More on Odio

Did Silvia Odio Lie?

by Dave Reitzes
Whether or not "Oswald talked" to one John Franklin Elrod,(1) Ray and Mary La Fontaine's book of that title uses Elrod as only one link in an elaborate chain of speculative theories, every one of which must be true in order for their book's thesis to be correct.

The La Fontaines write that a "conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy required that the conspirators be associated with Oswald -- whether he served as coconspirator or (as he claimed) a 'patsy'" (emphasis in original).(2) "Only one group conspicuously fills this bill," the authors claim -- the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), or student directorate, a militant anti-Communist, anti-Castro group.(3)

Three Views of Odio
The testimony of Silvia Odio can be interpreted in three ways:
  1. Odio was right about Lee Harvey Oswald being among the men who visited her. This view is favored by conspiracists, who conclude that the "Odio visit" is the "proof of the plot" (in the words of conspiracist Sylvia Meagher). Some lone assassin theorists like Jean Davison accept Odio's account, but don't believe it shows any conspiracy.
  2. Odio was simply mistaken. This is what the Warren Commission concluded noting strong evidence that Lee Oswald was in Houston, trying to contact a leftist activist named Horace Twiford, on the evening of September 25th when the three men visited Odio. It is usual in high-profile crimes that numerous "sightings" of the accused are reported to police -- the vast majority being erroneous. Similar "Oswald sightings" are the basis of a whole raft of "Two Oswalds" theories.
  3. Odio lied about the "three men" and about Oswald being among them in order to cover up an extensive involvement of Oswald with anti-Castro activists. This, the least plausible of the three, is the La Fontaines' theory.

-- John McAdams

The problem is that Lee Harvey Oswald is not known to have ever associated with the DRE in Dallas, if anyplace at all.(4)

Granted, the La Fontaines certainly theorize otherwise. They note that the DRE "happens to be the same virulently anti-Castro group known through recently released FBI and CIA files to have been holding clandestine meetings in Dallas only weeks before the assassination, seeking to set up an armed invasion of Cuba in the last week of November 1963,"(5) and they speculate that "Oswald talked" at some of these meetings -- actually addressed the group.(6)

To prove this, though, they first have to prove eyewitness Silvia Odio a liar.(7) Steve Bochan has already done a good job examining the La Fontaines' treatment of Odio's story.(8) Let's quickly review.

Odio, Oswald, and the Exiles

Why do the La Fontaines believe that Oswald spoke at anti-Castro exile meetings?

The only witness ever to allegedly state such a thing is Odio's friend, Lucille Connell. According to an FBI interview of November 29, 1963, with Connell, Silvia had told her that Oswald "had made some talks to small groups of Dallas Cuban refugees in the past." Silvia purportedly "stated she personally considered Oswald brilliant and clever, and that he captivated the groups to whom he spoke."(9)

However, a little over a decade later Connell herself would inform House Select Committee investigator Gaeton Fonzi, "I really don't recall her [Silvia] telling me that. I just recall that Oswald came to her apartment and wanted to get her involved some way. But as I recall Silvia herself didn't tell me that, it was her sister who told me that."(10)

Fonzi writes that Connell "couldn't imagine why the FBI didn't put that in their report."(11) "Frankly," Connell told him, "I was not impressed with these two FBI investigators. They were rather new on the job I think. They were not very smart in my opinion and I did more interviewing of them than they did of me. They made no notes at the time, so whatever they wrote down after they left I'm not sure would be a hundred percent correct."(12)

From Silvia Odio's Warren Commission testimony:

Mr. LIEBELER. Did you tell Mrs. Connell that you had seen Oswald at some anti-Castro meetings, and that he had made some talks to these groups of refugees, and that he was very brilliant and clever and captivated the people to whom he had spoken?

Mrs. ODIO. No.

Mr. LIEBELER. You are sure you never told her that?

Mrs. ODIO. No.

Mr. LIEBELER. Have you ever seen Oswald at any meetings?

Mrs. ODIO. Never. This is something when you talk to somebody, she probably was referring -- we did have some meetings, yes. John Martino spoke, who was an American, who was very clever and brilliant. I am not saying that she is lying at all. When you are excited, you might get all your facts mixed up . . .(13)

Does anything corroborate Lucille Connell's alleged statements about Oswald addressing groups of anti-Castro exiles?

According to the La Fontaines, "one of the most important documents of the assassination"(14) is an April 16, 1964, memorandum written by Warren Commission counsel Burt W. Griffin, detailing his April 13, 1964, interview with Odio's onetime psychiatrist, Dr. Burton C. Einspruch.(15)

Griffin recorded Dr. Einspruch's statement that "he had great faith in Miss Odio's story of having met Lee Harvey Oswald," and then makes a most controversial observation. According to the Griffin memorandum, Einspruch

stated that, in the course of psychotherapy, Miss Odio told him that she had seen Oswald at more than one anti-Castro Cuban meeting. One of these meetings was apparently at her house, he believed, and Miss Odio's sister also saw Oswald at the house. Dr. Einspruch says that Miss Odio reported to him that Oswald made inflammatory comments about Cuba. The term "inflammatory" is Dr. Einspruch's and he could not clearly indicate what it was that Oswald had said. In fact, I got the impression these comments were pro-Castro.

The La Fontaines chuckle at the notion of Oswald "making inflammatory pro-Castro remarks at an anti-Castro gathering."(16) But we know of such an incident -- when Oswald provoked Carlos Bringuier and friends into the famous Canal Street scuffle in August 1963.(17)

Is there any reason that Einspruch would associate this story with Silvia Odio? Yes -- he had probably heard it from Odio herself, whose uncle had been an eyewitness to the event.

Mr. LIEBELER. Who in New Orleans told you about this incident between Bringuier and Oswald?

Mrs. ODIO. My family discussed it in New Orleans . . .

Mr. LIEBELER. Have you read about that in the newspapers?

Mrs. ODIO. No; I haven't. This I know from my family, the information we heard from New Orleans.

Mr. LIEBELER. . . . . Which one of them told you about this?

