I checked the tape out, brought it home and began listening to it. I was immediately struck with the fact that it was very different than the transcript in Best Evidence. There were radio transmissions on the tape that weren't in the transcripts. Where the tape and transcript did match, they didn't match completely. Either the transcripts were poorly done or there was intentional changes made.
I called Jim and told him what I had found. He recommended I contact Gary Mack. Mack, he said, was an expert on the various tape versions.
I had a real-time high quality studio copy made of the Library tape and sent the original to Gary. I also sent a copy of the tape to Oliver Stone through a mutual friend in Los Angeles. Stone was just starting filming for "JFK."
Gary gave me his assessment of the tape. We discussed the tape quite a bit over the next few months. Gary wanted to have some technical analyses done but the costs were too high for each of us. He had the tape for a little over a year hoping we could get it analyzed.
After Gary returned the tape in 1993, I sent the original the Assassination Archives to Jim Lesar's safe keeping and sent a copy of the high quality version to The Minneapolis Public Library They have since lost that copy to theft.
In the meantime, I went back to the Library to do some research on the tape itself. The Library still had a physical card file at that time.
The card for the cassette tape had very little on it :"22 November, 1963: THE Dallas Police Tapes Lava Publications, December, 1963" and the classification numbers. (Some time ago, the Library switched to computerized recoirds and destroyed the paper cards. I wasn't able to save it and the computerized record makes no reference to Lava Pulications.)
What struck me immediately was the date.
How did anyone outside the investigation get a hold of a copy of the dictabelts in December of 1963?
Attempts to find Lava Publications failed. I went back through old copies of Books in Print. I recently contacted the research section of the Library of Congress and they have no references to Lava Publications. They did find a reference to the tape by title, however, in the CLC system which lists the holdings of almost every Library in the country.. The only library in the country which has a copy of the tape by the name "22 November, 1963 : The Dallas Police Tapes" is the Minneapolis Public Library. The CLC system had no listing of the publisher or other sourecs for the tape.
I kept wondering "Why Minneapolis?" Who here would have had contact with the Warren Commission investigators and have gotten a copy of the dictabelts as early as December of 1963.
I found a possible lead in Jim Houghan's Spooks. He talked about International Investigations, Incorporated, Indianapolis, Indiana -- Five Eyes as they were known. Hougan said the Kennedys often used Five Eyes as their investigative agency and that many of the company's chief investigators were Kennedy people.
One of the cities where they were watching Hoffa was Minneapolis. According to Hougan, their purpose was to watch the activities of Jimmy Hoffa During that period, 1960 - 1964. Hoffa was working with local union officials and has formed a very tenuous alliance with a local outspoken socialist union leader whose name escapes me.
Going back through the Minneapolis business directories, I found listings for Five Eyes and six names of lead investigators over the five year period. None of the men still live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
My thinking is some Kennedy partisan involved with the investigation had a copy placed in the Minneapolis Public Library. But why? And why under the Lava name and why that date?
The tape, as John and Gary have noted, is of very high quality. I think it was improved somewhat with the digitalization and cleaning I had done. To date, only Don Willis has done extensive research with it that I am aware of and he seems to have found many new things in it. To date, no one has done any acoustical analytical research with it.