A CTKA STORY?
"A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent." William Blake
Just prior to March 13, 1994 some offices of the print media received a press release. The communication, on the letterhead of an organization called Citizens For Truth About The Kennedy Assassination (CTKA), detailed the discovery of an important "Dallas Police Report [that] links Ruby, Oswald 44 days prior to the JFK assassination." The article consisted of four parts. There were three pages penned by CTKA Director Jim Marrs detailing the discovery, a copy of the Dallas Police Department general offense report, a "legible interpretation of the report" and finally three pages of additional information and comment by Marrs' fellow CTKA Director, Jack White.
Jim Marrs' summary is rather straightforward. In February of 1994, John Armstrong and Jack White were scrutinising the papers of Lee Oswald's mother, Marguerite. The documents are housed at the Burnett Library of Texas Christian University located in Fort Worth. It was there that John Armstrong discovered the police report. What the document purports to be is best summarized by the press release.
"According to the report, Dallas police responded to a complaint by Mary E. Bledsoe, who said two men were fighting in her rooming house at 621 N. Marsalis. After police arrived, two men were taken into custody for disturbing the peace. According to the report, the pair were J.R. Rubenstein of 1203 1/2 Commerce and Alek Hidel of the Marsalis address. Police reported that nothing was missing -- only damage to a bed, chair and TV set."
The article continues by furnishing links between what is contained in the police report and what Marrs and other researchers have discovered over the years. Correctly, Marrs explains the Warren Commission found Oswald did rent a room from Mary Bledsoe at 621 N. Marsalis from October 7 to October 14, 1963, that she wanted Oswald to leave the rooming house because she didn't like him and that she later testified to the Warren Commission she saw Oswald board a bus on which she was a passenger shortly after the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963.
The release continued . . . "Both Armstrong and White believe the document to be genuine, but are puzzled by its origin and inclusion in Mrs. Oswald's files. There are neither indications that Marguerite could use a typewriter nor had the proper police forms, knowledge and terminology to fabricate a hoax. If anyone fabricated it, the motive is not clear, for it previously has never been made public."
"'It seems to be a document that has been deliberately suppressed by the Dallas police,' says White"
I was puzzled. It appeared that both researchers, with White to the greater extent because of his inclusion of additional information and comments, were providing Marrs with conclusions based upon pure speculation. Did they try to discover the origin of the document? How did they determine Marguerite was or wasn't involved? Had they discussed possible motives for fabrication? How did they confirm the document was never made public before? If only a superficial investigation was conducted why was White so sure the Dallas police "suppressed" the report?
My interest and curiosity peaked I decided to look a little deeper. My first step was a call to Dallas researcher Mary Ferrell. Had she ever heard of this report I asked? "Oh my heaven, yes" was Mary's immediate reply. She continued by explaining that "back before the Garrison investigation the report had circulated and everyone considered it a hoax." Mary was sure she received her copy from a now deceased preacher, Al Chapman. Fortunately Al Chapman's son Randy still lives in the area so I was able to contact him on March 16, 1994. Randy Chapman proved to be a knowledgeable source of information about the Dallas Police Department report as well as the Kennedy assassination. On occasion, Randy Chapman assisted the late Michael Eddowes with local research, this several years after Eddowes published The Oswald File. Randy indicated his father was a recipient of the report, more than likely prior to 1967. Randy believes Al got the record from Dallas deputy sheriff Buddy Walters. However, during previous calls to Mary, she told me she believed Al told her he got it from either J.C. Day or a "booking officer" named Currie. I do know the Dallas Police employed a D. Currie in 1963. Currie is listed as the recipient of the general offense report on the April 10, 1963 attempt on the life of General Edwin Walker. At any rate, Randy informed me his father was very friendly with Marguerite Oswald and that Al did give her a copy of the report. While not completely resolving how the document came to be in the Texas Christian University archive it appears to absolve Marguerite Oswald of responsibility for the document's fabrication, if indeed it was fabricated.
