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John Armstrong [Hold the Harvey and Lee?]


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In several posts on the Forum in the past, I have attempted to make the point, [apparently unsuccesfully] that one has the option to take John Armstrong's belief concerning 'Harvey & Lee,' [ala Gordon Lonsdale] and his research as mutually exclusive, or not. My point is that Armstrong's thesis which, is controversial [and has detractor's and supporters alike; see McAdams, Parnell and Robertson et cetera] should not automatically make the years he has spent researching the assassination be marginalized. While I have not read 'Harvey and Lee - How the CIA Framed Oswald' from cover to cover, I have spent some time studying the actual legwork, he has done in his research, as well as the material he references enough to believe that, to a great degree even if one does not agree with his overall views 'two distinct Oswald's, from one's ostensible birth, to death on November 24th as an intelligence operation,' one must admit after studying his book that he has done some legwork very few researchers have done.

Such as? Well, one might make the point that his research on Oswald in Russia, is much more of an investigatory nature [than a certain icon of American literature?] especially to the 'discovery' that Marina Prusakova-Oswald-Porter's command of the English language was better in Russia than it was in 1963 Dallas; Or that Marina also is reported to have engaged in several questionable activities, that do not fit in with her conventional profile in JFK lore. Not too mention that he journeyed to lands afar to interview the Ziger's, who, LHO spent more than a few passing hours with while in Mother Russia.

But, I digress. My purpose in starting this thread is to show Forum members a page from 'Documents and Photos for John Armstrong's book Harvey and Lee' by Jerry Robertson

This is page 1-05:06

Here is a list of people who place Oswald and Ruby Together

Attorney Carrol Jarnagin

Wiburn Litchfield

Dorothy Marcum

Karl Wahrmund

Irene Hise

W.M. Hannie

Bill DeMar

Robert Roy

Mary Lawrence

Beverly Oliver

Ester Ann Mash

Wally Weston

Bobbie Louise Meserole

Raymond Cummings

Robert Patterson

Walter Ochs

Karen Carlin Willis

Janet Conforto

Kathy Kay

Myron Thomas Billet

Melba Mercades Preston

Dixie Lynn

Robie Love

Daniel Thomas McGown

Nancy Perrin Rich

Mike Calahan

Ben Cash

Vern Davis

Maudie Crane

George Faraldo

Raymond Acker

Clyde Malcolm Limbaugh

Robert Allen Price

Dolores Price

Corrine Verges Villard

Harvey Wade

Helen McIntosh

Marion Hayes

Karl Wise

END

I am not endorsing John Armstrong personally, although I believe he deserves an invite to the Forum and don't understand why he is treated as a discredited researcher, after all it is rather obvious that there were many Oswald impersonations taking place in those day's, J Edgar Hoover wrote a memo about it, and in the day's leading up to the JFK Assassination the 'Oswald sightings' increased significantly. I am not familiar with many of the names on the list but am giving Jerry Robertson and hence Armstrong, the benefit of the doubt, which, after all is what researcher's are supposed to do, isn't it?

Edited by Robert Howard
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In several posts on the Forum in the past, I have attempted to make the point, [apparently unsuccesfully] that one has the option to take John Armstrong's belief concerning 'Harvey & Lee,' [ala Gordon Lonsdale] and his research as mutually exclusive, or not. My point is that Armstrong's thesis which, is controversial [and has detractor's and supporters alike; see McAdams, Parnell and Robertson et cetera] should not automatically make the years he has spent researching the assassination be marginalized. While I have not read 'Harvey and Lee - How the CIA Framed Oswald' from cover to cover, I have spent some time studying the actual legwork, he has done in his research, as well as the material he references enough to believe that, to a great degree even if one does not agree with his overall views 'two distinct Oswald's, from one's ostensible birth, to death on November 24th as an intelligence operation,' one must admit after studying his book that he has done some legwork very few researchers have done.

Such as? Well, one might make the point that his research on Oswald in Russia, is much more of an investigatory nature [than a certain icon of American literature?] especially to the 'discovery' that Marina Prusakova-Oswald-Porter's command of the English language was better in Russia than it was in 1963 Dallas; Or that Marina also is reported to have engaged in several questionable activities, that do not fit in with her conventional profile in JFK lore. Not too mention that he journeyed to lands afar to interview the Ziger's, who, LHO spent more than a few passing hours with while in Mother Russia.

