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«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»

-- [ Page 31 ] --

Also, about this time -- and according to films taken by what is now known as The Dallas Cinema Associates -- another rifle is shown being brought down the east-side fire escape of the TSBD. Lieutenant Carl Day has already brought the Oswald rifle outside at 1:30 PM; there are photographs of Day quickly carrying this rifle away, holding it by its strap. In the DCA film, the policeman holds the rifle up as a crowd gathers to inspect it. This particular rifle has a fairly short stock, a heavy barrel, and a different action from the so-called Oswald rifle. Questioned about this rifle in 1967, authorities said it was a security man’s rifle accidentally left there. (The Dallas police all carried shotguns. The sheriff’s office had rifles, but they were of American manufacture. The rifle in the DCA photographs appears to be a British Enfield rifle.) Deputy Sheriff and crack shot Harry Weatherford was on the roof of the Dallas County Jail (Records Building) with a rifle during the assassination. Weatherford received a custom-made silencer for his rifle several weeks before the assassination. He is ordered to the roof of the building by Dallas sheriff Bill Decker. (When Decker dies in 1970, Weatherford is at his bedside.) A researcher once asks him if he shot JFK. Weatherford replies, “You little son of a bitch, I shoot lots of people.” Dallas Police Department photographs show Lt. Day dusting a rifle for prints while in the Texas School Book Depository. The photograph shows that the rifle has no ammunition clip. However, another picture of Lt. Day carrying the rifle from the Depository shows a rifle with an ammunition clip clearly visible and protruding from the bottom of the magazine of the rifle. The photo also shows a rifle with sling swivels mounted on the left side of the weapon, while CE 746 B (a Warren Commission enlargement of CE 133A, which is a photo of Oswald with rifle) clearly shows that LHO’s rifle had the sling swivels on the bottom.

For some reason the FBI took a very serious interest in a particular Johnson semiautomatic rifle immediately after the assassination.

The Johnson semiautomatic rifle, 30.06, is a self-loading shoulder weapon equipped with a rotary feed magazine and has a capacity of eleven shots, ten rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. It is loaded from standard Springfield-type clips, or single cartridges.

The rifle can be fired as slowly or rapidly as the trigger can be pulled. The theoretical cyclic rate of fire of the Johnson semiautomatic

is 600 rounds per minute. The FBI traced a Johnson semiautomatic rifle to CIA-connected, anti-Castro raids in Cuba and to four men:

Gerry Patrick Hemming, Loran Hall, Richard Hathcock, and Roy Payne. The day after the assassination, an FBI agent questioned private detective Richard Hathcock, who had kept the rifle in his California office. Hathcock was asked whether he knew a man named Roy Payne. Hathcock knew Payne and stated that the FBI wanted to question Payne “... because Payne’s fingerprints undoubtedly were all over that rifle from his having handled it many times.” Payne vouched for the accuracy of the weapon and stated that Loran Hall and an unidentified Hispanic man took the weapon from him about a week before the assassination. In HSCA testimony Hathcock, owner of Allied International Detective Agency, said that Gerry Patrick Hemming and Lorenzo “Skip” Hall visited Hathcock claiming that they were raising money to buy medicines and military hardware for a planned invasion of Cuba. They were broke. From Hathcock they borrowed one hundred dollars and gave Hathcock a set of golf clubs and a Johnson semiautomatic rifle with a 30 power Bushnell variable scope as collateral. Eventually Hall repaid $50, retrieved the rifle and told Hathcock to keep the clubs. Hathcock never saw the rifle again but was asked about it by Jim Garrison, who showed Hathcock an enlarged photo depicting a Dallas detective holding a rifle “which was picked up on Dealey Plaza. The rifle looked to me exactly like the one I’d had in my office. I have combed the Warren Report stem to stern. I find no mention of that rifle, which was picked up on Dealey Plaza.” Hathcock claimed that Hall told him he had turned the rifle over to a doctor friend of his in Miami, Florida. Hemming told Hatchcock that Hall’s story was false. On November 23, 1963 Hathcock was questioned by FBI agent Jerry Crow about the rifle. Crow wanted to question Hathcock’s associate Roy Payne. Hathcock ended his HSCA statement with “unless that particular rifle had been found or in some way involved in this whole thing, that the FBI would have no interest in it.” Payne’s statement was full of details concerning the Johnson rifle. Payne believed the rifle had been involved in numerous Cuban raids. He examined to see if it had been modified, but it had not. He confirmed that it had a 30 power Bushnell scope.

