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Impersonations of Oswald in Dallas, and Curtis Craford


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A possible breakthrough in solving the JFK assassination?

Curtis LaVerne Craford, known to the Warren Commission as Larry Crafard, was not interviewed by HSCA or AARB, yet could he be the key to solving the JFK assassination? There already is a strong case for identification of Craford as the killer of Tippit and would-be killer of Oswald on Friday Nov 22, argued elsewhere. That argument developed elsewhere puts Craford in the same class as his employer and landlord, Jack Ruby, and Ruby can fairly straightforwardly be identified as representing mob interests such as Marcello of New Orleans. However, to say that Marcello and Ruby did the killing of Oswald post-assassination leaves open the possibility that some others other than Marcello did the killing of JFK itself. This in fact is the argument of John Canal, Silencing the Lone Assassin (2000). (Canal accepts Oswald as lone-nut assassin but has the Marcello organization including Ruby and Ferrie silencing Oswald by killing him afterwards for reasons of coverup of Marcello organization criminal activity rather than involvement in the assassination itself.) 

This thread develops an argument for tying the post-assassination killers of Tippit and Oswald to the planning and carrying out of the assassination of JFK itself. The way this is done is by an argument that I have previously rejected, but believe now I erred in that rejection: it goes to the issue of impersonations of Oswald in the runup to the assassination. Previously I have argued that all cases of Oswald identifications in Dallas in the runup were explicable as either genuinely Oswald or mistakes in identification, one or the other, with no third category of intentional impersonation. I will explain what has changed my mind on that. This will involve discussion of cases. I will present what I have in a series of pieces or posts rather than one super-long one. This may take a few days.

The argument has the potential to be significant. For I see an argument that among all the static caused by mistaken or uncredible witnesses, there nevertheless are specific cases of intentional impersonation; that the impersonator need not forever be a mystery but is identifiable in several cases as Curtis Craford; and that all cases of genuine impersonation--speaking of Dallas in the 2-3 months runup to the assassination--are compatible with explanation in terms of the actions of just one impersonator, Craford (i.e. no number of impersonators greater than one need be assumed).

IF this argument is correct--that there was someone impersonating Oswald prior to the assassination, and if the one (or ones) doing that impersonation can be named and identified, and if the impersonations were related to the assassination--that in turn establishes

  • that there was conspiracy, a plot, i.e. more than one involved, in the assassination

and

  • narrowing of identification of who carried out the assassination (since impersonating Oswald with intent to frame Oswald prior to the assassination = JFK assassination plotters) 

In short, if Craford is identifiable as an impersonator of Oswald prior to the assassination and if those impersonations are related to the assassination, this pretty much points to organized crime, the mob-did-it theory, the same as did the cleanup killing of Oswald and some other witnesses in the aftermath. It comes close to being a smoking-gun argument. 

I would like to be clear that this is not headed toward a Waldron interpretation that Mobsters decided on their own to even a score with RFK and JFK and blackmailed the US government into not prosecuting them. To say that the Mob did the JFK assassination operationally--not simply the cleanup afterward of having Oswald killed after the fact--leaves wide open the question, never investigated by the FBI or Warren Commission, of not simply did the Mob do it, but was there or was there not collusion or a green light or nod, an "OK". This may never be known, or it may become known, to historians, I do not know. I strongly, strongly suspect no Mob figure would assassinate a sitting US president unilaterally. The reason is because if they did, the wrath of God from the US government would come down on them. If there was a wink or a nod of approval, a nod to "go ahead" from a faction within the government, to take out JFK--then the assassination of JFK indeed may have been effectively a real coup and not a wildcat low-level assassination plot that succeeded--that is what it looks like to me on an intuitive level. Proving such of course is a different matter. But it is possible, if the present argument is deemed sufficiently strong, that the two points below can be proven now, in the sense of established beyond reasonable doubt:

  • intentional impersonation of Oswald with intent to incriminate him, in the runup to the assassination, proves conspiracy: a plot involving premeditation and more than one person, and
  • the identity of the impersonator, if that can be shown and established convincingly, will pretty much nail who to look at who did the JFK assassination operationally

A final point to preempt criticism of a Mob-did-it theory: mob figures were working with the CIA to assassinate Castro. Everyone knows this now, even if it was not well-known then. To say JFK could not have been killed by Marcello, or some other Mob interests, because it is not realistic they could have done it alone or the coverup that followed, would by the same logic argue against the Mob having been involved in killing Castro. A Mob theory or Marcello-Trafficante theory, if correct, would be like nailing the gunman to a killing. But it would not tell who hired the gunman, or sent that gunman. Any lone-mobster theory is in principle as suspicious as the lone-nut-Oswald theory. 

Some method considerations

There is so much craziness around the subject of impersonation. What I develop in this thread runs counter to my own previous opposition to the idea of impersonation happening at all in Dallas in the runup. Too often lists of witnesses who claim somebody they encountered a few weeks or months earlier was Oswald are cited as examples of "evidence of impersonations" when there is no evidence that the person claimed to be Oswald. If a witness mistakes someone for Oswald who was not Oswald, that is not impersonation, that is a mistaken identification. (I have been told I look like a certain Seattle television newscaster whom I have never met. I am not impersonating him nor he me, etc. My brother from a certain angle is the spitting image of Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. Again, not impersonation.) A witness saying someone looked like Oswald and the witness thinks it was Oswald is a necessary but not sufficient condition to that having been an impersonation. Impersonation requires evidence of someone who is not Oswald using Oswald's name, or by some other means making it clear that there was intent to have an observer think the identity was Oswald, not simply that the witness did think so.

For example the Sports Drome Rifle Range sightings. Several witnesses remembered a man they later claimed and believed was Oswald shooting there, based on their memory of his appearance after seeing Oswald's picture in the news following the assassination. But the person they saw at the Sports Drome never claimed to be Oswald, never said that was his name, or that he had a Russian wife or was working at the TSBD, etc. and etc., anything showing intent to identify as Oswald. Therefore that crack shot shooter at the Sports Drome may or may not have been Oswald, but if he was not Oswald, there is no basis for calling that an impersonation, since there is no evidence that that person made any claim or showed any intention for anyone else to think he was Oswald. (There is a claim of Sterling Wood of his father giving a ride of the man to Oak Cliff but that claim is questionable on good grounds and rejected for that reason; there is also a post-assassination claim of Gordon Slack that the man he thought was Oswald left with a companion named "Frazier" but that is well read as Slack making that post-Nov 22 claim based on reading of Oswald's association with Frazier in the news, not that the young man himself ever claimed to Slack to be Frazier, which on other grounds he was not.) Therefore there is no sound basis for calling the Sports Drome witness claims instances of impersonation. Those witness claims either were correct identifications of the real Oswald, or (as the evidence actually indicates) mistaken identifications, but there is no evidence or indication impersonation was going on in any of those Sports Drome cases.

The other method consideration is a reaction against the all-too-common throwing many and disparate witness testimonies gathered from far and wide, no matter how outlandish, all thrown together scattershot against a wall, call them all "impersonations", and because taken in aggregate they have no rhyme or reason and cannot possibly be accounted for from the same source, call that evidence of a conspiracy so vast and complex that we mere mortals cannot hope to decipher it, because the unseen, unknown conspirator operatives were so many, the conspiracy was so far-reaching, it reached almost literally everywhere.

No, let us instead go through the witnesses case by case carefully, make judgments and focus only on strong credible cases, and assess those. Rather than vast and incomprehensible complexity let it be considered that there was only a single individual impersonating Oswald in Dallas in the runup, that there may be enough information to identify that individual, and that identification of that individual may put us directly into the the circle of who carried out the assassination of JFK, and go some ways toward cutting through the mystification that has plagued this subject.

I invite those who have been the rational debunkers of impersonation ideas, as I have been myself, to cross-examine and push back on the specific interpretations and arguments that I wlll be offering in specific cases. (If I can make a plea to the Harvey and Lee people, please allow this discussion to develop without derailing into Harvey and Lee territory which can be taken up on other threads--much appreciated, thanks!)