The next challenge was to ascertain if the general offense report could be considered a spurious document. I concluded that if the record was a hoax or practical joke the author might just have difficulty with the details. The more mistakes the more items at variance with comparable police reports, the more likely the document was a hoax. The first check was to determine if the report was in proper format, that is a bona fide police report. I used two sources. The first is found in Warren Commission volume 24H39. There I found Commission Exhibit 2001. CE2001 is a clear copy of the general offense report of Oswald's April 10, 1963 alleged attempt on the life of General Walker. It is identical to the "Bledsoe report." The second is the general offense report on the Connally shooting. A copy can be found in The JFK Assassination File, Jessie Curry, 1969, American Poster and Printing Company, Dallas, TX., pg. 83. That form OP-GF-362 appears to be a updated version of the one Armstrong discovered in the Marguerite Oswald collection.
Differences, if they can be considered major, are (1) Each report heading is numbered in the Connally report but not in Bledsoe. (2) At the base of the Connally report are the words Records Bureau while in Bledsoe it reads Investigating Bureau. Let's start with the line that lists Division, Platoon, etc. In Mr. White's summary (His item 4) he references a line in the "legible interpretation" of the general offense report. White indicates the line reads "Division:" 13 "Platoon:" (32?) "S. car" (10?.). Clarifying the meaning of "S. car," White claims "The DPD squad car answering the call may possibly be Car 10, which is the same number Tippit drove on November 22 . . . an interesting coincidence?"
Mr. White is correct in that Car 10 was the vehicle assigned and driven by Officer J.D. Tippit on November 22, 1963. Tippit is alleged to have been shot and killed by a fleeing Oswald while patrolling the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Where White falls very short of the mark is his claim that the Item after platoon reads "S. car." It does not. It actually says BEAT. This box contains the beat number of the patrol. In the Walker report the Division is D, Platoon 3 and Beat 27. White could have done some additional research by obtaining, as I did, legible copies of similar documents or by using common sense. In 1963, as today, the Dallas Police Department does not rely solely on squad cars but motorcycles and foot patrols as well. Therefore it is the beat number which is significant. Jack White has at best misinterpreted or at worst intentionally changed the language so as to sensationalize the event. He not only modified the heading of the box but asked a rhetorical question based upon his own invented interpretation of that heading, attempting to link Tippit's car 10 to the Bledsoe scenario.
I formed the opinion these "researchers" had done very little research. In fact even the headline "Dallas Police Report links Ruby, Oswald 44 days prior to the JFK assassination" is wrong. Count it out yourself, from October 11, 1963 to November 22, 1963 is forty-two days.
Continuing to look for errors, I reviewed the record with respect to the Details of Offense, Damage Done and Suspects. ______________________________
Details of Offense Mrs. Bledsoe, owner of rooming house, reported a scuffle going on in one of her rooms, one she just rented earlier in the week to a w/m O.H. Lee. After the arrest one of the suspects below Mrs. Bledsoe identified one of the men as her roomer, Mr. Lee. His name was actually Alek Hidel. When confronted with his identification cards and mail addressed to him, Mrs. Bledsoe said she was not sure if he was the roomer or not. When brought into police headquarters, the complainant again changed her story concerning how the fight began and so all suspects were released pending further investigation.
Damage Done (Breakage?) to bed, chairs, TV set Suspects Name -Address J.R. Rubenstein 1203 1/2 Commerce Alek Hidel 621 N. Marsalis
Two policemen respond to a call that two men have been in a scuffle in one of Mary Bledsoe's rooms. The officers arrest Hidel and Rubenstein for "disturbing the peace" and ask both parties for identification. Bledsoe's roomer, Mr. Lee provides identification cards and mail showing he is in reality Alek Hidel. If the report is accurate then Oswald had TWO sets of identification. One as Hidell (two l's) and one as Hidel (one 1). He also had to receive mail under both names and have only mail addressed to Hidel (one l) in his possession at the time of his "arrest."Additionally, all papers related to Hidel (one 1) had to be destroyed prior to Oswald's arrest for the Kennedy/Tippit assassination for these documents were never reported as found.
Poor Mary Bledsoe. These two men have destroyed her property, yet both are released by the police. Why? Because "When confronted with his (Hidel's) identification cards and mail addressed to him" she was no longer sure if Oswald was the roomer. In a bizarre twist, it was Bledsoe rather than Hidel or Rubenstein who was required to explain how the fight began and when she couldn't relate events, when she "changed her story" the scoundrels were freed! Since when is the victim "confronted" with the perpetrator's identification? Since when does the victim have to know the complete and definitive details of a crime?
