Friday, March 31, 2017

James Norwood on Harvey & Lee

James Norwood, a Ph.D. at Berkeley, has written an article promoting the John Armstrong “Harvey & Lee” theory.

As a credentialed academic, Mr. Norwood should know better. This article will discuss some of his assertions, even though most have been previously refuted.

Jim Wilcott was a CIA finance officer in the 1950s, who testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s of his knowledge of the funding of the so-called Oswald Project.

The HSCA conducted a full investigation into the matter and found his allegations were “not worthy of belief.” The document shown represents notes made by an unknown person. If Wilcott made the notes, it should be said that he did not testify under oath to most of what is asserted there. Wilcott, who was an embittered former employee who became a left-wing extremist, is discussed here:

For the capital crime of the assassination of a president, the typical investigative and judicial machinery in America was suspended and replaced by a state-sponsored inquest.

This is a silly argument that I see made again and again. LHO’s unfortunate murder by Ruby, which guaranteed he would not be tried since you can’t put a dead man on trial, was the reason the commission was created. Nothing was “suspended”, and a professor should know better.

"there are details in Mr. Ely's memoranda which will require material alteration and, in some instances, omission."

Simply a case of unfortunate language that allows the H&L people to run wild. Jenner just meant that he didn’t agree with everything Ely had come up with. In other words, some things would have to be changed and some taken out.

Imagine if the FBI had given the Warren Commission (WC) Oswald's Stripling JHS records from 1954 to compare with his Beauregard JHS file

The only evidence of Stripling records that show LHO’s attendance there is the recollections of Frank Kudlaty, who “remembered” the FBI coming to confiscate the records after Armstrong influenced him with loaded questions. There is also evidence that Armstrong mentor Jack White was a friend of Kudlaty and this no doubt clouded his judgement. Kudlaty apparently didn’t think anything sinister was going before speaking to Armstrong since he never reported the alleged “confiscation.” Kudlaty told Armstrong "I went into the school and located Oswald's records. In fact I found both Lee Harvey and Robert Oswald's records for Stripling." What probably happened is that Kudlaty found Robert's records and thought he also saw LHO's records. Kudlaty was recalling events from over 30 years before when talking to Armstrong.

Robert thought LHO attended Stripling in 1951-52. From his testimony:

Mr. JENNER. And, at that time, I take it your brother Lee was attending Arlington Heights High School? That would be 1952?

Mr. OSWALD. Just a minute, please.

In 1952 Lee was 13 years old. He would be attending W. C. Stripling Junior High School then.

Mr. JENNER. I see. For the school year 1951-52?

Mr. OSWALD. Yes, sir. Junior high school there was from the seventh to the ninth grades. And as soon as he was through with his sixth year, he started attending W. C. Stripling Junior High School.

But Robert was mistaken. LHO attended Ridgelea Elementary as a sixth grader in the 1951 to 1952 school year. He WOULD HAVE attended Stripling if they had stayed in Fort Worth but LHO and Marguerite moved to NYC in August, 1952 so that never happened. When Robert was at Stripling in 1948-49 (the last year he was there) LHO was in third grade and he could not have “remembered” him at Stripling since he was too young to be in Junior High which, as Robert pointed out, was from seventh to ninth grades. Robert was simply wrong.

The careful student of this case will recognize that there was no plausible reason for Marguerite to move from New Orleans to New York

Marguerite stated more than once that her reason for the move was to be near John Pic.

Imagine if the FBI had given the WC HARVEY Oswald and LEE Oswald's Beauregard School records to compare for the 8th grade in the Spring of 1954

Greg Parker discusses the Beauregard school records here:

Imagine if the FBI had given the WC Tarrant County tax records which showed Marguerite Ekdahl's purchase of 101 San Saba on July 7, 1947

First, to my knowledge, Armstrong has refused to provide the records, so it is hypocritical of him to do the same thing he frequently accuses others of. And Armstrong has shown in the past that he cannot necessarily be trusted to provide accurate information since his book is riddled with missing and inaccurate citations and outright misrepresentations. But assuming Armstrong is honestly reporting what these records show, the fact that Marguerite bought a house at this time does not indicate 2 Oswalds. One explanation is that the alleged purchase occurred after several arguments with her husband Edwin Ekdahl and she may have bought the house as a backup plan of sorts and then rented it after she and Ekdahl reconciled.

Greg Parker discusses 101 San Saba here:

Imagine if the WC had interviewed Palmer McBride, Walter Gehrke, members of the New Orleans Amateur Astronomy Association re: meeting Oswald in New Orleans in 1957-58.

Palmer McBride was interviewed by the FBI, nobody tried to avoid him. If he had testified before the WC, he would have been presented with the documentation that showed he was wrong. This is exactly what happened when David Lifton interviewed him pre-Armstrong. All of this is discussed in detail here:

Imagine if the WC had subpoenaed employment records of the Pfisterer Dental Lab which showed HARVEY Oswald's dates of employment in 1957-58.

We can imagine that, but it serves no purpose since LHO’s tax documents ARE available and show no such thing-as discussed at the link above. When the documents were released, Armstrong predictably said they were forgeries.

Imagine if the WC had brought the Marguerite Oswald impostor face to face with Edward John Pic (husband of Marguerite Claverie) during his WC testimony. Imagine if the WC had brought the Marguerite Oswald impostor face to face with Julian and Myrtle Evans during their WC testimony.

