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The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

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The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Sun 30 May 2010, 10:38 pm

Inspector Kelley of the Secret Service interviewed Father Walter McChann on April 30, 1964. Fr McChann had been chaplain of the Dallas Cuban Catholic Committee since 1961, and the following year, had been given the responsibility of running the resettlement office. The main focus of this work was in assisting the exiles in finding jobs, and in providing relief in the interim. McChann was interviewed as this work brought him into regular contact with Sylvia Odio. A report on the interview was sent to the Warren Commission on May 5, 1964, and was entered into the records as Commission Exhibit 2943.

The part of the report of interest here goes as follows: He [McChann] first made contact with Heitman [Dallas FBI] when it came to his attention that one of these Cuban refugees was extorting money from some other Cubans, was making false promises to the Cubans, was a disruptive influence in the Cuban community and was considered by Father McChann to be a "political Cuban" rather than a Cuban who was interested in receiving assistance from the Committee. He could not recall the name of this Cuban but he believes the Cuban is still employed at Parkland Hospital. Mrs Connell was interviewed by the FBI on Nov 29, 1963. This report is contained in Commission Exhibit 3108. Connell had been a volunteer with the Cuban Catholic Committee, and had befriended Sylvia Odio as a result.

Although she did not mention the Parkland Cuban, she did pass on the information that General Edwin Walker and Colonel [Robert] Castorr had been "trying to arouse the feelings of Cuban refugees in Dallas against the Kennedy administration policies." Harold Weisberg picked up on these leads in the 1960s. He had been rightly appalled that McChann, Connell and Castorr were all passed over as witnesses by the Warren Commission, and that seemingly no effort had been expended in finding out who the Parkland Cuban was. [1] In finally interviewing the wife of Colonel Castorr, Weisberg fell short of finding out his identity, but was told that this Cuban was sent back to Miami after the assassination. [2] The Warren Commission, the FBI and the Secret Service were not alone however, in ignoring information about this Cuban. The Dallas Police also ignored information regarding him, despite that information being provided by the wife of one of their own.

Buried in the Dallas assassination archives is the original of a memo from OA Jones to Chief Stevenson and Captain Fritz. The date is listed as "unknown". A copy of this however, is also in the archives, and it gives the date as Nov 22, 1963. [3] The text of the Memo is reproduced here:

To: Chief Stevenson

Captain FritzSubject: Informaion on threats against President KennedyThe wife of Detective RE Abbott said that a former employee at Parkland Hospital was heard by Mrs Johnson on the admission desk and a orderly named HOSEY saying that President Kennedy would be killed. The former employee was a Cuban.

His name can be furnished by Mr Morgan, who is Mrs Abbott's supervisor.

OA Jones Captain of Police

If you have information which may lead to the identify of this person, please contact me.

This Cuban, imo, is a key figure to be identified. Another key figure is the identity of the Colonel who met with Jack Ruby and others to offer Robert Perrin and wife Nancy a job running guns to Cuba.

She described the Colonel and his wife in her Warren Commission testimony:

Mrs. RICH. Well, we got there and at that time there was the colonel and another middle-aged woman, kind of a real old granite face I would describe her, steel-gray hair. Looked rather mannish. And there was a rather----
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know her name?
----------
Mr. HUBERT. Could you describe what the colonel looked like?
Mrs. RICH. Vaguely. I would say approximately 45 to 50, perhaps a little younger. He was kind of bald, and that may have made him look older. As I recall, a rather slightly built man--and I would not swear to it.


see photo of Castorr and his wife in gallery under "witness and suspects" They fit the descriptions given by Rich perfectly. 



ENDNOTES
[1] Weisberg notes in his document appendix to Oswald in New Orleans that: "Had these leads been followed, had the Commission had the interest in them it was charged with having, it would have led to other vital information, including threats against the president's life."
[2] Whitewash by Harold Weisberg, "The Number of Shots." Weisberg also speculated that the Parkland Cuban may have been the person who planted the so called "magic bullet" on the hospital stretcher.
[3] Original is Item 11 in Box 1 Folder 14 of the Dallas Police assassination archives. The copy is Item 10 in Box 7 Folder 7.


Last edited by greg parker on Sat 27 Jul 2013, 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Tue 21 May 2013, 8:56 am

Great stuff, Greg. I haven't looked into the identity of the parkland Cuban, but when I find the time, I'll see what (if anything) I can come up with.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Tue 21 May 2013, 10:00 am

Thanks Hasan.

