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An unjust accusation: Ruth Paine and the TSBD job of Oswald

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[May 5, 2022, NOTE: See my later (lower on this page 1, dated 5/3/22, 5:18 pm) "Oswald, the job at the Texas School Book Depository, and the assassination: an update and correction". That updates and I intend it to replace the argument of this opening; however for historic interest I leave this opener itself unchanged. gd]


In the Max Good film, "The Assassination & Mrs. Paine", Vince Salandria is filmed saying the following, which represents a more or less bedrock belief in some circles underlying why Ruth Paine has come under such severity of abuse. Here is Salandria, then I will give my comment. I invite reflection on my comment and thoughtful reaction. 

Vince Salandria: If you wanted to have a conspiracy, you've got to complete the circle. In this case you've got to get the Oswalds into the Dallas area. You've got to get Oswald into the Texas Book Depository in time. People with a garage where the so-called murder weapon can be stored. Suppose its a conspiracy that says we'll just wait, somebody will get Oswald and his family into Dallas, we'll just wait--maybe he'll happen to find a job in the Texas Book Depository. Once you see a conspiracy, its over for the Paines! You can't close the circle without the Paines! There's no way they can be innocent! No way!

My response. It is a mystery why conspiracy researchers have focused on Ruth Paine, who had no capability to deliver a job for Lee at the Texas School Book Depository, as the means by which a criminal conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy would accomplish placement of Oswald at that location, when a family member of the Dixie Mafia from south Texas—among the worst of gangland killers and in working relationship with the Marcello crime organization headquartered in New Orleans—found employment in the Texas School Book Depository a month earlier and then successfully recommended to his boss that Lee Oswald be hired as a fellow-worker, the day after his sister got word to Lee that Lee could apply there.

Why conspiracy researchers have ignored that believable mechanism by which a placement of Oswald in that location could have been accomplished—an inside recommendation—and instead have held a bedrock belief that the only conceivable way by which that could have come about was via Ruth Paine making a cold-call phone call as a total stranger, with no ability to know the best timing or assure a favorable response to her phone call, is one of the enduring mysteries of conspiracy-researcher logic.

That an inside-man pathway to a hire is approximately the true story of how Oswald was hired at the Texas School Book Depository—a favorable word on Oswald’s behalf to supervisors Shelley and Truly by an existing employee in good standing on the inside—is now confirmed in Buell Wesley Frazier’s recent book, Steering Truth: My Eternal Connection to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald (2021), in which Frazier tells of such a role carried out by such an employee, himself (Steering Truth, 35).

On Buell Wesley Frazier’s upbringing in a south Texas Dixie Mafia family and the attempted recruitment of himself into that life at the time of his move to Irving at age 19 and getting a job at the future place of employment of Oswald a month later, see S. Peterson & K. Zachry, The Lone Star Speaks (2020), 185. (Frazier did not become part of the Dixie Mafia and is an honorable man, and has been one of Oswald’s staunchest character defenders over the years.) 

On the other hand the notion that a plot to assassinate a president would rely on a single mom in Irving to ensure a hire of someone else in a business in downtown Dallas by means of a cold-call telephone call—and for researchers to cite their own inability to imagine any other conceivable mechanism for how Lee could have been hired at that location, as the argument and the evidence for considering Ruth incriminated, is beyond outrageous.

In short, conspiracy researchers have embraced a mechanism with no plausibility by which to bring about one of the most critical and pivotal parts internal to the theory, smearing an innocent person in so doing, while completely failing to consider a different mechanism which had an argument for possibility. If there was a criminal conspiracy that killed JFK (as I believe there was), the Texas School Book Depository is strategically located and indeed would have been of interest in such a conspiracy in that that particular building provided the possibility of line-of-sight sniper fire on the presidential limousine no matter which route was chosen through downtown Dallas for the presidential parade. It just is ludicrous that Ruth Paine had anything to do with that except by accident.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Greg - are you saying that Frazier claims in his book that he recommended Oswald for a TSBD job at the behest of someone in the Dixie mafia? 

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9 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Greg - are you saying that Frazier claims in his book that he recommended Oswald for a TSBD job at the behest of someone in the Dixie mafia? 

No, in fact he does not speak of the Dixie Mafia at all in his book. Here, I will post the relevant passages from both of the books.

Buell Wesley Frazier, Steering Truth (2021), pp. 34-35:

"Little did I know this innocent visit by my sister would change my life. While she was there, Linnie met with Mrs. Ruth Paine and a lady named Marina. Prior to living at 2439 West Fifth Street in Irving, Linnie and Bill had previously lived across the street from Mrs. Roberts and the Paines. Although she knew Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. Paine, this was the first time that I know of that Linnie had ever met or spoken to Marina Oswald.

"As Linnie would tell me later, somehow the topic of Marina's husband came up, that he was looking for a job. Marina had a young child and was pregnant with their second, and her husband was having the same run of bad luck finding a job like I had experienced a month earlier.

"As they were talking, Linnie suggested a few places she had told me to look. She also mentioned to Mrs. Paine I had recently been hired at the Texas School Book Depository.

"During her testimony, Linnie stated that she couldn't remember saying anything to me about inquiring about work for anyone, but I can tell you she did mention it to me in passing. Linnie had a way of looking out for people. She really cared about others and hated to see them go through difficult times. She never directly told me to talk to anyone about a job. I made the decision to ask on my own.

"I went to work the next day and spoke to Mr. Shelley about whether they were hiring, and he talked to Mr. Truly. Later that afternoon, Mr. Shelley informed me that anyone wanting a job could come in and fill out an application.

"I came home and told Linnie what Mr. Shelley had said. A few days later, Linnie told me that the husband of the lady living down the street with Mrs. Pane had gotten a job at the Texas School Book Depository."

Sara Peterson and K.W. Zachry, Lone Star Speaks (2020), pp. 179, 185: 

"Frazier shared memories of Oswald with the authors on three different occasions (. . .) Frazier's stepfather was not the only frightening individual in the young man's life. He also knew 'Pete' Kay, who was, along with his father, an important figure in the Dixie Mafia. According to Frazier, they offered him the chance to become a member of the 'family.' By then, Frazier had already met one group member, a man so heartless that locking eyes with him made his blood run cold. Frazier identified this man as Charles Harrelson; others who knew Harrelson also commented on how coldly he could stare down someone. Frazier decided to take his sister's advice and not take up the offer. They both thought he would be much safer in Dallas!"

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Posted (edited)

Further analysis

There are three facts: there was assassination-involved activity at the TSBD; Oswald who either was involved or someone wanted it to look that way was employed at the TSBD; and the TSBD is strategic in location if one were planning an assassination of an anticipated presidential visit but without knowledge of specific selection of parade route.

There are basically three ways to go in interpreting Oswald's recent (before the assassination) hire or obtaining the job at the TSBD. If one follows the regnant theory (regnant in terms of early reporting and culminating in ratification in the finding of the Warren Commission), there is no need to account for Oswald's hire at the TSBD as other than an accident, and there is no problem there calling for explanation. In this view (LN or lone-nut), getting the job at the TSBD was random, and the assassination was a last-minute crime of opportunity or passion, in which Oswald had not even begun to prepare an assassination until starting maybe ca. 48 hours beforehand, after reading in the newspaper that the route would pass by the TSBD. If there were sufficient evidence otherwise demanding that Oswald be LN as the explanation for the assassination, the notion of a last-minute crime of opportunity/passion from the coincidence of his already being located at TSBD, and then the parade route passing there, would be the explanation.

