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Questions for the Paines


Tim Gratz
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Please suggest your questions,

______________________________

To whom did she sell her Rambler staton wagon, and if it was the car seen by Dep. Sheriff Roger Craig, immediately after the assassination.

(I also asked you, TIm, when you read the RIchard Bartholomew manuscript on this issue, since you had referred to it in a post.)

Too many other questions to list at the moment. The Paines could add a LOT, in my opinion.

Dawn

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It would be interesting to see if Schiller would reveal the source of his information.

Of course I understand that at the start of his investigation Garrison thought there was a "gay" motive behind the Kennedy assassination. Can someone who is familiar with the Garrison investigation comment on this report?

Also is there any truth to the rumor that Ruby was gay?

Not that I believe anyone's sexual preferences (to use contemporary terminology) fueled the assassination but it could help explain associations.

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It would be interesting to see if Schiller would reveal the source of his information.

Of course I understand that at the start of his investigation Garrison thought there was a "gay" motive behind the Kennedy assassination. Can someone who is familiar with the Garrison investigation comment on this report?

I really doubt Garrison EVER thought there was any kind of gay "MOTIVE" behind the assassination.

Clay Shaw was homosexual, as was David Ferrie, thus some of the witnesses were also gay. This hardly gives rise to a "gay motive".

You know full well that Garrison believed that the assssination of JFK was by MIC,

CIA, etc, because of his efforts to end the cold war, withdraw from Vietnam, peace with Russian and Cuba etc.

Garrison bashers try to turn his case into some sort of simplistic "Garrrison had it in for gays" nonsense.

I think your idea- on another thread- of the kind of investigation needed, is a good one. All it lacks is a Jim Garrison. We need a DA to convene a Gran Jury, and I just do not see that happening. I wrote to Dallas DA Bill Hill during the 40th anniversary to ask him to look into this "open homicide", but got no reply.

Perhaps if a LOT of people were to write him, letters with documentation, like I did.....he'd at least think about it. But we all know, men like the GREAT Jim Garrison are very rare. (I was fortunate enough to meet him in 74 and we corresponded briefly in the early 80's, when he was writing the book that would become the movie "JFK".

Dawn

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The question about the Paine's ownership or use of a Rambler station wagon is obviously a good one.

Is this ownership information not obtainable from Texas motor vehicle files? If the vehicle was ever registered to the Paines, there should be some sort of paper trail.

Another question to ask BOTH of the Paines would be whether they ever moved the blanket that purportedly contained Oswald's rifle while it was in the Paine garage, and whether the blanket appeared to contain ANY object, rifle or otherwise.

And what of the ownership of the Minox camera(s)? How many actually existed? Who took it/them--DPD, FBI?

More questions about Michael Paine's background and his involvement at Bell Helicopter--what he actually did, rather than just a job title--might be interesting as well.

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The question about the Paine's ownership or use of a Rambler station wagon is obviously a good one.

Is this ownership information not obtainable from Texas motor vehicle files?  If the vehicle was ever registered to the Paines, there should be some sort of paper trail.

Another question to ask BOTH of the Paines would be whether they ever moved the blanket that purportedly contained Oswald's rifle while it was in the Paine garage, and whether the blanket appeared to contain ANY object, rifle or otherwise.

And what of the ownership of the Minox camera(s)?  How many actually existed?  Who took it/them--DPD, FBI?

More questions about Michael Paine's background and his involvement at Bell Helicopter--what he actually did, rather than just a job title--might be interesting as well.

I've been wanting to mention a few things I have learned through out the years on the Paine family. Many researchers are not aware that Michael Paine's father, George Lyman Paine was a leader of the Trotskyite movement in the United States. It is worth mentioning that in a speech Oswald made at the Jesuit seminary regarding democracy versus Marxism his comments were very critical of Soviet style communism, in much the same way that a Trotsky-ite would. I believe that speech was a glimpse into the real LHO. Interesting similarity; Anyway on Nov. 5, 1963 in response to FBI agent James Hosty's visit to the Paine home, Oswald wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy in which he among other things recounted his activities in Mexico City stating that he could not stay indefinitely because of visa restrictions and that he could not re-apply for a new visa "unless I used my real name." He also stated that the FBI was "not now" interested in his activities in the FPCC. He left the letter out on a table after he finished it (which I think is very strange) and Ruth Paine read it and made a copy of it allegedly because she was upset at his "false statement" that the FBI was no longer interested in him. She produced the letter the day after the assassination when she turned it over to the FBI. According to SA Hosty, his superior J. Gordon Shanklin wanted this letter to be destroyed as well as the infamous "note from Oswald" ostensibly threatening to blow up the FBI building; I suppose we all owe a debt of thanks to Hosty that he was able to save the incriminating letter. Other musings re the Paines, when Army Intelligence (Jack Crichton who would soon meet with H.L.Hunt after Nov.22) asked Ilya Mamontov a member of the White Russian community to assist at Oswald's interrogation after the assassination, he gladly obliged. (His family was very involved in right-wing politics and even knew George H.W. Bush in the Zapata Oil day's) Mamantov also knew Ruth Paine.