Next we review: --------------------------------------------------
Date of Week: Thursday Date of Occurrence: 10-11-63 Time of Day 11:30 PM Date Reported: 10-11-63 Time Reported 11:40 PM Typed: 12:20 AM
The officer who typed the report is in need of a calendar. Here it is very early on a Saturday morning, October 12, 1963 and the typist can't remember yesterday was a Friday not a Thursday. As to suspects, if Alek Hidel is really Oswald then his the age on his "fake" identification is incorrect. Oswald's twenty fourth birthday occurred on October 18, 1963. Therefore the was twenty three at the time of his "arrest." There is also trouble with Rubenstein's identification. Ruby was born in 1911 and celebrated his birthday on March 23. Therefore he was 52 not 59 years of age. Jim Marrs points out Rubenstein's address of 1203 1/2 Commerce is "a block away" from Ruby's Carousel Club. True but it may also be the mailing address of the old Southland Hotel. The 1963 Dallas city directory lists 1203 E. Commerce as the address of the Southland Hotel Barber Shop. The real question is why would Ruby have an apartment on South Ewing, a place to sleep at the Carousel Club and an additional apartment just a block away from the Carousel Club?
The report never mentions other patrols being called to assist yet all parties were taken down to headquarters. Can you picture the squad car and its six occupants -- Hargis, White, Bledsoe, Hidel, Rubenstein and Grant scrunched into the vehicle as it careens toward the station!
Now we come to the witness H.H. Grant. Here I will cite two paragraphs from Jack White's monograph item #10. "An important witness to the altercation is listed as H.H. Grant, a 32 year old Dallas resident, though no information is given regarding what part he played in the incident. Ruby's sister is Eva Grant, and this man is about the right age to be her son." A few sentences later in complete contradiction of his earlier remark we find "Jack White searched all known literature on Ruby in his collection and could not determine whether Ruby's sister Eva Grant had a son or other relative named H.H. Grant."
We will look at some of this "information" point by point.
". . . a 32 year old Dallas resident, . . ."
How does one know if Grant was a Dallas resident? I discovered 1417 N. Garrett Avenue (There is no Garrett street in Dallas as a check of the 1963 City Directory revealed) was the address of the Cantimar Apartments. Checking listings for 1963, 1964 and 1965 also found there was a significant turnover in tenants. I surmised it might be a location used by transients similar to the Southland Hotel. Since I found no listing for H.H. Grant I could not conclude, as White did, that Grant was a resident of Dallas.
". . . though no information is given regarding what part he played in the incident."
The report clearly indicates Grant's part was that of a witness to an altercation.
"Jack White searched all known literature on Ruby in his collection and could not determine whether Ruby's sister Eva Grant had a son or other relative named H.H. Grant."
There are many references to Eva Grant's son in the Warren Volumes, including her testimony (14H441) and a five page FBI interview with her son, Ronald Dennis Magid, conducted November 29, 1963 (CE1237). Magid is also named as Eva Grant's son in Alan Adelson's The Ruby Oswald Affair on page 102.
I will continue by comparing White's "facts" as detailed in his additional commentary to the historical record.
Item 3 - " . . . Bertha Cheek, the owner of 1026 N. Beckley, was a former business associate of Jack Ruby . . . ."
The 1963 City Directory lists the owner of 1026 N. Beckley as Arthur C. Johnson. Warren Commission 10H292 details that Mrs. Arthur Carl (Gladys J.) Johnson is the actual owner of 1026 N. Beckley. There is no evidence that Bertha Cheek was a business associate of Jack Ruby only that Ruby tried but failed to go into business with her. Verification can be found at 19H329, Cheek exhibit 5354.
Item 5 - (10-11-63) is the day before Bledsoe without good explanation suddenly evicted him. The eviction probably was a result of this fight, rather than the lame excuse she offered tho Commission ("she didn't like him").
