10) If there was a JFK conspiracy, wouldn’t somebody have talked?

Actually, somebody did talk.

Electronic security expert John Martino talked with friends and family about his foreknowledge of a JFK plot.

His name was John Martino. In 1963 he was an anti-Castro militant who mixed with organized crime figures and CIA officers. His story is one of the clearest indicators that opponents of JFK’s Cuba policy had foreknowledge that President Kennedy might be assassinated in Dallas.

To put it another way, those who doubt there was a conspiracy need to address John Martino’s story. It is corroborated in multiple ways.

Martino, a native of New Jersey, was a petty racketeer as a young man with arrests for gambling and loan sharking.

In the 1950s, he developed an expertise in electronic equipment related to gambling. He gravitated to south Florida and then to Havana where his skills won him a job at the casino in the new Deauville Hotel in the Cuban capital. Havana was then dominated by organized crime syndicates who reaped big profits from gambling and related tourist attractions.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, tormenter of empire

When Fidel Castro’s revolutionary movement took power in 1959, the Deauville and other hotels offering gambling and prostitution were closed. Martino was arrested for criticizing Castro and spent three years in jail, a bitter experience that he detailed in his vivid book “I Was Castro’s Prisoner.”

Upon his release in 1962, Martino threw himself into the CIA’s clandestine war against Castro. A publicity tour for the book took him to New Orleans and Dallas in the fall of 1963 where he associated with other anti-Castro activists embittered by JFK’s Cuba policy.

In the days after JFK was killed, Martino devoted considerable effort to linking accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to the Cuban government. Martino and others claimed that Oswald had gone to Cuba (a claim that has never been verified). Without supporting evidence, Martino gained attention from investigators but convinced few of his claims that Oswald acted at Castro’s behest.


Behind the Story

A decade later, Martino was dying and he knew it. In 1975, he started telling a different story about the events of 1963, confessing to two acquaintances that he had participated in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

His first confessor was John Cummings, an investigative reporter at New York’s Newsday, who had covered Martino’s release from Castro’s prison in 1962 and stayed in contact with him over the years.

“He told me he’d been part of the assassination of Kennedy,” Cummings recounted later. “He wasn’t in Dallas pulling the trigger, but he was involved. He implied that his role was delivering money, facilitating things. He asked me not to write it while he was alive.”

It is worth noting that Cummings was an award-winning reporter who did not make his reputation by believing tall tales.

The second person to whom Martino confided was a former business partner named Fred Claassen. He said Martino told him:

“The anti-Castro people put Oswald together. Oswald didn’t know who he was working for — he was just ignorant of who was really putting him together. Oswald was to meet his contact at the Texas Theater [the movie house where Oswald was arrested]. They were to meet Oswald in the theater and get him out of the country, and then eliminate him. Oswald made a mistake . . . there was no way we could get to him. They had Ruby kill him.”

Martino’s widow Florence declined to talk to congressional investigators in the 1970s, but later acknowledged her husband’s story to British author Anthony Summers. She said that her husband had advance knowledge of
JFK’s assassination. “Flo, they’re going to kill him,” she recalls him saying in November 1963. “They’re going to kill him when he gets to Texas.”

Anthony Summers
Anthony Summers

Martino’s son, Edward, then a senior in high school, recalls that on Friday Nov. 22, 1963, his father told him to stay home from school and listen to the radio. When the news came from Dallas, “my father went white as a sheet. But it wasn’t like ‘Gee whiz.’ It was more like confirmation.”

Ed Martino, now a business consultant and custom software developer, has not profited in any way from telling this story. Nor did his mother, now deceased.

Summers reported the Martino story in Vanity Fair magazine in 1994 and in his 1998 book (co-authored with Robbyn Swan), “Not in Your Lifetime” (an updated version of which will be published this year).

In addition, historian David Kaiser reported Ed Martino’s story in his book The Road to Dallas,” which was published by Harvard University Press.

The most complete version of Martino’s involvement in the anti-Castro movement and his subsequent confession is found my 2010 book “Somebody Would Have Talked.” (You can buy it here.)

There were other people who showed foreknowledge that JFK would be killed in Dallas but none whose story is so well-documented as John Martino. He was somebody who talked

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR JFK STORY #11; Counterintelligence chief James Angleton was notified on November 15, 1963 that Oswald was in Dallas.




91 thoughts on “10) If there was a JFK conspiracy, wouldn’t somebody have talked?”

  1. There is something like a blood covenant among the planners and beneficiaries of the JFK assassination, the triangulated 9/11 massacres, coup d’états, lie-begin wars, economic hits, priest classicism, and “random” terrorist massacres worldwide. The only people who know enough to speak to the entirety of the “why” will never talk; when one is complicit in a state crime and cover-up of the facts through deed, “official story” advocacy, or subsequent exploitative propaganda, his loyalties to the conspirators are assured by the bonds of guilt inherent of such activities’s benefits. A blood covenant mindset explains why very few speak to the depths of what necessitates these things to occur.