Lastly, the FBI had a wiretap on the Paine's phone at least as early as Nov. 23, 1963. There was a call that was intercepted in which a "male voice was heard to say that he felt sure Lee Harvey Oswald had killed the President but did not feel Oswald was responsible, and further stated, `We both know who is responsible.' " ... the tapped telephone numbers were those of Michael Paine and his wife, Ruth Paine, the woman who was playing host to Marina Oswald at the time of the assassination. Later the Warren Commission asked about this call with Michael Paine when he testified only to have him deny this took place, although he admitted that he was at home and Ruth was at DPD headquarters at the time the alleged call took place. My feeling overall is that Ruth Paine was Marina's "handler" for the intelligence community as George DeMohrenschildt was Lee Harvey Oswald's handler, that is until he went to Haiti.

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Dawn wrote:

I think your idea- on another thread- of the kind of investigation needed, is a good one. All it lacks is a Jim Garrison. We need a DA to convene a Gran Jury, and I just do not see that happening. I wrote to Dallas DA Bill Hill during the 40th anniversary to ask him to look into this "open homicide", but got no reply.

Dawn, I am serious that a concerted effort by the assassination research committee might even be able to elect a DA willing to reopen the case. The candidate would have to be pretty self-confident and convinced that yet another investigation might produce some tangible results: e.g., perhaps, the conviction of a conspirator or an accessory who is still living.

But I would think many attorneys would jump at the chance of going down in the history books as the person who solved the "crime of the century".

A highly motivated group assisted by an astute political manager might be able to elect such a person.

A less ambitious goal would be to form a steering committee to guide a new unofficial investigation and raise the funds to hire the best possible interrogator who would then interview living witnesses as prioritized by the steering committee. I think Sprague was initially hired by HSCA because of his record in securing convictions in the Yablonski case. I would look for someone with similar qualifactions. I think a prosecutor would be best but even a criminal defense attorney might work. The problem is that the more qualified the attorney the more expensive he would be. As I previously stated, an experienced homicide detective might work as well.

And to secure a conviction one could also hire Mark Fuhrmann (hey, kidding!)

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Guest John Gillespie

Hello All,

I am so very glad that we are on a Paine thread here. Ruth, Michael et al are major keys to this thing...and there are wonderful, in depth, publications on the Net, to wit:

patsyhttp://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/17th_Issue/rambler2.html

I am trying to locate the site from which I printed, about 2 years ago, some lengthy material on the Paines that drew connections to the precious Rambler as well as more important links and bloodlines that some of you already have mentioned.

Look into the story of a Rambler parked at the University of Texas with newspapers and other 1963 items on the seats (U.of T. has its own very interesting bloodlines, according to that story). Whoever devised this joke, hoax or clue has an exquisite if not diabolical sense of something. Old school Intell types with their assumed and affected eccentricities often are the usual suspects.

I will keep looking in my archives.

What Fun, JAG

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Robertt Howard wrote:

Lastly, the FBI had a wiretap on the Paine's phone at least as early as Nov. 23, 1963. There was a call that was intercepted in which a "male voice was heard to say that he felt sure Lee Harvey Oswald had killed the President but did not feel Oswald was responsible, and further stated, `We both know who is responsible.' " ... the tapped telephone numbers were those of Michael Paine and his wife, Ruth Paine, the woman who was playing host to Marina Oswald at the time of the assassination. Later the Warren Commission asked about this call with Michael Paine when he testified only to have him deny this took place, although he admitted that he was at home and Ruth was at DPD headquarters at the time the alleged call took place.