He stated that the rifle was extremely accurate. Hall and “a fat, Mexican fellow came in and redeemed the rifle” ten to fifteen days before the assassination. The next day Hall and the Mexican left for Miami. On November 18, 1963 Payne saw Hall again and asked him about the Cuban operations that he and Hemming had planned, but Hall merely said that the CIA had stopped the operation in Miami, and he did not have the time to talk about the matter since he had to make a plane to Dallas. Agent Crow questioned Payne on the 23rd of November. “We discussed the situation about what had occurred and what has gone on with Hemming and Hall...” Payne told the HSCA. Payne believed the FBI was following him for several months after his conversation with Crow. In the subsequent months after the assassination Payne claimed that the FBI secretly searched his vehicle as well as Hathcock’s offices. He talked to Hall about ten to fourteen days after the assassination. Hall told him he was “right in the middle of the lobby of the [Dallas] Hilton, Hotel” during the assassination. Author Dick Russell’s interview with Hall told a different story of where Hall was on November 22, “... I was in Monterey Park, California... I’d just taken my wife to her job.” Payne later read that Hall claimed he was never in Texas. In his last conversation with Hall, Payne was told that Hall had several attempts made against his life, one being a car bomb. Hemming eventually told Payne that the “didn’t like the idea that the rifle went down there, since he felt it was his rifle and the golf clubs that were also hocked.” Gerry Patrick Hemming, according to a Miami Police Intelligence Unit report of November 1, 1963, stated that Hall had stolen two rifles from his apartment the night of October 31, 1963 (a jungle carbine and a Savage.22). He also claimed that Hall was responsible for stealing a third rifle from California --- a Johnson 30.06.





IN REFERENCE TO RICHARD HATHCOCK, Gerry Parick Hemming states: “With reference to Richard “Dick” Hathcock, he was a Private Investigator [“For the Hollywood Stars”]; so he had an office, not a store. I was introduced to him during January 1962 by one of our InterPen instructors - - former Green Beret Richard “Dick” Whatley. At one time Whatley owned and handled a lion which was used for the “Cross Eyed Lion” TV series. Whatley, and his lion, lived and worked at a locale called “Nature’s Haven”, near Malibu.

This is where he first met Hathcock. I knew at the time, that Hathcock was a CIA asset, and reported to the Los Angeles “CIA/Domestic Contact Service”! [I have declassified files that make reference to Hathcock’s CIA informing] One of Hathcock’s underling P.I.s was Roy Bryant, who also reported to both the CIA/DCS and the FBI. During late 1968, I tracked him down to an apartment in Santa Monica, it was late at night and he was scared shitless! He began to blurt out a story of how, during 1963, he had been dating the sister [Maria] of the L.A. Mob Cellino brothers (Dino & “Dumber”). He whimpered on to describe how Maria had confided in him [during 1964], that her brothers had received large sums of cash from the Mickey Cohen, et al. mob organization. She went on to say that this money was delivered to Carlos Marcello in New Orleans some months before the JFK murder. Roy also stated that the FBI [CIA posing as FBI] did indeed show up on Hathcock’s doorstep in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. And moreover, they did specifically ask: About my rifle, Hall’s whereabouts, and other matters concerning Whatley and one “Bobby” Willis [Whatley’s compadre, an “Outfit Hitter”(Chicago Mob); and a book unto himself !] Shortly thereafter, I was called to meet with L.A. TV newsman [Channel 7] Baxter Ward. During this meeting, I learned that Hathcock was now working for Ward as a camera man and stringer. Hathcock walked into the office just as I was leaving. The last time I saw Hathcock, was the day after RFK’s assassination in L.A. This occurred when I pulled up [in my “Black & White”, and my best suit], walked straight through the front door of Sirhan Sirhan’s mother’s house. Hathcock almost dropped his camera and looked like he was having a heart attack! [During the 1970s, Baxter Ward ran for election, won, and served as an L.A. County Commissioner for a few terms, with Hathcock in tow.]” Mr. T. F. White observes a man sitting in a 1961 red Ford Falcon, with the engine running, in the El Chico parking lot behind his garage. This is five blocks north of the Texas Theater. As Mr. White approaches the car, the driver turns and looks at him. The driver then speeds off in a westerly direction on Davis Street. Mr. White, who will later see Oswald’s picture on TV, says the man in the Falcon was identical to Oswald and wore a “white T-shirt.” When told by the FBI that Oswald was in jail at 2:00 PM, White will still maintain that the man he saw driving the red Falcon was “possibly identical” to the Oswald he had seen on TV after the assassination. Mr. White writes down the vehicle’s license plate number. The plates belong to a blue 1957 Plymouth 4 door sedan - not a 1961 red Ford Falcon. The Plymouth belongs to Carl Mather, a long time employee of Collins Radio and close friend of J.D. Tippit. (Mather is later interviewed by the HSCA, but most of the documents relating to that interview remain classified in the National Archives.) Newsman and former Dallas Mayor Wes Wise hears of the unusual Oswald sighting. Mr. Wise and fellow news reporter Jane Bartell question Mather about the incident over dinner. Mather is so nervous he can hardly talk and says little. In 1977 the HSCA wants to interview Mather about this incident. He agrees, but not before he is granted immunity from prosecution by the Justice Department.