  2. While in the Marines, I received an award for marksmanship as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. . . I resided in the Soviet Union for three years, where I have many friends and relatives of my wife…. I was secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans a few months ago.
    “I was arrested in New Orleans for disturbing the peace and paid a $10 fine for demonstrating for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. I had a fight with some anti-Castro refugees and they were released while I was fined.” “I was never in Mexico City. I have been in Tijuana”. . . . “I was present in the Texas School Book Depository Building, I have been employed there since Oct. 15, 1963. . . . As a laborer, I have access to the entire building. . . . My usual place of work is on the first floor”. . . “I never owned a rifle myself”. . .
    I think we all need to look outside the Warren Ommission for the simple reason it is an exercise in containment and a glaring departure from reality. A “conspiracy realist” looking at the Kennedy Assassination would be hard pressed to deny a coup d’etat took place on 11/22/1963. In 1963 America, the only forces that could have staged a coup were the military, intelligence, or underworld groups. We know these forces converged to “attempt” to assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba. When Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, it was not done by a lone nut, or Oswald. It was a well staged ‘precision hit’ executed by trained assassins. Where in Oswald’s background does assassination come into play? Even Oswald’s alleged shot at Gen. Walker is without legally sustainable corroboration (outside of Marina Oswald).
    Speculation about Oswald’s motive in going to the Texas Theater is unproductive. He went and was captured and subsequently stated “I am not resisting arrest” in the theater and “I’m just a patsy” at the Dallas Police Headquarters. When confronted during Fritz’s questioning about the Nash Rambler station wagon he allegedly used as the ‘get away’ car, he allegedly stated, “That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Ruth Paine. Don’t try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it. (Another question is asked here and Oswald answers) “I told you people I did. . . . Everybody will know who I am now.”
    I’m intrigued by the entry concerning Mexico, where Oswald states: “It didn’t cost much to go to Mexico. It cost me some $26, a small, ridiculous amount to eat, and another ridiculous small amount ‘to stay all night’. . . . I went to the Mexican Embassy to try to get this permission to go to Russia by way of Cuba. . . . I went to the Mexican Consulate in Mexico City. I went to the Russian Embassy to go to Russia by way of Cuba. They told me to come back in `thirty days. . .”
    “I observed a rifle in the Texas School Book Depository where I work, on Nov. 20, 1963. . . . Mr. Roy Truly, the supervisor, displayed the rifle to individuals in his office on the first floor. There was another rifle in the building. I have seen it. Warren Caster had two rifles, a 30.06 Mauser and a .22 for his son.”
    “After the assassination, a policeman or some man came rushing into the School Book Depository Building and said, `Where is your telephone?’ He showed me some kind of credential and identified himself, so he might not have been a police officer . . . ‘Right there,’ I answered, pointing to the phone.” (Corroborated by the actual reporter, Pierce Allman, who is still alive). Right after the assassination, Oswald was on the first floor!

    “Yes, I can eat lunch with you,” I told my co-worker (Junior: James Jarman, Jr.) , “but I can’t go right now. You go and take the elevator, but send the elevator back up.” (The other elevator in the building was broken.) . . . “After all this commotion started, I just went downstairs (from the 2nd fl after buying a coke) and started to see what it was all about. A police officer (Marion Baker) and my superintendent of the place (Roy Truly) stepped up (to the 2nd fl landing) and told “officers” that I am one of the employees in the building. . . .

    “If you ask me about the shooting of Tippit, I don’t know what you are talking about. . . . The only thing I am here for is because I popped a policeman in the nose in the theater on Jefferson Avenue, which I readily admit I did, because I was protecting myself. . . .”

    Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald: Compiled by Mae Brusselsshttp://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/LHO.html

  3. Many here think Oswald behaved oddly. Guess what. If you’re trained for intelligence work, that’s what you do.

    Here I was, in Saigon. An undergrad degree in E.E.; a law degree; 47 weeks of language school; the C.I. course at Fort Huachuca. I could have coasted in a safe air-conditioned office. I told the assignments officer on Ton Son Nhut I was language trained.

    After that, I became an animal. An animal to live and to experience and to live. Was I odd. You bet. To this day.

    1. I don’t believe in the conspiracy but if there was one

      Is it possible that Oswald’s handlers could have told him that errant shots would be fired at JFK and that Oswald would be the fall guy? Oswald could have agreed to this. Oswald in custody would then play his role as a strident Marxist and boast his allegiance to Castro and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee while expressing regret for missing JFK. The anti-Castro Cubans would get an incident that would force Kennedy to do more to free Cuba. Oswald could have believed this ruse as implausible as it may seem to us in 2014.
      The police car stopping at the boarding house and honking it’s horn could have been a preplanned signal for him to meet Tippet for his planned arrest by Tippet. Oswald knowing that he had been duped because Kennedy was killed in turn killed Tippet before Tippet could eliminate him. This might help explain why he had such contempt for the policeman that had been shot when he was interrogated. This explanation is also consistent with bringing the “curtain rods”, visiting Marina on 11/21, leaving the wedding ring, Sylvia Odio testimony, paraffin test results, trip to Mexico city, comments to his brother that he hadn’t done anything that he should be ashamed of etc. Before the media, Oswald seemed genuinely frightened and desperate for legal assistance. He wasn’t ready to tell the whole story but was going to make it known that he was a patsy to murdering the President.
      There is evidence to suggest Oswald did not dislike JFK. I have always questioned what motive he would have for killing the President. Would Oswald agree to be a part of killing Kennedy?? My explanation is consistent with how he could be part of a plot to create circumstances that would force Kennedy’s hand in policy not kill him.