I am in the camp which despite initial appearances believe there are compelling grounds for belief that Oswald was innocent and did not fire any weapon at Kennedy, even though I do not dispute a rifle played a role which was linked to Oswald. (I hold to a version of the Flip DeMey argument that an Oswald rifle was used but not fired by Oswald, and that the connection to the rifle itself was the initial mechanism of an intended framing of Oswald.)

For those who hold to a CT (conspiracy theorist, meaning "criminal conspiracy" in the legal sense) of the assassination, the problem becomes more difficult but calls for explanation: the whole matter of understanding Oswald's employment at the TSBD. The narrative explanations given by the Randles and Wesley Frazier and Ruth Paine, as well as Truly at the TSBD end, and Oswald's prior failed attempts via the TEC and other employment agencies to obtain a job, seem to hang together in denying that his TSBD employment as location could have been influenced on his or someone else's part to intentionally plant him (or himself) there in light of the assassination attempt to occur five weeks later. 

The strategic location of the TSBD again

The basic logic in which the TSBD's location is strategic despite not knowing a selection of presidential parade route is expressed in this claimed witness account of an overheard conversation between Jack Ruby and another individual identifiable (per argument) as Larry Crafard, on Oct 4, 1963, discussing what the witness understood to be a plot to assassinate Governor Connally.

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

"Ruby: Which one is that?

"[Crafard]: The School Book Building, close to the triple underpass.

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

"[Crafard]: What if he goes down another street?


It does not matter to the point here if one considers this part of the Carroll Jarnagin witness story to be accurate or inaccurate, it expresses the logic. The logic is: provided one anticipates the possibility or likelihood of a presidential parade route going through downtown, it could go west on Elm, Main, or Commerce, and for security reasons typically the route planners did not make final selection or publicize the exact parade route until as close to the last moment as possible. (Palamara and others being more of the experts on this. A lot of people assume the Secret Service was in charge of route selection, but while the Secret Service had significant input or perhaps routinely was de facto the decider, I suspect formally Secret Service was not the decider but its mandate was to protect the President whatever route was decided?) But whichever of those main arteries was chosen through downtown Dallas, they all come out into the open-space Dealey Plaza before the limousine would get on to the Stemmons Freeway. So if assassination-attempt planners had a good idea there could be or would be a presidential parade through downtown Dallas--that that was in the works--having a mechanism for a sniper possibility set up in advance in a tall building with line-of-sight sniper fire possibility overlooking Dealey Plaza no matter by which artery the parade arrived would be ideal. A tall building anywhere overlooking Elm, Main, or Commerce might work but only if that was where the route passed, which might turn out not to be the case. But Dealey Plaza was predictable. It is like setting up a military ambush at a ford or narrow crossing where the targeted party cannot avoid passing through. And given that logic, there probably were several buildings at Dealey Plaza that could have served or worked but the TSBD simply from its physical location was close to as ideal as possible for purposes needed at a time before the exact parade route was known. Even if there had not been that dogleg north on Houston and then left on Elm directly by the front of the TSBD as in the event, a sniper from an upper-story window in the TSBD could have a bead on the limousine however it passed through Dealey Plaza. So if there was an advance criminal conspiracy, TSBD was strategic.

If there was a criminal conspiracy, the way it would be done would be to get an inside man (if there was not one already) inside that building, not himself the sniper but able to get the sniper employed (easiest way for a sniper to have access to a window in the building) or assist in giving access to sniper(s). 

The point being: if there is a criminal conspiracy an advance man on the inside of a strategic location would be expected. Some recent hire. On the assumption that it was intended to involve Oswald as taking the blame for the rifle, he needs to be there. How can this be accomplished? I think it is necessary in any such reconstruction that Oswald be witting to intent to be at TSBD for reasons going beyond employment consideration. That does not mean Oswald intended to be party to murder himself--he could be functioning as an informant to the government in some capacity (I think so; though admittedly the evidence and details of which agency remain elusive). But Oswald has to be personally involved. The notion that an unwitting Oswald could be manipulated or tricked into being employed there without realizing anything, is just not plausible as a viable plan. What if an unwitting Oswald had been told of the job but decided for whatever reason it was not to his taste? Would the plot have been foiled and averted (at least Oswald's role in it)? What if Oswald found a different or better job he liked better? How prevent that from happening from an unwitting Oswald? Answer: you can't. Therefore the only viability is Oswald himself has to intend for himself to be at TSBD (or some building of comparable strategic interest). Oswald has to be party to his own set-up at that particular location, TSBD.

But though Oswald's witting participation in focus on TSBD (or comparable strategic-location) employment is a necessary supposition (to a criminal conspiracy theory) it is not sufficient. One could hypothetically just have Oswald go in cold and apply and hope he gets the job. How secure is that? Maybe, what, 20% odds of someone like Oswald going in cold to a downtown employer like TSBD and asking for work and being successful? 

Well, there has been all this focus on Ruth Paine making that phone call. First of all Ruth Paine made that phone call only after Linnie Mae Randle told Ruth and Marina about the TSBD possibility. Then Ruth (with urging from Marina according to Ruth) trying to be helpful cold-calls Truly at TSBD trying to put in a good word for Oswald. Well, that is going to be a net moving of the needle of chances for Oswald bumped up a little. If Oswald's chances are say 20% applying on his own, that Ruth Paine phone call establishing sympathy on the other end from Truly might bump Oswald's chances up to, what, maybe 25 or 30% now? (Because it does not matter if a stranger on the other end pleads for sympathy, most general managers of business operations think in terms of whether they are hiring or not for their internal business needs, not considering their first mission to be charity. If Truly was not hiring, or had all the workers he needed, Ruth Paine's phone call would have been unsuccessful.)

But if one really wants to get someone in at a place of employment, the best way is by means of an existing employee on the inside making an inside recommendation, knowing the inside details, who are the decision-makers, the timing windows of opportunity, the right position to apply for to get entry to the organization, all that. I believe recommendations for hires from existing employees are considered by employers one of the strongest positives in efforts to find good workers, and that kind of in-place assistance to an Oswald would bump those odds up to maybe 70% (or 80%?) for a motivated Oswald to be hired there, especially if the timing was right which the inside person could be in a position to learn and know. So it is still not 100% certainty, but it is a very good chance of succeeding, compared to the idea that a cold-call Ruth Paine phone call is what did it and could be relied upon to do it

Three options

So there are three basic options, provided Oswald on his own walking in the door and applying is not considered sufficiently reliable to ensure his employment there. Either Ruth Paine's phone call does it; an inside man recommendation does it; or Oswald is LN removing the problem from needing solution in the first place. Those are the basic three choices, and if one is CT then there are two basic choices.

The key point is that the Ruth cold-call telephone call had no reasonable prospect of reliability in ensuring success, and would not be a good business plan for any self-respecting people in the criminal-conspiracy assassination business. That leaves either Oswald was LN (job at TSBD was random) or else the other mechanism which is a decent plan if one was in the criminal-conspiracy assassination business wanting to accomplish placement of Oswald (along with Oswald wanting to place himself) in that particular building.

