Thornley’s Biographer Speaks Out

Adam Gorightly, Kerry Thornley’s biographer, read my blog, and has weighed in on the debate between myself and author Judyth Vary Baker. Baker has never answered my very direct question about her claims about Warren Commission witnesses and Jim Garrison’s investigation. I will let Adam Gorightly’s work speek for itself! It’s a great read by an absolute expert on Kerry Thornley.

Equal Time For Kerry Thornley, by Adam Gorightly

http://historiadiscordia.com/equal-time-for-kerry-thornley/

Vindication for Eric Rogers

Judyth Baker has made the following claims about Eric Rogers in her book as well as in various Facebook groups.

Judyth Baker claims the following:

  1. The power was already on in his apartment at 4905 Magazine Street , and that Oswald payed for the power to be turned on at 4907 Magazine Street. (FALSE)
  2. She defrosted the freezer at 4905 Magazine Street. (FALSE)
  3. Oswald used 4907 as an address to divert people away from his true address in order to prevent his FPCC activities from putting his family in jeopardy. (FALSE)
  4. Unemployed Eric Rogers was living at 4907  Magazine St. in an apartment paid for by Oswald.(FALSE)
  5. Eric Rogers had agreed to be Oswald’s cover. (FALSE)
  6. Oswald did not use the mailbox assigned to 4905 Magazine St. (True. Ms. Baker demonstrated that there was a mailbox assigned to that apartment in our debate on Facebook).  My research below demonstrates that the postal workers, who were informants to the FBI, knew Oswald was using the wrong mailbox.

Baker’s claims that the utilities were on at 4905 Magazine Street are false

Judyth Baker has this to say in Facebook Evidence Detection, January 20 at 2:09am (1):

“Until I spoke out in 1999, being aware of Lee’s special arrangements with 4907, not a single researcher had ever noticed this (or about the Rogers). 35 years had gone by. That is the difference between a researcher and a witness. I was present when Lee first moved things into 4905, and the utilities were already on.”
This is not what the historical record demonstrates as being true.  The FBI interviewed the Assistant Secretary and Treasurer of New Orleans Public Service INC.  John E. Hevron. He very clearly informed the FBI that on May 9, 1963, services were requested to be turned on at the “lower center apartment at 4907 Magazine St.” (2)  This is a VERY specific statement about what apartment received the services.  There were two front apartments, 4911 and 4907.  4905 was the back apartment that stretched across the center of the house.  If the utilities were turned on at either of the two front apartments or the rear apartment, it would have been noted as such.  4905 had its entrance at the right front of the house, when looking straight at the building.
Mrs. Jessie Garner advised that the building was comprised of three apartments:  4911 was her residence, 4907 was Eric Rogers’ residence, and 4905 was the Oswald’s residence. (3) In addition, there was a second apartment identified by the FBI as “the lower rear apartment” occupied by Mrs. L. N. Rico.  This may very well be the reason why Oswald began using the 4907 address as his mailing address. Since that apartment was unoccupied from May until Mid-July, this helped prevent  the mixing-up of his mail with the lower “rear apartment.”(4)  Clearly from the FBI report it is evident that Mrs. Rico also resided at an apartment labeled 4905 and it would make sense to use 4907’s mailbox since initially it was unoccupied.
Ms. Garner describes the apartments to the Warren Commission as such:
Judyth Baker makes many claims about this apartment.  Her first claim is that she and Lee Oswald visited Mrs. Garner the day before Lee rented the apartment.  She claims that Lee asked Mrs. Garner to place a sign out front so that when Lee went by with his family friend Mrs. Evens the next day, he could guide her to find the apartment and he could rent it.  Mrs. Garner has never been on record about such an event.  Ms. Baker claims that the same apartment had power already on and that Oswald turned on the power to 4907.  This has already been proven to be false as Hevron informed the FBI that, “..the service was turned on on the morning of May 10, 1963…” (5)  The service was clearly not turned on as Ms. Baker claims. Hevron continues, “…no one was home at the time the service man made the installation and the service man had obtained the keys to the apartment from a neighbor.” (6)
A witness who is on the record is family friend Mrs. Evens.  Oswald showed up on her door unannounced on May 9th.  Her testimony indicates that she did not recognize him because she had not seen him in years.  Her testimony was that Lee Harvey Oswald wanted to rent an apartment from her, but that she had none to rent to him.  She then contacted a friend who had apartments, but Oswald did not like the apartment that he had viewed. Unless Oswald had a crystal ball, there was absolutely no way for him to know that neither landlord would have apartments to his liking.  It does not make sense that he would have met Mrs. Garner the day before to set this whole scenario up when he could have jumped off the bus, and rented it on the spot.  But, MORE damaging to Mrs. Baker’s claims that the power was on, was this: Mrs. Evens viewed both apartments, 4907 and 4905 with Lee. She knew that Marina Oswald was coming on May 11 and she advised Oswald to give Mrs. Garner the money to turn on the power. (7) She would NOT have done this if the power were on.  This being the truthful account of Mrs. Evens, it also means that Baker did not defrost any refrigerator since the power was not on in the apartment.
There is no doubt that the utility company had to enter the specific apartment to turn on the utilities.  It was not either of the two front apartments, 4907 and 4909.  It was the lower apartment located at the right side of the residence.  Mrs. Evens would not have had Oswald give Mrs. Garner money for the activation of the utilities if the utilities were already on!  And there is no evidence that Oswald met Mrs. Garner prior to renting the apartment so that he could have Mrs. Evens, a woman he had not seen in years, bring him to Magazine St. to pretend to find the apartment.  The fridge was ALREADY defrosted as there was no power on at the apartment.

