On September 2, 1963, Loran Hall was arrested for violations of the Neutrality Act at Key Largo, Florida. Upon his release, Loran Hall visited the offices of the Cuban Revolutionary Council in Miami and protested his arrest. HEMMING told this researcher: "There was no Cuban Revolutionary Council office anymore. They didn't pay the rent. They're off the payroll in 1963." Loran Hall flew to Los Angeles on September 4, 1963. On September 11, 1963, he was joined in Los Angeles by LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Castro, who had driven in together from Miami. HEMMING 1994: "Celio was 71 at the time. He had a bad leg from the Machado revolution. He acted like he was 40. He was a stoned cold motherfucker." Stanley Drennan donated medical equipment and arms to Loran Hall for use against Castro. [Garrison interview with Hall 5.6.68]
When Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Castro left Los Angeles for Dallas around September 18, 1963, they stopped at the offices of Private Investigator and soldier-of-fortune Dick Hathcock. The FBI:
To: SAC Los Angeles (89-75)
From S.A. Jerome K. Crowe
Date November 23, 1963.
Subject: Assassination of President Kennedy.
Re: Memo of Robert H. Matheson, Jr. dated November 23, 1963.
Richard Hathcock, Allied International Detectives, Suite 310, 6605 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, advised Roy Payne is his associate in the above enterprise. Hathcock advised as follows: He, Hathcock, has known one Dick Whatley for several years. Whatley, to the best of Hathcock's information, currently resides at 3350 NW 18th Terrace Miami, Florida,, Whatley is a male Caucasian.
Prior to Hathcock's present occupation, he was the proprietor of Adventurers Corner, a shop at the corner of Sunset and La Brea, which sold articles from all over the world, and was an unofficial gathering place for adventurers in this area.
Shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, Whatley, who Hathcock had not seen for some time, came into the Adventurers Corner and gave Hathcock a shoulder patch that had a skull and crossbones on it plus the words 'Brigada Internationale.' Whatley told Hathcock that he had been in Guatemala instructing troops down there, and that he had pulled out a week or two prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and hadn't participated in the invasion. Hathcock did not see Whatley again until about 7 or 8 months ago when he came to Hathcock's office with two other men, all three of whom were wearing green fatigues and one of the men was wearing a 'Mohawk' hair cut. The men were interested in getting into the wild animal business, and asked Hathcock where they could get some wild animals.
Approximately one year ago, JERRY PATRICK, whose true name is JERRY HEMMING, a male Caucasian, approximately 30 to 31, 6' 4", 230 pounds, well built, curly brown hair, handsome, and Lorenzo Pascillo, aka Lorenzo Hall and Skip Hall, a male Caucasian, 35 to 40 years old, 5' 11", 175 to 180 pounds, black hair, mustache, ruddy complexion from Wichita, Kansas, came into Hathcock's office which was then located at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. stating that they were broke and that they knew Dick Whatley, and Whatley had sent them to him. They had with them a set of golf clubs, and a 30-06 Johnson semi-automatic with a Bushnell, variable powered scope. Hathcock loaned them $100 - $50 on each item and it was his understanding that they were to pick up the articles as soon as possible. Hathcock only saw JERRY PATRICK once after that and that was approximately one week later when he came to his office.
Several months ago, since the men did not retrieve the articles, Hathcock sold the golf clubs. On September 18, 1963, Lorenzo Hall came in with $50 and retrieved the rifle. Shortly thereafter Hathcock received a telephone call from JERRY PATRICK, who was then residing at 2450 N.W. North River Drive, Miami, Florida, inquiring as to whether Hathcock still had the rife. Hathcock told him he had given the rifle to Hall for $50 and this seemed to irritate PATRICK to some extent. Since then Hathcock has sent the receipt he received from Hall for the $50 to PATRICK to convince him he had returned the rifle.
On the day Hall retrieved the rifle, he sold him a Bolex Motion Picture Camera with telephoto lens which was then the property of Hathcock. Hall paid by two checks - one drawn on the Citizen's Bank on the account of the Committee to Free Cuba in the amount of $350 and another in the amount of $150 on the account of a resident of La Habra. Hathcock gave Hall back $100.
Hathcock advised that PATRICK and Hall are violently anti-Communist and anti-Castro and they both told him they fought in the mountains with Castro in Cuba, however, fell out with him after the revolution. Lorenzo told Hathcock he spent seven months in prison in Cuba, however, he eventually got back to the United States. PATRICK stated he fell out with Castro and eventually got back to the United States.(Hathcock has Xerox copies of newspaper articles from Florida in his office concerning the anti-Castro troops training there and PATRICK'S picture appears as one of the anti-Castro troops).
PATRICK, when in Los Angeles, had an address of 1209 South Atlantic, Alhambra, California, (Atlantic Radio and T.V.) and an address in care of Howard K. Davis in Miami. It is Hathcock's information that Davis was Castro's personal pilot, and a close friend of Dick Whatley. Lorenzo Hall now resides at 1191 College View Drive, Monterey Park, California, and Hathcock does not know where he is now employed. He last saw Hall about two weeks ago when he came by Hathcock's office to simply talk. Hathcock reiterated that both men are anti-Communist and very strongly anti-Castro.
On March 9, 1977, Hathcock recalled:
"About two months before the John Kennedy assassination in Dallas, two men came to see me in my office. One was GERRY PATRICK HEMMING who was using the name JERRY PATRICK. The other man was Lorenzo Hall, who liked to be called Skip Hall, whose real name was Pacillio, which I understand is a Cuban name. These men came to see me one afternoon, stating that they had heard of me because of my many years of undercover investigation of communism on the state college campuses here, when I worked for the Hearst chain, and some other activities, anti-Communist activities I had been involved in. They were here, they told me, to raise money with which to buy medicines and equipment, military hardware for a planned invasion of Cuba. That they were going to train troops in Guatemala, which they actually did later. They told me that they were dead broke, and that they were going to be here for two or three weeks, they had some other contacts they wanted to see, raise money, but meantime they needed $100. They wanted to borrow the $100 and what they had for security was a set of golf clubs and a rifle which was a 30 caliber Johnson, modified to semi-automatic operation, which I believed held nine rounds, and was also equipped with a Bushnell, variable scope. I gave them the $100 and they left the golf clubs and rifle. For several weeks after that, I saw both men frequently, then my understanding was that JERRY PATRICK returned to Miami to set things in operation down there for the planned invasion of Cuba. What they had planned essentially was to blow up some oil storage tanks on the west coast. Lorenzo Hall stayed here, and was in the private eye office very often, almost every day. He told me that both he and PATRICK had originally been in Castro's Army when they believed that he was trying to free Cuba from Batista, found out he was a communist, had no interest in the people, and they turned on Castro with the result with the result that both were imprisoned, and sentenced to be shot. Both, through manipulations and through friends, managed to escape and get to this country. They showed me lots of photos, gave me documents and I do believe they told me about those things. Eventually, as I say, PATRICK went back to Miami and I did not see him after that. Shortly before the assassination, if memory serves me correctly, it was no more than ten days before the assassination, Skip Hall and a big, fat Mexican man whom I'd never seen before, and whose name I don't recall at this time, but I'm sure the FBI has it, came to see me, told me they were going to Dallas to pick up some medicines and some other material, they wanted to redeem the rifle. They gave me $50, told me to keep the golf clubs, I got a note signed by Skip Hall that he had picked-up the rifle, which I later gave to Jerry Crowe of the FBI...Skip Hall later told me he had turned the rifle over to a doctor friend of his in Miami, Florida. JERRY PATRICK told me later that was a damn lie, that he had talked to Hall, and as far as he could find out that was a lie about where the rifle was. But he told me he had never recovered the rifle. The rifle was in my office all those weeks, and one of the gentlemen who worked with me in the detective business, Roy Payne, who is a gun expert and gun nut assembled and disassembled and reassembled that rifle on numerous occasions. And I'm sure Mr. Payne can tell you a great deal more about that rifle then I can. The day after John Kennedy was killed in Dallas, I received a phone call from Jerry Crowe, an FBI agent here in Los Angeles, who asked me if I had an agent working for me who was named Roy Payne and I said yes. Jerry wanted to know if he could come by the office and see me and Mr. Payne, and we arranged for that meeting. It's my opinion that the reason he wanted to see Mr. Payne was because Payne's fingerprints undoubtedly were all over that rifle from his having handled it so many time. It's also my opinion that, unless that particular rifle had been found or in some way involved in the whole thing, that the FBI would have no interest in it...My name is LeRoy Barton Payne. I have heard and have listened to Mr. Hathcock make his statement and I agree with him in every aspect of his statement and I will, to the best of my recollection, account my experiences with JERRY PATRICK and Lorenzo Hall...They were here on a speaking and fund raising campaign for going back to Cuba, and, as I remember, they were out gathering various types of military accouterments, weapons, medicines. How they obtained these weapons was not part of the information given to Mr. Hathcock or myself. Lorenzo Hall did tell me that he had his closet in his apartment full of weapons, and that he was afraid the FBI was going to come in there and raid the place and take him along, and they were going to have to smuggle them out, and that they were getting ready to go back to Cuba. He drew us a map of an inlet on the shore south of Havana, or near Havana, that was the oil storage reservoir and tank farm. It showed on this map the tank farm and several storage docks, and what they had planned on doing was taking a boat to Kingston, Jamaica, refueling, and then going in as frogmen to take satchel charges of plastic explosives and set them on the storage tank farm and the dock area and destroy this to cripple Cuba by getting rid of all the fuel, oil, gasoline etc. that was presently stored for Castro. About I would say, ten days, 15 days, maybe a month, somewhere along in there, prior to present Kennedy's assassination, here I am fuzzy on the exact period. But Lorenzo Hall and a fat Mexican fellow come and redeemed the rifle. Now this rifle I had been told that it would, it had gone on several Cuban raids in the past, and knowing that it is very easy to modify a weapon such as this to make it full automatic, and that it did have nine rounds in the chamber, nine rounds in the weapon and one in the chamber, making it ten rounds that could be fired automatically, I took the weapon and test fired it, and then pulled it apart to make sure it had not been tampered with. It had not and was a straight semi-automatic weapon. It was a Johnson semi-automatic 30.06, it had a 30 power variable Bushnell scope, very much like a telephoto lens on a camera. I would say that this weapon, properly sighted in would put a hole in a dime at 500 yards. The bullets would be fired as fast as one could pull the trigger. Ten seconds, ten rounds or less. They picked this weapon up, and signed a note that they had picked it up, as I was present in the office when these two gentlemen were there to pick the weapon up. Approximately the next day or two, they left for Miami, and I made the statement to his Lorenzo Hall, well, that we'll be reading about you in the paper. Well, Dick and I went about our business as normal as far as the Agency was concerned and didn't really think about them except to say, well, we hadn't heard anything. Five days prior to the assassination of President Kennedy Mr. Hall was in Hollywood, California, in front of our building, talking with Mr. Hathcock and I stopped and talked to them, and of course I said, well, why don't you come over and let's get a cup of coffee and tell us what happened, and he says, well no, I've got to make the plane for Dallas. The situation with Mr. Hall is that he stated to me when I asked him, well, you know, what happened during the situation, we didn't hear anything. He said that the CIA confiscated and arrested everybody at the boat in Miami, and I asked him at that time why he didn't get himself arrested also, and he said, well, he was on the dock and could not be connected with the situation. They didn't have any evidence against him. I'm going to make an assumption now, or a relatively educated assumption."
On November 23, 1963, S.A. Crowe interviewed Payne, who subsequently reported: "Mr. Crowe came in and I opened the door for him and he showed me his identification, he had a big bundle of papers with him in a large manila envelope...he put his bundle down on the chair in front of the desk and took some papers out and said, 'I would like to ask some questions about Skip Hall and Roy Payne,' and I said, well, 'I'm Roy Payne, why don't you ask me whatever you want to ask.' He seemed rather surprised I was there. At least that was the impression I got. We discussed the situation about what had occurred and what has gone on with GERRY PATRICK HEMMING and SKIP HALL, then I did not see him for some time after that. I did however find that the FBI, or someone, was, I can only make the assumption, following me, and did tail me for some months after that. I had a brother-in-law who was, and I am not correct with this, he is deceased now, and his name was Harvey Berkey, who was assistant agent in charge of the local field office for the FBI here. In asking, or making an attempt to ask ,Harvey what the heck was going on, Harvey refused to talk to me, and I could not gain entrance to his house, he would not answer the door, nor did his wife and children. There was one occasion, I did run into Harvey Berkey outside of my office with Mr. Hathcock, and he did not want to talk to me at all and excused himself and said he had to go. I did, within a week after the President's assassination have occasion to go to Palm Springs, I believe it was on a Thursday, and I stayed in a small motel upon entering in the town and about 3:00 a.m., I had occasion to see two gentlemen go through my vehicle pretty thoroughly, and they had keys to enter and to go through the car, they went through the glove compartment, I had evidence prior to that my vehicle had been entered and searched, as our offices, which had been moved...We had suite 310, which covered several rooms, and we did have a system to show if our offices had been entered, such as, seeing as we had the only keys, and our offices had been entered and the files had been searched several times. We feel, or I felt, that our telephone, both at home and the answering service for the office, had been tapped. This went on for several months. The next night, Saturday, after the assassination, I had to drive to Santa Maria, and was there overnight. There were three vehicles that followed my car up Pacific Coast Highway, all the way up to Santa Maria, and then again picked me up the next day when I went through several of the small towns in the rural area, and up to Highway 99, which is now I-5, and then coming back to the ridge root. The same Subject vehicles that had followed me the next day after the assassination were the same vehicles that I saw in Palm Springs for the, a week later, along with the same gentlemen that were in them. Like I say, this went on for quite some time, two to three months after the assassination. One afternoon, about ten days or two weeks after the assassination, I received a telephone call at the office from Lorenzo Hall. I said, 'Hey buddy, you better have a lot of witnesses, because you were in Dallas at the time of the assassination,' and he said 'I've got witnesses to prove I was right in the middle of the lobby of the Hilton Hotel, and a hundred people know I was there, and I was nowhere near where Kennedy was assassinated.' I have never heard from again the Lorenzo Hall. I did, on one occasion, go and drive out to visit with JERRY PATRICK HEMMING, who was living in Monterey Park. He discussed with me, at the time, turning over the rifle to them, and he didn't like the idea that the rifle went down there, since he felt it was his rifle and the golf clubs that were also hocked at that time of the original meeting were Hall's, and that the rifle was his and other than that conversation. I have never had any further contact with HEMMING." [Baxter Ward Affidavits 3.9.77 to Cong. Dodd] Richard Hathcock told Kenneth D. Klein that Loran Hall "came in and took the rifle, he was alone and said he was going to Dallas." [NARA HSCA 180-10102-10154 also see NARA FBI 124-10265-10288] In 1978 HEMMING told this researcher: "It was my weapon. We were short of money at the time and I told Hathcock, I said you know, you come up with some money but I want to leave some security and I don't feel like taking my weapon and shit back to Miami anyway, so I'll leave some gear for you. He said 'You don't have to do that. I said I'll do it because it would be more secure because some asshole ripped me off for my records - Saul from that McDonald book. Saul conned my relatives out of a lot of weapons. I trusted him, Dick Hathcock was on the Company [CIA] payroll anyway and he was anxious to know what was happening and all that shit so it was an entré - you just don't walk into somebody's door. It's always good to get in their debt a little bit - it's a technique - it allays their suspicions...Hathcock was into all the mob, Rosselli, Hollywood stars bullshit, and then he went to work for Channel Seven News, then for the guy that's county supervisor now, Baxter Ward. Roy Payne used to work for Hathcock. I met Roy Payne in the middle of the night in Santa Monica in 1967 and he was shitting all over himself. He says, 'They're either gonna get you or get me, or they're gonna get both of us? I don't know why.' I said: 'Who's your girlfriend Roy?' 'Maria Cellini.' That's Dino Cellini's sister. That's why they are going to kill you. They think you know too much about Dallas. You got the wrong girlfriend, kid. Go to Mexico."
HEMMING stated in 1994: "The gun was not in pawn. It was in Dick Hathcock's private possession. The excuse to get the weapons out of the car, was to leave them with Hathcock, for a $50 loan. I didn't want the weapons in the fucking car. We'd been busted at No Name Key. You can't carry weapons when you're under indictment. I didn't want to be set up on a weapons charge, so I had to make sure there was no goddamned weapons in the car."
HEMMING stated the Committee to Free Cuba was a private citizens group of which Representative John Rousselot was a member: "My uncle managed his campaign." Loran Hall stated that the Committee to Free Cuba was "headed up by Dr. - I don't remember his name now - anyway it was good guys that had Philbrick on the committee." [Misc. References: HUNT Undercover p141; 9.15.64 teletype from Dallas; USSS 100-10,461 3-P; WCD 1179; FBI Analysis of William Turner's 1.68 Ramparts article.] A CIA Memorandum for the Record, SUBJECT, Richard Hathcock, stated: "Information concerning the above Subject can be found in a report dated January 9, 1968, Subject, Loran Eugene Hall, and enclosure number 14, CI Staff, (regarding GERALD PATRICK HEMMING, Jr. of a (deleted) memorandum dated August 7, 1967. (Deleted)" [CIA 19733]
After Loran Hall redeemed HEMMING'S rifle from Dick Hathcock on September 18, 1963, Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro drove to Dallas pulling a trailer load of weapons and medicine. They arrived in Dallas on September 28, 1963, and registered at the Lawnview Motel. On October 5, 1964, the FBI determined that Hall telephoned Lester Logue or his secretary, Gloria Kouthart. Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro visited Gloria Kouthart who HEMMING said would be helpful in fund raising. Wiley G. Yates of Dallas, Texas, reported: "In September 1963 Mr. Hall once more appeared at my home in Mesquite. My wife was quite surprised to see him since we had no contact with him since he left earlier in the summer and since he came during the day while I was at work and completely unannounced. This visit occurred during the week of September 23, 1963, to September 28, 1963...At this time Hall was accompanied by a large burly looking Latin American man. Both Hall and the man who accompanied him had full beards. Hall said that he wanted to talk to me and would contact me. Hall called me at work and asked me to meet him at the Dallas motel where he was staying, which I agreed to do. I called Hall at the motel and told him that I would be at home that evening, and that he could come over if he wanted to see me. Later that evening he came to my home, accompanied by the large burly Latin-man of that afternoon, and other small Latin-American appearing man, who according to Hall, spoke no English. Both of his companions were as unkept in appearance as Hall and were supposedly Cuban exiles who were training for the Cuban invasion...I want to make it clear that none of these three men in any way resembled OSWALD...I do not think that it could have possibly been the same man that accompanied the other two men to the Odio apartment from the description that Mrs. Odio has given. Hall did not introduce his two companions except to identify them as Cuban exiles."
Loran Hall also telephoned Robert Morris from his motel room. HEMMING had suggested Loran Hall call Robert Morris for a donation. [FBI DL 100-10461 10.8.64 Richard J. Burnett] Loran Hall told Jim Garrison:
Q. Who took you to Robert Morris?
A. PATRICK. PATRICK knew right where to go. In fact he called him on the phone and we went right up there. And he says something about, well, would you like to meet General Walker, or something like this and PATRICK says yes, this is one of the fellows we want to see.
HEMMING 1994: "Loran Hall went there to get some money from Lester Logue. Hall was visiting people behind my back. LARRY HOWARD had a falling out with Hall about this. I didn't suggest Loran Hall call Robert Morris. He did it behind my back. I only introduced him to Logue, and here he is, a month later, contacting my Dallas people and knowing everything about them. Logue gets nervous. I told Logue, 'Give the son-of-a-bitch a few bucks, get rid of his ass, he may be working for the FBI trying to set us all up.' We'd been warned months before that Hoover was after our ass with a passion." Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro left their trailer load of arms in Dallas, and left by bus for Miami on October 4, 1963. From Miami Hall drove back to Dallas with William Houston Seymour to pick up the trailer load of arms and medicine he had left there. They arrived in Dallas on October 12, 1963, and checked into the same YMCA where OSWALD had stayed on October 3, 1963. Wiley Yates reported: "Sometime later, in October, Hall once more visited my home and pleaded with me to give him what supplies I might have. On this visit he was accompanied by a Caucasian male, who much more closely resembled OSWALD, than his companions of his previous visit. They stayed for only a few minutes so positive identification would be impossible. This is the last time that I saw Hall...Enclosed you will also find a copy of a letter from GERRY PATRICK HEMMING to Mr. Wally Welch, which came into my possession during this time, and which describes the activities in Florida." On October 17, 1963, just before Loran Hall and William Houston Seymour left Dallas, they were arrested for possession of dangerous drugs. William Houston Seymour believed that the Dallas Police Department mistook Loran Hall for a beatnik because of his beard, and stopped and searched him on that basis. Loran Hall: "HEMMING tipped off the cops...I was being set up for the Kennedy killing. Not as a conspirator or a patsy, but as a smoke screen. My arrest was for the records. To show that Loran Hall was in Dallas just before the President was killed. Anyone investigating the assassination would come up with my name and figure this guy might have a reason for the killing because Kennedy didn't back the anti-Castro movement. They would waste time investigating me while the real killers covered their tracks." [Interview with Harold Weisberg; National Enquirer 9.1.68] HEMMING 1994: "They got caught driving a fucking trailer around with that asshole driving who gets tickets every fifteen fucking minutes." Loran Hall and William Houston Seymour left Dallas for the Florida Keys on October 19, 1963. Life Magazine reporter Tom Duncan interviewed Loran Hall in Florida: "Hall was in a sticky position due to barbiturates in his possession, although arms and ammunition were parked safely in trailer separated from vehicle. No charges made, and while no specific name mentioned as to who wielded influence, later heard from GERRY PATRICK HEMMING that Lester Logue, oilman, was responsible...Got to Miami and he stored the equipment and began looking for a boat...Hall finally made connection with Manuel Aguilar, head of FRAC (Frente Revolutionaria Anti-Communist), for use of Aguilar's boat, the Pitusa." Tom Duncan recalled that Loran Hall and Manuel Aguilar departed: "around nightfall on Tuesday, October 29, 1963...Earlier, Hall, Aguilar, Howard and Seymour and I had driven to launch site suggested by Aguilar...Hall suggested use of my car to tow the boat, with no weaponry. To avoid debate, I agreed. I drove Aguilar's car." The mission was aborted because Hall had been stopped by Caesar Diosdado of the United States Customs Service. [Ltr. To Gordon Winslow 9.15.74 from Tom Duncan] On October 31, 1963, Hall was arrested for the illegal possession of arms. HEMMING told this researcher: "They had the Johnson, a couple of Carcanos, a Springfield, two M-1 Gerands and a couple of fucking carbines." On November 1, 1963, HEMMING filed a complaint with the Miami Police Department that read: City of Miami, Florida
To: C.H. Sapp, Det. Sgt. Intelligence Unit
From G. Zenoz, Policeman 1/c Intelligence Unit.
Date November 1, 1963.
JERRY PATRICK 2450 N.W. North River Drive, Apartment K. As instructed by Det. Sgt. Sapp I met above Subject at 201 S.W. 21st Court Apt. #2. Subject stated that one man, Loran Hall, stole two rifles from his apartment last night. One rifle being a Jungle Carbine #R5841; the other being a Savage 22 rifle with a scope. Hall was seen as he left the Subject's apartment carrying two rifles. Recently, in California, Loran Hall stole a Johnson 30-06 rifle from this Subject. Hall is staying with Cuban Manuel Aguilar at 829 S.W. 9th Ave, 373-3829.
