Rendezvous With Death At Dealey Plaza – Part II
On October 5, 1962, the morning that Caroline Kennedy recited the poem “Rendezvous With Death” to her father at the National Security Council meeting in the Rose Garden, Lee Harvey Oswald cashed a pay check from Leslie Welding Company, where he had worked since July 19.
One of Oswald’s first acts upon arrival in Fort Worth in June 1962 was to go to the Texas Employment Commission and look for work, but he got more than a job from Virginia Hale and Anna Laurie Smith.
Virginia Hale got Oswald the sheet metal worker job at Leslie Welding, but while he was at the Texas Employment Commission Oswald asked if they knew of anyone who spoke the Russian language that he and his wife could meet.
In his article (Oswald’s Handlers) Bill Simpich writes: “Anna Laurie Smith said that she referred him to Peter Gregory, and ‘Mrs. Hall’ from the next desk, suggested Mrs. Max Clark and provided her name. This Mrs. Hall was Elena Hall, a Russian immigrant who was also part of the White Russian community …. Mrs. Elena Hall gave the names of Max and Gali Clark to Oswald at the Texas Employment Center and then went to work as a dental lab technician.”
The first person Oswald called was Gali Clark, an excellent Russian speaker, a former “Russian princess” who Simpich notes “made a point of shopping for the Oswald family and providing material support, bringing groceries to Marina at the Hall residence while Elena Hall recovered from a car accident.” In addition however, “Mrs. Hall took Marina and her baby in to live at her place during the first week of October, bought her some clothes and groceries, and had Marina’s teeth fixed with the financial help of George Bouhe….” And Elena Hall, who went from the Texas Employment Commission to work at the dental lab.
So besides getting Oswald a job, the one stop at the Texas Employment Commission got Marina and the baby a nice place to stay, and they had Marina’s teeth fixed and the Russian community bought them groceries and gave them financial help, especially George Bouhe.
But being employed as a laborer was not something Oswald enjoyed or wanted to do and he told Gali Clark’s husband Max Clark that he hated his work at Leslie Welding and wanted another line of work. Max Clark was an attorney and industrial security supervisor at General Dynamics who knew the FBI agent who later investigated him. Clark referred to his interviewing agent Earl Haley as “Earl”, and told the Warren Commission that he was familiar with Haley and the FBI from working with them at General Dynamics. Clark was an industrial security supervisor at the Convair wing of General Dynamics, who had the Air Force contract for the first funded ICBM study.
Max Clark also had a “covert security approval” by the CIA for “Project ROCK/IDIO/SGAPEX”.
According to DeMohrenschildt, Max Clark told him he checked with his friends in the FBI and that Oswald was okay. George DeMohrenschildt testified to the Warren Commission that during one of his conversation with his Dallas CIA contact J. Walton Moore, and Moore assured him that Oswald was a “harmless lunatic”.
After he told Max Clark he didn’t like the Leslie Welding job Oswald started skipping work altogether, though they still took him back even after he missed a few days. His boss said that he was going to be trained in more specialized work, and his last Leslie Welding punch card had “Quit” written on it, so he wasn’t fired from that job. The job lasted from July 19 until October 8, quite a stretch Oswald.
About Oswald’s work at Leslie Welding, A. J. Weberman wrote: In a February 3, 1964, Memorandum to Files, a CIA component, presumably the Office of Security, stated: “The following notation appears on the cover of OSWALD’S address book: “Mr. Bargas 200 E.N. Vacey Louv – K P1316 (The FBI memorandum does not suggest it, but I would think that Louv – K might possibly refer to Louisville, Kentucky.) The Office of Security of the CIA came up with three spurious Bargas’ from its files. [CIA 1300-479] “Bargas” was the name of OSWALD’S foreman at Louv-R-Pac, Thomas Bargas. Tom Bargas was interviewed in 1977 and asked if he saw Oswald every day he worked there? He said: “Yeah, I did see him every day. He was a sheet metal worker, we used to make ventilators. We never had any Government contracts or anything. It was all commercial buildings. Oswald always kept to himself – he wore the same old jacket.” In May 1993 Tom Bargas said Oswald never expressed any political opinions to him and was a good worker. “He was a general flunky – he did everything we put him to do. Because he comprehended so well, I was going to teach him to do layout work. Then he quit. No reason…He came in every day. He worked there two, three months, maybe longer. He didn’t miss any days that I know of…I never miss work. We went in at 7:00 a.m. and got off at 3:30 p.m.” [WCD 7; FBI DL 89-43 p360 – 1 RPG:mja – UnID; CIA 1300-479]
While Elena Hall was recouperating from a car crash, Lee and Marina had her house all to themselves, and one night had the Clarks over for dinner to thank them for their hospitality. This is when Clark extensively questioned Oswald about his experiences in the Soviet Union, what amounted to what Simpich calls a “debriefing.”