In my opinion, this indicates that the Paines were indeed involved in the conspiracy but were probably not aware of the actual planned assassination.

How do other members interpret the phone call?

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It is worthwhile to consider Ron Ecker's post from an earlier thread also dealing with the Paines:

LNers like to argue that the way Oswald got a job at the TSBD is further proof of no conspiracy. Oswald wouldn’t have been working there, we are supposed to believe, if Mrs. Randle had not mentioned to Ruth Paine that Oswald might get a job there.

Let’s suppose for a moment that Ruth Paine wanted an excuse to refer Oswald to the TSBD. Someone could have told her, for example, to get Oswald a job at the TSBD, but to make it look like it wasn’t her idea, it was someone else’s and thus purely coincidental to the subsequent turn of events.

All Ruth Paine had to do in such a case was get in a conversation with Mrs. Randle and the others about where Oswald might find work. They gave her a list of places, and the TSBD was bound to be included sooner or later, particularly since Mrs. Randle knew that Wesley Frazier had recently been hired there. (Ruth Paine even put a restriction on which places could be mentioned, as it couldn't be a place that would require Oswald driving to work.) All Ruth Paine had to do was sit there until the TSBD was mentioned, and her mission was accomplished.

It is also worth noting that Ruth Paine in her WC testimony misrepresented what Mrs. Randle actually said:

Mrs. PAINE - And the subject of his looking for work and that he hadn't found work for a week, came up while we were having coffee, the four young mothers at Mrs. Roberts' house, and Mrs. Randle mentioned that her younger brother, Wesley Frazier thought they needed another person at the Texas School Book Depository where Wesley worked.

Mrs. Randle in her WC testimony is emphatic that she did not know if there was a job available at the TSBD or not. It’s almost as if she wants the WC to know that Paine was lying. Here’s the exchange:

Mrs. RANDLE. Well, we didn't say that he might get a job, because I didn't know there was a job open. The reason that we were being helpful, Wesley had just looked for a job, and I had helped him to try to find one. We listed several places that he might go to look for work. . . .

Mr. BALL. And then you also mentioned the Texas Book Depository?

Mrs. RANDLE. Well, I didn't know there was a job opening over there.

Mr. BALL. But did you mention it?

Mrs. RANDLE. But we said he might try over there. There might be work over there because it was the busy season but I didn't have any previous knowledge that there was any job opening.

Note that Mr. Ball twice asks Mrs. Randle if she mentioned the TSBD, and both times Randle doesn’t answer the question. It’s quite possible that Ruth Paine mentioned it first, e.g. “What about the Texas School Book Depository?” In any case, the argument that Ruth Paine supposedly got the idea of Oswald applying at the TSBD from Mrs. Randle proves nothing at all, as it could have been totally an act of manipulation by Paine, with Paine going so far as to misrepresent under oath what was said.

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Tim,

Also is there any truth to the rumor that Ruby was gay?

Over December 4 - 6, 1963 Lt.Jack Revill and Lt. F.I Cornwall traveled to Fort Hood, Austin and Houston to interview some people. One of the people they talked to was Helen K. Smith aka exotic dancer, Pixie Lynn. On December 6th, she signed a sworn affidavit denying that she had been to any parties at which either LHO or Ruby had been present. She also denied knowing an alleged lesbian attorney named Barbara Welz.

Her affidavit can be found in the DPD Archives, Box 5, Folder# 7, Item# 27. http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box5.htm

However, two months later, on February 5, 1964 a man named Travis Benkendorfer, a bartender at the Midnight Lounge in Houston, also signed a sworn affidavit saying that Pixie Lynn had told him on the night of the 22nd that she had been to several "swinging" i.e. gay parties at Jack Ruby's. Somehow the name of Barbara Welz, whome he described as a "popular lesbian in Dallas" came up and Benkendorfer was left with the idea that she had also been to some of Ruby's parties.

His affidavit can be found in Box 18, Folder# 11, Item# 3

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box18.htm

I guess Benkendorfer was the original source of information that led Revill and Cornwall to travel to Houston to talk to Pixie Lynn two months earlier.

Then, you have the statement from Rose Charamie that Ruby and Oswald knew each other and that they were bedmates.