I also want to make clear that the analysis to follow focusing on the figure of Curtis Craford (as previous argument making the case that Craford was the killer of Tippit) has not originated with me but builds on earlier work of others. Two articles I would specially like to acknowledge are Peter Whitmey, "Creating a Patsy" (first published Aprl 1998 in JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly, rev. and expanded here: https://www.jfk-assassination.net/creatingapatsy.htm) and Hasan Yusuf, "Did Larry Crafard kill J.D. Tippit?" Dec 2014 (https://jfkthelonegunmanmyth.blogspot.com/2014/12/did-larry-crafard-kill-jd-tippit.html). While I do not agree with everything in these articles, as no doubt readers here will not agree with everything in my analyses, no matter, we learn from each other and each of these articles develop valuable points and information. In the case of Whitmey, he more than anyone else is credited with tracking down Crafard and interviewing this figure for whom so little biographical information is known beyond basics.   

The suggestion that Oswald was impersonated by Curtis Craford itself goes back as early as Joachim Joesten, How Kennedy was Killed (1968): "What are my reasons for believing that Larry Crafard is the person who deliberately impersonated Oswald over a period of several weeks, manifestly for the purpose of planting false clues that would incriminate Oswald after the assassination and thus divert attention from the real murderers of the President? . . ."

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Overview of (my) case for Crafard impersonating Oswald,  Part i

As in my analysis developed elsewhere on this forum, the Furniture Mart sighting of Oswald and Marina and their baby and 2-year old girl remains a genuine Oswald and Marina sighting (not a mistaken identification; not an impersonation). Monday, Nov 11, 1963, Oswald driving Ruth Paine's car without her knowledge that day.

The Irving Sports Shop rifle scope reinstallation is genuine Oswald, because it is linked to the Furniture Mart. Also Nov 11.

The reports of Leonard Hutchinson of Irving of Oswald at his store, Hutch's Market, are genuine Oswald sightings. In the late afternoon or early evening of Fri Nov 8 Oswald unsuccessfully tried to cash a $189 check at Hutch's Market. On Mon Nov 11 Oswald drove Marina and children to Hutch's Market where Lee and Marina made some substantial food and household item purchases (perhaps after having found somewhere else to cash that $189 check?). Hutchinson saw Lee and Marina shop inside his store. An older woman in the same aisle thought by Hutchinson to be with Lee and Marina must be a mistake on Hutchinson's part, some woman in the store who was not with Lee and Marina, or if she was at that moment it would be because they met by chance that minute in the store. (That woman cannot have been Marguerite Oswald whom all parties including Marguerite agree was not in Irving at that time and never at that store.) Hutchinson also saw Oswald several mornings sporadically enter his store at about 7 am having arrived walking from and returning in the direction of Ruth Paine's house, buying milk, cinnamon rolls, and bread, which was Oswald's form of nourishment before walking back to catch his ride with Frazier into Dallas, on those mornings, including the morning of Fri Nov 22 (source of the bread bag ca. 25" x 5" Oswald took to work that morning).

Other genuine Oswald witness sightings: 

  • regular customer for breakfast at the Dobbs House restaurant around 7 am, a restaurant right near his rooming house in Oak Cliff
  • at a laundromat near his rooming house where he would wash his clothes in evenings, including until midnight the evening of Wed Nov 20.
  • at a barber in Oak Cliff who remembered giving him two haircuts (presumed correct identification based on plausibility)
  • at the Texas Employment Commission on the day of his arrival in Dallas after Mexico City, Thu Oct 3, and several but not all of the Oswald encounters Laura Kittrell told of that month
  • another restaurant at which Oswald was a regular patron eating a hamburger platter in evenings after work (presumed correct identification based on plausibility)

Claims of sightings of Oswald which were mistaken identifications--neither Oswald nor impersonations

The driver of a car registered to Carl Mather of Collins Radio (based on the license plate) seen parked on Beckley Ave. at about 2 pm Fri Nov 22. There need be no mystery who this person was--it was the car's owner, Mather. A photo of a younger Mather in military service shows a face which resembles Oswald. The timeline of Mather and when he took off from work early that day is not inconsistent with his car's, and his, witnessed presence in Oak Cliff at the time reported, even though Mather was a long way from home or workplace (but Mather and family returned to Oak Cliff to visit newly-widowed Mrs. Tippit later than afternoon in a different car, after Mather driving alone returned with the car witnessed and verified by license plate number on Beckley). In any case it was not Oswald since Oswald was under arrest at that time after being in the Texas Theatre, not sitting as a lone driver in a parked car that was not his, then driving away in that car. Nor was that driver attempting to make himself known to anyone but drove off quickly without words when approached by the witness, as if not wanting to be seen. It was not Oswald and was not impersonation; it was a mistaken identification. What Mather was doing there and the reason for the later secrecy surrounding it is an interesting separate question but that is distinct from the issue here which is the identification. True ID: Carl Mather.

The Shasteen barbershop customer in Irving. There are so many reasons why this is a mistaken identification and was not Oswald. It certainly was no impersonation since at no time does Shasteen say the customer claimed to be Oswald, gave his name as Oswald's, or told a single thing specific about himself that pointed to Oswald. In fact at practically every specific point of detail an identity with Oswald is contraindicated. The contraindications include: association with a 14-year old boy (obviously the man's son once the Oswald mistaken identification is recognized); estimate of age early 30s; the customer driving a car there on days when Ruth Paine was at home and would have noticed, denied by Ruth; the customer's style of haircut with hair cut close to the scalp so that it was in between laying down and standing up, then slicked back with grease, not Oswald's hairstyle and shorter than Oswald's hair which was not cropped short so that it partly stood up; Shasteen testified the customer's hair "dark headed ... wasn't jet black, but most people would call him black-headed" (Oswald's hair was light or medium brown but not dark brown); the wearing of "big, loose-fitting" coveralls, not found in Oswald's possessions and never seen on Oswald otherwise, but suggesting something like a city maintenance or construction or highway worker of some kind, not the clothes Oswald wore coming out to Irving after work from the TSBD; the frequency of that customer's haircuts at @2 weeks inconsistent with several witness accounts (e.g. Hutchinson) who said Oswald looked like he needed a haircut; the customer wore yellow shoes not in Oswald's belongings nor seen on him otherwise; the customer told of regular trips across the border to Mexico with access to shopping, inconsistent with Oswald for whom no expected regular future trips across the border to Mexico are known; the customer's number of haircuts (ca. 5-7) and Shasteen's estimate of when they began have that customer's haircuts beginning before Oswald was returned to Dallas/Irving from New Orleans; the testimony of Frazier as well as Ruth and Marina that on Friday evenings Oswald would be dropped off and go to the Ruth Paine house to see his wife and children, not drive to get a haircut; the incongruity of driving about 1 mile from Ruth Paine's house when Oswald would walk to Hutch's Mart across the street from Shasteen's shop, as remembered by Hutchinson. The two other barbers both remembered the customer at issue. One, Glover, described him as "34 to 35 years of age, 5'11" in height, weight 140 pounds, hair dark brown, complexion ruddy", not one point of which except for weight agrees with Oswald. The third barber in the shop, who according to Shasteen had cut the customer's hair once himself, Buddy Law, denied any memory of having seen Oswald in that shop, after having seen numerous pictures and photos of Oswald in the news. That the 14-year old boy with Shasteen's ca. 30s-age-appearing customer was the man's son is supported by Shasteen witnessing the 14-year old boy one time come to his shop on his own for a haircut dropped off in front from a "1958 Ford...dark color" by an adult who waited, not a Ruth Paine car, probably another family member of the Shasteen customer. This family had nothing to do with Oswald. Nor was there any claim by that customer to be Oswald. It was neither Oswald nor an impersonation, but a mistaken identification. True ID: unknown.