That is, an inside man--whoever, whatever, however--is far more realistic in assisting a motivated Oswald in successfully being hired there than a cold-call telephone call from Ruth Paine in Irving. It is still not the easiest argument to make--one has to suppose Oswald held off on being hired from other jobs not of strategic-location interest even though there is the appearance Oswald was seeking to be hired. But if there is a criminal conspiracy theory involving placement of Oswald in the TSBD (or comparable strategic location) one has to make that argument. But an argument that is actually realistic. In a realistic argument it does not matter whether Ruth Paine made that phone call or did not.

Buell Wesley Frazier, all these years, not until his book in 2021, I do not believe ever previously spoke of how he made an inquiry on behalf of Oswald in getting that job at TSBD. And although his wording is he asked if there was hiring, he frames it as "inquiring about work" and "talking to [someone] about a job" and "looking out for [someone]".

All these years, all the intense focus on Ruth's phone call as "what did it" (when it could not have been relied upon to have done it), when all along it is likely Frazier's own in-person word to Shelley and, through Shelley, to Truly, was more influential in "tipping" Truly in favor of hiring Oswald. Through the accident of what was public knowledge Ruth Paine became a lightning rod for the worst accusations regarding that well-intentioned phone call to help Marina's husband get a job. When Oswald's hire would have occurred the same as it did if Ruth Paine had not made that phone call--because of Frazier's good word on Oswald's behalf, which was followed by Truly hiring Oswald.

It is either Ruth Paine, or Frazier, or Oswald is LN. Those are the basic three options. It is a problem to explain how Oswald's hire at a strategic location could be accomplished in any CT, which is not a problem if Oswald was LN.

And of the two mechanisms, the cold-call telephone call from the stranger, or the inside-recommendation of an existing employee in good standing, it has to be the latter.

So even if there is still missing the formidable puzzle of how Frazier could be the mechanism exactly, by default that is where it must be looked, since Ruth Paine's cold-call telephone call as a mechanism is a non-starter, just looking at it realistically.

So that is the reasoning, prior to anything to do with the Dixie Mafia. And also I think Frazier is a good man now and I think he was a good man then. And yet parallel to how William Simpich seeks to have Ruth Paine only manipulated into getting Oswald the TSBD job etc. (Simpich under the impression like most that Ruth was capable of getting Oswald a TSBD job by means of a phone call), the mirror parallel to that would be some Simpich-like notion of Frazier as manipulated into getting Oswald that TSBD job. All we have are stories after the fact.

And so it is not really a good objection to the Frazier-mechanism idea for Oswald's hire at the TSBD for anyone to ask or expect me to explain exactly how it would have or could have worked--unless you are LN. But if you are not a LNer, then it is a matter of comparative explanatory power, between the Ruth Paine telephone call, or Wesley Frazier putting in a word to Shelley and Truly on Oswald's behalf.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Interesting speculations. Perhaps I should have phrased my question differently. Do you think Dixie Mafia was behind Oswald’s employment at the TSBD? 
Frazier claims (wonder what took him so long?) that he spoke to Bill Shelley, who didn’t promise him anything. Is there a reason to think that Shelley was in a position to help him? Did Shelley ever take credit for helping LHO get the job? What’s curious in any case is the possible presence of Shelley in New Orleans helping LHO hand out Cuba leaflets. Have you looked at Shelley’s possible mob connections? Or Intelligence? Military? 


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The quoted portion of Frazier's book doesn't say he put in a word for Oswald.  It says that he asked if there were any openings.  He was told that anyone who wanted a job should fill out an application.

I'm not staking out an opinion about Paine.  I just thought that everybody ought to read what the book says, rather than what a poster says it says.

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Paul B., I think there was Dixie Mafia involvement in the assassination. I think this has been almost in plain view, but missed for mistaken reasons. I am referring to the implications of Beverly Oliver as Babushka Lady.

Beverly Oliver/Babushka Lady

Once two photos commonly claimed to be of Babushka Lady are rightly rejected as being Babushka Lady (an older woman with headscarf down; and a sunglassed woman’s face on the other side of the JFK limousine passing by on Houston--neither being Babushka Lady), the remaining true photos of Babushka Lady match Beverly Oliver perfectly. Beverly Oliver says it was her; there is no other identification of that woman; the physical description fits including a posture quirk; and Beverly Oliver has shown the distinctive shoes she says she wore that day which match Babushka Lady’s shoes in one of the photos.

The Babushka Lady was in disguise, did not want to be easily identifiable. Beverly Oliver tells of having worn a wig. Then there is the headscarf and the coat. Babushka Lady talks to no one, no one knows who she is, she interacts with no one, simply photographs and then disappears to history… until 1970 when emerging as the widow of a leader of the Dixie Mafia.

Despite parking way down Commerce Street at the Colony Club (in her account in her book), Beverly Oliver in her almost unrecognizeable getup and with expensive camera--seventeen years old--walks a long way to Dealey Plaza and goes to exactly across from the Grassy Knoll for what turns out to be a perfect location to film the shooting and the assassination.

Then there is some questionable or bogus story of why that film shot by Beverly Oliver cannot be found by anyone today. (She claims the FBI stole it and may secretly still have it--doubtful.) 

In 1966 Beverly Oliver married George McGann, one of the most prominent figures of the Dixie Mafia. After McGann's untimely death in 1970, authorities believed an unknown number of murders had been done by McGann. It seems McGann just was into killing people professionally, was rather good at it and disposal of the bodies, which wife Beverly knew about and assisted in the body disposals at least once or twice. However Beverly Oliver was not charged with anything. She remarried a minister and became an evangelical Christian speaker and leader to the present day. In her book she describes her conversion experience which she situates to just before George McGann was murdered. 

When McGann was killed in 1970, widow Beverly denied to the press that she knew anything about him being part of organized crime but authorities disagreed. In her book, Nightmare in Dallas (1994), Beverly Oliver is open about husband McGann having been a Dixie Mafia leader and serial killer. 

Authorities found on McGann's corpse, after he was killed, a business card reading, "Buy your PROTECTION from Joe Campisi & Associates", with an address, phone number...and a black handprint (symbol of Sicilian mafia). Campisi of course was the #2 mob figure in Dallas (next to Civello #1), with Campisi personally connected to Marcello, Ruby, ...and McGann. In Peterson and Zachry, Lone Star Speaks (2020), the authors put some effort into deciphering the meaning of that business card, noting that Joe Campisi was a restauranteer and not known to be in any legitimate insurance business. A possibility not considered by the authors but which occurs to me is that the card was a joke, the humor in it being because, like what makes a lot of humor work, there was reality underneath the humor.

So: Babushka Lady definitely was Beverly Oliver—a solid identification. She went out of her way and got to exactly the shooting site where JFK was shot and killed--and filmed it. She was in disguise, not interacting with anyone but intent on doing a job. From her description in her book of how she was given the expensive camera, had the setup rigged up on her person underneath her coat, where she parked, how she disguised herself ... this was a professional job, she had to have had assistance and coaching, someone wanted it done, but why? 

I do not know if this connection has been made before, but it looks very much like she was filming the hit. Zapruder and Nix and others got their pictures and footage of the assassination by accident. But Beverly Oliver's filming was different--she was sent there to film the assassination attempt, the hit. Maybe someone wanted to document their handiwork so as to get paid. No wonder that film never turned up and Beverly would give some other story about what happened to it. I believe the ones who took possession of Beverly’s film were involved in the assassination and were not about to come forward with it.

