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The following is a preliminary copy of an article that will be published in the Dealey Plaza Echo. I invite the readers of this forum to read it and ask questions or make suggestions for improvement before it goes to press. Of all the articles I have ever written on the JFK assassination I consider this one to be the most important.

Please consider getting a subscription to the Dealey Plaza Echo (by becoming a member), where you will see not only the updated article with accompanying pictures but also see many other fine articles.

Membership enquiries (UK):

Francesca Akhtar, 30 Beechwood Avenue, Thornton Heath, Surrey, CR7 7DZ

email: francescaakhtar@dealeyplazauk.co.uk

Membership enquiries (US):

MARK H. ROWE, 11703 Alclad Avenue, Whittier, CA 90605, USA.

email: markrowe@dealeyplazauk.co.uk

I want to thank Steve Gaal for helping me write this article.

The Spider’s Web: The Texas School Book Depository and the Dallas Conspiracy

By William Weston

There is a very large spider guarding this web of secrecy. I have entered other webs, but this one is different because the spider leaves the web and stalks its prey – sometimes for many years.

Elzie Glaze [1]


Journalist Elzie Glaze compared the Texas School Book Depository to a spider that can leave its web and stalk its prey. This article posits the view that behind Glaze’s metaphor was a weapons and narcotics smuggling operation moving under the guise of schoolbooks. Controlled by ultraconservatives, the depository harbored spies, who infiltrated left-wing organizations. It also had law enforcement agents, who monitored and controlled the drug traffic within the city of Dallas. These operatives acted at the instigation of the national security establishment. When President Kennedy threatened to break up that establishment, a plot developed to assassinate him. The schoolbook workers became involved in the plot, when they relocated into the seven-story building that overlooked a 120-degree turn at Elm and Houston Streets. The turn made the President an easy target, because it slowed his limousine down to a crawl. After the assassination, the victors of the coup imposed extra security measures at the schoolbook depository in order to protect ongoing smuggling activities.


The pilot of a Dallas-bound commercial airliner made an announcement over the intercom: President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit by gunfire while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Among the passengers hearing the news was Joe Bergin, regional manager for the Scott Foresman Company in Dallas. His office was in the same building, where Lee Harvey Oswald purportedly fired a rifle from a sixth floor window.

On the sixth floor that day William Shelley and his crew of five men were adding new plywood to the old floor. How they failed to notice the lifting and moving of two dozen boxes, each weighing 55 pounds, to make the sniper’s nest at the southeast corner window has never been explained. Also unexplained is an incident after the assassination: Shelley spoke with Oswald just prior to the latter’s escape in a Nash Rambler.

A veil of secrecy conceals the company that employed these men. The Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) moved into the seven-story, 411 Elm Street building during the summer of 1963, but exactly when is unknown. Ruth Paine, while driving on the freeway, saw the company name on a four-story warehouse and thought that Lee worked there, not realizing that a larger building, also within her view, was the place where he really worked. [2] Evidently a new sign was added later, but exactly when is unknown. The difficulty of obtaining specific details is of course due to the building’s role as a shooting platform, but there is something else to consider. From clues derived from a variety of sources, company executives used schoolbooks to disguise shipments of firearms and narcotics. Although the picture is still unclear, the story of Joe Bergin adds an important piece to the puzzle. It is a story he never would have told himself, but thanks to his son, it is told here for the first time.


Born in Alvin, Texas on August 12, 1899, Joe Lyons Bergin was the son of a Methodist minister, John W. Bergin, who in his early years traveled the preaching circuit with his wife and children. After four years as a pastor in Corsicana, John went to Georgetown, where he served as president of Southwestern University from 1935 to 1942. His son Joe went to the same university in the fall of 1918, where he excelled as a football player. After graduation, he taught history and athletics at the Lake Forest High School in Dallas. In 1930 he went to Greenville (50 miles northeast of Dallas), where he became the principal of a high school. Two years later, he won a four-year term as superintendent of the school district. People admired him for his intelligence and courteous manners. He was also a delightful conversationalist. As superintendent, he worked hard to raise the academic standards back up so that its secondary schools could regain their accreditation. For this achievement he won the gratitude of the citizens of Greenville. [3]

Joe’s wife Jewell was a strong, confident woman, musically talented with a splendid voice, who loved to sing and play the piano. In the backyard, she kept a beautiful garden with lots of iris, her favorite flower. In 1934, as president of the Eclecta Literary Club, she invited women from twenty-six other clubs to her home in order to found the City Federation of Women’s Clubs, an organization dedicated to advancing music, art, drama, dance, literature, and other cultural endeavors in the city of Greenville. In 1937 she served a one-year term as president of the federation. On top of this busy social life, Jewell had a baby – Joe, Jr., their only child – born on February 10, 1935.

Meanwhile, her husband was getting involved in law enforcement. During the Great Depression, many outlaws such as Machine Gun Kelly, Raymond Hamilton, and Bonnie and Clyde were finding Texas a congenial haven. To restore order, Governor Miriam Ferguson augmented the Texas Rangers, which at that time numbered 32 men with 2300 Special Rangers (volunteers who assisted the professionals without pay). Bergin enlisted as a private in the Special Rangers on January 3, 1934. On his oath of enlistment, he described himself as 5 feet 11 inches, fair to ruddy complexion, dark brown hair, blue eyes, 175 pounds, 34 years of age. He re-enlisted on August 9, 1935 and at this point the service records for the Special Rangers in the public domain ends. However, Bergin may have continued as a Ranger, since according to his obituary he was a “veteran of World War II,” and the Texas Rangers functioned as a military unit as well as a state police force.

The Drugs and Guns Connection

During the latter part of the 1930’s the Rangers shifted their focus from bank robbers to drug smugglers. Drug importation reached record levels, largely because the federal government secretly allowed Nationalist Chinese to import opium. The Chinese needed cash to pay troops and buy weapons in its fight against the Communist Chinese. A two-way traffic developed with guns leaving the United States to supply China, and drugs coming in to pay for them. To protect the Nationalist Chinese from political repercussions, the drug trafficking was blamed on the Red Chinese. According to Joseph Douglass, author of Red Cocaine, Mao Tse-Tung ordered the cultivation of opium on a grand scale. He had two objectives: obtaining exchange for needed supplies and "drugging the white region." [4] However Douglas Valentine, author of Strength of the Wolf, interviewed former Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) agents and gathered a lot of documentary evidence to present a stronger case that the primary culprit was Nationalist China.

Information about U.S.-Chinese connivance in the drug trade came out during the Opium Scandal of April 1927. The unhappy wife of Leonard Huser divorced him and revealed a lot of his secrets. She said that in 1924 Huser negotiated a deal whereby he delivered 6600 Mausers from Italy to Chiang Kai-Shek in exchange for $500,000 worth of opium. This was done at the knowledge of the State and War Departments. The affair ended when a judge sentenced Huser to two years in a federal prison.

After the communists took over the mainland in 1949 and Chiang Kai-Shek moved his government to Taiwan, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave his blessing to a diplomatic mission to Taiwan consisting of businessmen and military officers, led by William Pawley, to facilitate the importation of drugs from Burma. Providing most of the funds for this mission was Texas oil man, H. L. Hunt. One of the points of entry for Chinese heroin was across the Mexican border into Laredo, Texas.

