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1959 Olds Station Wagon


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Which Car?

By Ian Griggs (2006)

Introduction

This is the brief story of a car – or maybe two cars – or perhaps three cars – or it could even be four – or conceivably as many as five cars. I will set out the facts and leave it to you, dear reader, to work things out and come to your own conclusion.

The car concerned is an Oldsmobile. That, I maintain, is the only definite fact in the entire story.

The Brennan sighting in Dealey Plaza

No necessarily taking things in chronological order, I will open with an Oldsmobile car which was reportedly seen by assassination witness Howard Leslie Brennan. This gentleman is mainly known as the probable source of the personal description which was circulated throughout Dallas shortly after the assassination and which perhaps caused Police Officer J. D. Tippit to stop and question Lee Harvey Oswald. That action resulted in the death of the policeman and the arrest of Oswald in the Texas Theatre some 30-40 minutes later.

In his Warren Commission testimony, which he gave at Washington, D.C. on 24th March 1964 (three separate sessions, one in the morning and two in the afternoon), Brennan did not mention any Oldsmobile car. In fact, he made no mention of any car apart from the presidential limousine. Similarly, he made no mention of an Oldsmobile in an affidavit he gave in Dallas on 7th May 1964.

In his book Eyewitness to History, co-authored with J. Edward Cherryholmes, (1) however, he described a mysterious sighting a few minutes before the motorcade reached his location in Dealey Plaza. On page 8, after describing how he had seen a man acting suspiciously in a sixth floor window of the TSBD, he stated: "At that time there was a side entrance towards the rear of the building on Houston Street. At some point during the morning hours, the police had sealed off parking in that block and forced all cars to move. Saw horses were placed on Elm and Houston to block traffic. As I looked around I saw a lone car parked beside the Book Depository with a white male seated behind the wheel. The car was an Oldsmobile, a 1955-57 model. It is difficult to tell the exact year unless one is an expert because all those years looked nearly alike. I remember wondering why all the other cars had been made to move and this one had not. I didn't have the chance to study the driver carefully but he was wearing civilian clothes and appeared to be middle aged."

This detailed description of the car and its driver unfortunately omitted one significant fact. Brennan failed to indicate the car's colour.

Brennan's narrative continued: "One thing that interested me about the car was the way it was parked. The front left wheel was pulled sharply away from the curb and the driver had the door partially open. Later I wondered if the reason for this was so the car could make a quick U-turn in a speedy departure. As I was watching the man in the car I saw a policeman who was on foot walk over towards the car and begin talking to the man in a friendly, laughing manner. So far as I could see, there was no attempt to get the man to move the car and after chatting for a minute or so, the policeman walked back to his post. It was this fact that made me think the police should have made some report about the presence of the car, but I have never seen any other account of this 'mystery car.'"

The next few pages of Brennan's book (which was not published until 1987, four years after his death) described in detail his experience as the motorcade passed him and President Kennedy and Governor Connally were struck down by gunfire. He approached a policeman and informed him that the marksman was in the book depository building and they both ran to the front of that building.

In his book (page 16) Brennan then continued: "The car I had seen PARKED there before the motorcade passed WAS GONE. Although only a few moments had elapsed and all exits were blocked except one, the car had disappeared. The policeman who had been talking to the driver was gone, but I assumed he was looking for the gunman."

Brennan then repeated his sighting of the car, the way it was parked, the policeman talking with the driver and the paramount question in his mind: "Who was the man sitting behind the wheel that day?"

He also wondered "if it was a 'get-away' car, why didn't it wait to pick up the killer? Was it possible that he was being left on purpose?"

At the bottom of this page, there is an Authors Note, apparently written by Brennan's co-author which, in attempting to explain Brennan's failure to mention this car before, actually tends to confuse the issue rather than resolve it. It read as follows: "Howard did not report the presence of the car beside the Book Depository Building initially because he did not make an association. Subsequent to that time he had already made a formal statement and probably realized that to insert this new item might cast some doubt on his testimony. In retrospect, he acknowledged he probably should have reported it, but he wanted to be sure his testimony would stand since it was critical."

When I first read those passages in Howard Leslie Brennan's book, my immediate thoughts centred on two obvious questions. Where else in this case is an Oldsmobile mentioned? Who in this case owned an Oldsmobile? These two mundane questions produced some amazing answers.

The Bowers sighting behind the picket fence

Lee E. Bowers, Jr. was a railroad switchman employed by the Union Terminal Company. On the day of the assassination he was on duty in the north tower controlling train movements in the railroad yards to the west of the book depository behind the picket fence. He enjoyed a clear view of the area from his 14 feet high vantage point.

Lee Bowers gave his Warren Commission testimony in Dallas on 2nd April 1964. He described that in the 20 minute period before the arrival of the presidential motorcade he observed three cars which individually entered the area by his tower via the Elm Street extension road, circled that area and then left by the same route. None of these vehicles was familiar to him.

When asked by Assistant Counsel Joseph Ball what time the first of these cars had arrived, he replied: "I do not recall the exact time, but I believe this was approximately 12:10, wouldn't be far off." When asked where the car was, Bowers replied: "The car proceeded in front of the School Depository down across 2 or 3 tracks and circled the area in front of the tower, and to the west of the tower, as if he was searching for a way out, or was checking the area, and then proceeded back through the only way he could, the same outlet he came into." (2)

The following brief exchange then ensued:

BALL: "What was the description of that car?"