The authors of Lone Star Speaks interviewed a number of persons who knew George McGann, and uncovered from a man who knew McGann a story of a confession by McGann of involvement in the assassination. This story has received almost no attention. Here is some material from Lone Star Speaks on McGann.

Lone Star Speaks, on George McGann

"Ruby was also connected to another member of the Mafia, Russell D. Matthews, who was an associate of mob boss Santos Trafficante. Matthews, like Joseph Campisi, became involved with the Dallas-based mob. Mathew was generous enough to allow his Turtle Creek apartment to be used by out-of-town 'guests' like Big Spring gambler George McGann. Matthews and numerous associates were described by informants and local officers as 'paid killers' ..." (p. 375)

"Ruby kept in contact with the Marcello organization by travelling to New Orleans and by making telephone calls to Carlos Marcello's brother Pete (. . .) After the assassination, the Justice Department documented a link between Jack Ruby, Frank Chavez, and Tony Provenzano, who was a captain in the Genovese Mafia family. (. . .) Roselli to columnist Jack Anderson: 'Ruby was one of our boys.'" (pp. 366-67)

"Jack Ruby's connections to the Chicago Mafia also extended to the Dixie Mafia. This means the fingers of the assassination plot spread from Dallas to West Texas (. . .) [Beverly] Oliver detailed her experiences with Ruby in her book, Nightmare in Dallas. She also briefly mentioned her husband at the time, George McGann, a man she described as a professional poker player with connections to the Mafia. (. . .) Though McGann did not grow up in Chicago, New York, or New Orleans, some of the people he began to associate with would have felt comfortable in the company of Al Capone and his associates. More than forty years after McGann's death, some authors are still ignoring his connections to cold-blooded, hired killers like his friend, Charles Harrelson. Harrelson was convicted of killing a Texas judge, John Wood, on May 29, 1979. He was also connected with George Edward (Pete) Kay and Kelsey Nix, both of whom were deeply involved in the Dixie Mafia. FBI records indicate that George McGann was involved with all of these men--and not just at poker parties." (pp. 382-89)

"The few authors who have even mentioned McGann or his acquaintances have trivialized McGann's activities. However, retired Texas Ranger Al Mitchell, who is familiar with the name 'George McGann' and with some of his former friends, shared some compelling information with the authors. 'When McGann and his group of West Texas boys planned robberies, murders, and poker stealing parties in Big Spring, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, that part was not being controlled by the Dallas/New Orleans chain. Around Big Spring, McGann and his gang were called the 'Crossroaders.' But if their plans came from the higher individuals (in Dallas or New Orleans), those orders came from the Dixie Mafia,' Mitchell explained. (. . .) Some locals in Big Spring still maintain that McGann was never part of the Dixie Mafia. Some insist that the Dixie Mafia did not even exist. But after McGann's death in 1970, Dallas Police Capt. Paul McCaghren set the record straight. 'McGann was known to have connections in several southern states,' McCaghren stated emphatically to a newspaper reporter. McCaghren had met with other law enforcement officers from the southern states the year before in Atlanta, Georgia. 'We determined that there was a large gang with connections in the South. McGann topped our list of known Dixie Mafia members.'" (p. 390)

"McGann moved to Dallas in 1963 after his divorce. His circle of friends grew to include people well known to the FBI. He and R.D. Matthews, for example, became close friends (. . .) R.D. Matthews became close enough to McGann to be his best man at his second wedding [to Beverly Oliver]; he was also close enough to Joseph Civello to be considered his right-hand man. Civello was closely associated with New Orleans mob boss Carls Marcello (. . .) 'Everyone knew that George knew Jack Ruby,' [McGann friend Clifford Hart] told the authors." (pp. 391-93)

"McGann and John Currie became part-owners in a race track on the edge of Big Spring (. . .) According to Currie, it was at this track that he once met a man who identified himself as 'Chuckie from San Antonio.' Currie saw this same man several other times at the track; 'Chuckie' was obviously there to meet with McGann. 'Chuckie' was a tall, thin man with piercing eyes. Later, he moved to Midland and stayed about a year. During this time, his son 'Woody' would be born in Midland. 'Chuckie' was none other than Charles Harrelson! On that particular day at the race track, Currie overheard McGann talking to Chuckie about Carlos Marcello, the infamous underworld boss from Louisiana. From the conversation, he gathered that McGann was familiar with Marcello. In fact, McGann once mentioned going to Mardi Gras and meeting Marcello there. (. . .) One story that numerous people in Big Spring related to the authors involved a group of 'business associates' appearing in Big Spring with a dead body in the trunk of their car. According to those who remember this event, McGann was expected to dispose of the body (. . .) It is possible McGann had ordered a hit on someone and was paying the killers for a successful job. Like any good businessman, he checked the 'merchandise' to be sure the job was done properly." (pp. 404-8)

"Beverly Oliver McGann Massagee stated that her then-husband George was actually 'assassinated.' In her book Nightmare in Dallas, she pointedly stated, "McGann was part of the Dixie Mafia.' In the October 1, 1970 issue of the Big Spring Herald, Paul McCaghren, who was the Dallas Assistant Chief of Police, alleged that 'McGann was a possible leader of a criminal organization known as the Dixie Mafia, active in southern states.' At the time, the paper also reported, 'McGann's widow denied that her husband was involved 'with any gang.' Beverly Oliver McGann later admitted that she knew how connected her husband was to organized crime." (p. 415)

"Law enforcement in Dallas connected the so-called Dixie Mafia to nineteen murders. There is no way of knowing how many of these murders are connected to George McGann. There is also no proof concerning who actually 'controlled' McGann. An acquaintance of McGann is unsure who McGann answered to, but he thought it might be Kelsey Nix, the right-hand man of mob boss Carlos Marcello." (pp. 420)

McGann and the JFK assassination

"Though McGann was known for being tight-lipped about his activities, he did finally share a fascinating story with three of his closest friends not long before he died. One night in 1970, McGann and his three friends were playing pool at the Interlude Lounge in Big Spring. McGann admitted to Jimmy Whitefield, Bill Moore, and Robert Mesker that he was worried about being killed himself. His companions asked why he was so worried. (. . .) McGann confessed that he had been in Dealey Plaza the day President Kennedy was killed. His reason for being there was to assassinate the President from a manhole on Elm Street. Supposedly, an 'associate' was there also to take photos so McGann would have proof for those who had hired him. For this historic assignment, he had been promised $25,000, which was a good deal of money in 1963.

"After a few moments of stunned silence, McGann's friends asked who had hired him for this 'hit'. His answer was a simple one: 'People in the Dixie Mafia.' McGann also shared with them that some other people they knew had also been in Dallas that day, too, namely, Charles Harrelson and Pete Kay. Both of these names were familiar to his pool-playing companions. They had seen them with McGann on several occasions, and had even met them in Huntsville. McGann elaborated that, on November 22, 1963, he was in a van with a false bottom and a trap door. The day before the assassination, one of his unnamed partners pulled the van over the entrance to an opening behind the white picket fence that separated the parking lot from that became known as the 'grassy knoll'. McGann slithered down into the drain undetected. His partner drove the van away. The parking lot, which was owned by a deputy sheriff, was reserved for employees. Anyone entering or exiting needed a key. McGann told his friends that he spent the entire night before the assassination and the next morning in the drain. This was to make sure he was not detected by any type of security that might check out the knoll and the parking lot area. (. . .) 