In a July 1959 report “The Narcotics Situation in South Asia and the Far East,” Garland Williams, a top official in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), accused the Central Intelligence Agency of encouraging the Chinese to produce drugs. According to Valentine, the CIA and its Nationalist Chinese allies operated the largest drug-trafficking syndicate in the world. [5]

Towards the end of World War II, Mexico became another source of drugs. In 1945, Eva Ruby and Paul Roland Jones were partners in picking up opium delivered to Dallas from the Durango area of Mexico and sending it to Hyman Ruby in Chicago via shipments of iron pipe. As a volunteer in the Texas Rangers, Bergin would have seen and heard much of the guns and drugs trade.

The Schoolbook Companies

In 1938, in the middle of his second term, Bergin submitted his resignation to “go into business,” according to a newspaper article. [6] He left the security, prestige, and lucrative salary of a school superintendent in order to go to Dallas and sell schoolbooks for Scott Foresman. If he was seeking a better way to make money, then his career change made little sense. On the other hand, if he wanted to broaden his opportunities in law enforcement, then Dallas was a major step forward. Not only was he moving into a center of organized crime, but he also was getting a job that placed him in a unique position to monitor and control illegal items moving under the guise of schoolbooks.

Scott Foresman, the predominant publisher of elementary-level schoolbooks and best known for its Dick and Jane readers, had its headquarters in Chicago. Bergin was the manager of its Dallas office, located on the third floor of the Santa Fe building on Main Street. The staff, virtually all female, ranged from eight to ten employees to as many as twelve to fifteen during the summer when the demand for schoolbooks was high. Bergin’s assistant, Dora Newman, a small, frail-looking woman, yet full of energy, was adept at maintaining harmony and discipline in the office and even had a touch of class.

Sharing the third floor were the offices of other schoolbook companies, such as Bobbs-Merrill, Lyons & Carnahan, McGraw-Hill, and Southwestern. In spite of the competition, all the managers had friendly contacts with one another and took turns giving parties. Joe hosted parties with no alcoholic beverages, for he disapproved of drinking.

The main occupant of the third floor was the Hugh Perry Book Depository, a privately owned company, incorporated in 1927 and the predecessor of the TSBD. Hugh Perry acted as an independent agency for a group of publishers to warehouse and distribute textbooks to schools in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Not far from the TSBD on 707 Browder Street was the Lone Star Schoolbook Depository, a rival company, which also warehoused and distributed schoolbooks.

As part of his job, Joe Bergin worked as a lobbyist at the state capitol, where he met with legislators and competed with other publishing companies in the politics of book adoption. In the state of Texas, the legislature had the authority to decide what books schools should have. A different practice was used in Oklahoma and New Mexico, which allowed principals and superintendents to decide what books to get. Bergin went to these states with a carload of books and basically functioned as a salesman. As his responsibilities grew, he hired others to do the business trips while he remained at the office to do the paperwork.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Eighth Service Command took over the Santa Fe building, compelling its occupants to go elsewhere. The schoolbook companies found a crumbling building at 2210 N. Pacific Avenue that used to be a parking garage. In spite of the dreariness of the place, Dora Newman somehow made the Scott Foresman office livable and attractive.

On October 29, 1945, Hugh Perry hired a mysterious clerk named William Shelley. [7] According to news journalist Elzie Glaze, who met him in 1974, Shelley said he was an intelligence agent during the war and afterwards joined the CIA. [8] Since his previous job was a brief stint working in defense plants, it is possible that he served as an informant for some counterespionage unit. This undercover work carried over into Hugh Perry, where schoolbooks concealed clandestine shipments of guns and drugs. The second part of Shelley’s statement shows that, after the CIA came into existence in 1947, it took over this operation – and the agents assigned to it.

The Activities of Jack Ruby

Money generated by the sale of drugs required laundering, and gambling was one way to do that. In November 1946, Paul Roland Jones approached Sheriff Steve Guthrie and promised him a starting salary of $150,000 a year if he allowed his friends from Chicago to bring slot machines and floating crap games into Dallas. Jones said that Jack Ruby was in charge of this operation and that he was due to arrive in the spring of 1947. Guthrie said he would think it over and agreed to another meeting. However, Guthrie was an honest man and turned to the Texas Rangers for help. Led by W. E. “Dub” Naylor, the Rangers made a secret tape recording of the second meeting between Jones and Guthrie. It took a month to gather enough evidence to arrest or drive out these gangsters. Among those arrested was Jack’s sister, Eva Ruby, the owner of a restaurant in Dallas and (as previously mentioned) a partner with Jones in sending opium to Chicago. Victory over these mobsters was short-lived, for Jack Ruby arrived the following year and started various gambling enterprises around the city. As a Special Ranger, Bergin may have participated in Naylor’s surveillance operation.

During this same period Jack Ruby was involved in counterintelligence. Officially, he was an aircraft mechanic in the Army Air Corps from May 1943 until February 1946 at various bases in the South. His brother Sam was also in the Air Corps as an informer, keeping an eye on communists and nazis and writing letters to his brother Jack about his observations. Although Sam wrote the letters as if they were to his brother, he actually addressed the envelopes to a counterintelligence officer. [9] On three separate occasions in about summer 1943, early 1944, and early 1947, Ruby went to a union hall in Muncie, Indiana to participate in meetings with communists. The union hall was on the third story of a three-story building, where gambling often happened during evenings and weekends. Ruby met with Russian Jews, some of whom were communists. [10]

Additionally, Ruby was an informer for the FBN. After the shooting of Oswald, Mort Benjamin, an FBN agent in New York, found a file showing that Ruby had been an informer since the 1940s. When Benjamin returned to read the file again, it was missing. Apparently, someone had taken every document related to the FBN’s relationship with Ruby. [11]

Ruby’s work as an informer is comparable to that of an employee at the TSBD. Joe Molina, credit manager for the TSBD since February 1947, knew Bill Lowery, an undercover agent for the FBI. In 1955 Molina and Lowery became interested in a leftist group called the American GI Forum, an organization that had the goal of fighting injustices perpetrated against people of Mexican descent. Molina and Lowery were among six individuals who formed the Dallas chapter of the GI Forum. The following year Lowery nominated Molina as chairman. [12]

In testimony given at a hearing of the Subversive Activities Control Board in 1963, Lowery admitted he was an FBI informant infiltrating the GI Forum. By implication his friend Molina was an informant too. The Dallas police became interested in Molina after the assassination and investigated him as a suspect. They publicized his connections to alleged communists, and as a result Molina lost his job at the TSBD. If Molina was an undercover agent, then he was one of four such operatives in one location. The other three were Shelley, Bergin, and Oswald.

Ultraconservatives and the TSBD

In 1947, Hugh Perry changed its name to the Texas School Book Depository. Five years later, the schoolbook companies moved into the first floor of the Dal-Tex Building. Clear glass partitions and a hallway separated the companies. Everyone could see what everyone else was doing. The Scott Foresman office had the most desirable spot, a sunlit corner with a view of the County Records building across Elm Street, the Sexton grocery warehouse across Houston, and a white, four-story TSBD warehouse just north of the railroad tracks.

During these years, Jewell was an avid enthusiast for Dallas, doing much to beautify the city and enhance its culture. As vice president of a club devoted to cultivating flowers, she led the effort to plant an iris garden in Samuels Park on Grand Street. She was also a member of an organization that sponsored musicians and musical events. This interest in the fine arts, as well as her devotion to Catholicism, led Jewell to become an active volunteer in the 1960 presidential campaign of Senator John F. Kennedy.

