«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, ...»
In Dallas - Joe M. Dealey, president of the Dallas Morning News and grandson of the community builder whose bronze statue stands in the park where JFK was shot, says: “We are a tormented town.” Dallas Mayor, Earle Cabell is under police guard because of threats to his own life following the assassination. H. L. Hunt issues the following statement: “Every American, whatever the faith of his views or his political affiliations, suffers a personal loss when a President dies... freedom is in fearful danger when a President dies by violence.” Secretary-Treasurer of the Dallas AFL-CIO, Allan Maley, says: “There is no use beating around the bush. Dallas is a sick city. There are powerful leaders who have encouraged or condoned or at best remained silent while the preachment of hate helped condition a citizenry to support the most reactionary sort of political philosophy.” FD Ike Pappas recalls: “It was chaos on the third floor of the Dallas police office. We were asked to stand behind a white-roped off area. They did not issue special press passes - anyone with a press pass was OK. I was stunned and amazed that we were permitted so close to the prisoner.” PKHBS At some point during the day, Gilberto Policarpo Lopez crosses the border into Mexico at Laredo, Texas. In four days, he will fly to Cuba.
An FBI memo to the Secret Service dated today reads: “The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages. Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Tex., have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald.” An official declaration is published today by the U.S. State Department: “Department authorities said today that there was no evidence to indicate that the USSR or any other power is implicated in the assassination.” Prime Minister Fidel Castro’s response is, “Why did the State Department have to make this statement?” Also during this time frame, France-Soir reporter Phillippe Labro meets Jack Ruby at the Dallas police building.
During this hour, Robert Oswald, LHO’s brother, is finally allowed to visit LHO. Robert is escorted to a cubicle that has a telephone and a glass window. Presently LHO is brought out out and sits in the opposite cubicle. He motions to his brother to pick up the phone. In a calm voice, Robert hears him say, “This is taped” -- a warning to be cautious in their conversation. After some discussion of various personal matters, Robert asks, “Lee, what in Sam Hill is going on?” “I don’t know,” he says.
“You don’t know? Look, they’ve got your pistol, they’ve got your gun, they’ve got you charged with shooting the President and a police officer. And you tell me you don’t know what is going on?” LHO visibly stiffens and he replies: “I just don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says. “Don’t believe all this so-called evidence.” Today, three persons named John Mertz, Irma Rio Mertz, and Sara Mertz fly from Houston to Mexico City. “Michel Mertz” is the name occasionally used as an alias by French soldier of fortune, Jean Rene Souetre, a member of a right-wing French militant group who was in Dallas on Nov. 22. (BT) Michel Roux also leaves Fort Worth by bus today and returns to Houston. Then, either today or tomorrow, he will leave Houston for Mexico City. Roux is a deserter from the French Army. He is twenty-three years old. The FBI reports that he speaks French, German, and English. (Jean Souetre also uses the name Michel Roux as an alias.) (BT) A longtime resident of Houston, Dr. Alderson, a dentist, claims that FBI agents placed him under surveillance shortly after the assassination, and finally questioned him in December 1963. Although there is no known official record of this interview, Alderson says the subject of their questions was his friendship with Jean Souetre, a Frenchman who had once attempted the assassination of Charles de Gaulle. Alderson knew Souetre in the early 1950s while he was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed in France, and Souetre was a captain in the French air force. Alderson told the FBI agents he hadn’t seen Souetre since leaving France, but that the two had continued to exchange Christmas greetings each year. The dentist claims that during the interview, the agents indicated that Souetre had been traced to Dallas the day before the assassination, but that they had lost him there. They were trying to determine how the Frenchman had left Dallas, and whether anyone had helped him leave. In 1983, when a reporter asked Souetre about his relationship with Alderson, Souetre denied knowing him, despite the fact that Alderson has a photograph of the two men, taken while they were both in France. Reasonable Doubt This afternoon (according to his own admission) the Chief of the Dallas Homicide Division, Will Fritz, receives a personto-person telephone call from LBJ, ordering him to cease his murder investigation. “You have your man,” Fritz quotes LBJ as telling him.
Today, Dallas deputy sheriff, Buddy Walthers, reports to Sheriff Bill Decker that LHO has been seen at a house located at 3128 Harlendale prior to the assassination. Walthers advises that Cubans have also been having meetings on the weekends at this address and were possibly connected with the “Freedom For Cuba Party” of which Oswald is a member. The report concludes by saying that sometime between seven days before JFK was shot and the day after the assassination, the house was vacated.
Also today, Jack Zangetty, the manager of a $150,000 modular motel complex near Lake Lugert, Oklahoma, remarks to some friends that “Three other men -- not Oswald -- killed the President.” He also states that “A man named Ruby will kill Oswald tomorrow and in a few days a member of the Frank Sinatra family will be kidnapped just to take some of the attention away from the assassination.” Two weeks from now, Jack Zangetty will be found found floating in Lake Lugert with bullet holes in his chest. It will appear to witnesses that he has been in the water one to two weeks.
Aline Mosby files a UPI report today. In 1959, Mosby interviewed Oswald regarding his defection to the Soviet Union. She asked why he wanted to remain in the Soviet Union. He replied, “I am a Marxist. I became interested about the age of 15. An old lady handed me a pamphlet about saving the Rosenbergs. I still remember that pamphlet about the Rosenbergs-I don’t know why. Then we moved to North Dakota and I discovered one book in the library, “Das Kapital”. It was what I’d been looking for. It was like a very religious man opening the Bible for the first time”. Printed in the exhibits of the Warren Commission were Aline Mosby’s notes of her interview of Oswald in Moscow. A critical difference is that, in the printed notes, instead of “Then we moved to North Dakota...” is the phrase, “Then we moved to New Orleans...” No explanation has been given for this purported substitution. John Delane Williams and Gary Severson 12:30 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) CIA Director John McCone meets with LBJ. McCone tells LBJ that “the CIA has information on foreign connections to the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, which suggests to LBJ that JFK may have been murdered by an international conspiracy.” US 12:35 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LHO is again brought to Captain Fritz’s office for interrogation. H&L 1:10 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LHO is returned to his jail cell. H&L 1:10 - 1:30 P.M. (Nov. 23, 1963) LHO visited by Mother, Marguerite Oswald, and Wife, Marina Oswald.