When McGann completed his story to his friends, the three men just nodded and continued their pool game. All three were surprised he had shared something this important with them in the pool hall. McGann usually took his friends to his office at Holiday Motors if there was going to be a 'serious' talk; this time he didn't. However, there were only the four of them in the lounge that evening, so no one else could have overheard the conversation. As shocking as the story was, none of his friends questioned its validity. 'George was a character--real quiet, didn't brag--so when he said something, you knew it was the truth. We believed him,' Mesker concluded. None of McGann's friends shared this story with anyone until recently. Two of the three men in whom McGann confided are now dead. Only one person remembers everything McGann said to his friends that evening. That person is Robert Mesker." (pp. 422-24)

There is no claim in this story that McGann took a shot or killed Kennedy, but it is a claim of involvement or an attempt. This story which appears to have come to the authors independently of Beverly Oliver is consistent with the location of Beverly Oliver/Babushka Lady's filming. The greatest cause for caution in this story of McGann's involvement is that it comes from only one witness speaking over four decades later—it is one of those things which could be true, sounds like it could be plausible, but how on earth is it possible to know at this late date. But Beverly Oliver as the Babushka Lady photographer is a different matter: the identification itself is a fact, can be taken to the bank. That her photography that day was involved with the assassination has a good argument based on analysis.

My conclusion: Beverly Oliver/Babushka Lady’s filming was done by ones involved in the assassination. That is not certain but is what it looks like to me. 

And if the relationship of Beverly Oliver/Babushka Lady’s filming to the ones who did the assassination is put together with her marriage to McGann in 1966 and an assumption of continuity of her circles, there is the case for Dixie Mafia involvement in the assassination. All of this activity would be consistent with a Marcello-run plot. 

Beverly Oliver writes concerning her 1966-1970 husband George McGann’s relationship to the larger mob world:

“Unknown to Beverly, R.D. Matthews and Joseph Civello [guests at Beverly’s wedding to McGann] were more than just gambling buddies of George’s. They were known by law enforcement authorities as armed and dangerous men—weighty figures in the infrastructure of Dallas’ small but growing underworld. The Cosa Nostro, or real Mafia, networked its needs in Texas and the south through a group of freelance non-Sicilian mobsters. The chain of command ran from Carlos Marcello, Mafia Chieftain in New Orleans to his man in Dallas, Joseph Civello, who networked ‘requests’ through R.D. Matthews in Dallas and Bill Jerden in Fort Worth. George operated under R.D. Across town there was another group of men vying for the same trade headed by Kirksey Nix, Jr.” (Nightmare in Dallas, 144) 

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Posted (edited)

I typed out those selections from Lone Star Speaks because that is the only source for the McGann material, it is not available online, and few people have the book, as a courtesy to those interested. I disagree that the subject of Beverly Oliver as Babushka Lady is of zero significance. It is potentially one of the most important overlooked breakthroughs in the case, whether that is immediately apparent or not. It relates to how Oswald could have gotten the job in the TSBD independently of the phone call from Ruth Paine being other than accidental.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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54 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:


Why would the U.S. government want to cover up a Dixie Mafia hit on the president?

Not a Dixie Mafia hit, a Marcello hit.

Why would the US government want to cover up a Marcello hit on the president? I don't know. Could it be most of the government did not know who did it other than Oswald?

Ask the question: why would Hoover or the Warren Commission or Garrison want to cover up Ruby's connections to Marcello and other elements of the organized-crime world? Why would Hoover, WC, and Garrison want to cover up a Marcello hit (via Ruby) on Oswald?

How does that work exactly? Did Hoover, WC, and Garrison know Ruby was connected to organized crime and cover it up (looks like it)? Or did they not know, like Hoover and Garrison not knowing that there was organized crime in New Orleans? Or did they not want to know? How does that work?

Why would the government want to cover up a mob hit on Oswald?

Yes, why? 

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Did Ruth Paine knowingly fail to inform Oswald of a Trans Texas Airways better job? No. The baselessness of the accusation that Ruth Paine wilfully obstructed Oswald from learning of a better job opportunity

There is a related allegation, believed as if it is gospel truth by perhaps a majority of the persons who read this, that Ruth Paine deliberately failed to pass on a message to Lee from Robert Adams of the Texas Employment Commission of a better job opportunity, in order to prevent Lee from learning of that job. According to the reasoning of this allegation, if Lee had learned of the better job offer Lee would have flown the coop, taken the better job and left the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), and then the carefully-planned JFK assassination with all that work put into setting up Lee's role in it would have been ruined. Ruth or "her handlers" were not going to let a planned killing of the president Ruth had voted for be thwarted in that way. So Ruth deliberately failed to pass on the information of the better job to Lee. Lee not knowing of the better job did not leave the TSBD for it. It was a close call there, but the assassination plot was preserved and went forward, thanks to Ruth preventing Lee from learning of the better job. This or something close to it is what many here have believed in their bones to be fact.

But there is no evidence that is true, and no plausibility that it is true. It is one more in the class of beliefs held and circulated about Ruth Paine which are based entirely on imagination, unanchored on any judicious reading of facts or evidence. The allegation has no substance underlying the certainty with which the belief is held.

Robert Adams, a placement interviewer of the Texas Employment Commission (TEC), told of having had three job referrals for Lee, on Oct 7, 9, and 15, in 1963. The first two Lee applied for but was not hired. The third, and the one of interest here, was a cargo handlers' job at Trans Texas Airways, which would have paid better than Lee's pay at the TSBD--a more desirable job. On this third job offer, on Tue Oct 15, 1963 (the day Lee applied at the TSBD), Adams called the Ruth Paine home in Irving asking for Lee. Ruth answered the phone and said Lee was not there. Adams left a message for Lee to call, so that he could tell Lee of the Trans Texas Airways job offer. Adams did not hear back from Lee the rest of that day and so Adams tried again the next morning, at about 10:30 am Wed Oct 16 (Lee's first day of work at TSBD).

Ruth answered the phone both times. The first time Ruth took a message for Lee and the second time Ruth told Adams that Lee had found a job, which Adams did not know until told by Ruth on Wed Oct 16. Adams then ceased further followup at that point. He had left his message, Lee had not returned the call, and now he learned Lee was employed, the whole objective of TEC for him; Adams considered his task concluded.

The Texas Employment Commission's records showed Oswald as a "non-report" on the Trans Texas Airways job referral. Although that notation commonly indicated a client who had received a job referral but failed to appear for a job interview, Adams told the Warren Commission that in Oswald's case the notation reflected that he, Adams, had not gotten the Trans Texas Airways job referral to Oswald and he did not believe anyone else at the TEC had done so either, such that the third job referral had never been given to Oswald at all. That was Robert Adams' testimony.

In Ruth Paine's testimony, Warren Commission counsel Jenner told Ruth the details of the Trans Texas Airways job including its higher pay level and asked what she knew about it. Ruth Paine responded three times with puzzlement and no knowledge or recognition of any such Trans Texas Airways or cargo handling job referral for Lee. Under continued questioning Ruth then said she did remember something--she remembered a job for which Lee had gone into Dallas to apply. (Note Lee going into Dallas to apply for a job cannot have occurred after Lee started work at the TSBD on Wed Oct 16!!! Important!!!) 

