Hutchison showed some confusion. In his Warren Commission testimony he estimated the groceries purchase had been on a Wednesday evening sometime in the last two weeks of Oct 1963. He remembered a separate incident in which Lee (alone) had sought to cash a check for $180, which he remembered as an evening and dated Fri Nov 8. However Mr. Jenner reminded Hutchison that in his original FBI interview of Dec 3, 1963, he had originally dated the Lee-and-Marina groceries-purchase incident to Wed. Nov 13. (Hutchison's Dec 3 FBI interview: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95676#relPageId=33)

When reminded of this the transcript notes there was a long pause before Hutchison replied, then Hutchison said the Lee-and-Marina grocery buying was before the check-cashing. Based on that belief Hutchison was now reasoning the Lee-and-Marina must have been before Nov 8, even though he had originally told (and had forgotten that he had originally told) the FBI the Lee-and-Marina had been Wed Nov 13. 

The best interpretation is that Hutchison is a credible witness, a local business owner and manager who knew his customers, who reflected ordinary human confusion in memory over times and dates when interviewed weeks later, but was not wrong about the event itself having occurred, or the Lee and Marina identification.

The buying of the "full ticket" of groceries of Lee and Marina not simply implies but really requires that Lee was driving a car to Hutchison's market that particular day, as impossible as that has sounded (and another reason Hutchison's testimony concerning seeing Lee and Marina in his store has been rejected). But if the Lee-and-Marina groceries purchase is located on the same date as the Furniture Mart/Iriving Sports Shop expedition in which Lee drove Ruth's car on Monday Nov 11 when Ruth was gone that day--now it becomes sensible. For that is the one and only day Lee drove on his own in Irving in Oct-Nov 1963. That is the one and only day the Hutchison's market grocery purchase could have occurred, and therefore that is the day it did occur.

The original backward estimate Hutchison gave the FBI for the date when it happened, Wed Nov 13, is very close to Nov 11. All that needs to be supposed is Hutchison was close but got the date wrong. As for the attempted check-cashing--in which Hutchison remembered the non-speaking Lee (characteristic of Lee from other witnesses), the amount of the check being $180, and that it was a bank check not an imprinted personal check from someone who had a checking account--Hutchison's original date for that of Fri Nov 8 would likely be accurate since Lee was in Irving that evening and was not in Irving any weekend after that. Hutchison in his later Warren Commission testimony would have confused which came before and after the other, but they both happened, as reconstructed: Fri Nov 8 (check-cashing attempt, Lee alone) and Mon Nov 11 (Lee and Marina buying groceries, Lee driving).

It would need to be assumed in this reconstruction that Lee and Marina had two-year-old June and the baby with them, but left in the car as Lee and Marina shopped inside, until they returned to the car. Although Hutchison's memory of the time of day for the check-cashing attempt of Lee would be accurate--ca. 5-6 pm in his memory on Fri Nov 8 (and Hutchison's market was an easy walk for Lee to and from Ruth Paine's house)--the grocery purchases of Lee and Marina would need to have occurred earlier in the day on Mon Nov 11, likely a last stop on the way back to Ruth Paine's house before Ruth returned that day, with Hutchison mistaken on his Warren Commission testimony of remembering that also as having been late in the day.

On Hutchison's memory that Lee would come in between 7 and 7:30 am on several occasions buying milk, bread, and cinnamon rolls, this too has been rejected but wrongly. Marina elsewhere in testimony said that Lee when they lived earlier in Oak Cliff was a milk drinker, so that part fits the description. The timing could very well work on mornings before Lee caught his ride with Wesley Frazier back in to Dallas to work. Hutchison remembered on these occasions Lee was on foot, and came from the direction of Ruth Paine's address into his store, and when he left, walked back in the direction of Ruth Paine's house. It has been objected that Marina testified that she did not see Lee eat anything for breakfast other than coffee. That is what Marina observed at Ruth Paine's house. The reason is because Lee was walking out to the then-equivalent of the local 7-11 to buy milk and rolls which he ate for breakfast! It is not reasonable that a working man goes to work on coffee alone in the morning.

Again Hutchison shows confusion on dates in his later interviews on these, but his memories themselves of Lee having been in his store are not a mistaken identification: it was Lee, and that one time, Marina.

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Lee had been taking driving lessons from Ruth Paine and had actually gone to take his test on one occasion when the office turned out to be closed....if he was to the point of taking his test certainly he could drive.  And the thought of Lee driving somewhere without a license wouldn't shock me....

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3 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Lee had been taking driving lessons from Ruth Paine and had actually gone to take his test on one occasion when the office turned out to be closed....if he was to the point of taking his test certainly he could drive.  And the thought of Lee driving somewhere without a license wouldn't shock me....

Then why didn't he use a getaway car after the assassination?

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