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
Advertisements

One thought on “Vindication for Eric Rogers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s