Bledsoe did evict Oswald on Saturday, October 12, 1963. When she asked Oswald to leave he indicated he would go immediately, but since he was going to do so he wanted her to return two dollars which he now considered due for overpayment of rent. Bledsoe claimed she didn't have the money. Although she never did reimburse him, she allowed him to return on Monday, October 14 to pick up the remainder of his belongings. Since the report shows Hidel and Rubenstein did fifty dollars in damage it would seem Bledsoe by not paying Oswald reduced her loss to forty-eight dollars. Logically, if the arrest report is factual, I would think she would have kept his possessions until he paid her for some or all of the items destroyed. One reason "she didn't like him" was because she heard him speak in a foreign language. It's not difficult for someone like Bledsoe to distrust those who speak in a foreign tongue. The United States was embroiled in a "Cold War" with Russia. Many Dallas residents of the period were virulent anti-Communists. In her testimony Bledsoe indicated she didn't speak any foreign language and implied she didn't feel comfortable with foreigners.
There is more in item 5 when we find Bledsoe "was one of the only citizen witnesses who had a personal attorney present."
Not true. Reviewing the Warren volumes, Fort Worth researcher Gary Mack discovered the names of at least twenty citizen witnesses, including Eva Grant, who had attorneys.
Item 6 -Ruby's "nickname was 'Sparky' because of his quick temper . . ."
On page 382 of Crossfire, Jim Marrs reports "According to his sister, Eva Grant, the name came from Ruby's swaggering walk, which reminded some people of the wobbling gait of the Sunday comic strip character Barney Google's horse, 'Sparkplug.' Others believed 'Sparky' was a tag reflecting Ruby's voluble temperament." The reader must decide the better source, Ruby's sister or un-named "others." It is important to note Crossfire references a small portion of Eva Grant's complete testimony on the derivation of the nickname. Her testimony begins at 14H441.
Item 7 -Bledsoe "nervously . . .testified that he signed the register 'Lee Harvey Oswald.'"
There is no question Bledsoe was nervous when she testified. After all she was divorced, sixty-seven years old and a recent stroke victim. However, White implies she was nervous about testifying how Oswald signed the register. That is not an accurate portrayal of events. She testified Oswald signed the register as "Lee Oswald" not Lee Harvey Oswald as White claims. Either way it becomes another clear contradiction of the police report which states she "rented (the room) earlier in the week to a w/m O.H. Lee." Oswald didn't use the O.H. Lee alias until he reached 1026 N. Beckley Street.
"Bledsoe's son has not been located by researchers."
This comes from "researchers" who issued a press release for publication Sunday, March 13, 1994 based upon a discovery made in February, 1994. An "extremely important" document was brought forward with less that forty days spent on analysis. From "researchers" who couldn't or didn't try to find Al Chapman's son, Randy or Dallas Police Officer Bobby Hargis who still works for the department! Some of us knew nothing about this "discovery" or that anyone was looking for either of Bledsoe's sons. Bledsoe's testimony reveals she had two sons. To claim a son has not been located when a small, select group conducted a cursory inquiry is inaccurate.
Jack White reveals in his report (Item 11) that Officers J.C. White and B.W. Hargis responded to the Bledsoe incident. Since they both testified before the Warren Commission he wants to know "Why didn't they tell of the fight?" In the same paragraph "Researchers Armstrong and White speculate . . . that friendly policemen may have put down the slightly altered versions as a favor to Ruby." Later Jack White concludes "It seems to be a document that has been deliberately suppressed by the Dallas police and certainly knowledge of the Ruby/Oswald altercation was known by at least the two arresting officers, yet they kept quiet about it."
Warren Commission volume 19 between pages 132 and 134 (Batchelor exhibit 5002) describes both Hargis and White's assignments while on DPD duty. B. Hargis worked the traffic division assigned to solo motorcycle and special enforcement. Hargis worked the 7AM to 3PM shift and his superior was Sgt. R. Smart. White worked 4PM until midnight in the accident prevention division. He reported to Sgt. B.F. Rodgers. When I spoke to Bobby Hargis on the evening of March 20, 1994 he was confused. He told me he knew Jack Ruby before the assassination and could recognize him on sight. "If I was ever called to anything involving Jack, I would certainly be able to identify him." Hargis stated he never worked with J.C. White and didn't remember him. Additionally, he was never, ever assigned to anything but a motorcycle division. "No, I wouldn't respond to anything in a squad car." was his answer.
