I could spend a lot of time reviewing the fifteen distractions in General Walker’s WC testimony – from which no useful evidence ever emerged. Many other writers have done so, but I won't waste the reader’s time with the following 15 useless distractions:
(1) the photograph of a 1957 Chevy in Walker’s driveway, with the license plate blacked out;
(2) the story about Robert Alan Surrey chasing two men away from Walker’s property the night before;
(3) the drama of William Duff;
(4) the 14-year-old neighbor boy, Kirk Coleman;
(5) the Warren Reynolds story;
(6) the rumor that Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were connected because Ruby took his car to be fixed, and Oswald picked up the car;
(7) the rumor that a musician named DeMar who once worked for Jack Ruby once saw Lee Harvey Oswald in the Carousel Club;
(8) the rumor that Oswald lived for a short period in 1963 in the same Dallas apartment house as Jack Ruby’s sister, Eva Grant, in Oak Lawn;
(9) the fact that both Ruby and Oswald had post office boxes in the same post office, and they rented them out during the same week;
(10) guesswork that Jack Ruby shooting Oswald was proof that Ruby wanted to silence Oswald;
(11) guesswork that since Oswald was the Walker shooter, then maybe he hid out at Jack Ruby’s Las Vegas Club, less than a mile from Walker’s house; (12) guesswork that the death of Professor William Wolf, who burned in his first-floor Dallas apartment in late April 1963, was murder;
(13) guesswork that the Dallas death of Professor George Deen was murder;
(14) guesswork that Oswald’s claim to be an officer in the FPCC was proof a Communist conspiracy in the JFK Assassination;
(15) guesswork that the Russian expatriate, George De Mohrenschildt, a known friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, had more to testify to the WC.
All these detours established enough distraction for many readers, so that after 56 years, historians have underestimated the core of the WC testimony of General Edwin Walker – namely, Walkers activities among the Dallas Radical Right.
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Here’s what we can properly glean from General Walker’s WC testimony when merged with Walker’s chronology.
General Walker was the only US General in the 20th century to “resign” from the US Army. He did this after 30 years of battlefield service, knowing he would forfeit his Army pension if he did so. He did this in November 1961, in “protest” of an alleged Communist Conspiracy in Washington DC, in harmony with Robert Welch and the US Radical Right.
Despite no income, Walker moved into a two-story house in a wealthy neighborhood in Dallas. He quickly began writing copyrighted speeches for delivery to the Radical Right throughout the South. He regularly received a dozen standing ovations during every speech. In early 1962 Walker ran for Texas Governor, with the backing of oil billionaire, H.L. Hunt of Dallas. Despite the strong start – Walker came in last place.
Walker’s backing by the Radical Right was always strong – but Walker’s loss in the May 1962 election was evidence that the Radical Right could provide little more than 10% of any vote. Walker was now relegated to giving speeches at Radical Right rallies. To many it seemed that Walker’s mainstream political career was over.
Then, in June 1962, Dallas newspapers reported that an ex-Marine who had defected to the USSR had returned to the USA, to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with a Russian bride. For General Walker, this made a mockery of everything that the US Radical Right would stand for. Walker asked friends who were inside Dallas government – including Dallas Secret Service Agent, Forrest Sorrels, and Dallas FBI Agent James Hosty – to keep him informed about the movements of Lee Harvey Oswald. They would.
Then, in September 1962, as the Cuban Missile Crisis began to unfold – another crisis unfolded, namely, a Black American, namely, James Meredith, applied to enroll in the traditionally all-white college, Ole Miss University in Oxford, Mississippi. Governor Ross Barnett rejected the application, but James Meredith sued Mississippi through NAACP activist, Medgar Evers. The JFK administration was also bound by the Supreme Court Brown Decision to support James Meredith. It was a standoff.
General Walker rushed into action. He sent off a stinging ‘open letter’ to JFK, criticizing both the Cuban crisis as well as the Ole Miss crisis. Here is that letter:
Then Walker went on radio and TV and announced his call for “10,000 strong from every state in the union” to grab their “flags and skillets” and rally behind Mississippi governor Ross Barnett. They did. Thousands descended on Ole Miss on September 30, 1962, although Federal Troops stopped many at the city limits, confiscated their weapons and sent them home. Still, about 3,000 rioters did clash with hundreds of Federal Agents sent by JFK to defend Meredith’s right to attend college near his hometown.
Approximately 300 were wounded and two were killed in that riot.
The next morning, October 1, 1962, our Washington authorities JFK and RFK, weary from the Cuban Missile Crisis, ordered that General Walker be arrested and sent to an insane asylum for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation.
That was a big mistake. Only Communists had used psychiatry in politics to that point, so Democrats joined Republicans to protest this decision by JFK and RFK. The ACLU joined psychiatrist Thomas Szasz to plead for the immediate release of General Walker. Three days later, Walker was released.
Here’s a photograph of General Walker returning to the Dallas airport, Love Field, greeted by a crowd of Radical Right supporters who chanted for Walker to become US President in 1964. This photograph shows the soot of Federal smoke-bombs still on Walker’s suit sleeve. Surrounded by his supporters, Walker smiled for the photographer.
Starting in December 1962, General Walker began Grand Jury hearings in Oxford, Mississippi. His attorneys (Clyde Watts and Robert Morris) based their argument on the poor JFK and RFK decision to send Walker to an insane asylum. Their argument went something like this: “If Walker is truly insane, then he is guilty; but if Walker is not insane, then he is not guilty.”