      1. From what I have read Oswald seems to have liked President Kennedy. I reckon that Oswald realised he had been set up immediately after the assassination, while he was still in the TSBD. On the balance of probabilities I think Oswald was a low level intelligence agent for one or more of the American intelligence agencies.

        As you say there was the beeping of the police car’s horn outside Oswald’s boarding house. Why did Oswald not go out and check it out if it was a prearranged plan? Maybe he thought he had been set up and was going to get executed. My theory is that Oswald brought the rifle into work, and was told to set it up in the sixth floor window. After that he had no further role. I am not sure if Oswald even knew that Kennedy was going to be assassinated. Perhaps he was told by a handler that it was part of a security operation to make sure Kennedy was protected when he went past the high buildings.

        If you think Oswald was the lone gunman then you have to come up with credible explanations for the complete lack of motive, the episodes in Mexico City, New Orleans, the Odio incident, and the fact that Oswald was apparently essentially involved in treasonous behaviour at the height of the Cold War against his own nation, and yet was never punished for this by the American government.

        1. Something that puzzles me about him(LHO)realizing he’d been set up while he was still in the TSBD: The others made their escape(Wallace, Loy Factor, “Ruth Ann”)from the 6th floor..why didn’t LHO escape with them? Unless, perhaps, Mac Wallace held him at gunpoint and said “You stay here-do not escape with us!”.

      2. Phil Gurholt,

        You write:

        “Is it possible that Oswald’s handlers could have told him that errant shots would be fired at JFK and that Oswald would be the fall guy?” I’ve thought the same thing.

        It’s pretty clear, though, Oswald didn’t kill Tippit and was framed for the killing. Pretty clear because (a) Tippit’s killer was physically larger than Oswald according to witnesses; (b) Oswald couldn’t have gotten from his rooming house to the place where Tippit was killed and then to the Texas Theater in the times allowed; and (c) police found an Oswald wallet both at the Tippit murder scene and on LHO in the police car following his arrest. The Tippit-scene wallet was a plant.

          1. I think even Hoover, who I call John E. Hoover, admitted he couldn’t be sure Oswald killed Tippit. Yet later we find, of course, that Oswald gets charged for that killing anyway.

  4. The notion put forth by Warren Defenders that someone would have walked is that large-scale conspiracies always break down; someone spills the beans.

    I’m an amateur student of large scale conspiracies and have found that’s not the case. The My Lai cover-up was a large-scale conspiracy that would have continued unconvered without the close investigative work of Sy Hersh and an army officer not a participant in the massacre. The causes and purposes of the Watergate break-in have never been adeqautely explained by our government. The Iran-Contra cover-up continues until today. Over 1 million pages of information regarding the Pearl Harbor attack remain classified.

    Government bureaucracies are naturally very good at covering up their misdeeds, errors, and omissions.

  5. Many people have “spoken” about their roles in the JFK murder, but getting publicity for any of it is nigh impossible.
    That’s a good indicator, to me, of the wish to control the subject matter and whats in the mind of the public.

  6. I am not an author or researcher just a regular citizen who was eleven years old when JFK was murdered. I would suggest that it is time for one of the talented writers that frequent here to pick up the pen (or computer) and write a book titled “Many People Have Talked”. How many death bed confessions does it take for us to pay attention?

  7. Guys I believe Oswald was supposed to meet his handler at the theatre it’s the only likely scenario further I believe he thought he was leaving the country that’s why the night before he visited his daughters unannounced and the left his wedding ring with Marina at Ruth Paines home!
    I believe he didn’t realize he was the patsy until he was already at the station but the evidence is there that he was a big part of the assassination plot!

    1. Ramon F Herrera

      “Guys I believe Oswald was supposed to meet his handler at the theatre it’s the only likely scenario”

      That was my impression but Anthony Marsh offered a different alternative. Lee was on his way to a CIA (?) safe house when he either noticed that he had raised the attention of Brewer the shoe salesman or heard the sirens and decided to hide in the Texas Theater.

      To me, the fact that Lee only had $14 on him (left the rest to Marina) is extraordinarily telling. Hey, I don’t care about inflation and good old times, you do NOT make it to Cuba with $14! He knew that from then on his expenses would be paid by somebody else.