Mrs. ODIO. I think it was my uncle. . . . Agustin Guitart.(18)

In all probability, Odio told Einspruch her own story about Oswald and the other two visitors, and she also noted that a member of her family had witnessed an encounter between Oswald and some anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans. That would explain why Einspruch thought Odio had "told him that she had seen Oswald at more than one anti-Castro Cuban meeting" -- he was conflating her own story with an additional one she had related second- or third-hand.

"One of these meetings was apparently at her house, he [Einspruch] believed, and Miss Odio's sister also saw Oswald at the house" -- this clearly refers to the "hallway" story of Oswald and his two companions -- and Einspruch was under the impression that "Miss Odio reported to him that Oswald made inflammatory comments about Cuba." He did -- but not to Odio -- to Carlos Bringuier and friends, as witnessed by Agustin Guitart, Silvia's uncle.

That would explain why Einspruch was so confused, and why Burt Griffin himself "got the impression" that these "inflammatory" remarks of Oswald's "were pro-Castro." They were.

Is there any evidence to corroborate this theory? Yes -- Lucille Connell's FBI interview. According to the November 29, 1963, report, Connell recalled Silvia describing information received from someone in New Orleans "to the effect that Oswald was considered by that source in New Orleans to be a 'double agent.' The source stated Oswald was probably trying to infiltrate the Dallas Cuban refugee group, and that he should not be trusted."(19)

The La Fontaines howl in laughter at this. That "poor excitable woman," Mrs. Connell, "had misunderstood everything, indeed had gone off the rails completely, inventing wild things -- that business, for example, about checking up on Oswald in New Orleans and finding out he might be trying to infiltrate anti-Castro groups in the Dallas area. Where did that come from?"(20)

But it dovetails perfectly with what Silvia Odio told the Warren Commission -- that she had heard about Oswald's approach to Carlos Bringuier, representing himself as an anti-Castro activist.

Over a decade later, Einspruch clearly remembered Silvia's "hallway" story, and no longer recalled any other incidents in connection with her. In fact, while Gaeton Fonzi noted in 1976, "It should be emphasized that at all times Dr. Einspruch felt that the story about Lee Oswald was completely true," Einspruch testified in 1978 that he thought it was possible that Odio had simply mistaken someone else for Oswald, given that the encounter was "a one time kind of experience."(21) "Now, if she had said that she had seen him a couple of times," Einspruch stated, he would feel even more strongly about her identification of Oswald.(22)

In 1996, Steve Bochan asked Gaeton Fonzi, "What was your impression of Dr. Einspruch, basically, when you interviewed him in '78?"(23)

Fonzi replied that "from what he was saying, he was credible."(24)

Silvia Odio's story is partly corroborated by a letter she received from her father, Amador Odio, on December 25, 1963, apparently referencing the three visitors she had mentioned to him in a previous letter.(25) "Tell me who this is who says he is my friend," her father writes -- "be careful, I do not have any friend who might be here, through Dallas, so reject his friendship until you give me his name. You are alone, without men to protect you and you can be deceived."(26)

Her story is also partly corroborated by her sister, Annie, who answered the door when the three men paid their visit. She remembered that one of the three was American, and while she was not positive this man was Oswald, she recognized the ex-Marine when she saw him on television following the assassination. An FBI report of an interview with Annie Odio reads:

She [Annie Odio] said that "as soon as she saw Oswald on television she had a distinct impression that she knew she had seen him before." "A short time thereafter, while visiting her sister Silvia, Miss Odio [Annie] mentioned to Silvia that she had the feeling that she had either met or seen Oswald previously. Silvia then remarked that Oswald was the American who had accompanied the two Cubans to Silvia's apartment in late September 1963. Miss Odio [Annie] said that she then recalled that incident and realized that this was in fact the person of whom she had been thinking when she saw Oswald on television.(27)

To explain this, the La Fontaines advance a theory that compares the two sisters to self-proclaimed UFO abductees Betty and Barney Hill.(28) The La Fontaines do not cite sources or discuss specific parallels between the evolution of the two cases. The Hills' story developed over a period of several years, in a series of amply documented steps,(29) involving numerous details demonstrably incorporated from contemporaneous cultural sources,(30) not to mention intensive use of hypnosis on both parties for the purpose of "recovering" memories.(31) In other words, the Hill case bears no resemblance whatsoever to that of the Odio sisters.(32)

In his 1996 interview, Steve Bochan asked Gaeton Fonzi if he still believed Silvia Odio's story."(33) "It's not a matter of my believing it," Fonzi replied. "I think it's a matter of the facts being corroborated."(34)

Lee Oswald -- Anti-Castro Rabble-Rouser?

Now, what about these meetings where Oswald was supposedly holding audiences of anti-Castro Cuban exiles spellbound?

The La Fontaines write:

It's possible to envision one such meeting at Silvia's Davis [Street] apartment in which Oswald -- brilliant, clever, and perverse, as she described him -- may have been holding forth in the company of a youthful anti-Castro group, male friends and acquaintances of Silvia and Sarita. Let's suppose further that at this gathering Silvia found herself listening with concern as the conversation took a slightly crazy turn. President Kennedy was coming to town shortly, and the guys started dwelling on how he needed to be killed, not only for his string of "betrayals" beginning with the Bay of Pigs, but to precipitate a US invasion of Cuba (the assassination would be pinned on Castro's agents).(35)
There's no doubt about it; the memory of such a thing would most certainly have struck terror in Silvia Odio's heart on November 22, 1963 -- and not just hers, but those of all the exiles who had witnessed such an event.

How many eyewitnesses have the La Fontaines rounded up to support this incredible hypothesis?

Zero. They're simply making it up.(36)

As Steve Bochan noted during his 1996 interview with Gaeton Fonzi, "there has been no witness that has ever come forward that saw Odio and Oswald present at any anti-Castro rallies . . . There's not a shred of evidence to prove that, and I almost thought at one time that that was a red herring put out there, but by whom?"(37)

Fonzi replied, "Well, I think it's exactly what you're saying: [the La Fontaines are] using it to make their point. But to me, they're building strawmen to knock down. And I don't know why they're doing it."(38) "And the whole implication that the Kennedy assassination came off as a result of the DRE being upset because Kennedy pulled back support for their new invasion, just a couple weeks before the assassination, and all of a sudden the assassination comes off with just a couple of weeks of planning? I really have to reread the book, actually, because it's not very clearly written; it's loaded I believe, with a lot of misdirection."(39)

Researcher Gordon Winslow, a specialist in the area of the "Cuban connection" to the assassination, was present for this interview, and broke in at this point, asking if Fonzi's description of Oswald Talked was accurate -- if the La Fontaines do indeed theorize that "the DRE killed Kennedy?"(40)

Not only that, Fonzi notes, but according to the La Fontaines, "Odio's real affiliation is with the DRE . . . and not with JURE."(41)

At that, Winslow burst out laughing:(42)

WINSLOW: (laughs) I haven't bought the book yet. I'll probably wait until it goes on discount, now . . . (laughter) The DRE, ha! The only one on the payroll there was Gordo Salvat.