This memory of Ruth of Lee going into Dallas to apply for a job, Ruth said explicitly, she remembered as having happened before Lee started work at TSBD

Therefore that job application to which Ruth referred--in which Lee had gone into Dallas to apply, before he started at TSBD--clearly was either one of the two earlier job referrals (#1 or #2) of Robert Adams or a non-TEC job application Lee made such as to Wiener Lumber Company on Mon Oct 14 or some other, before Lee started work at TSBD. Adams' #1 of Oct 7 was a high-paying job at Solid State Electronics Company. Ruth's description appears to be either the Adams' #1 or #2, or some other such as the Wiener Lumber Company, but not the later Trans Texas Airways (Adams #3) of Adams' calls of Oct 15 and 16. 

The central point is that Robert Adams did not deliver the Trans Texas Airways job information or referral in either of his phone calls to Ruth. Adams would not have told Ruth any details, not the name of the employer, nature of the job, pay level, anything--that was none of Ruth's business, the job referral was not to her, it was to Lee, Lee whom Adams was trying to reach, Adams simply wanted to reach Lee, asked to have Lee call him back. At the time of that first call on Tue Oct 15 Adams does not know of Lee's TSBD job and Ruth does not know of Adams' job offer which he has in mind for Lee or its pay level. 

There is no evidence or reason to assume that Adams would have told Ruth any details of job offer #3 at all. (Why should he? he probably had no idea even who Ruth was who answered the phone.)  

Ruth therefore would not have known any specifics of the Trans Texas Airways job opening or its better pay level or anything about it, not even the name "Trans Texas Airways", in agreement with Ruth's first three answers to the Warren Commission--only a message from Robert Adams of TEC for Lee to call him back.

With Lee not living at Ruth Paine's house and gone all that day Tue Oct 15 and returning that evening not to Irving but to his rented room in Oak Cliff, Lee would not have gotten any message during business hours that day (no way for Ruth to have reached him). The logical time for Ruth to have conveyed the message to Lee would have been that evening, Tue eve Oct 15. It is neither confirmed nor excluded in Ruth's testimony that Ruth called or tried to call Lee in Oak Cliff that evening. In light of Ruth's conscientiousness it is likely Ruth would have tried. If Ruth tried it is unknown whether she got through to Lee. If she did not get through it would not have been because she was trying to stop Lee from learning of a better job (Ruth had no knowledge of a job offer that was better). Because this is unknown, we can only reconstruct what is likely to have happened or which we would expect to have happened. We would expect Ruth to have tried to get the message to Lee, and the time that would occur would be Tue eve Oct 15 after Lee was home in Oak Cliff. Although not certain, we would also probably expect, all else being equal, that an attempt to reach Lee was more likely than not to have been successful. Therefore I believe Ruth did call and did reach Lee that evening, Tue Oct 15, and convey the message that Robert Adams of TEC wanted Lee to call him. If Lee would have asked, "What is it about? Do you know?" Ruth would have said, "No I don't know what its about, he just asked you to call." Lee: "OK, thanks." Some form of that is what I think happened, simply because that falls into expected behavior. There is no evidence anything other than that occurred, even if we lack direct information. But the notion that Ruth never called Lee, did not pass on the message intentionally, and did so intentionally because she knew how great of a job offer it was (can't have Lee getting a good job offer after getting him into the TSBD), that is hallucinating. 

What would have happened next? Lee cannot call Robert Adams that evening because it is after-hours. The first chance Lee would have to call Robert Adams would be the next morning, Wed Oct 16. But Wed morning Lee is at work at the TSBD. Lee did not call Adams at TEC. This is established from the testimony of Adams. Not receiving any call from Lee by 10:30 am that morning, Adams makes his second try to reach Lee by calling again to Ruth Paine's house in Irving. That is when Adams learns from Ruth that Lee is employed--news to Adams--and Adams thereupon marks his records accordingly and does no further followup.

If Lee was happy with his new job at TSBD or had some other reason for wishing to remain situated at that particular location, he may not have returned Adams' call. It was not a case of either Ruth or Lee knowing this was a better job possibility. It was a matter of Adams at TEC who might have some job possibility but without knowledge of what it was. Here is Ruth's Warren Commission testimony in which it is clear she has confused an earlier actual job application (Adams' #1 or #2 or Wiener Lumber or some other) before Lee started work at TSBD, with the later Trans Texas Airways job (Adams' #3) of the Warren Commission's interest of which Ruth knew nothing.

JENNER: Did you ever hear anything by way of discussion or otherwise by Marina or Lee of the possibility of his having been tendered or at least suggested to him a job at Trans Texas, as a cargo handler at $310 per month?

PAINE: No, in Dallas?


PAINE: I do not recall that. $310.00 per month.

JENNER: Yes. This was right at the time that he obtained employment at the TSBD.

PAINE: And he was definitely offered such a job?

JENNER: Well, I won't say it was offered - that he might have been able to secure a job through the Texas Employment Commission as a cargo handler at $310.00 per month.

PAINE: I do recall some reference of that sort, which fell through--that there was not that possibility.

JENNER: Tell us what you know about it. Did you hear of it at any time?


JENNER: How did it come about?

PAINE: From Lee, as I recall.

JENNER: And was it at that time, or just right –

PAINE: It was at the time, while he was yet unemployed.

JENNER: And about the time he obtained employment at the Texas School Book Depository?

PAINE: It seems he went into town with some hopes raised by the employment agency - whether a public or private agency I don't know - but then reported that the job had been filled and not available to him.

JENNER: But that was –

PAINE: That is my best recollection.

JENNER: Of his report to you and Marina?


JENNER: But do you recall his discussing it?

PAINE: I recall something of that nature. I do not recall the job itself.

 It is obvious there is some confusion here, in this testimony in mid-1964 in Ruth recalling the exact sequence in those days of mid-Oct 1963. The Adams #3 job referral, which Oswald never learned of, could have been told to Lee, if he had learned of it, only after Lee started work at TSBD. Whatever Ruth was remembering was before Lee started work at TSBD, therefore it was an Adams #1 or #2 or some other pre-TSBD job referral--before Lee started at TSBD. 

As noted, for the first two job referrals handled by Robert Adams of Oct 7 and 9, Lee applied but was not hired. As for the third, the Trans Texas Airways of Oct 15-16, Adams stated,

“Inasmuch as I did not talk with Oswald either by telephone or in person in connection with this job order, I do not know whether he was ever advised of this referral, but under the circumstances I do not see how he could have been.”

That should be read, not as referring to Ruth Paine not advising Lee as to the specifics, pay level, etc., but to fellow staff at the Texas Employment Commission not advising Lee of that, the only ones who would have been in a position to advise Oswald of that job referral. Robert Adams is saying he did not advise Oswald of the Trans Texas Airways job opening and he did not see how anyone else (at TEC) could have either.

Ruth Paine, who did so much to help that family--she drove Lee places, spent time teaching him parallel parking so he could pass a driving test, made him a birthday celebration, tried to find job leads for Lee from neighbors, made a phone call to try to help Lee get a job, assisted Marina in having her baby--Ruth would not have knowingly obstructed Lee from learning of an opportunity for a better job. That would be the opposite of all of her other actions with Lee and Marina. The charge--the belief which has so bizarrely become fixated in some circles--that Ruth Paine did so is without any basis or grounds. Its only basis for continued perpetuation is an insistence, unanchored to any reason, on imagining the worst and projecting it onto her. 