But, I digress. My purpose in starting this thread is to show Forum members a page from 'Documents and Photos for John Armstrong's book Harvey and Lee' by Jerry Robertson

This is page 1-05:06

"Here is a list of people who place Oswald and Ruby Together'

Attorney Carrol Jarnagin

Wiburn Litchfield

Dorothy Marcum

Karl Wahrmund

Irene Hise

W.M. Hannie

Bill DeMar

Robert Roy

Mary Lawrence

Beverly Oliver

Ester Ann Mash

Wally Weston

Bobbie Louise Meserole

Raymond Cummings

Robert Patterson

Walter Ochs

Karen Carlin Willis

Janet Conforto

Kathy Kay

Myron Thomas Billet

Melba Mercades Preston

Dixie Lynn

Robie Love

Daniel Thomas McGown

Nancy Perrin Rich

Mike Calahan

Ben Cash

Vern Davis

Maudie Crane

George Faraldo

Raymond Acker

Clyde Malcolm Limbaugh

Robert Allen Price

Dolores Price

Corrine Verges Villard

Harvey Wade

Helen McIntosh

Marion Hayes

Karl Wise

END

I am not endorsing John Armstrong personally, although I believe he deserves an invite to the Forum and don't understand why he is treated as a discredited researcher, after all it is rather obvious that there were many Oswald impersonations taking place in those day's, J Edgar Hoover wrote a memo about it, and in the day's leading up to the JFK Assassination the 'Oswald sightings' increased significantly. I am not familiar with many of the names on the list but am giving Jerry Robertson and hence Armstrong, the benefit of the doubt, which, after all is what researcher's are supposed to do, isn't it?

John is now building luxury homes in Hawaii. He is not interested in further

JFK research, having done his part. He thinks internet discussions are a waste

of time. His work speaks for itself, and does not need defending. Twelve years

of research was enough. He knows the Oswalds inside and out, and has shared

it with everyone. It cost him about $100,000 to self publish his book. He has

now returned to making money instead of spending it.

Jack

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Jack White explained,

John is now building luxury homes in Hawaii. He is not interested in further

JFK research, having done his part. He thinks internet discussions are a waste

of time. His work speaks for itself, and does not need defending. Twelve years

of research was enough. He knows the Oswalds inside and out, and has shared

it with everyone. It cost him about $100,000 to self publish his book. He has

now returned to making money instead of spending it.

Personally, I think John Armstrong performed an incredible service to the research community with his book.

Funny thing is I bought 4 extra copies and sent them to my long time friends that know of my interest in the events surrounding the murder of John Kennedy. None of them could get past the first few chapters; they got bogged down by the sheer volume of Armstrong's research. I suppose I can understand. When I read Harvey & Lee, I had a difficult time putting it down. To me each page was riveting, even his treatment of things I was already familiar with.

As Jack pointed out, Armstrong wrote Harvey & Lee with great personal sacrifice. His work does speak for itself.

I think John Armstrong did a helluva job.

Mike Hogan

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The purpose of my posting this topic is strictly in reference to the fact that the list of names provided is larger than the familiar names of Wally Weston, Carrol Jarnagin, Bill Demar, Karen Carlin, Janet Conforto, Nancy Perrin Rich et cetera, of whom, I am sure most Forum members realize have been marginalized to some degree, in their assertions, whether justly or unjustly is not my domain, nor would I want it to be.

I submit, that if, indeed the other names should be a matter of record, that is the very purpose of my doing this in the first place. Contrary to the inference that I am defending John Armstrong, nothing could be further from my mind. I agree that his work does not need defending period. As a matter of fact, I am still personally trying to wade thru the {McAdams vs Robertson} critiquing, critcizing, justifying, whose research critique is the most accurate conundrum, myself. The premise of a Harvey Lee Oswald and Lee Harvey Oswald is not only credible to me personally, but to ostensibly 'push the envelope' all the way, there is a book out there which describes a Flight from Dallas, with someone who appears to be Lee Oswald or, at least a very good facsimile thereof. I hope the Forum doesen't go in the direction of becoming another alt.assassination.jfk, when anyone who makes a quote controversial post is immediately derided if their conceptualization of a JFK related matter touches hallowed ground. I think the media does a pretty good job of that on there own. The research community in the 1960's and 1970's was arguably, tight knit, sharing research et cetera. Regaining a little of that camraderie seems at times as difficult as trying to solve the assassination itself.