HEMMING told this researcher: "Hall bullshitted Hathcock that he was going to deliver it to me." Loran Hall, weary of constant harassment from various Federal Agents, returned to Los Angeles on November 10, 1963, and retired from the anti-Castro struggle.
On November 23, 1963, Sid Marks, a FBI Potential Criminal Informant and Private Investigator from Gardena, California, advised FBI S.A. Robert Matheson that "about 30 days ago or a little more he was in the private detective office of Dick Hathcock and an associate of Dick Hathcock's, Roy Payne, described as White Male American, 6', 210 pounds, shaved bald head, was there and prior to going out asked source if a fellow came in to get a rifle and $50 from him. An individual named Skip came in and got a high powered rifle which source, who is not familiar with weapons, advises looks identical to one he saw on T.V. today. Skip is described as Mexican male, white, 6' age 40 to 45, slender, and a loud mouth. Source says that Payne and Skip are anti-Kennedy and pro-Castro from remarks. Says nothing else available regarding Skip Payne was ambulance driver for the Los Angeles Police Department." [FBI 62-109060-7815; NARA FBI 124-10066-10042, 10043, 10044]
HEMMING 1994: "Hathcock was lying about when he first met Whatley. He knew Richard Whatley when Whatley was doing movie work. This was in the 1950's. He worked at a place called Nature's Haven. That cross-eyed lion, that was his cat. That's where he first met Dick Hathcock, because Hathcock did all the star's bullshit, for the movie stars. The CIA used him as an informant. Whatley started out on the Cuban scene working for STURGIS. After Bay of Pigs, he got jobs for some of the people in the team who worked with STURGIS."
Dick Hathcock told the FBI that Loran Hall or HEMMING were unknown to him prior to this meeting. When Gaeton Fonzi questioned him in 1976 he said: "It was through HEMMING and Loran Hall that I met Richard Whatley." Gaeton Fonzi asked, "You met HEMMING and Loran Hall prior to knowing Richard Whatley?" He said, "Oh yeah, sure. I'm positive about that."
HEMMING told this researcher: "I had met Hathcock a couple of times talking about some other business, and then, when it was time to go down the road, Hall didn't have any fucking money for the car. Hall is talking about visiting with SANTOS, and I figured this guy is going to show up in Miami either fucking way, so I better keep a short leach on this son-of-a-bitch. So I introduced him to Hathcock." HEMMING stated that he recovered the weapon from Dr. Crockett of Miami in January 1964. HEMMING told this researcher: "Hall never knew the trailer was in Miami. He and William Houston Seymour traveled to Miami from Dallas by Greyhound bus. Loran Hall was back in Dallas two days before the assassination talking to Lester Logue. Hall was in Dallas on November 22, 1963."
The Dallas FBI ordered the Los Angeles FBI to "show charges fully resolved." [FBI Dallas 89-43-4096] The Los Angeles FBI created a Letter Head Memorandum. After it was approved by William C. Sullivan, it was sent to Dallas and Miami. When the FBI turned over its Kennedy assassination documents to the Warren Commission, the Letter Head Memorandum was rewritten, and filed with crank reports. Warren Commission Document 1179 concluded: "No further investigation was conducted as it is obvious that the rifle mentioned above was not used in connection with the Kennedy assassination."
HEMMING instructed Loran Hall to take a rifle, with a scope sight, out of pawn just before the assassination and bring it to Dallas because he was setting Loran Hall up as an alternate patsy. HEMMING told this researcher: "Not likely. Loran Hall couldn't shoot fucking straight. He could even fucking talk straight. This guy is a snitch for more than one fucking agency." Had HEMMING filed the police report so that it would be discovered after the assassination? HEMMING told this researcher: "Well, it was kind of known before the assassination, so that would preclude using that rifle, wouldn't it? If a warrant is sworn out for somebody, and a rifle is identified, it's not likely somebody is going to run around using that tool. The weapon was never registered or identified with me anyway. I told the Miami City Police that he stole it in Miami. He brought it, in his possession, to Miami. He had stolen property in his possession within the Miami City limits. I was trying to get him busted with that rifle. We thought about beating the shit out of him, but it would have been a fucking shoot out. They were laying in wait for us. Loran Hall was a snitch for the Los Angeles FBI. Hall tried to snitch me out in 1959 when I went back to Los Angeles. After my father died in January 1963, Hall shows up at my mother's new house before I got the address. He said he wanted to get involved. We drove back to Miami together. Did an interview with Bill Stuckey. Stayed at STURGIS' buddy's place in Dallas - Wally Welch. Hall went to Tampa, without my knowledge, and started dealing with TRAFFICANTE after he arrived in Miami with me. Then came back and was dealing with STURGIS. He's hooked up with a guy named Manuel Aguilar, a Castro agent. He's got a safehouse and he's out recruiting my people. I wondered 'What the fuck is going on here?'"
HEMMING tried to put this researcher into one of his patsy scenarios. He offered to drive me to a university laboratory where one could allegedly construct a homemade atomic bomb. HEMMING 1994: "You were going to meet Cokie Zimiri. He was looking for some critical mass summaries at the time. He'd explain how he was going set up a nuclear device. I was not trying to set you up. He wanted to tell the press how it was possible to set up a nuclear device. He was an inventor and a physicist."
In April 1976 HEMMING was asked by Dick Russell during an interview for Argosy Magazine: "You told the Senate investigators that Loran Hall was somehow involved."
HEMMING: Yes, on the day of the assassination, I made a call from Miami to Texas. And I pointedly asked, 'Is Lorenzo Hall in Dallas?' I made the call about 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. He was there. My contact had seen him in Dallas the day before.
Russell: Why were you suspicious of Loran Hall?
HEMMING: Because he left Miami with the stated intent to kill Kennedy. He had my weapon, a Johnson 30-06 breakdown rifle with a scope on it, that had been prepared for the Bay of Pigs. I'd left it with a private investigator who had previously worked under Agency auspices on the West Coast. Hall got the weapon when we ran short of funds on a return trip from L.A. to Florida, and we ended up using Hall's car.
Russell: You were working closely with Hall?
HEMMING: He came to work with our group in 1963. Then he ran afoul with some people and immediately went to work with a group that I thought was infiltrated by Castro's agents. Hall ignored this. He siphoned off a couple of people who had worked with me in the past, and started organizing his own operation with FRANK STURGIS and some other guys...He knew how to do the job...But I think someone was trying to put him there so he would be one of the patsies."
HEMMING 1994: "After the thing went down, I called Lester Logue. Lester, having been a big guy in Republican politics, started making calls. I said, 'Did Loran show up there?' Logue says, 'Yeah, he was here yesterday.' I said, 'That son-of-a-bitch has got my fucking rifle, I don't know if he's part of this shit. If he shows up on your doorstep blow his fucking head off, cause he's come to kill you.' Hall could have ended up in the fuckin' school book depository himself. He was another fuckin' OSWALD being led down the path. Being put into position where he could have taken a fall. A fall guy."
HEMMING told the HSCA that people around Lester Logue suggested that President John F. Kennedy should be assassinated and that the same group came to Miami and made a similar offer to Alpha-66. HEMMING told this researcher: "Totally wrong. I met Logue through Robert Morris. He was chairman of the Republican Party Committee, and a personal friend of NIXON. He was an oil geologist. You don't have Lester plotting and scheming to take out anybody. Not that he didn't say something like that now and then. It's not my testimony. I wore a goddamn wire, [when I testified before the HSCA] you simple fuck. The main person talking to Lester Logue was DeMohrenschildt. Lester had heard about OSWALD and had been told by other parties that this kid has a strange background. Lester made a couple of inquiries about OSWALD and they tell him 'He's okay.' I was in touch with Logue at the same time DeMohrenschildt was in touch with Logue. This was when DeMohrenschildt was in touch with OSWALD. Logue died while we were making the movie, JFK."
In December 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed Loran Hall to testify about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. California authorities quashed Jim Garrison's subpoena citing Loran Hall's alibi for November 22, 1963. Nevertheless, Loran Hall voluntarily appeared at Jim Garrison's office and conveyed that "other individuals had caused Loran Hall's name to be mentioned in the Warren Commission Report."
A CIA document stated:
1. On September 10, 1975, Ruth S. Taylor, DDO/LA/COG/CI, contacted the writer regarding the 201-file concerning Loran Eugene Hall temporarily held by writer. Taylor advised that DDO/DCD was making inquiry concerning Agency involvement with Hall. Taylor reviewed the 201 and the writer advised Taylor that she could alert DCD that the Office of Security, specifically the writer, has a file on Hall and could possibly assist DCD.
2. On September 10, 1975, Sean Ryan DCD/OSO, contacted the writer, advising that the FBI in Los Angeles had contacted the DCD in Los Angeles for information concerning any Agency affiliation with Hall. Apparently, Hall had contacted the FBI in Los Angeles and is to be interviewed by the on September 10, 1975, on an allegation made by Hall that he was a gunrunner for the Agency in the early 1960's. Ryan was completely unfamiliar with Hall's background and a short briefing was provided by this writer. DCD was alerted to their prior interest in Hall, the only known Agency connection, when he was of interest for debriefing relative to Cuban matters. DCD was further alerted to their prior interest in debriefings of a close associate of Hall in the early 1960's, GERALD PATRICK HEMMING. Ryan was also advised that HEMMING, in the early 1960's, was closely connected with FRANK STURGIS who has recently made unfounded claims of Agency involvement, specifically in connection with STURGIS's arrest as one of the Watergate burglars.
3. Loran Hall was one of the principals of New Orleans District Attorney James Garrison's investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Garrison placed Hall in Dallas, Texas, at the time of the Kennedy assassination, claiming that also Hall was one of the individuals who visited Sylvia Odio prior to the assassination. Odio had long claimed that one of the individuals with Hall was LEE HARVEY OSWALD. The Warren Commission chose to discount Odio's testimony, but her testimony has been one of the major basis of contention given by Warren Commission critics.
Jerry G. Brown,
Deputy Chief, Security Analysis Group.
Bruce Solie commented: "Suggest that the FBI liaison be advised. Office of Security would be interested in results of Loran Hall interview."
Loran Hall, interviewed by telephone in May 1977, stated:
Hall: Who's GERALD PATRICK HEMMING? Never heard of him. Who is he, some left-winger?
Weberman: He was with INTERPEN and the International Anti-Communist Brigade.
Hall: That's a Communist organization.
Weberman: The International Anti-Communist Brigade is a communist organization?
Hall: Yeah, I wouldn't know anybody like that. Anybody with a name like GERRY PATRICK HEMMING has either got to be a Communist or CIA.
Weberman: Well, I think this man was a dedicated anti-Communist.
Hall: Who? GERRY PATRICK HEMMING? If its the one I heard about he's CIA. I've got nothing to talk to you about. Anybody who associates with GERALD PATRICK HEMMING has either got to be CIA, FBI or an asshole. I got nothing to say. Hey, nobody is going to print anything I got to say, nobody. That's fine. I'm in no hurry to get my head blowed off. HEMMING is a CIA punk. I've known the son-of-a-bitch for fifteen years. He turned his own goddamned crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba. He has fingered me on my own goddamn deals and caused me to get arrested. Ah fuck. Hey man as it stand right now there's only two of us left alive. That's me and SANTO TRAFFICANTE as far as I'm concerned we're both going to stay alive because I ain't gonna say shit. I ain't gonna have some asshole come up to me and blow me away...The only thing I'm saying is that if any of you assholes come near me you better have a fuckin' army with you baby. Cause I got my shit together and I'll blow the first one of you motherfuckers away that even comes near me. That you can put in print.
The HSCA questioned Loran Hall about the statement he made during this conversation:
Tripplet: Have you ever made the statement to the effect that as of now there are only two of us left, that is me and SANTO TRAFFICANTE, as far as I am concerned we are both going to stay alive, because I am not going to say anything. Have you ever made a statement to that effect?
Hall: You have got the tape of it Mr. Tripplet, yes I did.
Tripplet: What did you refer to as far as there are only two of us left?
Hall: There was a meeting in New Orleans. I mean Miami that was to set up the Pawley-Bayo raid on Cuba. And of that meeting, to the best of my knowledge, there is just the two of us left alive.
Tripplet: Did that statement have any reference to the assassination of President Kennedy?
Hall: No it did not.
On June 8, 1977, Loran Hall told the HSCA: "I was in Monterey Park, California, and Los Angeles...On November 22, 1963, I called Mildred Hyatt to establish my whereabouts. She called me back. [I visited] IPCO Hospital Supply. I had made a statement to an FBI man in Dallas, probably within a month and half of the time the President was killed...something to the effect that someone ought to kick his ass or blow him away...In those days I really didn't give a damn about Kennedy. I testified under oath before Garrison...I then went to Sacramento to see Governor Reagan's aide, Mr. Meese...After the Garrison subpoena was served on me...I was on my way down to the attorney's office when I was forced off the canyon road...a few days later, it was New Years Eve, and I was hit in the arm with a needle and given infectious hepatitis. On the third time that someone had taken a socket wrench and removed three bolts off my steering column and I almost had a head on collision with a retainer wall as a result of that." When Loran Hall sought medical treatment, his doctor believed he was a heroin addict. Loran Hall told the CIA about these incidents. When asked if he ever received money from the Agency, he said that Sam Giancana had given him $20,000.
On June 24, 1963, the FBI generated a document, which was 95% withheld, on Rorke and the Cuban Revolutionary Council [FBI 105-107224; FBI 97-4623-NR 150 6.27.63] In August of 1963 a B-25 aircraft, Serial N9365-C, belonging to Geoffrey Sullivan and Alexander Rorke was spotted in Puerto Rico. In early September 1963 FRANK STURGIS, Alex Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan, were called into U. S. Customs headquarters and warned about the consequences of conducting any further raids on Cuba. Alexander Rorke told Paul Scott and Robert S. Allen that the Supervising Customs agents of Region II threatened him with fines and imprisonment if he continued helping the anti-Castro raiders. On September 14, 1963, W.R. Wannall sent a memo to William C. Sullivan, Subject, Cuban Raids: "Reference my memorandum September 14, 1963, concerning conference at office of (deleted) in order to coordinate by various U.S. agencies to curb illegal air raids over Cuba. Various steps by specified agencies were agreed on at the conference, all at curtailing raids." Rorke was mentioned in this document. When Alexander Rorke demanded to know who authorized these warnings, he was told: "It comes from the White House, from the President." Paul Scott and Robert S. Allen continued: "According to a high government source, this strong-arm crackdown on Alexander Rorke is a symbol of the new White House campaign to assure Premier Khrushchev that the U.S. will not permit [raids on Cuba]." The Border Patrol posted a 24-hour guard on Alexander Rorke's aircraft.
On September 16, 1963, the CIA reported: "STURGIS and Pedro de la Camera, Civilian aviator with U.S. pilot's license stated September 13, 1963, they willing to set up flight to Cuba with passenger aboard to drop Propaganda leaflets over Cuba. FIORINI'S flight would leave Florida at an altitude of 150 feet, enter Cuba through Matanzas Province, flying over Santa Clara and Caribbean, and then return to Florida. They stated they rent aircraft at $50 per hour at Opa Locka Airport. Aircraft can carry 600 pounds of cargo. FIORINI stated September 16, 1963, he was prepared to carry out offer to fly propaganda material to Cuba despite fact he had received a registered letter from U.S. authorities restricting him to the continental U.S. with a penalty of $25,000 and/or three years imprisonment for violations of that restriction. FIORINI asked $5,750 for overflying Santa Clara and Caribbean in Las Villas Provence, Cuba; $2,000 to be paid in advance and the balance upon completion of mission." [CIA CSCI 3/771,919]
On October 30, 1963, a CIA report was generated:
REPORT COVER SHEET Report No. (Deleted) 3962
FROM: JMWAVE October 30, 1963
REPORTING OFFICER (Deleted)
REPORTING OFFICER (Deleted) to (Deleted)
APPROVING OFFICER: (Deleted)
Background Data and Comments:
Source: September 20, 1963, (deleted) from (deleted). Despite fact FIORINI officially missing, believe this material should get at least (deleted) dissemination, for their information and completion of records. Ref. (Deleted) 3720.
COUNTRY: CUBA DATE OF REPORT OCTOBER 30, 1963
SUBJECT: Documents, Correspondence and Maps which were observed in a Briefcase Which was Determined to Belong to FRANK FIORINI.
DATE OF INFO: September 18, 1963.
PLACE AND DATE ACQ: United States, Miami, (September 20, 1963).
SOURCE: A member of a group of Cuban émigrés trained in the techniques of information collection. This group has provided useful reports for over two years. The information is from an individual who inadvertently came into possession of a briefcase, which upon being opened, was determined to belong to FRANK FIORINI.
1. The following papers, maps and documents were observed in a briefcase which was found by chance, and which was determined to belong to FRANK FIORINI when it was opened in an attempt to identify the owner.
a. Air Navigational Charts, published by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, United States Air Force, for the following areas:
(1) Bahama Islands JN 47 N, 5th Edition USAF Operational Navigation Chart.
(2) Gulf of Guacanayabo, ONC 586. Bahamas Islands, United Kingdom-Cuba.
(3) Chetunal Bay British Honduras, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, World Aeronautical Chart.
(4) Yucatan Channel 587 Cuban-Mexico.
(5) Hispaniola 648 Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico.
(6) Virgin Island 649 Caribbean Sea...
b. List of addresses and individuals (see attachment #1)
c. List of military equipment for what appears to be a 196 man unit (see attachment #2)
d. Certificate of incorporation of Anti-Communist Crusade Foundation, Inc. which was filed with the Secretary of the State of Florida, Tallahassee on June 12, 1961...
e. List of miscellaneous weapons and purchase. This was related to a card with the following information: LOXCO (Incorporated) Lauchli Ordnance Experimental Company Collinsville, Ill. Rich Lauchli DI- 4-3195. According to this card LOXCO would produce special machinery and do general machine work. (see attachment #4)
f. Copy of a letter from Robert K. Brown Box 387, Rte 3, Boulder, Colorado, dated June 30, 1960, addressed to Pedro Diaz Lanz in care of David Rosen, Biscayne Building, Miami, Florida. Brown claims to be a freelance journalist, who "was duped by Castro," spent several months in Cuba working part time for the Associated Press, and who, as of the date of the letter, was to contact anti-Castro movements and "help in any way possible." (see attachment #5)
The information contained in STURGIS' briefcase was sent to the FBI:
TO: Director FBI November 19 , 1963
Attention Mr. Sam Papich
FROM: Deputy Director (Plans)
SUBJECT: FRANK STURGIS, Documents, Correspondence and Maps which were Observed in a Briefcase.
1. The attached copies of maps, papers and documents were received by a representative of this Agency from an individual of undetermined reliability who inadvertently came into possession of a briefcase which, upon being opened in an effort to identify the owner, was determined to belong to FRANK STURGIS. The date of the information was September 18, 1963, and the following is a list of the contents of the briefcase:
SAS/CI (Deleted):pap (November 13, 1963)
Based On: (Deleted) October 30, 1963.
Source: (Deleted) Rpt DD-414 from (Deleted).
File No. (Deleted).
201-242. 256 (Deleted).
The attachments were withheld. On January 22, 1964, ANGLETON composed CSCI-3/779,505 which was transmitted to the Customs Commissioner. This communication failed to list the maps. It ended: "January 13, 1964, SAS/CI (Deleted)gdr Based on CSCI-3/778, 713 sent to FBI only and they requested we forward copies of above listed addresses to CSCI. File (Deleted)."
The CIA has not released the attachment to this document containing the names, telephone numbers and addresses of STURGIS' associates. HEMMING told this researcher: "He lost his briefcase just before the Alexander Rorke flight. The stubble bum clown lost it at North Perry Airport." STURGIS did not loose the briefcase, it was stolen from him by Cuban exiles on the instructions of someone in the CIA - JAMES ANGLETON.
On September 20, 1963, STURGIS, Alexander Rorke and William Johnson held a meeting about their next action. HUNT'S former attorney, Ellis Rubin, stated he witnessed Alexander Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan take off in a twin-engine aircraft on September 24, 1963. They had filed a flight-plan for Panama, but landed at Cozumel, south of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where they refueled and took off again at 7:30 p.m. They were never heard from again. Ellis Rubin observed he was the last person to see the men alive.
The FBI generated a report entitled INTERPEN, September 30, 1963, Miami, Florida. The first search and rescue expedition, organized by Ellis Rubin, departed on October 2, 1963, and returned on October 6, 1963. The FBI reported: "On October 20, 1963, (Deleted) said he had just returned from Cozumel, Mexico, Telucigalpa, Honduras; and Managua, Nicaragua. (Deleted) stated that he had determined Rorke's plane arrived at Cozumel at 7:00 p.m. September 24, 1963. At Cozumel, several people recalled there were three persons aboard, two of them clearly identified as Rorke and Sullivan and the third person was described as a Latin-appearing male, 5'10", fair complexion, and about 32 years old. The airplane was refueled, and took off at 8:00 p.m., ostensibly for Telucigalpa, Honduras. (Deleted) said he had ascertained that Rorke's plane had no life raft, life vests, and no Very Pistol; therefore speculated that if the aircraft was down at sea en route to Telucigalpa, there is no point in searching for the occupants of the plane. He said it was possible that the airplane might have gone down between La Cieba and Telucigalpa, in which case there would be the possibility that the occupants of the plane were still alive." [FBI 97-4123-158]
The second search party departed Miami on November 2, 1963:
FROM: USAMA GUATEMALA
FOR: ACSI AND AFNIN...FOR G-2
On November 4, 1963, at 1:00 p.m. local, a private acft owned and piloted by C.F. Bush, Hollywood, Florida, landed at Puerto Barrios Mip Base with following aboard: HEMMING, Howard K. Davis of Miami, Charles Collier, representative of insurance company in Dallas, Texas, Ivan Kay, attorney for Collier, Miami; Steve Justin Wilson and ROY HARGRAVES, Ralph Hernandez Nordase, whose professed occupations were parachutists and Allan Kennedy, student pilot of the Riddle Flying School, Miami. With the exception of Bush and Collier they all claim residence residency in Miami, Florida. DC-3 acft no NC 160455. Aircraft allegedly chartered by insurance Charles T. Collier, Superintendent of Claims, International Aviation Underwriters, Incorporated, 211 North Ervay Street, Dallas, Texas. Alleged mission of party to search for acft piloted by one Sullivan with one Rorke as passenger presumably lost on or after September 24, 1963, somewhere in Central America. Rorke is said to be son-in-law of Billingsley, owner of Stork Club in New York City and son of Supreme Court Justice, State of New York. Alleged interest of mission was two-fold.
(1) Collier and Kay representing insurance interest were trying to locate aircraft which rumors had may not have been lost.