Robert Adams’ affidavit to the Warren Commission of Aug 4, 1963, can be seen at https://www.jfk-assassination.eu/warren/wch/vol11/page481.php.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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Oswald, the job at the Texas School Book Depository, and the assassination: an update and correction

There are six persons who "got Oswald to apply for the job at the TSBD". They are:

  • Linnie Mae Randle--told Ruth Paine and Marina of TSBD job possibility. Told her brother, Frazier, that Lee needed a job.
  • Marina Oswald--urged Ruth Paine to phone TSBD about job for Lee. Urged Lee to apply. Got Lee to apply.
  • Ruth Paine--at Marina's urging called Truly at TSBD. Truly said Oswald invited to apply.
  • Buell Wesley Frazier--upon learning from Linnie Mae, checked with boss Shelley at work on Oswald's behalf. Shelley checked with Truly. Shelley returned to Frazier with word from Truly that Oswald was invited to apply.
  • Roy Truly--told Ruth Paine Oswald was invited to apply. Told Frazier Oswald was invited to apply. By those two actions Truly got Oswald to apply. Hired Oswald when he applied.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald--he got Oswald to apply at the TSBD too.  

The problem has been that that looks for all the world like something that happened accidentally and opportunistically for Oswald without prior planning--an accident. Yet it turned out to be so important in the assassination that happened six weeks later. So the question has been: how to reconcile those two in terms of plausible mechanism--how would it work that Oswald became employed there on the assumption of an assassination plot?

I showed above that it cannot have been via the phone call from Ruth Paine (picking out Ruth Paine from the six above) because that could in no way realistically have been relied upon to accomplish ensuring Oswald's hire. But how then might it have worked? If the assassination was a criminal conspiracy prepared for Kennedy in Dallas.

Here I update and correct my earlier above and propose a better answer to that question, in which there is no need to suppose anything other than unwitting coincidence on the part of the five above other than Oswald, in the circumstances of Oswald getting that job--and yet Oswald's hire is interpreted as playing a role in a criminal conspiracy to assassinate the president nevertheless.

To start with some context, I think Lee was CIA or some agency working with CIA. I think Oswald was an operative infiltrating groups that an agency wanted disrupted, such as the FPCC in New Orleans. I think there was an intention by a circle within CIA to have the assassination pinned falsely on Castro by means of an Oswald connection.

I think the assassination plot was known as to its existence by a small number of persons in CIA but that CIA did not carry out, was not involved in, the on-the-ground of it, but that part was done by a mob interest--the planning and carrying out of the execution of the plot as an aspect of a larger context of CIA/Mob contacts and working relationships, in this case probably via Marcello of New Orleans since he controlled Dallas.

On the circumstances of how Oswald came to get his job at the TSBD with respect to Buell Wesley Frazier, I may not have gotten that right, and this reflects an update and correction.

The point I brought out that stands is an important one: the idea that a serious plot for an assassination would rely upon--plan in advance to use--a cold-call phone call from a complete stranger in Irving, Ruth Paine, to ensure Oswald would be hired, makes no sense. Since that makes no sense, the plot planning had to have some other way of accomplishing the setup for the assassination than that. And since that phone call of Ruth Paine cannot have played any central role in the actual plot planning, there is nothing to distinguish that phone call of Ruth to Truly at TSBD as other than what it has always appeared to be, Ruth making a phone call to try to help Marina's husband who is in a bad situation and needs a job. That the assassination happened at the TSBD six weeks later becomes coincidence as far as Ruth Paine is concerned, no different than the way a thousand other incidental human acts could be so interpreted looked at backward from a Big Event.

I suggested an alternative possibility that had not received attention: that it was via Buell Wesley Frazier (himself a recent arrival to Dallas and recent TSBD hire) as a mechanism to have an "inside man" know details of timing, connections to key persons, and then put in a personal word, as raising the chances of success of Oswald in being hired. The main problem in suggesting that is it has no more positive evidence than the ideas that Ruth Paine called Truly at TSBD at the behest of the CIA, that is, nothing. Like Ruth Paine, Frazier had a family association--Frazier's stepfather in Huntsville, according to Frazier as he told the authors of Lone Star Speaks, was Dixie Mafia. The Dixie Mafia groups in Texas worked with (always under) Marcello of New Orleans. So there was an argument from association and juxtaposition of timing with the building, TSBD, which could fit into a Marcello-plot idea. That was the argument I saw. The strength of the argument is that an inside man (such as Frazier) is a mechanism or would be in a good position to assist in bringing about a hire of someone else. The weak point is that there is no evidence, its all imagination of possible reconstruction, in that sense almost as bad as the notion that the CIA got Oswald hired at TSBD downtown by means of having total stranger Ruth Paine from Irving make a phone call and TSBD would hop to it.

I am now thinking I assumed too much, such as that the TSBD was picked in advance as essential to the plot. There are other ways it could have worked. The basic situation, thinking it through, is that there is a plot intended to take place in Dallas during the presidential visit to Dallas involving a parade. However the route is not known and even if there was an inside man involved in the route planning, there are many uncertainties. It is essential in the reconstruction that Oswald (CIA or agency working with CIA) be part of the plot approved and run by Marcello. The way that could work is Marcello might be asked to use Oswald (Oswald's uncle in New Orleans had worked in the Marcello organization which could grease that connection [the uncle, Murret, died 1964]). Meanwhile, Oswald would be asked to be an informant on the plot. Oswald gets double-crossed by being sacrificed as the patsy, after he thought he was working as an informant.

Rather than a complex reconstruction in which Oswald or others arranged for all of Oswald's prior job interviews to fail before the hire at TSBD, replace that with a simpler construction: that Oswald was after any job that could have a good chance of being on a parade route, which could include a hundred or more possibilities, not just TSBD (even though TSBD was very good strategically as it turned out). The evidence that this was what was going on--Oswald seeking any job that would have a good chance of maybe being on the parade route--comes from several indications I see. First, there is that early police talk about finding a map of Oswald marked with what looked like the parade route and places marked on the parade route, at least that is what early reports said the Dallas police thought it looked like. Later that was explained as a misunderstanding as only being Oswald job applications (but that is the point, here). (Incidentally, is any image of that map accessible which has Oswald's markings clear enough to be seen? I have seen a photo of that map, which had been given to Lee to use by the Paines and had some unrelated Paines' markings on it before Oswald had it, but the photo I have seen is not clear enough to intelligibly see the markings on the map after Oswald had it.)

One of Oswald's earlier job applications, at Wiener Lumber Company on Oct 14 where he was interviewed and turned down, the day before he applied to and was hired at TSBD, was retroactively suspected as possibly connected to a motivation on Oswald's part of securing a job at a location on the most likely parade route. From an FBI interview report 11/27/63.

"Mr. Samson Wiener, Proprietor, Wiener Lumber Company, Inwood Road at Maple Avenue, telephone ME 1-1111, who stated he is a member of the Crime Commission in Dallas, furnished a copy of an application for employment daed October 14, 1963, in the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, born October 18, 1939, place not given, which was filled out in his handwriting. Wiener stated that he was mildly impressed with Oswald as a prospective employee until Oswald was asked to show his Honorable Discharge Card, inasmuch as he alleged to have been in the U.S. Marine Corps. When he was unable to satisfy him regarding his alleged former service with the U,S. Marine Corps, he was not hired, according to Mr. Wiener.