BOWERS: "The first car was a 1959 Oldsmobile, blue and white station wagon with out-of-State license."

BALL: "Do you know what State?"

BOWERS: "No; I do not. I would know it, I could identify it, I think, if I looked at a list."

BALL: "And, it had something else, some bumper stickers?"

BOWERS: "Had a bumper sticker, one of which was a Goldwater sticker, and the other of which was of some scenic location, I think."

Mr. Ball, who never asked Bowers about the Oldsmobile occupant(s), then went on to the other cars which Bowers had observed. One was a 1957 black Ford "with one male in it that seemed to have a mike or telephone or something … had a Texas license" The third was believed by Bowers to be a 1961 or 1962 Chevrolet four-door Impala. Bowers said that it was "white, showed signs of being on the road. It was muddy up to the windows, bore a similar out-of-state license to the first car I observed, occupied also by one white male." (3)

In summing up Bowers' three sightings and putting them alongside Brennan's, there are several significant similarities. Brennan reported a 1955-57 Oldsmobile (but unfortunately stated neither its colour nor its type – sedan, station wagon, etc.). The first of Bowers' cars was a 1959 blue-and-white Oldsmobile station wagon. Bowers' first and third cars were carrying similar out-of-state license plates to one another.

All four vehicles were described as being parked or driven in a suspicious manner.

Jack Ruby – owner of an Oldsmobile

Jack Ruby owned and drove a "1960 Oldsmobile, two door, white in colour, bearing 1963 Texas License PD-678." (4) This was the car which he drove when he went to the Western Union office and then City Hall where he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on 24th November.

Could this have been the car parked beside the Texas School Book Depository which was observed by Howard Leslie Brennan two days earlier? His report of the driver and a policeman engaged in apparently friendly conversation would appear to be a point in favour of this. Despite the denials in the Warren Report, it now seems that a significant percentage of the Dallas Police Department was on good terms with Ruby. Brennan's brief description of the driver (alone, middle-aged and wearing civilian clothes), whilst nowhere near as detailed as his description of the sixth floor assassin, could certainly fit Jack Ruby.

Michael Paine – another Oldsmobile owner

Michael Paine was another Oldsmobile owner. In "either October or November, probably the early part of November" 1963, he had purchased a 1956 blue-and-white Oldsmobile sedan for $200. Although his Warren Commission testimony is a little imprecise on this point, it appears that he had offered to sell it to Lee Harvey Oswald. (5) At this time, Michael Paine was also the owner of a Citroen and wife Ruth owned a station wagon.

For some reason, officers from the DPD Special Service Bureau checked out the various cars parked outside the Paine residence in early January 1965. A report from Detective Roy Westphal to Captain Gannaway, dated 7th January 1965, included details of a 1954/56 Oldsmobile, blue and white in colour and bearing Texas plate NY-9880. This is probably the vehicle mentioned above.

The sketchy and incomplete description of the Oldsmobile seen by Brennan certainly matches the known description of this Michael Paine-owned car. Once again, however, we have to rue the fact that Brennan did not mention the colour of the car he observed.

The Oldsmobile seen by Lee Bowers was a later model than the Paine car and was described very positively by him as a station wagon.

… and the mysterious zipper jacket was found under an Oldsmobile

It has been suggested, but by no means established as a fact, that the killer of Officer Tippit discarded a white or grey zipper jacket (CE 162) beneath a car at Ballew's Texaco service station as he fled the scene of the Tippit murder. The car has been identified as a 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Coupe with Texas index tag NL-95. (6)

In a Dallas FBI interview on 21st January 1964, however, Robert Brock, a mechanic employed at that service station, describes that Oldsmobile as a 1954 model. As someone who worked with cars, I would expect his description to be an accurate one. He also confirmed that this car was parked in parking space 17. (7)

As far as I can ascertain, the identity of the owner of this car has not been published.

Footnotes

1. Howard L. Brennan with J. Edward Cherryholmes: Eyewitness to History, published by Texian Press, Waco, Texas, 1987 (four years after Brennan's death).

2. 6H 285 (Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr.)

3. 6H 286 (Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr.)

4. Smart Exhibit No. 5021 (Copy of an FBI report of an interview with Lieutenant Vernon S. Smart, dated November 25, 1963).

5. 2H 413 (Testimony of Michael R. Paine). See also Carol Hewett, Esq.: Ruth and Michael Paine's Mystery Vehicle, published in the Conference Abstracts of the Second National Conference of COPA, 1995.6. See Dallas Municipal Archives, John F. Kennedy Collection, Box 12, Folder 45, Item 18. See also photograph on page 142 of Robert Groden's Search for Lee Harvey Oswald

7. Brock (Robert) Exhibit A (19H 182)

Edited by William Kelly
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user-offline.png <A href="http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showuser=5656">Joel D. Gruhn ipsmenu.register( "post-member-88109", '', 'popmenubutton-new', 'popmenubutton-new-out' ); to_post_off.gif Yesterday, 09:00 PM

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#4

I am Joel D. Gruhn, 59, an electrical engineer, and an executive manager of an electrical materials company headquartered in Rhode Island.

I am an active student of the Kennedy Assassination. My connection to the subjects discussed in the Assassination Forum is as follows.

Subsequent to the assassination, my now diseased father, Karl Gruhn, of Mound Minnesota came into contact with a 1959 Oldsmobile Station Wagon, gifted to an employee and friend of his, and shipped in secret from Dallas Texas. He and the car's owner believed that this car was possibly the same as that referred to by Mr. Lee Bowers in his Warren Commission testimony. He claimed that the car had previously been owned by a person known for his dislike of Kennedy and comments that "Kennedy should be shot."

