Let’s dig deeper into the possible role played by Dallas FBI agent James Hosty in the 1963 framing of LHO for the JFK Assassination. To begin, let’s flashback to mid-April 1963.
1. FLASHBACK TO THE SHOOTING AT GENERAL WALKER, APRIL 10, 1963
On December 3, 1963, Marina Oswald in custody told the FBI that LHO had taken a potshot at Ex-General Walker at Walker’s home in Dallas on Wednesday April 10, 1963. In 1964, the WC testimony of LHO’s close Russian émigré pal in Dallas, George DeMohrenschildt and wife Jeanne, continued Marina’s story.
Three days after the shooting, George and Jeanne testified that they were alarmed by the barrage of Dallas news reports about it. the couple visited LHO’s apartment late at night, getting them out of bed, on the pretense of bringing an Easter bunny for baby June – but in reality, they wanted to search LHO’s apartment for a rifle with a scope.
Jeanne asked Marina to give her a tour of their apartment. As the men talked in another room, Marina showed Jeanne around, and soon Jeanne found a rifle with a scope on it, and she shouted this out to George. For a second, everybody in the house froze – nobody said a word. Then, George made a joke about it, and everybody laughed. Then George and Jeanne left and never spoke to the Oswalds again in their lives.
2. DICK RUSSELL’S BOOK, AGAIN
As we saw in my previous blog post, the 1992 book by Dick Russell (The Man Who Knew Too Much) continues George’s account even further. The very next morning, reports Russell, on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1963, a Russian émigré in Dallas named Natasha Voshinin called the FBI to tell them that Russian émigré George DeMohrenschildt had just told her about evidence that LHO had been the shooter at General Walker four days previous. George had told the Voshinins early that morning, she said, but he refused to tell the police. So, Natasha did.
Russell’s report that Natasha Voshinin told the FBI about George De Mohrenschildt’s evidence against LHO in the Walker shooting, cancels the FBI’s repeated insistence that they never dreamed of LHO shooting at Walker until Marina told them on December 3, 1963. FBI officials repeatedly told the WC under oath that they had no clue that LHO was ever violent. Yet, if Russell’s account is true, then clearly the Dallas FBI had evidence that LHO could be violent. Yet, if Russell’s account is true – why would Dallas FBI officials lie under oath?
3. A JFK BOOK BY JAMES HOSTY
Dallas FBI agent James Hosty tried to re-open the FBI case file on LHO in March 1963, according to the WC testimony of FBI Assistant Director Alan Belmont. Let’s keep this in mind as we turn to James Hosty’s book, Assignment Oswald (1996). Hosty claims repeatedly in this book that J. Edgar Hoover, Alan Belmont and the FBI in Washington DC had betrayed James Hosty personally. It is one of the key themes of his book.
That betrayal, claimed Hosty, involved an alleged KGB assassin, Valeriy V. Kostikov. Hosty claims that LHO met Kostikov in Mexico City in order to carefully plan the JFK assassination. Hosty claims that the FBI knew about this, and so did the CIA, the State Department and the Secret Service, and all these US institutions conspired to hide this fact from James Hosty. But James Hosty found out anyway. That is the central theme of his book.
Hosty truly loved JFK, he says, and could have saved him. So, Hosty begins his self-defense on page 48. I won’t reproduce the text itself, in consideration of copyright rules, but here’s my brief summary of page 48:
In October 1963, the New Orleans FBI office sent James Hosty a report that the Oswalds had again disappeared.
A few days later, James Hosty was in the INS office checking on another case. The chief INS clerk, Jeff Woolsey, called out to Hosty something like: “Hey, Jim, what do you think of Lee Oswald in Mexico City a few days ago, contacting the Russians?”
Hosty asked to see the report. Woolsey declined, saying in effect, “Oops, I shouldn’t have said anything.”
So, Hosty quickly sent an airmail telegram to the New Orleans FBI, asking about Oswald and Mexico City. They promptly replied, mailing Hosty an FBI memo dated October 18, 1963, which confirmed the report.
