<Photo: DPD Chief Jesse Curry. Writings of the resigned General Edwin Walker reveal a persistent fantasy that Curry conspired with Washington DC to keep a strict secret of the Dallas arrest and release of LHO on the night of the Walker shooting, April 1963.>
We continue our discussion about General Walker’s 1975 letter to Senator Frank Church in which Walker claimed to know that LHO was his shooter “within days” of April 10, 1963, when a bullet tore through Walker’s home.
But the only way that Walker could have possibly found out “within days” was to have a source. Why does Walker never name him? Who was it? Even if we find out, how did that source find out “within days?” Yet although Walker’s 1975 letter didn’t name his source, he did tell Senator Church his source’s precise institution and rank. Here’s the full sentence:
“Within days I was informed by a Lieutenant on the Dallas City Police Force that Oswald was in custody by 12 pm that night for questioning.” (Resigned General Edwin Walker to Senator Frank Church, June 23, 1975)
There we see the institution, the Dallas Police Force, and the rank was Lieutenant. If we take this at face value, then which Dallas Police Lieutenant was it? There were relatively few Dallas Police Lieutenants in 1963. Yet nobody in the past half-century has bothered to seek Walker’s source, so we have little to go on.
Yet, if Walker was so keen on naming his source’s institution and rank, then why didn’t Walker just name him? Yet, if anonymity was so important, then how could anyone justify revealing his institution and rank? More likely, Walker used this phrase as a metaphor to indicate some high but secret Dallas official.
So, Walker didn’t mind sending Senator Church (and historians) on a wild goose chase to try to guess the real institution and rank of this officer. Do we have more material evidence to help us decide? Yes, we do.
FIRST – THE MISSING DOCUMENTS
Granting that Walker knew many high-level Dallas officials, and some might be reliable sources for the fact that LHO had been Walker's shooter. we demand to know why they never properly filed a report with any other law enforcement agents or anybody else besides General Walker. So confirming official documents are missing. That's a big problem.
Still, either somebody told Walker that LHO was his shooter “within days” of his April 10th shooting, or else Walker lied about it to Senator Church in 1975. And if somebody did tell Walker, why would they also hide that report from the Dallas Police and FBI Headquarters?
We find Walker sitting between a fact and a fantasy. (a) Fact: LHO did shoot at General Walker; (b) Fantasy: LHO was arrested by the DPD on the night of the Walker shooting, and then released secretly by powerful people. Walker claimed that he heard about the "arrest and release" of LHO "within days" of the shooting, from somebody in the Dallas government, whose name he will not tell.
THE GERMAN NEWS ARTICLE OF NOVEMBER 29, 1963
The WC attorneys raised the startling question of how, less than 24 hours after the assassination of JFK, an ultra-right German weekly, Deutsche Nationalzeitung (DNZ), could interview General Walker telling them that LHO had been his April shooter as well.
The WC asked General Walker how he knew that fact so early, so that he could tell the DNZ. Yet, instead of naming his source to the WC, Walker testified that the DNZ staff had simply “guessed right.”
Now, if General Walker had told the WC in 1964 what he told Senator Frank Church in 1975, then we would expect the WC to investigate the source of Walker’s correct knowledge that LHO was his shooter. How would that source know unless the source was already spying on LHO? Oops, this suggested a conspiracy from a different quarter.
To maintain their “lone shooter” orientation, the WC simply ignored the German BFV (their FBI) which had already interrogated all relevant DNZ staff on the afternoon of the publication.
To maintain their “lone shooter” orientation, the WC simply ignored the fact that the German BFV (their FBI) had already interrogated all relevant DNZ staff on the day after their publication of General Walker’s interview.
In those interrogations, the BFV had obtained the confession of Helmet Muench (alias Hasso Thorsten) that around 7 a.m. on the telephone from Louisiana to Germany, on November 23, 1963, General Walker told him that LHO had been his April shooter.
The BFV reported this to the FBI in early December 1963, however, the WC was committed to portraying LHO strictly without accomplices. The WC quickly accepted Walker’s whitewash.