Max Clark’s file states that he “worked closely” with I. B. Hale, the husband of Virginia Hale, who got Oswald the job at Leslie Welding. A former FBI agent who was the chief of industrial security at General Dynamics I.B. Hale and his wife Virginia separated in 1960, with twin sons Bobby and Billy staying with I.B. and son Thomas staying with Virginia.
But two weeks after I.B.Hale’s wife Virginia got Oswald a job, in August 1962, their sons traveled across state lines in order to break-in at the apartment of Judith Campbell (Exner), who was on an intimate basis with President John F. Kennedy as well as Mafia chieftains Sam Giancana and Johnny Rosselli. The break in at Campbell’s apartment was done in full view of an FBI stakeout team who checked out the Texas tags on the burglar’s car and recognized the sons of the Texas state football star and former FBI agent I. B. Hale.
As Simpich reasonably concludes, it seems that Hale and his sons “got caught up in a dramatic series of events that appear to have been designed to blackmail the Kennedy Administration into approving General Dynamics as the prime contactor over Boeing to build the TFX F-111 bomber at their Fort Worth plant. At the time this 7 billion dollar contract was the largest military contract in history.” In addition, one of the Hale boys had run off with the daughter of Texas Governor John Connally, and killed her by accident, or so the official reports concluded.
So in early October, 1962, Oswald was still working at the job at Leslie Welding, Marina was staying at Mrs. Halls while she recovered from an auto accident, and the other Russians give them food and financial assistance. But no one seemed to know where Oswald was staying. He didn’t stay at the Halls with Marina, and only stayed a few days at the YMCA, but there’s no record of where he stayed for weeks at a time during this period. The FBI even went back to interview every one of the White Russians Oswald met at this time and asked them one question, – do they know where Oswald was staying in October to early November, 1962? And every one said no.
According to Weberman, “Oswald checked out of the YMCA on October 19, 1962, and from October 19, 1962 to November 2, 1962, his address was a mystery to the Warren Commission. The Warren Report noted: “After Oswald left the YMCA on October 19, 1962, he moved to a room or apartment somewhere in Dallas which has not been located. It seems likely that during that time he spent several weekends with Marina at the Hall house.”
On October 9, 1962, Oswald went back to the offices of the Texas Employment Commission and asked to see Helen Cunningham, a counselor with the commission who he had been referred by Teofil Miller. Miller had been to a dinner party with the Oswalds learned of his search for a job, and had called Mrs. Cunningham, a friend of his, and asked her to help Oswald get a job more suited to his skills and background.
After skipping out on the Leslie Welding job without notice, Oswald was still owed two pay checks for the last days he had worked, and the frugal Oswald wanted the money but didn’t want to have to go back to pick it up in person.
So on October 9, 1962, the same day he put in for a new job with Mrs. Cunningham at the ever helpful Texas Employment Commission, Oswald walked into the Main Post Office in Dallas and ordered a post office box. He paid less than $5, used his real name Lee Harvey Oswald [See: Receipt for PO Box MFA ] and as a residence he gave the Dallas address of DeMohrenschildt’s daughter Alexandria and her husband Gary Taylor.
[BK Note: Mary Ferrell asks “Is this his first act of deception?,” but I don’t think so, not if he asked Gary Taylor if he could use his address to take out the PO box and as an address to give J/C/S, which also had Taylor’s address as Oswald’s address until he took out the PO box. So, no there was no first act of deception in using Taylor’s address here.]