Oswald’s prior connection to Collins Radio: Oswald, in the company of George De Mohrenschildt, had once visited the home of retired Admiral Henry Bruton, who was an executive of Collins Radio. Bruton had been a lawyer in Virginia before becoming a Navy intelligence officer. Bruton’s specialty was electronic surveillance and this is what he was bringing to Collins Radio. In April of 1963, the Wall Street Journal announced that Collins would construct a modern radio communications system linking Laos, Thailand, and South Vietnam. On November 1, 1963, the New York Times reported that Fidel Castro had captured a large boat called the Rex which was being leased to Collins Radio at the time. The next day, one of the captured Cuban exiles aboard the Rex confessed that the boat had been used to ferry arms into Cuba and that “the CIA organized all arms shipments” (New York Times 11/3/63). The Rex reportedly was the flagship of the JM/WAVE fleet, the CIA’s super station in Miami. Castro announced that the arms shipments were meant for an assassination attempt on top Cuban leaders.

Scenario: five blocks from where Oswald is arrested we have an Oswald double in a car traced to Tippit’s friend, and the friend works for a CIA associated company that plays a role in the plots against Cuba and Castro.

Eugene Brading is still at the Dallas Sheriff’s office, having been arrested in the Dal-Tex building immediately after the assassination for “acting suspiciously.” His colleague, Morgan Brown, who is also staying at the Cabana Motel, departs abruptly at this time.

Conspiracy Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels meets with Abraham Zapruder and requests copies of his film. Sorrels has arrived because members of the Dallas police have already visited Zapruder. They entered his office brandishing shotguns and demanded his film. Zapruder refused and demanded that a government representative be present. BT 2:04 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) The presidential limo leaves Parkland Hospital, driven by SSA George W. Hickey, Jr. and a Dallas police officer. It is placed aboard a cargo plane - an Air Force C-130 - and flown back to Washington, DC. MIDP 2:07 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) The N.Y. Stock Exchange closes after the market falls 24 points. Certain individuals make over $500 million selling short.

Memo from J. Edgar Hoover at this time: Shanklin called to report JFK “in very poor condition but not dead,” that shots came from 4th floor of an unnamed building from a Winchester rifle; asked if RFK will be coming to Dallas; Hoover does not know.

2:08 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) After a heated argument between Dallas officials and Secret Service men, the body of JFK is removed from Parkland Hospital almost at gun point. By law, it should have remained in Texas for autopsy. Dr. Earl Rose warns the Secret Service agents that they are breaking the chain of evidence. Roy Kellerman suggests that Rose might like to come along to Washington, watching the casket all the way to make certain that the chain of evidence was not broken. Rose replies: “There is nothing that would allow me to do it under our law. The autopsy will be performed here.” Kellerman counters: “The family doesn’t have to go through this. We will take care of the matter when we get back to Washington.” A Dallas policeman, wearing a helmet and a revolver, now stands at Dr. Rose’s side. “These people say you can’t go,” the policeman says. Larry O’Brien snaps: “One side!” Kenny O’Donnell says: “We’re leaving.” Dr. George Burkley raises his voice: “We are removing it! This is the President of the United States;

you can waive your local laws.” Moments later, Judge Theron Ward is stunned to hear District Attorney Wade state, over the phone, that he has no objection whatever to the removal of the President’s body. None at all. The casket is wheeled through the hospital doors.



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