BOCHAN: . . . That tends to blow that whole thing right out of the water.

FONZI: Exactly. . . . To me, it's a disservice to the research community. It really is, to raise these kind of strawmen issues. And why? For the sake of publishing a book? (43)

Odio and the DRE?

For the La Fontaines' theory to be valid, they must prove that in 1963, Silvia Odio jumped ship from the socialist, anti-Castro Junta Revolucionaria (JURE) for the fanatically anti-Communist DRE.(44)

Is there any evidence that Silvia Odio did so?

No. None whatsoever.

How do the La Fontaines justify this theory, then?

By advancing another theory -- that Silvia Odio's sister -- Sarita Odio -- might have been involved with the DRE.(45)

Sadly -- perhaps due to concerns about the idiomatic nature of the expression -- the La Fontaines omit any discussion as to whether Silvia Odio might have been inclined to jump off a bridge were her sister Sarita to do so, or vice versa.

However, the La Fontaines do write -- apparently with straight faces -- "For Silvia and Sarita, the DRE was quite likely a slicker, more militantly with-it version of their father's party."(46)

To point out that these self-proclaimed "serious journalists"(47) are only speculating is to treat this statement rather generously.(48)

The La Fontaines themselves note that Silvia "was associated with the more liberal element" of the socialist JURE, considered by many to represent "Fidelism without Fidel."(49) Why would she suddenly take up with a fanatically anti-Communist group like the DRE?(50)

"Of course, all the Cubans knew that I was involved in JURE," Odio testified, "but it [JURE] did not have a lot of sympathy in Dallas and I was criticized because of that."(51) "Because I was sympathetic with [Manolo] Ray and this movement [the JURE]. Ray has always had the propaganda that he is a leftist and that he is Castro without Castro."(52)

How about this: Are Ray and Mary La Fontaine aware that there was no chapter of the DRE in Dallas?

A Little Logic, Please!
If Lee Oswald was with two anti-Castro Cubans at Silvia Odio's house, what would the point be? Would this prove an assassination conspiracy? Didn't the Evil Minions of the conspiracy want Oswald to appear to be a pro-Castro leftist? Isn't this the "sheep-dipping" operation that Jim Garrison described? Why would they have him conspicuously running around with anti-Castro activists?

The most obvious interpretation of Oswald being at Odio's -- if he was -- is that he was engaged in another "infiltration" of the anti-Castro forces like the one against Bringuier in New Orleans.

-- John McAdams

Felix Guillermo Othon Pacho told the FBI that he had been the DRE's official delegate in Dallas since September or October 1963, and as with Carlos Bringuier's "organization" in New Orleans, Othon was the only DRE member in Dallas: "He advised there is no formal organized Dallas unit of the DRE nor has there ever been such an organized group in Dallas to his knowledge."(53)

Othon cited "a lack of students among the Cuban refugees in Dallas" as the reason for this.(54) This was the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil -- the student directorate -- after all. (Othon himself attended night school, another reason he cited for the lack of DRE activity in Dallas.)(55) How easily would Silvia Odio, a divorced mother of four, fit in with such an organization anyway?(56)

In September 1963, Silvia was still professing complete loyalty to JURE, but she was by her own admission unable to take part in political activities at that time.(57) She told the Warren Commission's Wesley Liebeler that she had turned away several JURE members who requested her help -- "They were going to open a revolutionary paper here in Dallas"(58) -- because she simply had no choice: "I told them at the time I was very busy with my four children . . ."(59)

"She had been under mental strain of marital problems and the responsibility of caring for her four children after her husband deserted her,"(60) Gaeton Fonzi noted during a 1976 interview. Odio told Fonzi that she hadn't originally come forward with her story herself(61) because "I was afraid. I was young at the time, I was recently divorced, I had young children, I was going through hell."(62)

Odio was in touch with JURE founder Manolo Ray, whom she had visited in Puerto Rico in June 1963.(63) She was also in contact with Antonio Alentado, one of the leaders of the Dallas JURE. Alentado had tried to involve Odio in more JURE activities, but she had begged off.(64)

In an interview of April 30, 1964, Odio confidante Father Walter Machann recalled Odio's connection with JURE, saying that members of the group "frequently contacted her requesting them to give them her support and to lend her name to their cause."(65)

Odio also knew George Rodriguez Alvareda, another member of JURE; she was in contact with him in December 1963.(66) She had met with Alvareda and Alentado in June.(67) The La Fontaines acknowledge these events, but seem to shrug them off as anomalies.(68)

Odio denied ever having anything to do with the DRE.(69) She said she was familiar with former Dallas DRE delegate Sarah Castillo,(70) something she would be unlikely to admit were she trying to obscure any alleged connections to the directorate, as the La Fontaines theorize.(71)

She also acknowledged having met Carlos Bringuier, though "I don't think he would remember me."(72) If Odio was trying to distance herself from Oswald and the DRE, Bringuier would seem to be the last person on Earth she would admit to knowing.(73)

The La Fontaines write, "The admitted knowledge of the DRE head in New Orleans, Bringuier, was something Silvia couldn't easily deny because of her known family connection to Bringuier's friend, her uncle Agustin Guitart."(74)

Nonsense -- Odio volunteered the information about her uncle to Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebeler,(75) and she could have easily denied knowing Bringuier had she wanted to. She didn't; she admitted that not only did she know who Bringuier was, but also that she had met him on one occasion in Cuba, and she doubted that he would even remember her.(76)

In order to validate their "follow the guns" scenario,(77) the La Fontaines are desperate to discredit Odio, and it shows.

