[Photo: Jack Ruby silenced Lee Harvey Oswald forever on November 24,1963, as Will Fritz walked off.]
We have been tracing the chronology of three small social circles in Dallas during 1963, namely: (i) the circle surrounding resigned General Edwin Walker; (ii) the circle surrounding Lee and Marina Oswald; and (iii) the circle surrounding Michael and Ruth Paine.
At length we have arrived at the month of November – the final month in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO). Let’s resume our narrative here. LHO was relatively contented on the morning of November 1, 1963. He had a job. He was saving money. His second daughter, baby Audrey, was just 11 days old. The friendly teenager, Wesley Buell Frazier, drove LHO to work, and LHO would chuckle about his babies to him.
Before this day was over, however, everything would change drastically for LHO, and in three more weeks, JFK would be dead and LHO would be dead. To express our opinion this topic, we’ll review the events in these social circles in chronological detail, starting with the first day of November 1963.
112. On November 1st, Dallas FBI agent James Hosty paid his first visit to the home of Ruth Paine to interview Marina via Ruth at Ruth Paine’s home. James Hosty told the WC that his visit was purely routine – Marina was a native Russian, a Soviet citizen in his jurisdiction, and an annual visit is purely routine. Although Hosty was quite polite to the two ladies, Marina was visibly shaken by the FBI visit. Why would the State Police come around asking? Ruth Paine would assure Marina that it was no crime to come legally from the USSR.
113. On the same day, LHO rented a new PO box in Dallas, and he sent a letter of interest to the ACLU. Remember that only one week prior to this, Michael Paine had driven LHO to downtown Dallas to attend an ACLU meeting, where LHO stood up to report about General Walker’s US Day meeting. LHO was not a member – but evidently, he was considering membership in the ACLU on this day. That evening he’d go to Ruth Paine’s home as usual.
114. On Saturday, the day after Hosty’s first visit, LHO was visibly miffed. What did Hosty want? Marina had relayed Hosty’s words, that she was not to worry because the FBI does not harm people, but only helps people. If she ever needed help of any kind, said Hosty, she could always rely on the FBI. LHO snarled, “Is he inviting you to defect? Who does he think he is?” So, LHO instructed Marina that if Hosty returned she must somehow get his car license plate number. The next day, Sunday, Ruth gave LHO a driving lesson in an empty parking lot. He had trouble shifting.
115. On Monday, November 4th, all of Dallas learned that JFK was coming to town from Washington DC. General Walker and his Minutemen got ready quickly. They knew that Guy Banister and his Minutemen had richly framed LHO as an FPCC Castro supporter from New Orleans. Most likely Walker knew from James Hosty that LHO was back in Dallas. And now he learned from his local sources that LHO was working in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) on Dealey Plaza. What luck! Dallas Police and Deputies controlled Dealey Plaza! Some of those officers were also members of Walker’s Minutemen (cf. Jeffrey Caufield, 2015).
116. Any paramilitary ambush would welcome a bowl-like structure like Dealey Plaza. If only the JFK parade could be brought through Dealey Plaza! The plotters would likely ask Dallas Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels to plan JFK’s parade route in detail – directly through Dealey Plaza – and tiptoe it past the Washington DC Secret Service Headquarters.
117. The plotters likely agreed that uniformed officers could easily blend in with any Dallas crowd! After shooting JFK, they could simply toss their weapons to confederates and easily blend in with the crowd again. They could even pretend to help search for the shooters.
118. On Tuesday, November 5th, FBI agent James Hosty returned to Ruth Paine’s home for another interview with Marina. Marina stayed back in her bedroom at first, climbed out the window, ran to James’ Hosty’s car, and got his license plate number. Then she came in through the bedroom window again and saw Ruth still speaking with Hosty. Soon Hosty left.
119. That Friday, November 9th, LHO began plans to write a long letter and a short letter.
120. The long letter would be to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC – guaranteed to be intercepted by the FBI. LHO knew this, and he planned for it. The letter had no intention of explaining to the Soviets what he did in Mexico City. We know this because it was full of lies. Most likely, then, LHO wrote this letter to ignite the suspicions of FBI Headquarters about FBI agent James Hosty.
121. The short letter would be to James Hosty, personally. It was a threat to blow up the Dallas FBI office and the Dallas Police headquarters if Hosty continued harassing Marina.