Baker claims that Lee Harvey Oswald used 4907 on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee leaflets to protect his family

Lee Harvey Oswald did have 4907 stamped on the leaflets he was handing out in front of the New Orleans Trade Mart on August 9th, 1963. However, this was not the only time that Lee Harvey Oswald handed out his leaflets.
OSWALD AUGUST
Lee Harvey Oswald, New Orleans International Trade Mart, August 1963 (8)
The USS Wasp was berthed at the Dumain St. Warf from June 13, 1963, until June 20th, 1963. (9)  While the ship was there on June 16, Harbor Patrolman Girod Ray was contacted by an enlisted man who complained that there was a person handing out materials on the docks near the ship.  Officer Ray located the individual passing out the leaflets and requested that he leave the docks.  According to the patrolman, the individual argued that he did not need permission to do this as he was exercising his rights as a citizen. (10) Officer Ray informed the individual that he needed to move on, and that he needed specific permission from the Board of Commissioners to distribute the literature.  The man moved on without incident.
 It was not until the assassination, when Oswald’s face was on the television, that Officer Ray recognized that the individual he had interacted with that day on the wharf was Lee Harvey Oswald. (11)
FAIR PLAY
Further primary evidence that Oswald handed out leaflets not connected to 4907 Magazine street are the leaflets found at the harbor by the 112th Military Intelligence Corps Group around the first week in June 1963.  Not only did members of that military unit find leaflets at the port, but they found them earlier, around the first week of June at Tulane University.  This would have been at the the same time Oswald picked them up from the Jones Printing Company.   Upon finding the leaflets at the port, one of the leaflets was sent to Washington D.C. on June 18, 1963.
FLEET
It is well documented that Oswald used the name Alek J. Hidell as an alias upon his return to America from the Soviet Union. Oswald had Marina sign the name Hidell to his FPCC membership card on June 15th, 1963, within days of his distribution of the leaflets at the port.  One question that this raises is the following: If Oswald was truly trying to keep his family protected, why would he use her to sign the card?  Why not use Ferrie, Bannister, Martin, or his close confident with whom he shared his operation with, Judyth Baker to “protect” his family.  His use of his wife would indicate he did not have anyone else working with him.
 POST OFFICE BOX DOC
Ms. Baker alleges that Oswald, with the help of Guy Bannister, paid for Eric Rogers to live at 4907 Magazine St.   Mr. Rogers did not move into 4907 Magazine St. until mid July.  Apparently, Oswald began his leaflet distribution the first week in June, and did not need Rogers.  He did it again without Rogers help in mid-June when the USS Wasp was in town so clearly he did not need Eric Rogers to protect him.

 Initially Oswald Used His P.O. Box to Conceal Where He Lived

Eric Rogers was not necessary.  In his initial leaflet distribution, Oswald used an alias and used an incorrect P.O. BOX.   There is NOTHING about his initial use of the leaflets that was accurate enough to trace ANYTHING back to him, when simply looking at the leaflet. (15)  So it is clear that nothing necessitated Oswald needing Eric Rogers or anyone else to protect his family.  The fact is that the digits are incorrect, and that makes the ability of anyone to trace his leaflet distribution back to him less likely.  Oswald did not have a Post Office Box 30016.  He did have a Post office Box 30061.
Let’s look at the Post office Box number 30061.  Oswald made his first payment for this Post Office Box on June 3, 1963. (16)  This was the day before the leaflets were completed at the Jones Printing company (17). On that same week that the 112th Military Intelligence Group found a leaflet posted at Tulane University with A. J. Hidell printed on the leaflet.  Further examination of the forms related to the P.O. BOX demonstrates that Oswald was being deceptive about where his actual street address making himself untraceable.
POST OFFICE BOX DOC
Oswald moved into 4905 Magazine Street the week of May 9, 1963.  He took out this P.O. Box on June 3, 1963.  He had been at 4905 for almost a month before he took out that P.O. Box.  As you can see from the Post Office Box, there were three people allowed to pick up mail from it: A J Hidell, the name he stamped on the leaflets he distributed in June, Marina Oswald, and Lee Oswald.  What makes this form even more important, however, is that it helps establish that this P.O. Box was not linked at all to 4905 Magazine Street.  Looking at the form more closely, one sees that the local business address that Oswald links the box to is 657 French St., an address that he never resided at.  In his typical pattern of deceptions, Oswald did reside very briefly with his Aunt and Uncle Murrett at 757 French St., but that is not what he places on the form.
Based on the evidence above, Oswald had no need at all for Eric Rogers to reside at 4907 to provide cover.  He distributed leaflets in the month and a half prior to Rogers arrival.  He used an alias, he stamped an incorrect PO BOX on the leaflets, he used an incorrect street address on the PO BOX application, all to his knowledge, enough to keep people away from his address.