      1. The safe house poses several question: assuming it was in an obscure location, why wouldn’t Oswald have taken the side streets and back alleys en route? Had he done so, it was less likely that a ‘Johnny Brewer’ or ‘Julia Postal’ in the neighborhood would have encountered him and phoned the police immediately. It also ignores the other components of the plot; If he made it to a safe house, the chance of any number of glitches was enhanced, introducing a possibly protracted search, nationwide, which would begin to draw attention to the contradictions in the Oswald as lone assassin theory. Timing was everything.

        According to Brewer’s testimony, sirens were screaming up and down the major streets in the area, which presumably prompted Oswald to duck into the shoe store, raising Brewer’s attention.
        Mr. BREWER – I heard the police cars coming up Jefferson, and he stepped in, and the police made a U-turn and went back down East Jefferson.
        Mr. BELIN – Where did he make the U-turn?
        Mr. BREWER – At Zangs.
        Mr. BELIN – Do you remember the sirens going away?
        Mr. BREWER – Yes; the sirens were going away. I presume back to where the officer had been shot, because it was back down that way. And when they turned and left, Oswald looked over his shoulder and turned around and walked up West Jefferson towards the theatre.
        Mr. BELIN – Let me hold you a minute. You used the word Oswald. Did you know who the man was at the time you saw him?
        Mr. BREWER – No.
        Mr. BELIN – So at the time, you didn’t know what his name was?

    2. Brian H writes:
      “I believe Oswald was supposed to meet his handler at the theatre”

      Although Martino’s story is credible, I’m annoyed by his inability/unwillingness to name names. Specifically who are the “anti-Castro people”? Who are “they” and “we”? Makes me think his story is secondhand and that he embellished it with his own theory. I don’t believe the Texas Theater rendezvous for an instant.

      Oswald was walking in the direction of Ruby’s apartment – not the Texas Theater – when he encountered Tippit. Later Ruby murdered Oswald. Occam’s Razor.

      1. Bill, I’m also interested to know the address if indeed Ruby lived in the neighborhood. And if Oswald was en route, why wasn’t he using the side streets and alleys?

        Also, if he was forced into the Texas Theater because of sirens and Brewer’s behavior, then why didn’t he exit the theater out the back and continue on to Ruby’s, rather than sit down? I’m speculating here, and do not know if there was a rear entrance, but fire code would suggest that there was.

        I am convinced that Ruby and Oswald had long been acquainted, but I don’t fully understand how Oswald would have completed his role as “patsy” if he had made a successful get away, either via a safe house or Ruby’s apartment.

        Also, I thought that Ruby lived in the Oak Lawn area? Wasn’t his alleged mechanic located somewhere near Knox-Henderson?

      2. Bill P., mea culpa, and I should stay out of these weeds. Earlier I misstated Oswald’s rooming house address as 500 N. Beckley rather than the 1000 block.

        Are we are studying the movements of two Oswalds?

        I’ve not studied John Armstrong’s research, but I will now.

  8. Ramon F Herrera

    I cannot possibly believe in this scenario:

    “They were to meet Oswald in the theater and get him out of the country, and then eliminate him. ”

    If that were the case….

    The US would have turned heaven and hell around looking for the murderer, no rock would be left unturned, fueled by the outrage and pain of the people… until TODAY? Until the end of times? Why take the risk of transporting Lee out of the nation?

    Lee was from day one supposed to die, as a patsy, a LN before the eyes of the world. Like a choreography every actor had one specific role to play.

    One basic tenet is that, from Lee’s point of view, things went terribly wrong. What occurred was not supposed to happen. It was not part of the script. He reacted like a surprised, scared person.

    1. Ramon Herrera, I agree with you that the plan was highly compartmentalized.

      Oswald needed to live long enough to be charged so that the authorities would not be expected to aggressively pursue the real assassins in the aftermath. Essentially this was the beginning of the running the clock.

      Oswald had to be arrested in Dallas (and quickly before the best intentioned reporters were able to put two and two together) because certain insiders representing various agencies – city, county, state, and federal – were primed to follow their unique, compartmentalized scripts.

      Oswald’s successful get away was never part of the master plan, and yet it was an essential aspect of his instructions: 1) in order to induce him to follow through as patsy (he does not appear to have been the type to sign on as a kamikaze pilot, and as a young father would have opted for at least some odds for escape); and 2) the arrest had to be witnessed by the public writ large – Texas Theater as the perfect dramatic backdrop – to implant in the collective psyche an image of a lone nut as the murderer of the president, and the lone nut had been captured.

      Had Oswald died before being arrested for the Tippit murder (an act that as stated in Mrs. Postal’s testimony was immediately linked to the Kennedy assassination in the minds of the Dallas Police Department), there would have been far less impact on the national psyche, and authorities would have had to stage a more impressive search for other assailants and accomplices.

      The tidiness of the operation was the Tippit murder, initiating the next stage, the arrest of Oswald with full knowledge that he was to be charged with the assassination of Kennedy. Again, some officer said as much within hearing distance of Mrs. Postal at the Texas Theater.

      This basically wrapped up the Kennedy investigation within two hours of his death. Oswald is charged, Oswald is murdered two days later. We’re here today, debating the possibility of a conspiracy?