This is one of the weakest arguments made by H&L theorists and one that can be turned around and used as evidence of just the opposite. Unless Pic and the Evans’ had no access to TV or magazines or newspapers, they did come “face to face” with his Marguerite in a manner of speaking. And Pic or the Evans’ or any number of individuals who knew the “real” Marguerite could have come forward at any time to say the Marguerite they saw was not the Marguerite they knew. In fact, common sense tells us they would have, but no one ever did.

Imagine if the WC had properly examined the Marine Corps Unit diaries (HARVEY in Taiwan) and LEE Oswald's numerous hospital visits in September, 1958.

LHO was in Taiwan. The HSCA did much good work, but was wrong when they said he wasn’t. Some of the discrepancies in the record can be explained by the fact that LHO’s medical records probably moved with him. However, not all discrepancies are explainable beyond simple mistakes.

Imagine if the WC asked Ed Voebel about his friendship with HARVEY Oswald in the spring of 1954, and later with LEE Oswald in the 1954-55 school year.

Armstrong thinks Voebel knew both “Harvey” and “Lee” but he never indicated he knew 2 Oswalds.

Imagine if the WC asked New Orleans Realty for the 1954-56 rental records for 126 Exchange Place, where both Oswald families had lived.

The Oswald’s time at 126 Exchange is well documented. There is no evidence of any funny business other than mistaken witnesses.

Imagine if the WC questioned Mrs. Logan Magruder or Mrs. Oris Duane about their contact with Marguerite Oswald in 1960-61 in New Orleans.

They didn’t need to question them, they were on record. If the WC was aware that people such as Armstrong would someday be pushing a 2 Oswald theory, they might have shown the women documentary evidence that would have proved they were simply mistaken about when they saw Marguerite. But few people could imagine such nonsense would persist into the 21st century. The HSCA sought to refute double Oswald allegations and some of their work applies to Armstrong:

Imagine if the WC asked for records from the Hotel Senator (New Orleans) in 1957 and 1958 for "Marguerite Oswald."

The Hotel Senator theory is again based on the mistaken recollections of McBride.

Imagine if the WC, or John Hart Ely, had seen the photograph of Marguerite Claverie Oswald at Paul's Shoe Store at Christmas, 1957.

They would have seen a woman who looked just like the woman in other photos from about the same time except she often wore glasses.

Imagine if the WC took testimony from Frank Kudlaty, Fran Schubert, Doug Gann, Jackie/Bobby Pitts regarding LHO at Stripling in 1954.

In that case, they would have been shown evidence that their respective recollections were in error and they would have promptly recanted as McBride did when confronted by Lifton. McBride quickly recanted even though, of course, he was not under oath when he spoke to Lifton.

Imagine if the WC asked the Texas Dept of Public Safety for a copy of LHO's drivers license.

That would have been a waste of time since LHO had only a learner’s permit.

On the day after Christmas, 1942, Marguerite Oswald chose to place her three-year-old son Lee in an orphanage. Inexplicably, in the years immediately following World War II, Marguerite had sufficient discretionary income to purchase properties.

Armstrong wants to believe that Marguerite was getting CIA money and that was the only way she could survive. Marguerite chose to place LHO in an orphanage to save money and for her own convenience. For an analysis of Marguerite's finances see: Marguerite's Finances

On November 15, 1951, Marguerite Oswald purchased a small home at 4833 Birchman in Fort Worth ...  Was the purchase of the new home, which was located within walking distance of Stripling Junior High, intended to once again create confusion in changing schools and school districts?  It turned out that Marguerite never occupied the Birchman home, packing up and moving to New York in 1952.  If anything is clear about the purchase of Birchman, it is that this was not intended as an investment property for Marguerite.  The tiny, 664-square-foot home was purchased for $4,190, a staggering sum for such a small home in 1951.

Norwood fails to mention that someone else paid this "staggering sum." That would be Robert Powell who bought the house from Marguerite in April, 1953 assuming the $4190 mortgage and paying her $1250 down.

But it turns out that there are too many instances when the occupancy of 2220 Thomas Place by a woman named Marguerite Oswald conflicts with documented residences of Marguerite Oswald at other locations.

Marguerite lived at this address at the time of the assassination. All of Armstrong’s evidence that she lived there previously is based on eyewitness statements, many of which were given 30 plus years after the fact. Armstrong thinks witnesses trump documentary evidence but they don’t.

The best way to study Harvey and Lee is to read the book in conjunction with documents from the Warren Commission's twenty-six volumes of hearings and exhibits. By examining entire documents and testimony from the Warren Commission, the diligent reader will see John Armstrong's findings corroborated by primary source materials.

The best way to study H&L is with the knowledge of the scientific evidence that shows the premise is false:

Professional investigators such as police, FBI etc., as well as attorneys and private investigators know that during any investigation there will be conflicting evidence found. John Armstrong and Professor Norwood want you to think that every discrepancy is evidence of two separate individuals. But who would have to be involved for such a plot to exist?

Considering the mountain of documentary evidence in this case it is not surprising to find discrepancies. Especially when Marguerite lived in more than 50 different places by the time of the assassination:

Researchers from both sides of the JFK debate such as myself, Greg Parker, Jeremy Bojczuk and David Lifton have spoken out against this nonsensical concept and provided much research that refutes it (see “Resources” section). While every discrepancy cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all, most of the Armstrong assertions have been disproven and scientific evidence has shown the theory to be without merit.


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