Steve Thomas

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Anyway on Nov. 5, 1963 in response to FBI agent James Hosty's visit to the Paine home, Oswald wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy in which he among other things recounted his activities in Mexico City stating that he could not stay indefinitely because of visa restrictions and that he could not re-apply for a new visa "unless I used my real name." He also stated that the FBI was "not now" interested in his activities in the FPCC. He left the letter out on a table after he finished it (which I think is very strange) and Ruth Paine read it and made a copy of it allegedly because she was upset at his "false statement" that the FBI was no longer interested in him. She produced the letter the day after the assassination when she turned it over to the FBI. According to SA Hosty, his superior J. Gordon Shanklin wanted this letter to be destroyed as well as the infamous "note from Oswald" ostensibly threatening to blow up the FBI building; I suppose we all owe a debt of thanks to Hosty that he was able to save the incriminating letter.

Robert, this raises a very important point.  Ruth Paine's rationale for wanting to pass the letter on to FBI is the very thing [or one of several things] that should make us highly suspicious about its bona fides.  Why would a man just visited by FBI declare that the Bureau was no longer interested in him?

I would ask us all to pull back our perspective just a little, for I think there is a reason that Ruth Paine was "used" to introduce this letter into the pool of evidence immediately after the assassination.  We should remember that the letter, dated Nov. 9, had already been intercepted by US authorities prior to delivery to the Soviet Embassy.  This was via a joint CIA-FBI mail-interception program code named HT/LINGUAL [CIA] or Project HUNTER [FBI]. 

However, after the assassination, in order to introduce this letter into evidence, the authorities would have needed some superficially innocuous way to do so, a means that didn't require admitting a mail opening program was routinely targeting mail bound for the USSR and its various diplomatic installations inside the US.  This was critical for two reasons.  The first is that it was thought important to protect US "means and methods."  But, moreover, to preserve the then-extant fiction that CIA and FBI had no prior knowledge of the purported assassin Oswald, it was imperative to date the letter's discovery by them some time after the assassination, rather than admit that they had it ten days or so prior to the assassination. 

Such an admission by FBI and CIA might have caused reasonable people to wonder why neither agency expressed any interest about a man whose letter suggested:

* he was up to something nefarious ["unless I used my real name" - itself an odd proposition since he did use his real name];

* that he was a xxxx ["the FBI is not now interested in my activities"];

* who seemed remarkably prescient about the subsequent posting of Consul Azque ["I am glad that he has since been replaced" - written well before it became true, and before Oswald could have any way of knowing this];

* and that he was colluding with the Soviets in something pre-planned but necessarily unspecified ["Had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana, as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business"].

It was important to ensure that this letter could be used as evidence against Oswald, but it was equally important to ensure that the mail-interception program that yielded it to authorities be kept secret.  I suggest that Ruth Paine never saw this letter lying on her desk near her typewriter.  [she testified that after she'd given him permission to use her typewriter, when she came near, he concealed his papers from her.  Having done so, he then left the fruits of his work lying around for her to find and keep???]

The intent of the letter was not lost on the Soviets after the assassination.  Here's an old nuggest from John Kelin's Fair Play mag of some years back, citing a mainstream press report:

Shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated, the Soviet Embassy in Washington received a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald --- a letter the Soviets privately believed was forged to make it look as if Oswald was working for them, newly released documents show.

"This letter was clearly a provocation: It gives the impression we had close ties with Oswald and were using him for some purposes of our own," Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, Moscow's man in Washington for 24 years, wrote in an internal memo stamped "Highest Priority."

Dobrynin thought the letter was a fake because it had a different tone than previous letters the Soviets had received from Oswald, who lived inthe communist nation between 1959 and 1962. Also, the letter received at the embassy on Nov. 18, 1963, had been typed, not handwritten like his earlier ones, Dobrynin noted.

Within a week, Kennedy was dead, and so was Oswald --- shot down by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

"One gets the definite impression that the letter was concocted by those who, judging from everything, are involved in the president's assassination," Dobrynin wrote. "It is possible that Oswald himself wrote the letter as it was dictated to him, in return for some promises, and then, as we know, he was simply bumped off after his usefulness had ended."

I suggest we have every right and reason to suspect that the letter was not a genuine Oswald artifact written by him; that the Soviets were correct in assessing the letter's intended goal; and that Ruth Paine falsely testified to how the letter came into her possession in order to preclude disclosure of the mail-interception program.  Otherwise, one wonders why she waited until the day of the assassination to hand it over to FBI.         

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