The Sports Drome Rifle Range sightings. The person several witnesses claimed must have been Oswald after later seeing Oswald in the news after the assassination, never claimed to be Oswald nor apart from the claim of physical resemblance and firing a Carcano was there anything specific which would identify him as Oswald. This shooter behaved aggressively whereas Oswald was normally polite. This shooter was a crack shot, witnessed rapidly firing repeated bullseyes at distance, whereas all that is known of Oswald indicates he was a poor shot. According to Laura Kittrell, Oswald took aptitude tests at the Texas Employment Commission in Oct 1963 and received mediocre scores in physical coordination, which Laura Kittrell specifically from experience noted correlated with men being poor rifle shots; and according to Kittrell Oswald admitted to her directly that that was true, that he was a poor shot. The target shooter came in vehicles not associated with Oswald and seemed associated with persons not associated with Oswald. The times are in irreconcilable conflict with Oswald's whereabouts elsewhere. Taken together, this all means it was not Oswald though it was someone who sufficiently resembled Oswald to have been mistaken for him. This shooter was not Craford either, based on all witnesses having been shown photos of Craford and rejecting Craford as the identification. However as brought out by George Evica, ATF agent Frank Ellsworth reported that local gun shop dealer John Thomas Masen identified himself as having been at the Sports Drome Rifle Range with Minutemen associates, corresponding to the individual the witnesses thought looked like Oswald and the persons who were with him, and Ellsworth himself told of having seen Oswald at the Dallas Police station after his arrest and thinking at first he was looking at Masen. The only known verified photo of Masen, a high school yearbook photo, shows a face very much like Oswald's. So the shooter at the Sports Drome mistakenly identified as Oswald probably was Masen; in any case it was not Oswald and there is no basis whatsoever to call this an impersonation of anyone either. True ID: John Thomas Masen (probable)

(to be continued)

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Overview of (my) case for Craford impersonating Oswald, Part II

The key instances of impersonation that now convince me are:

  • a party in Grand Prairie, Thu. eve, Oct 24
  • applicant for job as bellman in 18-story Statler-Hilton Hotel on Commerce St., Wed or Thu, Oct 30 or 31
  • Downtown Lincoln Mercury, test Sat Nov 2
  • applicant for job at seven-story Southland Hotel parking Garage on Commerce St., first half of Nov
  • hitchhiker, Oak Cliff to TSBD Dealey Plaza, carrying rifle-sized package and talking of presidential parade and shooting of president from tall building, Thu Nov 21

In all five of these cases there is credible witness testimony of intent by someone to be identified as Oswald who was not Oswald on the basis of argument. Though certainty is elusive, the true identities of the individuals in all five of these instances are well readable as the single individual Craford. The motivation or purpose served by the impersonations in the final four are creation of witnesses who will later come forward with incrimination of Oswald, although in the 2nd and 4th instance there may have been a simultaneous objective to actually obtain the job if it was possible to do so, so as to make possible access to good sniper positions depending on how the parade route was finally decided. To these witness-testimony cases can be added perhaps a dozen additional cases of witnesses' mistaken identifications of Craford as Oswald without impersonation, and consideration of possible though uncertain suggestions that Crafard may have used Oswald's name with reference to himself inside Carousel Club circles.

Finally, a reinterpretation of what attorney Jarnagin overheard between Ruby and Craford the night of Fri Oct 4, in which Jarnagin not only heard Ruby and Craford speaking of assassination of the "governor" and considering which was the best downtown Dallas tall building choice for a sniper given uncertainty of which of three downtown streets--Elm, Main, or Commerce--might ultimately be selected for the parade route ... but there was also discussion of Craford using Oswald's name--impersonation--and the making of a patsy, in the context of this conversation concerning a mob-contracted assassination involving shooting from a building at a targeted public official in a parade route going through downtown Dallas. In other words, while the Ruby/Craford meeting itself was not an impersonation of Oswald, the two discussed Craford impersonating Oswald.

By this revised reading of what Jarnagin tried to write to tell J. Edgar Hoover in early Dec 1963 of what he had heard, all of these things may have been under discussion as early as Oct 4, the evening Craford arrived to Ruby and the Carousel Club, which by accident Jarnagin heard and told, however imperfectly and however much Jarnagin himself and those he told may have misunderstood what he heard.

These witness credibility assessments are a minefield. They are in the end case-by-case judgment calls, and not everyone will make the same judgments. 

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A party in Grand Prairie, Thu Oct 24

FBI interview of Johnnie Walker, May 19, 1964 [Odum]:

[START FBI REPORT]

"Mrs. James Willie Walker, also known as Johnnie Walker, 2437 Varsity Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas, employed at Vaughn's Candy Kitchen, 29th Street, Grand Prairie, appeared at the Dallas office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and furnished the following information:

"She stated she wanted it understood that she would receive no publicity as a result of furnishing this information, and pointed out further that she is married and her husband is a long-time employee of Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV).

"Walker stated she is convinced that she spent about two hours with Lee Harvey Oswald between 8:00 and 10:00 PM, on a Thursday night, about seven days before Halloween, 1963. She stated she was supposed to be out calling for her church on a visitation program but a girl friend, Helen Seton, wanted to run around so she took her to the residence of Harold Zotch, Lakeview Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas, telephone AN. 2-6065, also an employee of LTV. She stated she knows that Zotch, in addition to working for LTV, is a bootlegger and a dope peddler, and she has furnished this information previously to authorities.

"On this particular evening, Junior Biggs was at Zotch's home and introduced Walker to Oswald Lee, who she believes is identical to Lee Harvey Oswald, after seeing pictures of him on television. She stated Lee received a telephone call soon after she arrived and his only comment on the telephone was "Yeh." Later, Lee told Walker he was working at either the Texas Book Store or the Taylor Book Store and he had been working there only eight days. Junior Biggs commented that Walker did not have to worry about Lee's wife, as she lived in Irving, Texas. Lee stated he had a room in Oak Cliff.

"Later on, some mention was made of coffee and Junion said Lee made real good coffee, and mentioned he had been to Lee's room. Walker asked Lee what nationality he was and Junior answered for him saying, 'He is Barbarian." Walker asked what a Barbarian was and Junior replied, "You've read about the Romans, haven't you?" Walker stated she still did not know what he meant, but dropped the inquiry.

"During the evening, Junior Biggs stated Lee was writing a book and would have it finished by Thanksgiving. Lee told Walker the book was about life inside Russia and he claimed to have been there.

"During this period of about two hours, Lee was drinking only coffee. The others, except Walker, were drinking beer and whiskey, but Walker, because she had to return to the church, was not drinking anything but coffee.

"During the latter part of the visit, Lee received another telephone call and said, "It's about time, ain't it?" Thereafter, he was on the phone for fifteen to thirty minutes, mostly listening, and occasionally interjecting "Yeh."

"About 10:00 PM, Lee left with a tall, dark-headed, young man, who was driving an old-model car. He had come for Lee. Walker could not further describe him.

"Walker stated she thought no more about this incident until the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963. She then asked Helen Seton if she recalled meeting Oswald Lee and Helen replied that she was getting a divorce and did not have time to get mixed up in anything else. Walker also asked Junior Biggs about this man and Junior claimed that that evening was the first time and the last time he had ever seen Lee. Junior Biggs is no longer around Grand Prairie, although he frequented Zotch's home from February, 1963 until about Christmas, 1963. He is originally from Michigan.

"Helen Seton resides on Watson Street in Grand Prairie and Walker believes the number is 1448. It is the second house south of Varsity Drive. During the day, she keeps the children of her brother, "Buggie" O'Neal, who lives on Aggie Drive, Grand Prairie, telephone AN 2-2059.

"Walker described the person introduced to her as Oswald Lee as a white male, 24, 5'5", 140 lbs., medium complexion, dark eyes, dark brown hair, slicked down, wearing old clothes, clean and neat, having a tattoo of a dagger with a snake on his left forearm. She asked him what this meant and he stated it meant, "Don't tread on me." She then asked him what he meant by "tread" and he said, "You know, don't step on me."

"At the termination of this interview, Walker requested specifically that she be allowed to look at a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald. She was shown a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald made by the Dallas, Texas, Police Department, November 22, 1963, and stated she believes this is the same person she met, but she twice asked if the interviewer was positive that this was a photograph of Oswald. She stated the man she met looked younger, but she believes the man she met as Oswald Lee is Lee Harvey Oswald."

[END FBI REPORT]

Comment:  Despite how unbelievable the content sounds, the witness herself seems credible. She is fearful of having it become known that she was in compromising circumstances with respect to her husband. It is not clear, and perhaps the FBI interviewer did not wish to ask, whether this party involved sex and/or drugs. Yet despite possible personal embarrassment she is talking, giving contact information to other witnesses which could verify the story (there are no reports of any of the other witnesses she named having been tracked down to my knowledge).