In White's Item 13 we discover "Carroll Jarnagin, Dallas attorney, told the FBI that on October 4, 1963, he was in the Carousel Club and overheard Ruby talking to a man named 'H.L. Lee' about plans to kill the governor of Texas." "Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade told the commission that Jarnagin 'failed a lie detector test.' Because of this newly discovered DPD document linking Ruby and Oswald a week later, perhaps Jarnagin's story should be re-examined."
Here again we find Jack White's statements contrary to investigative results and witness testimony. Photocopies of report INT2965 released by the Dallas City Archive on January 27, 1992 indicate that Jarnagin claimed Oswald was being hired by Ruby to kill "the governor." The syndicate wanted the governor out of the way because he wouldn't help the Chicago mob infiltrate Texas to set up rackets similar to those lost in Chicago and Cuba. Later Ruby tells Oswald the mob would really like to assassinate the Texas Attorney General instead. So loosely constructed is the plan, that at one point in the conversation Oswald asks ". . . when will the Governor be here?" Ruby replies "Oh, he'll be here plenty of times during campaigns." Additionally in 26H257 under CE2821 we discover Jarnagin was drunk at the time and said he overheard Ruby and Oswald discussing the assassination of former Governor Shivers! Since Jarnagin knew Shivers was no longer governor, he decided he was mistaken as to what he heard, he finally concluded they had to be talking about Connally and so modified his story. Interested parties may want to review CE2821. It details the specifics of the "overheard" conversation and includes an interview with Shirley Mauldin who was with Jarnagin that evening. Mauldin reported to the FBI that Jarnagin was drunk and his story a fabrication. The Dallas Archives, as part of INT2965 released the results of Paul Bentley's polygraph examination of Carroll Jarnagin. There were eleven questions, most related to his affidavit concerned the conversation he claimed to have overheard. He was judged truthful on only two answers. Number 4 "Were you drinking that night? Yes" and Number 10 "Were you drunk that night? Yes." It would appear Henry Wade was correct. However, if you choose to believe Jarnagin's story then you must alter his place in history. Since Ruby and Oswald were discussing the killing of former Governor Shivers, then Jarnagin's mind game transposing Shivers to Connally must have somehow influenced the co-conspirators. They did, after all, change the target. Adding insult to injury Oswald, Jarnagin's "Marine sharpshooter" makes the additional tragic mistake of missing Connally, inadvertently hitting Kennedy at least twice. If this can be believed the efforts of many researchers including this writer can now be dismissed.
Fort Worth researcher Gary Mack related to this writer he had a conversation with Jim Marrs shortly after the distribution of the information. Incredibly, Mack indicates Marrs claimed he discussed the discovery of the document with Cleburne, Texas, Warren Commission critic J. Gary Shaw. Shaw told Marrs that he had learned from Mary Ferrell that the document was a hoax. Sadly, Jim Marrs, by distributing this "release" to the press, has placed his imprimatur on the story. In the past, during his University of Texas at Arlington classes, Jim commented on his friendly relationship with Marguerite Oswald. He interviewed and spoke to her on many occasions yet she never mentioned the report -- a document that would verify a relationship between Oswald and Ruby prior to the assassination. There seem to be only two alternatives. Marguerite did suppress the report from everyone including Marrs because, in her view, it was proof of a conspiracy involving her son and Ruby or the document is a hoax planted in the TCU archive after her death in early 1982.
I conclude the "Bledsoe report" is a fabrication. The record is full of errors, omissions and inconsistencies. Of course some will claim that the document is real and the supporting evidence and witnesses testimony altered as part of a massive coverup. If true the following names should be added to the list of conspirators: First on the list is Marguerite Oswald IF she buried the document in the TCU archives. She is followed by Mary Bledsoe, Mary Bledsoe's son, Al Chapman, Randy Chapman, Bertha Cheek, the Dallas Police Department, Mary Ferrell, H.H. Grant, Officer B.W. Hargis, Carroll Jarnagin, Arthur and Gladys Johnson, Ronald Magid, Shirley Mauldin and Officer J.C. White. It is my hope the authors will reply publicly, showing where my details or logic are inaccurate. As was expected, after seven years not one has.
Copyright Ó1994 by David B. Perry All rights reserved