Yet, key elements in the opening paragraph of this DNZ article foreshadow Walker’s 1975 letter to Senator Frank Church. Here’s the English version of the German article’s headline:
THE STRANGE CASE OF OSWALD (November 29, 1963)
The murderer of Kennedy made an attempt on U.S. General Walker's life early in the summer when General Walker was sitting in his study. The bullet missed Walker's head only by inches. Oswald was seized but the following investigation – as it was reported to us – was stopped by U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In the case that Oswald would have been imprisoned for many years…he would not have been able to commit the murder of John F. Kennedy, the brother of Robert Kennedy.
This article is the earliest version of General Walker’s claim that police seized LHO, then suddenly some government leader released him. This is the earliest version of Walker’s separate claim that RFK was the one who released LHO. It’s also the earliest version of Walker’s lifelong claim that if LHO had been properly imprisoned, JFK would still be alive. In this way, the DNZ, following Walker, blamed RFK himself for the public slaughter of his brother.
MY ANALYSIS OF WALKER’S PERSONAL PAPERS
This fantasy didn’t stop with the DNZ; it surfaced repeatedly in General Walker’s writings over decades. Let’s look at more examples from my papers for historian H.W. Brands (2012-2016) at UT Austin. In those papers, I reviewed all Warren Commission volumes, as well as 90 boxes of General Walker’s personal papers.
Here are a few examples from over 1,000 documents garnered from that large collection. We note here how they echo key elements of the German DNZ article:
Four Years After: Among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin, we find a two-page bulletin dated April 4, 1967, which Walker wrote for the subscribers of his organization, the “Friends of Walker,” most likely. The bulletin’s title is OSWALD – A KNOWN CRIMINAL. Writing of himself in the third person, here’s Walker’s ending paragraph:
In fact, at 4011 [Turtle Creek Blvd], Walker says that witnesses in Dallas are ample and adequate to establish that Oswald was picked up by the law enforcement agency between 9 PM and 12 midnight, April 10, 1963, after the incident. He was released. (Walker, 1967)
Walker didn’t name RFK in this version, although his core fantasy remained, namely, that Dallas police arrested LHO on the same night as his shooting, and higher-ranking authorities released LHO. Yet again, Walker’s sources remain anonymous. Walker called them, “ample and adequate” witnesses. So why not name even one?
Walker added the detail that the police arrested LHO “between 9 PM and 12 midnight”. That didn’t help to make it more believable after Chief Curry, Sheriff Decker, Captain Fritz, and FBI Headquarters repeatedly denied that any such ‘arrest’ or ‘release’ ever happened. By challenging these ranking Dallas officials, Walker fantasized that the Dallas government and the Federal government conspired to keep secret LHO’s arrest and release on April 10, 1963.
On December 6, when Marina Oswald identified LHO as Walker’s shooter to the FBI and Secret Service, all of Dallas rejoiced that they could finally close the lengthy “open case” of Walker’s April shooter. Walker bitterly refused to accept it. He would rant about it for the rest of his life – there were two shooters that night, he insisted – and they were in a car!
Five Years After: Also, among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin we find another two-page bulletin, this one dated June 12, 1968 (exactly one week after somebody assassinated RFK. The title of this bulletin is U.S. SENATE AND ITS SENATOR KENNEDY. It begins: “I am neither shocked nor surprised.”
This bulletin goes on to complain broadly about JFK siding with the Soviets and excluding the US military from US national security. Walker ended by referring to himself in the third person as well as in the first person, as follows:
If authority, in the hands of the Attorney General and the Justice Department, had not seen fit to free Oswald and his associates in the attempted assassination of Edwin A. Walker – there is no reason to doubt that President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy would be alive today. There are bullet holes in a room of this house, my private residence, that testify to this fact. (Walker, 1968)
So, a single week after the cold-blooded murder of RFK, Walker again blamed RFK for protecting LHO for his shot at Walker on the night of April 10, 1963. In this way LHO was now free to kill JFK, he fantasized.
Oddly, in his reverse eulogy for RFK, Walker added that RFK himself would also be alive today if he and JFK hadn’t released LHO all those years ago! We rightly ask what this could mean since LHO was dead for five years.