I believe that tracing of the ownership history of this car may lead to further identification of persons or organizations of interest.

My reason for requesting membership in the forum is to bring forth the details of this car's history, if I am able to answer questions regarding it, and additionally to view photos attached to forum postings as jpeg files.

Yours truly,

Joel D. Gruhn

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Extremely intriguing Bill. I, like everyone else am hoping that this can bring to soem conclusion the story of the oldsmobile, which has long lingered.

Ian's research is always thorough.

I hope that Mr. Gruhn will join us on the topic and inform us of any information he has. It then might be possible for members to actively assist Mr.Gruhn in locating any ownership documents for the car.

This occurence is another example of new evidence being opened by this forum and the internet through the presentation of previously unknown evidence and witnesses. Now, more than ever, we must chase down leads as time grows thinner and leads fade away.

John

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Extremely intriguing Bill. I, like everyone else am hoping that this can bring to soem conclusion the story of the oldsmobile, which has long lingered.

Ian's research is always thorough.

I hope that Mr. Gruhn will join us on the topic and inform us of any information he has. It then might be possible for members to actively assist Mr.Gruhn in locating any ownership documents for the car.

This occurence is another example of new evidence being opened by this forum and the internet through the presentation of previously unknown evidence and witnesses. Now, more than ever, we must chase down leads as time grows thinner and leads fade away. John

Hey John,

Mr. Gruhn has checked in and said that while he is on the road at the moment, he will get back to us by this Friday and give us the details of his Olds, which belonged to an employee of his father.

While I'm not going to get to excited about it, automobiles are hard evidence and leave a paper trail, as Richard Bartholomew's research on the Dealey Plaza Rambler shows.

I also have a good lead on the mud caked white Impala, with Louisiana tags, which was reportedly stopped by Louisana State PD a few days later.

BK

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Is Joel now a member on the Forum?

Slightly edited / updated from when I originally emailed it around / posted it...brought to my attention originally by Steve Thomas - thanks Steve.

This may be a nice connection to Paperclip and the JFK assassination. I was hoping to get more on it - I still have a lead, but some of the others have simply died out. At a minimum, it demonstrates one facet of the operation - in which local Dallas resources made use of out-of-state plates to create false leads.

In the film 'He walked by night' [which was in some way connected to Johnny Roselli], the main character, an operative played by Richard Basehart, is preparing to go on a job. He has numerous licenses plates to use, and he selects one to put on his car for the job. It was indicated to me, by someone that would know, that this is 'typical tradecraft.' In the case of vehicles used in the Dallas operation on 11/22 - it's a bit farfetched to assume that the plates used would have been registered to the owner of the vehicle in question - actually, it's ludicrous, unless you were looking to play a patsy. Case in point the Georgia plate registered to Cecil Brading, and the Mathers plate.

Upon the release of the Warren Report [guess] things must have heated up for old J Stuart Martin [not to be confused with Jack Martin, aka Suggs - but maybe with the other JS Martin of California?] who worked at a bank in Oak Cliff. Martin, who appears to have been the owner of the 1959 Olds spotted by Lee Bowers, had a problem. There is a gap in the information here. With the release of the Warren Report, folks may be looking hard at his '59 Olds. That seems light to me - perhaps it was more about the fear of the emergence of a photograph, or there is something that was in Bowers account that was repressed, etc. The '59 passed out of Bowers vision - it may have been the same car seen by Howard Brennan - parked strangely next to the TSBD. Perhaps it is the car seen in the background of the Croft photo. It leaves directly after the assassination - as per Brennan - if it's the same car. The role of the '59 is still unclear. Frank Camper has the cars seen by Bowers as working recon - ensuring the security of the back lot for the operatives behind the fence. If the black Ford was owned by David Ferrie - with someone using his Signal Corps Field radio [found among his effects after his death] to communicate long distance with David Morales and David Atlee Phillips [whom Camper has as running the op], this could make sense - although Bowers description rules out Ferrie as the driver. The black Ford could also be one of the cars seen parked along the Elm st extension in the background of the Croft photo. Later, Whalen claims that Ferrie offered him the use of his 1953 black Ford Galaxie while he was visiting him in New Orleans - the trouble there is that Ford didn't begin making the Ford Galaxie until 1959 - so along with Brennan, if Whalen is on the level, he doesn't know his makes, models and years either. On Brennan, quickly, he states up front that it would take an expert to zero in on the right year.

“At that time there was a side entrance towards the rear of the building on Houston Street. At some point during the morning hours, the police had sealed off parking in that block and forced all cars to move. Saw horses were placed on Elm and Houston to block traffic. As I looked around I saw a lone car parked beside the Book Depository with a white male seated behind the wheel. The car was an Oldsmobile, a 1955-57 model. It is difficult to tell the exact year unless one is an expert because all those years looked nearly alike. I remember wondering why all the other cars had been made to move and this one had not. I didn’t have the chance to study the driver carefully but he was wearing civilian clothes and appeared to be middle aged.”