Thanks to the JFK Records Act fulfillment in 2017, we can see that FBI memo today on the Mary Ferrell web site.
For those whose browsers cannot connect to that web page, I'll reproduce almost all of the text below:
Via: CABLE: PRIORITY
LEE OSWALD IS DASH R.
CIA MEXICO CITY TODAY FURNISHED INFORMATION CLASSIFIED SECRET NOT TO BE FURTHER DISSEMINATED THAT SUBJECT CONTACTED VICE CONSUL VALERIY VLADIMIRIVICH KOSTIKOV AT SOVIET EMBASSY ON SEPTEMBER 28 LAST INQUIRING FOR RESPONSE FROM WASHINGTON DC, TO UNKNOWN REQUEST MADE BY HIM AND WAS AGAIN IN CONTACT WITH SOVIET EMBASSY MEXICO CITY ON OCTOBER 1 LAST.
CIA HEADQUARTERS ADVISED THAT SUBJECT PROBABLY IDENTICAL WITH LEE HENRY OSWALD, WMA, BORN OCTOBER 18, 1939, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, A FORMER RADAR OPERATOR IN U.S. MARINE CORPS WHO DEFECTED TO SOVIET UNION IN OCTOBER 1959.
BUREAU ADVISE INTERESTED OFFICES AND FURNISH BACKGROUND DATA TO LEGAT MEXICO.
LEGAT FOLLOWING WITH CIA, AND ATTEMPTING ESTABLISH SUBJECTS ENTRY INTO MEXICO AND CURRENT WHEREABOUTS.
DECLASSIFIED ON 3-23-1993
There are factual errors in that FBI memo, but let’s focus on the main one: it calls LHO “Lee Henry Oswald.” Keep this in mind as we review the history.
Hosty melodramatically asks his readers, “Who in the world is Valeriy Kostikov?”
This is how Hosty's conspiracy theory begins within his otherwise correct history. Hosty’s book includes a photo of Kostikov and is peppered with allegations of Kostikov’s countless Mexico City murders, as well as the many failures of FBI and CIA agents to arrest this master spy.
I won’t post the text here, but please check out his book, Assignment Oswald, perhaps at your local library. To get an overview of Hosty’s half-true, half-fiction conspiracy theory, simply go to the Index, find the name, “Kostikov,” and read those pages first. By the way, we also have the original CIA documents that were the source of that FBI memo. Here is one from 10/08/1963.
For those whose browsers cannot connect to that web page, I will reproduce most of the CIA document – now declassified and in the public domain:
RECORD NUMBER: 104-10050-10009
Title: AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN TALKED TO SOMEONE AT SOVIET EMB
Document Date: 10/8/1963
Whofrom: MEXICO CITY
1. ACC <blank> OCT 63, AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN SAID HIS NAME LEE OSWALD (PHONETIC), STATED HE AT SOV-EMB ON 28 SEPT WHEN SPOKE WITH CONSUL WHOM HE BELIEVED BE VALERIY VLADIMIRICH KOSTIKOV. SUBJ ASKED GUARD IVAN OBYEDKOV WHO ANSWERED IF THERE ANYTHING NEW RE TELEGRAM TO WASHINGTON. OBYEDKOV UPON CHECKING SAID NOTHING RECEIVED YET, BUT REQUEST HAD BEEN SENT.
2. HAVE PHOTOS MALE APPEARS BE AMERICAN ENTERING SOV-EMB 1216 HOURS, LEAVING 1222 ON 1 OCT. APPARENT AGE 35, ATHELETIC BUILD, CIRCA 6 FEET, RECEDING HAIRLINE, BALDING TOP, WORE KHAKIS AND SPORT SHIRT. SOURCE: <redaction>
3. NO LOCAL DISSEM.
There are factual errors in that CIA document, but let’s focus on the main one: it describes LHO as “Apparent age, 35, athletic build, circa 6 feet…balding top.” That doesn’t describe LHO, it describes a very large Russian man. Keep this in mind, too, as we proceed.