In supporting a Democratic candidate, Joe and Jewell were unlike the top people of the TSBD. Roy Truly, a shipping clerk, hated Kennedy for fostering domestic policies that led to interracial marriages. [13] Jack Cason, the president, was the commander of American Legion Post 53 in Dallas, a right-wing organization. His wife was an outspoken ultraconservative. According to M. Theodore Taylor, an employee of McGraw-Hill, Mrs. Cason declared in the spring of 1961 at a social engagement that the President was so bad in his liberal policies that someone ought to shoot him. [14] In spite of these political differences, Joe Bergin was a good friend of Cason and Truly and respected their efficiency and promptness in getting out the books. (The ultraconservative ideology was also prevalent at the Lone Star Schoolbook Depository, where Vice President Ross Carlton was a segregationalist, who hated both Kennedy and Johnson for their civil rights policies. [15])

In 1963, Jack Cason decided to get a lease on the 411 Elm Street building. The owner was D. Harold Byrd, an ultraconservative oil tycoon. Byrd was a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for Texas and Louisiana. Serving under him as a CAP commander was David Ferrie, a CIA contract pilot. [16] Among Byrd’s cadets were Lee Harvey Oswald and Barry Seal. As a cadet, Seal was a gun smuggler, flying wooden crates filled with guns and ammo from the La Combe airfield in Louisiana. Ferrie paid Seal $400 a week to fly this cargo. [17]

Byrd was connected to the Mafia through his employee J. R. Stanley, an associate of E. E. Wallace, who in turn had business dealings with those involved in the aforementioned Chicago syndicate’s invasion of Dallas in 1946. Byrd was a co-director of Dorchester Gas Producing with Jack Crichton, an oil man and member of the Army Intelligence Reserve. [18] Crichton and George H. W. Bush raised funds for anti-Castro Cubans and for Operation 40, a group that upon receiving orders assassinated military or political leaders in foreign countries. [19] Crichton also arranged for key Russians in the oil industry to act as interpreters for Marina Oswald at Dallas Police headquarters.

Byrd bought the 411 Elm Street building from the Southern Rock Island Plow Company in 1936 in order to start an air conditioning factory. When that venture did not work out, Byrd leased it to the John Sexton Company, a wholesale grocery firm, which had it for twenty years. For the schoolbook companies to move in, extensive remodeling had to be done.

Thoughts of the upcoming move were on Bergin’s mind, when his son walked into his office. He arrived in downtown Dallas on a bus and needed a ride home. As a soldier in the army stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, he spent his time off visiting his parents. Bergin told his son he was not happy about leaving the comfortable setting of the Dal-Tex building, where the routine was established and predictable. Moving to the new building was like starting over. Furthermore, each company had to bear the cost of refurbishing its own office, and as a thrifty man, Bergin worried about the price of everything from light fixtures to window shades.

Bergin invited his son on a tour of the proposed site for the new office. They walked across the street, entered the old grocery warehouse through the main entrance, and approached the back of the building. They saw two antiquated freight elevators, which needed an overhaul and so could not be used. Near the elevators in the corner was the staircase, which they used instead. Ascending them was hard for the elder Bergin, who was 64 years old and out of shape. They reached the fourth floor and looked around. It was empty, dark and gloomy and had the appearance of being abandoned for years. As a future site for a Scott Foresman office, it did not look promising.

Boxes Too Large for Books

About a month or two later, Joe Jr. bypassed the Dal-Tex with its now empty first floor, and went into the newly refurbished building. It was around 6:00 pm, and almost everyone had gone home. He entered a newly installed passenger elevator and went up to the fourth floor. The elevator opened onto a short hallway and across the hall was the entry door for Scott Foresman. Before entering, Joe opened a door to the right and saw an open storage area that took up two-thirds of the fourth floor. He saw numerous cardboard boxes, four feet square by five feet high, filling the storage area. Since no forklifts were on hand, Joe wondered how the warehouse men moved them up there. Four feet square by five feet has a capacity of 80 cubic feet, and a cubic foot of books is about 30 pounds, so 30 x 80 = 2400 pounds. Obviously not containers of books, these oversized boxes may have concealed contraband items – probably lightweight, bulky materials, such as camouflage netting or waterproof tarps.

Henry Hurt, author of Reasonable Doubt, met a conspirator named Robert Easterling, who said that the assassin’s rifle, a 7 mm Czech automatic, was smuggled into the TSBD in a wooden box, 36 x 48 x 60 inches, with a false bottom. Hurt doubted that such a large container could be moved into the building inconspicuously, since the largest typical box was cardboard and measured 12 x 14 x 18 inches (and when filled with books weighed 55 pounds). However, while visiting the vacant TSBD in 1983, Hurt went up to the sixth floor and found seven heavy, wooden boxes stamped with the names of publishing companies. They had been left there since the time the TSBD moved out of the building in 1970. One label read Texas School Book Depository, 500 Red Pony books by John Steinbeck, from Bobbs-Merrill. Three boxes appear in a photograph in his book. By comparing the window next to them, which measured 14 inches off the floor, one box was about 15 x 30 x 60 inches, and thus had an estimated capacity of 15 cubic feet. If filled with books it might have weighed 450 pounds – too heavy to move without a forklift. The discovery of these boxes plus a photograph printed as Warren Commission Exhibit 491 showing two large wooden boxes being used as storage bins satisfied Hurt that Easterling was correct about the mode of entry for the assassin’s rifle. [20] Unfortunately, Easterling was a false confessor who may have had a small part in the assassination but who fabricated many of his claims. It is beyond the scope of this article to deal with those claims, yet Hurt’s discovery of large boxes impractical for books yet ideal for smuggling is significant.

CIA finance officer in Japan, James Wilcott said that “several different individuals or firms in Dallas had been involved in one way or another with acting as cut-outs for arms shipments to Cuban exiles for the invasion. This we concluded from putting various pieces of information together. I remember hearing about some CIA people who had somehow helped the right-wing Minute Men in Texas to get arms, originally intended for the invasion.” Among the firms that Wilcott was referring to was the TSBD, run by right-wing ideologues. [21]

Bobbs-Merrill and the National Security Establishment

Hurt’s mention of Bobbs-Merrill is intriguing, because whether he knew it or not Bobbs-Merrill employed a suspected planner and organizer of the JFK assassination. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bobbs-Merrill was noted for publishing intellectual books, mostly biography, history, and literature. It also published law books and schoolbooks. In November 1958, after years of losing money, the publishing house was sold to another Indianapolis firm, Sams Publishing, which at that time was twelve years old. The owner, Howard Sams, got his start by doing repair manuals for Radio Corporation of America (RCA), headquartered in Indianapolis. Sams did not have permission from RCA, so he got the wiring diagrams by taking the backs off radios, photographing the interior, and applying reverse engineering. David Sarnoff, the head of RCA and an extremely litigious man, surprisingly did not initiate a lawsuit. The lack of legal action is an indication that a secret deal was made.

RCA was part of the national security establishment. During World War II, RCA along with International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) intercepted telecommunications leaving the United States and turned them over to the military intelligence services. This operation continued after the war, and in 1952 President Truman formalized the arrangement by creating the National Security Agency.