122. Veterans Day in 1963 occurred on Monday, November 12th. The TSBD was closed for the holiday, and LHO spent an extra night at Ruth Paine’s home. On Tuesday, November 13th, LHO started the day by mailing his long letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC. Perhaps it was during lunch break that LHO would visit the Dallas FBI field office to hand-deliver his warning note to James Hosty, personally.
123. On November 14th, the Washington DC Secret Service PRS (Protective Research Section) sent a telegram to the Dallas FBI, “Who are the dangerous people in Dallas?” James Hosty’s office answered, “There are no dangerous people in Dallas!” (see his 1996 book, Assignment Oswald).
124. Many at the Secret Service PRS were puzzled. Every US city has at least one dangerous crackpot – and this is Dallas, where Adlai Stevenson had been physically abused only three weeks previous. “Are you sure,” the PRS asked? Hosty’s office replied, “Yes, we’re sure. We searched thoroughly. We can show our paperwork.” The PRS gradually accepted Hosty’s report – after all, the FBI had never been mistaken about this before.
125. That same week, the Washington DC Secret Service sent agent Winston Lawson to Dallas to examine the parade route. Forrest Sorrels, senior SS agent in Dallas, met Lawson to drive him through the proposed parade route from Love Field through downtown Dallas and then through Dealey Plaza to the Trade Mart luncheon where JFK would speak.
126. Sorrels answered all of Lawsons questions deftly, so at the end of the day, Sorrels had convinced Lawson that the parade route was safe. We propose that Sorrell knew very well that the facts were just the opposite.
127. The Dallas offices of the FBI and Secret Service had successfully fooled their Washington DC headquarters that Dallas was safe – that there were no dangerous people in Dallas, and that JFK’s Dallas parade route was safe.
128. It was also during this early period, only one week before the JFK assassination, that Robert Alan Surrey, the business partner of General Walker, put his finishing touches on his famous WANTED FOR TREASON JFK handbill, showing mug shots of JFK. Surrey purchased under-the-table necessary labor and materials from Robert G. Krause, of the Lettercraft Printing Company to print 5,000 of them.
129. Surrey’s fellow Bircher and volunteer coordinator, Joseph Grinnan, shrewdly manipulated Bernard Weissman and his CUSA team to create a fiction political entity, The American Fact-Finding Committee. Then Joseph Grinnan, in concert with other Birchers, gave Weissman the cash to pay the Dallas Morning News to publish the famous Black Bordered Ad. It said in effect: “WELCOME TO DALLAS MR. KENNEDY – Why Do You Support the Communists?”
130. The stage was set for a successful assassination of JFK. General Walker could now simply wait it out – not in Dallas, but in New Orleans.
131. Dallas law enforcement now fell in line at Dealey Plaza. If any were also members of General Walker’s Minutemen (as James Hosty called them) they would now be ready on the front lines. Very likely some Minutemen were members of the Dallas Police Department and some were members of the Dallas Sheriff’s Office – perhaps only a few from out of town.
132. None were paid. Some of these experts had been shooting since childhood. They were all true believers in the McCarthy doctrine that the White House was Communist. This was a patriotic act, they would have rationalized.
133. The parking lot behind the picket fence of the Grassy Knoll was private and mostly rented to officers of the buildings serving the County Jail, Public Records (DalTex), and Texas School Books.
134. Any Dallas officers in this plot would feel their enormous freedom in Dealey Plaza because of the overwhelming trust of Dallas citizens in Dallas law enforcement.
135. Friday the 9th began the long Veterans Day weekend. Wesley Frazier drove LHO to Ruth Paine’s as usual, and LHO spent the long weekend at her home. That was when LHO wrote his notorious Soviet Embassy letter.
136. That was also when LHO wrote a threatening note that he would seek to deliver to James Hosty after the holiday.
137. On Tuesday, November 12th, after Veterans Day, LHO mailed his Soviet Embassy letter in the US Post. During lunchtime, LHO took his threatening note in an unsealed envelope to the Dallas FBI Field Office and asked for James Hosty. Hosty was unavailable, so LHO handed the envelope to the receptionist, Mrs. Nancy Lee Fenner (who testified to December 1975 FBI Oversight Hearings).
138. After LHO returned to the elevator, Mrs. Fenner looked at the unsealed note and saw the bottom two lines, which read: “I will either blow up the Dallas Police Department or the FBI office.” Recognizing a bomb threat, she promptly read the full note. It was a warning to stop harassing LHO’s wife. She recalled that it was signed by LHO.