Couple that with what Bowers said - not to the Warren Commission, but in his original affidavit:

Quote

I was on duty today and about 11:55 am I saw a dirty 1959 Oldsmobile Station Wagon come down the street toward my building. This street dead ends in the railroad yard. This car had out of state license plats with white background and black numbers, no letters. It also had a Goldwater for "64" sticker in the rear window. This car just drove around slowly and left the area. It was occupied by a middle aged white man partly grey hair. At about 12:15 pm another car came into the area with a white man about 25 to 35 years old driving. This car was a 1957 Ford, Black, 2 door with Texas license. This man appeared to have a mike or telephone in the car. Just a few minutes after this car left at 12:20 pm another car pulled in. This car was a 1961 Chevrolet, Impala, 4 door, am not sure that this was a 4 door, color white and dirty up to the windows. This car also had a Goldwater for "64" sticker. This car was driven by a white male about 25 to 35 years old with long blond hair. He stayed in the area longer than the others. This car also had the XXX [strikeout] same type license plates as the 1959 Oldsmobile. He left this area about 12:25 pm. About 8 or 10 minutes after he left I heard at least 3 shots very close together.

It's unclear, but if Brennan is not referring to the Elm St extension, then he is referring to the lot closer to the rear and the loading dock area. It is here that 'Ruth Ann' would have had to have parked, if we can credit the account of Loy Factor - which personally, I like very much - in which case, arriving to the operation late, she would not have been seen by Bowers at all. Brennan's position would give him a view of both the Elm St extension as well as Houston, so this is a bit confusing.

The recent relevation of a sighting by an 85 year old woman caller into a radio show - as posted by Douglas Caddy, becomes even more interesting!

Karl Gruhn, worked in Mound, Minnesota in 1964 - he owned a carpet business. Mr. Gruhn [Green in German? Grün] was a German American, WWII vet - had been in Army Intelligence. After the war was over, he volunteered to stay in Germany and assist with mop-up operations. He was instrumental for Paperclip [could it have been the Alsos project under Boris Pash?] - he looked German, spoke the language fluently, and wanted to help his Country. His role about Munich was to interrogate prisoners, and collect info valuable to the US. At that time, following the war, Germany was like a yard sale. The Nations of the world were picking it over for anything they could get. This would include things like the location of caves, in which critical technical data was stored, for example data collected in the concentration camps which demonstrated the limit of human endurance under specific forms of torture, or aerial reconaissance of the USSR - stuff like that. Plus there was of course the NAZI gold - but the real Gold came in the form of the technical documentation, and human resources. The scientists that Hitler had collected for his aerial assaults on the UK, for example - and the ones that had broken down the human mind and learned techniques for controlling it. The ones who had developed the rocketry and other assorted weapons and technology - like the V2 and the discs.

Mr. Gruhn did a good job. He received no commendation for his effort, despite that success of Paperclip, which brought over thousands of highly trained and valuable scientists. The US welcomed these folks warmly - forgiving many their war crimes, providing them something similar to the witness protection program on steroids. Several laws were even introduced to provide these folks with special hiring treatment.

One needn't invite them to one's club.
Some were outright NAZIs, who would have otherwise been put on the bogus war trials, received a clean slate. Many sought to escape this US dragnet, and headed for the border. Stalin of course was doing his best to secure as many of these resources as possible Sputnik. I am sure that there were indeed some good Europeans and Germans mixed up here - Hitler had been responsible for the 'brain drain' of Europe. Of the 150 of so that were directed immediately to NASA, I'm sure that they were not all die hard Nazi's - and I continue to believe that. Gordon Cooper was firmly of the opinion, for example, that Werner von Braun was no Nazi. There certainly was a horrific impact on the Military Industrial Complex as a result of job placing a lot of the genuine NAZIs. Carmel Offie managed to find other loopholes to bring through quite a few Nazis that wouldn't have otherwise qualified - while ODESSA of course played the ultimate role in handling the untouchables through Peron. There was actually an effort to expunge many of these harcore Nazis from the US - I forget the date - some 10 years later? Back to the 59 Olds...

Mr. Gruhn had a Mr. Lipski working for him. It is unclear to me if Mr Lipski. was in some way connected to Paperclip [or Sunset, Alsos, Blowback etc.]. Mr Gruhn related the story to his son Joel, who passed it along. It's my impression that perhaps Mr. Gruhn was asked to take Mr. Lipski under his wing, as a favor to one of the Paperclip connections, who resided in Dallas. Perhaps Joel knows the answer to that question.

It seems that things had heated up in the city of hate, since the Whitewash report had been issued, and it was clear that the man in the tower was foolishly spouting off about certain details he had observed the morning of 11/22. The car had to be concealed [and it would appear that poor Lee Bowers had to be silenced]. Mr. Lipski, who worked for Mr Gruhn in his carpet store, received a call from his Father - 'Hey Son - how'd you like a nice car?' He was to arrange to be at a payphone, at a certain day and at a certain hour. He was to somehow call another payphone in Dallas. The call came from his Father, who lived in Dallas, but it is unclear whether his Father was Stuart Martin or not. The arrangements were made, and the '59 was shipped by rail to Minnesota. Mr. Gruhn's son Joel personally saw the car.

The car was shipped December 9, 1964. Receipt from tax collector for title application - 1959 Olds, Title transfer 11/17/64.

Used as the family car, eventually the '59 was junked by the Lipski's - that despite there only having been a very small number of 59 olds station wagons produced! It is believed by the author that the car was taken to Carmichaels, which would have been the closest salvage yard to Mound. Carmichaels was razed over a year ago and is now a beautiful Condo complex [you can never have too many] - so you can forget trying to find the car. I did try some 10 salvage yards - and they all knew the value of a '59 Olds Stationwagon - to the best of their knowledge - they hadn't seen it. It's always possible of course that it was rescued from Carmichaels, if indeed, that was where it was taken.