OSWALD STAMPED LEAFLETS WITH HIS REAL ADDRESS

What is essential for Baker to maintain her claims is that there must exist no evidence of leaflets with the Address 4905 Magazine St.  Her story is dependent on Oswald “protecting” his family by using 4907 Magazine Street.  Unfortunately for Baker, there was a  leaflet that was found with the correct address, 4905 Magazine.
On November 23, 1963, Special Agent John B. Lee searched the 4905 Magazine St. address with permission from the owner of the building.  Found on the front porch, attached to a piece of cardboard, was the following information on a Fair Play for Cuba leaflet:

“Hands off Cuba!” “Join the Fair Play for Cuba Committee” “Now Orleans Charter Member Branch” “Free Literature, Lectures” “Location: L. H. OSWALD, 4905 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana” “Everyone welcome! ” (18)

This is NOT the behavior of someone who is trying to hide. For Ms. Baker’s story to hold its water- that Lee had told her all of this information about using 4907 as a front, there would be NO pamphlets bearing his correct address.

In thinking about this pamphlet, that was glued to an “8 x 10” piece of cardboard.  Why would Lee Harvey Oswald have one of his Fair Play for Cuba leaflets glued to a piece of cardboard?  Oswald made this “poster” to display publicly on his front porch for the world to see.  If someone is trying to protect their family from an operation, they do NOT  display a poster on their from porch, with their address prominently displayed.  Lee Harvey Oswald was certainly not trying to protect his family.

As a matter of fact, finding this on the porch makes complete sense when examining Mrs. Gardner’s statements. Mrs. Gardner, the woman who managed the apartments, stated that prior to Oswald’s arrest in August, Oswald placed two posters up on his porch.  The posters read “Hands Off Cuba!” according to her statements to the the FBI on December 5, 1963.  Mrs. Gardner was so unhappy with this display that she had her husband speak with Oswald and made him take the posters down. (19)

It is clear that Oswald had stamped some pamphlets with the proper address, 4905 Magazine Street.  Oswald had put these posters up on the porch of 4905 Magazine Street, identifying himself and where he lived.  He was not hiding anything as Baker claims.

July 1963, PO BOX 30061 is associated with 4905 Magazine Street by the FBI

It took one month for the FBI to link Oswald’s correct mailing address to the P.O. Box.  Oswald’s name was on a secret mail opening program called HT-Lingual.  He had been placed on the watch list for this program in 1959. (20)  His mail was opened, and records were kept.   On June 26, 1963, Oswald send Fair Play for Cuba Committee Membership cards that he had made to Gus Hall of the Communist party. And from there, the connection to his residence was made by the government.

FPCC

(21)

On July 8, 1963, his mail was again opened and P.O. Box 30061 was linked to 4907 Magazine St.. Oswald had, for some reason, requested that the Worker Newspaper be sent directly to his house, and this was picked up by a postal employee informant.  The P.O. BOX was now associated with his residence, at least by building.  This coupled with the fact the that the postal employees who delivered the mail  knew he lived at 4905, but received his mail at 4907, made it clear that he was completely identified and associated with 4905 Magazine St. (22)

As of July 1963, Oswald’s address was not a secret to the FBI.  It did not matter if Eric Rogers lived at 4907 Magazine St, because the FBI knew that Oswald resided in that building, had his mail delivered to both the P.O. Box and 4907 Magazine St. They knew this all prior to Eric Rogers’ arrival in mid-July.