On its face it is difficult to make sense of this. There are five distinctive details indicating an Oswald identity or claim to identity, yet there is overwhelming reason to reject the notion that this was Oswald. The five details sounding like Oswald are:

  • he says his name is "Oswald Lee"
  • he started work at a bookstore 8 days earlier [= when LHO started employment at TSBD]
  • he is writing a book on his experience of life in Russia
  • his wife lives in Irving
  • he has a room in Oak Cliff

This either is a true claim of an Oswald identity from Oswald; a false claim of an Oswald identity from someone who is not Oswald; or a fabrication by the witness. That this was not Oswald is indicated in general terms not only because it does not sound like the company Oswald keeps, the kind of activity Oswald engages in, or a location where Oswald would be on a work night four days after his second child was born. More specifically the physical description and especially the "tattoo of a dagger with a snake on his left forearm" do not agree with Oswald, but do with Craford. The FBI verified Oswald had no tattoo and had not had one removed by the time he was buried. But one person who did have a tattoo on his left forearm was Curtis Craford, based on Craford being the identity of a witness's mistaken identification of an "Oswald" accompanying Jack Ruby in an electronics store about two weeks before Nov 26 (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=56999#relPageId=49). The witness who thought he saw Oswald with Ruby was Robert Patterson, part-owner of the electronics store. Craford in his Warren Commission testimony identified himself as having accompanied Ruby to that store, which makes sense since he was Ruby's handyman and Oswald is not known to have personally accompanied Ruby at any time. The man Patterson saw with Ruby--Crafard--had a tattoo on his left forearm, just like the man with whom Johnnie Walker spent time in Grand Prairie on Oct 24. 

This is as good of a time as any to note that whereas there are multiple attestations of Craford having been mistakenly identified as Oswald, at the same time the physical descriptions of Oswald and Craford differ in certain ways that can help distinguish the one from the other in witness descriptions. These differences are:

  • height: Oswald is taller, 5'9". Craford was reported by the FBI as 5'8" but Peter Whitmey who met him years later in Oregon suggests he was shorter than that, saying that Craford was definitely shorter than Whitmey's own 5'8-1/2". Johnnie Walker estimated 5'5". Patterson estimated 5'8-5'9". 
  • weight: while being shorter than Oswald, Craford also weighs a bit more, not a lot but maybe ca. 8-10 lbs. more (and for less height). Oswald could be described as slender but not Craford so easily. Patterson said of his "Oswald"'s [= Craford's] weight: "not too heavy, not too thin"
  • Craford sometimes wears blue jeans (Patterson: "blue jeans, very tight fitting"; the Southland Hotel Garage "Oswald" applicant: blue jeans) whereas there is no known instance of Oswald wearing blue jeans, nor were blue jeans found among Oswald's clothes. 
  • Whereas Oswald is light complexion, standard "white" person complexion, Craford is somewhat darker in complexion; as Johnnie Walker describes, "medium" complexion
  • Craford was and looked a little younger than Oswald; age 22 (Craford) versus age 24 (Oswald). Compare Johnnie Walker's closing comments in her FBI interview that while she thought the "Oswald" she had spent time with at the party was Lee Harvey Oswald, at the same time she thought the man she remembered was a little younger than the photos of Oswald shown her.
  • Craford had darker hair color than Oswald: hair dark brown (Craford) versus light or medium brown hair (Oswald)
  • Craford had a scar on his upper lip that Oswald did not
  • Craford had a tattoo on his left forearm, based on the witness reports of Johnnie Walker and Patterson. Oswald had no tattoo. (In fact the FBI said Craford when they found him in Michigan had no tattoo, suggesting Craford had had it removed by then, but he had it at least as late as the first half of Nov.)
  • Craford is variously said to have been missing top front teeth (said to be from a fight in Oct 1963) and alternatively that is not noticed (did he wear dentures?); not the case with Oswald.

The judgment here is that Johnnie Walker's account is credible, not a fabrication; that the man she met in Grand Prairie certainly was not Oswald and probably was Curtis Craford; that Crafard was practicing role-playing as Oswald for the fun of it with this woman he just met (no malevolent purpose). Information gleaned from this is that it appears Craford may be running with underworld or narcotics circles and that he had access to information concerning Oswald. The credibility of Johnnie Walker's account is supported in that there are other apparent instances of Craford representing himself as Oswald, even though there is no known witnessed account of Craford and Oswald having met in person.  

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The fact that you take the Paine's testimony at face value or always find an innocent explanation for their behavior will always, in my opinion, be a serious flaw in your overall analysis. This alone causes me to question your conclusions. 

I believe you haven't yet proven the Furniture Mart incident was truly Oswald based on the argument and evidence you've presented so far in other threads. It's puzzling that you take Ruth Paine to be honest, but then reject her assessment of Oswald's inability to drive.

As I see it, your devotion to the concept of the Paine's being innocent and uninvolved in any sort of conspiracy exposes another weakness in your theory.

You approach your theory assuming only one person was impersonating Oswald in the lead up to November 22, and have settled on Craford. In my opinion, it doesn't make sense to eliminate the consideration of other possible impersonators. The pre-assassination impersonations of Oswald were, in some people's opinions, a co-ordinated effort.

It also doesn't make sense, in my opinion, to completely ignore the fact that Michael Paine would have had easy knowledge of Oswald's whereabouts, Oswald's schedule, and the places Oswald frequented. Along with Michael's access to Oswald's belongings, Oswald's family, and Ruth's car, Michael also had a strong resemblance to Lee Oswald. I know there was a difference in height between the two men, but unless a witness to a particular possible Oswald impersonation incident specifically referenced "Oswald" as being short or on the short side, to me, it's folly to consider completely eliminating Michael Paine as a possible Oswald impersonator.

I am glad that you are no longer arguing that the Lincoln Mercury test drive was really Oswald.

Certainly there were mob connected figures involved in the assassination of JFK, as there were figures connected to Cubans, Texas oilmen, ect. But the overall conclusion that the mob did it all is disproved by the fact that the Mafia, as powerful as it was, could not have gotten into the autopsy room at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Only people in the highest levels of government had that access.

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4 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

The fact that you take the Paine's testimony at face value or always find an innocent explanation for their behavior will always, in my opinion, be a serious flaw in your overall analysis. This alone causes me to question your conclusions. 

I believe you haven't yet proven the Furniture Mart incident was truly Oswald based on the argument and evidence you've presented so far in other threads. It's puzzling that you take Ruth Paine to be honest, but then reject her assessment of Oswald's inability to drive.

Denny you are right, how one assesses Ruth Paine is going to affect other things. As you know, I knew Ruth Paine in the St. Petersburg Friends Meeting, but even if I did not it would not affect that I agree with 100% of the investigators of both major investigations, the Warren Commission and HSCA, none of whom found cause to question Ruth Paine's truthfulness and credibility as a witness or whether she was wholesale lying as you seem to assume. So if that causes you to find my analysis flawed, that's your view and it can't be helped, but I do share the judgment of Ruth Paine's truthfulness as a witness based on what I have seen and know of Ruth Paine, in keeping with 100% of the professional investigators in the major formal investigations of the case. 

4 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

As I see it, your devotion to the concept of the Paine's being innocent and uninvolved in any sort of conspiracy exposes another weakness in your theory.

You approach your theory assuming only one person was impersonating Oswald in the lead up to November 22, and have settled on Craford. In my opinion, it doesn't make sense to eliminate the consideration of other possible impersonators. The pre-assassination impersonations of Oswald were, in some people's opinions, a co-ordinated effort.

It also doesn't make sense, in my opinion, to completely ignore the fact that Michael Paine would have had easy knowledge of Oswald's whereabouts, Oswald's schedule, and the places Oswald frequented. Along with Michael's access to Oswald's belongings, Oswald's family, and Ruth's car, Michael also had a strong resemblance to Lee Oswald. I know there was a difference in height between the two men, but unless a witness to a particular possible Oswald impersonation incident specifically referenced "Oswald" as being short or on the short side, to me, it's folly to consider completely eliminating Michael Paine as a possible Oswald impersonator.

I am glad that you are no longer arguing that the Lincoln Mercury test drive was really Oswald.

Certainly there were mob connected figures involved in the assassination of JFK, as there were figures connected to Cubans, Texas oilmen, ect. But the overall conclusion that the mob did it all is disproved by the fact that the Mafia, as powerful as it was, could not have gotten into the autopsy room at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Only people in the highest levels of government had that access.