(2) Rest of party was engaged to search for Rorke presumably on the insistence of Mrs. Rorke and the father, out of personal friendship towards Rorke who allegedly was "One of the crowd." Party claimed to have given Guatemala previous notice of arrival by sending a wire from Belize, British Honduras. No such wire has arrived in Guatemala to date. Party consequently arrived without appropriate permission from Guatemala, without visas, and in the case of six members, without passports. Guatemala's alert intelligence posture resulted in aircraft being placed under military guard. GOG reported that on initial questioning various members of party gave conflicting stories as to their origin and destination. With this suspicion created, the Guatemalan Air Force transported all personnel to Guatemala City where they arrived at 6:30 p.m. local November 4, 1963. U.S. military personnel were advised that under other circumstances the aircraft would have been impounded and members of the party incarcerated. COP (Dr.) Jose Luis Aguilar De Leon, Secretary to the Chief of Government, made it clear to the party that only because of friendship and personal respect existing between Guatemalans and U.S. military personnel, prevented impounding of aircraft. Party was entertained at Guatemalan Air Force club and kept under loose surveillance throughout stay. Various members of the party were able to visit local restaurants and places of amusement in company of Guatemalan personnel. All their personal identification that had been previously confiscated in Puerto Barrios were returned, and acknowledged by the group before departure. The personnel were placed in the custody of U.S. military officers. GOG officials permitted party to be billeted at Motel Plaza, and Palace Hotel, Guatemala City. The following day, U.S. military was contacted by GOG to obtain opinions and assistance in order to avoid international incident. U.S. military officials were invited to the National Palace by Dr. Aguilar De Leon, and were assured every cooperation to avoid unpleasantness. Aguilar De Leon was informed by the U.S. military that the party was obviously a private venture and was not, as suspected by the Guatemalans, acting against the Guatemalan Govt. or any part thereof. Dr. Aguiler De Leon, in the presence of U.S. Army military members Bush, Collier and Kay and at another interview, interviewed rest of the party. The account which the U.S. military members had previously given to Dr. Aguilar was verified by these subsequent interviews. To further convince Guatemala that this was not an action against their government, Charles Collier provided insurance file on Rorke aircraft for duplication and file by G-2 Guat Army. At approximately 9:00 a.m. local November 5, 1963, the original file was returned to a member of the U.S. military, and in turn to Collier. U.S. military was further advised that no action against the party would be contemplated, that the chief of government had however insisted that the aircraft leave with all personnel at earliest hour. Aircraft departed 1:30 p.m. on November 6, 1963, for Belize with one P-51 as escort in presence of U.S. military members and Dr. Aguilar. Comment by Guat 572 and 574. For you guidance, it should be expected that considerable publicity will be sought in particular by HEMMING, who alleges to know Senator Strom Thurmond, as well as Hernandez, HARGRAVES and Wilson. End comment. Aircraft had on board one shotgun, two pistols and parachutes. Personnel in party other than Bush, Collier and Kay behaved in a slovenly manner. One member wore Army fatigue trousers and boots with old Army shirt. Some party members stated that reason for their being forced out of Guatemala so soon was that Alexander Rorke is indeed in Guatemala and Guatemala Government is deliberately detaining Alexander Rorke. Comment Guat 572 and 574. Dr. Aguilar personally assured party that if Rorke's aircraft had met with an accident in Guatemala the Guatemalan Government and he in particular would have known about it. The matter of Special Forces was of course discredited by U.S. military members. As of time of departure nothing appeared in local press regarding this incident. GOG officials indicated they intended no press release. End comment. One Ralph Hernandez Nordase, per identification, a Cuban national, behaved particularly in a belligerent manner. Those members professing interest in locating Rorke must be considered as potential fabricators when dealing with the press which they indicated they intended to do. HEMMING professed to have this operation. Ivan Kay said he intended to prepare official statement on entire trip in which he hoped to neutralize any unfavorable press releases in this regard. Mr. Kay upon request by Mr. Aguilar turned over undeveloped photographic film which Dr. Aguilar promised to develop, examine and return to Mr. Kay via U.S. military. The whole party was handled by the Guat Govt in a most courteous and at no time were any individuals abused. Comment U.S. Army Attache. Operations of this nature by irresponsible U.S. citizen do not tend to improve relationship with GOG. [FBI 97-4623-161]
The FBI reported that in October and November 1963, "(deleted) soldier-of-fortune participated in search for two lost Americans." The party returned to Miami on November 6, 1963. On November 20, 1963, the FBI noted: "(Deleted) Subject was described as similar to Alexander Rorke who is missing in flight to Central America. (Deleted)." [FBI original filed in 105-113149-2] In March 1987 the FBI released one highly-deleted page on Alexander Rorke dated November 29, 1963. This document could have shed some light on the fate of Alexander Rorke, but the only part of the page not blocked out stated: "On November 29, 1963, we received the following information from a source whose reliability has not yet been established." [FBI 97-4623 NR 12.20.63] On December 4, 1963, the CIA sent the FBI information on Alexander Rorke which was still withheld. [FBI Brennan/Papich 105-82555-NR 154 -3 (?)] On December 20, 1963, the FBI reported: "Sources and informant advised they have different ideas what might have happened to Rorke and Sullivan. All sources and informant's believe Rorke and Sullivan are dead and did not go to Cuba. They feel that if Rorke would have been captured in Cuba the Castro Government would have used the incident for propaganda." [FBI 97-4623-168]
During HUNT v. WEBERMAN STURGIS was asked:
Q. Where was the last time Alexander Rorke was seen alive?
A. I had a meeting with Alex, I believe with Bill Johnson, one or two other persons with Alex the day or possibly two days before he disappeared.
STURGIS told Michael Canfield: "And if you remember there was a big search by the United States Coast Guard, both air and sea, a number of years ago, when Alexander Rorke left Opalocka Airfield and he was going to Nicaragua, and supposedly it is rumored that he was shot down near Cuba, into the water, there were reports that Alexander Rorke was captured, but there was nobody inside of Cuba that was captured by the name of Alex Rorke. I assume he got shot down over water, and his body and the plane disappeared. I, with a number of other people which I will get to at a later date, sat with Alex Rorke where his airplane was parked at Opalocka Airfield which is close by here, the day before he made his ill-fated trip. And I will get the names of everybody that knew about the trip and so forth, that the FBI investigated. I believe even the CIA investigated that, I'm not sure, but they may have been in on the investigation, plus other agencies of the United States Government, (unintelligible)...of his disappearance."
William Johnson reported: "Rorke had a falling out with FRANK." William Johnson was asked if the falling out concerned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He responded, "That could be part of it. But you gotta remember something. Rorke said that if he ever disappeared, it was the CIA or the FBI would knock him off. And that trip was a funny trip because I think somewhere down the line FRANK had something to do with the disappearance of Rorke and Sullivan."
Marita Lorenz stated: "Alex wouldn't go along with the Kennedy assassination, he was a former Jesuit priest. Alex disappeared about two months before the assassination. He had warned me to go home and stay away from FRANK. Years later I asked FRANK, 'Did you kill Alex Rorke?' FRANK said, 'Come on. You know who killed him. The CIA killed him. He didn't want to go along with the plans they had.' He kept telling me, 'The Company did it.' I told him, 'Listen asshole, you're the Company, right?'" She claimed that STURGIS, not Ellis Rubin, was the last person to see Rorke alive and that she was contacted by the FBI about the disappearance of Alexander Rorke and asked if she thought STURGIS did it. The FBI reported: "The following references in the file captioned
FRANK ANTHONY STURGIS concern information concerning the activities of Alexander I. Rorke during the period 1961 to 1963." STURGIS' file contained 25 references to Rorke.
On October 6, 1963, Pedro Diaz Lanz appeared on Channel 10 Television Station, Miami. During this program Diaz Lanz criticized Manuel Artime, saying that Artime had U.S. sponsorship and that he had been indoctrinated in Communism in Cuba by his father. [FBI 105-72630-109 p2 encl. P.2,7,8] The last pre-assassination FBI report on the CIA's list of FBI documents about STURGIS was generated on October 24, 1963. "Subject: Second National Front of Escambray." (SNFE - Alpha-66) No file number was given. On October 24, 1963, the name STURGIS appeared in a CIA document about Alpha-66 and his connection with it's airplanes. The CIA reported: "See above document page 14 for information regarding FRANK FIORINI'S connection with Alpha-66 airplane." [Allen v. DOD CIA 04490; CIA DBA 55602] On November 13, 1963, CSCI-3/778,713, based on "(deleted) - 3962 October 30, 1963," was generated. The CIA list of documents about STURGIS resumed with a document dated May 19, 1964.
Around Thursday, November 7, 1963, STURGIS said he visited Dallas to see a gun connection. [?]
HEMMING 1994: "I first heard of Rorke in 1963. Courtney told us he was giving a fund raising speech at the Hotel Diplomat. He was there with James Buchanan and STURGIS. He didn't show his fucking face in Miami till 1963. The closest he came was Fort Lauderdale. They were warned by the Cubans to stay the fuck out of Miami. 'You're raising a lot of goddamned fucking money. Where is it going? To your buddy STURGIS and all those motherfucking thieves?'" On December 16, 1963, the FBI questioned HEMMING, "who is personally acquainted with Alexander Rorke Jr. and who has been (deleted) advised the only time he ever heard of Anti-Communist International was a couple of years ago. (Deleted) a would-be organization with a similar name, HEMMING said was unable to furnish any other information concerning the organization. HEMMING advised that some three weeks before Alexander Rorke and his pilot, Geoffrey Sullivan, went on the bombing raid against Havana, Cuba, he received a telephone call from Rorke concerning some disagreement they had had. HEMMING agreed to meet with Rorke and straighten out the disagreement. At a subsequent meeting, Rorke came with his pilot, Sullivan, to talk about a proposed bombing trip against a Cuban oil refinery. HEMMING advised Rorke of the hazards involved, and said that the north coast of Cuba had excellent radar defenses, however, there are avenues or corridors into Cuba which Cuban radar does not cover. HEMMING claimed that from talking to recently-arrived Cubans, he had been able to ascertain information about these corridors. HEMMING previously told Rorke and Sullivan where these corridors were, but to find these corridors one would have to be an excellent navigator and be completely familiar with the north coast of Cuba. HEMMING doubted that Rorke and Sullivan could have ever found these corridors. Concerning Rorke's present whereabouts (deleted) and found no traces of Rorke. HEMMING presumes he is dead." The rest of this document was highly deleted. [FBI NY 105-46755 Bufile 100-434086-32] HEMMING told this researcher: "Bullshit. They never questioned any of us who was on the fucking rescue operation about Rorke."
HEMMING was asked about his disagreement with Alexander Rorke. HEMMING: "Rorke and STURGIS had allowed this Enrique Molina Rivera to sit in with his group. I said 'The fuckers a Castro agent.' I had briefed Rorke's pilot how to stay alive flying over Cuba...I said if you want to stay alive you won't tell anybody else. Don't tell Rorke, Rorke's an asshole. Then, a couple of days later, I find Enrique Molina Rivera and STURGIS are at the same goddamn apartment complex talking and meeting. This pissed me off. I told Rorke, 'You ain't gonna get another goddamn briefing. This fucker is a Castro agent, I known him from Cuba.' This guy threatened to kill me. This guy threatened to kill fucking TRAFFICANTE. He's the one that ran the little prison where TRAFFICANTE and Loran Hall and Hughes and them were kept. The guy would talk about the last time he talked to Raoul Castro, which would be a week before, on the fucking telephone. That's how psycho this cocksucker was. He didn't hide it. He's against the revolution as an arm of the Russians because of the missile crisis and all that shit, but he's still friendly with all the figures. He figures its all being kept from Fidel and Raoul. They're being kept in the dark by the Russians. They're dumb enough to associate with the asshole.
"Loran Hall leaves the Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue safehouse with Enrique Molina Rivera, okay. He's next seem around the corner in a little apartment complex that looks like a motel with Sullivan and Sturgis and Rorke. Rorke was thinking of using Loran Hall. Loran Hall's buddy, Manuel Aguilar, was a Castro agent. STURGIS says, 'I know him, he's okay.' He admitted to being a fucking Castro agent.
"I told Rorke not to talk in front of STURGIS, he's an asshole. STURGIS had kind of moved in on the guy. He made the mistake once again of saying he was my boss. Rorke was probably involved in a scheme to insert a guy into Havana as one of the American left-winger types that goes into Havana. We had later information on them.
"Enrique Molina Rivera was on the plane with Sullivan and Rorke. The plane landed at St. Julian, Cuba, where they snuffed his ass. [HEMMING had been Adjutant of St. Julian Air Base. ]The Cubans didn't publicize it because they had one of their own boys riding on the bird. They were not going to say he was shot too.
"Ellis Rubin called me and asked me to talk to Rorke's wife. He wanted people who were familiar with Rorke's operation. I told her it was possible they had contaminated fuel, not from the States but from down there. I told her to call the Coast Guard.
"It was strange because Sherman Billingsley is one of the guys who knows Hoover's secrets. Him and his old lady. And Rorke is allowed to do all kinds of shit cause his father-in-law is fucking Billingsley. But we figured he's working for fucking Hoover. See, Rorke had been busted by William Morgan in Morgan's house during the Trujillo invasion. Rorke was playing newsman there. Morgan arrested his ass. He was coming in there to do a big press release about how Trujillo's troops have invaded Cuba in July of 1959. So we knew Rorke from Cuba. Who's he working for? Who gives a shit? But he's working for somebody."
In a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Secret Service HEMMING requested: "Reports not delivered to the Warren Commission referring to the disappearances of Alex Rorke, Jeff Sullivan, Enrique Molina Rivera during a flight from Miami, Florida, to Cozumel, Mexico to Honduras on September 25, 1963, which flight took place during the same period that LEE HARVEY OSWALD allegedly departed for Mexico for a meeting at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City."
During HUNT v. WEBERMAN, BERNARD BARKER was asked about Alexander Rorke. He observed: "He was flying down here [Miami] as far as I know. He was with some CIA operations. I told him, 'One day you are going to get yourself killed.' One day I read in the newspapers that he disappeared. I think his father was the one who called me to see if I could find him...I checked up on it. I liked Alex. He was a good man. [Discussion off the record] I told him his operation was penetrated...[by Castro]."
To: Mr. Wick January 31, 1966
From: Mr. A . Jones
On Friday, January 28, 1966, (Deleted) [Sherman Billingsley], who is well known to the Director and to the Bureau telephonically contacted Mr. DeLoach. (Deleted) in turn advised Mr. DeLoach that he would be most appreciative of any information we could give him regarding Rorke which might be of possible assistance to (Deleted)."
The document then summarized Rorke's anti-Castro activities and included information from other government agencies. The document continued "(Paragraph deleted) We have subsequently received letters from (Deleted) [Billingsley] asking for our assistance in locating Rorke, a (?) case, they have been advised of our jurisdiction and the fact that we could not be of assistance. The family of Rorke have apparently conducted an investigation on their own, and have widely circulated both in this country and Latin American countries a circular concerning Rorke offering a reward to 'the first persons to produce them in any part of the United States.' All indications as far as Bufiles are concerned Rorke is dead. We have no verified information concerning him since he left a Florida airport in September 1963.
That Mr. DeLoach telephonically contact (Deleted) and advise him in confidence of the above information and that we cannot be of help to (Deleted)." J. Edgar Hoover wrote this on the document: "No. I do not want in any way to get involved in this. (Deleted) might advise (deleted) or has daughter & it would (deleted) be public property. (Deleted) & I broke many years ago cause I would not utilize Bureau facilities to prevent the marriage. H." [FBI 79-29181-3] Alexander Rorke was declared legally dead in 1968. [Document containing ref. FBI 97-4623-179. Ref: 44-24016-634 p808 SI 105-82555-454 p688]
Alexander Rorke was in a perilous business, but his association with HEMMING and STURGIS proved to be even more perilous. HEMMING blamed Rorke's death on Enrique Molina, a Castro double-agent. HEMMING claimed Enrique Molina was the third man on Rorke and Sullivan's ill-fated flight. The personnel at North Perry airport in Hollywood, Florida, said a third person had been with Rorke and Sullivan when they departed. As stated, the FBI received a similar report from someone who visited Mexico. In neither of these reports was Molina identified. Molina was not mentioned by name in any CIA or FBI reports. He is the missing man in all this. HEMMING told this researcher, "Molina has not been heard from since." HEMMING had a disagreement with Rorke prior to his death and HEMMING hated Molina. STURGIS had a disagreement with Rorke, and although HEMMING claimed that STURGIS was sympathetic to Molina, there was no evidence of this in FBI or CIA documents. HEMMING and STURGIS sabotaged Rorke's plane, because they believed he was being duped by Castro's intelligence service.
Chief, Contact Division January 7, 1964
ATT: Support (Travis)
Chief, New York Office
1. On January 3, 1964, Douglas E. Gentzkow called on the listed phone and, without furnishing further identification, requested an urgent personal interview with a CIA representative. He declined to give details concerning the purpose and subject of the meeting, stating only that it would be concerned with Latin America.
2. We met Gentzkow in the early afternoon hours at a Manhattan hotel and had a two hour interview with him. Gentzkow identified himself as a third year cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He showed us his identification card C-65265 which indicates that he was born on March 14, 1942, he is 6 feet 2 inches tall; weighs 190 pounds; color of hair, brown; color of eyes, blue. Gentzkow, who appears to be serious minded, told us that because of the delicate nature of the information in his possession, he was unable to divulge his sources, but would be glad to "help the Agency in the national interest." He then proceeded by stating that he was aware of CIA's interest in the Cuban situation, and that the information, if used by the enemies of the U.S., could seriously damage the reputation of our government.
3. Cadet Gentzkow, who is a member of Company K-2 at West Point, stated that "his friends" told him about the existence of the documents now in the safes of various New York banks that have serious derogatory information concerning the Cuban prisoner exchange matter. According to these documents, "many Castro agents among the prisoners returned to the U.S. have been planted by the Cuban Government to commit espionage and sabotage in the U.S." Gentzkow repeatedly declined to divulge the names of his sources; he simply stated they were U.S. citizens who might decide to publish these documents with the possible idea of hurting the interest of our Government. Gentzkow did not elaborate on this point; however, he promised his full cooperation and stated that he might be in the position to photograph the documents and place them at our disposal. According to his information, some of the documents also contain descriptions of secret military installations in Cuba.
4. Gentzkow emphasized that in contacting the CIA, he was anxious to avoid delay which might possibly arise from following the usual military channels. He stated that he was a good friend and admirer of Alexander I. Rorke, Jr., a freelance television reporter in New York, who together with Geoffrey Sullivan, had disappeared on a flight to Central America in a rented, twin engine plane in the fall of 1963. He heard that Rorke was dead and he owes it to his memory "to do something" about the Cuban situation.
5. Gentzkow requested utmost discretion, stating that if his approach to the CIA became known to his superiors at West Point, it might damage his career. He feels, however, that the information is so vital to the interests of the United States Government that he decided to put aside all personal considerations and offer his cooperation to CIA. He added that he would make an effort to photograph the documents during the week of January 6, 1964, "before enemies of our country have an opportunity to publish the allegations." Finally he indicated that he would get in touch with us either on January 11, 1964, or January 12, 1964, to advise us about new developments.
Jay B.L. Reeves.
On January 7, 1964, Gentzkow called the New York Office of the CIA and he was told that he should not risk his military career for "a project whose value might prove disappointing and might involve individuals of questionable trustworthiness. Subject seemed to accept and certainly understand our comments but responded that he would still attempt to go ahead on his own without reference to any contact with CIA." [CIA WH-1621 report from BALOG]
On January 22, 1964, Douglas Gentzkow discussed the contents of these papers with a representative of the Domestic Contacts Division. He said that "the danger of publication of the alleged derogatory information was no longer imminent... Gentzkow told us that he was able to see some of the documents pertaining to 'the situation in Cuba.' The documents turned out to be some typewritten and penciled notes of Alexander Rorke. According to Gentzkow, these notes and a photograph showing Rorke in the company of President Somoza of Nicaragua were taken out of New York bank vaults by a daughter of Sherman Billingsley, owner of the Stork Club. Another daughter of Billingsley is married to Rorke. It seems that Gentzkow and the unmarried daughter of Billingsley are "going steady," hence the great interest of the West Point Cadet in the fortunes of the Rorke-Billingsley families. Gentzkow gave us his notes prepared from the Rorke papers." The notes stated:
4. There is a base located at Porte Berris (?) and supported by President Somoza. Allegedly, this base trains anti-Castro Cuban refugees for another invasion. According to rumors, the CIA has a hand in the training of these refugees. In connection with this plan, the name of Laureano Batista is mentioned as one of the leaders of the invasion forces.
6. The name of Bill Morgan, formerly of the 308th Battle Group, is mentioned as a double-agent, that is, an agent for the CIA, and an agent of the Castro Government
7. The papers Rorke papers mention Dominick Bartone, President, International Trading Company, connected with Hoffa of the Teamsters Union. On this point Gentzkow was vague and could not elaborate.
8. Gentzkow told us that Frank Nelson, a "businessman" from New York City, had films and papers in his possession which, if published, would also damage the reputation of the CIA and the Government.
9. The name of June Cobb as a double-agent appears in the Rorke papers. In addition, the name of Waldo Frank is mentioned; however Gentzkow could offer no elaboration on Frank. According to the Rorke notes, June Cobb forced, in the Fall of 1960, the cousin of Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge [Marita Lorenz erroneously claimed to be related to Lodge] to have an abortion when Lodge's cousin was six months pregnant with Fidel Castro's child. About three years ago, we saw a copy of Confidential magazine giving details about this alleged abortion.
The CIA reported: "Viola June Cobb (201-0278841, born August 24, 1927) was born in Ponca, Oklahoma, and left home for Mexico City in 1947- 1948 after her father remarried. She has since lived in Ecuador, Cuba and Mexico, and has been involved with the men and politics of a number of Latin American countries. During these years she developed a host of friends and acquaintances, both U.S. and Latin, that included political leaders, journalists, diplomats, professors, some of which do not enjoy general social acceptance. Her friends vary from rightists to extreme leftists, but she always seemed to be more attracted by the more bohemian, revolutionary types.
"Miss Cobb was employed in the office of Fidel Castro in Havana, doing translations and public relations work from September 1959 to 1960. After spending some time in the United States, she moved to Mexico, where she has generally been unemployed. In October 1961, she traveled to Guatemala regarding the Arvelo book, but was arrested, and in November was expelled on the basis that she had been a Castro agent who mission in Guatemala was to distribute pro-Castro and Communist propaganda.
"Miss Cobb has told several people of her cooperation with the U.S. Government and undoubtedly many suspect her association with U.S. Intelligence. Yet she continues to be on friendly terms with Latin American and American Communists and leftists."
Another CIA document stated:
Memo to WH/4, WH/4/CI, WH/4/FI
Subject: June Cobb, Note given to her by Castro agent in Miami.
Date: June 10, 1960
Prior to her departure from New York, June Cobb visited the Cuban Consulate in New York City (deleted) prior to her departure from Havana. While there she was introduced to an American citizen named Bernie Brenner, a newspaperman from the Miami Beach Sun. Brenner is a friend of Cobb's boss, Juan Orta, the administrative assistant to Fidel Castro. Brenner gave Cobb a note in an envelope that was sealed for delivery to Orta. Cobb opened the note and copied the contents which were as follows:
"Tell "O" that Manny (Manuel) Arquez is "hot, real hot." The Feds are on him. Aguirre the Priest fingered him in Washington. There is a fed working right there in the post office with him. They have some letters marked just waiting for him to open one. He's hot. The State Department - also tell him not to use those replicas of dollar bills the tourist department is using with something written on the back. George Southworth is working with the Feds. I got him drunk with a "les" (lesbian) and a straight girl with some pictures one night. He said he was going to put the shaft to Capt. Ouerra. Tell Doris Padrone who lives in 8 y 19 Apt. Building with a baby by Orlando Padrone that the feds are trying to get to her. Fidel brought her to Cuba because she knew things that she shouldn't know. Arquez can go to Cuba the 13th. Oscar Ramirez is being tailed, 24 hour tail. (Rest of the document was deleted)"On June 23, 1960, the results of June Cobb's lie detector test was judged to be "questionable and until resolved by a second LCFLUTTER suggested that no approval be granted."