Now here's where it gets interesting. Among other things, the VIN [Vehicle Identification Number] is a code which can provide a certain amount of information. The VIN on the Olds - 598T08029 - led me to some interesting conclusions.

In 1963 the VIN was located on a metal data plate that was riveted to the driver's side front door pillar.

Example:

638L01001 = 1963 Ninety-Eight built in Linden, NJ

So from "598T08029"

From the first 2 digits - 59 - we can gather that it was built in 1959.

From the next digit - 8 - Model. A 4-door stationwagon. As per the Olds Historical society - Super 88 Fiesta Wagon

T - Arlington, Texas.

The next is the assembly number - 08029.

So...

- it was a Super 88 Fiesta Wagon - only 7,015 produced in 1963 [confirmed by the Olds Historical Society].

- it was built in Arlington, Texas

From that I would wager that it was originally purchased in Texas. Alas, the historical society for Oldsmobile doesn't go back that far in time to acquire a copy of the original invoice.

Not much to go on, sadly. However, the title transfer - which I DO NOT have a copy of but tried to get ahold of, has the car being registered to Stuart Martin, and was a Texas plate. Texas - NL7598. I am not sure, but if I can get ahold of the title transfer document, I believe that it will tell me if Stuart was the original owner - I believe this is the case from having spoken with Mr. Gruhn.

As per the observation of Lee Vida Whatley and Lee Bowers, the cars [plural] in the back lot that were suspicious [at least 5] had out-of-state plates. Mrs Connors, formerly [Lee Vida Whatley], is not in good health, and I doubt that she would be able to recall the details of the plates of the 2 cars that were parked behind the fence, behind the Pergola, early that morning. She provided this information, which she had written down, to Roy Truly - and that's where it disappears from history. One of these cars was an older sedan, thought by the author to possibly be the '56 Pontiac [Chieftain?] seen by Jim Hicks, and the other was a gold colored station wagon - which may have been one of the Ramblers used in the gig.

Aside - getting 'pole position' as I used to call it, when driving in to work [a spot close to the building so you didn't have too far to walk, which could only be achieved by getting in early], would be critical in order to gain access to the area behind the Pergola. So when Lee Vida Whatley arrived to work that morning, she was quite upset to find someone parked in her normal parking space, as well as the space next to it. These 2 cars should not be confused with the vehicles seen by Lee Bowers. As per my communications back and forth with Jim Connors, Lee Vida Whatley's son, it appears that these two cars would have been parked in the Sheriff's office parking spaces. Whatley must have known someone to get that privileged parking. Recall that Oswald and Frazier had to park in the normal employee lot, quite some distance from the building.

Bowers was so astute as to notice that the plate on the '59 was black, on a white background - all numbers. That reduces the possibilities for 1963 tags. The most obvious [since some of the states that had all numeric also had some alpha/numeric] is Virginia. What's in Virginia? - Langley, among other things. So at a minimum, what we've got here is a plate swap for the operation - with a likely scenario as a false-false-positive flag to point towards Virginia - the CIA, Goldwater, no clue. However, you can see I am free with speculation, but at least one car was LOCAL DALLAS TEXAS using the old plate swap trick. Mr. Joel Gruhn does not recall if there was a Goldwater sticker in the window of the car when he saw it.

Mr. Karl Gruhn is deceased. There is a tape that contains the story of the '59, but as yet I do not have it in my possession. There are 2 documents which another JFK researcher should have in his possession, but he did not reply to my email request for same. Mr. Gruhn's son Joel is still alive, but since he did not give me consent to use his name, I was using initials when I first posted / emailed this account. Mr. Lipski is deceased, but his wife is still alive, remarried and I found her phone number. Perhaps she can fill in a few blanks - I would like to know if Mr Lipski was working for Mr Gruhn due to his role in Paperclip and possible connections, and as a favor to Lipski's Father, who lived in Dallas. I'd also like to know if there was anything special about the car - aside from it's possibly having an electrical back window, which could be rolled down via a button pressed in the front of the car - and if perhaps there is anything more to it's role on 11/22. I would like to know if Mr. Lipski's Father was the former ambassador of Poland to Germany - Josef, or if his Mother remarried to Martin.

Does anyone have any dope on Stuart Martin? The attached thanks to John Locke. Thanks to Mr. Gruhn for being kind enough to provide me with more of the details. Perhaps he will still get me the tape as promised, as well as the supporting documentation, which he has. Thanks to some other folks for their input and feedback.

Seems that Martin may have been associated with the Grinnell / Larrie Schmidt crowd - possibly the Indignant White Folks Council as well. Could this Martin be the same that was engaged in UFO related disinfo work in California? Could this Martin have run Suggs? Is Martin the middle aged man seen by Bowers? Was this the '59? What was the role of the vehicle? Does Camper get it right?

- lee

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Redundant post deleted.

It would be great to get the JPEGs associated with the title transfer and reg for the vehicle. We should be able to obtain them from Joel or from the JFK Researcher he originally sent them to, who would not respond to my request for same.

- lee

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.

So...

- it was a Super 88 Fiesta Wagon - only 7,015 produced in 1963 [confirmed by the Olds Historical Society].