After Howard Sams bought Bobbs-Merrill, he started a new line of books with a geopolitical slant. Someone at Bobbs-Merrill contacted Jules Dubois in order to publish a book about Fidel Castro. Dubois was a colonel in army intelligence and a correspondent for the right-wing Chicago Tribune. He played an important role in the 1954 coup of Guatemala. In 1957, he was with Earl Williamson, the CIA agent implicated in the Cienfuegos conspiracy, a plot to assassinate Bautista, during the revolt of the Cuban Navy at the port of Cienfuegos. [22] Bobbs-Merrill rushed Dubois’ book to press and it came out in April 1959 as Fidel Castro: Rebel - Liberator or Dictator? It presented a laudatory view of the Cuban dictator. Dubois took a more cautious approach in September 1959 with a second book published by Bobbs-Merrill, Freedom is My Beat in which he expressed the hope that Castro’s naiveté would not lead him down the road to communism. Bobbs-Merrill published a third book by Dubois called Danger over Panama in 1964 in which the author strongly denounced his erstwhile hero.

Shortly after Castro came to power on January 1, 1959, Jack Ruby contacted gun-smuggler Robert McKeown and told him that he was "in with the Mafia and had a whole lot of jeeps he wanted to get to Castro." Ruby also wanted advice on how he could gain the release of a couple of friends imprisoned in Cuba. The deal fell through when McKeown demanded an advance payment of $5,000. During the period of 1958 through 1959, Ruby was heavily involved in smuggling arms to Castro’s forces. He also met with the FBI nine times over the course of the year 1959, presumably to talk about his travels to Cuba.

After Castro became a dedicated proponent of communism, the CIA wanted to get rid of him. CIA operative William Harvey, who came from Indianapolis, and his partner Johnny Roselli, a Chicago mobster, plotted to kill Castro. Noel Twyman, author of Bloody Treason, presented evidence showing that these two men were also involved in the planning of the JFK assassination.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis Harvey ordered commando raids that were never authorized by the White House. For this insubordination he was removed from his post as head of Operation Mongoose and sent to a lesser post as chief of station in Rome, Italy. This was a humiliation that intensified his already seething hatred for the President and his brother Robert F. Kennedy. It is not clear how much time he actually spent in Rome but he was absent without leave from February through June 1963, when he met with Johnny Roselli in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Clearly Harvey had the motive, means, opportunity, and the state of mind to get involved in the assassination, and his meetings with Roselli were preparatory steps. [23]

Jumping ahead to the late 1960’s, Harvey retired from the CIA and became the law editor for Bobbs-Merrill. [24] Since no one really retires from the CIA but goes from one cover to another, Harvey’s employment at Bobbs-Merrill shows the bond between the schoolbook company and the intelligence establishment. By extrapolation, other schoolbook companies were part of this establishment.

Moving into the 411 Elm Street Building

In 1963 when the national security people wanted to eliminate President Kennedy, they became interested in a vacant building in Dallas that overlooked a unique 120 degree turn from Houston onto Elm. The turn made the President an easy target, for it compelled his limousine to slow down to a crawl. (After the assassination, the FBI and other government agencies collected every home movie made in Dealey Plaza and suppressed footage of the limousine completing the turn. They wanted to minimize inquiries into why that particular route was chosen. [25])

To set the stage, the conspirators needed a suitable company to move into the building and bring in the patsy. TSBD president Jack Cason became involved in the plot when he decided to take a lease on the old grocery warehouse. He said it was a great bargain, although the building needed extensive renovation, requiring the expenditure of large sums of money.

Bergin showed his son around his new office. It was about the same size as the old one, yet far superior in amenities. Heating and air conditioning conduits gave easier temperature control. Illumination was better with fluorescent lights recessed into lowered ceiling panels. Fine-grade carpeting covered the floor. Light tan wood panels covered the walls. Near his desk were custom-made cabinets filled with books. Bergin was quite pleased with the results.

After viewing the new office, father and son went downstairs to see the rest of the building. Although they could have used the passenger elevator, they used the newly refurbished freight elevators in order to appreciate their antique character. Although safe and reliable, they were still rickety and screeched loudly whenever they went up or down. The third floor had the offices of other textbook publishers, such as Allyn & Bacon, American Book, Macmillan, and McGraw-Hill. Due to their smaller market share, they had smaller offices than Scott Foresman. (Bobbs-Merrill discontinued its office in Dallas in the early 1950s but it still used the TSBD to distribute its books.)

On the second floor just past the lunchroom was a large open area where the TSBD clerical staff had their desks. In the northwest corner was Jack Cason’s office. Few people were allowed inside the office, and earlier in the day, Bergin got permission to show it to his son. Bergin unlocked the door and opened it. The office was modest in size, measuring 12 by 27 feet with two windows that overlooked Houston Street. Dominating the room was a huge, 17th century French desk, resembling an enormous table, magnificently covered with ormolu, or gilded bronze ornaments. It might have looked great in a museum but in a book depository it seemed strangely out of place. Cason and his wife loved French antiques and for many years collected them.

The construction of new offices, the installation of a new elevator, and even Cason’s desk required large sums of money. Most of the funds came not from the limited financial resources of the schoolbook companies but rather they came from those who profited from the guns and drugs trade.

The Arrival of Lee Harvey Oswald

On October 15, Roy Truly hired Lee Harvey Oswald to be an order filler. “He looked like a nice young man,” said Truly, supposedly unaware that he hired an outspoken Marxist, a former defector to the Soviet Union, and a card-carrying member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.[26] “Who is that queer duck?” asked Geneva Hine, TSBD office worker, who wondered why Oswald never smiled or said “hello” or “good morning.” [27] Of course there was more behind the hiring of Oswald than a mere desire to supplement the labor force. The truth was that the conspirators needed a patsy.

Yet Oswald was not just another sign-waving protestor lured from a street demonstration. From October 1962 to April 1963 he worked as a cameraman for a typesetting company called Jaggers Chiles Stovall (JCS). Although most of his work was commercial, some of it consisted of top secret projects for the Navy Bureau Materiel and the Army Mapping Service. [28] According to George Carter, a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald, Oswald was one of the employees that worked on maps of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. While working on

sensitive projects, he made no secret of his sojourn in the Soviet Union. He kept up a correspondence with the Russian Embassy in Washington and communist organizations in New York. On one occasion, he wrote a letter to the Hall-Davis Defense Committee (an organization set up to defend two Communist Party leaders), offering to donate photographic services. [29] Obviously JCS would not tolerate such a blatant security risk unless there was a hidden agenda, namely counterespionage.

From May to July 1963, Oswald worked for the William Reilly Coffee Company in New Orleans. During this time, he was involved in a lot of pro-Castro activity, such as handing out literature on street corners. Next door to the coffee company was Adrian Alba’s parking garage where the Secret Service, FBI and CIA parked their cars. Oswald often went to the garage and read gun magazines. In reality he was an agent provocateur under former FBI agent Guy Bannister, and Alba saw an agent in an FBI car deliver envelopes to Oswald on two occasions. If JCS and Reilly hid Oswald’s undercover activities, then Oswald’s third place of employment, the TSBD, hid them as well. While at the TSBD, Oswald saw others who were leading double lives including Joe Molina, a friend of undercover agent Bill Lowery and possibly a spy himself; supervisor William Shelley, a CIA man; and Joe Bergin, office manager of Scott Foresman, who was involved with the Texas Rangers.