139. So, Mrs. Fenner personally rushed the note to Kyle Clark, FBI Assistant Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office. Perhaps Clark would want to detain LHO, she said. Clark dismissed this letter as the work of a “nut.” Clark’s stenographic secretary, Mrs. Helen May asked to see it, and Fenner showed it to her. So, that was three FBI officials that day who read LHO’s note aside from James Hosty.
140. After Hosty returned from lunch, Mrs. Fenner gave him the note. Hosty said LHO was a “nut” and placed the note in his personal files. So, Mrs. Fenner put the matter out of her mind.
141. On Friday, November 15th, Marina advised LHO not to come over that weekend, because the Paines wanted a family day to celebrate their daughter Lynn’s birthday.
142. On Sunday, November 17th, Marina asked Ruth to call LHO’s rooming house. They learned that nobody at the rooming house knew anybody by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. Marina became quite upset because of this.
143. On Thursday, November 21st, LHO broke routine by arriving at the Paine home on a Thursday. LHO did not even call first. He received a lukewarm reception from Marina. As Ruth Paine testified, she saw annoying evidence that LHO had been in her garage that evening – he left the light on. He’d retired early that evening. Ruth turned out the light.
144. On Friday, November 22, 1963, LHO awoke early to make some instant coffee and toast. At 7:20 a.m. LHO carried his pretended package of curtain rods to Wesley Frazier’s house, tossed the long paper sack in the back seat of Wesley’s car, and waited for Wesley to drive to work. Both Wesley and his sister testified to seeing that package.
145. Around 7:50 a.m., as Frazier recalled, LHO entered the TSBD building with that long paper sack. Yet eyewitnesses inside the TSBD who saw LHO early that morning testified seeing no package of any size or shape in LHO’s hands around that time. (Granting that all were truthful, we might surmise an accomplice standing near the TSBD entrance awaiting the package, and LHO handing it off.)
146. Around 11:40 a.m., LHO and several other workers were on the 6th floor TSDB before lunch. As the others descended for lunch around 11:50 a.m., LHO remained alone on the 6th floor.
147. Around 12:18 p.m., Howard Leslie Brennan arrived near the TSBD to watch the motorcade and as JFK passed Brennan saw a man in the TSBD 6th floor window sitting, waiting for the parade. Around 12:30 p.m. Brennan claimed he saw this man firing the final shot. (Brennan that day volunteered a statement to Dallas Deputies that this man was in his “early 30’s” and weighed “between 165 and 175 pounds.”).
148. Around 12:30 p.m., a conspiracy of shooters assassinated President JFK. Dallas motorcycle patrolman Marrion Baker was one block away, and sped to the TSBD, and ran inside, rushing for the roof, because he was convinced that the shooter was still on the roof. The elevator was broken, so building supervisor Roy Truly ran up the stairs with Baker.
149. Around 12:31 p.m., as they ran up the stairs, Roy Truly and Patrolman Baker saw LHO on the 2nd floor near the staff kitchen. The officer stopped LHO by pointing his pistol at him. Supervisor Truly, however, vouched for LHO, and Officer Baker released LHO, and continued his run to the roof.
150. Around 12:34 p.m., LHO left the TSBD, probably by the back door.
151. Around 12:35 p.m., according to Dallas Deputy Roger Craig, LHO ran to an automobile driven by an accomplice, and hurried away in the thick traffic of the hour.
152. Around 12:45 p.m., given all this planning by several Dallas officials in high places overlooking Dealey Plaza, and given all the volunteer cooperation they got from various officers, the JFK Assassination seemed to have been successful. The plot worked flawlessly up to that moment.
153. At this time, too, the Dallas plotters were probably expecting that after JFK was eliminated, LHO could be shot anywhere he stood in Dallas, because LHO had already been framed in New Orleans by Guy Banister as a Communist and a Castro-supporting FPCC secretary. It would be an open and shut case against LHO, Marina, Michael and Ruth, Glover, George DM, and anybody else aiding and abetting LHO. They could all be accused of spying for Russia!
154. Around 12:55 p.m., LHO left his accomplice’s automobile near his rooming house at 1026 N. Beckley Street in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Around 1:00 p.m., LHO arrived on foot at his rooming house, where he retrieved his pistol and sweater. Three minutes later LHO left the rooming house.