I came across another document recently that said that there a lot of Cubans employed at Parkland.

What sort of investigation is it that ignores a lead like this? That doesn't even bother going and talking to Mrs Johnson, Mr Morgan or "Hosey" (there are actual people in Dallas with that surname - but it could also be a misspelling of the Spanish first name "José".)

If they are still alive, they probably represent the only chance of nailing who it was.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Wed 29 May 2013, 6:04 am

Greg,

Here's some info on father McChann:

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/42848/rec/31 (Pages 2 and 3).

The name is spelled McCann in the above link, but I think you'll agree that it's the same man.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Wed 29 May 2013, 7:13 am

Hasan Yusuf wrote:Greg,

Here's some info on father McChann:

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/42848/rec/31 (Pages 2 and 3).

The name is spelled McCann in the above link, but I think you'll agree that it's the same man.

Great find, Hasan! In just the first few pages alone, there was much that was new to me. It's a keeper.

_________________
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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Wed 29 May 2013, 7:26 am

Thanks, Greg.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Thu 30 May 2013, 6:39 am

Some more info:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1142&relPageId=385

I think that this Juan (John) Martin guy is really something.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Thu 30 May 2013, 3:38 pm

Hasan Yusuf wrote:Some more info:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1142&relPageId=385

I think that this Juan (John) Martin guy is really something.

Agreed, but the person who sets my antennae off is MacChann (or which of the 6,356 different spellings of it found in the volumes is correct).

From your Armstrong link:
"Let me put it this way. You show me a priest who's screwing half the women in town and I'll show you a Government agent."

Meanwhile, your MFF link shows that the USSS could not find anyone in the Catholic Church in Miami who recognised the name. Very strange since he supposedly had contact with his Miami counterparts. A Sister Williams in Miami did suggest they try inquiries through the Catholic Chancery in Dallas - but there is no document in MFF suggesting that they followed this advice. Instead, on the date the inquiries were completed in Miami, James Rowley writes to the WC about the results of an interview with MacChann in New Orleans.
http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1142&relPageId=438

I note that one of the documents said MaChann was of Polish extraction. L Robert Castorr was born "Castorri". He received a "Presidential Citation from President Julius Sokolnieke of Poland".

_________________
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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Thu 30 May 2013, 8:05 pm

Greg,

I suspect that "father McChann" was keeping an eye on the Cuban exiles, to try and identify which of them were actually Castro sympathisers. I'll do some more research tonight and see what I can come up with.

According to McChann, Odio identified "Angelo" as Eugenio Cisneros. What do you make of this?

As far as Castorr is concerned, you have thoroughly convinced me that he was involved in the assassination in a way.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Fri 31 May 2013, 5:38 am

I should have checked Odio’s testimony where she denied that Eugenio Cisneros was at her apartment with “Angelo” and “Leon”.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=20386

From Bill Kelly’s Ed forum thread:

“Father McChann catered to the Cuban Community of Dallas, his parish supported by Catholic Welfare, which was in turn backrolled by the CIA front Catherwood Fund, of Philadelphia, Pa.”

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5347

Bill Kelly article on Oswald and Quakers in Mexico City:

“With the Quaker connection, there seems to be an underlying thread of detached financial and administrative assistance from a number of "non-profit" religious oriented charity organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, the "Red Cross" that subsidized Oswald's sojourn in Minsk, the Russian Orthodox Church in America and the Catholic Cuban Welfare and Refugee Relief organizations.

- Some of them were supported financially by the Catherwood Fund, a non-profit foundation established the same month in 1948 as the CIA, and located in Paoli, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia on the Main Line, in the same small town as Michael Paine's mother, Ruth Forbes Young and her husband Arthur Young.

- The CIA funding of such organizations has long been established and the roles of CIA officials Tom Braden and Cord Meyer have been widely published, and in light of the Quaker connections, should be reviewed to see if there are any more concrete connections.”


http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/28th_Issue/quakers.html

From Ce2896 we have:

“Cisneros then related that Juan Martin operates a well established wash yourself laundry believed to be known as “Dixie”, located near one of the biggest or principal bowling alleys in Dallas, situated on one of the main streets.”

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1142&relPageId=385

From the testimony of George Senator (Page 41 of the link below):

Mr Griffin

Did he [Ruby] bowl more than you did?