Oswald was given P.O. Box 2915 and either one or two keys [See: Reference 1 and Receipt 2]. He then contacted Leslie Welding and asked them to send his final pay checks to that PO Box.
When Oswald endorsed his last two checks from Louv-R-Pac, he used the address of Gary Taylor. Although he never stayed there, Taylor had given Oswald permission to use his address and he did so on his Post Office box application and at Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval, his next job.
According to A. J. Weberman: Some of the signatures on the back of the Louv-R-Pac paychecks were not OSWALD’S. The FBI Laboratory examined the endorsements and compared them against the signature on OSWALD’S passport. They did not match, although Oswald had used his passport as identification to cash these checks, and his passport number was written on each one. The FBI stated: “Under date of December 5, 1963, the FBI Laboratory advised that the handprinting and handwriting of LEE HARVEY OSWALD, available in Bureau files, have been searched (Deleted) without effecting an identification.”…The HSCA examined 63 specimens of OSWALD’S signature, but none of the signatures on the Louv-R-Pac paychecks, although their existence had been brought to the attention of the HSCA by this researcher. The HSCA chose instead to examine: “A letter dated July 13, 1962, to Leslie Welding Co. signed LEE H. OSWALD; written on part of the page from a yellow legal pad. Blue ink. Ball point pen. Location: Archives.” [HSCA V8 p230]
George DeMohrenschildt had promised Oswald he would try to get him a good job that he would like, and through Teofil Miller and Mrs. Cunningham, that turned out to be at the Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval, a graphic arts firm.
Besides doing most of the advertising and commercial graphics for Dallas businesses, J/C/S also did classified work for the U.S. Army Map Service, placing numbers, names and captions on photographs, including high altitude photos taken by the U2 over Russia and Cuba.
A fellow employee, Dennis Ofstbin recalled that when they placed the names of some cities in Russia on a map, Oswald said he had been there.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, in October, 1962, when no one knew where Oswald was living, he was working at a company that placed arrows and captions on photos taken by the U2 over Cuba, and J/C/S workers, including Oswald, may have placed the arrows and captions on the very props that were used to brief the President, and the President used to brief Congress and the UN during the crisis.
[See: Oswald at J/C/S http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/12/u2-photos-of-cuba-oct-62.html ].
It was while working at J/C/S that Oswald wrote the word “microdot” in his notebook, and it was while working at J/C/S when Oswald is said to have had the opportunity to produce the multiple faked IDs and documents, some of which included the use of the alias A. J. Hidell.
It was at a party of DeMohrenchildt’s friends who worked at Magnolia Oil Co. in February 1963 when Oswald and his wife Marina met Ruth Paine and Volkmar Schmidt.
Just as Simpich describes how George Bouhe handed responsibility for Oswald over to George DeMohrenschildt in the fall of 1962, DeMohrenschildt was handing the Oswalds over to Ruth and Michael Paine, who would play increasingly central roles in the coincidences that would lead up to the Rendezvous at Dealey Plaza.
While Ruth and Marina bonded at the party, Oswald talked to Volkmar Schmidt, a German who worked at Magnolia Oil with most of the other people at the party. In their long conversation, Schmidt talked with Oswald about the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, and suggested that the same should be done to other fascists, like Army General Edwin Walker.
[See: Interview with Volkmar Schmidt – http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2008/01/volkmar-schmidt-interview.html ].
Within a few weeks of his conversation with Schmidt, Oswald ordered a rifle from an advertisement in a gun magazine, sending a money order as payment and having the rifle sent to A.J. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Texas. He had previously, in early January, ordered a .38 revolver, and though ordered a month apart, they were both shipped the same day, March 20, 1963, to Oswald’s PO box.
What’s odd is that Hidell wasn’t authorized to receive mail at that PO box and no one who works at the post office recalls Oswald retrieving the packages that contained the pistol or the package with a rifle and scope. And the receipt is missing, said to have been routinely destroyed when the box was closed, although such records are normally kept and Post Office regulations require them to be kept for two years. Another odd thing is that Oswald would have had to pick up the package that was sent to A. J. Hidell, and would ostensibly need Hidell’s identification to pick up the package, which was sent to a P.O. Box that belonged to Oswald, not Hidell.