      1. The weird thing about Oswald (and they’re endless!) is that he kept parroting the FPCC line throughout his interrogations, even bringing it up himself! That is, if you believe the minimum amount of detail that has come out on what he said under police custody.

        If he felt he had been made a patsy, why does he continue to point to the phony-baloney FPCC chapter he “founded” in New Orleans? Was he that disciplined an operative? And he definitely doesn’t help his defense if he’s the lone assassin either.

        He was, against all myths woven around him, a smart guy. WTH was he up to?

        1. Ramon F Herrera

          “If he felt he had been made a patsy […]”

          He only betrayed his discipline for TWO critical seconds, when overwhelmed by the incessant reporter questioning he blurted: “I’m just a patsy!!”. Notice that he never repeated it.

          A more emotional, disgusted, frustrated, pissed off, less disciplined part of his brain took over for a second or two. The truth always fights to be set free and sometimes it succeeds.

    2. Ramon F Herrera,

      You write:

      “It was not part of the script. He reacted like a surprised, scared person.”

      I agree with your first sentence but not your second. In custody, Oswald was clearly in control of himself. He responded to Fritz’s questioning as if he’d been trained in how to resist interrogations. If we believe Whaley’s story about picking up Oswald for a cab ride, Oswald is calm and unperturbed.

      1. Ramon F Herrera

        “I agree with your first sentence but not your second.”

        I was referring to his fleeing, his behavior before he was captured.

        “Oswald is calm and unperturbed.”

        But with a vortex of emotions and thoughts inside.

        If he needed another jacket and a pistol, why risk going back home? He would have them at work. This is the most hunted man in America, the last place on earth where he should have been was in his rooming house.

        The point that I have been making for years is this: THE most shocked person in Dealey Plaza was Lee. Or rather: his was a completely different kind of shock.

        Witnesses simply saw something dramatic and totally unexpected while Lee -who thought he knew that something extraordinary was about to happen- was confronted with something different. The script had been broken! “What the heck do I do now?”.

        I am willing to buy the official version, that he killed Tippit.

  9. Re Martino’s story about Oswald and the Texas Theater: The only things we know for sure about Oswald’s post-assassination movements on Friday are that that he got (a) from the TSBD (b) to the Texas Theater.

    Why the Texas Theater? For anyone who has received training in intelligence work, the answer is immediately clear: to meet someone. And based on what we’ve been told of his moving from seat to seat, it was someone he did not know.

    Sometimes in an intelligence operation, party A needs to meet with party B. There will be a pre-arranged signal of some sort that party A gives and that party B is sure to receive. The signal will mean “We need to meet” at some pre-arranged place and time.

    My guess is that party B sold out Oswald. And that Oswald, not knowing he’d been set up, continued playing his role, whatever it was, until he was killed.

    1. Jonathan … following is an exchange I engaged in at the Sunstein thread of last week, in case you missed it.

      John McAdams: The question regarding Tippit’s employment has come up before.

      According to the representative of Texas Theater who holds a BA in History, Middlebury College (VT) the theater stands by the statements posted on their website.

      When pressed if there is a paper trail to substantiate the claim, the rep indicated that they rely on a number of sources, some of whom surfaced in the year leading up to the 50th anniversary commemoration including at least four Dallas police officers still living: Jim Leavell, Jimmy Corson, Jack Davis, and Ray Hawkins. The rep. also referred to the testimony of Julia Postal.

      Mrs. POSTAL: . . . well, that is when I first heard Officer Tippit had been shot because some officer came in the box office and used the phone, said, “I think we have got our man on both accounts.” “What two accounts?” And said, “Well, Officer Tippit’s,” shocked me, because Officer Tippit used to work part time for us years ago. I didn’t know him personally.

Mr. BALL. You mean he guarded the theatre? 

      Mrs. POSTAL. On Friday nights and Saturdays, canvass the theatre, you know, and that—-then they were bringing Oswald out the door over there and —-

Mr. BALL. Well, now, was this before they had gone into the theatre that this officer used the phone? 

      Questions …. Why was Mrs. Postal ‘shocked,’ and yet she didn’t know Tippit personally? Maybe he was a legend, or was she advised after the fact that Tippit had been a guard at the theater; but in that case, why would she have been “shocked” at the moment she heard his name?

      Further, Mr. Ball’s questioning follows a pattern one can see throughout the Warren Commission. A witness offers a statement that would have caused an astute lawyer to pursue beyond one simple follow up question (in this instance “you mean he guarded the theatre?” and yet Ball moves on immediately.

      1. Jonathan, I reviewed the trajectory of Oswald’s movements from 500 N. Beckley to 231 West Jefferson. Beckley ran parallel to North Zang, a light commercial boulevard – I’ve traveled it lots – and Oswald could have caught a bus going either direction, or could have sought safe haven until dark in any number of locations including a church, a school, and a library. Granted, I can’t confirm all those institutions were in place in 1963, but I am going to guess that similar structures would have served him as cover. And yet he continued on to the theater. His ducking into Hardy’s shoe store is curious and suggests he might have been responding to instince while on the run, but then I read that sirens were blaring, so I deduce he ducked into the store to wait until they passed, and then proceeded in the direction he intended all along …. The Texas Theater.