Mr Senator

Maybe a little more. I’ll tell you, this particular alley is a tremendous place in Dallas, but we always went up there to eat, on occasions, when we did go. It was always we would go up there to eat. They had a big restaurant there.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh14/pdf/WH14_Senator_2nd.pdf

I think that Senator could have been referring to Wally’s Grill Circle Bowl, where Walter Ochs claimed he saw Ruby with an Oswald lookalike, perhaps Larry Craford:

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/12629/rec/32

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/02/0205-001.gif

Ed LeDoux says that a lady named Kristy Gray observed Ruby playing pool at the Oak Cliff bowling alley (don’t know if it is the same one that Senator described):

http://www.jfklancerforum.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=printer_friendly&forum=3&topic_id=93659

This is the FBI interview of Connie Trammel Penny, concerning the ownership of a bowling alley by Lamar Hunt (for whatever it may be worth):

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh25/pdf/WH25_CE_2291.pdf

I find it interesting that Juan Martin, according to Rogellio “Eugenio” Cisneros, had his “laundry” establishment located near the bowling alley; which could very well be the same one described by George Senator during his testimony. We all know that both Ruby and Cisneros were interested in gun-running, so there seems to be a connection, IMO.

More research is certainly required, and I hope I haven’t wasted my time with the above.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Fri 31 May 2013, 12:54 pm

Hasan,

I can't tell you whether it's a waste of time or not, but we all go down blind alleys now and then (or in this case, a blind bowling alley?).

Fwiw, I personally think at least some of this is very important to the overall picture.

Some quick thoughts: I would not take Sylvia's denial on Cisneros at face value. Nor would I necessarily call her a liar. Connell is the key to Sylvia.

On bowling alleys and laundromats... maybe watched too many episodes of Get Smart as a kid... but it seems to me, those are good places for certain types of discussions.

Don't burn yourself out. You've got a lot you can contribute, not just here or on this case, but I'm sure in your personal and community life as well.

_________________
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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Fri 31 May 2013, 8:21 pm

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Greg. I agree with you about Sylvia, and I'll keep in mind your advice about Connell.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sat 01 Jun 2013, 6:14 am

From the testimony of George Senator:

Mr Griffin

Have you met him [Russ Knight]?

Mr Senator

Yes; I knew him

Mr Griffin

Where have you met him?

Mr Senator

I have met him – I have seen him at the bowling alley when we used to go up there at night. I have seen him on rare occasions when he would come down to the Carousel. He was, I guess you would call him, a disc jockey.

From the testimony of Russell Knight:

Mr. Griffin

Well, now, did you know George Senator?

Mr. Knight

I met George at the Cotton Bowling Palace I think about twice and I didn't even recall his name until I read it in the paper, or heard it over the radio, rather.

The cotton bowling palace was allegedly owned by J. Curtis Sanford:

“There were lots of articles about Curtis Sanford's Cotton Bowling Palace published in the newspapers in March and April 1959. Mr. Sanford obviously had a great public relations team. Probably the most interesting was "Jayne Opens Palace On Gold Standard" published in the Dallas Morning News on April 5, 1959, on page 4. It included a photo of Jayne Mansfield.”

http://dallashistory.org/phorum/read.php?2,68386,68398


According to a man named Bill Porter:

“Another Bowling Alley that hosted plenty of pool action was Cotton Bowling Palace in Dallas, Texas. From the early 1960s until it lost its billiard license in 1966, Cotton Bowling Palace was the late night home to several strong pool players and a spot frequented by road players on their way across the country. Among the regulars who became well known was Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald on national television. The place also had some of the most deadly characters you would ever want to meet in Stanley Cook (aka Creeper), George McGann, Charlie Boyd, and R.D. Matthews.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-bowling-alley-for-playing-pool

Some info on Stanley Cook:

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=PsOoQTQUvZcC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=Stanley+cook&source=bl&ots=OAGKIXS1d0&sig=t8TZag4tg9INaVUY2gAOmCBR8Bw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HsCoUf7YM4HxkAW05IGoDA&ved=0CHMQ6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q=Stanley%20cook&f=false (Page 138).