- it was built in Arlington, Texas

From that I would wager that it was originally purchased in Texas. Alas, the historical society for Oldsmobile doesn't go back that far in time to acquire a copy of the original invoice.

Not to put a damper on the research, but first, I believe ALL Oldsmobile wagons (and most sedans) were built in Arlington. My parent's '58 Olds wagon (bought in Illinois) was, and so was my '61 Olds Super 88 sedan. There is no reason to believe that because it was built in Arlington it was sold in Texas.

Second, while there may have been only 7,015 Super 88 Fiesta wagons built, Olds had several models of wagons. There may have been more Dynamic 88 wagons built, and unless one was close enough to read the script on the side, most all Olds wagnos of that year would look nearly identical. If you're still in contact with the Olds Historical society, you might check on how many Olds wagons total were made that year for a more accurate figure.

That said, good job on the research.

JWK

Edited by J. William King
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.

So...

- it was a Super 88 Fiesta Wagon - only 7,015 produced in 1963 [confirmed by the Olds Historical Society].

- it was built in Arlington, Texas

From that I would wager that it was originally purchased in Texas. Alas, the historical society for Oldsmobile doesn't go back that far in time to acquire a copy of the original invoice.

Not to put a damper on the research, but first, I believe ALL Oldsmobile wagons (and most sedans) were built in Arlington. My parent's '58 Olds wagon (bought in Illinois) was, and so was my '61 Olds Super 88 sedan. There is no reason to believe that because it was built in Arlington it was sold in Texas.

Second, while there may have been only 7,015 Super 88 Fiesta wagons built, Olds had several models of wagons. There may have been more Dynamic 88 wagons built, and unless one was close enough to read the script on the side, most all Olds wagnos of that year would look nearly identical. If you're still in contact with the Olds Historical society, you might check on how many Olds wagons total were made that year for a more accurate figure.

That said, good job on the research.

JWK

Hey Hey, JWK,

don't go away. You are just the guy to help set the record straight on one very specific line of hard evidence - automobile records - and there's certainly a lot of good auto-record leads on the JFK Ass; There are probably many dozens of cars with , less than a hundred, of which we should be able to get positive ids and basic records checks on most.

If only the effort is made.

BK

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.

So...

- it was a Super 88 Fiesta Wagon - only 7,015 produced in 1963 [confirmed by the Olds Historical Society].

- it was built in Arlington, Texas

From that I would wager that it was originally purchased in Texas. Alas, the historical society for Oldsmobile doesn't go back that far in time to acquire a copy of the original invoice.

Not to put a damper on the research, but first, I believe ALL Oldsmobile wagons (and most sedans) were built in Arlington. My parent's '58 Olds wagon (bought in Illinois) was, and so was my '61 Olds Super 88 sedan. There is no reason to believe that because it was built in Arlington it was sold in Texas.

Second, while there may have been only 7,015 Super 88 Fiesta wagons built, Olds had several models of wagons. There may have been more Dynamic 88 wagons built, and unless one was close enough to read the script on the side, most all Olds wagnos of that year would look nearly identical. If you're still in contact with the Olds Historical society, you might check on how many Olds wagons total were made that year for a more accurate figure.

That said, good job on the research.

JWK

post-675-1168662465_thumb.jpg

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I'll stand corrected on the statement that most Oldsmobiles were assembled in Arlington, but I'll have to try and check with the Olds society on this whole issue of wagons. Station wagon bodies were treated differently at GM.

At http://mywebpages.comcast.net/oldsfan/MySite/62fbpd.html it is stated that:

"All Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 and Super 88 Fiesta Station Wagon bodies were assembled in Ionia, Michigan by the Ionia Manufacturing Division of the Mitchell-Bentley Corporation.".

http://home.wideopenwest.com/~gcockerill/1960_buick_018.htm also speaks of Ionia being suppliers of GM wagon bodies:

In addition to producing Buick wagon bodies from 1946 through 1964, they made a variety of other bodies or vehicle modifications. Just a few examples from this time period include Oldsmobile wagon bodies (1957-64), Lincoln Continental Mk II bodies (1956-57); and the semi-custom Packard Caribbean.

Now, I need to find out if the bodies were sent to the chassis, or the chassis were sent to the body, to determine the final point of manufacture.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that if a 1959 Olds wagon was seen that day, it could have been a Dynamic 88 or a Super 88. The two are identical in appearance except for minor trim differences. Point of manufacture may, or may not, be important.

JWK

Edited by J. William King
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JWK - so you are implying that Joel Gruhn's account is to be taken with a healthy grain of salt? I used the VIN to get the info - what came back was what was posted. I think instead we should take a hard look at Martin and his associates / relatives etc. That will give us a good idea as to whether or not Bowers saw the '59 in question. As advertised, there appears to be a connection between Martin and Grinnell. Gruhn has already indicated that the Martin in question was known for his anti-Kennedy rhetoric. The whole payphone arrangement, and shipping of the car from Dallas clinches it for me.

- lee

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JWK - so you are implying that Joel Gruhn's account is to be taken with a healthy grain of salt? I used the VIN to get the info - what came back was what was posted. I think instead we should take a hard look at Martin and his associates / relatives etc. That will give us a good idea as to whether or not Bowers saw the '59 in question. As advertised, there appears to be a connection between Martin and Grinnell. Gruhn has already indicated that the Martin in question was known for his anti-Kennedy rhetoric. The whole payphone arrangement, and shipping of the car from Dallas clinches it for me.