Edited by Robert Howard
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Well, one might make the point that his research on Oswald in Russia, is much more of an investigatory nature [than a certain icon of American literature?] especially to the 'discovery' that Marina Prusakova-Oswald-Porter's command of the English language was better in Russia than it was in 1963 Dallas; Or that Marina also is reported to have engaged in several questionable activities, that do not fit in with her conventional profile in JFK lore.

I was present for Armstrong's first presentation of his thesis at the Fourth Decade conference at SUNY Fredonia in 1996 and I recall being unimpressed with the way he handled witnesses and their testimony, and with his way of drawing inferences. The name that sticks in my head is Palmer McBride, an acquaintance of Lee Oswald back in his schooldays in New Orleans. I was astonished that Armstrong seemed to treat McBride's "recollections" as gospel, and I formed serious doubts that Armstrong's work would shed any light upon the assassination of JFK. Consequently, I have not followed the development of Armstrong's theory with any great enthusiasm, and I have not (yet) read his book.

I note from the website linked to Shanet's post (thank you Shanet) that Armstrong has stated that his "Harvey and Lee" theory will not tell us who killed JFK, so the question then becomes "why bother?"

From a brief private meeting with Armstrong at a COPA conference in Washington, I formed the impression that he was at least a gentleman, if not a scholar, but reading Robert Howard's post makes me wonder if I am a good judge of my fellow man.

If Robert's post gives an accurate picture, it seems that Armstrong has joined the chorus of those who cast aspersions on Marina Oswald Porter, one of the victims of the horrible events of November 22nd, 1963. I had the privilege of meeting Marina, a very lovely and charming human being. Of course Marina is a woman, with all the obstinacy and contrariness that comes with the territory, but for any man to suggest that there is something sinister about Marina -- it makes me wish that duelling was still legal.

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Well, one might make the point that his research on Oswald in Russia, is much more of an investigatory nature [than a certain icon of American literature?] especially to the 'discovery' that Marina Prusakova-Oswald-Porter's command of the English language was better in Russia than it was in 1963 Dallas; Or that Marina also is reported to have engaged in several questionable activities, that do not fit in with her conventional profile in JFK lore.

I was present for Armstrong's first presentation of his thesis at the Fourth Decade conference at SUNY Fredonia in 1996 and I recall being unimpressed with the way he handled witnesses and their testimony, and with his way of drawing inferences. The name that sticks in my head is Palmer McBride, an acquaintance of Lee Oswald back in his schooldays in New Orleans. I was astonished that Armstrong seemed to treat McBride's "recollections" as gospel, and I formed serious doubts that Armstrong's work would shed any light upon the assassination of JFK. Consequently, I have not followed the development of Armstrong's theory with any great enthusiasm, and I have not (yet) read his book.

I note from the website linked to Shanet's post (thank you Shanet) that Armstrong has stated that his "Harvey and Lee" theory will not tell us who killed JFK, so the question then becomes "why bother?"

From a brief private meeting with Armstrong at a COPA conference in Washington, I formed the impression that he was at least a gentleman, if not a scholar, but reading Robert Howard's post makes me wonder if I am a good judge of my fellow man.

If Robert's post gives an accurate picture, it seems that Armstrong has joined the chorus of those who cast aspersions on Marina Oswald Porter, one of the victims of the horrible events of November 22nd, 1963. I had the privilege of meeting Marina, a very lovely and charming human being. Of course Marina is a woman, with all the obstinacy and contrariness that comes with the territory, but for any man to suggest that there is something sinister about Marina -- it makes me wish that duelling was still legal.