Writing in the first person, his final sentence cited the bullet holes that LHO shot into his house as a testimony to his side of the story. That is, Walker won’t name his sources, instead, he’ll offer the silent bullet holes in his walls to “prove” his fantasy that police arrested and released LHO on the night of the Walker shooting.
But how could silent bullet holes prove any such thing?
Six Years After: Also, among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin we find another two-page bulletin, dated December 12, 1969, entitled, CHIEF CURRY’S BOO-BOO. Walker writes that DPD Chief Jesse Curry had sent a messenger to offer Walker cash to endorse Curry’s forthcoming book on the JFK Assassination. Walker rudely rejected the offer, ejected the messenger, and concluded:
The significance of Marina’s December role – her story of the April crime – served the purposes of the “Open Case,” the Warren Report, the Curry book, and all official agencies regarding the November assassination, which was…exposure of a government that had been compromised by her and her husband, Lee, with their “Loner” connections and their protection by two chiefs of state. (Walker, 1969)
This paragraph alludes to the core fantasy of the DNZ article; that RFK had protected LHO from arrest on the night of the Walker shooting. And not only RFK but “two chiefs of state,” implying that JFK also shared the blame. Walker continued to reject the repeated insistence by the Dallas Police that Walker’s “open case” was finally closed. Walker implied here that the Federal government had bribed Marina in December so that she would accept their role.
Let’s unpack a bit further. Walker says that Marina’s confession about LHO’s role in the Walker shooting “served the purposes” of several agencies, e.g., the Dallas Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the federal headquarters of the FBI and Secret Service, the Attorney General, the State Department, the CIA, and the Warren Commission.
According to General Walker, all of these agencies protected LHO from prosecution for his April Crime. As for Chief Jesse Curry’s book, it merely added DPD log detail to uphold WC conclusions.
Although some readers dismiss General Walker’s bulletin as the words of an “old kook,” two million Americans in groups such as the John Birch Society shared Walker’s sentiments in 1963. Such political groups still have weight today as they exclaim that Washington DC is communist.
Fourteen Years After: Among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin is what appears to be a TWO-PAGE DRAFT for a bulletin to the Friends of Walker mailing list, dated July 24, 1977. This draft contains one short paragraph of interest here, in which Walker repeats his fantasy:
For seven months, since April 10th [until November 22, 1963], I had waited to hear some word from some city or county law enforcement agency. There was no word. I knew that Federal agents knew who had fired a bullet through the window at me for political reasons. (Walker, 1977)
The main message of this paragraph is that Walker “knew that Federal agents knew” that LHO “had fired a bullet through” his window. Why did the DPD and Sheriff’s office fail for seven months to respond to Walker’s repeated requests for new information about what Walker and his friends already “knew?”
The DPD and the Sheriff’s office couldn’t have been ignorant about arresting LHO, nor ignorant about any Federal demand for his release. So, the agencies of the “city or county law enforcement” must share the blame, said Walker, for keeping these secrets from all Americans.
That was why he resented Jesse Curry wrote Walker. Curry knew that Walker was telling the truth but Curry refused to admit it. Also, Walker never forgave Jesse Curry, Bill Decker, Will Fritz, or any Dallas officer who had ultimately sided with J. Edgar Hoover.
In Walker’s writings, the authorities in Washington DC were all communists and all conforming Dallas officials were Washington’s quislings. Walker would make this more explicit in future.
Eighteen Years After: We also find among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin another two-page bulletin, dated December 12, 1981, entitled, WALKER-KENNEDY. Walker again writes of himself in the third person:
John F. Kennedy would be alive today if there had not been a conspiracy against law, justice, and Edwin A. Walker – a conspiracy denying Walker the name and knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald. Both the FBI and the Dallas Police Department knew, months before Oswald killed the President, that he was the one who attempted to assassinate Edwin A. Walker. Had the FBI-DPD not conspired in the protection of Oswald for seven months, he would have been prosecuted by Walker and thereby removed from the streets of Dallas. (Walker, 1981)
Here we read a stark echo of the DNZ fantasy – that JFK would still be alive if responsible government officials had performed their duties honestly. Another theme of this bulletin is that the FBI and the DPD had joined in the plot of releasing LHO when he should have stayed in jail.