On October 17, 1960, the CIA generated a Memorandum For the Record Subject (Deleted) which was apparently about June Cobb:
"According to Cobb a week or ten days ago in New York, Estelle (Stasia) Sokolowska revealed to Cobb that she (Stasia) had been told last winter (1959-1960) by Marita Lorenz and her mother, and also by Diane Alexandria (Diane didn't even know Cobb) and by the FBI that Cobb was involved in the narcotics and abortion rackets.
"Stasia told Cobb that she was questioned by the Bureau at 69th & 3rd and was told by the FBI that Cobb was involved in narcotics traffic with Yanes Pellitier in Cuba and was using Stasia as a pawn.
"Mrs. Lorenz was trying to get $3000 for Marita's operation. She sent a letter to Fidel. She called Cobb and Embassy about her daughter being held in Cuba against her will. Yanes immediately put Marita Lorenz on a plane (December). After Christmas Lorenz sent letters and telegrams to Fidel.
"Since Cobb's arrival in New York, Diane has seen a great deal of her - she is eager to hear about Yanes. She helped Cobb get in touch with Stasia.
(Two paragraphs deleted)
"When questioned by the FBI and asked to get in touch with Marita Lorenz. Did so in Connecticut -- became friends and very much involved with them. They were about to vend the story about Marita and Fidel; she did not mention her love for Yanes. Yanes came up and Diane learned that he was involved with Marita -- to her surprise and grief. Continues to see Lorenz. When January rolled around, Pedro Diaz Fonte (Yanes' aide) came up."
(Two paragraphs deleted)
June Cobb knew HEMMING and referred to him in a letter: "Since my last note to you about Stash's continuing deviations, I have learned that she went alone to Honduras -- that is, at least, she did not go with Harold, but rather she went as a courier, sent by Harold's brother Alejandro, from Havana to Telucigalpa, and, as a matter of fact, was passed along through rebel contacts to Harold quite as a surprise to him. Then she stayed about ten days, went back to Cuba, left most of her clothing and came here. Apparently she gave the boys all the money she managed to take with her. About $400 I understand, and she called somebody here to send her money to come down. At this point, in other words, she is quite incorporated with them. Harold, before arriving in Telucigalpa, had been in Mexico. Before she went down to Cuba she had been writing and receiving letters from him in Mexico. He didn't realize she was in Cuba, until he saw her in Telucigalpa, but apparently on her arrival in Cuba she had contacted the other boys, Chester Simpson, JERRY HEMING, and Harold [sic] brother Alejandro and they all decided for her to make the trip over to Honduras." On March 8, 1963, June Cobb was granted a restricted POA: "This POA authorizes continued contact with Subject and elicitation of information of interest to Kubark. (Deleted)." This fact was included in a document dated March 22, 1963, signed by J.C. King. On March 13, 1963, (Deleted) generated this Memorandum for the Record: "She has been considered unreliable and is not a good security risk. Therefore we do not recommend her for operational use."
October 24, 1963
MEMORANDUM TO: CI (Deleted)
SUBJECT: JUNE COBB 201-278841
The Provisional Operational Approval on Subject expired September 8 (deleted)
Bernard E. Reichhardt
Acting Chief /Western Hemisphere/3.
HEMMING told this researcher: "Cobb worked for the telephone company in Miami and married an oil man in Oklahoma. She hung out with all the exile military types."
10. Rorke deals at length with "the 'fishy' selection of Manuel Artime as head of the Bay of Pigs invasion forces. Rorke also mentions former Marine Lt. Col. FIORINI, with whom Rorke had been planning sabotage activities against Castro.
12. The Rorke papers discussed the activities of General Walker and the alleged role of the writer Norman Mailer in starting the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
13. Rorke states that the International Media Company owns the Gibralter Trading Company. According to Rorke, the latter controls "the CIA operated Radio Swan."
15. Gentzkow indicated he would be glad to photograph the Rorke papers...He feels that there is a strong possibility that the Rorke family, or Frank Nelson, might decided to publish the derogatory information in their possession. He is of the opinion that the publication may coincide with the affirmation of Rorke's death. At present, the family has no definite proof about the fate of Alexander Rorke. The cadet further stated that Billingsley had discussed the Rorke case with his "good friend," J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and is ready to take up the disappearance of Rorke and his pilot with the "highest U.S. authorities." The Rorke-Billingsley families resent the absence of U.S. Government action in the disappearance of Rorke and Sullivan. They cannot understand that while the administration has collected over 50 million dollars to ransom the Cuban prisoners from Castro, "it did not do a thing for patriotic Americans like Rorke and Sullivan."
16. We told Gentzkow that we would get in touch with him concerning his offer to photograph the Rorke papers. We feel, of course, it would be wise to close this case and decline the services offered by our cadet. Perhaps you'll agree the whole thing is rather nebulous and it would not be in the best interests of the Agency to get involved in the Rorke-Billingsley family affairs. In view of this we plan no further contact with Gentzkow. [Memo from Jay B.L. Reeves to Travis; Documents marked WH-1621 Rorke Security File NARA]
Mayo Stuntz, Chief, Domestic Contacts Division, informed Sam Halpern about the Rorke papers: "Sam, we sat on this as it came in since we did not know how it would develop. We wondered why a West Point Cadet would risk his career on such a deal. We require no answer unless you want us to follow up on some of his story."
Sam Halpern was involved with OPERATION MONGOOSE, the successor to the Bay of Pigs, which was headed by William K. Harvey. Sam Halpern was critical of a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro with an exploding sea shell. [Powers, Man Who Kept the Secrets, pgs. 172, 190]
Halpern noted "Told Mayo Stuntz 11:20 February 13, 1964, via telcon that SAS wants no part of this and is out of it except to turn papers over to the OS. Also told him my strong belief that Agency should turn info over at least to Army Security and secondly to FBI, the latter regarding Rorke." Copies of the 00 interviews with Gentzkov were sent to DO/OS, SAS/Registry, Miss Weiler, Sam Halpern, EXO/SAS, and SAS/Security (Lodner). The Chief of SAS Security sent the 00 interviews to the Chief/SAS/Support, the Director of Security and Ethel Mendoza, the Chief, Security Research Service. Mendoza wrote this on the Routing and Routing Sheet:
February 28, 1964, Robert Travis advised:
1. 00/C passed to no other agency.
2. 00/C doesn't believe any action should be taken which would jeopardize (deleted) choices.
3. Has no knowledge regarding Billingsley contact with FBI.
4. Recommended no action to Halpern verbally, most especially if SAS has no operational interest.
(P.S. Also mentioned that 00 received source report that Rorke repeatedly claimed to be a CIA agent.)
On February 18, 1964, Desmond FitzGerald, Chief, Special Activities Staff, sent a memo to Ethel Mendoza regarding Gentskov: "Special Activities Staff has never had any operational interest in Rorke. Note that the Rorke disappearance has been discussed with the FBI by his father-in-law, Sherman Billingsley, which indicates the Agency should pass the attached data to the FBI." [CIA FOIA D-00862] FitzGerald suggested, that in light of the fact that Gentskov bypassed military channels, "it is suggested that the passage of the contents of the reports to the FBI and resolution of whether Gentzkov's contact with Agency should be reported to ACSI is a matter to be discussed between the Office of Security and the Domestic Contacts Division."
E. Mendoza, of the CIA's Office of Security, sent this memo to the Deputy Chief, Security Research Staff:
4. I called Robert Travis of the Washington Field Office (Support) of Contact Division to determine what other information was known to him in regard to instant matter. He advised that at the time he furnished copies of the 00/C (New York) memoranda and teletype to SAS, he had specifically recommended that no action whatsoever be taken in the matter unless SAS had some pressing operational reason for so doing: that no material be accepted from Gentzkov, and the Agency not become further involved in the matter.
5. A review of the Office of Security files reflects that a good deal of what Gentzkow thought to be highly sensitive information has already appeared in public print; that Alexander Rorke made wild charges concerning CIA's lack of action against Fidel Castro, yet at the same time claimed that he himself was a CIA agent whose operations had been financed by the CIA.
6. In all probability, Gentzkow's contact with CIA is primarily based on his belief that Alexander Rorke had been a CIA agent, as Rorke has repeatedly claimed. Since Mr. Travis of 00/C Support is of the opinion that Gentzkov's offer of assistance should be declined, and since SAS has stated they have never had any operational interest in Rorke (and apparently have no interest in Rorke's papers), I believe OS should concur in 00/C's recommendation.
7. With regard to passage of Rorke's papers to the FBI, it might be suggested to Gentzkov that he turn over Rorke's possessions to Rorke's father for whatever disposition he may wish to make of it.
William Knott wrote this on Mendoza's memo: "Concur in 6., but feel that passage of the info as recommended in paragraph 7 should be made only on the stipulation that Rorke Sr. advise the FBI of the existence of the papers." H.J. Osborne, DD/Security, concurred with Knott.
Douglas Gentzkov was contacted in April 1994 by this researcher: "There were probably two or three telephone communications with the CIA after that, and at least one face-to-face meeting. The records aren't really complete. After a period of some weeks, after I had drafted something and forwarded it to a Mr. Baylog, he actually came to me for the information. I gave him my notes. He told me to purchase photographic equipment to copy the documents. He would reimburse me. After I gave him the salient points, he asked me to stay in touch with him by phone. I did that. A short period of time after that, he said they really didn't have any interest in the information. I never had them in my possession, they were at the Billingsley's home. The papers talked about Kennedy's escapades, it mentioned in the papers that there were photographs of him involved in his various liaisons, I think with some underworld figures, not Exner. There was a whole array of information critical of Kennedy's handling of the Bay of Pigs. The ransom of the POWs. There was at least one ransom paid by the family for Rorke."
The Rorke papers never surfaced. The only clue to their contents was Gentzkov's notes. The CIA was supposed to be an intelligence gathering organization, yet the Agency dismissed the contents of Rorke's notes without even looking at photographs of them. Why? The CIA felt it might have a "hot potato" on its hands. Sam Halpern wanted to turn Gentzkov over to Army Intelligence and the FBI. However, it was decided that no action would be taken and it would be recommended to Rorke's father that he turn over these notes to the FBI. There was no indication that the FBI ever received the notes.
"INTERPEN - Neutrality Matters. Classification: None given. FBI File No. None given (Miami)" dated November 14, 1963, was the last pre-assassination FBI document about HEMMING. HEMMING told this researcher: "The November 1963 report concerned Werbell and Phillipe Vidal." On February 10, 1965, Western Hemisphere/SA/INTEL became aware of a statement made by ROY HARGRAVES that he went on a CIA mission to Cuba on October 22, 1962, and that he trained men in the organization of Felipe Vidal.
The CIA reported: "In October 1959 Felipe Carlos Vidal Santiago arrived in Caracas, Venezuela, as the Cuban Naval Attache. In January 1960 a CIA representative contacted Felipe Vidal when it became known he was disaffected with the Castro regime. Felipe Vidal defected from his position on March 7, 1960, and fled to Bogota, Colombia. A Provisional Operational Approval was granted to Felipe Vidal on March 15, 1960, and this was later superseded by a CSA, granted on October 27, 1960. This Agency planned to use Felipe Vidal as Chief of the Cuban Revolutionary Front Maritime Force. It was later learned Felipe Vidal was an opportunist, and associated with people whom the CIA frowned upon. He was considered a security risk and interest in him was terminated in August 1961. Vidal then aligned himself with various exile groups, notably the Frente Liberacion Nacional (FLN). Vidal appeared before the Immigration and Naturalization Service on numerous occasions for violations committed while engaging in anti-Castro activities with various exile groups. On one occasion he related to the INS and FBI that he was at one time a CIA agent and furnished them some background information regarding his activities while working for us. While attempting to infiltrate Cuba in March 1964, he was captured. He was executed by the Government of Cuba on May 26, 1964. At no time after August 1961 was this Agency affiliated with Vidal. There is no record of this Agency having utilized the services of ROY EMORY HARGRAVES. He may well have infiltrated Cuba on October 22, 1962, as he claims and also trained some men in Vidal's organization, but this was neither a CIA mission nor CIA men that he claims to have trained. NOTE: As Vidal is dead, do not see how an issue could be raised over HARGRAVES statement that he went on a CIA mission to Cuba on October 22, 1962, and that he trained the CIA men in Vidal's organization. HARGRAVES lawyer would have a picnic on this. WH/SA/INTELL."
OSWALD wrote to the Socialist Workers Party at 116 University Road, New York 3, New York. "Dear Sirs: Please advise me as to how I can get into direct contact with SWP representatives in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. I and my family are moving to that area in October. As you know there is no SWP branch in New Orleans area when I have been living there. I am a long time subscriber to the Militant and other party literature which I am sure you have a record. Thank You. LEE HARVEY OSWALD." [WC Dobbs Ex. 10] In October 1963 HUNT lived at 5125 Baltan Road, Sumner Maryland. The name "Sumners NW 110 Hemphill to Page" was in OSWALD'S address book. On the same page of the address book the number "2550" appeared. [WCE 18 flyleaf 3] A man named Earl H. Summers worked at 34 Page Street in Fort Worth; he was a claim investigator for an unspecified insurance company. Ruth Paine traveled to Baltimore in August 1963. [WCE 78] She said, "I was on a big sweep of friends and family that summer, after being separated from husband."
OSWALD'S letter to the Communist Party expressed doubts about his public role in the communist struggle: "Handicapped as it were, by my past record [as a defector to Russia] can I still compete with antiprogressive forces, or whether in your opinion should I always remain in the background, i.e. underground."
OSWALD intimated that he was available for underground work if the Party needed him.
On Tuesday September 17, 1963, OSWALD obtained a Mexican Tourist Card, good for one journey for no longer than 15 days, from the Mexican Consulate, New Orleans. [WCE 2119] OSWALD obtained this card under the name "HARVEY OSWALD LEE." On his application he spaced the words LEE HARVEY OSWALD in this fashion: "LEE (space) HARVEYOSWALD." The Warren Commission explained: "OSWALD seems originally to have also printed his name, evenly spaced, as 'LEE H. OSWALD' but, noting that the form instructed him to 'Print full name. No initials,' [he] printed the remainder of his middle name after the 'H.' The clerk who typed the card thus saw a space after 'LEE,' followed by 'HARVEY OSWALD' crowded together, and probably assumed that 'LEE' was the applicant's last name." Another section of the Warren Report stated: "Typed in the blank 'Appelidos y nombre' was [the name] 'LEE, HARVEY OSWALD,' (The comma between 'LEE' and 'HARVEY' seems to have been an error...since OSWALD signed both the application and the card itself, LEE H. OSWALD)." [WR p314, 730]
OSWALD was being duplicitous. Why didn't OSWALD point out this error to the Mexican official? OSWALD'S "document submitted to prove nationality" was a birth certificate. The clerk should have known OSWALD'S correct name, unless he had not looked at the birth certificate. Another possibility was that OSWALD submitted an altered Birth Certificate to the Mexicans. OSWALD had counterfeited Selective Service Cards and an International Vaccination Certificate. Why not a birth certificate? On this application OSWALD stated he was employed as a photographer at 640 Rampart.
The Mexican tourist card immediately preceding OSWALD'S in numerical sequence was issued on Tuesday, September 17, 1963, to William G. Gaudet. William George Gaudet (born September 21, 1908), attended Tulane University, worked for The New Orleans States-Item, and served as an English professor at the University of Mexico until he resigned in 1929. He was editor of the English section of El Sol in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1931. In 1932 he worked for the International News Service, and covered the Huey Long assassination in 1935. William Gaudet was finger printed by the Navy on April 30, 1942. He applied for an appointment as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, but was turned down for medical reasons. On February 11, 1942, he "was cleared by the Army Intelligence Division for an overseas assignment in connection with his employment as a Wire Service Man for International News Service in New Orleans."
In late 1942 William Gaudet was appointed to the Office of Inter-American Affairs of the State Department; in this position he was directly responsible to Nelson Rockefeller. [FBI 64-23999-2-5.8.43] The FBI monitored the work of the Rockefeller Committee since it was in close proximity to the Bureau's Latin American jurisdiction. In 1942 the FBI received several reports that the members of Nelson Rockefeller's Regional Committee were "securing and coordinating information of an intelligence nature, and had been reporting same to U.S. Consulate." In May 1943 (Deleted) of San Juan, Costa Rica, wrote to Mr. Weyl of the American Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador, and stated the on a recent trip to San Salvador William Gaudet had been very outspoken and indiscreet in matters of a confidential nature. [FBI 64-23999-1 5.20.43; Documents w/h FBI 64-23999-4 and 5 not provided to HSCA - scoped] On October 23, 1944, "(Deleted) told William Gaudet, Representative of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in San Jose, (deleted) attached to Embassy here, that there were rumors in the streets that the Cortesistas, the opposition political party planned an uprising for Wednesday, October 25, 1944." [From Legat San Jose, Costa Rica to Director 10.31.44 serial illegible 100-3355392-1? highly deleted signed John T. Plunkett. FBI Leg. Att.] The FBI files on the Office of Inter-American Affairs may have contained a reference to Gaudet: "Proximity To Bureau's Jurisdiction In Latin America (Deleted). By report dated June 29, 1942, one of our SIS Agents advised that one (Deleted) of the Rockefeller Committee advised that he was in San Jose primarily to render a careful report to his boss, Nelson Rockefeller, concerning the United States Legations he visited. (Deleted) In November 1942 information was received from the El Paso Office that the Nelson Rockefeller Regional Committee in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, had been securing and coordinating information of an intelligence nature and had been reporting to the American Consulate."
During the late 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's, William Gaudet edited Latin American Report, a New Orleans-based magazine. Latin American Report was financed by the CIA, United Fruit, the Chase Manhattan Bank and several Central American dictators. William Gaudet used the magazine as a cover for his Latin American operations. Latin American Report came to the attention of the CIA in February 1948. During that year William Gaudet was contacted by the CIA 16 times. In 1949 he was contacted by the CIA over 30 times.
On November 25, 1949, George G. Carey recommended the CIA subsidize William Gaudet due to the quality of the information he was providing: "Gaudet is the editor of Latin American Reports, a weekly four page survey of political and economic conditions in the Latin American countries. The information contained in this newsletter is derived from paid correspondents, at least one of whom is resident in each of the Latin American countries, with the exception of Paraguay, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic...Gaudet is volunteering the service of his organization at cost to produce special reports for the CIA. Whether or not this project is approved, he will continue to furnish at no cost any information which is produced by his correspondents as a by-product of his publication of Latin American Reports. While he had no military intelligence experience, his work with the State Department should, to a considerable extent, qualify him as a trustworthy and accurate observer." [To: Chief OO-C, Atten: McLean From Chief D/LA, ORS 11.25.46] The CIA was interested in Gaudet ascertaining this information in Panama: "Nature of the business deal, if any, between Jose Ramon and the Arias family on the meat slaughtering concession." Inspection and Security concurred that William Gaudet had to sign an oath agreeing to "never reveal or exploit his CIA connection. (signed) Sheffield Edwards Colonel, GSC." [NARA 1993.08.02.14:34:38:960028]
In 1950 Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 33 times.
In 1951, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 22 times.
In 1952, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 29 times.
In 1953, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 19 times.
In 1954, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 22 times. [CIA 17581 - index cards] In 1954 William Gaudet played a part in PB SUCCESS. In the book Bitter Fruit it was stated: "In the early years of his association with United Fruit, Edward Bernays imaginatively 'opened up' the banana firm to public scrutiny...A weekly Latin American Report for journalists and businessmen was spun off, written by William Gaudet, who was one of several actors in the unfolding Guatemalan drama said to have had simultaneous connections with both United Fruit and the CIA." [Schlesinger & Kinzer Bitter Fruit Anchor Books 1982]
In 1955 Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 17 times. On December 2, 1955, the FBI generated a highly deleted document based on information supplied by Gaudet on "Foreign Political Matters - Costa Rica and Nicaragua." On December 8, 1955, the FBI generated a Memorandum titled "Alleged Revolution in Costa Rica and Nicaragua - Foreign Political Matters - Costa Rica and Nicaragua." This information was disseminated to the CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence, Director of Security of the State Department, Army Intelligence, the Inspector General of the Air Force and the United States Customs Service. [FBI 109-12-222-11 cc Branigan; FBI 109-12-222-16]
In 1956, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 9 times. On April 25, 1956 Gaudet was mentioned in a document that dealt with Teodoro Picado, a leader of the opposition against Jose Figueres of Costa Rica. Teodoro Picado had moved to the United States. [FBI 97-3236-24 pgs. 4 thru 8 w/h]
In 1957, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 3 times.
In 1959, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA two times.
In 1960 Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 2 times.
In 1961, Gaudet was interviewed by the CIA 4 times. William Gaudet claimed he unwittingly played a role in the Bay of Pigs invasion: "I never played a role in the Bay of Pigs, though I unknowingly helped set up alternate air bases in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, for use by the planes to protect the Cuban invasion." [Sun Daily Herald 11.22.80 Biloxi, Miss. 11.22.80]
On March 5, 1961, William Gaudet wrote to Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs and offered his services in President John F. Kennedy's Latin American Peace Corps.