        1. leslie sharp,

          As I study the record of Oswald’s alleged post-assassination movements, I’m only sure of two things. He left the TSBD, and he wound up at the Texas Theater.

          Everything else in the record is open to challenge and debate. This includes the alleged encounter with Marion Baker in the second floor lunchroom. Baker’s same-day affidavit describes an encounter on the third or fourth floor with an individual neither named as Oswald nor matching well Oswald’s description.

          I believe Oswald’s goal in leaving the TSBD was to go to the Texas Theater, in order to meet someone. His movements within the theater are a giveaway. If he simply wanted to hide out, as you say, there were likely other places he could have gone.

          Think about this. When Oswald was arrested at 1:50 p.m., there was NOTHING tying him to JFK’s murder. Yet as he’s being led out of the theater, a DPD officer shouts more or less to Julia Postal, “We’ve got our man on both counts.”

          1. Jonathan, just to clarify, this is from Postal’s WC testimony which indicates that an officer was using the phone, and that is when she heard “I think we have got our man on both accounts.” :

            Mrs. POSTAL: . . . well, that is when I first heard Officer Tippit had been shot because some officer came in the box office and used the phone, said, “I think we have got our man on both accounts.” “What two accounts?” And said, “Well, Officer Tippit’s,” shocked me, because Officer Tippit used to work part time for us years ago. I didn’t know him personally.

            At the time, and in the ensuing years, the general reporting failed to emphasize just how far Oswald had to travel (.66 of a mile), in what direction, along what route, past what establishments and potential covers not to mention bus routes, to end up in the Texas Theater for what reason?

            I too think Julia Postal was coached in her testimony.

          2. Ramon F Herrera

            A strong indicator that Lee’s destination was NOT the Texas Theater is this: He did not pay. That kind of mishap only happens when you are ad libbing. Had this been a prearranged plan he would have been mentally ready to act like an innocent, dumb-looking moviegoer, which includes *buying a ticket*.

  10. “wouldn’t somebody have talked?”

    In 2013, Antonio Veciana, an agent of the CIA and founder of Alpha 66 describes “the death of John F. Kennedy as a coup, an internal conspiracy, “says Antonio Veciana with absolute conviction and willingness to reveal what he considers” historical truth “.

    Antonio Veciana speaks about his relationship with Maurice Bishop,aka David Atlee Phillips:
    “My relations with Bishop broke the July 26, 1973 because he handed me a bag with more than $250k to keep quiet. ”

    “With him [Bishop] I met a couple of times here in Texas. One of those times we quote on a bench, I arrived 15 minutes before the appointed time, met Bishop accompanied by a young and over time I learned that this young man was Lee Harvey Oswald.

    1. Ramon F Herrera

      “because he handed me a bag with more than $250k to keep quiet. ”

      That scenario doesn’t ring true: Sudden riches attract a lot of attention, toward the recipient and the *source* of the money.

      1. The Last Investigation by Gaeton Fonzi (one of the very few Real official investigators of the case), pg. 399. “As for the $253,00 payment from Bishop…The Committee refused to grant him immunity from the IRS. …he was a professional accountant who could have kept it well hidden if he had wanted to.” I.E. he Did want them to know about it. Wanted them to know he had been paid to keep quiet. IMO.
        In it or elsewhere I believe I’ve read he used most of the money in support of anti Castro functions (yes, on into the 70’s). He was/is dedicated to getting his country back.
        I believe he also stated many years ago that he knew more than he was saying. That this was his insurance policy.
        Last November Mr. Veciana sent Mrs. Fonzi a signed statement that Phillips was Bishop since, published on the internet. In response to questions about his veracity on this site she responded to the effect that he was a fine, honest family man. He’s run a a marine parts supply or repair business for many years. At least one daughter who graduated college and became a reporter for the Miami newspaper. I remember her interesting perspective on fear, and, complacency in the USA. Just not where I read it, at the moment.

    1. Witness Protection

      Jimmy Hoffa Died of old Age in 1989, there was nothing to talk about. He had money stashed and disappeared end of Story, nothing to talk about except a “Missing Person” never located.

  11. There are others who did not talk either. The C-130 crew that flew JFK’s damaged parade car out of Dallas has never spoken a word about the condition of the car (did it have a bullet hole(s) in the windshield?) or other unreported damage), what radio traffic they heard that is excised from the existing AF-1 tapes, what special instructions the crew received, who gave them & what happened when they returned to their South Carolina military base (most likely Charleston Air Force Base). Nothing from their commanders either. The media completely missed the significance of JFK’s parade car when the opportunity existed to talk to the people handling it post-assassination existed in real-time.
    Researchers are now trying to track down the pilots & load crew that flew JFK’s parade car out of Dallas plus the commanders they reported to post mission to learn what they have to say, if they took any photos of the damaged car & if they can help us obtain a copy of the unedited AF-1 tapes, a momentous discovery in the case credited to the hard work of Bill Kelly & a friend enhancing the available tapes. Secrets still exist in the JFK case after 50 years.