Although the activities of the schoolbook operatives often overlapped those of Jack Ruby, the only verifiable link was Lee Harvey Oswald. There were many witnesses testifying to an association between Ruby and Oswald, but the most credible is Daniel T. McGown. On March 31, 1963, McGown accidentally found a letter at the Carousel Club addressed to “Jake Rubinstein” with a return address from “Lee Oswald,” at 1106 Diceman Street in Dallas. McGown later confirmed that “Lee Oswald” was indeed Lee Harvey Oswald. [30]

Planning the Ambush

On November 14, in the office of the Locke and Purnell law firm, Eugene Locke presided over a meeting to discuss the motorcade route for the upcoming visit of the President to Dallas. Locke was an associate of E. E. Wallace, serving as chairman of Wallace Investments. The chosen route led through Dealey Plaza underneath the windows of the TSBD, owned by D. Harold Byrd, whose employee J. R. Stanley was an associate of Wallace. The last stop on the route was the Trade Mart, which was built and owned by ultraconservative Trammell Crow. He was an investor and future director of Wallace Investments. [31] Protecting the President were police officers all along the route. Significantly, no protection was arranged for the President from the Trade Mart back to Love Field. The motorcade planning committee decided it was not necessary. [32]

Jewell Bergin was excited about the President coming to Dallas. She also looked forward to a dinner party that same evening, at which she planned to wear an outfit that was sure to make an impression. A few days before the President’s arrival, someone at Neiman Marcus told her confidentially that Jackie Kennedy was coming to Dallas wearing a pale pink tweed outfit with a black velvet collar. Jewell bought an exact copy of the outfit. She was quite proud of it and showed it off to her son (who recently got his discharge from the army). It cost a great deal of money, and she apologized to her husband for buying it. Sadly, she never wore that dress.

On November 22 while Bergin was flying home from a business meeting in Chicago, his employees were preparing to watch the parade. Avery Davis, Judy McCully, Jane Berry, and Betty Thornton were outside standing in front of the building. Mary Hollies and Betty Foster were on the fourth floor looking out of a window in the stock area between the Scott Foresman office and the west wall of the building. Inside the office were Yola Hopson and Ruth Nelson at a window on the west side, and to their left were Dorothy Garner, Sandra Styles, Victoria Adams, and Elsie Dorman grouped around two more windows. Elsie brought her husband’s movie camera to film the motorcade as it entered Dealey Plaza. [33]

As the President’s limousine passed the building, they heard (according to Victoria Adams) three loud booms like cannon fire at a football game, coming from the right and below (the grassy knoll) rather than from the left and above (the sixth floor sniper’s nest). Adams and Styles decided to go outside and see what happened. Running downstairs, they reached the first floor and saw Shelley and Lovelady standing near the freight elevators. Adams said, “I believe the President’s been shot.” The two men did not respond. [34] Their calm and indifferent behavior was suspicious because about a minute or two before Adams and Styles came down, someone in a brown suit coat exited a freight elevator, ran by Shelley and Lovelady, and escaped out the back door. [35]

As doctors began treating the mortally wounded President at Parkland Hospital, the Bergins’ maid heard the news over the radio. She sobbingly went to tell her mistress. Overwhelmed with grief, Jewell collapsed, wailing. The maid helped her to a bed.

Not long after Joe Bergin came home, members of law enforcement agencies were knocking on the door – not on official business, but in an informal capacity. These visits were frequent and continued into the weeks to come. Joe sometimes introduced them to his wife and son as agents of the FBI or detectives from the police department; other times he declined to introduce his guests. These “informal visits” are puzzling, since Bergin was not a witness to the assassination. Perhaps they were visiting him in his capacity as a Special Ranger. The visits seemed more like discussions among colleagues – going over leads, exchanging information, and sharing ideas and opinions.

Extra Security to Protect the TSBD

When Bergin went back to work, he saw more such agents. Two agents in a Secret Service car patrolled the immediate area, continuously going around and around the building. A guard stood at the main entrance, and more guards kept watch inside. The agents imposed a lot of rules in the interest of security. They said that all visitors must submit to a screening by Roy Truly and state their business. Informal visits were strictly forbidden. Even Scott Foresman executives from Chicago had to abide by these rules. The agents also told everyone not to discuss the assassination with outsiders, or else they may suffer dire consequences. This was a difficult rule to follow, since curious strangers were constantly pressing them with questions about the assassination.

The media soon developed the story that Oswald was the lone assassin. To guard against revelations contrary to the official version, censorship and obfuscation was necessary, especially concerning the time when the TSBD moved into the building. The move actually took place during the summer of 1963. Truly told the FBI on November 23 that the TSBD moved in several months before that date. [36] This statement correlates with city directories and with the memories and records of former Sexton employees who said that the building was vacant for at least a year after the grocery company moved out on November 14, 1961. [37] However, the interval between move and assassination was too short to forestall bothersome inquiries. The solution was to displace the move back several years. On November 24, 1963, the Dallas Times Herald reported that in 1960 the TSBD took a 15-year lease from Byrd. During the Warren Commission hearings Truly contradicted his earlier statement to the FBI. When reference was made to the wooden boxes that were made into storage bins, he said that they were in place for “nearly two years.” [38] O.V. Campbell, vice president of the TSBD, said the move took place five years before the assassination. [39] Spaulding Jones, regional office manager for Macmillan, said it took place around 1958. [40] Mary Lea Williams, an employee of Allyn & Bacon, said three years. [41] Either willingly or unwillingly, these people were part of the cover-up. [42]

The new regime of intrusive security agents created tension at the office. Every day, Joe Bergin came home in an agitated state. He acted as if everything was normal, but he could not hide his frustration. One day his son ventured to ask a question about the assassination. Normally a calm and affable man, Bergin flew into a rage. He emphatically told his son to mind his own business and never bring up that subject again. Surprised and chagrined, his son did not trouble his father with any more such questions.

Bergin’s health was declining. He lost weight, and he developed a stoop as he walked. His hair and facial features aged rapidly. A problem with his colon required an operation at Baylor Hospital. All this he suffered stoically. One of his few complaints concerned the parking situation. He used to have a parking spot in front of the building, but now he must park his car at a lot several blocks away. Considering his age and poor health, the extra distance was hard on him.

Adding to the strain were hate letters that came in the mail. Transient ruffians cruising Gaston Avenue yelled curses at them from the windows of their cars or threw half-empty beer bottles and other trash at the house. At odd hours of the night, a single car double-parked in front of the house for several minutes and then drove away. One time someone stood outside the house shouting angry words. His son went to the door to see who was shouting, but Bergin stopped him and told him not to concern himself with the person outside.

The Bergins suspected that their telephone was tapped. Sometimes the phone rang and no one answered. Other times they received anonymous threats. One time Jewell answered the phone and got a death threat. Friends and acquaintances stopped visiting them and snubbed them in public. They had the attitude that it was because of the people at the Book Depository that the shame of the assassination destroyed the reputation of Dallas.

One day Jewell came home from a shopping trip, crying. When her son asked her what happened, she only said that she met a woman who used to be a friend. She said that the incident was of no consequence, but it was obvious that she was deeply hurt. There were at least two other times when she came home weeping. Despite the bad treatment, she still retained her affection for the city of Dallas.

