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The Houston Problem pt 2

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The Houston Problem pt 2

Post by greg parker on Tue 25 Aug 2009, 4:02 pm

The most telling similarity in the account given by Ruth Paine to Marina's original account - apart from no knowledge of plans to go to Mexico - is that Oswald was said to have a friend in "another city" (per Marina) and a friend in "Houston" (per Ruth) who might help him secure employment. One explanation of this might be that it was a cover story devised by Oswald (with Marina's knowledge) to give Ruth. However, had that been the case, why would Marina not have admitted it to the HSCA? The simpler explanation is that Oswald's story that he would be looking for work was exactly what he had told both of them. And Commission Exhibit 2191 supplies compelling evidence that looking for work in Houston is exactly what he (or someone impersonating him) did. After dealing with the Hammett ticket sale, the document moves on to the investigation of an alleged Oswald sighting in a Houston employment office. The inquiry was instigated after Johnny W Jackson contacted the FBI on January 25, 1964 to advise that "he had recently applied for a job at the Spring Branch Employment Service on Long Point Rd" and that whilst there, the female operator of the business had mentioned that "she believed Lee Harvey Oswald had been in her agency to seek employment." The key points of the account, as relayed by Jackson were:

• The date of the incident had been on or about October 24, 1963

• The man believed to be Oswald had made mention of his wife being in Dallas and was expecting a baby

• He was staying with friends while visiting in Houston

• He had remained in Houston for about four days before leaving for Dallas

• The woman had not reported the matter as she "did not want to become involved."

For reasons unknown, it took three days for the FBI to interview the operator of the Spring Branch Employment Service, Mrs Lola E Holiman. During this interview, Mrs Holiman advised that:

• she deals in mainly office and technical personnel

• occasionally a transient "wanderer" will come to her office from the Texas Employment Commission located directly across the street

• in late October, a young man came in looking for work, and that he would take any kind of job

• he was wearing a white shirt and jacket (not suit) and no hat

• he had been selling books but not making any money

• he said his wife was expecting a baby and that he needed a job badly

• when asked if he was a local man he replied he had been working in New Orleans, but that things were "rough" in that city and he was trying to relocate to Texas

• he said his mother lived in Fort Worth and when asked if he was originally from Fort Worth, he'd replied he had lived there for a long time and had gone to school there

• she had not obtained the man's name, as no applications were completed, and had suggested he try at the Texas Employment Commission

• after the assassination and on viewing press photos of Oswald she believed that the man may have been Oswald

• the man she spoke with was age 25, approximately 5' 7" tall, and spoke with a very soft voice

• she described his accent at first as "slight", and later in the interview as "definite"

At this point, FBI Special Agent Edwin Dalrymple had heard enough. He produced photos of Oswald which elicited a non-committal response. The man in the photo looked familiar, but she was now "very uncertain" as to whether he had in fact been Oswald, though she agreed she had mentioned to several of her customers that it may have been. This new uncertainty was not enough. Parts of the story as related by Jackson, and which bespoke potential "conspiracy", had to be excised. And so it was, the 55 year old female sole operator of a small business who had not wanted to become involved in the first place, duly denied having told anyone that she knew this to be Oswald. Most importantly however, she also denied that the man in question had made any statement about staying with friends in Houston, or about how long he had stayed. Indeed. She was also willing to admit that she may have associated Oswald with this man because of "published accounts that Oswald was from Fort Worth and had been in New Orleans" though she believed it was "primarily because of the similarity in appearance."

For the purpose of evaluating the Jackson/Holiman story, we will split the various statements into three categories.

1. The statements which fit with this job-seeker having been Oswald:
- Wife in Dallas
- In need of work and would take any job
- Wearing white shirt, jacket and no hat
- Had worked in New Orleans
- Trying to relocate to Texas
- Mother lived in Fort Worth
- Had previously lived in Fort Worth and gone to school there
- Softly spoken
- Similar age and height and similar in general appearance
- Spoke with a slight but definite accent

That Oswald spoke with an "odd" accent is accepted by many who have studied audio of his radio debates and other recordings. It is what type of accent he had that has been the subject of many debates and discussions - the details of which will not be discussed here. It is sufficient to note that having spent his formative years in three different states, followed by time in the Marines among a wide variety of accents and then over two years in the Soviet Union, it should not surprise anyone that his accent sounded a little "odd". In any case, Mrs Holiman did not volunteer, nor was she apparently asked, what she thought his accent was. One clue however, that she did not think it was foreign was that she asked if he was originally from Fort Worth.