Odio testified she did not know DRE member Joaquin Martinez de Pinillos,(78) but she said she was familiar with Miami DRE leader Emanuel "Gordo" Salvat: "I have heard about him very much. I know who he is, but I don't know him."(79) Does it sound like Odio is covering something up here?(80)

The House Select Committee on Assassinations writes, "It should be noted that Silvia Odio was not unknown in the Cuban community of Dallas. She had attended JURE meetings, and in the summer of 1963, a large photograph of her sisters, Annie and Sarita, had appeared on the front page of the Dallas Morning News, along with a human interest story about the Odio family. Silvia's name was mentioned."(81)

If Odio were cavorting around with members of the DRE, not JURE, wouldn't someone in this community have noticed? Shouldn't those "serious journalists," the La Fontaines, be expected to produce some evidence -- any evidence -- to support these theories of theirs?

In 1964, Silvia Odio was left with the feeling that the FBI and the Warren Commission had only been playing with her. She thought to herself, "Silvia, the time has come for you to keep quiet. They don't want to know the truth."(82) She leads a quiet life in Miami(83) and rarely grants interviews to researchers.

Gaeton Fonzi comments that "she felt used. She was first approached by the FBI, and then by the Warren Commission and then by the House Assassination Committee, and all they kept telling her basically that she was a liar."(84)

And so it goes.

1. For more information, please click here.

2. Ray and Mary La Fontaine, Oswald Talked, 7.

3. La Fontaine, 7. "The only groups intimately associated with Oswald were the right-wing Dallas Russian community [and only in late 1962/early 1963 -- DR], and the militant, CIA-funded DRE [but only -- so far as is known -- through the person of Carlos Bringuier -- DR]. The new evidence," the La Fontaines continue, "strongly suggests that Oswald first attempted to infiltrate the DRE in New Orleans as an FBI informant on neutrality and weapons issues. As we may recall,the leftist former defector was likely sent to the Crescent City to inform on gunrunning by right-wing subversives. Guy Banister and the equally gun-happy student directorate, which, though supposedly a propaganda group, had stockpiled the Pontchartrain arms cache raided by the Bureau in late July, were obvious targets. Indeed, Oswald's informant file, seen by former FBI employee William S. Walter, identified Oswald as a Bureau informant on the DRE's Pontchartrain arms cache" (La Fontaine, 310). Please see my article "Garrison Ripples" for a discussion of the La Fontaines' theories concerning Oswald in New Orleans.

4. Please see my article "Garrison Ripples" for a discussion of the La Fontaines' theories concerning Oswald and the DRE in New Orleans.

5. La Fontaine, 7.

6. La Fontaine, 237-80.

7. The La Fontaines state that Warren Commission defenders "can relax" about Odio's "Warren lie" (La Fontaine, 256), because "There's nothing to it. Silvia made it up" (Ibid., 247). It's a "transparent hoax" (Ibid., 8), a "fabrication" (Ibid., 247). "Silvia's hallway hoax" (Ibid., 257) is a "deliberate invention" (Ibid., 251). She simply "dreamed it up" (Ibid., 259). It was "a fiction" (Ibid., 255) she just "whipped up" (Ibid., 260).

For a summary of the Odio story, see House Select Committee on Assassinations Hearings Vol. X, 18-32. Read Silvia Odio's Warren Commission testimony here.

8. Click here and here for researcher Steve Bochan's two-part analysis of this claim, or access them both from this page.

9. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 3108 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 738).

10. Steve Bochan, Interview with Gaeton Fonzi of April 26, 1996. (Click here to read the full interview.) Also see House Select Committee Doc. 180-10101-10283, Box 233, Memorandum dated April 5, 1976 from Gaeton Fonzi to Dave Marston.

11. House Select Committee Doc. 180-10101-10283, Box 233, Memorandum dated April 5, 1976 from Gaeton Fonzi to Dave Marston.

According to an endnote in Oswald Talked, Lucille Connell herself "confirmed to Mary [La Fontaine] in March 1995 that (as she told the FBI), it was Silvia who told her she had met Oswald more than once prior to the assassination (La Fontaine, 426 fn. 43). The fact that the La Fontaines choose to bury this little nugget of information in the endnotes -- without a direct quotation from Mrs. Connell or even a precise date given for the interview -- does not inspire confidence in the accuracy of the information. Even if Oswald Talked is accurate on this point -- and I very seriously doubt it -- the best evidence remains Gaeton Fonzi's interview with Connell in 1976, in which Connell clearly stated that the 1963 FBI report was inaccurate, and that she did not recall Silvia telling her anything about meeting Oswald more than once (see endnote 10).

Since Mary La Fontaine deems her interview with Ms. Connell worth mentioning only in an endnote, I will relegate it to the endnotes of this article as well.

12. House Select Committee Doc. 180-10101-10283, Box 233, Memorandum dated April 5, 1976 from Gaeton Fonzi to Dave Marston.

13. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 380. The La Fontaines claim that Martino would also speak "privately with some or all of the Odio sisters, explaining that he is a friend of their imprisoned father, whom he met during his own captivity" on the Isle of Pines" (Ibid., 354). However, earlier in their book, the authors state that Martino was "a prison friend of Silvia Odio's father who met with her sisters in Dallas" (Ibid., 280; emphasis added). Repeated searches through Oswald Talked have failed to uncover a source for either of these claims, which would appear to be based on Silvia Odio's statement to the Warren Commission that Martino "was one of the men who was in Isle of Pines for 3 years. And he mentioned the fact that he knew Mr. Odio, that Mr. Odio's daughters were in Dallas" at "that meeting" in Dallas attended by a onetime friend of hers, Lucille Connell, among many others (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 380). Attempts to verify a personal connection between Martino and the Odio sisters in other sources has, as yet, failed to confirm the La Fontaines' assertion. Even if this apparently fictitious statement were true, would it even so much as hint at a conspiratorial association between Martino and "some or all of the Odio sisters," much less Silvia herself?

14. La Fontaine, 257.

15. Warren Commission Document 179-40002-10171, Griffin memo to Slawson dated April 16, 1964, 3 pages; Box 17B.

16. La Fontaine, 426 fn. 36.

17. Please see my article "Garrison Ripples" for a discussion of the La Fontaines' theories concerning Oswald in New Orleans.

18. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

19. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 3108 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 738).

20. La Fontaine, 260. A La Fontaine advocate has accused me of distorting the La Fontaines' views in this passage, so should any clarification be necessary, let it be noted that the La Fontaines are mocking Silvia Odio's explanation of Connell's alleged statements in the FBI report. Personally, however, I consider the passage to be perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the La Fontaines' work as a whole, and a more candid representation of their views than can be said for much of Oswald Talked. For example, the La Fontaines state, "The case against Lee Harvey Oswald is stronger than most conspiracy theorists will concede," "in some ways even stronger" than it seemed in 1963 (La Fontaine, 367). However, they also state, "The case against Oswald was, from its inception, a house of cards" (Ibid., 50). Perhaps sarcasm is their true forte.

21. House Select Committee Testimony of Dr. Burton C. Einspruch, July 11, 1978, House Select Committee Doc. 180-10071-10440. Click here to read Einspruch's full testimony.

The allegation has been made that Einspruch did not remember what Silvia Odio had told him at all until his memory had been "refreshed" by Ms. Odio herself, in a four-way conference call between Odio, Einspruch, and committee investigators Gaeton Fonzi and Jim McDonald. In a personal e-mail to Steve Bochan, Fonzi denied this to have been the case. The e-mail (forwarded to me by Mr. Bochan in a personal e-mail of December 7, 1999) reads as follows. (All italicized text has been added for emphasis.)

Steve: Re your questions about the telephone conversation between Odio and Einspruch: Jim McDonald and I were talking to Odio about her recollections and Jim got the idea of calling Einspruch to see whether he could recollect what and when she told him anything. This was not a "pre-deposition" device because we weren't planning then to take Einspruch's deposition since we thought we had enough evidence from other sources (Silvia's two sisters. Lucille Connell, Amador Odio) that Silvia did indeed get a visit from three men before the assassination. Both Jim and I listened into the conversation with the permission of both parties. What I thought was significant was that Odio and Einspruch had [not] spoken to each other for 13 years and that's what both Jim and I were anxious to observe, to see how candid the conversation was and determine if there might have been some conspiracy between them in concocting the story. We found exactly the opposite. Odio did jog Einspruch's memory by bringing up the incident -- which, after all, was the reason for the call -- but Einspruch didn't immediately remember the details, as far as why the men said they came to visit her. I thought that was natural after 13 years.

Eventually, Einspruch said it was coming back to him and when asked if he specifically remembered that one of the men's names was "Leon," he said, "I believe she did. It's coming back to me now because I remember we were in my office in the Medical School. I do remember that three men came to her door and two were Cubans and I recall there was a lot of political activity going on at the time in Dallas, with the right-wing groups trying to exploit the Cubans."

Later in the conversation as his memory got stronger, he got more certain that one of the men's name was "Leon" because he specifically remembered thinking "what the hell is a white man doing hanging around with these Cubans?" [Note: Two years later, Einspruch would emphasize this point in his House committee deposition. -- DR] Far more important than Einspruch's recollection of the details is his absolute certainty that Odio told him of the visit before the assassination. It was only after that telephone conversation that we decided to go to Dallas and take Einspruch's conversations directly.

Hope this helps. Regards, Gaeton.

22. Ibid.

23. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

24. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

25. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 373-4; see note 26.

26. Odio Exhibit No. 1 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XX, 688-91). As I do not believe this exhibit has ever been posted online, here is the full text of Amador Odio's letter, as translated and reproduced in the Warren Commission volumes:

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: It is noted that the original letter is written in a conversational and personal vein without regard for proper punctuation.

Nueva Gerona, Dec. 25, '63

My Children:

From the visit of my brothers, I learned about you. It is a consolation to hear that our children are taking very good advantage of the time. It is one more compensation of Divine Providence for our sufferings. It is difficult to write these days in which memories are so vivid and it is almost impossible to coordinate ideas because emotion chokes us. It is at Christmas time when sentiments, through the sorrow of absence, draw us closer to our loved ones. The more presents we have the more we are aware of the separation. But the sorrow is not important, my children, and if having you always in my heart and thinking intensely of you, it increases, then blessed be the sorrow! Fortunately, we are strong: a great faith sustains us with the firmest hopes of our soon being reunited with the family. Any of the steps that are being taken must prosper. Our desires for peace, to live in the company of our children, stir us to hope a little for comprehension and assistance. At this time of the year, 30 years ago, Mama and I were an engaged couple in love, full of illusions and faith in the future. We were enjoying the preparations for the marriage which happily would eternally unite our destinies. We were making at that time manyplans, converted since into a full and beautiful reality. We were ecstatically dreaming about the great adventure of love, and you, my children, were the summation of our dreams. We were in ecstasy over the prospect of many children, the combination of our flesh, of our blood, of our souls in the purest ideals of parents in bloom. Our desires were culminated with the arrival of such a beautiful group of children exceeding our expectations -- our aspirations -- children extremely gifted with the most brilliant qualities and virtues; -- honest -- intelligent -- children who have the love and respect of one another -- who adore and devotedly admire their parents -- children who work hard, study earnestly -- who make sacrifices whenever necessary. In sum, good children, a benefit to the family and to society -- loving children who gladly cooperate with one another without complaint -- who go through life joined fraternally in perfect communion with God and family. Such are our children for whom today and every day in our prayers we humbly thank God. The All Powerful gives you, my children, a glory of a repeated verse of a most beautiful descendence! What else in the word can surpass it? Nothing that I may know and it is for this reason that I want to sum in that idea my great desire of happiness for each one of my children at the Christmas time. On the anniversary, shower Mama with pretty cards, letters, photos and as much as can make her happy. It occurs to me, Cesar, that you with Mauricio, could give her a good gift. I am not referring now to the marvelous gift of free giving, it is a little grand gift. Since he has so many resources and friends, he could arrange that on the basis of her 30 years, her photo be published in a newspaper section. It would be something to fill us with pride, to do justice to this great wife and mother so that her friends may not forget her. That would do us all good and the reason is plausible. Not always are so many years of marriage completed encompassed with so many children and grandchildren, nor under the circumstances which surround it. If you do not have a good photo, ask Felo immediately for it. (I imagine some persons pale with envy, among them some neurotic!) I am not able to give any gift, but I pray for (her/your) health and as for (her/it) so intensely that God is listening to me. Freddie is getting along very well in his studies. It has taken him time and work, but in the end he will graduate from this course. I always believed that he would, but I fear for him for the very hard examinations that await him. Sally also -- I do not know what career -- and I am grateful to Jim because he wishes, as we, that she continue studying until receiving her doctorate. He would only desire to offer his assistance and inspiration. I received a telegram from Felo explaining the call that he made to Cesar after the visit. I am happy that he calmed you, and I am presently all right, and give you my messages. I know that every one has moved tirelessly and that on our negotiations being renewed, we will be in first place. To all, I am thankful for Mama who needs to rest with peach and security. My daughters, in spite of the problems that you have, you have found time to move Heaven and earth and our great son with his business relations has succeeded in locating us in a preferable place. I received a letter from Sari on Oct. 27, from Silvia, with her photo in the office -- the 3rd that I received; of the rest I do not know what they look like now -- on Nov. 8, from Cesar, Julie and Lolie on Nov. 11. Thus we are able to endure solitude. Thus they help us to wait. Mama telegraphed me, content because she already received many. Remember that you must take a moment and write to one another. It is sad to read that there are times when you do not know about one another "because the telephone is expensive now." Annie needs to adopt a firm resolution for the New Year of involving herself in the responsibilities of the family. We are proud of your conduct in college, in a strange home. We are completely satisfied in having such a good and studious daughter who has perfectly fulfilled her obligations. But you have not kept contact with your sisters -- too often unmindful of their problems when you should share them. Therefore, my pretty brunette, you yourself think of the best way to cooperate with them. It would be nice for you to share the time with your brothers and sisters. Would it be possible, love, for you to spend wee-ends and vacations at Silvia's house? In this way you could be of great benefit, just as Lolie has been for some time with Julie. You are a complete woman. You understand that you have obligations, in addition to your studies which you are to pursue with eagerness above everything. If what I suggest upsets in any way your school tasks, then you should continue as you are and in no way should you neglect them. Understood? I leave it to your own judgment, but anyway maintain frequent contact with all the family, and watch out for parties and drinking! Silvia, it is difficult to become oriented with you -- who are in contact with the atmosphere and who have taken up to now so many intelligent and proper steps. You will continue with that vast experience, determining what ought to be done on each occasion. It is one more reason for pride for us. Before I forget, let me congratulate you on your fine position. You are worthy of these distinctions. Tell me who this is who says he is my friend -- be careful, I do not have any friend who might be here, through Dallas, so reject his friendship until you give me his name. You are alone, without men to protect you and you can be deceived. Grant me, blondie [Silvia], the additional sacrifice of not going out Wednesdays with your girl friends. Stay for a good time at home. You still are not free -- you should avoid everything that might affect your good name. Never accept going out with anyone or to the house of anyone if you are not accompanied by your brothers. That of Guille [sic] is still not definite -- he can return -- I am sure that he loves you and adores his children in his way. He was criminally indisposed against you by his neurotic mother. When you have to be understanding, make yourself interested, but be careful not to exceed. Do not abandon literature. Persevere, write a good book even though it takes you yeas. Sarita, love, your letters are always interesting to me in that you tell me everything is marvelous. It is the best sedative for calming my anxieties for information concerning the family. Your letters, as those of all your brothers and sisters, fill my life with joy and hopes. They come to be the only light which enters the darkness in which I am living. I regret not having received yet a photo of your Jim. Mama was enchanted by him. I hope that Cesar furnishes you with spending money in sufficient amount. Do not scrape -- please -- go to your brother. It would please me for the elders to arrange for an allowance. I leave it to your judgment. Tell me as much as you can of your activities. Lolie, beautiful blonde, you do not tell about yourself even though, in spite of being an adolescent, you are already a woman because of the harsh experience through which you have lived. Your labors and sufferings have made you grow intellectually and spiritually. I am happy that you have in C. and J. the tenderness of brothers and parents. Soon you will again be my little spoiled girl, my heart's desire. Take care of rebellions. Study and work gladly. Cesar, Julie, beloved children, there is hardly space left. I am happy with your progress in the program. To Ama, Javier, Jorge, Freddie, Marianne, I express how anxious I am to hold you against my heart! To Gretel and Raul my thanks. Fond regards to Carola, Carmen Rosa, Rene. Loving greetings and my thanks to all but especially to Mauricio and Joe -- kisses -- Papa

Amador Odio

27. La Fontaine, 249-50, citing Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2907.

28. La Fontaine, 250.

29. For a chronology of the Hill story, see John G. Fuller, The Interrupted Journey. Two online articles that I have found valuable in researching the La Fontaines' claims are UFOs: The Hill Abduction (based exclusively upon Fuller) and Betty and Barney Hill's Alien Encounter (based upon Fuller and several secondary sources). The latter article is more specific about certain details of the story's evolution, but also uncritically conflates "recovered" memories with the Hill's contemporaneous observations in a way that does not allow the reader to distinguish between the two.

Other relevant online articles of interest include a transcript of NOVA: Kidnapped by UFOs?; Peter Brookesmith's recent Interview with Betty Hill; and C. Leigh Culver, Researching Alien Abductions.

30. For analysis of cultural influences upon the Hill's story, I highly recommend two online articles by Martin Kottmeyer: Entirely Unpredisposed: The Cultural Background of UFO Abduction Reports and The Eyes That Spoke.

31. See note 29. Readers who, like the La Fontaines, hold onetime New Orleans DA Jim Garrison in high esteem should compare the Hills' evolving story with that of Garrison's star witness Perry Raymond Russo.

32. The La Fontaines write:

Annie's statement to the FBI was strangely reminiscent of the poor Hills of New Hampshire, who were rounding a turn one night in 1961 and ended up being sperm- and egg-counted (or some such) ["[O]r some such"? -- DR.] by aliens -- who then rewarded the interracial couple for their good behavior by showing them a 'star map' of their true home. The Hill incident was followed by a gradually increasing number of reported abductions, all of which were characterized by supposedly forgotten alien abductions that were later 'retrieved' under hypnosis. The Hill case was interesting, however, in that it was not only the first of the pattern, but uniquely a dual abduction -- as, in a sense, the Silvia-Annie collaboration (unwitting on Annie's part) appeared to be.