1:30 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) Jack Ruby places a telephone call from Nichols Garage. Tom Brown, a garage attendant, tells the FBI that during this call, he overhears Ruby “inform the other party to the conversation as to the whereabouts of Chief of Police Curry.” 1:31 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) JFK’s rocking chairs are removed from the White House and taken to the Executive Office Building A CIA document, labeled “secret” by the State Department and included in LHO’s passport file is “accidentally” destroyed today while the file is being thermofaxed.
Memo written on this date from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to Secret Service Chief James Rowley:
“The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on Oct. 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages.
“Special Agents of this bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referredto individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald.’’ Memo written on this date from Alan Belmont, third in command at FBI Headquarters, to Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s right-hand man.
“The Dallas agents who listened to the tape of the conversation allegedly of Oswald from the Cuban Embassy to the Russian Embassy in Mexico and examined the photographs of the visitor to the Embassy in Mexico... were of the opinion that neither the tape nor the photograph pertained to Oswald.’’ 1:35 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LBJ calls Edwin Weisl, an influential Wall Street lawyer. During the course of the telephone conversation, LBJ says: “This thing on the... this assassin [Oswald]... may have a lot more complications than you know about... it may lay deeper than you think.” TKAT 1:52 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) Frank McGee of NBC News reports: “It is raining in Washington, D.C.... So much history is taking place in so short a time.” PKHBS 2:00 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LBJ calls Marie Tippit, widow of J. D. Tippit to express his condolences. TKAT 2:10 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LHO is taken from the jail to his 4th police lineup in the basement. H&L LBJ calls Senator Smathers to discuss a pending tax bill.
2:30 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LBJ’s first Cabinet meeting in Washington; RFK late and asks that no photographs be taken.
Also today, H.L. Hunt meets with Jack Crichton of Army Intelligence, along with other Army intelligence officers, to discuss the first interrogation of Marina Oswald.
Richard Stolley of Life recalls: “Saturday afternoon I was back in the Adolphus Hotel. I get a phone call from [Life correspondent Tommy Thompson], who said, “I’ve got an exclusive with t he family. I found the family; I’ve got them here. We’ve got to protect the story,” which is to say we’ve got to get these people away from other reporters, because we both had been the first reporters to see these people. I said, “Bring them into the hotel.” So I booked another room under a fictitious name. It was [Oswald’s wife] Marina, with the little baby; crazy Marguerite, Lee’s mother with [Oswald’s] other daughter, who was older; and Patricia McMillan, who was the interpreter. Marina at that point could speak almost no English. Bob, Lee’s brother, also came with them. I gave him $40 for baby food and diapers for these two small children. We put them up in this suite, told them to order anything they wanted to from room service, but for God’s sake don’t leave. When he came back with them, Tommy said, “I’ve got Oswald’s trunk, and the family will give it to me for $10,000.00. They’ve got to have that money to hire a lawyer.” I said, “What’s in it, Tommy?” “Hell, I don’t know,” he said, “all his relics and artifacts from his Marine Corps and time in Russia.” I said, “God almighty.” So I called New York and I got the managing editor, an Iwo Jima Marine, named George Hunt. I told him what I had, and he said, “Absolutely not.” I couldn’t believe it. I said, “What?” He said, “You heard me. I’m not giving one f-----g dime to that assassin.” I said, “George, he is a suspect now, that’s all he is, we don’t know anything more.” “I don’t give a goddamn I don’t want you to give a dime to them.” I started to argue with him and he hung up on me. So that’s why we didn’t pay the family. I mean, we paid for the food and the suite and all the rest, but we gave them no money at all.” PKHBS 2:45 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) Detectives go to the 5th floor jail and remove hair samples from the head, chest, arms, armpits, legs, and public area of LHO. These samples are given to the FBI. H&L 3:00 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) The “original” Zapruder film is sent by courier to Life’s Chicago office where it is studied on a Moviola projector. Ten black-and-white prints are made. BT 3:40 P.M. (Nov. 23, 1963) LHO Calls Mrs. Ruth Paine.
4:27 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas Police announces “I can tell you is that this case is cinched. This man [LHO] killed the president. There’s no question in my mind about it. I don’t want to get into the basis. I don’t want to get into the evidence. I just want to tell you that we are convinced beyond any doubt that he did the killing.” PKHBS 4:51 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) LBJ proclaims period of mourning on TV 4:55 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) FBI Agent Shanklin contacts Washington headquarters to say that the local film processing houses in Dallas are unable to handle the processing of the Zapruder film. C.D. DeLoach tells Shanklin to put the film on a commercial flight to Washington, D.C.. DeLoach indicates that the FBI may develop the film themselves or have a commercial lab do it with whom the FBI has a working relationship. FBI Memorandum 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM (Nov. 23, 1963) John Currington, a member of H.L. Hunt’s security staff, will testify that Hunt asks him to go to the Dallas jail and see what kind of security they have surrounding LHO. Currington is told to report back to Hunt no matter how late it is. He finally meets personally with Hunt around midnight - and tells him that “there was no security whatsoever around the jailhouse.