- lee

Lee,

Apart from the anti-Kennedy stuff, is there anything else known regarding the background of Stuart Martin? Do you know if he was a religious man (strong right-wing views) and connected to a church in Oak Cliff?

James

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JWK - so you are implying that Joel Gruhn's account is to be taken with a healthy grain of salt? I used the VIN to get the info - what came back was what was posted. I think instead we should take a hard look at Martin and his associates / relatives etc. That will give us a good idea as to whether or not Bowers saw the '59 in question. As advertised, there appears to be a connection between Martin and Grinnell. Gruhn has already indicated that the Martin in question was known for his anti-Kennedy rhetoric. The whole payphone arrangement, and shipping of the car from Dallas clinches it for me.

- lee

Lee - Don't take it personally. I tend to play the devil's advocate sometimes, so that is why I question everything , no matter what side of the picket fence it falls on. It's all in the name of bulletproof (excuse the expression) evidence for our side. If I don't question it, someone else will.

The car you are describing, and the connections made, is great research, and I am in no way trying to diminish it. I'm just making sure that we aren't "evidence leaping" by saying that the '59 Olds wagon Bowers saw MUST be the one you ran the VIN on because of the small number of '59 Olds wagons made. The number you quote was only for Super 88 wagons, and didn't include Dynamic 88 models, which was the Super 88's less expensive (and nearly identical) brother, and, I believe, sold in greater numbers, and should be included in the total number of '59 Olds wagons made that year. It may increase the odds that it's the same wagon that Bowers saw.

There's also the question of whether there are easier ways to get rid of a car than to take the time, expense and exposure of a paper trail involved in shipping it off to another state to be used as a family car for several more years. Any group capable of shooting the president would probably have access to a car shredder at a local junkyard, wouldn't they?

I have some feelers out in the Olds community now, and I'll try to come up with a total number, and final assembley point, soon.

JWK

UPDATE: I just heard back and have some numbers.

1959 Super 88 Fiesta production was 7,015.

1959 Dynamic 88 Fiesta production was 11,298.

There were no 98 Fiestas.

Total of 18,313 full-sized Olds wagons for 1959.

Edited by J. William King
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Is Joel now a member on the Forum?

Slightly edited / updated from when I originally emailed it around / posted it...brought to my attention originally by Steve Thomas - thanks Steve.

The recent relevation of a sighting by an 85 year old woman caller into a radio show - as posted by Douglas Caddy, becomes even more interesting!

FROM Coast to Coast with George Noory 11-22-06

Caller named Velma who lives hundred miles From Dallas, lived in Dallas at time, had her car parked behind TSBD and saw shooter with Very High Powered Rifle come out of back of TSBD, there was grey dove colored old one seated Plymouth car with man who had felt hat wide band and had on suit, had black hair and real heavy eyebrows, looked at her kinda dirty. A police car come told man to move, the man didn't move right away, so police man got out, who she found out later was Tippit, and said I told you to move that car. Then the man went straight on and drove around bldg that was across the street, Tippit went the other way and must have met back there. Said she had not told anyone because she had four children to support and didn't want to get shot. Host George Noory says he will continue with her when they return from commercial........

Velma: ...high-powered rifle, it was no bolt action...

Noory: Let me ask you please because that rifle that they said Oswald used to kill Kennedy was apparently left upstairs, you're saying you saw someone else come out with a high powered rifle..?

V: OK, I'm sitting in my car and there's a grey, dark, old, one-seated, Plymouth car sittin there, and there's a man with a felt hat on with a wide band on it and he had on a suit, and he had black hair and real heavy eyebrows; he looked at me kinda dirty.

Well about that time a police car come and told this man to move, and he didn't move right away and police got out of his car , and I know later it was Tippit. He told him to move that car. Well then this man..went straight on around the big building...

N: Did you say this to the Warren Commission?

V: I haven't told anybody because I had four children, had to support them, I didn't want to get shot.

N: Well what did the shooter look like when he came out?

V: Well, I'm sitting there and police had made this grey car move...he went into the parkin lot right across but the man comin out of the book building could not see that grey car then. So this man, I'm sitting looking in that direction, and all at once this man was...like in the Eisenhower jacket, you know the little short jacket...he comes running out, holding this real, high-powered rifle in his right hand with it pointin straight up in the air. And he is running so fast that he didn't realize that grey car was gone until he got almost to it and then he turned real fast, turned left and run toward that underpass. Well about that time, Tippitt...there was no street that run toward that underpass from where we were, back of the building, so Tippitt cut across that grass and right down that hill, and that's the last I saw him. Later I heard that this man in this grey car was named Elrod.

N: Elrod. How old would you have said this gunman was?

V: something in his 30's, I'd think.

N: Did he look military?

V: well, he knew how to handle a gun. That gun was so well kept, the wood was so shiny.

N: When he went running, he kept the rifle with him?

V: The rifle? His hand was never moved. His hand was about the height of his right shoulder...and all the time he's running

N: Were other people there to witness him running out of the building?

V: No, I'm the only one because I don't know if that man in the grey car saw him. But that grey car was later seen up there at the theatre...so he was picked that man up...when he got lost there in the parkin lot, this man didn't see him, he didn't wait, I mean he ran just as fast as he could. He was running so fast that the wind was catching his jacket, blowing it straight up behind.

N: And the police officer who you thought was Tippitt was chasing him?