On Tuesday, September 17, 1963, William G. Gaudet applied for tourist card so that he could enter Mexico just before OSWALD did.[Washington Star 1.11.76] When the FBI interviewed William Gaudet about his Mexican Tourist Card in 1964, he told the Bureau that in the early afternoon of Tuesday, September 17, 1963, he picked up a travel permit from the Mexican Consulate. According to William Gaudet, obtaining a Tourist Card just before OSWALD did was coincidental, and he did not see OSWALD at the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans that day: "There were six or seven persons waiting to pick up permits and to the best of his recollection, LEE HARVEY OSWALD was not one of them." He said he had seen OSWALD in New Orleans on other occasions. William Gaudet told the FBI that on Thursday, September 19, 1963, he went on a three- or four-week trip to Mexico and other Latin American countries. This coincided with OSWALD'S presence in Mexico City from Friday September 27, 1963 to October 3, 1963. But William Gaudet told the FBI he flew to Merida, Mexico, where he changed planes then went on to other South and Central American countries. He did not enter Mexico. FBI S.A. Regis Kennedy obtained the flight manifest - Gaudet's named appeared as a passenger. [WCD 15?; FBI NO 44-2064, NO 89-69 11.27.63; Sanders interview with Gaudet 1.19.78]
In an interview in 1964 William Gaudet advised the FBI that he had been employed by the CIA. The Chief of Station of the CIA's New Orleans office was present at this interview, and called CIA Headquarters for advice. [WCD 75]
Several days after William Gaudet's interview with the FBI in 1964, he called the Bureau and reported: "JACK RUBY, from Dallas, Texas, had purchased a painting from one Lorenzo Borenstein, who has an art gallery somewhere on the 500 block of Royal Street. Gaudet stated that he did not know what dates Ruby bought these paintings. [FBI on 11.27.63 NO44-2064 S.A. John William Miller] William Gaudet denied this: "Someone telephoned the FBI and said he was William Gaudet and had seen JACK RUBY in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Why did he use my name? Why not John Doe or some made-up name? I did not make that call. I had never seen JACK RUBY...on the one hand someone injected my name to the FBI on the RUBY French Quarter hoax, and then on the other hand, someone had my name carefully removed from the list of arrivals in Mexico. To me it looks as though someone was using me as a red herring." [Sun Daily Herald 11.22.80 Bil. Miss.] Gaudet told Allen Stone that he might have obtained the information from Lila Pinson, an employee whose husband was a painter. Lorenzo Borenstein advised the FBI "that he knew one JACK RUBY only as a customer and that during the Summer of 1959, he sold RUBY several paintings of local scenes, the price of which he recalled to be approximately $35. Borenstein was unable to give any further information, inasmuch as his records concerning this sale have been destroyed." [FBI NO 44-2064 11.27.63]
According to the FBI: "Eugene Lorenz Borenstein was described in 1953 as a one time member of the Jacob Reed Club of the Communist Party in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1935. However, in 1953, though well known as an unethical and immoral person, nothing at that time indicated he had any current interest in the Communist Party." In March 1972, FBI agents asked to search Borenstein's property. The FBI was investigating a "Plot To Create Chaos And Assassinate Important Persons At Republican National Convention August 1972." The FBI: "Borenstein was then apprized of the possibility of the existence of a cache of arms in his courtyard. Borenstein stated that the apartments in that property were occupied by the Nola Express and the ABBA Foundation. Both of these tenants were 'very liberal' groups of former New Left activists who continued to publish the only existent, well-circulated, underground newspaper in New Orleans, and to serve hippies and other young people with legal and social counseling. To Borenstein's knowledge, none of the persons involved with those activities has ever shown a propensity towards violence, and he has never heard of an arms cache on his property." [FBI 100-19467-16] Borenstein was contacted in 1978 by this researcher: "This had been checked out 50 times and I really don't want to get into it. I made a sale to JACK RUBY at one time. It had no bearing at all with any of the stuff. I really don't have time to go into it." [FBI 100-19467-16] Lorenz Borenstein, 61, died of a heart attack in 1981.
On November 7, 1967, the FBI stated that "William Gaudet Potential Security Informant" was being "considered for source development: "While New Orleans has just initiated background investigation of Gaudet in order to assist him as a potential PSI and anticipated additional contact with Gaudet to see if he could be of value to the Bureau, it is felt that the Bureau may desire to determine from CIA if CIA has at this time an operational interest in William Gaudet it being noted that Gaudet spoke highly of the CIA on September 25, 1967, (deleted)." [FBI 64-23999-7 11.8.67] On December 5, 1967, the FBI generated a Memorandum captioned William George Gaudet - Internal Security - Miscellaneous - Latin America which was totally deleted except for this single line: "Handle in accordance with Section 107C, Instruction Manual." [FBI 64-23999-8] On January 5, 1968, William Gaudet furnished the FBI with information regarding Belize, British, Honduras. The information was withheld. [FBI 64-23999 NR 202 1.19.68; FBI 64-2399-NR 1.5.68 (enclosed) not provided to HSCA - scoped]
William Gaudet was interviewed by the FBI in December 1967: "The PSI during an interview in December 1967 confidentially exposed his former association with CIA to the interviewing agent. It is evident from contacts with Gaudet that to date he is an outspoken individual who does not hesitate to speak his mind. He has not, however, given any indication that he is unpatriotic...during contact with PSI he has expressed some dissatisfaction with foreign policy of U.S. Government. He finds it hard to understand why the U.S. Government permits Cuba to maintain a fortress for the Russian Government, while at the same time they send troops 10,000 miles away to fight in Vietnam. PSI then followed his remark by stating that he finds it difficult to explain the U.S. position in the above regard to his contacts and friends in Latin America." [FBI 64-23999-9 2.8.68; FBI 64-23999-9 pg. 2 w/h and FBI 64-23999-10 pg. 4 w/h Gaudet's drinking and financial problems] In March 1968, the FBI throughly investigated Gaudet. [FBI 64-23999-10,11, 14 pages 1-2] The FBI refused the New Orleans FBI request to designate William Gaudet as a PSI on June 28, 1968: "(Paragraph Deleted) A Bureau SIS representative in the American Embassy, San Salvador, El Salvador, on May 1, 1943 reported the Bureau that Gaudet and one (deleted)...had disclosed to persons regarded as almost strangers that a Bureau agent was connected in an undercover capacity with the American Embassy in Costa Rica. It is further noted that Subject had been involved in two divorce proceedings; was sued on several occasions for back alimony payments; was regarded in the past as a poor credit risk; and in the late 1950's was a near alcoholic. Accordingly your request to designate Gaudet as a PSI is denied, however, you may use him as a source of information...He appears to be the type of individual whose activities in behalf of the Bureau could not be controlled or directed and might cause the Bureau embarrassment." [FBI 64-23999-?-pp. 1-14] In his HSCA deposition, William Gaudet testified his CIA-contact was "primarily as a source of information" (obtained during his trips abroad). In addition, he explained that he occasionally performed errands for the Agency. William Gaudet stated that his last contact with the CIA was in 1969, although "the relationship has never been formally terminated." [FBI 64-23999-13 & 14 was mostly w/h]
Because of William Gaudet's misfortune of having obtained a tourist card just before OSWALD, when the HSCA reviewed William Gaudet's CIA file, it found neither any record reflecting contact between him and the Agency after 1961, nor any indication that he had performed errands for the CIA. In 1975, he was interviewed by the CIA 1 time. A Memorandum dated January 23, 1976, indicated: "The Domestic Contacts Division had an inactive file on William George Gaudet, former editor and publisher of Latin American Report. The file shows that William Gaudet was a source for the New Orleans Domestic Contacts Division Resident Office from 1948 to 1955, during which period he provided foreign intelligence information on Latin American political and economic conditions." In an account of a British Broadcasting Company TV program which was aired on March 6, 1978, that mentioned William Gaudet, the CIA wrote: "He [William Gaudet] was a contact of the Domestic Contacts Division from 1948 ,until November 1951, in New Orleans area. He was debriefed on Latin American travels 1948 to 1955, and was a casual contact from 1955 to 1964." [CIA # F82-0381/8 rel. 9.29.83]
In December 1960 the FBI received a report that alleged that Latin American Report had a pro-communist bias. [FBI 100-434918-1 cover page D, page 2 & 3, pages 6 - 9 w/h] While it investigated this complaint, the FBI found that Latin American Report "has never operated on a paying basis. According to (Deleted) the editor and publisher, Bill Gaudet, in the opinion of (Deleted) is a happy-go-lucky person who is only interested in making money with the least amount of effort and is in no way a person given to advocating any political ideology." [NO FBI 100-16562-3.23.61; FBI 100-434918-1 pgs 6, 7, 8, 9, no mention of Gaudet] FBI S.A. Milton Kaack investigated William Gaudet in relation to the "Security of Government Employees" in July 1961. [FBI 1403794-9]
"I knew Banister but I didn't know him well...now Ronnie Caire knew Banister much better than I did. Banister knew OSWALD. Ferrie was a friend of a lot of queers...I think he did know OSWALD...but I don't think either one of them is capable of planning a conspiracy like this...I was closely related with Ed Butler because one of the prime sponsors of the Information Council of the Americas in New Orleans was a very close personal friend of mine and an investor in my company, Alton Ochsner. The Information Council had a big, big banquet down here, a money raising thing, at which time they prevailed upon Nelson Rockefeller to come down and be one of the speakers, and that's the last time I personally saw Nelson Rockefeller...I feel certain the Rockefeller Commission will not call me as a witness." [Interview with Alan Stone WRR Dallas 5.7.75; ARA file interview with Gaudet] William Gaudet told an interviewer in 1978: "I knew OSWALD because he was in at the International Trade Mart for quite a few days. That's where I had my office, which was on Camp and Common in New Orleans. And he was there distributing pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Who the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was, I don't know. I do know I saw him [OSWALD] one time with a former...I think he was an FBI agent and a man by the name of Guy Banister, and Guy of course is now dead. What Guy's role was in all this I...I really don't know, but I did see him discussing various things with Banister at the time and I think Banister knew a whole lot of what was going on...I never met OSWALD and I never talked to him personally." Gaudet was asked if it was coincidence that his name was on the list next to OSWALD'S. "I would say so, yes, I know it's hard to believe because this word keeps cropping up in everything that I seem to do that er...I'm just loaded down with coincidence..." [Sanders interview with Gaudet 1.19.78]
William Gaudet believed HOWARD HUNT was a key player in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy: He told this author: "HUNT is the man who knows more, actually, about who's in back of this whole affair than anybody...I don't think this plot started overnight...to kill the President...I think, as a matter of fact, it started within weeks after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and it took that long to come to a head 'cause it had to narrow itself down to a very few individuals. HUNT was the man who put this whole show together and he was trusted more by the Cubans than any gringo I know of. I'm sure the CIA must have called on HUNT to help them see what was going on in connection with a conspiracy among the Cubans. I know a lot of the Cubans that were involved. I mean involved in these big Cuban movements, and I know that every last one of them had the highest respect for E. HOWARD HUNT, I mean it was a mystic name, just mention HUNT and they would follow through on something...Guy Banister, CARLOS BRINGUIER, Orest Pena, all of these are old names to me now. I met Orlando Piedra but I didn't know him. Sure I knew these people - but I don't see what this has to do with the price of eggs. There was nothing sinister about it. It was all open and above board." [HUNT/Lazo Firing Line appearance; Lazo Dagger in the Heart Funk & Wag. NY 1961]
The HSCA "did not find a basis for concluding that William Gaudet had contacted OSWALD on behalf of the CIA. Although there was a conflict between William Gaudet's testimony and his CIA file concerning the duration of his Agency contacts, as well as the performance of errands, there was no indication from his file or testimony that William Gaudet's cooperation involved clandestine activity. Again, it should be stressed that the Domestic Contacts Division, which was the Agency component that was in touch with William Gaudet, was not involved in clandestine operations." William Gaudet died circa January 15, 1981. He was 72 years old.
William Gaudet had a close association with the CIA, but evidence suggested he was not involved with OSWALD, although he moved in the same circles.
November 27, 1963
Memo: SAC Re: Assassination of President JFK
At 9:20 a.m. instant date, Mr. W.C. Barnes, International Petroleum Company, Coral Gables, Florida, telephonically contacted this office to relate the following information:
Caller stated he had read in this morning's paper that LEE HARVEY OSWALD had crossed the border from Laredo, Texas, to Nuevo Loredo, Mexico on September 26, 1963. Barnes further stated that he himself had crossed the border on that same date at the same place. He said he left from Nuevo Loredo via Mexicana Airlines flight 711. The flight was to Mexico City via Montery. Barnes stated he went only as far a Montery where he had some business to attend to.
Barnes recalled seeing some people while on his trip who might have some connection with OSWALD but he was not sure at this time. He also noted he would be available for interview if this office felt he might be of some assistance.
Robert John Schamay IC
[NARA FBI 124-10272-10111]
In Warren Commission document CD 227, the FBI reported on December 2, 1963 that a Mexican Tourist Card had been discovered for Barnes that indicated he entered Mexico at the same time OSWALD did, however the FBI claimed it was unable to locate Barnes, despite the extensive information, including his address, which was on the application for the Mexican Tourist Card.
The FBI did not want to find Barnes because he might have supplied the Bureau with information about OSWALD'S associates, and OSWALD was not supposed to have any associates.
November 27, 1963
MEMO FOR THE RECORD
From Special/Affairs relaying that FBI informed the DCI that all info indicates OSWALD was in New Orleans from September 17, 1963 to September 25, 1963.
On November 27, 1963 the FBI reported to Mr. Helms that on September 17, 1963, OSWALD was in New Orleans where he applied for unemployment compensation on that day. A check of airlines indicates that he did not leave New Orleans that day, or the following one, and every indication, including statements by his landlady, would lead to the conclusion that he remained in New Orleans until September 25, 1963.
Desmond FitzGerald, Chief,
Special Affairs Staff." [CIA 181-73]
Ruth Paine arrived in New Orleans on Friday, September 20, 1963, and spent three nights with the OSWALDS, after which Marina Oswald drove back to Irving with Ruth Paine. Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine were back in Irving, Texas, on the morning of Monday, September 23, 1963. Paine commented: "I had no idea he was going to go to Mexico. That's not why she came back. She came back because she had no way of getting medical care. She had not seen a doctor, even though she was in her eighth month of pregnancy. They had lived in Dallas long enough to get county medical care. I wanted her to stay with me at least until the baby was born. That was my concern."
OSWALD could not have made his trip to Mexico City without Ruth Paine. He had nowhere to leave his wife and child. Marina Oswald testified that OSWALD told her the reason for the Mexican trip was to evade the American prohibition on travel to Cuba. He cautioned her that the trip and its purpose had to be kept secret.
Marina Oswald told the HSCA that OSWALD had previously made plans to reach Cuba by hijacking an airliner flying out of New Orleans, but he later abandoned that idea.
A. Well he wanted a plane once, and he wanted me to help him out.
Q. That was to go where?
A. To Cuba.
The CIA reported: "She testified that LEE was very anxious to go to Cuba and even discussed the idea of kidnapping an aircraft for this purpose. He indicated it would get considerable newspaper publicity. She discouraged him from doing this. In her opinion LEE would not like Cuba any more than he did the Soviet Union or any other place, even 'the moon.'"
HEMMING told this researcher: "We know of half a dozen cases where people were told by their case officers to skyjack planes and they did it. And there were various reasons for it. We know that's a fact. This is an idea some nut case might bring up, and he might repeat it to his old lady. First, when you got people, they'll jump out of airplanes. They'll do this, they'll do that. Sometimes you have to test them. How far will they go? How dedicated and loyal are they? Sometimes you propose kamikaze schemes to 'em, not enough that they doubt your loyalty - whether you're using them, and they're expendable. But you throw it out to them. You're not forcing 'em. And if he comes back with logical reasons why it shouldn't be done that way, you say 'You're right, guy, you're right.' Bonding continues.
"The first aircraft skyjacking was in Cuba, 1958. Student Directorate. One of Fidel's boys hijacked a plane. At that point in time, half the people they sent down as skyjackers were allowed to walk the streets in a short period of time. It would have been determined by the hostility level against the U.S. OSWALD would have been told that he would have been welcomed. Anyone who fucks with the Yankees is welcome. It wasn't true. They didn't like strangers coming in unannounced like that all the time. Would it have been proposed to him? Yeah: 'We got a job for you, this is how we get you to Cuba.' He might have mentioned this to her.
"See, they're trying to link him with Castro and he doesn't realize it. They're trying to paint him as a Castro agent who is later found in Cuba after the assassination. Let's say they allow him to defect to the Uruguayan Embassy in Havana, which we used quite frequently, and he sits there and says 'I did it for Fidel' and all this other kind of bullshit. What choice does he have? 'Mr. OSWALD you're sitting here in the Uruguay Embassy and the United States authorities are accusing you of having assassinated the President of the United States. What have you got to say?' [HEMMING whined like child] 'I'm a patsy.' They wouldn't have believed a fucking word. They'd say 'You're in Cuba, man. You afraid Fidel's gonna take you out?' That would have been the bag. That's what they would have gone for first. Didn't work, probably. First thing, is Fidel is the patsy." Marina Oswald told this interviewer in 1994: "The hijacking of the plane, which proclaimed him being loony, now makes sense to me if we take into consideration that he was on a mission."
Marina Oswald was asked why she didn't leave after her husband had shot at Walker, threatened NIXON and then talked of hijacking a plane. Marina Oswald told this researcher: "Of course it frightened me. Arguments were initiated on his part so he could put me in safe hands so he can do what he has to do. That's how I read these things now."
Did OSWALD actually consider hijacking a airplane to Cuba with the help of Marina who was pregnant at the time? What would have become of his daughter? Was he going to take his child along on the hijacking or was he going to abandon her? It would have been a unique way to establish his bona fides with the Cubans, but OSWALD and Marina would have been imprisoned and possibly extradited back to the United States. The hijacking story made little sense, unless Marina made up the part about her helping him out. As a rule, OSWALD did not get his family mixed up in his clandestine activities. OSWALD might have considered becoming a skyjacker, but only by himself.
On September 19, 1963, the Director of Information of the Communist Party, Arnold Johnson, replied to OSWALD'S letter, directing him to call Communist Party headquarters in New York City when he arrived in Baltimore, and the New York office would tell him who to call in Baltimore. Arnold Johnson was afraid of provocateurs, and OSWALD'S reference to "underground" elicited this response: "Often it is advisable for some people to remain in the background, not underground." [WR p288] In addition to having corresponded with the Communist Party, OSWALD wrote a total of four letters to the national office of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee that summer; yet there was no evidence that OSWALD heard from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee after May 29, 1963. On September 19, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover sent the CIA an FBI report on OSWALD'S activities in New Orleans.
According to the Warren Commission:
(1) OSWALD left New Orleans on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, at 12:20 p.m., and arrived in Houston on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, at 10:50 p.m.
(2) Then he left Houston on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 2:35 a.m. and arrived in Laredo on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 1:20 p.m.
(3) He left Nuevo Laredo on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 2:15 p.m., and arrived in Mexico City on Friday, September 27, 1963, at 10:00 a.m.
Most of the Warren Commission itinerary was correct, however, some of it was false.
OSWALD remained in New Orleans until Tuesday, September 24, 1963. Ruth Paine was in New Orleans to pick up Marina and June and drive them to Irving, Texas. Ruth Paine told the Warren Commission that OSWALD told her he was going to Philadelphia to look for work or to Houston, Texas, to look for work and see a friend. Ruth Paine testified: "I wondered, as I had already indicated for the Commission, I had wondered, from time to time, whether this was a man who was working as a spy, or in any way a threat to the Nation, and I thought, 'This is the first I have heard anything about a contact. I am interested to know if this is a real thing or something unreal.'"
The Warren Commission: "A neighbor told the FBI that he saw OSWALD leave Magazine Street on Tuesday evening [September 24, 1963] carrying two pieces of luggage, and board a bus. Though uncertain as to date, a bus driver told the FBI that at the same time of day and location, a man carrying two suitcases of different sizes boarded and asked where he should get off for the Greyhound Bus station. Oswald's precise whereabouts on the night of Tuesday September 24, 1963, are uncertain..." When OSWALD was seen in Mexico City he only had a single suitcase, a small blue zipper bag. [Slawson Mexico City Memo p54]
The Warren Commission: "Some time after 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday September 25, 1963, he collected a Texas unemployment compensation check for $33 at his New Orleans post office box." According to the Warren Commission, under normal postal procedures, OSWALD'S check would be in his post office box by 5:00 a.m. But was the Post Office open to the public at that time? The Warren Commission: "He cashed the check between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at a Wynn-Dixie Supermarket about six blocks from his Magazine Street apartment."
Evidence suggested on the night of Tuesday, September 24, 1963, OSWALD met with HEMMING and dropped off his baggage. HEMMING drove OSWALD back to Magazine Street late at night. OSWALD appeared to have been at Magazine Street the next morning since he cashed his check at the Wynn-Dixie Supermarket which was nearby. OSWALD did not have to return to Magazine Street to cash his check. He could have cashed it in downtown New Orleans, at Martin's Restaurant, where he had cashed several others. Nonetheless, on the morning of Wednesday, September 25, 1963, OSWALD went to the Post Office and then to the Wynn-Dixie Supermarket. This meant he had doubled back and stayed at Magazine Street that night. After this OSWALD and HEMMING drove to a clandestine airstrip or private airport, then flew by private plane, to Austin, Texas. In a Memorandum for the Record, Desmond FitzGerald, Chief, Special Affairs Staff, noted that the FBI had informed the DCI that it had checked all the airlines in New Orleans and OSWALD did not leave on any of them. The FBI did not check the private airports in New Orleans or any clandestine airstrips.
According to the Warren Commission, OSWALD went back to the Greyhound station and left for Houston, Texas, at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday September 25, 1963, however, no one in the baggage department or ticket department at the New Orleans Greyhound station remembered seeing OSWALD that night or the next day. The ticket clerk at the New Orleans bus station thought he sold OSWALD his ticket on Thursday, September 26, 1963, the same day OSWALD arrived in Laredo, Texas. [WR 323; WC Slawson hand wrt. notes #640] There were no witnesses on the 12:20 p.m. bus who remembered seeing OSWALD. The bus driver did not remember OSWALD. J. Lee Rankin was skeptical: "We are also concerned about the possibility that OSWALD may have left New Orleans on Tuesday September 24, 1963, instead of Wednesday, September 25, 1963, as has been previously thought...Marina indicated that he told her an unemployment check would be forwarded to Ruth Paine's address in Irving from his post office box in New Orleans...It also seems improbable to us that OSWALD would have gone all the way back to the Wynn-Dixie store at 4303 Magazine Street to cash the unemployment check, which he supposedly picked up at the Lafayette branch of the post office, when he could have previously cashed it at Martin's Restaurant." The Warren Commission: "THERE WAS NO FIRM EVIDENCE OF THE MEANS BY WHICH OSWALD TRAVELED FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HOUSTON...he left New Orleans, probably on Continental Trailways Bus No. 5121, departing New Orleans at 12:20 p.m., on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, and scheduled to arrive in Houston at 10:50 p.m. That bus is the only one on which OSWALD could have left New Orleans after noon on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, and arrived in Houston before midnight."
On Wednesday, September 25, 1963, when the Warren Commission placed him en route to Houston, Texas, OSWALD appeared in Austin, Texas, some 520 miles away. Evidence suggested that HEMMING flew OSWALD to Austin, Texas, where OSWALD attempted to get his dishonorable discharge upgraded. The Warren Report: "A employee of the United States Selective Service System stated that an individual calling himself LEE HARVEY OSWALD appeared at her Austin, Texas, office immediately after lunch on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, and discussed the possibility of rectifying his undesirable Marine Corps discharge."
"Mrs. Lee Dannelly, Assistant Chief of the Administrative Division, State Selective Service Headquarters, Austin, Texas, maintains a three inch by five inch locator card on all registrants with all boards located throughout the State of Texas and that these locator cards reveal that one LEE HARVEY OSWALD, born October 18, 1939, Selective Service Number 41-112-39-532, is a registrant with Local Board Number 14 which is located at Fort Worth, Texas. The card contains no other information whatsoever concerning LEE HARVEY OSWALD and any information concerning him in the possession of the Selective Service System would be located in the files of Local Board Number 114, Fort Worth, Texas.