155. Around 1:15 p.m., Patrolman J.D. Tippit stopped LHO on South Patton Avenue in Oak Cliff. According to witnesses, they spoke calmly for a few minutes before Tippit exited his patrol car. Tippit unholstered his weapon, and suddenly LHO shot Tippit multiple times before fleeing.
156. Around 1:25 p.m., Dallas Police obtained a description of the suspect in the Tippit murder, probably from Howard Brennan’s statement, according to NARA. Police broadcasted this description on police radio: “White, early 30’s, about 165 pounds.” (Oswald was in his early 20’s and weighed 135 pounds).
157. Around 1:40 p.m., LHO entered the Texas Theater, and around 1:50 p.m., after a brief scuffle with several Dallas Deputies and Police, he surrendered.
158. Around 2:00 p.m., LHO arrived at Dallas Police headquarters, and around 2:30 p.m., he was first questioned by Captain Will Fritz. No formal notes were taken of this questioning.
159. At 4 p.m. Texas time, J. Edgar Hoover telephoned US Attorney General Robert Kennedy to explain to him that LHO was not a Communist. Nor was LHO a genuine leader in the FPCC. Rather, LHO was a Lone Nut according to Hoover.
160. Nor were there any accomplices still at large, insisted Hoover – LHO was a Lone Shooter. Enough relevant facts were already known to the FBI to close the case, suggested Hoover, and he instructed his agents: case closed. Clearly, Hoover was certain that the Communists hadn’t killed JFK, despite the many claims coming out of Dallas that they had.
161. The Minutemen’s long-planned Dallas claim that the Communists had killed JFK was now dashed. This was a major setback for the Dallas Radical Right. The Minutemen’s plan to accuse the Paine’s of Communism, with the help of some official entity setting up a wiretap of the Paine residence – this was all dashed before Hoover’s workday of November 22nd was over.
162. The Dallas Radical Right did not give up. They would not transfer LHO to County Jail as in normal Dallas protocol. Around 4:10 p.m., police took LHO to the City Hall basement for his first lineup. This was for Helen Markham, an eyewitness to the Tippit slaying. She positively identified LHO as the shooter on South Patton Avenue.
163. Around 4:20 p.m., LHO returned upstairs for more questioning in Captain Fritz’ office. Again, no formal notes were taken.
164. Around 6:20 p.m., police took LHO to his second lineup, with bus driver McWatters and others, like Howard Brennan. McWatters honestly told police that he didn’t remember LHO on his bus, contrary to passenger lady, The boy who made a joke about the JFK assassination was a regular on his route – contrary to the WC testimony of LHO’s former landlady. Howard Brennan at his lineup didn’t positively identify LHO as the shooter that he saw up on the 6th floor window of the TSBD.
165. Around 6:35 p.m., LHO returned upstairs for more questioning by Captain Will Fritz and his team. Again, no formal notes were taken. Around 7:10 p.m., authorities formally arraigned LHO for the murder of J.D. Tippit.
166. Around 7:40 p.m., police took LHO to his third lineup. This was for the Davis sisters, who had also seen the Tippit slaying from their front window. Hours later, empty cartridges were found on their front lawn, so they stepped forward to cooperate with the Dallas Police.
167. Around 11:25 p.m., LHO was charged with the murder of JFK.
168. General Walker, the plot leader, had been attending various political meetings around New Orleans that week. In his hotel room, early in the morning after the JFK Assassination, Walker received a call from a newspaper in Germany. The newspaper wanted to interview Walker about the JFK Assassination.
169. Walker announced to that German newspaper – he already knew that LHO had been his April 10th shooter. This was not yet 24 hours after the JFK Assassination! That newspaper issue would take a full week to come to print, and only in the German language. (So, it would take months before the American public heard of it.)
170. The day after the JFK Assassination, the tenacious Dallas Police furthered their cause by pushing to convince Jack Ruby to eliminate LHO as quickly as possible.
171. Despite efforts by Dallas officials, the official Dallas doctrine that the Communists killed JFK withered away because of Hoover’s Lone Shooter doctrine. Yet the truth of the matter – that the Dallas Radical Right killed JFK – that also withered away. We were left with an unsatisfactory myth – that LHO was the Lone Nut who had planned the JFK Assassination alone and had executed it alone.