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I find it amazing that the avowed purpose of this thread [additional individuals with knowledge of an Oswald-Ruby relationship] has yet to be commented on, as to interest in said individuals!

The first excursions into THE political assassination of the century, (independently of 'officially sanctioned investigations' (the Texas AG Waggoner Carr's work, I personally consider something of an exception)

and replete with official skullduggery; the JFK saga, began in all earnestness when Sylvia Meagher, Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg, Dorothy Kilgallen and the Houswive's brigade of Mae Brussel, Mary Ferrell and Shirley Martin; Not to mention Edward Epstein, Michael Eddowes and a host of other's. The two individuals cited Epstein and Eddowes certainly looked at Marina Oswald as something more than a 'lovely and charming individual,' at least one would hope so, in an investigative context. Then there is the much maligned Jim Garrison; subsequently a handful of individuals whose investigatory (William Turner former FBI agent, to name but one) or intellectual prowess (Peter Dale Scott, Noel Twyman et cetera) or knowledge of covert history (see Dick Russell) were up to the task of credible observation and deduction, I spent a good deal of time studying investigative techniques as well as the intricancies of how covert operations are conducted.

With all due respect, while I feel that comments regarding the credibility of lack thereof, of someone who traveled across the world in a quest to solve the mystery and their qualifications thereof is certainly 'a matter of valid concern' I also find it sad, that in American culture [which has made ridiculing anyone who does not support the findings of the Warren Commission a veritable art form] the research community at times, displays a tendency [see alt.assassination.jfk] to heap abuse upon fellow members whose conclusions, theories and assertions don't fit their own, all in the interest's of teamwork ostensibly.

Recently in another thread, a very credible researcher made the statement that the oft cited issue of 'lack of a detailed no-holds-barred investigation immediately after 11/22/63 made the prospect of 'total resolution and closure' regarding the ory of November 63 in Dallas problematic, if not impossible.

I take another position, which, is that ultimately the JFK assassination in a factual context 'was a murder [albeit an extremely convoluted one, and which to many has all the earmarks of a black-operation] and as such, the best approach is to simply treat it like one would 'investigate' any other murder, although it is obviously not that simple.

Challenge to a duel?

Edited by Robert Howard
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I find it amazing that the avowed purpose of this thread [additional individuals with knowledge of an Oswald-Ruby relationship] has yet to be commented on, as to interest in said individuals!

I can only suppose that most people have not commented because they feel this issue is a blind alley. Armstrong's long list of people who can connect Ruby and Oswald does not impress me, for one, any more than the Warren Commission's list of Tippit witnesses persuades me that Lee Oswald was at the Tippit murder scene. It just reminds me of the old story about the restaurant where the food was lousy, but they made up for it by serving large portions.

the Texas AG Waggoner Carr's work, I personally consider something of an exception)

I have seen very little about this investigation. Perhaps you could start a separate thread and give us some highlights?

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Robert

As an excercise, I took the list of people who place Oswald and Ruby together and looked them up using the index provided in Harvey & Lee. After reading Armstrong's account, I checked his footnotes. Although this is relatively easy to do, it is time consuming. His primary sources include Warren Commission hearings, FBI reports, and the like. The next step would be going to the source documents and it is there that one would seem to reach the end of the "blind alley," as Mr. Carroll put it.

The accounts I read were varied, but fairly detailed. So many people from different backgrounds and circumstances did place Oswald and Ruby together; it only takes one of them to be right.

One thing is certain, the Warren Commission could not afford to seriously investigate any of these claims and they didn't. As with every single piece of evidence that pointed to a possible conspiracy, they either buried it in the Volumes, weakly denied it, or effectively ignored it altogether.

Unfortunately, I do believe that the lack of a proper investigation by the Warren Commission (along with the general apathy of the media and American public) has "made the prospect of 'total resolution and closure' regarding November 63 in Dallas problematic, if not impossible." Hopefully, the person that wrote that and I are both mistaken.

I wish I could share the conviction that 43 years after President Kennedy's murder, a proper criminal investigation would bear fruit. Too much time has passed, too many witnesses are dead, and the same forces that have obscured the truth for over four decades still exist. I do admire the efforts of those researchers and authors that are still working hard, advancing our understanding of such an important event.