The reason for the focus on only one impersonator in Dallas in late 1963 in the runup is because as I will bring out further there really is no hard or compelling reason to suppose more than one, and all else being equal, I am biased toward simpler explanations rather than complex ones, toward conspiracy theories that involve fewer moving parts rather than vast numbers of many moving parts all requiring secrecy. So the one-impersonator argument in Dallas 1963 is an hypothesis but from what I can see is sufficient to account for the facts.

Having an impersonator at all is extraordinary and unusual. If it is happening at all, one wants to know how it worked, did it involve formal training and where did that training occur and who was doing the training; was there an impersonator school; did an impersonator stay in acting/impersonation mode 24/7 or was it selective; did the impersonation involve a full range of sophisticated fake identification documents and creation of fictitious biographical history. Who ran the operation, where are the documents referring to an impersonation operation, what was the name of the operation, is there any evidence in any of the documents so far that a government agency ever ran an impersonation program domestically of the kind supposed uniquely in this case. What became of the impersonators after the assassination? Where are the ex-impersonators going on talk shows and giving lectures and writing books of "My life as an impersonator of Oswald".

The notion that some large scale of sophisticated impersonation-project apparatus and infrastructure involving many Oswald impersonators was being run by some lettered agency of the US government, for which there is just zero documentary or credible testimony as to the existence of such, does not make sense to me. As extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, there needs to be comparative examples and/or documentary evidence (or credible whistle-blower witness testimony) to make such things plausible, but there isn't. And without controls of evidence or showing a context of cases of similar comparative examples, that is the road to mystification which is not productive.

On Michael Paine as an impersonator of Oswald, going out in evenings for the purpose of pretending to be someone else other than who he was, I don't see any evidence for that or reason to suppose it or even to suspect it. 

For example, on the man talking as if he is Oswald to Johnnie Walker at that party in Grand Prairie (if that is as the witness said), that would not have been Michael Paine because he had no known tattoo on his left forearm, which would be known if he did, also there is no reason why that would be Michael Paine or why it is plausible he would be at a party of narcotics dealing circles, etc.

That the Mob could not control access to Bethesda Naval Hospital seems irrelevant to the question of whether there was a mob hand behind Ruby's killing of Oswald or behind the shooting of JFK. Non sequitur. That is like saying elements of the Dallas Police Department could not have been involved in the shooting (I am not saying they were; this is for illustrative purposes only) because the Dallas Police Department could not control access to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Non sequitur.  

Edited by Greg Doudna
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@Denny Zartmanthe inability of the mob to control the autopsy or the government's response to the assassination is irrelevant to the question of was the mob was behind the assassination. The question is a form of disinformation or misdirection.  

The mob had plenty of experience with public killings that are not traceable back to the actual players. They did not need to rely on the government becoming an accessory to the crime to pull off the assassination. Marcello (or Trafficante) knew how to carry out a murder without it leading back to them. They may have suspected that Hoover would not pursue them for a variety of reasons or the government not wanting to start digging in a direction that could expose its soliciting mafia to to kill Castro.   But they were not relying on the government to go along in their planning to kill the president. 

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4 minutes ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

@Denny Zartmanthe inability of the mob to control the autopsy or the government's response to the assassination is irrelevant to the question of was the mob was behind the assassination. The question is a form of disinformation or misdirection.  

The mob had plenty of experience with public killings that are not traceable back to the actual players. They did not need to rely on the government becoming an accessory to the crime to pull off the assassination. Marcello (or Trafficante) knew how to carry out a murder without it leading back to them. They may have suspected that Hoover would not pursue them for a variety of reasons or the government not wanting to start digging in a direction that could expose its soliciting mafia to to kill Castro.   But they were not relying on the government to go along in their planning to kill the president. 

So the mob just got lucky that the US government immediately leaped into action and did everything in its power to discourage any investigation or speculation and to use all their resources to cover the mob's tracks, not just immediately but for decades afterward?

I don't buy that at all.

I look suspiciously on any element of the assassination that relies on luck as a key factor in success.

If the mob didn't want to cover their tracks, why bother setting up Oswald in advance? Why use Oswald at all?

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21 minutes ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

@Denny Zartmanthe inability of the mob to control the autopsy or the government's response to the assassination is irrelevant to the question of was the mob was behind the assassination. The question is a form of disinformation or misdirection.  

The mob had plenty of experience with public killings that are not traceable back to the actual players. They did not need to rely on the government becoming an accessory to the crime to pull off the assassination. Marcello (or Trafficante) knew how to carry out a murder without it leading back to them. They may have suspected that Hoover would not pursue them for a variety of reasons or the government not wanting to start digging in a direction that could expose its soliciting mafia to to kill Castro.   But they were not relying on the government to go along in their planning to kill the president. 

The conspirators, in order to get away with it, had to control the narrative. That means controlling the investigation and the evidence. Sure, the mob had plenty of experience with killings that were not traceable back to the actual players because the actual players remained unknown. Do you have any historical examples where the mob regularly used patsies to cover up mob killings?

Edited by Denny Zartman
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A person falsely claiming to be Oswald twice applies for a job as a bellhop in tall hotel buildings in downtown Dallas overlooking the JFK parade route, in advance of the assassination 

There are actually two, not one, reports of someone representing himself as Oswald applying for a job as a bellhop in high-rise hotels in downtown Dallas in the runup. The first report, at the Adolphus Hotel immediately across the street from the Carousel Club, read in isolation contains nothing inconsistent with having been Oswald. The question of impersonation would not arise in that case if it were not for the fact that a second "Oswald" applicant for an identical job as bellhop at the Statler-Hilton Hotel was not Oswald, thereby calling into question the truth of the identity of the Adolphus Hotel applicant who gave his name as Oswald.

First the Adolphus Hotel. Viewed in isolation this would look like Oswald looking for a job after his arrival to Dallas on Thu Oct 3, although there is no mention of an Adolphus Hotel job interest or application in any other known information concerning Oswald, nor is Oswald otherwise known to have ever sought employment as a hotel bellhop. 

Bear in mind in these reports that the Adolphus Hotel on Commerce St was 22 stories tall, and the Statler-Hilton on Commerce St was 19 stories tall, overlooking the parade route of an upcoming presidential visit in which that president was assassinated by sniper fire from a window of a building on that parade route. 

First the report on the applicant at the Adolphus:

12/10/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672#relPageId=489

"(. . .) W. D. Tyra, representing the Adolphus Hotel, Dallas, commented he believed Oswald applied for a position at the Adolphus several months ago. Jett also stated Mrs. Jo Fischer, Personnel Manager, Statler-Hilton Hotel, Dallas, remarked at the meeting that one of her employees believed Oswald applied for a position at the Statler-Hilton."

12/5/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10489#relPageId=268

"W. D. Tyra, Superintendent of Front Services, Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas, advised that two or three months ago, a young man, he now believes was Lee Harvey Oswald, came up to him seeking employment as a luggage porter. Tyra said his interview with that person was brief, but he recalls that the young man indicated he would work mornings or evenings and he wanted to go to school. Tyra said he had this young man place his name and address on a 3x5 card, which Tyra destroyed about a month ago, and he seems to recall that the name "Lee Oswald" appeared on the card with an unrecalled street address in Irving, Texas. Tyra remembers the young man listed his address as Irving, Texas, because he asked him how he would get to work. He replied by stating he could get a ride to Dallas each day. Tyra informed the young man that if he was interested in employment at the Adolphus Hotel he would have to execute an application for employment in the personnel office, take a physical examination and a Truth Verification Test (polygraph). Tyra added that all Adolphus Hotel employees have to take the Truth Verification Test. Tyra believes he directed the young man to the hotel's personnel office. (. . .) He checked the hotel's personnel office but could locate no application executed by Oswald. Tyra believes the young man he briefly interviewed two or three months ago for employment was the Lee Harvey Oswald who was accused of assassinating President Kennedy."

12/10/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672#relPageId=487

"Tyra stated he recalls that the young man, he now believes was Lee Harvey Oswald, who applied for a job as luggage porter at the Adolphus two or three months ago, mentioned he had one child and his wife was expecting another."

Comment: the timing of "two or three months" before 12/5/63 would be consistent with Oswald's arrival to Dallas on Thu Oct 3, 1963 and his seeking of a job starting from that day involving an employment agency and the Texas Employment Commission. Craford meanwhile arrived to the Carousel Club, across the street from the Adolphus, a day later on Fri Oct 4, if the interpretation of the Jarnagin account as a witnessing of Craford and Ruby is accepted. Unfortunately there is no physical description of the Adolphus applicant in the Tyra interview reports. 