I don’t know how reliable the above info from Bill Porter is, but the Cotton Bowling Palace was located at Inwood and Lemmon:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianspenceranderson/6221062711/in/photostream/

Both McGann (husband of Beverley Oliver) and Cook were members of the Dixie mafia (which was a mixed nationality organised crime group). Matthews was associated with both Ruby and Lewis McWillie. Keep in mind what Rogellio Cisneros claimed:

“Cisneros then related that Juan Martin operates a well established wash yourself laundry believed to be known as “Dixie”, located near one of the biggest or principal bowling alleys in Dallas, situated on one of the main streets.”

I find it to be quite “coincidental” that members of the “Dixie” mafia were hanging around in a place (allegedly) near a laundry named “Dixie” by an arms dealer who had made contact with Sylvia Odio. It’s very interesting. I may be way off here, but I suspect that the so-called laundry was a front involved in running guns into Cuba.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Sat 01 Jun 2013, 7:52 am

This may sound crazy, but this is great work, even if it ultimately leads nowhere. The thing is, you have to follow your instincts. Sometimes they pan out and sometimes they don't. But you have to have those instincts to begin with or you may as give it up.

I'm with you on the "coincidence" part.

Connell is a case in point. It's my gut instinct pulling me in her direction - but it's based on disparate pieces of information that got filed in the back of my mind somewhere. I think that's partly how it works with me. Then one day, you stumble on another little tidbit while looking into something else, and it creates a tipping point where pieces start to fit together and the person is someone who is now "of interest".

I don't want to go into details here because it's still kind of embryonic, but I believe Connell was CIA and was sent in to "handle" Odio as an unwitting agent. I further think that Connell quickly found out how easily manipulated she (Odio) could be.

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             Lachie Hulme            
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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sat 01 Jun 2013, 8:32 am

Thanks, Greg. I totally agree with you about following your instincts. Interesting about Connell. I'll see what I can dig up on her. Btw, I am unable to link anything right now, but if you have the time, google "JFK Frank McCann Sylvia Odio" and click on the first link from JFK hood. I think you'll find it to be rather interesting.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by greg parker on Sat 01 Jun 2013, 9:44 am

Got it. Thanks. Pure gold.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 5:59 am

greg parker wrote:Got it. Thanks. Pure gold.

No problem, Greg. Here’s some info on the Catherwood fund from Bill Kelly’s terrific blog article:

“The main feature of the Catherwood Foundation is the Catherwood Fund, ostensibly a philanthropic fund; it also served as a conduit for the funding of covert CIA operations during the Cold War.

Catherwood’s sister, Mrs. Charles G. Chaplin, one of the Fund’s directors, knew Peter Fleming, the British MI6 agent and brother of Ian Fleming, author of the 007 James Bond novels. Peter was an amateur ornithologist and is said to have been one of the models for Fleming’s fictional hero, whose name was appropriated from James Bond, the renowned Philadelphia ornithologist and author of the classic ornithological work, ‘Birds of the West Indies.’ ”


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“But Catherwood’s fund was not just a tax loophole, as Fleming implied, but rather, it also served as a secret conduit for funding covert CIA operations. David Wise and Thomas Ross, in their groundbreaking book "The Invisible Government," (Vintage, 1977, p. 247n), exposed the CIA’s network of Blue Blood benefactors when they reported that, ‘…conduits for the CIA money included the Cathewood Foundation.’ ”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“The Catherwood Foundation also financially supported the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, including the Dallas parish to which Marina Oswald had her children baptized, possibly without the knowledge of her husband, Lee Harvey, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

Another organization of interest that was funded in its entity by the Catherwood Fund is the Cuban Aid Relif, established to assist Cuban refugees, specifically professionals who had previously supported the Castro revolution against Batista.”


http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/catherwood-fund.html

James Hosty’s all too brief interview with Juan Martin:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=95676&relPageId=49

On page 46 of the above link, Connell confirms that the Colonel caster she was referring to was indeed Colonel Castorr.

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 6:30 am

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1162&relPageId=269


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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 5:02 am

FWIW: It would seem that the "Eugenio" mentioned in the link below is Rogellio Cisneros.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=12595&relPageId=2

I don't know who "AMCHEER-1" was.

Hasan Yusuf

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Sat 10 Aug 2013, 6:22 am

Another lead in the identity of the Parkland Cuban, from the interview with Vernon G. Gerdes:
 
Q: Have you ever seen any Cubans in [Guy] Banister's officer with [David] Ferrie?
 
A: No, not that I remember. Bannister was friends with one Cuban, a Dr. DeHoar.
 
http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/29599/rec/12

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Re: The Parkland Cuban & Colonel L Robert Castorr

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