Baker is wrong when she says Oswald was paying rent on 4907 for Eric Rogers

Judyth Baker states the following:
And Rogers on the 27th of November told the FBI that he saw Lee Oswald every day. However, by now, Lee is known as a “Lone Nut” and Rogers is now afraid to say he talked to him every day. Lee was paying his rent, but that was successfully covered up by the Warren Commission, which showed lee made rent payment every month for $65 a month to 4907 Magazine. (23)
Unfortunately for Ms. Baker, the owner of 4907-4911, Mrs. Gregory has a different story.  She was interviewed by the FBI within days of the assassination, and she comes forward with the following information.
Mrs. Blaine Gregory, owner of 4905-49-11 Magazine St., New Orleans. (24)
This is the owner of the property.  She very clearly identifies the property at which Oswald resided.  She very clearly identifies the exact dates that he paid rent on the property.  Ms. Gregory points out that Oswald skipped out on her rent for the half a month that he lived at 4905 Magazine St. The manager, Mrs. Gardner of the property corroborates this as well.  Ms. Garner lived at 4911 Magazine street.  Mrs. Garner stated to the FBI in one of her many interviews that she rented 4905 to Oswald on May 9, 1963. (25)
There is no controversy about what apartment Oswald rented.  It was very clear within hours of the investigation. He certainly was NOT paying rent for Eric Rogers on 4907 Magazine Street as Ms. Baker alleges without any documented proof.

Ms. Baker Implies that Rogers or Garner forwarded the mail to the Oswalds in Texas

Ms. Baker makes the following statement:
This one was forwarded to Marina from Texas. Who forwarded it? Mrs. Garner, or the residents at 4907, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Rogers? Or was it the Post Office? Probably not the Post Office, at first: the elderly-looking, rather sloppy “new address” at the top was in the wrong place and it has been rewritten further down in a clearer and different hand. Either Mr/Mrs. Garner or Mr./Mrs. Rogers wrote the handwriting at the top of the envelope to forward this “Communist” letter to the correct address.This is very cooperative behavior, considering that Mrs. Garner complained that Lee had left town owing rent, and Eric Rogers said he ‘never’ spoke at any time to Lee Harvey Oswald.(26)
In making her case that Eric Rogers was living rent and utility free, Ms. Baker wants the readers to believe that it could not be the post office, the most likely  place that mail would be forwarded from.  The reality is that the Post Office was 100% aware of Lee Harvey Oswald, his residence, and where his mail was going.
The FBI utilized postal employees as confidential informants.  Two of these postal workers who delivered mail to the residence had this to say.
Confidential Informant NO T-3 advised on November 29, 1963, that he knows the address 4905 Magazine Street, New Orleans, very well since it is the third stop on his route. He observed a photograph of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and stated that he does not recall seeing him. He further stated that be does not recall ever seeing OSWALDS wife. He said that the mail received by the OSWALDS consisted of newspapers wrapped in brown paper, origin unknown to him, some third class printed material and a very few first-class letters, some of which he recalls came from foreign countries, the identity of which he could not recall. (27)
That postal worker was very accurate about the type of mail that the Oswalds were receiving.
The second informant provided a little more information about the Oswalds, and their mailing address.  That informant states:
Confidential Informant NO T-4 advised on November 29; 1963, that he worked on a route which includes the address 4905 Magazine Street, each Monday. He recalled that a majority of the mail received by LEE HARVEY OSWALD consisted of newspapers wrapped in such a fashion that the name of the paper was not discernible. NO T-4 advised that whereas the mail addressed to OSWALD was always addressed to 4907 Magazine Street, OSWALD actually lived in an apartment which bore the number 4905. He recalled that some of these newspapers were postmarked some place in Texas and occasionally there would be some postage due. (28)
NO T-4 said he observed a photograph of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and recognized him as the occupant of one of the apartments at 4905 Magazine Street. He said that he saw him on about three occasions and never had any conversation with him.  It is entirely plausible that the post office forwarded the mail based in this information.

 Baker claims that Eric Rogers could not afford to pay rent, so Lee had entered into a relationship to give him cover

Baker says this:
And Roger son the 27th of November told the FBI that he saw Lee Oswald every day. However, by now, Lee is known as a “Lone Nut” and Rogers is now afraid to say he talked to him every day. Lee was paying his rent, but that was successfully covered up by the Warren Commission, which showed lee made rent payment every month for $65 a month to 4907 Magazine (29)
Eric Rogers was unemployed.  This was not for any other reason that he was collecting a pension. He was NOT a deadbeat. He had money, and he had no reason for Lee Harvey Oswald to be paying his rent.   He was unemployed at the time because he could only make so much money during the course of the year or his income would be in jeopardy. (30)  There is no evidence that Eric Rogers was anything less than an honest man.  Ms. Baker provides no proof that Oswald paid for both apartments and the utilities a claim for which she has shown no primary source documentation in her book or on Facebook.