2. The statements which do not fit with this job-seeker having been Oswald:

- The approximate date of October 24
- Wife expecting a baby
- Had been selling books but not making any money

These three items are most curious. By October 24, Oswald was working at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, a firm which sold books (though he himself was not in sales) and his wife had given birth to their second daughter only four days prior. Take it back a month though, and you have the original date the FBI believed Oswald had left New Orleans.

Moreover, that pesky second item moves to the first list. If this person was Oswald, the last item can only be accounted for by one of the folllowing:

Mrs Holiman conflated what she'd read about Oswald with her memory of the incident or;

Oswald lied to her on this point or;

The FBI altered this part of her account to make it easier to dismiss or;

Oswald, not for the first time, related something that would happen as if it already had.[3]

3. The statements Mrs Holiman denied making:

- That she was in any way certain that the person had been Oswald
- That the person had mentioned staying with friends in Houston
- That he had mentioned how long he had been in Houston

Time and again in this investigation, when the FBI came knocking on the door of a potential witness based on a tip, inevitably the report would reflect that the witness would stand by only the innocuous parts of statements attributed to them and disavow any that would prove troublesome to authorities. And so it was here. The neutered story could now be discounted. The timing was impossible, therefore it had to be someone who just coincidently resembled Oswald and had a similar family situation and history, or the story was a fabrication using bits of information gleaned from media accounts. The first option would appear to be a statistical improbability. What militates against the second option is even harder to get around. Mrs Holiman had not wanted to become involved, therefore there is no suggestion of her seeking notoriety or profit from the story. Most telling however is that the account as given to her customer, Johnny Jackson, included at least one piece of information which was not at that time in the public domain.[4] In short, the original story given by Marina and confirmed by Ruth Paine is exactly what appears to have transpired. If the above is accepted, then the question is: did the real Oswald stay in Houston while an impersonator went to Mexico City, or was it the other way around? As anyone who has studied Oswald knows, there are many instances of him being seen in places he could not have been according to the known facts. What these incidents have in common is that the look-alikes always made a point of giving their name as Oswald and in creating a scene so that the sighting would be recalled. In this instance, no name was supplied, and no scene was created. The only reason the witness seems to have recalled the interview at all is because they'd had a conversation about New Orleans - both having lived in that city. Recall also that the purchaser of the Laredo bus ticket in Houston, though apparently similar in appearance to Oswald, was wearing clothes confirmed as not being a part of the real Oswald's meager wardrobe.

ENDNOTES
[1] Commission Exhibit 1781

[2] Ruth Paine also stated in testimony - just as Marina had done in her original statements - that she had some doubt about Oswald having such a friend, adding that she pondered whether he was actually a spy and therefore if the "friend" might actually be a contact [agent]. Other parts of her testimony make it clear that the possibility he was a spy for the KGB was never far from her mind during the entire period she knew him.

[3] Oswald had written a letter to the FPCC on August 1 and postmarked August 5 which described an altercation with Cuban exiles which did not occur until August 9 (see: WC V Lee Exhibit #5). Just as one detail was incorrect in his alleged statement regarding selling books (he would be a book order filler rather than a book salesman), he got one detail wrong here: His letter states he was cautioned by police. In the actual event a few days later, he was in fact, arrested.

[4] The earliest media account of Oswald claiming he had been searching for work in Houston did not include any mention of a friend in that city.

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Re: The Houston Problem pt 2

Post by greg parker on Sun 23 Jun 2013, 7:22 pm

The most telling similarity in the account given by Ruth Paine to Marina's original account - apart from no knowledge of plans to go to Mexico - is that Oswald was said to have a friend in "another city" (per Marina) and a friend in "Houston" (per Ruth) who might help him secure employment. 
-------
Commission Exhibit 2191 supplies compelling evidence that looking for work in Houston is exactly what he (or someone impersonating him) did. After dealing with the Hammett ticket sale, the document moves on to the investigation of an alleged Oswald sighting in a Houston employment office. The inquiry was instigated after Johnny W Jackson contacted the FBI on January 25, 1964 to advise that "he had recently applied for a job at the Spring Branch Employment Service on Long Point Rd" and that whilst there, the female operator of the business had mentioned that "she believed Lee Harvey Oswald had been in her agency to seek employment."