The Bergins were not the only ones suffering harassment. Dora Newman, Joe’s faithful assistant, became so ill, she went into early retirement. Because of intimidation from “federal authorities,” Roy Truly lived in fear until his death in 1985. [43] One day Jewell answered the phone, and Cason was on the line. He sounded like a man at his wit's end. Tormented by relentless adversaries, he eventually moved out of his home in University Park. Cason used to be a stocky, robust man, but after the assassination he became thin and sickly. Joe, Jr. saw him at the TSBD and could not believe how much he changed.

Joe Bergin wanted to retire in 1965, but the company persuaded him to stay until it got through a difficult period. Four years later Scott Foresman and Southwestern moved to a new facility on Gemini Street. At the same time, William Shelley quit his job at the TSBD and went to work for Scott Foresman. [44] Security was just as tight at the new facility as it was at the old. A woman told Glaze that she applied for a clerical job at Scott Foresman in 1969. Her supervisor was Shelley. Shortly after getting the job, she and another employee were approached by two men who showed identification and said they were agents of the FBI. They gave them a written questionnaire asking for opinions on current social issues. After the two employees completed the questionnaire, the two agents asked them point blank if they were members of the CIA. [45] Whether they said yes or no cannot be determined from the skimpy details provided by Glaze, but this odd episode seems to indicate that intelligence operatives controlling Scott Foresman were defending themselves from infiltration, perhaps from rival agents within the CIA.

As Glaze investigated the TSBD’s connections to the assassination and heard the above story as well as the fact that Shelley was in the CIA, he was treading on dangerous ground. One day, he heard a commotion outside his apartment. He looked out the window and saw an estimated twenty Dallas policemen pulled up in front. They lingered for nearly an hour, shouting in a highly threatening manner and pointing their pistols at his window. Frightened for his life, he immediately left the city. In a letter written in 1989, he said the TSBD was like a spider that can leave its web to stalk its prey.


After Joe Bergin retired in 1969, he wanted to move out of the city, but Jewell was too ill to move. The shock of the assassination plus the ongoing hostility broke her health. No longer the confident, fashionable luminary of high society, she became a frightened and reclusive woman. She had to have surgery done to her digestive tract. After the operation, her health grew worse, and she was in and out of hospitals. She died in 1969. One of her last requests was to see her beloved iris garden in Samuels Park.

The following year, Joe, Jr. was washing windows on the second floor of the house, when he fell off the ladder and broke his femur and injured his hip. It was a messy accident that left him permanently disabled. Joe Bergin said to a former employee, “I don’t know what my son would do if he did not have a rich father.” [46]

Soon after the accident an unexplained incident occurred. One evening when no one was home, someone broke into the house and set it ablaze. The fire was so ferocious that firemen used chemicals to put it out. It was a total loss. Joe Bergin had a hunch that the fire was assassination-related. After the destruction of the house, the hostility gradually diminished, and eventually Joe’s life returned to normal. In 1986 he married his second wife.

In the aftermath of the assassination Bobbs-Merrill formed closer ties with the intelligence establishment. In 1966 IT&T (which along with RCA formed the basis of the NSA) bought Sams Publishing, and shortly afterwards, the subsidiary of Sams Publishing, Bobbs-Merrill, published more books of interest to the intelligence services. Seymour Hersh, author of Chemical and Biological Warfare: America's Hidden Arsenal,was a Bobbs-Merrill book published in 1968. Malcolm Browne wrote The New Face of War printed by Bobbs-Merrill, 1968, which detailed the problems that led up to the Diem Coup in 1963. The LaGuardia Report, titled The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York, was not widely available to the public until 1966, when Bobbs-Merrill reprinted most of it as The Marihuana Papers, by David Solomon.

Bobbs-Merrill published a book by Harold Abramson called The Use of LSD in Psychotherapy and Alcoholism. Abramson worked with CIA mind control expert Pasquale Carone on a study injecting LSD into the crania of goldfish. Pasquale’s brother was Mafia-CIA man, Al Carone, one of the “unofficial” shooters in Dallas (meaning he had a gun handy and fired it at the President during the fusillade of authorized shooters). [47] The LSD provider was drug company Eli Lilly, which like Bobbs-Merrill was based in Indianapolis. George Bush, the head of the CIA during the Ford administration, was a director of Eli Lilly from 1977 to 1979. He sat on the board of directors with Dan Quayle’s father and that is how Dan Quayle became vice-president. Quayle is an important publisher and one of the controllers of Indiana. Indianapolis was a key city in the national security establishment and quite likely in the plot to kill Kennedy.

Little is known about William Harvey’s work at Bobbs-Merrill, but apparently he was the one behind the suppression of Peter Dale Scott’s book, The War Conspiracy, which dealt with the CIA, oil companies, and the manipulation of foreign policy to escalate the war in Vietnam. After keeping the book on the shelf for a year, Bobbs-Merrill finally published it in 1972, but only after Scott agreed to the removal of three chapters. Even then, the book still did not get out to the public, because Bobbs-Merrill did not distribute it. Brad Ayers, who wrote The War That Never Was: An insider's account of CIA covert operations against Cuba in 1976 also had trouble with Bobbs-Merrill, which published his book but did not distribute it.

Conclusions and Summary

Joe Bergin worked for Scott Foresman from 1938 to 1969. Over this period Scott Foresman and other schoolbook companies were involved in a variety of relationships and connections that form a circular dynamic: (1) law enforcement and intelligence services with media assets look for communists at home and abroad in order to suppress them; (2) ultraconservatives sound the alarm against communism and apply political pressure to support dictators threatened by left-wing radicals; (3) gun smugglers deliver military equipment to anti-communist regimes; (4) drug producers and drug smugglers controlled by the Mafia raise the cash needed to pay for weapons and supplies; and back to (1) law enforcement and intelligence agencies monitor and control the drug traffic. The schoolbook industry, as a component in the national security establishment, operated in all four arenas, as can be seen from the following.

(1) TSBD credit manager Joe Molina was a friend and possibly an undercover partner of FBI agent Bill Lowery. They were among the six individuals who started the Dallas chapter of the leftist organization GI Forum.

(2) Howard Sams, a right wing publisher with connections to the national security establishment through RCA, was the owner of schoolbook company Bobbs-Merrill. The people who ran the TSBD were extreme in their opposition to Kennedy. The man who owned the building, D. Harold Byrd, was an ultraconservative. His building was in a unique location in that it overlooked a sharp turn that forced large vehicles to slow down to a crawl. Highlighting the importance of the building is a negative template within the extant film record of the assassination. Footage of the President’s limousine turning from Houston onto Elm was removed from all films.

(3) Joe Bergin, Jr. saw cardboard boxes four feet square by five feet high in 1963. Henry Hurt discovered large wooden boxes stamped with publisher’s names on the sixth floor of the TSBD in 1983. Because of their large sizes, these boxes contained contraband, perhaps sometimes under a shallow layer of books. CIA finance officer James Wilcott said that several Dallas firms were involved in smuggling arms to Cubans. Among these firms was the TSBD.