In my opinion there will never be justice for President Kennedy's killers. It's far too late for that.

Mike

Edited by Michael Hogan
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Robert

The accounts I read were varied, but fairly detailed. So many people from different backgrounds and circumstances did place Oswald and Ruby together; it only takes one of them to be right.

I have just finished a fairly fast reading of Joan Mellen's book on Garrison, and she cites numerous "witnesses" who put Ruby and Lee Oswald together (of course Garrison did not call a single one at trial, despite the promise made during Voir Dire). I have not done the homework that Michael Hogan has done, but I would not be surprised if some of Mellen's witnesses are over and above the list provided by Armstrong. That would make an awful lot of people who supposedly saw these two men together before the assassination -- too many to be believable, IMHO.

My problem is this: Assuming it were true that Ruby and Lee Oswald actually did meet, any such meetings would surely have been clandestine. One thing I am certain of is that the assassination of JFK was a very professional undertaking and, as such, there would surely have been no witnesses to such clandestine meetings. Eyewitness identifications usually sound convincing, but they are very often completely mistaken.

One thing is certain, the Warren Commission could not afford to seriously investigate any of these claims and they didn't. As with every single piece of evidence that pointed to a possible conspiracy, they either buried it in the Volumes, weakly denied it, or effectively ignored it altogether.

Mike

I agree with this statement as a general proposition, and one could point to many concrete examples in support. But my own view is that the supposed Oswald-Ruby meetings are not among them. Maybe I am in a minority on this issue, but I happen to believe that this is one of the very few issues where the Warren Commission actually was right. On this subject I recommend The Oswald Affair, by Leo Sauvage.

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Robert

As an excercise, I took the list of people who place Oswald and Ruby together and looked them up using the index provided in Harvey & Lee. After reading Armstrong's account, I checked his footnotes. Although this is relatively easy to do, it is time consuming. His primary sources include Warren Commission hearings, FBI reports, and the like. The next step would be going to the source documents and it is there that one would seem to reach the end of the "blind alley," as Mr. Carroll put it.

The accounts I read were varied, but fairly detailed. So many people from different backgrounds and circumstances did place Oswald and Ruby together; it only takes one of them to be right.

One thing is certain, the Warren Commission could not afford to seriously investigate any of these claims and they didn't. As with every single piece of evidence that pointed to a possible conspiracy, they either buried it in the Volumes, weakly denied it, or effectively ignored it altogether.

Unfortunately, I do believe that the lack of a proper investigation by the Warren Commission (along with the general apathy of the media and American public) has "made the prospect of 'total resolution and closure' regarding November 63 in Dallas problematic, if not impossible." Hopefully, the person that wrote that and I are both mistaken.

I wish I could share the conviction that 43 years after President Kennedy's murder, a proper criminal investigation would bear fruit. Too much time has passed, too many witnesses are dead, and the same forces that have obscured the truth for over four decades still exist. I do admire the efforts of those researchers and authors that are still working hard, advancing our understanding of such an important event.

In my opinion there will never be justice for President Kennedy's killers. It's far too late for that.

Mike

Mike and Mr Carroll, I appreciate your both digging into the individual's names and your comments as well, as an aside I believe Jack Armstrong is to be commended for all that he has done, the fact that he 'made an effort' is significant enough to me in itself, to be commendable. If everyone went to the efforts he did, I am sure the pace would have picked up a little, by now [laugh]. I have several different projects going, but will obviously check this out as well.

I would like to make a couple of points. In the era of Queen Elizabeth in merrie old England, one may be familiar with the Babington Plot, [named after Anthony Babington] Guy Fawkes and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The English spy master of that era, Sir Francis Walsingham some historians assert, had letters in his possession written by Mary Queen of Scots 'forged' to 'make it appear' that the soon to be Catholic martyr had conspired with the plotters via those same letters to have Queen Elizabeth killed, in order to restore a Catholic sovereign to the English throne and ostensibly make Catholicism the official religion of England, While Mary had been exchanging letters with Babington, and indeed, shared the desire to restore Catholicism to it's status before King Henry VIII split with Rome, it would be illogical to think a illustrious personage like Mary was naieve enough to not realize her letters were being read by British spies. Nevertheless in the end, Mary was saying her Pater's and Ave's until the coup de grace was administered. Then there is the Dreyfuss affair, or the Nazi provocation at the Polish border, that preceeded Sept 1, 1939 - a cover story, if you will to make it appear as if a military reaction is not only justified, but necessary.