172. On Saturday, November 23rd, around 00:05 AM, LHO appeared before the press in the Dallas City Jail lineup room. Chief Jesse Curry had given into reporters’ demands to take photographs of the prisoner, although Curry also warned reporters against asking LHO any questions. Otherwise, he warned, Curry would cancel the photo opportunity. Some reporters could not help themselves from asking questions, and Curry quickly called LHO back from that appearance.
173. Around 00:20 a.m., Dallas Police returned LHO to his jail cell. Around 1:30 a.m., LHO was formally arraigned for the murder of JFK. Finally – everybody got some sleep.
174. On Saturday the 23rd around 10:30 a.m., another day of questioning with Captain Will Fritz began. This lasted about an hour before police returned LHO to his jail cell.
175. Around 12:30 p.m., police again took LHO to Fritz’ office for questioning. Again, no formal notes were taken.
176. Around 1:15 p.m., Marina and Marguerite Oswald came to visit LHO in jail.
177. Around 1:45 p.m., LHO tried unsuccessfully to contact New York defense attorney John Abt, whom LHO had never met before, but who was known by the Birchers as the “defender of Communists.”
178. Around 2:15 p.m., LHO appeared in his fourth lineup. This was for two cabdrivers – one an eyewitness to the Tippit slaying, and the other a cab driver who, perhaps by mistaken identity, claimed to have taken LHO to his rooming house, though describing LHO inaccurately.
179. Around 3:30 p.m., Robert Oswald visited LHO. Robert looked into LHO’s eyes, searching for some sign, and LHO just looked back at Robert, and finally said, “Brother, you won't find anything there.” Robert Oswald later told NBC, “There was no emotion. There was no flicker in his eye.”
180. This tallies with our theory – that LHO deliberately belonged to a larger conspiracy, though LHO mistakenly thought it was about assassinating Fidel Castro. LHO apparently wavered on this day between loyalty to his accomplices and worry that he himself was being betrayed.
181. Around 4:30 p.m., LHO phoned Ruth Paine and asked her to try to obtain John Abt as his attorney. Ruth testified that LHO sounded strangely nonchalant about his situation, giving instructions to Ruth as if he was disconnected from these charges against him.
182. Around 5:30 p.m., LHO received a visit from Louis Nichols, president of the Dallas Bar Association, regarding representation for his defense. LHO seemed nonchalant about it, and still expected John Abt to return his calls. LHO had no idea that Abt was on vacation.
183. Around 6:00 p.m., police again took LHO to the office of Captain Fritz for questioning. Again, no formal notes were taken. Around 7:15 p.m., police returned LHO to his jail cell.
184. Around 8:00 p.m., LHO phoned Ruth Paine to speak with Marina. Ruth told LHO that Marina was no longer living there. Ruth Paine was surprised that Marina wanted nothing more to do with her. Were Marina’s handlers cutting Ruth out?
185. Or, was Marina ashamed for having failed Ruth with regard to keeping the violent side of LHO secret from her; e.g., the shooting at General Walker, or keeping a rifle in Ruth’s garage?
186. In any case, although Ruth still wanted to remain friends with Marina – Marina believed her handlers (James Herbert Martin and Robert Lee Oswald) who convinced her that a friendship with Ruth Paine would muddle matters for the Secret Service, for the FBI, for her handlers, and for Marina.
187. On Sunday, November 24th at around 9:30 a.m., police signed LHO out of City Jail in anticipation of his transfer to County Jail.
188. Around 11:15 a.m., the transfer party left Fritz’ office after a final round of questions. Again, no formal notes were taken. On his way down to his transport in the City Hall basement parking garage, LHO was shot dead by Jack Ruby at point blank range.
189. Around 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, 1963, LHO was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital.
190. In a public statement published the very next day, Assistant Attorney General Nicolas Katzenbach, in coordination with J. Edgar Hoover, said that "the public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin – that he did not have confederates who are still at large..."
112. The danger was over, declared J. Edgar Hoover in concert with Washington DC. Hoover knew the truth about Guy Banister, about LHO, about General Walker and his Minutemen in Dallas, and all the confederates of LHO -- even better than LHO himself. Yet all of this now became a matter of US National Security.
113. So, Hoover quickly declared countless documents related to the JFK Assassination to be Top Secret, and some remain Top Secret to this very day.
Copyright © 2021 by Paul Trejo. All Rights Reserved.