"Mrs. Dannelly further pointed out that the locator cards in the State Selective Service Headquarters indicates that there are 15 individuals with the last name OSWALD in the locator files and that she recalls having searched for a name HARVEY OSWALD in these files when the individual known to her as HARVEY OSWALD contacted her on or about September 25, 1963, and finding no name listed therein for HARVEY OSWALD, she did not search for a LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
"Mrs. Dannelly further pointed out that she recalls that another employee of the State Selective Service Headquarters, namely Mr. Jesse Skrivanek, had brought HARVEY OSWALD back to her desk on the day in question which she thought to be September 25, 1963. She advised that she had checked and rechecked with Jesse Skrivanek who was on Christmas leave as of December 26, 1963, but that Jesse Skrivanek could not recall OSWALD by name and had made no notation concerning him at the time he came to State Selective Service Headquarters. She advised that as far as she knows Colonel Sinclair never at any time observed the individual using the name HARVEY OSWALD and that Jesse Skrivanek is the only other employee that she can recall personally at this time who may have observed OSWALD." [FBI SA 105-2909 Austin 12.26.63 H.T. Burke]
The FBI reported: "Lieutenant Colonel William B. Sinclair, Chief of the Administrative Division, State Selective Service Headquarters, Austin, Texas, advised that he had never heard or seen LEE HARVEY OSWALD until his name was mentioned on newscast and television programs on November 22, 1963, in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy. He advised further that on November 24, 1963, his Assistant Chief of the Administrative Division, Mrs. Lee Dannelly called him at his home and advised him that after observing the photographs of OSWALD on television and hearing his name announced, that she recalled that this individual had contacted her at State Selective Service Headquarters some time in the past six or eight weeks and that he had inquired at that time for information concerning a Marine corps discharge which he desired to have changed from 'other than honorable' to an 'honorable' discharge. Colonel Sinclair pointed out that at the time of this contact on November 24, 1963, Mrs. Dannelly was unable to recall any specific date of this contact and that it did not appear to be pertinent at that time, but he advised Mrs. Dannelly that she should use her own discretion about whether or not the matter should be reported to the proper authorities. Colonel Sinclair was allowed to observe a photograph of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and was advised that he could not recall ever having seen that individual inside the State Selective Service Headquarters, Austin, Texas. Colonel Sinclair further pointed out that there are a large number of callers at State Selective Service Headquarters and no register is maintained of the individuals who call at that office concerning routine matters which would have been the category of the inquiry referred to by Mrs. Dannelly on behalf of OSWALD." [FBI SA-105-2909 12.27.63 - WCD V24 p.236]
Ronnie Dugger of the Texas Observer questioned Lee Dannelly. Lee Dannelly recalled: "On November 24, 1963, (Sunday) it was announced over TV that at that time there was no definite record as to Mr. OSWALD'S whereabouts from May 1963 until the time of the assassination of President Kennedy. I was at home at the time and I called Colonel Sinclair and advised him I was positive this man had been to our office approximately six or eight weeks prior to that date (November 24, 1963). I could not recall any information that would make me positive about a specific date but that I was positive that it had been on a Wednesday. I have been having quite a bit of trouble with my back and legs for quite sometime, and the only time I have gone to town during my lunch hour was on our pay days to cash a check --- we are paid on alternate Wednesdays. I was a few minutes late in getting back to the office that day and Mr. OSWALD was waiting to see me when I got back. Mr. OSWALD stated that he had just come from the Governor's office to try to straighten out his discharge from the Marine Corps, which had been under 'other than honorable conditions.' The Governor's office told him they did not have anything to do with such things but that maybe this office would be able to assist him. Mr. OSWALD stated that at the time he was given the discharge under 'other than honorable conditions' he was told that if he lived an upright life for the next two years, he could then make application to have the type of discharge changed to 'Honorable.' He told me that he was having difficulty in obtaining a job, and holding a job, with that type of discharge. Also, he said it was embarrassing to his family. I asked him where he was registered, and he said he was registered in Florida but he was living in Fort Worth at the present time. I checked our locator file for HARVEY OSWALD (the name he gave me) but did not check any of the other OSWALD cards for possible identification, since I presumed he was correct and was registered in Florida. I did not find a card for HARVEY OSWALD. We do have a card for LEE HARVEY OSWALD. Mr. OSWALD did not remember whether he had given his address in Fort Worth (at time of separation from the Marine Corps) as place of entry into services or not. I advised him to check with our local boards in Fort Worth when he got back and maybe they would have a copy of his Report of Separation (DD Form 214)
"This headquarters maintains sets of military regulations from the various armed forces which jointly concern the Selective Service System. I checked these regulations in an attempt to learn the exact procedure Mr. OSWALD should follow in making application for a change in 'type' discharge. I did not find the regulation covering this subject. I then gave Mr. OSWALD a copy of an information sheet (R6-1229) (copy attached) which lists the location of various types of military records, so that he could write direct and request the procedure for making the application for change in 'type' of discharge. During this entire interview, which last for about 30 minutes, Mr. OSWALD was very courteous. Mr. Dugger advised me to inform the FBI of my knowledge of this case.
"Mr. Dugger called me on the telephone sometime during the morning of December 8, 1963, and asked if Mr. OSWALD at any time mentioned to me that he had lived in Russia. I told him no. Mr. Dugger asked me if I saw Mr. OSWALD at the time he was supposedly at the Trek Cafe, 3100 South Congress. I told him no. Mr. Dugger also asked if Mr. OSWALD had at any time during the interview mentioned anything as to his mode of transportation. I told him no. (Signed) Mrs. Lee Dannelly, Assistant Chief, Administrative Division."
"Mrs. Lee Dannelly, Assistant Chief of the Administrative Division, State Selective Service Headquarters, Austin, Texas, advised as best she can recall the person who contacted her giving his name as HARVEY OSWALD on or about September 25, 1963, was wearing grey trousers and a light colored shirt, not white, but possibly a faded blue. His clothes were wrinkled, but clean, and otherwise neat but worn looking. She could not recall the type of shoes he wore, and pointed out that his clothes that his shoes would not have been visible to her during her interview with him, although she could have observed his shoes when he walked up to her desk and as he left. She cannot recall his having a hat, although he may have left one in the waiting room when he came in. [FBI SA 105-2909 Austin, 1.31.64 H.T. Burk]
On November 24, 1963, Dannelly went into the office of Jesse A. Skrivanek and asked him if he remembered OSWALD: "Thereafter he 'racked his brain' but could not recall having ever seen anyone resembling OSWALD, having seen several photographs of OSWALD in newspapers as well as having observed him on television." [FBI SA 105-2909 1.2.64]
There was no evidence OSWALD visited Governor John Connally's office in Austin. On July 25, 1963, OSWALD was notified that his request for a discharge review, addressed to John Connally, who was Secretary of the Navy in 1962, had been refused. OSWALD said he was registered in Miami. This was untrue. No one told OSWALD that if he walked the straight and narrow, his discharge would be upgraded. As was usual, OSWALD was lying.
HEMMING told this researcher: "He had an interest in upgrading his discharge. Officially, what grounds would they have? Well, this son-of-a-bitch failed to report to his reserve component. He would have to show that he was on some job incompatibility, or other service, for the fucking government. Maybe at that point in time, he was about to expose this? This is probably what got him killed. He was pushing to go back on active duty, resume his career, and it would have blown the whole U-2 thing. So they had to unload his ass. He was about to blow his fucking cover cause he didn't know shit. He didn't know people had fingered him as dumping fucking Powers and the U-2. Now he very innocently says, 'Okay, I did what I had to do, it wasn't very much, they treated me like royalty over there. Now it's time to clean up my record, and go back to my fucking career.' He's done his fucking duty for the government. He's done his job and now it's time to resume a normal fucking life. Wanting to go back to his career was what got him set up as a patsy. He was more valuable."
J. Edgar Hoover termed the incident "another hoax" and asked his agents to "ascertain any evidence of mental instability on the part of Mrs. Dannelly." The Warren Commission: "Despite the apparent reputability and sincerity of the employee, all of the information she furnished in respect to OSWALD'S appearance and conversation could have been derived from the news media, consciously or unconsciously, by the time she told the FBI her story."
Lee Dannelly was a credible and responsible witness. Lee Dannelly had no history of insanity nor was she someone who would perpetrate a hoax. She had encountered OSWALD. No other Selective Service employee verified her story to the FBI. Lee Dannelly commented in April 1993: "I didn't work with the draft board, I was an inspector with the Selective Service System. I'm not interested. I have talked with the FBI about this and they have told me not to do any talkin' to anybody. I have retired." [WR 732; WC Slawson notes #388 pp7-13; FBI 105-82555-888; FBI 105-2909 Austin Reps. of 12.30.63, 12.31.63; 1.2.64, 2.6.64]
Gerald Posner suggested Lee Dannelly fabricated her story, using information obtained from the media. Lee Dannelly was recontacted and confronted with the allegations of Gerald Posner. She stated: "I do not lie, I do not lie!" then she hung-up.
Florence Estella Norman, widow, 4301 Bannister, advised the following:
"She began her employment at the Trek Cafe the latter part of August 1963, and was so employed until the Monday before Thanksgiving.
"From the beginning of this employment until October 1963, her hours were from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. seven days a week. Her hours were changed and she began work either at 1:00 or 3:00 p.m., and worked until either 11:00 p.m., or midnight except Fridays and Saturdays when her hours were from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
"The Sunday after the assassination of President Kennedy while at the Trek Cafe she saw a picture of OSWALD in the Austin paper and recognized him as a customer she had served at the Trek Cafe.
"This customer was at the Cafe in the midafternoon so by the above working hours she concluded this individual was present at the Trek Cafe either the latter part of October or the early part of November 1963.
"She recalled the following concerning this incident: She was alone in the restaurant, neither other employee nor customer being present. The cook was in the kitchen. This individual came into the restaurant and ordered coffee. He appeared very nervous. He kept fooling with the paper napkins and appeared to be writing or doodling on these napkins. He used three or four napkins and must have put these in his pocket before leaving as the napkins were not left on the table, ashtray or floor. The customer remained 30 or 45 minutes and had either three or four cups of coffee. He paid 10˘ for each coffee as the Trek does not give refills on coffee. This customer was alone at all times. She did not notice his mode of transportation on leaving and neither did she notice the direction in which he left. Seeing he was nervous she tried to start a conversation with him, but he did not respond. On seeing the photograph of the accused assassin that Sunday she exclaimed out loud, My God, I know him. A Mr. Day who was employed at a local newspaper was in the cafe as a customer. Mr. Day asked her how she knew the accused assassin and she told him 'As a customer.' Mr. Day then said he thought he too had seen this individual in the Trek Cafe. She could not recall Mr. Day being in the cafe when this customer whom she believed to identical with the accused assassin of President Kennedy was there, but Mr. Day could have been present. Norman advised she could not recall having discussed this matter with anyone other than Mr. Day and the newspaper reporter who had contacted her about two weeks prior to this interview at her then place of employment, Bill's Grill. As a matter of fact she had not even discussed this with her parents. In conclusion she did not know who had directed the newspaper reporter to her." [FBI 105-82555-NR 1950, 3.6.64]
Mrs. Lee Dannelly advised the FBI that she "recalls being at Trek Cafe on South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, on November 24, 1963, at which time she was engaged in conversation with a man who is employed as a printer for the Austin daily paper and at that time this individual whose name is not known to her at this time advised her that he believed that he had seen LEE HARVEY OSWALD at the Trek Cafe sometime in the past. This man had seen OSWALD'S photograph on television at that time and due to this conversation, Mrs. Dannelly recalled her experience of having been contacted by the individual using the name of HARVEY OSWALD and recalled that photograph seen on television resembled the individual who had contacted her using the name of HARVEY OSWALD. Mrs. Dannelly advised that the printer whom she engaged in conversation at the Trek Cafe was a white male, age 45, of slender build, approximately 5'6" to 5' 8", 135 pounds and during the course of conversation had mentioned that he had been recently divorced, and had a home in the country where he kept a considerable number of dogs. Mrs. Dannelly advised that she had seen this printer in the Trek Cafe on numerous other occasions and knew him by sight, but not by name. Mrs. Dannelly likewise recalled as best she could remember at this time Mr. Ronnie Dugger is a friend of the son of the printer referred to above. She also recalls that a waitress in the Trek Cafe made some comment indicating that she was of the opinion that OSWALD had been in that Cafe at one time or another." [FBI SA 10502909 12.19.63]
L.L. Day, a pressman, was interviewed by the FBI: "L. (Only) B. (Only) Day, 4525 Duval Street, Austin, Texas, was contacted after attempts have been made to contact him on January 2, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 13, 1964, at various times of the day. Day advised as follows:
"When he first saw the photograph of OSWALD in the newspaper a day or two after the assassination he was in the Trek Café located on South Congress in Austin, Texas. Present was Stella, the waitress at the café, whose last name was not known to him.
"On seeing the photograph he said, 'Gol dang, Stella, don't you remember him?' Whereupon she answered, she did not.
"He then told Stella that she had waited on him, there in the Trek Café, six weeks prior to this occurrence. He then told Stella that OSWALD was sitting in the cafe one day when he, Day, was 'ragging her' and that on that occasion he told her, 'If I could find a wife who would make me a living I would marry her' and that Stella had said not to try to trap her, that she was already married and making a living for that husband.
"He reminded Stella that OSWALD had been sitting on the third or fourth stool from the cash register and that he Day, had the last stool in the rear of the café.
"He reminded Stella that OSWALD had what appeared to be a pencil in his hand and seemed to be jotting on something. That OSWALD kept looking in the direction of the kitchen.
"After reminding Stella of the above, Stella sat down and after appearing to give the matter some 'deep thought,' told him she too recalled seeing OSWALD in the café on that occasion.
"Referring back to the incident of OSWALD'S appearance in the Trek Cafe, he advised that OSWALD was sitting at the counter on his arrival there and estimated this was some six or seven weeks prior to President Kennedy's assassination. He said OSWALD remained 30 or 40 minutes; that he did not notice OSWALD on his departure as to what direction he took or his mode of travel. Normally there are about two waitresses present at the Trek Cafe, but on this occasion he could only recall Stella being present. While OSWALD was there, two or three people came in and had coffee, though he could not recall who they were, or even if he knew them. This must have occurred after 3:00 p.m. as at that time Stella was reporting for work at 3:00 p.m. In conclusion he wished to say he was wrong as many times as he was right, but that he believed the man at the Trek Cafe was in fact, OSWALD." L. L. Day told Stella Norman that there were no other waitresses on duty that day.
The FBI reported: "Tom Attra, Street Circulation, Austin American, newspaper, Austin, Texas, advised the following: He has known L.B. Day for a number of years. In the last few years Day has had several different wives and he has given the appearance of being a bit unstable. He was of the opinion as in his infrequent conversations with Day, Day had conversed 'in a wandering manner' and really appeared to have imagined some of the things he related. As a result thereof, he has accepted things told to him by Day with a 'grain of salt.' [FBI SA 105-2909 1.17.64 Robert W. Carnes]
The FBI interviewed Stella Norman's employer, Lorine Shuler: "Stella Norman was no longer employed as a waitress at this cafe. Norman's last known residence was the second house on the east side of Bannister Street, running north off Ben White Boulevard. During Norman's employment at the Trek Cafe her hours were from 3:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. except on Fridays and Saturdays when she worked from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. Norman's day off was Wednesday. She could not recall an instance during Norman's employment when Norman had been the only waitress on duty at the Trek Cafe. The work schedules were set up so there would always be two waitresses on duty at all times, but one might be temporarily preoccupied by answering the telephone or using the washroom normally for a very few minutes at a time.
"Shuler advised that on three or four different occasions within a weeks span of time shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Norman mentioned to her that she had seen OSWALD as a customer in the Trek Cafe sometime prior to the assassination. However, she did not pay too much attention to Norman, and could not recall the details of what Norman had told her but that each time the story was told by Norman she varied from the previous story or stories. These remarks by Norman were made while on duty at the cafe. To her recollection, Norman made these remarks to her, Shuler, alone. In conclusion, Shuler said she did not place any faith in the stories related by Norman hence more or less dismissed the matter in her mind."
William Covington, owner, Trek Cafe and Motel, 3100 South Congress, Austin, Texas, advised the FBI as follows:
"Florence Norman, who was commonly known as Stella Norman, began employment as a waitress at the Trek Cafe on July 26, 1963, with her hours being from 3:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m., until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Wednesday was Norman's day off. Her last date of employment was on Monday of the week ending Saturday, November 30, 1963. He determined these dates of employment by referring to his payroll book and the hours of her employment he recalled from memory.
"Specifically concerning the date of September 25, 1963, his payroll record showed that Norman had been paid for the usual six days work for the week ending September 28, 1963, indicating to him that Norman had her regular day off on Wednesday, September 25, 1963. According to his records, Norman worked on only two Wednesdays during her employment; these being the Wednesdays of weeks ending on Saturdays, August 31, 1963, and October 19, 1963, on those occasions Norman was paid for full seven days of work. Norman was not related to him. To his knowledge Norman was not related with anyone connected to the Trek Cafe.
"He had heard Norman make mention of having seen OSWALD at the Trek Cafe, though he could not recall the party to whom he made this statement and she had never discussed the matter with him directly. He did not pay too much attention to Norman in this regards he felt it was 'foolishness' on Norman's part.
"He believed Norman to be somewhat irresponsible and unreliable for the following reason. In terminating this employment, Norman did not resign, but, for several days she would call in and say she was ill and could not report for work. It seemed that each time some other employee would mention having seen Norman at a night club the previous evening 'living it up.' After several days she quit calling in and just did not show up for work again.
"Mr. Covington advised that his manner of operating the Trek Cafe there are always at least two waitresses on duty in the cafe and one waitress should not be left there alone by the other for a period of time or more than ten minutes for he would not permit this. Such an absence should be only to use the wash room or answer the telephone.
"In conclusion, Mr. Covington advised that the guests in the Trek Motel for the nights of September 24, 1963, and September 25, 1963, were all regular customers who were known to him, and not identifiable by name or photograph with OSWALD.
"It is to be noted that the FD 302 of S.A. Robert Carnes concerning interview of Lorine Shuler reflects the interview was on January 2, 1964, and the date dictated was on February 3, 1964. It is further noted that the FD 302 of S.A. Carnes reflecting interview of William Covington shows that the interview was conducted on January 22, 1964 and the date dictated was February 3, 1964. These FD 302s originally had been dictated within the prescribed five day period but were re-dictated as the result of Bureau instructions in referenced Bureau Airtel.
The Airtel: "Bureau not disseminating rerep...Bases of statements of Lorine Shuler as to irresponsibility of Florence Norman and the private expression of Norman are not set forth and, in the event specifics in this regard are not available, they should be deleted. Reasons for statements regarding Shuler's furnishing address only after agent identified himself and her reluctance to enter into a controversy is not clear. If purpose was to depict hostile or uncooperative attitude on part of Shuler, and if such was the case, furnish specifics or delete above statements. Endeavor to obtain more details from Shuler as to the nature of Norman's remarks concerning having seen OSWALD at the Trek Cafe. Include data as to when, and to whom, these remarks were made. Inquiry at Trek Cafe has not established working hours of Norman on September 25, 1963, nor have you established whether or not she may have been alone in cafe that date with (illegible due to poor Xeroxing on the part of this researcher). Your interview of Norman, after reporting her discussion with L.L. Day, records that she claimed not to have discussed her observations of person thought to be OSWALD with anyone else, not even her parents. This is not clear as page six continues concerning her admission to discussing matter with a local reporter and it appears at variance with the revelations of Mrs. Dannelly and Lorine Shuler. Clarify and endeavor to resolve these discrepancies.
"Rewrite rerep in accordance with foregoing observations and include therein results of your interview of L.L. Day...Refer to page 18, your January 6, 1964, report in this case, wherein Ronnie Dugger is reported as having stated he developed no information indicating OSWALD was in Austin beyond information furnished by Mrs. Dannelly. Report of Dugger interview, despite above comment, contains information that he interviewed Stella Norman who reported she believed she saw OSWALD in Trek Cafe two month prior to his interview and that he had been informed by L.L. Day that he saw man referred to by Norman, and was convinced this person was OSWALD. Submit amended page 18 resolving obvious inconsistency. Handle immediately and suairtel date revised report and amended will be submitted. Exercise caution to prevent recurrence of delinquencies as noted herein and score errors."
Lee Dannelly, Stella Norman and L.L. Day told the FBI that someone who resembled OSWALD was in the Trek Cafe some time in September 1963. Dannelly, Day and Norman had never perpetrated a hoax either before or after this report. They were telling the truth. The owners of the Trek Cafe did not want their establishment to become associated with OSWALD. The FBI did not explore the possibility that Norman switched days with another waitress. Gerald Posner wrote that the testimony of Stella Norman and L.L. Day discredited Lee Dannelly when it did exactly the opposite. [NARA FBI 124-10026-10116] The Warren Commission: "No other evidence tending to show that OSWALD was in Austin at this time has been discovered." [WC V24 p736 CE2137]
From Austin, Texas, OSWALD was flown to Dallas, Texas, in a private plane. On the evening of Wednesday, September 25, 1963, when OSWALD was supposed to be on the bus that left New Orleans on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, at 12:20 p.m., and arrived in Houston on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, at 10:50 p.m., OSWALD, and two other members of HEMMING'S crew, visited the Dallas apartment of Sylvia and Annie Odio. [WCD 78 p4]
The HSCA: "No definite conclusion on the specific date of the Odio visit could be reached. The possibility that it could have been as early as Wednesday, September 25, 1963, the morning during which OSWALD was seen in New Orleans, exists. The visit was more likely on Thursday, September 26, 1963, Friday, September 27, 1963, or Saturday, September 28, 1963. If it were, then OSWALD, judging from the evidence developed by both the Warren Commission and this committee, had to have access to private transportation...which is a situation that indicates conspiratorial involvement." [HSCA V10 p32]
On December 20, 1963, Sylvia Odio advised the FBI that she was "contacted late September, or early October 1963, by two Cuban males who stated they were members of Junta Revolutionaria, or JURE, an anti-Castro Cuban organization headed by Manuel Ray with headquarters in Puerto Rico. These two Cubans were accompanied by an individual that they introduced as LEON OSWALD, who Miss Odio states is identical with LEE HARVEY OSWALD. These Cubans contacted Odio and requested her help in soliciting funds from Dallas businessmen, which she refused because both her parents are presently in jail in Cuba, and she feared for their safety. A few days later one of these individuals contacted her, gave only the name of Leopoldo, and stated they were leaving Dallas, presumably to return to Miami, Florida, or Puerto Rico. Leopoldo at this time stated that they were going to have nothing further to do with OSWALD since he was 'loco.' OSWALD told them he was an ex-Marine and wished to help them in their Cuban underground; however he was cynical and thought all Cubans hated all Americans. According to Leopoldo, OSWALD told them 'I am sure you Cubans would want to shoot President Kennedy for what he did to you at the Bay of Pigs.' Leopoldo told Odio that the Cuban refugees bore President Kennedy no malice for the Bay of Pigs episode." [NARA 124-10158-10186]
The Warren Report stated: "Sylvia Odio is a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Junta (JURE). She testified in late September 1963, three men came to her apartment in Dallas and asked her to help them prepare a letter soliciting funds for JURE activities. She claimed that the men, who exhibited personal familiarity, asked her if she were 'working in the underground,' and she replied that she was not. She testified that two of the men appeared to be Cubans, although they also had some Mexican characteristics. The men did not state their full names, but identified themselves by 'war names.' Mrs. Odio remembered one Cuban's name as 'Leopoldo.' The third man, an American, allegedly was introduced to Mrs. Odio as 'LEON OSWALD,' and she was told he was very much interested in the Cuban cause. Mrs. Odio said the men told her they had just come from New Orleans, and that they were then about to leave on a trip. The next day, Leopoldo called her and told her it was his idea to introduce the American into the underground, 'because he is great, he is kind of nuts.' Leopoldo also said that the American had been in the Marine Corps and was an excellent shot, and that the American said the Cubans, 'don't have any guts because President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs, and some Cubans should have done that, because he was the one that was holding the freedom of Cuba actually.' Although Sylvia Odio suggested doubts that the men were in fact members of JURE, she was certain that the American who was introduced to her as LEON OSWALD was LEE HARVEY OSWALD. Her sister, who was in the apartment at the time of the visit by the three men, and who stated she saw them briefly in the hallway while answering the door, also believed the American was OSWALD. Sylvia Odio fixed the date of the alleged visit on Thursday, September 26, 1963, or Friday, November 27, 1963...the Commission concluded that OSWALD could not have been in Dallas on [either] evening."