"That very day, Oct 4, Mrs Paine said Oswald telephoned his wife at Mrs Paine's in Irving and related that upon leaving New Orleans, he scouted around Houston for a job without success and had been looking around Dallas the last few days." Washington Post, Dec 2, 1963
http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=60417&relPageId=29



Ruth Paine's testimony on the call avoids any mention of Houston:
You heard from him on the 4th of October? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - Would you give the Commission the circumstances, the time of day and how it came about? 
Mrs. PAINE - He telephoned in early afternoon, something after lunchtime. 
Mr. JENNER - The phone rang. Did you answer it? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - And did you recognize the voice? 
Mrs. PAINE - He asked to speak to Marina. 
Mr. JENNER - Whose voice was it? 
Mrs. PAINE - Well, after he asked to speak to Marina, I was certain it was Lee's. 
Mr. JENNER - What did you say? 
Mrs. PAINE - I said "here" and gave her the phone. 
Mr. JENNER - You didn't say "where are you", or "I am glad to hear from you, where have you been?" 
Mrs. PAINE - No I thought that was her's to ask. He wished to speak to her and I gave her the phone and, of course, that is what was then asked. I heard her say to him.-- 
Mr. JENNER - You heard her side of the conversation, did you? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - All right. What did you hear her say? 
Mrs. PAINE - I heard her say, "No, Mrs. Paine, she can't come and pick you up." 
Mr. JENNER - Was she speaking in Russian? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - Throughout? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. 
Mr. JENNER - When Lee asked for Marina, did he speak in English or Russian? 
Mrs. PAINE - I don't recall. And Marina went on to say that Mrs. Paine, "Ruth has just been to Parkland Hospital this morning to donate blood, she shouldn't be going driving now to pick you up." 
Mr. JENNER - Did she refer to you as Mrs. Paine or Ruth? 
Mrs. PAINE - No; I am trying to make it clear who is being talked about. 
Mr. JENNER - I see. You might give your testimony the wrong cast. 
Mrs. PAINE - No; of course. She referred to me as "Ruth" or "she".
To Junie, she called me Aunt Ruth. To Junie, speaking of me to her little girl, she referred to me as Aunt Ruth. 
Mr. JENNER - You are giving the conversation now, the end of it that you heard? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. Then I heard Marina say "Why didn't you call?" 
Mr. JENNER - You did hear her say that? 
Mrs. PAINE - I believe so. I certainly remember her saying it afterward. She hung up and she explained the conversation to me. 
Mr. JENNER - What did she say to you? 
Mrs. PAINE - That he had asked for me to come in to downtown Dallas to pick him up and she said no; he should find his own way. 
Mr. JENNER - To come to downtown Dallas? 
Mrs. PAINE - To come to downtown Dallas to pick him up, and she never asked me whether I wanted to or would have, told him, no; it was an imposition, that I had just given blood at Parkland Hospital. 
Mr. JENNER - And you had in fact given blood? 
Mrs. PAINE - Oh, yes; indeed. 
Mr. JENNER - That morning? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes, I have a card or the FBI does to that effect. Then she said that he had said that he was at the Y, staying at the Y, and had been in town a couple of days, to which she said, "Why didn't you call right away?", in other words, "why didn't you call right away upon getting to town?"
Then he also asked whether he could come out; this was, of course, during the conversation, and she referred the question to me, could he come out for the weekend, and I said, yes, he could. 
Mr. JENNER - This was while she was still talking on the telephone? 
Mrs. PAINE - Yes. Prior to his asking for a ride. So then they hung up and I went grocery shopping, and when-- 
Mr. JENNER - You left the home? 

----------------------
As for Marina's testimony...

Mr. RANKIN. After he had been to Mexico City, did he come back to Irving or to Dallas?
Mrs. OSWALD. When Lee returned I was already in Irving and he telephoned me. But he told me that he had arrived the night before and had spent the night in Dallas, and called me in the morning.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he say where he had been in Dallas?
Mrs. OSWALD. It seems to me at the YMCA.


That's it. She then has him telling her all about his trip to Mexico City when they meet up.
------------------------

Oswald never went to Mexico City. Ruthie got caught out telling the truth.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: The Houston Problem pt 2

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 8:29 am

Great job, Greg! Well done.

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Re: The Houston Problem pt 2

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