Conclusions

This article provides a great deal of primary source documentation about the events around Lee Harvey Oswald and his Magazine St. Address. There is no primary evidence to support Ms. Baker’s claims.  Presented here is a plethora of evidence that contradicts her assertions in her book and in her Facebook postings about Eric Rogers.  Much like her claims about Kerry Thorney when faced with primary evidence her story does not hold up.  My research into Kerry Thornley prompted his biographer to write an article supporting my research.  Unfortunately, Eric Rogers will have no biographer to defend him.  He was not involved in Oswald’s activities and no serious research into this could possibly support any claim to the contrary.  Eric Rogers deserves better, just as much as Kerry Thornley.
Matt Scheufele
If you are interested in my research on Kerry Thornley and his biographer, Adam Gorightly’s response please click here:
Sources
(1) Judyth Vary Baker, January 20, 2015 at 2:09am, Facebook Group JFK Evidence Detection
(2) John E. Hevron, FBI Report, November 25, 1963
(3) Statement Jessie Garner to the FBI, December 6, 1963 , Harold Weisberg Collection
(4) FBI Interview of Mrs. L. N. Rico, 11/27/63, Harold Weisberg Collection
(5) John E. Hevron, FBI Report, November 25, 1963
(6) IBID
(7) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VIII Current Section: Mrs. Myrtle Evans
(8) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XX Current Section: Garner Exhibit Number 1
(9) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXII Current Section: CE 1412 – Letter from FBI to Commission dated August 4, 1964, with attached memoranda dated July 16, 1964, and July 22, …
(10) IBID
(11) IBID
(12)   Tab Title P.O. Box 30061 Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03b_9_P.O. Box 30061 Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 09 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(13)  Tab Title Picketing the Fleet Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03b_11_Picketing the Fleet Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 11 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(14)  Tab Title P.O. Box 30061 Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03b_9_P.O. Box 30061 Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 09 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(15)  Tab Title P.O. Box 30061 Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03b_9_P.O. Box 30061 Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 09 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(16)  Tab Title P.O. Box 30061 Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03b_9_P.O. Box 30061 Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 09 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(17) Commission Document 693 – FBI Letter from Director of 30 Mar 1964 w/ Attached Horton Report, Mary Ferrell Foundation
(18) Report of Special Agent John B. Lee, JR, 11/23/1963, FILE# NO 89-69, JFK Hood EDU
(19) Record Group 272:Records of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1954 – 1965 Series:Records Relating to Key Persons, 11/30/1963 – 09/24/1964 File Unit:Garner, Jesse James, Mrs.,  National Archives
(20) NARA Record Number: 180-10142-10413, National Archives
(21)  Tab Title Reily Coffee Notebook Title New Orleans, April 24, 1963-Sept. 24, 1963 Collection Title Poage Library – JFK – John Armstrong Collection Custodian Baylor University – Poage Legislative Library ID 15poage-arm-15-03a_5_Reily Coffee Resource Type Notebook Box No. 15 Notebook No. 03 Tab No. 05 Rights http://www.baylor.edu/lib/digitization/digitalrights
(22) Warren Commission Hearings Volume XVII Current Section: CE 826 – Copy of an FBI report by Special Agent Kaack, dated October 31, 1963.
(23) Judyth Baker, January 20, 2015, 1:58 AM, Facebook Group JFK Evidence Detection
(24) Record Group 272:Records of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1954 – 1965 Series:Records Relating to Key Persons, 11/30/1963 – 09/24/1964 File Unit:Oswald, Lee Harvey – Post Russian Period – 6 Finances Nov 1963, National Archives
(25) Record Group 272:Records of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1954 – 1965 Series:Records Relating to Key Persons, 11/30/1963 – 09/24/1964 File Unit:Garner, Jesse James, Mrs., National Archives
(26) Judyth Baker, January 20, 2015,  1:58 AM, Facebook Group JFK Evidence Detection
(27)  FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 10, Mary Ferrell Foundation
(28) Commission Document 75 – FBI DeBrueys Report of 02 Dec 1963 re: Oswald/Russia Current Section: B. Residences, Mary Ferrell Foundation
(29) Judyth Baker,  January 20, 1:58 AM, JFK Evidence Detection,
(30) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XI Current Section: Eric Rogers, Mary Ferrell Foundation

Primary Sources Continue to Vindicate Thornley

Well, the “Vindication for Kerry Thornley” post was my most read blog ever! Yet the response to my not-so-simple question remains unanswered:  If Kerry Thornley was in California and Mexico from May 2, 1963 until September 4, 1963, how can he have possibly been seen by Judyth Vary Baker on May 8 and May 28, as well as picking up FPCC leaflets from the Jones Printing Company  on June 4, 1963 as she alleges?  Famed researcher Mary Ferrell, Districy Attorney Jim Garrison, and HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi all concluded that he was in California during this time frame.  It was my hope that there would be some primary evidence to disprove what I have learned in my research.

FIRST BAKER’S ENCOUNTER WITH THORNLEY: MAY 8, 1963.