  12. Thanks for re-posting this. I’ve wanted to go back and read some of the threads from before I found the site and never have time. Been a while since I read SWHT.

    1. I’m reminded by this particular thread that One Year Later, we’re having a repetitive exchange. I think the seismic shift now revolves around answers to the following: who determined Kennedy must be removed from office, who determined the removal must happen in a spectacular fashion, who executed the removal relatively flawlessly, who escaped indictment, and who orchestrated the cover up for five decades.

      1. If you look at it through a conspiratorial lens it’s a minor miracle that they executed the removal relatively flawlessly.

        If there was a shooter behind the picket fence they are fortunate no one took a photo of that person, that would expose it right away. Imagine if Lee Bowers had a camera. So there was some luck there.

        Amazing the conspiracy survived Oswald being taken to the police station alive. That couldn’t possibly have been the plan, it is too risky what he might say. In some ways it is amazing he didn’t say more than “I’m just a patsy.”

        So even with so much planning and the help of a cover up they took a major risk and managed to escape relatively unscathed.

        1. Ramon F Herrera

          “they are fortunate no one took a photo of that person”

          If there were any photos, it was the job of J Edgar Hoover to make sure that they didn’t see the light of day.

          Heck, if they could manipulate no less than the autopsy photos, they could easier remove other ones from the evidence.

        2. Thomas, I read in a book written by a conspiratorial theorist that one of the assassination planners felt that the only mistake (“screwup” as he put it)was that Tippitt didn’t kill Oswald first).

  13. In my estimation LBJ knew that conspiracy talk re JFK would never go away and the Warren Report would continue to be criticized and even dismissed. He wanted to be seen as smart enough to see that but his goal was to still muddy the waters regarding the true solution. This is my view.

    These are efforts to distance himself from a conspiracy he probably saw coming prior to Nov 22 or perhaps even knew full well about and attempted to cover up.

    1. Yes indeed. The early “talkers” were dismissed by the FBI or Warren Commission, because what the talkers said didn’t fit with the way the FBI wanted it.

  14. Mr. Hancock’s book (SWHT) is probably the most sure footed argument for conspiracy on the assassination. It may also contain the best writing on the identities of the planners of the assassination. There are few other books I’d recommend to a newcomer.

    1. Mr. Hancock has a website associated with his book. It was there that I first saw a photo that gave me the chills.
      Officer Roger Craig had said that he crossed the street, towards the Knoll, and his eyes were drawn to two people – unlike everyone else – who were moving away from the area of interest.They were walking along the side of the TSBD, towards Elm, where one of them would get into a Rambler.On one of the pitures, you see the Rambler. In another – bingo! –
      there is a photo of Craig, over by the knoll, looking at two guys walking down towards Elm.

      1. This may be no more than coincidence but it’s worth noting that a mysterious Nash Rambler also figures prominently in the account of Mary Meyer’s murder found in Peter Janney’s 2012 book, “Mary’s Mosaic” (p.41 and following).

  15. To elaborate a bit, actually Roselli testified to the HSCA and reportedly he was quite entertaining, giving some good stories and focusing almost entirely on the early days of the poison attempts.

    At some point in his later testimony he began to respond to more detailed questions and, again reportedly, he mentioned a couple of real names of individuals involved in the early attempts. After realizing that they had not really pursued any potential relationship between the assassination project against Castro and the Kennedy assassination the HSCA scheduled him for a return visit. In the interim, either his lawyers or HSCA staff members, its unclear which, were talking about Roselli’s remarks, including his mentioning names. Of course that opened the question of whether or not he was beginning to talk too loosely.

    After his murder, the investigators pursued a number of individuals who had been reported have been in contact with him over the Castro project. They also pursued leads that Roselli had been traveling back to L.A, and might have been trying to insert himself back in certain deals there – as with Giancana, or for that matter Hoffa, once you leave people get really sensitive if you appear to be butting back in..

    In a biography of Roselli, comments were obtained from a friend to the effect that Roselli had been warned about contracts on him and that the Cubans were coming after him. Beyond that the nature of his murder, after leaving for a fishing trip with unnamed friends, suggests that he was murdered by people he knew.

  16. Since we’re on the subject, it may be worth reminding everyone what happened to Roselli. He was found dead in a 55-gallon drum after testifying before the Church Committee about Cuba and JFK in 1976.

    1. Yes, and that to me shows that not only were witnesses like Lee Bowers and Roger Craig killed(although having said that about Craig, I suppose the official story is he committed suicide, but there is no proof of that), but so were those on the side of the assassination that proved trouble for the murderers.

  17. John, I cover Rosell at length in the book SWHT plus there is a appendix in the book, which provides considerable information from recent research into some five years of FBI surveillance information on him during the early 1960’s.

    As to why he would offer information on a conspiracy, its a bit of a complex story but he did it at a point in time when the Garrison investigation had not yet hit the media but was becoming known to certain exile figures in Miami because of early work by Garrison’s investigators there.