"Mr. Wiener advised that one of his employees advanced the theory that Oswald may not have come to Wiener Lumber Company purely by accident, that it was entirely possible that a motorcade from Love Field to downtown Dallas could have passed by this lumber company at Inwood Road and Maple Avenue. Wiener pointed out that in his opinion it would have possibly been even a more direct route to the downtown area than the route which was taken subsequently by the Presidential Motorcade when President Kennedy visited Dallas. He felt that the possibility existed that Lee Harvey Oswald may have contacted other places on what he may have thought to have been a potential motorcade route from the airport to downtown Dallas for the President." (https://www.maryferrell.org/archive/docs/095/95616/images/img_95616_113_300.png)

And after Oswald got the Texas School Book Depository job there are at least three known instances (could be more) of what I believe can only be interpreted as plot-connected attempts to get plot-connected persons hired into jobs in tall buildings on downtown arteries. All three apparently involved false use of Oswald's name even though in none of those cases was the person Oswald. That is, Oswald's job in TSBD was not all the interest there was in tall buildings with good sniper possibilities in the runup to JFK's visit to Dallas.

But there is the fundamental question: how can a sniper assassination be planned before the parade route was known which was only finalized at close to the last moment? One possibility is, even though the route was not known, some things could be anticipated on the basis of fairly good guess, or analysis of necessity. And in the main uncertainty--which of the three arteries, Elm, Main, or Central--the motorcade would take through downtown--some tall buildings could cover two of those, and it would only take two or three hires on those main downtown arteries and there is a good chance whatever parade route was selected would be covered; Kennedy would be vulnerable. That is on the assumption of no inside man inside the motorcade-route planning end of it. If there was an inside man in a position to influence or order alteration in the route, that would be an even easier explanation--just have a good sniper location set up and have the motorcade routed by it. The key point is that the fixation on having Oswald be at the Texas School Book Depository specifically--for the plot--may be overthinking this. The idea would be that Oswald would get any job on one of the main downtown arteries or which otherwise might reasonably be anticipated to have a good chance of being on the parade route. The plot would then develop the rest of the sniper planning around that location wherever Oswald was. I think the original framing plan for Oswald was not to have him be tagged as the shooter or that the shooting be done by one person but rather a criminal conspiracy blamed on Castro by means of Oswald as the supplier or owner of a rifle used in the shooting and found afterward (the Flip DeMey argument).

And in further support of this: the Laura Kittrell Texas Employment Commission story of her dealings with Oswald.

"I want an office job, downtown"

Laura Kittrell's backward-remembered account of her dealings with Oswald in the course of her position with the Texas Employment Commission, building from writing of her memories starting as early as Dec 1963, is conflated with memories of Larry Crafard whom she also dealt with and whom she confused with Oswald, creating incongruities such that her entire story was given no interest by the FBI and relatively little interest by researchers. Note that there has never been an issue whether Laura Kittrell was who she said she was at TEC nor was there ever any denial that she worked with Oswald. Nevertheless, her story was deep-sixed and did not enter into formation of the Warren Commission narrative. The retroactive conflation of Oswald and Crafard created incongruities providing justification for rejecting her story in toto, without considering that there was information underneath Kittrell's confusion of the two persons if the confusions in identity were disentangled. I think her story may have been covered up. Provided Laura Kittrell's account is subjected to critical analysis and interpretation--distinguishing Oswald from Crafard, disentanglement of the two--there is information of significance.

(Among other things, there is a report of a physical aptitude and coordination test taken by Oswald in early Oct 1963 indicating Oswald would be a poor rifle shooter, and Oswald agreeing with Kittrell who pointed that out to him that that was true, that he was a poor shot with a rifle--that alone could be possible motive for coverup of her story.) 

There are a number of things of interest in the Kittrell account, but for present purposes there is this: Oswald is at the Texas Employment Commission in early Oct 1963 wanting a job and Kittrell's job is to help him. Apparently Oswald had been classified for blue-collar or general work. Oswald came back and was sent over to Laura Kittrell to get upgraded to white-collar and he said he wanted a job in a downtown building. Kittrell started writing her story Dec 1963. This is Laura Kittrell writing of Oswald in her office in early Oct. 1963 (pp. 33-34 of Kittrell mss.):

"He [Oswald] wanted me to drop everything else and make him out an extra application for office work, and I was feeling the time slip away, and did not want to.

"He won his argument with me by dredging up some office experience. At first it seemed to me that just as he had, upon seeing the ad for the electronics assemblers, invented needed but unverifiable experience as an electronics assembler, (in Russia!) so he had now invented white-collar experience to go with his sudden notion that he should have an office job, downtown.

"'I used to sell shoes', he said. 'That is office-work experience, isn't it?'

"'Well, do you want to sell shoes, then?', I asked crossly.

"'No,' he said, 'I want an office job, downtown.'"

(The typed version of the Kittrell manuscript is available at the John Armstrong Collection site at https://digitalcollections-baylor.quartexcollections.com/poage-collections/john-armstrong-collection. Because I found it difficult to access at that site, to save others the same difficulty here is how: Hit "Search Collections". Search for "Kittrell". Click on first search listing, "Sightings of LHO, Oct. 1963--Laura Kittrell" (187 images). Click on "Download" button to lower left. A popup screen will give you three choices and ask what you want; click the choice, "Full Asset". Click "Download". It should now be on your computer.)


Therefore I am concluding now that Buell Wesley Frazier's mid-Sept relocation from a mobbed-up home in Huntsville (in the sense of a homegrown crime organization which cooperated with Marcello's organization in New Orleans), to the Dallas area and employment in the TSBD in a position to assist Oswald in being hired there a month later, may or may not have been accidental (I know of no way of knowing). In either case Ruth Paine's phone call to try to help Marina's husband get a job was accidental and played no role in the planning or execution of the plot. 

I imagine a plot in which several sniper-friendly buildings were lined up ready to go prior to the President's arrival to Dallas, depending on how the parade route played out. If it was found necessary to do it from one of the locations other than where Oswald had found his job, that need not be an insurmountable problem in that the key original setup was (a) a Castro conspiracy (multiple shooters in evidence, no problem), that connection established by (b) linkage and implication of Oswald to a rifle (and perhaps Oswald's physical presence at the shooting site even if he was not employed there).

In a benign interpretation of Oswald, which has my strong sympathies, Oswald might be imagined to have informed on this plot and right up to the last minute expected intervention to stop it, though without knowing the detail that he was being set up with the rifle association. When the assassination happened without being prevented, that might have been a moment of panic for Oswald, but a backup contingency plan "in case anything goes wrong" might have been to get to the Texas Theatre for say a 3 pm meeting, which is what he did--where a killer arrived with intent to kill him there, though that is another story.

Bottom line: it is unnecessary to assume or conclude any of the six involved in Oswald's TSBD hire, including Ruth Paine, were CIA except Oswald. There is no evidence or necessity to suppose that any of those other five, including Ruth Paine, were witting to anything other than a young pregnant immigrant woman's husband needing a job in a bad way.

Since from most accounts Oswald had no unusual meetings or contacts at his rooming house in Oak Cliff, his mechanism for regular contact for his informant work would be during his lunch hour walking to one of the downtown offices or nearby to meet someone, during his work days.  

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