Ms Baker claims she first met Thornley on May 8, 1963 in New Orleans. (1) Baker indicates in her book that Oswald was surprised to see Thornley there.  Nowhere in Ms. Baker’s account does Thornley mention the book he had written about Oswald. This is strange considering Thornley had modeled the character in his book “Idle Warriors”  after Oswald whom he had not seen since serving with him in 1959.  The encounter includes Oswald taking out his minox spy camera, teaching Thornley to use it, and having him take a picture of the couple.  Lee gets Thornley’s address and moves on. (2)

SECOND BAKER’S ENCOUNTER WITH THORNLEY: MAY 28, 1963. THORNLEY AND MARINA HAD AN AFFAIR?

On May 28, 1963, Baker and Oswald witness Thornley going up the steps of the porch to his apartment at 4905 Magazine St. Lee becomes enraged because he suspects Thornley of having an affair with Marina. (3)  There is no explaining how in twenty days, Thornley goes from not knowing Lee was back from the Soviet Union, to having an affair with an already pregnant Marina who had a small child at home.

Upon reading the endnotes for these claims in Baker’s book, Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, we come across the following statement:

We believed Marina and Kerry Thornley were having an affair, though Thornley always denied it. (4)

Ms. Baker now says that she never claimed that Thornley and Marina were having an affair!  This is a complete contradiction to what she stated in the endnotes of her book.   Her response below is true, that in the body of the book where she writes about the encounter she does not state that. However, her own endnotes very clearly state it.

JFK Evidence Detection, January 21, 2015: 1:28 AM EST. (5)

Upon reading this, it becomes obvious that her response to my blog Ms. Baker honed in on my statements about the affair. She claims in this response that she did “NOT” claim that Thornley had an affair with Marina.  This is absolutely false as I demonstrated above!  Her book’s footnote clearly states “We believed Marina and Kerry Thornley were having an affair, though Thornley always denied it.”  There is no explanation for her response to my blog, other than a response on January 23, 2015 that states, “Lee and I believed Thornley was messing with Marina, though he denied it.” (6) Remarkably, Ms. Baker in the span of 48 hours, went from stating she did not make the claim, to changing her story to they were messing around.

GARRISON ADMITS THAT THORNLEY WAS NOT IN NEW ORLEANS  DESPITE OF HAROLD WEISBERG’S EFFORTS

Ms. Baker is correct, my article does not give credibility to Harold Weisberg.  As addressed in “Vindication for Kerry Thornley“, Weisberg wanted to prove Thornley was involved to the point that he had doctored photographs of Thornley produced to make him look like Oswald.  Jim Garrison, who had used Weisberg to investigate did not find Weisberg credible because he did not prosecute Thornley for perjury for any reason other than Thornley met with Oswald in September, not in May or June as Ms. Baker would have her readers believe.

Weisberg had this to say in 1994 about his chase to prove Thornley was in New Orleans, “In my New Orleans investigations, I got a very, very good reason for looking into Kerry Thornley.  He exaggerated his associations with Oswald.” (7)  So in 1994, it appears that even Weisberg admits Thornley spun stories.  The spreading of these stories by Thornley served a purpose, to stir interest in his book about Oswald.  Unfortunately for Thornley, this led him to perjury charges.

THORNLEY DID NOT PICK UP THE FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE PAMPHLETS AT JONES PUBLISHING COMPANY AS BAKER CLAIMS

It is absolutely true that Douglas Jones (8) and Myra Silvers (9) employees of the Jones Publishing Company, never identified Oswald as the person who picked up the Fair Play for Cuba Committee pamphlets.  Myra Silver first saw the man who called himself “Osborne” on May 29 when he placed the order.  She saw him again on May 31 when he paid for the order.  Ms. Silver saw “Osborne” once more on June 4 when he picked up the order.

Ms. Baker was asked a very poignant question in her response to the “Vindication for Kerry Thornley” blog.  “Did Lee Harvey Oswald order the pamphlets or did Kerry Thornley?”

Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 23, 2015 3:49 AM (10)

This cannot be since Myra Silver has been absolutely clear in all of her statements.  A man calling himself Osborne, ordered, paid for, and picked up the pamphlets.  The man who ordered the pamphlets is the same who picked them up.

When Garrison was following up on the Jones Printing Company leads in 1967, he sent investigator Frank Meloche, Meloche who reports the same story that Silver stated to the FBI on December 4, 1963.  It was the same man all along, but his report contains a new detail that was not in the FBI report.  Baker’s claim that it was Thornley completely falls apart because Silver told Meloche that the person named Osborne, worked at the Riley Coffee Company. (11)  Kerry Thornley did not work at the Riley Coffee Company, but Lee Harvey Oswald certainly DID!