    Roselli’s outreach accomplished two things, first it served as a test as to whether anyone in DC seriously wanted to pursue actual evidence of conspiracy (which Roselli offered) – his offer was passed to the FBI, the SS, Warren and finally to Johnson. Also, since Roselli offered specific evidence pointing towards Castro, it could have served as a preemptive strike to divert any effort to re-examine the case. It was very much in sync with a number of leads towards Castro which had been planted with both the FBI the media at the time of the assassination – some of that having been done by the subject of this thread, John Martino.

  18. Actually the Cronkite incident was only one of a number of instances in which Johnson made similar remarks to people – I devote some three chapters in SWHT to Johnson and a great number of his remarks and activities following the assassination. The big difference is that all those remarks were made privately or in small groups and we hear about them afters from those hearing them. It would have had a much different impact if he had actually said that on national TV – which of course is why he realized it and made sure it didn’t get into the broadcast.

    An equally interesting series of events, also involving Johnson, occurred after John Roselli – who was provably involved with the CIA in Castro assassination efforts, offered proof of a conspiracy to the mainstream media as well various agencies and Earl Warren. Nobody would touch that with a very long stick…Johnson was quite concerned over the story and we have transcripts of his various calls discussing it.

    1. Yes, and at a dinner party, LBJ described Carlos Marcello as “the man who almost got me killed” to Lady-Bird after she had been chatting with Mr. Marcello for some time….

      That was a conversation witnessed and discussed by Dr. McClelland…

      1. ^ Jordan, I believe that remark is attributed to Gov. Connally, not LBJ. He was speaking to his wife, Nellie, at the time of the conversation quoted by Dr. McClelland.

          1. Astonishing. When on earth did Carlos Marcello have occasion to chat with Nellie Connally? What sort of event could that be?

            I would love to have been there. Right now, I agree the former governor.

  19. Dick Billings was the LIFE reporter who first wrote about Gov. Connally’s doubts about the number of bullets, and went on to introduce the world to Jim Garrison. (His subsequent falling out with Garrison led to suggestions his true purpose was to undermine Garrison’s investigation.) Billings went on to work with Robert Blakey and the HSCA; they wrote a book that pointed to the mafia.
    At any rate, in my discussions with Billings, Martino appeared often. Billings said it was Martino who facilitated his meeting with William Pawley, which led to his taking part in the CIA mission “Operation Tilt” — the unsuccessful mission to retrieve supposed Soviet military defectors from Cuba. After the assassination, Billings told me, Martino would call him and make cryptic comments. Billings said he still kicks himself for not pursuing Martino more doggedly. He said something bordering on snobbery kept him from engaging Martino.

  20. Mark, of course we would all like to see more facts – what we do have is a great deal of corroboration that Martino knew the people he was talking about, that he worked with them in anti-Castro actions, that he was trusted by them and that he would have fit in exactly the limited role he describes. We have the facts that he was in New Orleans that summer, he went to Dallas twice (one trip with no explanation), that one of his closest exile friends was in Dallas for some time before the assassination and at the time of the assassination.

    We can also validate that Martino was personally associated with and in contact with two CIA officers who were likely involved in the conspiracy. Hopefully you read Chapter 1 where you find that but indeed the entire book is devoted to locating what facts are available and corroborating Martino as a credible witness to what he describes.

  21. I would like to see more facts to back up what he is saying he, apart the old changing his story years later. It’s highly unlikely that LHO made it into to Cuba to see Castro, so his story’s end there.

  22. It would have been nice for a number of people to have spoken to the HSCA at that point. As a counter, two of Martino’s closet personal friends, who may have actually have gotten more of a story from him than did his wife, did speak up to the HSCA. They independently provided virtually the same information which he had expressed to them shortly before he passed away.

    1. Self-preservation is a powerful thing.

      Larry Ray Harris and other Tippit murder researchers found quite a few witnesses who were afraid to talk, or who would talk but not on the record, even decades later.

      Mark Lane recalled that when he and Emile de Antonio went to Dallas to film interviews for the documentary Rush to Judgment, “There was absolutely no tension at all on the scene of the assassination. We were there three hours. All the tension is where Tippit was killed.”

  23. According to her son, who was in the background during the interviews, she was scared to death at the time. As was he. She did provide certain materials to them which were helpful in confirming things such as his two trips to Dallas – one for which there was no explanation, the other which involved a speaking engagement. In addition, shortly before her own death she did admit to the remarks by her husband, just as her son Edward has now done.

    — Larry

    1. Hi Larry. I find the section in your book about the “casino alumni” most interesting. I am finishing the memoirs of a man (almost 90 yrs old) and his “partnership” with Johnny Rosselli. I am pretty sure I have a solid link between an associate of Rosselli and several of the alumni. I have new information on Rosselli that should prove out to be helpful to the story of JFK.

      Incidently, I knew Ed Becker quite well and still associate with his pal Tony M., who did a lot of research for Ed. Would love to speak to you.

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