V: Yes, Tippitt...he was suspicious seeing that car. I don't know why he never noticed me or bothered me but he made that car go on but then Tippitt circled and got behind me up the street so he was lost after he made that grey car move.

N: After all these years, how come you're saying this now?

V: Well I was supporting myself and four children, I didn't want to get shot.

N: You were convinced they would have gotten you?

V: They would have; nobody else saw it but me.

N: What about now, are you willing to...

V: I had a man from overseas contact me, and he wanted Jim Marrs to get in touch with me...some way this man got in touch with my daughter on the computer.

N: Velma, how old are you?

V: I'm 85; I was 42 then.

N: You are convinced that that person running out of the building was not the Lee Harvey Oswald that we all know about?

V: I don't think so; he was about the size of him but from what I know it was a different gun...They found Oswald's gun in the building but this is a different man and a different gun, I'm convinced.

N: You do know that you could have changed the course of this investigation?

V: Well, I didn't want to get shot.

N: Well what about now?

V: Well, I'm 85, if they shoot me...hee..hee..hee

N: So you want the truth out?

V: I want the truth out, I get tired of hearing Oswald was the only shooter...this man was a professional.

N: Would you submit to a lie detector test?

V: Well certainly, I don't have any reason not to because what I'm telling you is what I saw.

N: We're going to follow up with this. We will put Jim Marrs in touch with you as well...because you may very well have some of the biggest information of the entire John F. Kennedy assassination.

Here is link to Coast to Coast AM show from 11-22-2006

http://www.apfn.org/apfn/jfk.htm Note:this is free. Only first part of call though.

or,

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2006/11/22.html#recap Note:this is not free.

A good show and a must listen.

Edited by Ed LeDoux
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JWK - so you are implying that Joel Gruhn's account is to be taken with a healthy grain of salt? I used the VIN to get the info - what came back was what was posted. I think instead we should take a hard look at Martin and his associates / relatives etc. That will give us a good idea as to whether or not Bowers saw the '59 in question. As advertised, there appears to be a connection between Martin and Grinnell. Gruhn has already indicated that the Martin in question was known for his anti-Kennedy rhetoric. The whole payphone arrangement, and shipping of the car from Dallas clinches it for me.

- lee

Lee - Don't take it personally. I tend to play the devil's advocate sometimes, so that is why I question everything , no matter what side of the picket fence it falls on. It's all in the name of bulletproof (excuse the expression) evidence for our side. If I don't question it, someone else will.

The car you are describing, and the connections made, is great research, and I am in no way trying to diminish it. I'm just making sure that we aren't "evidence leaping" by saying that the '59 Olds wagon Bowers saw MUST be the one you ran the VIN on because of the small number of '59 Olds wagons made. The number you quote was only for Super 88 wagons, and didn't include Dynamic 88 models, which was the Super 88's less expensive (and nearly identical) brother, and, I believe, sold in greater numbers, and should be included in the total number of '59 Olds wagons made that year. It may increase the odds that it's the same wagon that Bowers saw.

There's also the question of whether there are easier ways to get rid of a car than to take the time, expense and exposure of a paper trail involved in shipping it off to another state to be used as a family car for several more years. Any group capable of shooting the president would probably have access to a car shredder at a local junkyard, wouldn't they?

I have some feelers out in the Olds community now, and I'll try to come up with a total number, and final assembley point, soon.

JWK

UPDATE: I just heard back and have some numbers.

1959 Super 88 Fiesta production was 7,015.

1959 Dynamic 88 Fiesta production was 11,298.

There were no 98 Fiestas.

Total of 18,313 full-sized Olds wagons for 1959.

Thank you for your research on the Olds - amazing what is possible to learn, especially at this late date!

Re: "evidence leaping"... My statement was "It may be the same vehicle as that testified to by Lee Bowers, Jr., however until there is a bit more known about this automobile, it’s owners and its circumstances I prefer not to make that conclusion."

I have presented only what was known personally to me, or what was said to me by my father. All we know is that there was A 1959 station wagon, Oldsmobile S88 shipped suspiciously from Dallas, AND NOT that THE Lee Bower's Olds was shipped. I hope my intention is clear - to uncover more information on this car and owner so as to determine IF it is more or less probable that this report correlates with Bower's. Yes, anything more should be taken with well-salted skepticism.

In my opinion, new and corroborating formation might come from a number of sources:

1. Who was the historical Stewart R. Martin of Oak Cliff, and what can we learn about his views, associations, political affiliations if any, military service record etc. For example, does he show up on any lists of White Citizens Council, Minutemen, John Birch Society member, Anti-Castro or other right wing groups? Are there news articles that reference him? Arrest or court records and the like? Can his relationship to Ray Lipski be verified by any means?

2. What is known about Budget Auto, and it's owners(s) politically or otherwise.

3. Is there any way of tracing ownership back before Budget Auto?

4. is there any way to go from the VIN to the paint color of this car? How many white or white/blue two toned cars were produced? I will go over the tape I have as I believe Karl made a comment as to the car color.

-------------

"Any group capable of shooting the president would probably have access to a car shredder at a local junkyard, wouldn't they?”

In the same way, i.e. avoiding "evidence leaping" I must ask what the evidence is that the apparent conspiracy was organized as a functional group, with probable access to a car shredder at a junkyard.

Is it not also possible that a conspiracy could be comprised of independent and difficult to organize characters, operating with compartmentalized understandings of what was happening, who encouraged and used local resources and people, who themselves were often only marginally in control?

/jdg

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