Now for the Statler-Hilton, same genre of job application, same kind of job (bellhop), same kind of high-story building, same downtown Dallas location. Who is this person?

12/11/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672#relPageId=490

"Mrs. Jo Fischer, Personnel Director, Statler-Hilton Hotel, 1914 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas, advised that on November 26 or 27, 1963, Mrs. Laura Layfield, who was formerly employed as a receptionist in this office, and who is presently employed as a hostess in the Court Club, Statler-Hilton, Dallas, mentioned the following to her: On October 31, 1963, three young men came into the personnel office of the Statler-Hilton. Two of the men requested applications for bellmen, while the third man waited on the other two. The two men completed the applications and turned them over to Mrs. Layfield, who checked the applications for completeness and accuracy. Mrs. Layfield recalled that one of the young men indicated on the application he completed the tenth grade; he was married, with two children, one being two weeks old; he had been previously employed as a printer; and he spoke Russian.

"She informed Mrs. Fischer that since one of the men indicated he spoke Russian, which appeared somewhat unusual for a bellman applicant in Dallas, she asked the young man where he learned to speak Russian. He became very angry and informed Mrs. Layfield it was none of her business. He did state, however, he was married to a Russian girl. He left in a state of anger. Mrs. Layfield recalled the application was hand printed and she believed the name on the application was (FNU) Oswald. Mrs. Fischer advised that during her conversation with Mrs. Layfield about the above matter, she asked Mrs. Layfield what happened to the young man's application. She said Mrs. Layfield remarked at first that she apparently retained the application because she believed she noted in writing on the application 'Very Nasty', or some similar wording. Mrs. Fischer said during the same conversation Mrs. Layfield mentioned that the young man, while in a state of anger, grabbed his application from her and tore it up. Mrs. Fischer said she has no personal knowledge of the above matter. She added that Mrs. Layfield is prone to exaggeration at times and she (Fischer) would not express an opinion as to the authenticity of the above."

12/11/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672#relPageId=494

"Mrs. Laura Layfield, hostess, Court Club, Statler-Hilton Hotel, 1914 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas, who resides at 1810 Mosier Street, Dallas, telephone TA 7-7877, advised as follows: She was employed as a receptionist in the personnel office, Statler-Hilton Hotel, Dallas, until recently. On October 31, 1963, while she was in the personnel office, three young men entered. She does not recall the exact time the men entered but stated, 'It was lunchtime', since the other employees had gone to lunch. Mrs. Layfield said her lunch hour was 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM and she believes the three men came into the personnel office shortly after 12:30 PM. She added she was the only employee present at the time but two or three unknown applicants were in the personnel office when the men entered.

"Two of the men requested applications for employment as bellmen while the third man waited on the other two. She added the three men appeared to be acquaintances. After completing their applications, she checked the applications for completeness and accuracy. One of the young men hand printed his application, and she seems to recall the name (FNU) Oswald appeared on the name line of the application. She said she recalls this young man in particular because he indicated on his application that he spoke Russian and it appeared somewhat unusual in Dallas for a bellman applicant to speak Russian. She also believes the young man indicated on his application (or she learned through conversation with him) that he completed the tenth grade; he was married, with two children, one being two weeks old; and he listed three prior employments, all as a printer or printer's helper.

"She seems to recall two of the employments were in Dallas, Texas, and one in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was unable to recall his former employers but believed he indicated his length of employment as one and one-half years, one year and six months. She also believes he listed a Fort Worth address on his application and that he had been in military service. During their conversation he mentioned he had been in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area for three or four years.

"Mrs. Layfield said she asked the young man where he learned to speak the Russian language, and he became very angry, shouting it was none of her business. He did state, however, he was married to a Russian girl. The young man said nothing further and left in a state of anger.

"She stated that the two men accompanying the above young man left with him but one of the young men, whom she identified as James Murphy, returned later that day and was hired as a helper in the hotel employees' cafeteria. Mrs. Layfield estimated that the above three men were in the personnel office from fifteen to twenty minutes. (. . .) A photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald dated August 9, 1963, was exhibited to Mrs. Layfield, and she stated the above individual closely resembles Oswald. 

"She said she checked the personnel office but was unable to locate the application executed by the above person. She seems to recall noting on the application in writing that the person interviewed was 'very angry' or some similar wording. However, she also seems to recall that this person may have grabbed the application from her hands at the time and tore it up. 

"She described the person interviewed by her on October 31, 1963, as follows:

"Name. Unknown, but possibly (FNU) Oswald

"Sex. Male

"Race. White

"Age. About 30

"Height. 5'8" to 5'10"

"Weight. 140 to 150 lbs.

"Hair. Medium brown or sandy, medium length, slightly receding hairline

"Eyes. Unknown

"Build. Slender

"Scars and Marks. None noticeable

"Characteristics. Deep voice; no southern accent; stared at person while talking"

12/30/63 FBI. (https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=96522#relPageId=108

"Mrs. Laura Layfield advised she resides at 1810 Moser; her telephone number at home is TA. 7-7877. She said she has been employed at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in Dallas, Texas for about 14 or 15 months and is presently the receptionist and hostess at the Court Club in the hotel. She said that she recalled on October 30, 1963, she was the receptionist in the Personnel Department of the hotel and during the period 12:30 - 1:30 P.M. on that date, she was alone in the Personnel Office when three persons came in about the same time. One person was James Frederick Murphy whom she identified by viewing a photograph of Murphy; another person she thought was possibly Lee Harvey Oswald; and she was unable to identify the third person. She said this third person did not ask for or complete an application.

"Upon examining the New Orleans Police Photo No. 112723 dated August 9, 1963 of Lee Harvey Oswald, she said this photograph appeared to be of a much larger [= taller? gd] person than the applicant she had previously thought might have been Oswald, and on later reflection she said she believed the applicant whom she had believed to be Oswald, was in his 30's and he bore a strong resemblance to her step-brother. She said she recalled this applicant took the application form after it was completed and tore it up in her presence and she reiterated the fact as previously told in an interview with SA James E. Garrisk, that she had written the words 'nasty - ill-tempered' on this application before the person took it and tore it up. She said she recalled that the applicant gave a 'Fort Worth address, spoke Russian, and had a week-old baby'

"Mrs. Layfield said she recalled that the three men did not talk to each other during the time they were in the personnel office with her, and she said it is possible that the application and card which she made up for this person might have been pulled with the six months old records and destroyed inadvertently. She said she recalled that she had mentioned the unusual behavior of this applicant to a fellow employee, Margaret 'Peggy' Smith, after the three men left the Personnel Office and she said she thought she had remarked to Peggy that this applicant was a 'nasty human being'. She also said that Mrs. Smith was quite busy when she made this remark to her, and it is possible that she could have forgotten all about it. 

"Mrs. Layfield said that Mrs. Smith was never up in the front office during the period of time the three men were in the Personnel Office, and she recalled that these three men all left the office about the same time. She said she told them 'We have no openings' (she paused for a moment or so) and then remarked 'except for a cafeteria helper'. She said the applicant knew that he could not get a job as she felt sure that was his reason for not returning, and then she probably tore up the application even though she was not supposed to according to the rules of the hotel. She said it was hard to definitely recall each individual that she interviewed when she was working as a receptionist in the Personnel Office, due to the fact that some 300 to 400 applications are turned in each month to that office and it was easy to 'mix up the facts and not get them all straight'. (. . .) She again looked at the New Orleans Police Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald and said it was definitely not the picture of the person who made application for a position as a bell man and said that he spoke Russian before he got mad and left the office." 

Comment: 

That the individual represented himself as Oswald is indicated from the Russian language, the Russian wife, the printer employment history, and the two-week-old baby (Oswald's second daughter was born to Marina Oct 20, 1963), as well as her memory that he said his name was Oswald. Despite some sign of ill feeling between the witness and her former supervisor, the witness seems credible.

Yet that job applicant practically certainly was not Oswald. The "deep voice" is a particularly striking detail. Oswald did not have a deep voice. Buell Wesley Frazier described Oswald's voice as high-pitched and almost "girlish" (Frazier's word). From hearing the soundbites of Oswald filmed at the Dallas police station, Oswald's voice sounds male but high-pitched and not a deep voice.