The Warren Commission maintains that Oswald mailed the money order for the rifle, postmarked March 12, and reportedly picked it up on March 25, both Tuesdays when Oswald was supposed to be at work at Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval.
Unlike his job at the TSBD, where they didn’t have a Time Card to punch in, J/C/S was pretty serious about keeping track of what they’re employees were doing and for whom.
Also please note that on the morning that Oswald was supposed to have mailed the money order for the rifle, he worked on a job for Sam Bloom, the same guy who helped John Connally and the Secret Service choose the Trade Mart over the Women’s building and thus have the motorcade drive by the TSBD.
March 25. When Oswald was supposed to pick up the rifle and pistol:
Usually it is Conspiracy Theorists who accuse witnesses like Harry Holmes, who also delayed Oswald leaving the DPD long enough for Ruby to get into position to kill him, of lying. Holmes knew the PO regulation was to maintain such records for two years, and he keeps saying “They” did this and “They” did that. Who’s “They.” And what happened to the
person who handed the rifle over the counter to Oswald/Hidell? They don’t have Post Officer records who tell them who was working that day?
Using a background construction site and the fact that Oswald worked six days a week at J/C/S, the official investigators concluded that Oswald took the photos of Walker’s house and neighborhood on a Sunday, before he ordered the rifle.
But instead of using the same logic to determine when he ordered and picked up the weapons from the Post Office, we are advised by the author of the official Chronology not to trust the Time Sheets of J/C/S because Oswald “lied” on them. But they didn’t ask Stovall if he allowed his employees to leave the premises and run around Dallas mailing money orders and picking up weapons at the Post Office.
Chronology of Oswald in 1962-3 IN THE UNITED STATES
12 March 1963 (Tuesday)
Using a coupon clipped from the February issue of American Rifleman magazine, Lee went to the main post office and ordered a high-powered Italian carbine, called a Mannlicher-Carcano, from Klein’s Sporting Goods Company, a mail order house in Chicago. He sent the coupon air mail with a postal money order for $21.78 for the rifle, $7.17 for the scope, to be moounted by a gunsmith employed by Klein’s and $1.50 for postage and handling). The rifle was delivered to an “A. HIDELL, Post Office Box 2915, Dallas, Texas.”.
(FN: Oswald’s time sheet on 12 March is evidence that he probably lied sometimes about his hours. On the day he ordered the rifle, he signed in from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., (Exhibit no. 1855, Vol. 23, p. 605). The U.S. Postal Inspector, Dallas, Harry D. Holmes, later testified that OSWALD’S order for the rifle was issued “early on the morning of
March 12”. This appears to have been the case, for the order was imprinted on Klein’s cash register March 13. Since the post office window opened only at 8:00 a.m., OSWALD probably lied when he signed in then. Thus the time sheets have to be used with caution. M&L….” [BK: Can anyone tell me what the “M&L” source designation refers to? ]
But instead of Oswald lying on his time sheets, could Oswald have left the premises and if he wrote “Sam Bloom” on the account sheet, could he have run copy or graphics over to the Bloom office for approval during the half hour- hour time that he said he worked on their project?
That would get Oswald out of the building and in a position to mail the money order and or pick up the weapons. But it would also put Oswald in contact with people at Sam Bloom, the company owned by the man who, a year later, would help arrange for the President’s motorcade to ride past the Texas School Book Depository, a key element in the string of coincidences that led up to the Rendezvous With Death At Dealey Plaza.
[BK Note: Checking with Vincent Bugliosi, who wrote 2,000 pages of Reclaiming History on how Oswald killed JFK all by himself, you would think he would have devoted a few pages to how Oswald obtained the rifle, but without any witnesses, documents, records or any evidence Oswald actually did so, the Bug simply ignores all this and sums it all up in writing: “By coincidence, both weapons, pistol and carbine, were shipped to him on the same day a little over a week later, on March 20. Marina noticed the rifle several days later in Lee’s ‘office.’ He later draped a coat over it for concealment.” ]
Next: Rendezvous With Death t Dealey Plaza Part III – April – September 1963.
Many thanks to Bill Simpich, Robert Howard, Tom Scully and Greg Parker for research assistance in this story. – BK