"As skeptics explained the dynamics of the Hill phenomenon, Betty, the dominant personality, 'imprinted' a dreamed or otherwise mistaken perception on her younger and more passive husband. As their 'memory' of the event was refined through repeated discussions, neither was aware that it was Betty who was really telling the story, while Barney was only rephrasing it. (He remained convinced till his death in 1969 that he had undergone an alien experience.) Whether, like Barney, the helpful Ursuline student Annie was consciously or unconsciously led in her postassassination memory retrieval by the dominant personality of her dazzling twenty-six-year-old sister, Silvia (as Annie essentially admitted to the FBI), it is evidence that this partial presence of a second malleable witness does not provide the collaboration that Silvia's hallway claim requires. The claim remains today essentially a one-person account.

It would be interesting to see the La Fontaines apply this investigative methodology to their two star witnesses, John and Lindy Elrod. In 1963, John Elrod told the Dallas Police Department he was "unemployed, states he has been in Dallas for two weeks. Lost his job last week at El Fenix,"a restaurant owned by members of Elrod's family (La Fontaine, 28). In 1993, Elrod's brother Lindy told the La Fontaines that John Elrod "made a 180-degree turnaround and left me in the lurch -- never came back to his job" (Ibid., 39) -- a job where Elrod seems to have been retroactively awarded an extra week's attendance. (The La Fontaines do not state whether John Elrod quit his job in the middle of November 1963 or whether he was fired. The La Fontaines seem to be extremely cautious overall about releasing information on these two witnesses, both of whose whereabouts they keep secret -- ostensibly to protect the brothers' privacy. Of the interviews the La Fontaines videotaped of John and Lindy Elrod, only seconds -- literally -- have ever been shown to the public.)

In 1963, Elrod stated to the Dallas police that "he has been arrested for theft and DWI" (La Fontaine, 28). FBI records obtained later would also show an assault charge (Ibid., 18). The La Fontaines' 1996 book says that John Elrod was arrested twice for DWI, and that the case of theft that appears on Elrod's FBI record -- independent of Elrod's own admission to the DPD on November 22, 1963 -- "probably" refers to someone else entirely, a "James F. O. Elrod" (Ibid., 399 fn. 4). The La Fontaines do not explain why, in 1963, John Elrod would have admitted to this arrest if it had actually happened to someone else.

The La Fontaines state that following his release from the Dallas jail, John Elrod was so terrified over what he had allegedly overheard in his cell (which, according to the La Fontaines themselves, was "the kind of thing a man could get killed for just knowing" (La Fontaine, 41), that he "dropped out" and "returned to the safe obscurity of his mother's home" (Ibid., 41) Brother Lindy says, "He went home to mama" (Ibid.). But less than a year later, Elrod was living in Memphis, Tennessee -- not in his Arkansas hometown, where his parents still lived (Ibid., see also FBI Report of August 11, 1964), nor on Mississippi River island, north of Memphis, where he is said to reside today (Ibid., 15). Elrod was separated from his wife Jackie (Ibid.), staying in "Harbor House, a Memphis home for alcoholics" (Ibid.) and employed as a cook (FBI Report of August 11, 1964).

Interestingly, researcher David Perry notes that the Texas Attorney General's file on the Elrod case (Folio 21454) contains what appear to be notes made by Ned Butler of the Attorney General's office. One note referencing John Elrod states, "Elrod says [presumably referring to Lawrence Miller and Donnell Darius Whitter] they got money from Ruby." There is no indication that this information came from the President's accused assassin, or that Oswald was Elrod's cellmate (David B. Perry, "A Few Words from an "Amateur Sleuth").

Most significantly, John Elrod told the La Fontaines in 1993, "I was in a cell with Oswald" (Transcript, Hard Copy, November 16, 1993) and Lindy Elrod told the La Fontaines that "John told me that day [the day he was released from jail] he was in the same cell with Lee Harvey Oswald, and that he knew Oswald didn't kill Kennedy" (La Fontaine, 39).

However, according to Alton C. Gilless of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, on August 11, 1964, John Elrod approached him with "information concerning the murder of Lee Oswald" (Ibid., 39, emphasis added), and according to Shelby County Sheriff's Capt. R. G. McEllroy tells FBI agent Joseph M. Brewi that Elrod "claimed he had information re the death of Oswald . . ." (Robert Harris, Newsgroup post of May 27, 1999, emphasis added) When Elrod was interviewed that evening by the FBI on 8-11-64, their report mentions Jack Ruby's name four times, does not mention Lee Oswald (except in reference to his murder by Jack Ruby), and states several times that Elrod could not identify the cellmate from whom he'd allegedly heard about Ruby (FBI Report of August 11, 1964).

John Elrod states that when Oswald got killed, "It scared the hell out of me. Because I knew Jack Ruby" (Transcript, Hard Copy, November 16, 1993).

The above contradictions have never been addressed by Ray and Mary La Fontaine, who do not state at any point in their book why they find John and Lindy Elrod to be more credible than Silvia and Annie Odio.

33. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

"That the Silvia Odio story is a deliberate invention and not a confusion in her mind is apparent from a later lie" that the La Fontaines allege Odio told Father Walter Machann (La Fontaine, 251).

Machann believed that Odio had identified one of the men with Oswald as Rogelio "Eugenio" Cisneros (Ibid., 254), which Odio, of course, denies (Ibid., 256). Odio claimed to have specifically asked the men if they had been referred to her by Cisneros (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 375); she pointed out that Machann probably confused the names. Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebeler concurred, writing of an early draft of the Warren Commission Report, "The story of Father McGhann (sp?) [sic] is overemphasized. We should state that Odio never told anyone else that Eugenio had been one of the men with Oswald. How can we conclude that McGhann [sic] would not have become confused, when he was apparently in a rest home of some sort and we have never seen or spoken with him? . . . Odio may well be right. The Commission will look bad if it turns out that she is. There is no need to look foolish grasping at straws to avoid admitting there is a problem" (JFK Exhibit No. 37: Memorandum of Wesley Liebeler, September 14, 1964, House Select Committee Hearings Vol. XI, 237).