APPEARANCES OF OSWALD IN THREE OTHER PRINTING COMPANIES

What the casual reader of Ms. Baker’s book may not know is that there were other printing companies that Oswald/Osborne used.  John I. Anderson of the Mailer’s Service Company identified Oswald as the person who came in and placed an order to print an application form for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.  Anderson identified Oswald as the person who placed the order and picked it up.  Anderson stated that Oswald used the name “OSBORNE”.  This was at the same time the name was used at the Jones Printing Company.  “Osborne” ordered on June 3, 1963, and picked up the order of applications on June 5th. He returned and placed another order later in the summer. (12) Mr. Joseph Johnson, employee of the James W. Trout Printing, reported that Oswald had attempted to order 300 pamphlets from his company.  The man had not given a name, but he was able to identify Oswald from his photographs in the paper. (13)

So we have three printing companies, at one where Silver identifies the man as working at the Riley Coffee Company using the name Osborne. At the second one, Anderson identifies the man as Oswald and using the name Osborne.  Finally at the third one, Johnson identifies the man as being Oswald. Three printing shops, all with similar stories.  Baker is wrong, Thornley was not there based on any of these witness statements. Looking at the statements of these witnesses there is more than enough evidence that it was Oswald.

CLAIMS WITHOUT CITATIONS: NEIGHBORS SAW THORNLEY AND MARINA TOGETHER ACCORDING TO THE WARREN COMMISSION AND THE GARRISON INVESTIGATION

In our discussion, it was requested of Ms. Baker to please provide a link to the neighbors’ testimonies that support the endnote below.  To date, Baker has not provided any references to her citations of having witnesses to Thornley being seen around town with Oswald.  Her final sentence that the Garrison investigation confirmed the same point is inaccurate as well. Garrison came to the conclusion that Thornley left town at the end of April 1963(14),and had contact with Oswald only in September 1963 when he returned.(15)

In our dialogue, I asked Ms. Baker for her sources to the following statement in her book:

We believed that Marina and Kerry Thornley were having an affair, though Thornley always denied it.  His denials were so eloquent that Lee gave him a second chance and arranged for Thornley to pick up the pro-Castro flyers Lee had printed.  All was well for another week, until the manager said she saw Thornley with Marina.  Lee then told Thornley to leave town, or make an appointment with a plastic surgeon.  Neighbors testified to the Warren Commission that Thornley was there so often they were unsure as to which one (Lee or Thornley) was really Marina’s husband.  Jim Garrison’s investigation confirmed the same point(16)

As of today, Ms. Baker has not produced any evidence that the manager saw anyone with Marina Oswald.  There has been no evidence linked to the Warren Commission investigation indicating that any neighbor saw Thornley enter the Oswald residence.  In addition, Jim Garrison never came to the conclusion that Ms. Baker states above.  Quite the contrary, he investigated leads, and found that the only credible lead was in September of 1963.

What Ms. Baker does in her response is to quote Joan Mellen’s book, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History,  pages 275-276,  to make her case.  This is a red flag, since Ms. Baker makes her own claims in her own book and instead of providing primary sources she uses another author’s work to respond to my questions.

Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 22, 2015; 10:21 PM.(17)

Above, Ms Baker is totally wrong by stating that there is a memo reporting that Mr. Schwegman had seen Thornley at Oswald’s residence. The Schwegmann Memorandum, which is stored on microfilm at the New Orleans Public Library, does not say this. That’s the danger of using another author’s work  to make your case without looking at the source.  This memo is a letter from John Schwegmann Jr., owner of the Win-Dixie grocery store.  His wrote Jim Garrison to inform him that one of his employees, Myrtle LaSavia, claimed to have seen Thornley with Mrs. Oswald at the Oswald residence. (18) It was NOT a statement by Mr. Schwegman claiming to have seen anything or anyone at the Oswald’s residence, as Ms. Baker would have us believe.  It was just him reporting what LaSavia had told him.

The next piece of Mellen’s research that Baker uses to support her claims is Mr. Sciambra’s memorandum to Mr. Garrison regarding his interviews with Mr. Tony LaSavia and Myrtle LaSavia.  Those two memos are not available online.  I have placed a FOIA request from the National Archives, and I will update my blog when they arrive.  At this time, I suspect that these two documents give nothing more than neighborhood gossip on the part of the LaSavias, as Garrison did not use them as potential witnesses against Thornley.

Garrison’s own investigators did not list the LaSavia’s as living anywhere near the Oswald’s residence.  They listed the residents and the visitors to 4905 Magazine Street, but were unable to prove that, contrarily to Ms. Baker’s book, Thornley was seen at the Oswald’s house or with Marina Oswald. (19) (20) (21) In looking through these documents from March 4, 1968, it does not appear that Garrison found what the LaSavia’s reported to be credible, since they are not on the March 4 list as important by his investigator.

DORIS DOWELL TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT

Baker makes the following statement directed at me implying that witnesses are being rejected by me.