(4) During the 1930’s the Texas Rangers shifted their efforts from bank robbers to drug smugglers. Joe Bergin joined them in 1934 as a Special Ranger. It is possible that his career move from school superintendent in Greenville to schoolbook salesman in Dallas had something to with a desire to advance his opportunities in law enforcement under the cover of schoolbook publisher Scott Foresman. He may have been among the Texas Rangers in Dallas monitoring the drug and gambling activities of Jack Ruby and his friends. Since Jack Ruby was also involved in smuggling arms, the Texas Rangers may have monitored that activity as well.

Jack Ruby operated on a parallel track with the schoolbook people. Like Joe Molina, Ruby was infiltrating leftist or communist cells. Like Cason, Truly, and Byrd, Ruby promoted the ultraconservative ideology, mainly by getting people to read the literature of Dallas oil man H. L. Hunt. Given the common milieu within which they operated, some or all of the above probably heard about Ruby and his activities. These were the same people involved in the plot to kill Kennedy.

Recently, Wilmer Thomas, a friend of Jim Garrison and a philanthropist in New York who funds the Metropolitan Opera, approached Arthur Schlesinger, historian for the Kennedy administration, and asked him who was responsible for the assassination of the President. Schlesinger replied, “We were at war with the national security people.” [48] When President Kennedy declared that he would break the CIA into a thousand pieces [49], the intelligence community formed an alliance with the Mafia to bring him down. Although Joe Bergin as a Special Ranger was dedicated to fighting crime, his position as a schoolbook office manager drew him into a world of intrigue that compelled him to serve the interests of those who committed the crime of the century.

Postscript: Joe Bergin remarried in 1986. On November 2, 1990, he died at the age of 91. Joe Jr. lived alone with his three cats depending for his income on the charity of his father and disability checks. He died on August 29, 2001 at the age of 55. William Shelley retired from Scott Foresman in the late 1980’s. On March 20, 1995 the author called up Shelley, and asked him about Oswald’s attendance at work. Shelley responded that he was there every day. He refused to answer any more questions and referred me to his testimony to the Warren Commission. He said, "Everything that I have to say on that subject is in the public record. You'll have to go with that." He died in Irving, Texas on September 6, 1996 at the age of 70.

Assistance in writing this article came from researcher Steve Gaal, who provided valuable information and advice.


1. Letter by Elzie Glaze to Doug Kellner and Frank Morrow of The Alternative Information Network, dated June 2, 1989.

2. 3H36 (Paine).

3. Profile of Joe Bergin compiled from newspaper articles and obituaries in the Greenville Evening Banner, Greenville Herald Banner, and Dallas Morning News.

4. Joseph Douglass, Jr., Red Cocaine (Atlanta, GA: Clarion House, 1990). pp 1-2, quoted on Mike Sylwester’s Internet posting on the JFK Lancer website as “Jack Ruby and Mob Connections.”

5. Douglas Valentine, Strength of the Wolf, (London, New York: Verso, 2004), p. 3, 12-13, 78, 79, 194-196, 273, 309.

6. Greenville Evening Banner, May 7, 1950, HI:6.

7. 6H327 (Shelley).

8. William Weston, “The Glaze Letters,” The Fourth Decade, May 1999.

9. 14H503 (Ruby).

10. 15H289-321 (Fehrenbach).

11. Douglas Valentine, Strength of the Wolf, pp. 309-310.

12. Greg Parker Internet posting on JFK Forum.

13. William Manchester, Death of a President (Harper & Row: New York, 1967), p. 49.

14. FBI report of M. Theodore Taylor interview by A. Raymond Switzer, June 12, 1964, File No. DL 89-43.

15. FBI report of interview of N. F. Davidson regarding Ross Carlton, dated November 23, 1963 from SAC in El Paso to the Director and Sac in Dallas.

16. Interview of former CAP member Tony Atzenhoffer, July 11 and August 15, 1998.

17. "Barry & the 'Boys'" by Daniel Hopsicker, Internet file, copyright 1998.

18. Peter Dale Scott, Dallas Conspiracy, pp. 2-4, 2-13.

19. Fabian Escalante, The Secret War: CIA Covert operations against CUBA 1959-62, 1995 Oceans Press, p. 42

20. Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985), pp. 359-360, 386-387.

21. Testimony of James B. Wilcott, a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, RIF 180-10116-10096, pp.25-26.

22. Peter Dale Scott, Dallas Conspiracy, unpublished manuscript, pp. 3-31, 3-41.

23. Noel Twyman, Bloody Treason (Rancho Santa Fe, CA: Laurel Publishing, 1997), pp. 440-442, 478-479.

24. William Harvey obituary in the New York Times, June 14, 1976.

25. See Harry Livingston’s book The Hoax of the Century: Decoding the Forgery of the Zapruder Film (Trafford, 2004).

26. 3H214 (Truly).

27. 6H394 (Geneva Hine).

28. 10H168-169 (Stovall); 10H191 (Graef).

29. 21H674-677.

30. William Weston, “Jake Rubenstein, c/o Carousel Club,” Dealey Plaza Echo, March 2002.

31. Peter Dale Scott, Dallas Conspiracy, pp. 3-31, 3-41

32. "President J. F. Kennedy's Dallas Visit and Parade" (JFK Exhibit F-679, pp 618-623), dated November 21, 1963, is a plan for policing the parade route submitted by Deputy Chief R.H. Lunday to Jesse Curry, Chief of Police. Duke Lane observed that this report details where everyone will be and who they are, but no officer was assigned to the route from the Trade Mart back to Love Field. Lane made this post on December 9, 2005 on the Education Forum.

33. Affidavits of Scott Foresman workers in Vol. 22 of the Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, 22H633-686.

34. 6H390 (Adams).

35. William Weston, “The Man in the Dark Suit Coat,” JFK Deep Politics Quarterly, May 1996.

36. FBI report of Roy Truly interview by Nat Pinkston, November 23, 1963, File No. DL 100-10461.

37. Interviews of Ted Leon and Thomas H. Butler. The date November 14, 1961 came from Leon, Sexton branch manager in Dallas from 1961 to 1964. He kept his pocket calendars from his years of employment, and he noted when the grocery company moved out of the building. Butler took over as branch manager after Leon transferred to Los Angeles. Butler said that the building was vacant for at least a year after his company moved out.

38. 3H231 (Truly).

39. Interview of O. V. Campbell, March 19, 1994.

40. Interview of Spaulding E. Jones, March 19, 1994.

41. Interview of Mary Lea Williams, April 4, 1994.

42. Joe Bergin, Jr. was not exactly sure when the move took place, but it was after 1960, he said, when he transferred to Fort Sam Houston from a base in Germany. When told of evidence that the move took place during the summer of 1963, he expressed surprise but did not challenge it.

43. Jim Marrs, Crossfire (Carroll & Graf. New York, 1989) p. 319.

44. Interview of Dorothy Garner, August 14, 1999.

45. Elzie Glaze letter to HSCA, Jan. 19, 1978 Record Number 180-10106-10050.

46. Interview of Dorothy Garner, August 14, 1999.

47. Dave Emory interview of Dee Ferdinand Carone, Ray Kohlman, and Mike Ruppert, October 1998, FTR-116.

48. George Noori interview of Joan Mellon on Coast to Coast radio show, November 22, 2005.

49. "CIA: Maker of Policy or Tool?” New York Times. April 25, 1966.

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Mr. Weston,

Very interesting article. I have a couple of questions regarding sources. You state that the move into the TSBD building on Elm Street was made in the summer of 1963, even though this contradicts the sworn testimony of several people who said that the move was made from 3 to 5 years before 1963. What is your source (besides Bergin Jr., who said only that it was “after 1960” – note 42) that the move took place in the summer of 1963?