Further, the anger and the reaction seems out of character. Oswald was not normally remembered as a "nasty person". 

From Oswald's known contacts at an employment agency and the Texas Employment Commission his job interest was in printing or office work and had nothing to do with being a bellhop in a hotel. 

Nor did either Marina or Ruth Paine say anything about Oswald wanting to work in a hotel, or having applied to be a bellhop.

The mention that the person "stared while talking" might or might not be significant; I am not aware of that idiosyncrasy being mentioned in the many descriptions of Oswald by those who knew him. 

And finally, whereas in her first interview she said a photo of Oswald did "closely resemble" the person she remembered, in her second interview two weeks later she said a photo of Oswald was "definitely not" the person she remembered, and that the person she remembered was not as "big" as Oswald in the photo she was shown. The "big" must refer to height rather than stocky since she described the applicant she met as "slender". The cases to be discussed of impersonation of Oswald consistently tend to have the impersonator less tall than Oswald who was 5'9". The impersonator was a little shorter than, not taller than, Oswald. Craford was 1-2" shorter than Oswald, and that correspondence in height is one of the arguments supporting identification of Craford as the impersonator.

Of the two men who were accompanying the applicant seen by Mrs. Layfield, one was identified and became an employee briefly for the Statler-Hilton, one James Murphy, 27 yrs old. He quit almost immediately following the assassination, on Tue Nov 26, and went to New Orleans. The FBI spent a lot of energy tracking down and finding James Murphy but found no Oswald connection to that person. This again adds weight in favor of the Statler-Hilton applicant not having been Oswald. However, he may have been known to Craford of whom less is known of his friends and acquaintances, and as developed later there is reason to suppose a New Orleans recent connection for Craford.

Conclusion: The Statler-Hilton applicant was not Oswald but an impersonator of Oswald. True identity very possibly Curtis Craford. That Mrs. Layfield was remembering accurately that an applicant giving his name as "Oswald" had expressed interest in a job as a bellman is supported by the almost exactly parallel report from the Adolphus Hotel that a man giving his name as "Oswald" had also sought to be a bellman there. 

The conclusion is that not only was the one at the Statler-Hilton not Oswald, but--although this is based on analogy rather than anything directly in the Adolphus interview report--by analogy and extension the bellhop applicant at the Adolphus across the street from the Carousel Club also was not Oswald, but will have been the same individual who applied at the Statler-Hilton, namely probably Curtis Craford in both cases.

The reference to Mrs. Layfield in her second interview to hearing the man speak "Russian" in the process of being angry and leaving (that detail does not occur in her first interview), if there were words in a foreign language spoken, perhaps may have been Craford, who served in the Army in Germany, speaking German, misunderstood by Mrs. Layfield as Russian. It is unlikely that Mrs. Layfield herself would know Russian to recognize it. She may have identified what she heard as Russian based on the man saying he knew Russian.

Rather than Oswald seeking a job as a hotel bellhop, for which there is no known corroboration of such an interest in the voluminous known information and witnesses concerned with Oswald, this was impersonation. Since impersonation is extraordinary and highly unusual it calls for explanation.

So put it together. This is in the runup to the arrival of President Kennedy to Dallas where he is assassinated, so the world was informed, by Oswald, and here someone impersonating that very person, the accused assassin of JFK, in advance of that assassination, is seeking employment in a building which would give access to a vantage point from which a sniper could shoot at the presidential limousine in the presidential parade. 

Of course that would only have been the case if he had gotten the job, which this applicant did not. (However an associate with him did get a job putting the associate inside the 19-story Statler-Hilton, before that person quit four days after the assassination and returned to New Orleans.)

Even if the bellhop job application attempts failed, they would be remembered as Oswald sought to find employment in tall buldings downtown. It seems to be an accident of history that this did not become a central feature of the narrative surrounding Oswald after the assassination.

Note that this impersonator of Oswald (for that is what he was, he was not Oswald) at the Statler-Hilton created a scene over a pretext that on its face makes little sense: Mrs. Layfield asks a reasonable simple question, how did you learn Russian?, and the man inexplicably explodes with anger--how dare she ask that! And grabs the application, tears it up, shouts, and storms out! Ensuring in a way that could not possibly be more effective that that "Oswald" would be remembered! That was probably the purpose of that particular stunt. The grabbing back of the application and tearing it up (and likely keeping possession of the torn pieces) would prevent the handwriting and content of that application from later being studied forensically and the impersonation discovered by investigators by that means. That may have been a reason for the retrieval and tearing up of the form as part of that created scene designed to impress a memory on a witness later to be told.

Such an extraordinary thing: to impersonate someone at all, and in this case, Oswald, three weeks before Oswald became presented to the world front and center as the Castro-linked communist credited with assassinating President Kennedy.

These impersonations of Oswald attempting to find employment, shortly before the assassination, in tall buildings overlooking the parade route from which a sniper could fire, can hardly be interpreted any other way than this: they are attempts in advance to incriminate Oswald, without Oswald's knowledge or doing. It is absolutely malicious, it is directly connected to the assassination soon to come, it directly--in these downtown high-rise hotel bellhop cases--is designed to create witnesses in advance of the assassination who will incriminate Oswald after the assassination.

Poor Oswald, with no knowledge this was happening!

Is there any conceivable innocent explanation for why, weeks before the assassination, without Oswald's permission or knowledge, anyone would do that other than as part of the criminal conspiracy which succeeded in killing President Kennedy on Nov 22, 1963? No.

Impersonation is so rare, so unusual, so extraordinary, and if it can not only be established that this was being done to Oswald before the assassination, but who was doing it, this could potentially be critical in going to the solution, or at least ballpark thereof, concerning who did it. 

Independent lines of argument suggest the impersonator doing this, setting up Oswald in this way in advance of the assassination, was Craford newly arrived to the Carousel Club of Jack Ruby--that he impersonated the man that immediately following the assassination Jack Ruby then killed, silencing Oswald from, among other things, protesting the cases of witnesses who believed the impersonations were him.  

In the case of the Adolphus, Craford did not need to walk too far for that one--just cross the street.

There was a criminal conspiracy to assassinate JFK in Dallas with planning underway by the first week of Oct 1963 at the latest. Identification of who was doing incriminating impersonations of Oswald in advance of the assassination points to who did the assassination operationally. If it is Craford, this points to the circles who hired and hosted Craford, and the ones behind Jack Ruby, as the criminal conspiracy which did the assassination itself, not simply silenced Oswald in its aftermath. 

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Greg, once again, many thanks for your logical and detailed synopsis in this and previous threads.

I'm a little confused (some may say a lot) age related, but can you clarify your thinking regarding previous posts where you propose Oswald sold his Carcano after the Ryder scope fix repair.  If I recall correctly from these vast posts the rifle was sold to Crafard at Dobbs House and via Yates' hitch hiker to the TSBD on Thurs 21st.  This theory is a little far out for me, but that isn't unusual in this case.  I wonder how Oswald would have transported the Carcano from Irving to Beckley without it being noticed by any witnesses in & out of the rooming house etc.  (Jeez, my head isn't on straight regarding Oswald owning the rifle in the first place!)

However, as previously stated, your posts are certainly food for thought. 

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8 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Greg, once again, many thanks for your logical and detailed synopsis in this and previous threads.

I'm a little confused (some may say a lot) age related, but can you clarify your thinking regarding previous posts where you propose Oswald sold his Carcano after the Ryder scope fix repair.  If I recall correctly from these vast posts the rifle was sold to Crafard at Dobbs House and via Yates' hitch hiker to the TSBD on Thurs 21st.  This theory is a little far out for me, but that isn't unusual in this case.  I wonder how Oswald would have transported the Carcano from Irving to Beckley without it being noticed by any witnesses in & out of the rooming house etc.  (Jeez, my head isn't on straight regarding Oswald owning the rifle in the first place!)

However, as previously stated, your posts are certainly food for thought. 