Judy Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 25, 2015; 7:38 AM EST (22)

Ms. Baker once again is quoting a document that she has taken out of context.  Doris Dowell was Kerry Thorley’s boss when he moved to Arlington, VA in December of 1963.  Thornley did not know Mrs. Dowell prior to December 1963. Ms. Baker is misrepresenting the memorandum that was written by Scambria.  The memo, when properly quoted, states the following:

MRS. DOWELL said that about one month before THORNLEY left for California he told her that he had been in the Marine Corps with LEE HARVEY OSWALD, and also that they were buddies in New Orleans. He said that he had met OSWALD again in New Orleans, and that they had met at a place in the French Quarter that she would probably not like. She later on said that THORNLEY told her about a place in the French Quarter that he used to constantly go to named the Bourbon House and he described the Bourbon House as a place that she would not like because of the type of people who went there. When she told THORNLEY that she would not brag about knowing LEE HARVEY OSWALD, THORNLEY became very angry and told her that LEE HARVEY OSWALD was misunderstood by everyone, and that nobody really knew him. She said that he insisted that LEE HARVEY OSWALD was not a Communist. (23)

Thornley left Virginia to go to California, which gives the reader the time frame that he made the statement to Ms. Dowell. The memo, when read in its proper context, makes total sense. It does not imply that he was making a statement about knowing Oswald in May of 1963, as Ms. Baker would like us to believe.  So in answer to Ms. Baker’s question, I do value Mrs. Dowell as a witness when she is not taken out of context.  Garrison read the memo correctly as well, as he realized that her complete statement supported his other witness statements about the Bourbon House and an alleged September meeting. (24)

Ms. Baker’s book was published in 2010, and it is amazing to me that despite my repeated requests for primary source documentation to her claims in her book, she turns to Mellen.  Mellen’s book was not published until 2014, and at no time does the author use Judyth Vary Baker as a witness to Thornley being in New Orleans with Oswald in her book. (25)

To date, there is still no documentation by Ms. Baker to substantiate her claims that in the Warren Commission Report the neighbors stated that they saw Thornley at the Oswald’s apartment.  She has provided no evidence that Garrison supported this, when indeed it has been proven that he did not find any credible evidence other than September 1963.  We are left wondering why it is so difficult for Ms. Baker to actually produce the evidence to support her endnote…

Matt “The Hitman” Scheufele

(1) Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, Trine Day, 2010

(2) IBID

(3) IBID

(4) IBID

(5) Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 21, 2015: 1:28 AM EST.

(6) Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 23, 2015: 3:49 AM EST.

(7) Harold Weisberg letter to David Saulsbury, August 31, 1994,The Harold  Wesiberg Collection

(8) FBI Report, Douglas Jones, December 3, 1963

(9) FBI Report, Myra Silver, December 4, 1963

(10) Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 23, 2015 3:49 AM

(11) Memorandum Frank Roche to Jim Garrison, January 17, 1967 Collection JFKCO:John F. Kennedy Assassination    Records Collection, 12/28/1992 – 09/30/1998 Series:Papers of Jim Garrison, 1965 – 1992 File Unit:Oswald-Lakefront

(12)Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXII Current Section: CE 1411 – FBI report dated December 3, 1963, of interview of John I. Anderson at New Orleans, La.

(13) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XXV Current Section: CE 2546 – FBI report dated November 25, 1963, of interview of Charles Hall Steele, Jr., at New Orleans, La. (CD 75, p. 267).

(14) Garrison Manuscript 1984, Source: Collection JFKCO:John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, 12/28/1992 – 09/30/1998 Series:Papers of Jim Garrison, 1965 – 1992 File Unit:[Garrison-Miscellaneous Reports and Memoranda re: Assassination Investigation]

(15) Press Release New Orleans District Attorney, Perjury Thornley, The Harold Weisberg Collection

(16) Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, Trine Day, 2010

(17) Judyth Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 22, 2015; 10:21 PM.

(18) Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and the Garrison Investigation, Kindle Edition, Adam Gorightly, Feral House 2014, 1530 of 4180

(19) Collection JFKCO: John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, 12/28/1992-09/30/1998 Series: Papers of Jim Garrison, 1965-1992 File Unit: Misfiled-original location unknown by researcher

(20) Collection JFKCO: John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, 12/28/1992-09/30/1998 Series: Papers of Jim Garrison, 1965-1992 File Unit: Misfiled-original location unknown by researcher

(21) Collection JFKCO: John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, 12/28/1992-09/30/1998 Series: Papers of Jim Garrison, 1965-1992 File Unit: Misfiled-original location unknown by researcher

(22) Judy Baker, Facebook, JFK Evidence Detection, January 25, 2015; 7:38 AM EST

(23) Memorandum, Scambria to Garrison, April 2, 1968, The Wesiberg Collection

(24) Memorandum, Scambria to Garrison, April 2, 1968, The Wesiberg Collection

(25) A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History,  Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 2013)