Also, two things particularly caught my eye in the article because of their obvious significance if true. One is the letter that you say was found in the Carousel Club in March, 1963, addressed to Jack Rubenstein and with the return address showing Lee Harvey Oswald. The second is the man in a brown suit coat who exited an elevator and ran past Shelley and Lovelady and out of the building after the shooting. In both cases, your cited source for these occurrences is yourself (notes 30 and 35). What were your primary sources on these occurrences?



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Guest Stephen Turner
. The second is the man in a brown suit coat who exited an elevator and ran past Shelley and Lovelady and out of the building after the shooting. In both cases, your cited source for these occurrences is yourself (notes 30 and 35). What were your primary sources on these occurrences?



Ron, i wonder if this could be the "bald spot man" Amos Euins claims he hears a constrution worker, tell a DPD officer ran passed him just after the assassination. FWIW Steve.

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Hi Mr Weston

You expound upon a very intriguing theory that I will read with interest. Before I do so, I did though want to comment that my initial reaction is that it seems a bit unlikely and a bit too convenient that Kennedy would be assassinated from the very same building where the supposed illegal operations that would lead to his death, as you would have us believe, were taking place. Just my initial hunch that the conspiracy that killed Kennedy, if such a conspiracy existed, was likely far more far ranging than might be encompassed in the activities of the TSBD.

All my best


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Ron, i wonder if this could be the "bald spot man" Amos Euins claims he hears a constrution worker, tell a DPD officer ran passed him just after the assassination. FWIW Steve.

I believe that Carr and others said that they saw persons running from the building. But I don't recall Shelley or Lovelady saying that someone in a brown suit jacket or wearing anything else ran past them from the elevator and out of the building. That's why it sort of jumped off the page at me. (Not to mention the March 1963 letter from Oswald to Ruby.)

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I believe that Carr and others said that they saw persons running from the building.

From Gary Mack:

"Carr was a fraud. From his location on the sixth floor of the Cabell building, the sniper's nest window was blocked from view as was most of the TSBD. No part of Houston Street could be seen from where he was because of another building in the way. And yes, both buildings are still there and anyone can see that what I've told you is true."

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Mr. Weston,

Also, two things particularly caught my eye in the article because of their obvious significance if true. One is the letter that you say was found in the Carousel Club in March, 1963, addressed to Jack Rubenstein and with the return address showing Lee Harvey Oswald. The second is the man in a brown suit coat who exited an elevator and ran past Shelley and Lovelady and out of the building after the shooting. In both cases, your cited source for these occurrences is yourself (notes 30 and 35). What were your primary sources on these occurrences?



William: Ron has already raised the two biggest questions that jumped out at me on a quick reading. According to Ray & Mary La Fontaine, Putting Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby together PRIOR to the assassination is the Rosetta Stone to the JFK assassination. The La Fontaine's claimed they had found that Stone, and they made themselves a laughing-stocks in the research community.

By all means produce the letter, with a chain of custody to back it up, because I can't imagine any serious researcher taking this guy McGown's word at face value.

William Weston


In testimony given at a hearing of the Subversive Activities Control Board in 1963, Lowery admitted he was an FBI informant infiltrating the GI Forum. By implication his friend Molina was an informant too unquote.

William, I am afraid I cannot follow you down that dangerous dark and dead-end alley known as Guilt By Association, and I doubt if many others will either.

William Weston


Unfortunately, Easterling was a false confessor who may have had a small part in the assassination but who fabricated many of his claims. unquote

I think this sentance could be shortened to read "Easterling was a false confessor, PERIOD."

Finally, I just dread to think what will happen to this draft of your story if Duke Lane comes out to play.

Good Luck

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Ron, i wonder if this could be the "bald spot man" Amos Euins claims he hears a constrution worker, tell a DPD officer ran passed him just after the assassination. FWIW Steve.

I believe that Carr and others said that they saw persons running from the building. But I don't recall Shelley or Lovelady saying that someone in a brown suit jacket or wearing anything else ran past them from the elevator and out of the building. That's why it sort of jumped off the page at me. (Not to mention the March 1963 letter from Oswald to Ruby.)

When placing Carr where he claimed to be (even giving him the benefit of doubt and taking the highest of a number of floors he is reported to have claimed to be on) in the best vantage point to see the TSBD building, and considering the trees, it seems absolutely impossible for him to have seen what he claims to have seen. Gary has messaged me telling me that he has been up there and agrees it is not possible.

So if this is the case. Why does he make these claims. One thought that occurs: part of the smoke screen.

As many ideas are based on this apparent fallacy, a failure to deal with this, calls all conclusions based on it into grave doubt.

(front view above a top view with field of view from best position in blue)

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Mr. Weston,

Very interesting article. I have a couple of questions regarding sources. You state that the move into the TSBD building on Elm Street was made in the summer of 1963, even though this contradicts the sworn testimony of several people who said that the move was made from 3 to 5 years before 1963. What is your source (besides Bergin Jr., who said only that it was “after 1960” – note 42) that the move took place in the summer of 1963?

Also, two things particularly caught my eye in the article because of their obvious significance if true. One is the letter that you say was found in the Carousel Club in March, 1963, addressed to Jack Rubenstein and with the return address showing Lee Harvey Oswald. The second is the man in a brown suit coat who exited an elevator and ran past Shelley and Lovelady and out of the building after the shooting. In both cases, your cited source for these occurrences is yourself (notes 30 and 35). What were your primary sources on these occurrences?



The source for my statement that the TSBD moved into the building during the summer of 1963 is the Nov. 23, 1963 FBI report of Roy Truly who said that the company moved into the building several months prior. See reference note 36. Also see reference note 37 regarding Ted Leon and Thomas Butler.

You can get my primary sources regarding Shelley near the elevator by reading The Man in the Dark Suit Coat article, which is available online at the JFKDP web site.

The primary sources for the McGown story are FBI reports of interviews with McGown and a handwritten statment made by McGown. I found them in the FBI files available on microfilm since 1977. To get the whole story, contact the Dealey Plaza Echo. I am sure they will be glad to sell you a back issue.

Thanks for your questions.

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There are several leaps of logic in the article that are extraordinary.

No wonder Hackett loves it.

Aw Gee Tim,

I though you would have more to say than slanders. Lacking data I must suppose.

But then again I know what you are about don't I and that bugs the heck out of you evidently.

Too bad, so sad.

The concept of Guns and Dope in the TSBD stand to my own work as does the "Far East" OSS/CIA hands being involved in much more than the assassiantion, as Helliwell and Chennault and Pawley's network demonstrated.

Your post makes it clear as to why I won't engage in a game of dueling experts or slander.

Doubt it? Put up your own research to refute this post, that is what the NON FASCISTS do, Tim.

See how easy it is to refute something with out being a fascist?

A higher level of character and conduct please as resorting to slander only demonstrates you have no valid refution of the post.

Mr. Gaal and Mr. Weston are more than capable of posting their work and references.

I await this as I have strong suspicions as to what some of it will be.

And I didn't call Tim any names or resort to slander. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck and craps all over the place like a duck - it must be a duck.

No wonder Tim doesn't like the post or myself. I can live with that. Sorry Tim.


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