Epilogue: The lesson for America, as it looks away from the twentieth century and into the future, appears to possibly be, the very same lesson that all governments where democracy is destroyed overtly or covertly, from within or without, learn. Whether Communist, Fascist, Dictatorship what have you, with their network of propoganda stooges, yes men, the Kommissars, the lesson never learned that they never seem to get, or simply just don't care is -----

the truth never dies, once the Genie comes out of the bottle [November 22, 1963] you can't put it back in. You can't take out a President from within and have that same society return to normalcy, the 'apparatus of governemt' may indeed, function that way, but not a vibrant, thriving culture as America in 1963 was. Not investigating, threatening and badgering witnesses, making sure those who know too much don't live much longer, no matter how valid or invalid, the issue of national security applies to November 22, 1963, the lesson America has learned until now, is that we have went from scandals of the decade, to scandal's every few years, to scandals of the week, political integrity has become at best problematic, at worst a pathetic joke. From 1963 to 1976 was one epic Greek tragedy......it should have all come out after Watergate, but apparently there were too many careers that would have been ruined, our noble democracy cannot be besmirched by the truth of the actions of a few, actions that invariably become more important than truth, at least to those who stand to lose their power. The lies, and the deception become part of the fabric of our culture. American's are essentially good people, who live in according to Pope John Paul II, 'structures of sin,' {that was his description of a worldwide dynamic accompanying said moral relativism, and not particular to the continent of North America] did you know that the man who made that statement was also the only man who stood face to face with President Bush, and told him he would have to answer to God for what was about to take place [the impending invasion of Iraq]. Have politics reached the stage, where it is no longer an honorable profession, if honor consists in embracing globalism in toto, while slowly, or not so slowly discarding constitutional checks and balances essentially because 'if the President does it, it is not against the law.?' It makes one rethink the validity of paranoid conspiracy theories such as Hegelian dialectics, 'Through Chaos, Order' and the like.

Edited by Robert Howard
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"May I also suggest that every effort be made to determine why Oswald was headed in the general direction of Ruby's house at the time he was intercepted by officer Tippit." --- Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr in a private advisory to J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission, May 26, 1964

Jesse Curry, the former Dallas police chief, leans back in an easy chair in his living room long after the Kennedy assassination and discusses the route of Oswald's getaway attempt that Friday afternoon in Oak Cliff. "I can't in my mind make myself firmly believe that he might not have been trying to get to Ruby's apartment," Curry muses. "You know he was in close proximity to it, and I know he didn't leave his house with the idea of going to the Texas Theatre. There again, after he shot Tippit I think in his fright he just thought the movie house was the place to hide." Curry says he hasn't tried to figure out what Oswald might have done at Ruby's apartment had Oswald reached it, "because I never really seriously admitted there was a conspiracy. But there's been coincidental things that have happened here to lead one to believe that there could have been a conspiracy after all.....There might have been a connection between the two that we never established. And if there was it was more than a local thing, I believe. I think if there was collusion between those two, it involved probably an international conspiracy." Curry says he thinks Castro may have been involved. Curry says the whole story was not learned.

The above comes from Seth Kantor's book Who was Jack Ruby. Kantor says that he originally believed Oswald was headed towards Ruby's apartment, but later Kantor changed his mind, choosing to believe the "Belin Theory" that Oswald was headed toward a bus stop with his still unused transfer in his pocket, in order to catch a city bus to the Greyhound station. Kantor does not say how far he thinks Oswald could have gotten on the thirteen dollars he had in his pocket, although Belin claimed it was just enough money to pay for a bus trip to Monterrey, Mexico. I wonder what Oswald would have done for money once he reached Monterrey.

Kantor goes on to say: "There is no evidence that Ruby and Oswald even knew each other, despite claims by several people over the years that the two had been seen together."