Odio had told Machann of Oswald and the other two men in December 1963 (Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2943 [Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 402-5]).

In an FBI report of September 12, 1964, Mrs. Robert D. Rogers stated that she had known Silvia about a year, and called her "a truthful person, who is not believed to be the type who would make up a story to impress others of her importance. Mrs. Rogers stated she has never known Miss Odio to lie to her about anything" (Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2390 [Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXV, 369]).

In an October 8, 1994, interview conducted by the South Florida Researcher Group, Fonzi stated, "I spent an awful lot of time, of course, with Silvia Odio, questioning and re-questioning her. Not only myself, but other investigators and attorneys for the Committee. And came to the conclusion that she is totally credible. . . . All the evidence that we came up went towards Silvia Odio's credibility." Click here to read the full interview.

34. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

35. La Fontaine, 261-2.

36. Why exactly would Lee Harvey Oswald want to 'pin' something like the assassination on "Castro's agents"? Don't the La Fontaines specifically state that Oswald was pro-Castro himself? (cf. La Fontaine, 181-3)

37. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

38. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

39. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

40. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

41. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

42. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10. In a personal e-mail of December 7, 1999, Steve Bochan affirmed that this characterization of Mr. Winslow's reaction is accurate. (I would never want to be accused of distorting the facts.)

43. Steve Bochan, Personal interview with Gaeton Fonzi, April 27, 1996; see note 10.

44. How could Oswald -- how could anyone -- have gotten so deeply involved with such a group in Dallas in such a short time? The La Fontaines theorize that he was working with the DRE prior to this time, in New Orleans. But if this group in New Orleans and Dallas was setting Oswald up as a "patsy," isn't it a bit strange that Oswald left New Orleans a few days prior to the White House's announcement that President Kennedy would visit Dallas in November? (Warren Commission Report, 40) Is it just a coincidence that he ended up in Dallas, of all places?

45. La Fontaine, 276. According to Marianne (Kennedy Ripples) Sullivan, Sarita Odio had been involved with a group called the "directorate." If Sullivan's memory is accurate, this could well be the DRE -- but where's the proof? The dust jacket of Oswald Talked claims that the book differs from the other "probably several hundred books" on the Kennedy assassination because "it is one of only a handful written by serious journalists." Is this how "serious journalists" distinguish themselves from all the "buffs" (La Fontaine, 148) -- with sheer speculation?

46. La Fontaine, 276.

47. La Fontaine, dust jacket.

48. See note 37.

49. La Fontaine, 275, citing Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

50. See the House Select Committee on Assassinations' individual reports on the DRE and JURE (House Select Committee Hearings Vol. X, 266-323). The JURE was also pretty "militantly with-it" in its own right. Steve Bochan's research has uncovered that the Junta was planning its own invasion of Cuba, slated for November 23, 1963. As Bochan notes, something must have changed their plans.

51. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 371.

52. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 371.

53. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2390 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXV, 371).

54. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2390 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXV, 371).

55. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2390 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXV, 371).

56. Divorced: Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 374; House Select Committee Hearings Vol. IV, 477.

When precisely were these alleged meetings held, anyway? Oswald's weekdays, weeknights, and weekends seem to be fairly well accounted for (Warren Commission Report, 738-40; Warren Commission Hearings Vols. I, 50, 52, 53, 55, 58; II, 388, 390, 505-6, 509, 512, 513-7; III, 27-49, 217; VI, 437; X, 296, Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2883 [Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 339]). For an intriguing alternative view, however, see Gus Russo, Live by the Sword, 268-9.

57. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 369. When Odio was asked why she thought these three men had chosen her in particular to visit, she said they had claimed it was because they knew her father: "They knew him and wanted to help me, and knew I belonged to JURE and all this" (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 379).

58. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 369. Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

59. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 369. Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

60. Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

61. See Steve Bochan's analysis of the Odio story.

62. Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

63. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 375.

64. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 372. In addition to having her hands full as a single mother with four children, Odio also confided to Father Walter Machann that she was trying to keep her distance from JURE for the time being "because the position of her parents in Castro's prison was very precarious" (Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2943 [Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 402-5]). Her loyalty remained with the organization, however (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 371).

65. Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2943 (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XXVI, 402-5).

66. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 375.

67. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 375.

68. La Fontaine, 241-2.

69. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

70. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

71. La Fontaine, 274-5.

72. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

73. Odio believed she had met Bringuier in Cuba, not in the US (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378).

74. La Fontaine, 274.

75. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

76. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378. Unsurprisingly, the La Fontaines make much of the fact that, twelve years later, Silvia did not recall her uncle's involvement with Bringuier (La Fontaine, 275). "Apparently," they write, "having forgotten what she told Liebeler, Silvia wanted to distance herself from Bringuier and the DRE as much as possible" (Ibid.). Even in 1964, however, she wasn't positive which family member had told her about the Canal Street incident. ("I think it was my uncle," she had testified [Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378].) What reason could Odio possibly have for lying about this in 1976, when she hadn't seen fit to do so in 1964?

77. For discussions of just some of the other problems with the La Fontaines' theory, please see this article by Dave Perry, my own Garrison Ripples, and other articles at John McAdams' Oswald Talked Web page.

78. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378.

79. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 378-9.

80. Odio wasn't even certain what group Salvat was affiliated with:

Mrs. ODIO. If I have heard something about him, it has been attached to some organization.

Mr. LIEBELER. You don't remember which one?

Mrs. ODIO. No.

Mr. LIEBELER. Would it be the DRE?

Mrs. ODIO. I can't say for sure (Warren Commission Hearings Vol. XI, 379).

Juan Manuel "Gordo" Salvat Roque was the leader of the DRE, based in Miami (House Select Committee Hearings Vol. X, 85; see also New York Times, August 27, 1962, cited in A. J. Weberman Web site).

81. House Select Committee Hearings Vol. IV, 477.

82. Gaeton Fonzi, Interview of Silvia Odio, January 16, 1976.

83. Steve Bochan, Interview with Gaeton Fonzi of April 26, 1996; see note 10.

84. Steve Bochan, Interview with Gaeton Fonzi of April 26, 1996; see note 10.

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