Twenty Years After: Also, among Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin we find another two-page bulletin dated September 9, 1983, and entitled, THE TROJAN HORSE – USA, This bulletin again cites the April shooting in the same context as “the Kennedys.” This bulletin reflects a rare writing style for Walker, namely, incomplete sentences. Walker again writes of himself in the third person:
Attempted assassination by Lee H. Oswald, 9pm April 10, 1963, whose release from midnight custody was directed by the Kennedys before 7 am – he kills the President in November, the first time his name or stay in Russia (1959-1962) was known to Walker, Germany (1959-1961).
The three obvious similarities with the DNZ fantasy are: (1) police arrested LHO; (2) RFK and JFK released LHO; and (3) LHO went on to kill JFK.
Walker adds a new element – the dates for LHO’s stay in Russia compared with the dates of Walker’s command in Augsburg. This would let Walker confirm his WC testimony that he never heard of LHO until after the JFK murder. The clause, “in Russia” qualified the preceding nouns so that Walker could properly claim that November 22nd was the first time that he’d ever heard of LHO – in Russia.
Twenty-eight Years After: A final example. On November 11, 1991, General Walker wrote a quarter-page item with the headline, JFK DIDN'T KNOW HE KNEW HIS ASSASSIN.
Apparently, the Friends of Walker company had already folded and Walker had already moved from Dallas back to his hometown at Kerrville, Texas. Walker sent this item to the Kerrville Daily Times, which published it on January 19, 1992. We reproduce the fantasy in full:
A common assassin with a dead President – Commander in Chief is an ugly experience since 1963.
The President went to Dallas knowing and protecting his November assassin Lee H. Oswald from prosecution for his April Crime, “Attempted Assassination of the former General working at his desk in his Dallas home, 9:00 p.m. April 10.”
The Kennedy protection included an early-morning, secret release of the prime suspect Lee H. Oswald, from Dallas Police Custody on Kennedy orders, April 11.
The President did not live to know that he knew his assassin but everyone else lived to know that he did and that his assassin could not be prosecuted for the November Crime because of his Kennedy protection from prosecution for his April Crime.
The law does not provide for protection and prosecution at the same time. Only by the election of a new government could the protection be eliminated. The common assassin was dead within forty-eight hours, Friday to Sunday. (Nov. 1991, Edwin A. Walker, Dallas)
This matches key elements that Walker told the Deutsche Nationalzeitung the day after the JFK Assassination. JFK and Walker did have “a common assassin.” The fantasy, however, was that RFK and JFK had protected LHO from DPD prosecution on the night of the Walker shooting – his “proof” that RJK and JFK were accomplices in the Walker shooting.
Walker tried to be clever, claiming that JFK didn't expect LHO to kill JFK, so he wrote that JFK "didn't live to know he knew his assassin.” Walker presented this quip as evidence that JFK knew that LHO had tried to kill Walker, yet protected LHO. “Everybody else” lived to know it, said Walker – although “everybody else” meant, in this case, Walker and his followers.
Walker also insinuated a new fantasy – that LHO had to die within 48 hours because otherwise he might turn on RFK and expose the Kennedy plot to kill Walker back in April.
The written evidence above shows that Edwin Walker was obsessed with his April shooting for the rest of his life. It somehow justified his approval of the murders of JFK and RFK. Yet, because Walker reversed his own WC testimony on this topic, then why don’t we readers challenge his WC testimony on all other topics? Can we find other examples of Edwin Walker’s lying under oath to Earl Warren’s Commission? What else did Walker withhold from the WC? Did Walker despise Earl Warren? We’ll pursue the matter further in future blog posts.
© Copyright 2022, by Paul Edward Trejo. All rights reserved.
WC Testimony of the resigned General Edwin Walker
General Edwin Walker, Personal Papers (1941-1991), at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.