Kantor discusses the story of Bill DeMar (aka William D. Crowe Jr.) who, within a couple of hours after Ruby shot Oswald, began telling reporters he had seen Oswald in the audience of the Carousel during the week before the shooting. As soon as DeMar's claims became public, they were immediately refuted by another Carousel master of ceremonies, William Weston, who according to an FBI report told them DeMar made the claim because of his desire for publicity. Thirteen years later Weston recanted and told the New York Daily News that he had seen Oswald "at least twice" in the Carousel.

Kantor chooses not to believe him, because Weston did not admit to that during his FBI interrogation. He does not accept Weston's reasoning that Weston was afraid for his personal safety, because at the time Weston talked to the FBI on November 24th, 1963, there had yet to be "mysterious deaths" in the case.

Kantor concludes: "And in the end there is no reason--not a shred of proof--to think that Oswald and Ruby even knew each other."

Of course Kantor wrote these words in 1976. He only had access to what was published by the Warren Commission and daily newspapers. He did not know of the additional sightings of Oswald and Ruby that remained secret from the public. John Armstrong had access to these released records and used them in his book.

J Raymond Carroll may well be right that Oswald and Ruby did not know each other. I certainly don't claim to know. Mr. Carroll said, ".....That would make an awful lot of people who supposedly saw these two men together before the assassination -- too many to be believable, IMHO."

I don't understand how the magnitude of the number of such claims can be used to invalidate all of them. To me, each claim must be considered on its individual merit, or lack thereof.

Mr. Carroll also said: "My problem is this: Assuming it were true that Ruby and Lee Oswald actually did meet, any such meetings would surely have been clandestine. One thing I am certain of is that the assassination of JFK was a very professional undertaking and, as such, there would surely have been no witnesses to such clandestine meetings. Eyewitness identifications usually sound convincing, but they are very often completely mistaken."

I am, of course, indulging in considerable speculation (Which, sadly is what I have been doing for more than forty years) that Ruby and/or Oswald may have had no idea before the fact that they were pawns in the Kennedy assassination. Who can say with certainty what they knew or didn't know? Maybe the powers that controlled Ruby threatened to link him with Oswald, and thus the murder of a President, if he didn't shoot Oswald on Sunday morning. Maybe if the public didn't buy the Lone Assassin scenario, Ruby (who some claimed they saw in Dealey Plaza) might have been a potential fallback accomplice.

And yes Mr. Carroll, I agree with you that eyewitness identifications are very often completely mistaken. Does this necessarily mean that they are all mistaken? If we summarily discount eyewitness accounts based on that criteria alone, we wouldn't be left with very much to study about this case, in my opinion.

One last point that probably goes without saying. The years and climate immediately following President Kennedy's death were perhaps much different than is generally understood today. It is difficult to conceive how Kennedy's closest friends, who were riding in the fatal motorcade with him, could change their stories for the FBI as to the source of the shots. It's hard to say how many people either altered what they really knew, or didn't come forward at all during the Federal Government's "investigation."

Let me end by saying I respect Mr. Carroll's opinions and he may well be right. As for myself, I just don't know if Oswald and Ruby ever met each other. I admit that there is a good chance that they didn't. However, in my own mind, I believe the possibility exists. And I still think John Armstrong did a helluva job in his research.

Mike Hogan

Edited by Michael Hogan
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I agree with you that eyewitness identifications are very often completely mistaken. Does this necessarily mean that they are all mistaken? If we summarily discount eyewitness accounts based on that criteria alone, we wouldn't be left with very much to study about this case, in my opinion.

Mike Hogan

I would draw a distinction between "eyewitness identifications of total strangers" and eyewitness testimony in general. For example, despite what some people have written, I see no reason to doubt Helen Markham's overall account of the Tippit shooting, which she witnessed with her own eyes. No other witness contradicts her basic story and she was corroborated by other witnesses and by circumstantial evidence. I have no trouble believing that JD Tippit was shot to death in front of Helen Markham's eyes.

The problem arises when she was taken to a lineup to identify Lee Oswald, a man who was a complete stranger to her. She did eventually ID Oswald, but how many of us really think that ID can be trusted, even if we have no doubts that Markham really was at the scene and really did see the shooting?