The Warren Report failed to note that the three men knew the cryptonym that was used by the father of Sylvia Odio. Information of this nature would have been available to members of the CIA concerned with Cuban affairs. Sylvia Odio told the HSCA: "[He knew] a lot of details about my father and the Isle of Pines. A lot of things they had done together in the revolution, working together in the underground, details that perhaps not everyone would know."
Annie Odio had also seen OSWALD that night. She told this to the FBI in Miami on July 30, 1964. [WCE 1391] In a statement to the HSCA, she remembered the evening when three men came to the door of Sylvia Odio's apartment in Dallas. One man asked to speak to "Sarita Odio." Annie Odio told him Sarita Odio didn't live there. Then, according to Annie Odio's recollection: "He said something, perhaps something about her being married, which made me think they really wanted my sister Sylvia...they may have also said something about belonging to JURE. I don't remember her talking to them that evening, but I know she talked with them after that. I don't know how I know that, except that Sylvia must have told me. When I first saw OSWALD on television, my first thought was, 'My God, I know this guy, and I don't know from where. But I'm not going to tell anyone because they might think I'm crazy.' Then my sister Sarita called, and told me that Sylvia had fainted at work...in the hospital I don't remember anyone else in the room, but it was a very small room. Sylvia was in bed. The first thing I remember when I walked into the room was that Sylvia started crying and crying. I don't remember her saying anything. I think that I told her, 'You know this guy on T.V. who shot President Kennedy? I think I know him.' And she said: 'No, I cannot recall, but I know I've seen him before.' And then she told me: 'Do you remember those three guys who came to the house?' And that's when I realized I had seen OSWALD before. And then she told me everything, including the fact that one of the men had called back, that she called him LEON. She kept saying, 'LEON did it, LEON did it' before she fainted. I remember Sylvia was very excited at the hospital and she kept saying that she knew that Leon was going to do it. I do remember thinking that I wasn't going to tell anybody. I remember being very scared." [HSCA Sworn Statement Annie Odio 9.20.78 Fonzi] Sylvia Odio remembered regaining consciousness in a hospital room, and her sister Annie entering the room. She recalled watching OSWALD'S image on hospital room television: "Annie and I looked at one another and gasped. She said, 'Do you recognize him?' I said 'Yes' and I said, 'Do you recognize him?' She said 'It is the same guy, isn't it?' I said 'Yes, but do not say anything.'"
Sylvia and Annie Odio were Cuban exile sisters whose parents were political prisoners in Cuba. When Amador and Sarah Odio joined the anti-Castro movement in 1959, they sent their ten children abroad. Amador, a transport tycoon, was among Cuba's wealthy aristocracy. The Odios had twice been forced into exile during the Batista dictatorship. On one occasion, they were suspected of harboring Sanchez Arrango. The trucks of Amador Odio were the main supply-line for the weapons and ammunition for Fidel Castro, and the materiel provided by Amador Odio had been crucial to his revolution. Yet, when the Odios realized Fidel Castro had betrayed the revolution, they became founding members of Revolutionary Movement of the People, and were arrested on October 26, 1961, when the G-2 discovered an arms cache on their farm. Until then, the farm had also been the hide-out of Manolo Ray. Sarah Odio was to spend eight years in a woman's prison; Amador Odio was imprisoned in a prison cell on the Isle of Pines for 30 years.
After fleeing Cuba, Sylvia Odio and her husband, Guillermo Herrera, and their four young children, moved to Puerto Rico. There, she was abandoned by her husband in March 1963. The FBI developed this gossip: "While her husband, Guillermo Herrera, was in Europe, it was also rumored that she was in company with a Cuban exile named 'Bibo' Intensa, who was also married and who had five children, and who separated from his wife as a result of this relationship with Sylvia Herrera. When Herrera returned to Ponce from Germany there was talk about the neighborhood that he found out that his wife Sylvia was in love was in love with Intensa and he immediately sought a divorce from her after which she left Ponce by herself, for an unknown destination in the U.S., and Herrera remained in Puerto Rico with his children." These two paragraphs were marked "delete" and not released until 1995. In April 1963 Sylvia Odio moved to Dallas where she lived in an apartment on Magellan Circle.
Lucille Connell of the Dallas Cuban Refugee Center arranged for Sylvia Odio to get psychiatric counseling. Alone, and responsible for four children, her parents imprisoned, her brother placed in an orphanage, and her wealthy lifestyle abruptly changed to deep destitution, Sylvia Odio had good reason for her depression. On Sunday, November 24, 1963, Lucille Connell received a phone call from a friend who told her she had seen JACK RUBY in the law office where she worked. Lucille Connell repeated this to another friend, who mentioned it in a Spanish class where a pupil was the son of an FBI agent. The student informed his father, and the FBI traced the rumor back to Lucille Connell. When the FBI questioned Lucille Connell about RUBY on November 29, 1963, she told S.A.s Probst and Horton "that one of her Cuban refugee acquaintances, Sylvia Odio, advised her telephonically on November 28, 1963, that she knew OSWALD." Because they were concerned for their own safety and worried about their mother and father in Castro's prison, Sylvia and Annie Odio had decided not to reveal the incident. The Warren Commission could not say Sylvia Odio was a publicity seeker. It was only circuitously that the FBI came to learn of her.
Lucille Connell also told the FBI that Sylvia Odio had told her that OSWALD " had made some talks to small groups of Dallas Cuban refugees in the past. Sylvia Odio stated she personally considered OSWALD brilliant and clever, and that he captivated the groups to whom he spoke. Sylvia Odio further reported to Lucille Connell during this conversation that a call had been made in recent months by a Cuban associate of hers to an unknown source in New Orleans requesting information on OSWALD. Sylvia Odio volunteered that information was in turn received from New Orleans source to the effect that OSWALD was considered by that source to be a 'double agent.' The source stated OSWALD was probably trying to infiltrate the Dallas Cuban group [JURE] and should not be trusted." [FBI DL 44-1639 11.29.63 Horton & Probst] S.A. Hosty's interview with Sylvia Odio did not mention OSWALD having addressed any meetings of JURE. Sylvia Odio described Lucille Connell as "intense about the John Birch Society," and a follower of General Walker. [FBI 105-42555-4743]
S.A. Hosty and S.A. Bardwell Odum interviewed Sylvia Odio on December 19, 1963. She identified a photo of OSWALD as being identical to the individual she had encountered. She told the agents that "A few days later one of the two Cuban individuals contacted her by telephone and stated they were leaving town presumably to return to Miami or Puerto Rico, the headquarters of JURE...Leopoldo stated he was not going to have anything further to do with LEON OSWALD since he considered him to be 'loco.' Leopoldo stated OSWALD did not appear sincere. He told them he was an ex-Marine and could help them in the underground however he appeared to be very cynical and seemed to think that all Cubans hated Americans. According to Leopoldo, OSWALD stated: 'I'll bet you Cubans can kill Kennedy for what he did to you at Bay of Pigs.'"
When J. Edgar Hoover ordered S.A.s James Hosty and Bardwell Odum to "disprove her allegation" S.A. Hosty said she was mentally ill. On December 19, 1963, S.A. Hosty appeared at her psychiatrist's office. Dr. Burton C. Einspruch stated: "She does not have any problems concerning hallucinations...she is telling the truth and not exaggerating..." [FBI DL 100-10461 12.19.63] A Warren Commission document released in 1993 stated: "In describing Miss Odio's relationships with Dallas Cubans, Dr. Burton C. Einspruch stated that she was never really part of the Cuban community, but that her real place was at the top of the social ladder among American socialites in Dallas. Miss Odio's closest friends in Dallas now were the John Rogers family...this family owns Texas Instruments...Miss Odio stayed with the Rogers family after her hospitalization in connection with the Kennedy assassination. Dr. Einspruch stated that he had great faith in Miss Odio's story of having met OSWALD. He stated that, in the course of psychotherapy, Miss Odio told him that she had seen OSWALD at more than one anti-Castro meeting. One of these meetings was apparently at her house, he believed. OSWALD made inflammatory remarks about Cuba." [WC Memo Slawson/Griffen 4.16.64]
The HSCA interviewed Burton C. Einspruch, who specifically recalled that Sylvia Odio related to him a visit by three men before the assassination and was certain she specified that two of the visitors were Cuban or Latin and one was Anglo. He remembered that when he telephoned Sylvia Odio on November 23, 1963, she did mention LEON and connected the name to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
J. Edgar Hoover stated in 1963: "Sylvia Odio is an unstable individual who is regarded by her ex-husband and associates as a person with a tendency toward exhibitionism." [FBI Hoover to Rankin 9.23.64] In 1967 the FBI stated: "...we determined that Sylvia Odio was regarded by numerous close associates as being mentally unstable. We were also informed that Sylvia Odio had been hospitalized at one time for mental illness, and that she had also attempted suicide in the past." James Hosty stated in 1993: "I didn't conduct those interviews with her. She did have mental problems. Einspruch said she suffered from hysteria." Gerald Posner agreed: "Sylvia Odio herself has to be briefly examined."
Thomas J. Kelley, the United States Secret Service Inspector who interrogated OSWALD after the assassination, had United States Secret Service Agent Ernesto Aragon run a background check on Sylvia Odio. The results contained accusations she was a suspected Communist, known to the Puerto Rican police. She was described as having a mental disorder that caused her to abandon her husband and children in Puerto Rico. When the FBI questioned Ernesto Aragon about his source in the Puerto Rican Police, he conceded his report was merely an assumption. Thomas J. Kelley had Ernesto Aragon interview JURE leaders Manolo Ray and Rogelio Cisneros. Manolo Ray said Sylvia Odio was a good person, but must have imagined that OSWALD claimed to be a member of JURE. [WCE 2907; FBI 105-82555-4886; WCD 854; FBI 105-82555-4892] S.A. Hosty collected statements about Sylvia Odio's mental condition from her friends. Her exile friends indicated she might be crazy, but her American friends described her as sane. [FBI DL-100-10461; WCD 1553; WCD 1546, FBI 105-4255-4743]
The FBI attempted to intimidate Sylvia Odio into changing her story by visiting her so often that she lost her secretarial job and was forced to move to Miami. A few hours before Sylvia Odio was to appear at the Miami FBI for questioning, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre called the FBI and said Sylvia Odio had attempted suicide a number of times, and was under the care of a psychiatrist. A company owned by Maurice Ferre, Maule Industries, employed one of the brothers of Sylvia Odio, Caesar Odio. The Ferre family was deeply involved in Cuban exile affairs: The father of Maurice Ferre, José Ferre, a prominent Cuban businessman, was the owner of the National Concrete Company of Cuba, and was active in the Civic Resistance Movement of Manolo Ray. When Fidel Castro came to power, the Ferres moved to the United States, where they had vast industrial holdings.
The bodyguard of Maurice Ferre, Ramon Orozco Crespo, an employee of Maule Industries, was questioned about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by the Secret Service. The United States Secret Service considered Ramon Orozco Crespo a threat to Kennedy in the Fall of 1963. In 1970, Ramon Orozco Crespo was arrested for illegally exporting munitions and articles of war; the FBI questioned him in 1973 about an attack on a Cuban fishing boat. Ramon Orozco Crespo and Humberto Lopez Jr. were seriously injured in March 1974, when a bomb exploded in their hands as they were concealing it inside a book addressed to a Cuban Embassy. The father of Humberto Lopez, Humberto Lopez Sr., was questioned by the Miami District Attorney about his activities as part of the squad HUNT and NIXON recruited in 1972 to attack demonstrators at the funeral of J. Edgar Hoover. Ramon Orozco Crespo was the partner of Angel Ferrer, the Watergater who was registered at the Watergate Hotel during the break-in, but was never picked up by the police. The United States Secret Service gave its report on Ramon Orozco Crespo and the Kennedy assassination, entitled "Cuban Terrorist," to the National Archives. An attempt was made to obtain the document. It was missing. [USSS CO-2-34030 #316, #1188 see CO-2-34341] Castro double-agent Manuel DeArmas claimed that Ramon Orozco Crespo had been a long-standing CIA employee. Maurice Ferre was an associate of Rolando Masferrer, and he had close ties to the Bay of Pigs Brigade.
After the assassination, and prior to her FBI interview, Sylvia Odio described the incident to her priest, Father Walter J. McCann. Ernesto Aragon advised the priest was in Florida. The United States Secret Service Director, James Rowley, ordered Thomas J. Kelley to interview Father Walter J. McCann, who was located in a rest home in New Orleans. Father Walter J. McCann verified the story of Sylvia Odio, and explained her mental condition could have been aggravated by "her concern that the Cuban community might be involved with the assassination, in view of its association with OSWALD shortly before the event." Thomas J. Kelley insisted Father Walter J. McCann telephone Sylvia Odio and question her about the incident. Thomas J. Kelley then spoke with Father McCann, who said Sylvia Odio identified one of the men who visited her with OSWALD as Roger Cisneros. This inconsistency was recorded in the first draft of the Warren Report, but J. Lee Rankin objected: "The story of Father McCann is overemphasized. We should state that Sylvia Odio never told anyone else that Cisneros was one of the men with OSWALD. How can we conclude that McCann would not have become confused, when he was apparently in a rest home, and we have never seen or spoken with him? Odio may well turn out to 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."
OSWALD and two Cuban or Mexican members of INTERPEN were dispatched to Sylvia Odio's apartment by HEMMING to discredit or "dirty-up," Manuel "Manolo" Ray Rivero's group, JURE. In 1957, Manolo Ray, (born June 13, 1924) a young U.S. trained engineer, organized the Civic Resistance Movement in Cuba, which performed terrorist acts against the Batista Government. Manolo Ray's resistance to Fulgencia Batista was rewarded by Fidel Castro, who appointed him Minister of Public Works in February 1959. He lost this job in November 1959, but allowed his name to be associated with the Castro Government until April 1960. HUNT said Pedro Diaz Lanz told Manolo Ray, just before Pedro Diaz Lanz fled, that Fidel Castro was a Communist. Manolo Ray allegedly replied that he didn't care. In May 1960 Manolo Ray formed the Revolutionary Movement of the People. On October 25, 1960, a Provisional Operational Approval was granted to Manolo Ray by the CIA for use as a political action agent.
The Revolutionary Movement of the People was an anti-Castro organization which believed in the ideas and aims of the democratic left. It favored extending the laws Fidel Castro put into effect at the beginning of his regime, and advocated the nationalization of all utilities. On the spectrum of the left, the Revolutionary Movement of the People was similar to the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas. Manuel Artime noted Manolo Ray's group was opposed to banning the Communist Party and in favor of "nationalizing everything." HUNT reasoned that Manolo Ray's intimates derived the "sympathetic attention of Kennedy's advisors" because they were all "inhabitants of the extreme socialist left." HUNT regarded the Revolutionary Movement of the People as Fidelismo sin Fidel, and claimed that an article accusing Manuel Artime of being a Castro double-agent was traced back to Manolo Ray. HEMMING claimed he hijacked a truckload of arms from Rogelio Cisneros. HEMMING 1994: "This is bullshit." LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD commented that Manolo Ray was a socialist and called himself anti-Castro merely because he wanted power. HEMMING 1994: "HOWARD could give a rat's ass who was a commie, or anything else. He was there to do a job. He wasn't interested in politics. He wouldn't give a fuck if Castro was a Communist or Presbyterian." MARTINO wrote: "These left-wingers...who were accomplices in Castro's crimes, were the group most favored by the Kennedy administration..." Richard Davis said his feud with the Odio family dated from pre-Castro Cuba, and that he still carried a scar from a knife fight with Sylvia Odio's brother. [Memo 3.22.67 Gurvich/Garrison; Memo re: R. K. Brown, ARA file, 7.17.68]
The FBI reported: "The majority of outstanding anti-Castro action group leaders, such as Felipe Vidal of the United Front for National Liberation, Antonio Varona of the Revolutionary Council have amassed a great amount of material indicating that Ray is a Communist whose only intention is of trying to replace Fidel Castro with himself. The expression 'Fidelism without Fidel' is synonymous with Manuel Ray." [FBI 97-4133-84]
When Manolo Ray entered the United States on November 10, 1960, the State Department wanted him to join the Cuban Revolutionary Front. This brought Manolo Ray into conflict with Cuban Revolutionary Front Chief Tony Varona, who branded Manolo Ray a Marxist. The State Department forced HUNT to admit Manolo Ray into the Cuban Revolutionary Council just before the Bay of Pigs invasion. [HUNT Day pp. 91, 92, 215] Manolo Ray, however, refused to merge the Revolutionary Movement of the People into the Cuban Revolutionary Front while Tony Varona was head of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, because Tony Varona had headed the corrupt Cuban Authentico Party of Carlos Prio Soccarras. HUNT'S superiors pressured him to admit Manolo Ray and replace Tony Varona. Rather than do so, HUNT, according to his account, resigned. [HUNT Day pp. 140, 142, 153, 175] Despite HUNT'S protestations and "resignation," Manolo Ray was appointed chief of sabotage and head of internal affairs of the newly-created Cuban Revolutionary Council. Manolo Ray had become a thorn in Castro's side. The Revolutionary Movement of the People underground in Cuba was responsible for extensive acts of sabotage. Manuel Artime's MRR received a constant supply of explosives and weapons through air drops, although no materiel was made available to the Revolutionary Movement of the People. Manolo Ray explained in a statement to the Foreign Agents Registration Board: "Since 1960 the Revolutionary Movement of the People has been fighting, both in Cuba and in exile, to liberate Cuba from the horrors of Communism...we were responsible for many of the sabotages to the industries in Cuba, the burning of El Encante, Havana's largest department store...the situation in the island gets worse by days, the repression increases and fear begins to master the best of wills, but most of all there are no means to fight with, we lack weapons, ammunitions, sabotage material...in exile we are working with literally no financial means." [HUNT Day p56; FARB #1516 filed 3.26.63 Item #7] The CIA claimed: "CIA provided support to a variety of autonomous anti-Castro groups, including the one represented by Ray." [CIA traces on individuals who might have been directed by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. Unmarked Document.]Manolo Ray made no secret he detested the Agency in early 1961, and announced to the press: "The Cuban Revolutionary Council, seemingly acting with the CIA's blessing, is recruiting former officials of the Batista dictatorship, while turning its back on the Revolutionary Movement of the People." Manolo Ray withdrew from the Cuban Revolutionary Council shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion, because it failed to carry out its promise to give priority to Cuban underground fighters during the invasion. [NYT 5.24.61; Szulc Invasion p92; HSCA V5 p66] On August 20, 1961, The Miami Herald carried an article entitled, "Systematic Bombings Harass Cuban Rulers," in which Orlando Bosch quoted the Revolutionary Movement of the People's Military Chief, Marcos Williams, concerning 31 bomb explosions which were detonated in Havana between June 22, 1961, and June 27, 1961, by underground anti-Castro sabotage units. According to Orlando Bosch, Marcos Williams said the Revolutionary Movement of the People had no relationship with Manolo Ray. In April 1962, Manolo Ray founded a new anti-Castro organization: The Junta Revolucionario Cubana (JURE). Military operations were initiated, with Roger Cisneros as the military coordinator of JURE. On March 30, 1963, JURE created an intelligence group whose function was to "infiltrate JURE members into various organizations which operate in Miami, as well as into agencies of the U.S. Government." [JMWAVE Dispatch re: Volsky 8.24.64] On April 30, 1963, a source, described as a "Former Rebel Army member, active in clandestine movements" reported that Rogelio Cisneros had said, "Manuel Ray Rivera had issued orders to infiltrate a trusted man into the CIA..." [CIA 201-239,298; Report 6.3.63] By the Fall of 1963 Manolo Ray was in Latin America to gather funds for JURE. The CIA reported that in July 1966 Manolo Ray reportedly developed a plan to assassinate Castro: "This plot was not at CIA direction and no assistance was provided for it. CIA's relationship with Subject ended in 1967."
Gaeton Fonzi determined: "The evidence [given to the Warren Commission] did not support the definitive character of its conclusions. The possibilities were considered that [someone] wanted it to appear that OSWALD was associated with JURE, in order to implicate JURE, a politically left-of-center group, in the Kennedy assassination."
HEMMING told this researcher: "You want the real story behind the Odio incident? She was a suspected Castro agent. Her father was a basically a hostage in a Cuban prison who plotted against Castro with Veciana. You know why you are not given a security clearance if you have relatives behind the Iron Curtain? She's considered a Socialist, so she's on the wrong side. To reinforce that, there's a potential that she's being blackmailed and she's working as a Castro agent."
The CIA reported: "The only relationship between CIA and the Odio family was the debriefing of César Humberto Odio del Toro, Sylvia Odio's brother, during the early 1960's on a routine basis as part of a general program eliciting positive intelligence from Cuban refugees in the United States...The parents of Cesar and Sylvia Odio were arrested by the Cuban Government in 1961 and sentenced to 30 years and 9 years in prison respectively. They were imprisoned for participation in an organization named Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo. Amador Odio Padro had been obtaining food and medical provisions for the care of Cubans in asylum at various foreign embassies in Havana. His wife had been helping him in that activity. Prior to his arrest, Amador Odio Padron had been the owner of Cuba's largest inter-provincial trailer truck concern. (In fact our records indicate that he used his trucking concern to smuggle arms to anti-Batista forces during the 1954 to 1956 period.) During the mid-1960's, Cesar Odio made several attempts to secure his parents release by offering to purchase large quantities of spare parts and transport them to Cuba." [CIA 1634-1088 p22] As of 1994 César Odio was the City Manager of Miami. In September 1996, Cesar Odio was arrested in Miami for fraud.
HEMMING continued: "I dealt with Manolo Ray. We could link up this dude with somebody that's already in the files. HUNT hated him for running the resistance against Batista. HUNT'S on Batista's side. This is the enemy, people who could have killed him while he was in Havana. They were killing people. Blowing up the sewer system and the telephone system. That fucked up his party routine. He probably felt insecure going to the local whorehouse. I know one of the guys who took OSWALD to Sylvia Odio. This was a setup to dirty-up OSWALD with suspected Castro agent Sylvia Odio. They'd build a file on her. Either they are building this guy's credibility to go kill Castro, or they've abandoned that, and said, 'Fuck that, we have to make this guy look like a Castro agent and have him do something serious in this country that's provocative.'"