4. A JFK BOOK BY BILL SIMPICH
Let's look at a well-known eBook by JFK researcher Bill Simpich, namely, State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City (2014). In my opinion, nobody can offer an informed opinion today about the JFK Assassination without citing his eBook. It’s free on the Mary Ferrell web site. For example, here’s chapter 4:
Bill Simpich’s careful analysis of late FOIA releases of CIA documents from 1963, shows that a Kostikov/LHO conspiracy theory began in Mexico City on October 1, 1963. Although LHO truly was in Mexico City during the final week of September 1963, and he truly did visit the Soviet Embassy on that final Friday and Saturday, and he truly did meet Kostikov there, actually, LHO made a fool of himself, twice, and left empty-handed. Kostikov told his friends that LHO was a mental case.
However – on the Tuesday after LHO’s visits, on October 1, 1963, somebody impersonated LHO at a Cuban consulate telephone, calling the Soviet Embassy and asking for Kostikov! Simpich reports that this was the most heavily wire-tapped telephone on earth in 1963, and that the impersonator knew that fact!
Simpich tells of a CIA mandate that all calls made on that phone to the Soviet Embassy had to be transcribed into English and placed on the Mexico City CIA Director’s Desk within 15 minutes. The translators there scrambled and did that. Within one hour after that phone call occurred, the translators and the CIA Director concluded that the call was an impersonation – it was obviously somebody other than LHO, whom they had been watching all week.
The caller spoke broken Russian. LHO spoke fluent Russian (having lived in the USSR for three years). The caller spoke to the Soviet clerk in fluent Spanish. LHO knew no Spanish. The caller engaged the Soviet clerk to mention the name of Kostikov – thus linking the names of Kostikov and Oswald in CIA records. The impersonator deliberately made this call for the express purpose of deceiving the CIA.
The CIA was not deceived. The CIA decided that it had to be a Mole – an inside job.
Bill Simpich carefully demonstrated that the CIA began a standard Mole Hunt within the hour. A Mole Hunt was known only to the CIA high command. It included some basic tricks. They created a fake CIA file for LHO, using the name, “Lee Henry Oswald.” They exchanged his photo with a photo of some random, large Russian guy outside the Russian Embassy – a 6 foot, muscular, balding Russian – while LHO was medium height, a thin 132 pounds, with plenty of hair.
They made other changes only the CIA high command would know. Then, they placed the altered LHO file into circulation, said Simpich. Thus, the next person to publish anything in that altered LHO file could be quickly identified. Bill Simpich suggests that insofar as the CIA knew for a fact that this caller to the Soviet Embassy was a fake Oswald, anybody in the coming days who spread the rumor that it was genuine call, was likely a party to it.
James Hosty relied on the FBI memo of 10/18/1963 above to argue that LHO called Kostikov on October 1, 1963. Yet, Bill Simpich showed carefully that a telephone impersonator of LHO made that phone call. What does this mean for Hosty’s conspiracy theory?
5. A RUSSIAN CONSUL WRITES A JFK BOOK
Co-worker with Valeriy Kostikov and former Soviet consul, Oleg Nechiporenko, wrote a book about JFK entitled, Passport to Assassination (1993). He speaks of meeting LHO on Friday 27 and Saturday 28, September 1963. In his version, LHO was a “neurotic” who wanted an instant visa to the Soviet Union -- through Cuba first. It made no sense, since LHO was unwilling to go through proper channels.
Nechiporenko was alerted when LHO evaded answering a direct question: why had LHO returned to the USA from the USSR? Evasion was a bad sign. So, on Friday, September 27, 1963, after spending a full hour with LHO, Soviet consuls Nechiporenko and Kostikov sent him away.
After normal working hours that same day, a Cuban consul called the Soviet Embassy to confirm LHO’s report that the Soviet consuls had promised LHO a visa to the USSR and recommended that the Cuban consul give LHO an immediate visa to Cuba. The Soviet consul exclaimed that no such thing had occurred.