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In discussing the claims by various witnesses cited in John Armstrong's book that placed Ruby and Oswald together, Mr. Carroll says:

My problem is this: Assuming it were true that Ruby and Lee Oswald actually did meet, any such meetings would surely have been clandestine. One thing I am certain of is that the assassination of JFK was a very professional undertaking and, as such, there would surely have been no witnesses to such clandestine meetings. Eyewitness identifications usually sound convincing, but they are very often completely mistaken.

I read this to mean that people that claimed to see Ruby and Oswald together must be completely mistaken, for they were claiming to see something that a professional operation would never allow to happen because all such meetings would have been clandestine in nature. It is worth mentioning that many of these witnesses knew Jack Ruby quite well.

In a later post, Mr. Carroll adds:

I would draw a distinction between "eyewitness identifications of total strangers" and eyewitness testimony in general. For example, despite what some people have written, I see no reason to doubt Helen Markham's overall account of the Tippit shooting, which she witnessed with her own eyes. No other witness contradicts her basic story and she was corroborated by other witnesses and by circumstantial evidence. I have no trouble believing that JD Tippit was shot to death in front of Helen Markham's eyes.

I don't think many people doubt that Tippit was shot to death in front of Markham's eyes. As to the probative value of her accounts, that is another question.

Much like Howard Brennan was the Warren Commission's star witness in Dealey Plaza, Helen Markham was their star witness at the Tippit shooting. Recognizing that her accounts were full of inconsistencies, they issued this disclaimer:

Addressing itself solely to the probative value of Mrs. Markham's contemporaneous description of the gunman and her positive identification of Oswald at a police lineup, the Commission considers her testimony reliable. However, even in the absence of Mrs. Markham's testimony, there is ample evidence to identify Oswald as the killer of Tippit. (R167-8)

Dale Myers, who concluded that Oswald did shoot Officer Tippit, wrote:

Captain Fritz considered the waitress (Markham) a a trustworthy witness.....

Critic's have challenged Fritz's assessment, calling Helen Markham the least reliable of all the witnesses to the Tippit shooting. An analysis of the record finds considerable evidence to support the charge....

Myers added:

There is no question that Markham's statements are laced with inaccurate and inconsistent details....Consequently. Markham's statements should be considered in light of other evidence rather than take them at face value.

In her book Accessories After the Fact, Sylvia Meagher put it a little more bluntly:

But as her testimony reveals, she (Markham) is not a person in whom reasonable men would place implicit trust--for she appears to be given to extreme confusion or even, at times, estrangement from reality.

And:

As for Mrs. Markham, she varied wildly in her accounts of the shooting of Tippit, gave false testimony about a telephone conversation with Mark Lane, and identified Oswald, whom she had never seen before, while under sedation for hysteria.

All of the above bold emphases are mine

Getting back to Mr. Carroll's post, it seems he is saying that Markham's observations about the Tippit shooting are reliable, and the problems arose when she was asked to identify Oswald, a man that was a complete stranger to her. Mr. Carroll says he has no reason to doubt her overall account, and that no other witness contradicts her basic story. The Warren Commission (as cited above) seems to take the opposite view. They lend credence to Markham's description of the gunman, and her positive identification of Oswald, but distance themselves from all the rest of her conflicting and changing testimony.

And a full reading of Dale Myers and Sylvia Meagher makes it clear that they feel Markham's observations about the Tippit shooting are not reliable, that there are plenty of reasons to doubt her overall account, and many other witnesses contradict her basic story.

In an earlier post, Mr. Carroll said, "Armstrong's long list of people who can connect Ruby and Oswald does not impress me, for one, any more than the Warren Commission's list of Tippit witnesses persuades me that Lee Oswald was at the Tippit murder scene."

Mr. Carroll can correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems to be at odds with his earlier statement: "I see no reason to doubt Helen Markham's overall account of the Tippit shooting, which she witnessed with her own eyes. No other witness contradicts her basic story and she was corroborated by other witnesses and by circumstantial evidence....."

Mike Hogan

Edited by Michael Hogan
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