At the same time HEMMING dirtied-up JURE by having OSWALD visit Sylvia Odio and ask her to help solicit funds, he also dirtied-up Loran Hall, by instructing him to go to Dallas at this time, and also on HEMMING'S instructions, meet with a woman who was supposed to help solicit funds for INTERPEN. HEMMING believed Loran Hall was so stupid, if he was questioned about this trip to Dallas by the FBI after the Kennedy assassination, he would confuse Gloria Kouthart with Sylvia Odio, thereby unknowingly putting himself in the company of OSWALD. [see HEMMING POST COUP]
After OSWALD visited the Odio sisters, he was flown from Dallas to Houston, Texas. He arrived in Dallas sometime prior to the departure of the bus that would take him to Mexico. In Houston, OSWALD telephoned the home of Horace Elroy Twiford (born March 20, 1923; died August 30, 1980 This researcher needs obituary or death certificate. SS # 414-18-8469 died in Zip 38614). Mrs. Estelle Twiford believed "the call was made locally, before 10:00 p.m." The Warren Commission stated that OSWALD'S bus arrived in Houston on Wednesday, September 25, 1963, at 10:50 p.m. The reason Estelle Twiford believed the call was made locally was that no operator was involved, and that she remembered OSWALD saying he had only a few hours and wished to talk with her husband.
The Warren Commission tried to resolve this contradiction: "It [the call] may have been made from Beaumont or some other stop on the route; however, in view of the bus schedule, it probably was made in Houston later than Estelle Twiford remembered." Did OSWALD really expect to meet with Horace Twiford for the first time between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.?
Horace Twiford was a second mate with Local #20 of the
International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots. Twiford was so employed
for 12 years at a salary of $9,000 a year. He wore a goatee. Horace was also a
National Committeeman-at-large of the Socialist Labor Party in the State of
Texas. OSWALD wrote to the Socialist Labor Party and requested literature on
November 10, 1962. Horace Twiford was apprized of OSWALD'S
request by the headquarters of the Socialist Labor Party in New York in
July 1963. On September 11, 1963, Horace
Twiford mailed a copy of the Socialist Labor Party's publication, The Weekly
People, to OSWALD at Post Office Box 2915, Dallas. The publication was
forwarded to OSWALD'S street address in New Orleans, in time for him to receive
it there just before he left for Mexico City. The return address of Horace
Twiford was on the envelope. It should have been evident to OSWALD, from looking
at this envelope, that The Weekly People had been mailed to Dallas and
then forwarded to New Orleans in response to his request for literature..
Nonetheless, OSWALD entered the name and address of Horace Twiford in his
address book: "Horace Twiford 7018 Schley, Houston, Texas
MI98500 WA 35492."
"MI98500" was an out-of-service telephone number listed under Horace Twiford in the then current (January 1963) Houston telephone directory. "WA 35492" was the telephone number of Horace Twiford in November 1963.
The FBI interviewed Mrs. Estelle Twiford on December 2, 1963. Mrs. Twiford related that at some time which she believed to be in late October or early November she answered a telephone call and the man making this call identified himself as LEE HARVEY OSWALD. OSWALD asked for her husband, and stated he had received a copy of the Weekly People and wanted to know how Horace Twiford had obtained his name. Mrs. Twiford stated her best recollection was that OSWALD stated on that occasion that he was flying to Mexico, had a few hours, and desired to to talk with Mr. Twiford. She believes OSWALD identified himself as a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee...Mrs. Twiford then obtained from her records a small manilla envelope printed and bearing the address of the New York Labor News Company, 61 Cliff Street, New York, 38, New York, P.O. Box 76. She identified this as the envelope which had been mailed to her husband by the Socialist Labor Party. It was noted the upper left hand corner of this envelope carried the return address in hand printing as follows: "L.H. OSWALD, Box 2915 Dallas, Texas. The above envelope was originally postmarked at Dallas, Texas on November 10, 1962. There was no indication of the date on which this envelope had been mailed to Horace Twiford. A handwritten note across the front of this envelope contained the words 'Labor Day issue WP September 11, 1963.' Mrs. Twiford stated this was the handwriting of her husband and this note indicated to her husband had mailed to OSWALD on September 11, 1963 the above issue of the weekly people. Mrs. Twiford. Estelle Twiford filed this affidavit on July 2, 1964.
2. In late September of 1963, LEE HARVEY OSWALD telephoned my house and asked to speak to my husband. I told him my husband was at sea. OSWALD inquired as to how my husband had his address. He also said he hoped to discuss ideas with my husband for a few hours before he flew down to Mexico. He said he only had a few hours. I assume he was calling from the Houston area since he did not, to my knowledge, place a long distance call. However he did not specifically say that he was in Houston. I have no information concerning his whereabouts when this call was placed. I told him if he desired to correspond with my husband he could direct a letter to 7018 Schley Street, Houston, Texas, and I would see that my husband received it.
3. I cannot recall the date of the call, but I think it occurred during the week prior to the weekend my husband flew home to visit me from New Orleans where his ship was docked. I recall, my husband had shipped out the weekend prior to the call.
4. I cannot recall the exact time he called, but I think that it was in the evening, sometime between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. I was not working during this period.
5. I wrote down on a slip of paper that OSWALD had called and that he mentioned he was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. I did this in order to remember to tell my husband about the call. I told my husband about the call on the weekend he visited me. I have initialed and released note made of telephone call [to Secret Service].
6. OSWALD did not state what he was going to Mexico for, nor did he state how long he would be there.
7. Other than the above mentioned call I have never had any contact with OSWALD.
8. I am not a member of the Socialist Labor Party.
Estelle Twiford told the FBI: "she and her husband were among the few members of the Socialist Labor Party in Texas," so presumably she left the party after the phone call from OSWALD.
"It is noted previous investigation has established that OSWALD cashed a check at New Orleans, Louisiana, after 8:00 a.m. on September 25, 1963. He was reported to have telephoned Mrs. Horace Twiford at Houston on the evening of September 25, 1963, at a time she believes was between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. In the interim, an employee at Selective Service Headquarters, Austin, Texas, reported she believed she was contacted by OSWALD at Austin on September 25, 1963, at approximately 1:00 p.m. When OSWALD talked to Mrs. Twiford at Houston, he indicated he was considering flying to Mexico. Other witnesses have reported OSWALD boarded a Continental Trailways bus at Houston, Texas, on September 26, 1963, at 2:35 a.m. on which he traveled to Laredo, Texas, en route to Mexico City.
"It seems apparent that if OSWALD actually visited Austin, Texas, as suggested, in view of the distances involved, he would necessarily have travel from New Orleans to Austin by air. If he made his decision to proceed to Austin after arriving at Houston, Texas, he would, of course, have had to fly from New Orleans to Houston and thence to Austin. After arriving in Austin, OSWALD could have left Austin on the afternoon of September 25, 1963, by the Kerrville Bus Company line and have arrived at Houston prior to 9:00 p.m. inasmuch as the Austin to Houston bus schedules require only about four hours travel time."
The FBI checked with Continental Airlines in Houston and discovered it took less than one hour to fly from Austin to Houston.
OSWALD was not trying to 'dirty-up' the Socialist Labor Party, since it was inconsequential in terms of Cuban affairs. OSWALD was afraid that Horace Twiford might have been something other than just Horace Twiford. Why did he receive literature from someone in Houston a few days before he was supposed to go to Houston, Texas, then Mexico City? Who was Horace Twiford? Perhaps OSWALD had forgotten he had made this request since the Socialist Labor Party did not respond for almost one year? HEMMING told this researcher that if one is involved in clandestine activity: "Never rule anything out." OSWALD "hoped to see her husband for a few hours before he flew to Mexico." OSWALD had been flown from city to city by HEMMING and he slipped when he said 'flew' or he had not been told he was going to take the bus to Mexico City and he thought he was going to fly there, as he had flown to Austin and Dallas. [WCE 2335]
E.P. Hammett, a ticket clerk with the Trailways bus company, remembered having sold a ticket to someone who fit OSWALD'S description in late September 1963 around midnight. The FBI: "For the information of the Bureau, on January 17, 1964, the Dallas Office succeeded in locating the auditor's stub for Continental Trailways bus ticket number 112230, which was previously identified as the only Continental Trailways bus ticket sold at Houston between September 24, 1963, and September 26, 1963, for travel between Houston and Laredo, Texas. This ticket stub carried a rubber stamp indicating it was sold on September 25, 1963, by ticket agent identified as number 12.
"On January 21, 1964, E.P. Hammett, 8603 Detroit Street, Houston, Texas, employed as a ticket agent by Continental Trailways Bus Company, observed his copy of the above ticket stub and identified this as a ticket which he had sold on September 25, 1963. Photographs of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and of a small zipper bag used by OSWALD were exhibited to Hammett. Hammett furnished the following information:
"There are very few tickets sold for travel between Houston and Laredo, Texas, and Hammett will sometimes not sell more than one in a week. He stated that for this reason any sales or inquiries about tickets to Laredo and or Mexico are unusual and he usually remembers them. On September 25, 1963, Hammett went on duty at 10:30 p.m. and was the only ticket agent on duty from 10:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. on September 26, 1963.
"Hammett stated he could recall a man strongly resembling the photograph of OSWALD coming to his counter at some time which would have been approximately in late September 1963, and making inquiry concerning travel to Laredo and Mexico City. Hammet believed this man came to his counter at approximately midnight. The man Hammet recalls was wearing a pull-over sweater which he believes was brown and white, white dungarees, and dirty white canvas shoes. This man inquired as a to prices of tickets directly to Mexico City and also to Laredo. Hammet stated this man seemed to be very undecided, and could not make up his mind and after considerable discussion he left the counter and was not observed for a short period. There was no discussion of visas or Mexican Tourist Cards, these matter normally being handled when passengers arrive at Laredo, Texas. This man did not give Hammett his name, and normally there is no occasion for ticket agents to learn passenger's names.
"Hammet stated after leaving his counter for some time, the above man finally returned and stated he decided to buy a ticket to Laredo, Texas, which Hammett sold him. This man was alone at the time and Hammet did not observe how he arrived at the bus terminal. Hammett noted that he believes it was about 1:30 a.m. or possibly 2:00 a.m. before the man finally purchased a ticket for use on Continental Trailways bus which left Houston at 2:35 a.m. on September 26, 1963 for Laredo." [FBI 100-10,461-2784]
OSWALD boarded a Trailways bus in Houston that would take him to Laredo, Texas. The bus left Houston at 2:35 a.m. The first sighting of OSWALD on the bus was at about 6:15 a.m., on Friday, September 26, 1963, when OSWALD was seen by the McFarlands, two British holiday makers who had just awakened. OSWALD told them he was going to Mexico to circumvent the travel ban to Cuba, that he was head of the New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and that he hoped to meet Castro when he arrived in Cuba.
Wesley Liebler wrote: "We have no direct evidence that OSWALD boarded bus 5133 in Houston...the McFarlands affidavit is very weak...it is given too much weight...the Mexican immigration records do not show the time of day he crossed the border. David Slawson told me he got the time of the crossing from the scheduled arrival of the bus. Now we are using it to show that since he crossed at that time, he had to be on the bus." [HSCA V11 p236]
OSWALD phoned Houston, was seen by a ticket clerk in Houston and was observed on the bus that left from Houston. In all likelihood he was on this bus. OSWALD left Houston on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 2:35 a.m. and arrived in Laredo on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 1:20 p.m.
OSWALD left Nuevo Laredo on Thursday, September 26, 1963, at 2:15 p.m., and arrived in Mexico City on Friday, September 27, 1963, at 10:00 a.m. There were several witnesses who saw OSWALD on the Flecha Roja bus from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City. During the 20-hour bus trip, he initiated two separate conversations with two Australian tourists. He recommended the Hotel Cuba in Mexico City as a clean and cheap hotel, and said he had lodged there on several occasions. OSWALD'S map of Mexico City contained a marking at the location of the Flecha Roja bus terminal in Mexico City. OSWALD'S map of Mexico City contained a marking at the location of the Hotel Cuba. According to the entry stamp on OSWALD'S Tourist Card, he arrived in old Laredo on Thursday, September 26, 1963, but the hour of entry, means of transportation and nationality were omitted. All that could be established was that OSWALD entered Mexico between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. [WCD 78 p4; WR p323; Outgoing DOS telex 08345 5.15.64-Rusk]
According to the Warren Commission, OSWALD'S took the following with him to Mexico City: His 1963 passport and his old passport; his Communist Party correspondence and his correspondence with the Soviet Embassy, Washington, some of which was in Russian; proof of his marriage to a Soviet national; newspaper clippings concerning his arrest and his interest in Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities; evidence he was the "Director" of the New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee; and various other cards, such as a Russian employment card.
OSWALD created a resume which was a list of this "bona fides."
I served in the USMC from October 1956 to September 1959 during which time I served in San Diego, Calif October 1956 April 60 Camp Pendelton April to May 1957, Jacksonville, fla May to June 1957, Santa Anna calif June to August 1957, and in Japan August 1957 to November 1958 Santa Anna, El Toro air base December 1958 to September 1959, 1 month on leave during December 1958.
My stay in the Far East included 8 months in Japan and September 1957 to November 1957 and from May 1958 to October 1958. During December 1957 I was stationed at subic bay near Maibia, Philipine Islands.
I served in Electronics school Jackson florida and advanced rados school Biloxi Mississippi I also recived my high school level diploma at the same time as a my schooling in Biloxi, Miss.
a. Discharge DD 214
B. Diploma - Jacksonville Flar School
C. Diploma - Biloxie, Miss
D. Certificate of high school completion.
I lived in Moscow from October 16, 1956 to January 4, 1960 during which time I stayed at the Berlin and Metropoles hotel. I then lived in Minsk from January 5, 1960 to July 1962. I visited Moscow during June 1961 and June 1962 for a few weeks. In Minsk I was granted a small appartment at Kalinnin St later re-named kimunist St. I worked at the Belourussian Radio and T.V. plant as a metal worker.
I first read the communist manifesto and 1st volume of capital in 1954 when I was 15 I have study 18th century plosipers works by Lein after 1959 and attened numerouse marxist reading circles and groups at the factory where I worked some of which were complusory and others which were not. Also in Russia through newspapers, radio and T.V. I learned much of Marx Engles and Lenin's works. such articles are given very good coverage daily in the USSR.
After my stay in the Soviet Union upon my return to the USA I contined to recive by subsicbtion from 'Komkrin Inc,' Soviet idealogical and informative literature; 'agitator' newspaper Soviet "Belowsi" "krockill" satrical polical magizine and the Communist Party newspaper 'Worker'. Aslo I recive the well known Soviet Journal "Ogonxok." I have also recived literature from the Soviet Embassy, Washington D.C.
a. Proof of subsriptions to Soviet Journals
B. Subscriptions form 1962 of Worker.
I learned the Russian Lanuage during my almost three years residence in Moscow and Minsk USSR October 1959 to July 1962 I study russian elemantry and advanced grammas from text books with a English speaking Russian intourist teacher by the name of Rosa Agafonava, Minsk, January to May 1960. I am totaly profincte in speaking conversational Russian. I can read non-technical Russian text without difficully and can to a less extant write in the Russian Language.
Letter of Proficiency.
On May 29 1963 I requested permission from the FPCC headquarters at 799 Brodwig New York 3, N.Y. to try to forn a local branch in New Orleans. I recived a cautionet but enthusiastic go-ahead from V.T. Lee National Director of FPCC. I than make layouts and had printed public literature for setting up of a local FPCC. I hired persons to distrube literature. I than organized persons who display receptive attitudes toward Cuba to distrube pamplets. I sough responise from latin american consuls of which their are so many here in New Orleans...
I am experianced in Street agitation having done it in New Orleans in connection witht the FPCC. On August 9, 1963, I was accousted by three anti-Castro Cubans and was arrested for "causing a disturbance" I was interogated by the intelligence section of the New Orleans Police Department and held overnight being bailed out the next morning by relatives I subsenly was finded 10.$ charges against the three Cubans were droped by the judge.
On August 16, 1963 I organized a four man Fair Play for Cuba Committee demonstration in front of the International trade mart. in New Orleans This demonstration was filmed by WDSU-TV and shown on the 6:00 news.
On August 17, 1963 I was invited to by WDSU-Radio to appear on the August 17 radio program Latin American Focus at 7:30 PM. The moderator was Bill Stucky who put questions to me for a half an hour about FPCC attitudes and opions.
After this program I was invited to take part in a radio debate between John Buttler of 'Inca' [Information Council of the Americas] anti communist progranda organization representative and Carlos Bringer Cuban exile Student Revolutionary Directoret delegate in New Orleans. This Debate was broadcast at 6:05 to 6:30 August 21, 1963 after this program I made a three minute T.V. newreel which was shown the next day (August 22, 1963).
I recived adive, direction and literature from V.T. Lee National Director of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee of which I am a member. At my own expense I had printed "Hand off Cuba" handbills and New Orleans branch membership Blanks for the F.P.C.C. Local.
a. Letter from V.T. Lee
B. Fair Play for Cuba Committee membership card.
On August 22, 1963 I was invited by Gene Murrett, who is studing for Catholic priesthood, to give a lecture on Russia, Gene Murret is the Son of my mothers sister, Mrs. D. Murrett 757 french st. N.O. La. This lecture took place July 27, 1963 700 PM at The University Jesuit House of Studies Spring hill station Mobile Alabama over 50 Student priest all of whom were college gruates taking the 4 years subsiquiate course for the pristhood attened serval of the college's professors also were present. This lecture lasted for 1 hr. 10 min. after which there was 20 minutes of questions from the audience. This lecture took place in the autorium where women are not allowed so an all male audience attened. The moderator of this lecture was Paul Piozzaa.
A. invitation letter
B. comments letter.
I have worked in the Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval typograhical Co. 522 Browder St. Dallas, Texas. I wroker from October 1, 1962 to April 1, 1962. I am profiencent in the photographic arts known as reverses, transparacial, [reverse transparencies - forgery] line, modifications, [forgery] squats blowups, and minaturizations [microdots]. I have submitted an been commended for photo work for the party. I am familar with layout and art work and am aquianted with cold medal and hot medal proces'ss in printing.
a. Tax returns of JCS
B. Letters commending photo work by the party.
The detail in which OSWALD described his military career indicated OSWALD wished to convey to the Soviets and/or Cubans that he was willing to supply them with information on any particular facet of this training. OSWALD cited documents in his resume which he would have presumably attached to it. Yet no one who encountered OSWALD in Mexico City reported that OSWALD had submitted this resume to them. OSWALD described himself as a former defector who still had an affinity for the Soviet Union, a radio and television celebrity, a street fighter, a leader of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a Russian speaking Marxist, and a spy for the Communist Party! One would think with a background like this OSWALD could name dozens of comrades he worked with in the struggle who would verify his dedication to Communism. The only reference he cited was V.T. Lee. OSWALD wrote that he corresponded with V.T. Lee and never even spoke with him on the telephone. He named more counter-revolutionaries (Stuckey, BRINGUIER, Butler) than he did leftists. The resume itself was so poorly written anyone who evaluated it would have dismissed it immediately. The dates of all of OSWALD'S activities were included so that the person who read this resume could verify the fact that they had occurred - which they had. Again OSWALD was backstopped by paperwork, not by human recommendations. OSWALD's reference to "miniaturizations" was significant:
In October 1962 OSWALD asked Dennis Ofstein, a fellow worker who had served in the U.S. Army, Security Branch, if he knew what microdots were. When Dennis Ofstein replied negatively, OSWALD told him: "Microdots are used as a means whereby a page of anything can be reduced down to a size smaller than a postage stamp so that it could be concealed under a postage stamp and could be used in espionage operations. Ofstein said this statement aroused his suspicions and he asked Sgt. Tom Crigler, who is employed at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, Dallas, regarding this...He said he did not believe Crigler attached any significance to the matter." [FBI Dallas 100-10461- 12.2.63] In a recently released paper, "Indications of Witting Intelligence Involvement by OSWALD," the CIA wrote: "The single word 'microdot' appears in the address book, with no further comment." Microdot was written under the entry "Jagger-Chiles-Stoval," the map-making company employing Dennis Ofstein and OSWALD in October 1962.. [FBI 105-p2555-2808, DL-100-10461, DL 2 89-43 12.3.63 Jackson] HEMMING told this researcher: "It's reverse lithography work. I was raised in a darkroom. Arrangement of the lenses. Microdot is a super dense step beyond microfilm."
The Warren Commission asked the FBI and the National Security Agency about microdots. J. Edgar Hoover wrote the Commission detailing the extent to which the evidence "had been examined for possible crypto logical significance including processing for microdots." He cited two reports on the subject, neither of which mentioned microdots; both were written by FBI S.A. Robert P. Gemberling. Robert Gemberling commented, "I'm not a lab technician. The evidence examination would have been conducted at the Washington FBI Laboratory." The National Security Administration wrote the Commission that microdots were not one of its specialties. [WCE 2768; CIA 472] An FBI document dated October 2, 1964, revealed that the Bureau examined photographs of OSWALD in the USSR and his Russian books for microdots, but found none. [Hoover to D/CI DBA-82198 re: WCE D-254 - WCE D-262]
OSWALD possessed invisible ink. When the FBI seized his possessions after November 22, 1963, it consolidated some of them into Item 373 "This item is composed of miscellaneous Russian and American made pharmaceuticals, a fever thermometer of Russian make and two eye droppers and a German coin, 1 Pfenning. Nothing unusual was found concerning these items. There are 31 samples of pharmaceuticals, each sample of which could be used to prepare and/or develop a secret ink message." [WC Item 373 11.27.63]
"Under date of December 20, 1963, the FBI Laboratory furnished the following information concerning an examination requested by the Dallas Office on November 27, 1963:
Q228 Pamphlets entitled "The Crime Against Cuba" by Corliss Lamont (Dallas Item #303)
Q229 Booklet entitled "The Socialist Workers Party" by Joseph Hansen (Dallas Item #305)
Q230 Russian book dated 1962 at Sofia. (Dallas Item #324)
Result of Examination: In these specimens certain letters, words and phrases have been excised. No cryptographic significance could be attached to this material. [WCE 244; WCD 206]
"These cutout letters may have formed the basis of a device used to decipher secret messages. If the pages were placed over some other text, only certain letters would appear. These letters could be put next to each other to form a message."
When the Warren Commission queried the FBI about this, it was told, "the material submitted could conceivably involve code or cipher," but when it asked the National Security Administration, it responded, "Skilled cryptologists at the National Security Agency examined the materials relating to the OSWALD case provided by the Warren Commission. The results are as a follows: Certain letters had been removed from pages 150 of the Russian novel, Glaza Kotorye Sprashivayut, 'Questioning Eyes.' Eight letter had apparently been cut from page 152...The sample is too small for any valid conclusion to be reached as a for the purposes for which the above noted letters were removed. It is considered most unlikely that this process of letter removal has any cryptographic implication." [CE 2768; CIA 472; WCE 2772, 2444; FBI DL-100-1046 p59, 85; Ltr. Gordon a. Blake to Rankin 6.16.64] When Marina Oswald was shown this pocket book with the letters removed, she said she had never seen it before: "Asked who did it, she answered 'Probably he was working, but I never saw that. I don't know what he had that for.'" Another CIA document reported: "She was asked about a Russian book which had certain words cut out. The Commission attorney observed that this is sometimes a practice used in espionage. She said she had no explanation for the extracted material." [CIA 280]
The Dallas Police Department "also found were two envelopes, one plain and the other being an air mail envelope, which probably have indented writing on them." [WCE 1403] END OF NODULE.