The account by Nechiporenko matches official reports by Cuban consuls. They said that LHO had come to the Cuban consulate without previous paperwork and demanded instant passage to Cuba. LHO presented homemade credentials – New Orleans newspaper clippings about his leadership in the FPCC, and even his Communist Party ID card. Problem: Communists didn’t issue ID cards! Apparently, LHO didn’t know that. Every Cuban consul there regarded LHO as a phony and an infiltrator.
The Cubans sent LHO to the Soviet Embassy to get him to put up or shut up. After some hours and some phone calls that Friday afternoon, as described above, the Cubans and the Soviets sent LHO away empty-handed. The next morning, however, LHO returned to the Soviet Embassy with a pistol in his pocket and tears in his eyes.
LHO demanded that the Soviets pressure the Cuban consulate into giving him instant passage to Cuba, because he was a real officer of Castro’s FPCC. He cried, claiming that the FBI was persecuting him, so that he had to carry his pistol, which he laid on the table. (The Soviet consuls quickly removed the bullets from LHO’s pistol and put it back on the table.) LHO demanded to return to the USSR – but to visit Cuba first! LHO hinted that he was on a mission yet could say no more about it. The Soviet consuls repeated their rule: LHO had to go through proper channels. It could take months. They showed him the door again.
If you can get a copy of this book at your local library, read pages 66 through 105 first. Here is what Nechiporenko, Kostikov and their fellow Soviet consul ultimately thought of LHO:
“Here our opinions meshed, and we gave Oswald our unconditional evaluation, perhaps not very scientific, but one widely used in our everyday life: psychotic. We were also of the unanimous opinion that if this was not a person suffering from mental disorders, then he was unbalanced at the very least, or had an unstable constitution.” (Nechiporenko, 1993, p. 105)
Getting back to the conspiracy theory of James Hosty – this account by Nechiporenko in 1993 regarding LHO in Mexico City has more in common with the research by Bill Simpich in 2014. Instead of a conspiracy theory of Kostikov and LHO plotting to assassinate JFK, Kostikov thought of LHO as a mental case.
Yet all that still leaves open the question – who was the impersonator of LHO, three days after LHO had visited the Soviet Embassy? Even the CIA didn’t know, except that it had to be a Mole. Was everybody who later claimed that the call was genuine an accessory? Who exactly in the FBI had published that memo of 10/18/1963? Who leaked altered CIA data on 10/08/1963?
6. BACK TO JAMES HOSTY’S BOOK
The main thrust of the news coming out of Dallas on the day that JFK was assassinated, was that LHO was a Communist. Not a “Lone Nut;” a Communist. Before, during and after the Warren Commission, the Dallas Radical Right fought to revive the myth of a Communist plot.
The key theme of James Hosty’s 1996 book is about a Communist plot to kill JFK. Was it mere coincidence that it matches exactly with General Walker’s program in the 1960’s -- General Walker – the man Hosty was supposed to be tracking?
On page 244, Hosty claims that in the end, the FBI admitted they were in the wrong. He claims that FBI Directors Clarence Kelly and William Webster said that the FBI failed to give Hosty adequate data about Kostikov. Hosty claims that this absolutely absolves him of his failure to help the Secret Service PRS protect JFK in Dallas.
Not in my opinion.
On page 70 of his book, James Hosty claims that three days after JFK was assassinated, he overheard the name of Kostikov again from an FBI office. It was only Monday, November 25, 1963. When Hosty entered the office, his superiors stopped talking abruptly, and asked Hosty what he was doing there! Hosty walked away, pursuing it no further. Yet Hosty writes:
“Kostikov again. Who was he and what was going on? I was being kept from the full facts”!
(Hosty, 1996, Assignment Oswald p. 70)
James Hosty was oblivious to the CIA Mole Hunt that Bill Simpich writes about. Hosty decided to research Kostikov on his own – secretly. This is his theme. Now I want to know – how did the FBI get CIA data about LHO with a fake middle name and a fake photograph?