Based on this approach, they subpoenaed several psychiatrists to evaluate Walker – some who thought he was abnormal and others who thought he was normal. The strategy was: “you get your psychiatrists and we’ll get ours.” Typically, where sanity is at issue, if any psychiatrists disagree on a diagnosis of insanity, most juries will acquit.
Walker was acquitted of all charges on January 26, 1963. Walker immediately made plans for a speaking tour, coast to coast, with the segregationist Reverend Billy James Hargis – a self-made millionaire with his own Radical Right radio program, and a friend of General Walker since his days at Little Rock, Arkansas.
From late February 1963 through early April 1963, General Walker and Billy James Hargis traveled coast-to-coast in a private bus, in their “Midnight Ride” speaking tour. They argued for racial segregation of Public Schools, against race-mixing in general, against Communism in general, and against JFK and RFK in particular. They made a fair amount of money (but not enough for Reverend Hargis to wish to repeat the tour).
In any case, here is where the plot thickens.
The night after Edwin Walker returned home from his “Midnight Ride” speaking tour, on April 10, 1963, at 9 PM, somebody tried to assassinate Walker while he sat in his living room doing his taxes. His window shades were open, and his lights were on, when he heard a blast and a crack above his head. Walker noticed a gaping hole in the wall of his house, close to where his head had been. He rushed upstairs to get his pistol. While upstairs, he looked out his front window and saw the taillights of a car apparently rushing away from the alley behind his home; but it was too dark to make out details. Walker rushed out the back door with his pistol to take a closer look. He ran halfway down the alley and saw nothing. He returned home and called the Dallas Police. Walker showed police the damage, and they lined up the shot from the hole in Walker’s wall; to the hole in his window; to a rifle burn in the lattice fence in his backyard. The distance was about 120 feet. They took the mangled bullet.
Was Lee Harvey Oswald to blame for this shooting? In my opinion, yes, because I accept the WC testimony of Marina Oswald. She testified that Oswald confessed to her that same night. He told her that he went by bus and foot and that he “hid” his rifle. (In the Russian language, the word for “bury” and the word for “hide” are the same.) I find it more likely that Oswald went by car, and “hid” his rifle in his accomplice’s car. Oswald told Marina part of the truth, but not all of it.
Further, in the WC testimonies of George De Mohrenschildt and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt, they were troubled by the constant news in Dallas that week, and they chose to visit the Oswalds late at 10 PM, the night before Easter Sunday (which was on April 14 in 1963). Stopping at a drugstore to buy a toy Easter bunny for baby June, and waking the Oswalds out of bed, George talked with Lee in one room as Jeanne asked Marina for a tour of their apartment.
Jeanne was looking for evidence – and she found it. A rifle with a scope on it. She called this out to George. George then made a joke – “Lee, were you the one who shot at Walker?” Lee was stunned. He looked at Marina. Marina looked at Lee. There was an awkward silence. Then George began to laugh, and they all laughed. Big joke. The De Mohrenschildt’s left the Oswalds that night – never to see them again in their lives.
Further, well-known JFK researcher Dick Russell interviewed George and Jeanne’s good friends, Igor and Natasha Voshinin in 1991. They added this episode about Easter morning 1963. George visited them very early to tell them about what he and Jeanne had seen at the Oswalds’ home the night before. The Voshinins never liked the Oswalds, and they advised George to tell the FBI right away. George was afraid to call them, however, because he had a big oil exploration contract in Haiti pending, and he didn’t want to jeopardize that with a local scandal. So, he just left.
According to Dick Russell, Natasha Voshinin herself called the Dallas FBI immediately after George De Mohrenschildt left her home on Easter Sunday. So, according to her, the Dallas FBI knew that Lee Harvey Oswald was a suspect in the shooting at General Walker on Easter Sunday.
Now – in my opinion – General Walker had already despised Lee Harvey Oswald for defecting to the USSR and then coming back to the Dallas/Fort Worth area with a Russian bride. For General Walker, this defector Oswald and his Russian wife were probably Communist spies.
Also – insofar as the Dallas FBI knew that Oswald was already a suspect for the Walker shooting by people who knew Oswald pretty well, then most likely the Dallas FBI called Walker that very morning with this report. Given all this as a background, let’s review Walker’s 1975 letter to Senator Church once again:
The facts appear to me to line up. The authority in Dallas who told him that Lee Harvey Oswald was a known suspect in the shooting of Walker was therefore most likely the Dallas FBI agent closest to the subject of General Walker in Dallas (namely, James Hosty) although Walker would never name him or divulge his true identity.
We should expect to see evidence of Natasha Voshinin’s 1963 Easter Sunday call to the Dallas FBI in their records. So far, I’ve seen none. That might be because Dick Russell was mistaken – or it might be that the Dallas FBI flushed those records just as they were known to flush other documents involving Lee Harvey Oswald.
In any case, General Walker was well-advised that Lee Harvey Oswald was a known suspect of this attempted assassination of him at his Dallas home by Easter Sunday 1963. This is what he himself wrote.
General Walker wrote often that the Communists wanted him dead, and Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist, in his opinion. Also, JFK and RFK were Communists (according to the John Birch Society, in which Walker was a Dallas leader) so they allegedly wanted Walker dead as well. So, perhaps JFK and RFK hired Lee Harvey Oswald to kill Walker -- at least, that's what's implied in the way that General Walker framed the situation in several writings that can be found among his personal papers at the Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas.
We can begin with the article from the Deutsche-Nationalzeitung of November 29, 1963, from an interview given by Walker early on the morning of November 23, 1963.
We’ll continue along these lines in future blog posts.