Hi Pete M.--very good question. In my reconstruction I argued that the rifle arrived to outside the TSBD mid-day Thu Nov 21 based on the Yates' hitchhiker carried by Yates from the street on which Oswald lived in Oak Cliff to the corner of Elm and Houston where the TSBD is, on the morning of Thu Nov 21; that that Yates' hitchhiker was related to the assassination; and that the date of that Yates hitchhiker was Thu Nov 21 based on a work order document at Yates' place of work resolving Yates' own uncertainty whether the date was Wed or Thu Nov 20 or 21. The hitchhiker carried a rifle-sized package and I saw the Yates' hitchhiker as the mechanism for the rifle getting to the TSBD on Nov 21 coming from Oswald on Beckley in Oak Cliff that morning. I saw this reinforced in Oswald (if that was Oswald) having been witnessed at the Dobbs House restaurant near his rooming house at about 10 am that morning, Thu Nov 21. (The earlier discussion on the Furniture Mart and the Irving Sports Shop: https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/27502-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/.) 

So that is how I reasoned there was a sale or conveyance of the rifle from Oswald to that Yates' hitchhiker in Oak Cliff near Oswald's rooming house on Thu Nov 21, and I saw that very sale or conveyance explaining why Oswald had the scope put on the rifle in Irving on Nov 11, to prepare it for sale or conveyance. 

The difficult question or weak point in this reconstruction however is exactly your question: where was the rifle between Nov 11 and Nov 21, and how could the rifle get from Oswald in Irving Nov 11 to Oswald in Oak Cliff Nov 21 without having been remembered and reported seen by anyone.

In my own thinking in attempting to answer that question, I first noticed that there were two musicians who worked at the Carousel Club living across the street from the Linnie Mae Randle house, only about two or three houses away from the Ruth Paine house. (Was Wesley Frazier acquainted with them living across the street from him? So far as I can tell, unknown, question not known ever to have been asked or answered.) I asked myself, did maybe one of those Carousel Club musicians remove the rifle from the Ruth Paine garage one day? But I saw nothing else giving cause to suppose those musicians had anything to do with anything, and concluded the proximity of their home residence address was not distinguishable from accident or coincidence, and that idea went nowhere for me.

The answer I have had up to now (to answer your question now directly) was that after getting the rifle from Dial Ryder on Nov 11, paying for scope installed and sighted, Oswald broke down the rifle again and put it in what may have been the same 37" length paper bag made from TSBD wrapping paper bearing Oswald's fingerprints that later turned up on the 6th floor of TSBD on Nov 21. Oswald then (on Nov 11) drove that rifle package to a storage locker near the bus station in Irving where Oswald stored it overnight. The next morning, Tue Nov 12, Oswald purposely missed or skipped his ride with Wesley Frazier who normally gave Oswald a ride, but this morning Frazier drove in to work in Dallas without him because Oswald was late. Oswald would have walked the ca. 1 mile to the bus station if it had not been for Linnie Mae Randle driving Oswald to the bus station in Irving that morning in her car. (Linnie Mae recalls having done that once when Oswald missed his ride with Wesley, exact date unknown.) Oswald then took the package by bus to his rooming house in Oak Cliff that morning, stashed it under his bed, and then minus the rifle took a city bus to work at the TSBD as normal except arriving late that morning. (That Oswald's records do not show him arriving late on either Nov 11 or Nov 21, nor show him leaving early on Nov 22 either for that matter, is not an objection according to my understanding of the way Oswald's hours were reported at TSBD.)

That explanation assumes no one from Nov 12 remembered Oswald on a bus carrying a package; no one at the rooming house remembered or reported having seen Oswald enter the rooming house or his room with that package on Nov 12; and that heavyset Earlene the housekeeper did not get down on her hands and knees, bending down to look under Oswald's bed, motivated by curiosity wondering "I wonder what Mr. Lee might have under his bed?" sometime in the nine days between Nov 12 and Nov 21.

On the morning of Thu Nov 21 I have seen a newspaper article that I printed out which told of one of the other roomers at the Beckley Street rooming house saying he saw Oswald leave the Beckley St. rooming house, on or about the morning of Nov 22, carrying a package in his arms and Oswald with that package went to the bus stop near the rooming house to go to work as usual that morning. However I do not know where it is among my papers, and cannot find it again from google searching! But somehow that needle in a haystack among my papers will turn up! 🙂 (I realize that is not the best quality of footnote here.) (I might add that I recall the size of the package was remembered by that roomer in that article as smaller than the size of a rifle. But it was a package being carried in both hands as Oswald walked out the door that morning to his bus stop, as I recall.)

Is all of this plausible--that Oswald could get a rifle to and from his room in Oak Cliff, and have it in his room, without it being later reported by witnesses? I would say it is plausible. It is sort of an accident whether people would happen to notice and report someone carrying a package, especially weeks earlier, external to the rooming house. It is not certain how many would have seen it or thought anything of it if they did such that it would be remembered on a bus. At the rooming house itself is a different matter. But on the reasonable assumption that if Oswald did take a rifle into his room he would not want anyone seeing him do so, that could be done. 

The other possibility within this reconstruction--of Nov 11 Irving to Nov 21 TSBD--is that Oswald sold or conveyed the rifle to someone in Irving on Mon Nov 11, the day he had the scope installed, as one more item accomplished in that day's activities while Ruth Paine was gone and Oswald was using her car. In that case, that would remove all the issues of how Oswald could have gotten the rifle from Irving to Oak Cliff, for in this scenario the rifle never did went to Oak Cliff. In this scenario the rifle was gone from Oswald on Nov 11, and the Nov 21 Yates' hitchhiker rifle-sized package was a decoy, not actually containing a rifle but part of an intention to create a witness who would report it looked like a conveyance of a rifle.

Those are the two possibilities I see. The problem either way in this reconstruction is there is a "black hole" of information concerning the rifle's whereabouts between Nov 11 and Nov 21. So any filling of that black hole of missing information in those days is speculative. Within this reconstruction, somehow it is necessary that the rifle associated with Oswald in Oswald's possession on Nov 11 in Irving was taken into the TSBD by someone not Oswald not later than the night of Nov 21. The question then becomes when and how within that time frame. 

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

On the morning of Thu Nov 21 I have seen a newspaper article that I printed out which told of one of the other roomers at the Beckley Street rooming house saying he saw Oswald leave the Beckley St. rooming house, on or about the morning of Nov 22, carrying a package in his arms and Oswald with that package went to the bus stop near the rooming house to go to work as usual that morning. However I do not know where it is among my papers, and cannot find it again from google searching! But somehow that needle in a haystack among my papers will turn up! 🙂

😅 Well, it's somewhat reassuring to me that others have snippets of info in the back of their minds, or needles in haystacks, that they have misplaced or forgotten where they originally came across said piece of information.  I'm certain that I read somewhere that a D.P.D. patrol cop encountered some suspicious person in the early hours of Fri 22nd around the TSBD, but have not come across it since & cannot recall in what publication it is in.  I'm thinking that this incident could have been involved in getting the 6th floor accoutrements in place.  Anyway, thanks for the reply.  Your posts contain many fascinating details provoking much food for thought.

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On 2/18/2022 at 9:00 AM, Denny Zartman said:

The fact that you take the Paine's testimony at face value or always find an innocent explanation for their behavior will always, in my opinion, be a serious flaw in your overall analysis. This alone causes me to question your conclusions. 

As Greg has correctly pointed out, there is not a shred of credible evidence pointing toward Ruth and Michael Paine having been involved in an assassination conspiracy in any way. But playing devil’s advocate for a moment, what would they have possibly stood to gain by doing this? Do you really believe they happily signed on to manipulate and frame Oswald, knowing that they’d then have to spend the rest of their lives lying about it to government investigators, journalists and amateur sleuths?

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1 hour ago, Pete Mellor said:

😅 Well, it's somewhat reassuring to me that others have snippets of info in the back of their minds, or needles in haystacks, that they have misplaced or forgotten where they originally came across said piece of information.  I'm certain that I read somewhere that a D.P.D. patrol cop encountered some suspicious person in the early hours of Fri 22nd around the TSBD, but have not come across it since & cannot recall in what publication it is in.  I'm thinking that this incident could have been involved in getting the 6th floor accoutrements in place.  Anyway, thanks for the reply.  Your posts contain many fascinating details provoking much food for thought.

Pete, strange to say I remember that too and also have seen no mention of it for a long time, and only a week or so ago tried to find it by searching on the Mary Ferrell site and elsewhere but could not find it. As I recall it was a report of a man wearing an overcoat or something, just standing on a sidewalk (under a street light?) outside the TSBD or at Elm and Houston, after dark the evening or night of Thu Nov 21. I don't think the man was identified nor was it known what he was doing there. I wonder what happened to that story. 

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