Oswald Talked?

Almost a year ago Robert Harris accused John McAdams of "parroting a particular hatchet piece posted at his site (where else) by LN 'researcher' David Perry, in which Perry makes the following revelation:"

"For the story to be credible Miller had to be riding in a car containing weapons stolen from Fort Hood. In fact the car was loaded with guns taken from an armory some 150 miles away."

To making the statement I plead guilty. In my view, Mr. Harris has become overly protective in his almost reverent defense of the book Oswald Talked and the authors Ray and Mary LaFontaine.

Harris, through quotes and page references, purports to show the careful research that went into the book. While such effort appears extensive, I believe I can show in simple terms why his undertaking falls short of the mark.

Most of us expect the title of any non-fiction work to hint at something about the contents. For example in the Groden and Livingstone work High Treason the co-authors seek to make the case that in 1963 individuals within the Federal government were involved in the Kennedy assassination plot and were therefore guilty of high treason. In the video Confession of an Assassin James Files goes on record claiming to be the "Grassy Knoll" shooter. In Case Closed Gerald Posner attempts to show, somewhat dubiously, that Oswald acted alone and therefore the case is closed. I think you get the picture.

Using the above examples one would expect that the focus of Oswald Talked would be just that - Oswald talked to somebody and based upon that conversation, the LaFontaines would produce new evidence concerning Oswald's motives and actions. The question becomes just what did Oswald say and to whom did he say it?

The first inkling of the Oswald talked scenario appears on pages 17 and 18. The LaFontaines correctly claim that John Franklin Elrod was held in the Dallas jail on November 22, 1963. Furthermore they assert that Elrod's cellmate Oswald - "told him about a motel room meeting with Jack Ruby." The LaFontaines noted that Elrod was quizzed by the FBI about the incident on August 11, 1964. The FBI agents "took note of his (Elrod) alcoholism and an admission he was said to have made of being "confused at the time concerning the events which occurred."'

I hate to belabor this but the important point is that the LaFontaines and no one else claim that Oswald told Elrod "about a motel room meeting with Jack Ruby." Basically that's it. This caused me to wonder if there was any independent proof that Oswald spoke to Elrod and, if so, would Elrod verify that Oswald told him he met with Ruby? One possible solution would be to read the book and find either an ACTUAL quote from Elrod as to what Oswald told him or a quote directly from Oswald. What follows are the page references to John Franklin Elrod listed in the index on page 447 of the book.

Main Index:

Elrod, John Franklin - 23 references encompassing 44 pages

Sub Indexes:

false claims of FBI about - 13 references encompassing 18 pages

makes Memphis FBI report - 11 references encompassing 18 pages

and Oswald - 7 references encompassing 14 pages

rediscovered by Bill Adams - 3 references encompassing 5 pages

I find it strange that only 11% of the entire book deals with the individual Oswald supposedly talked to. And the bottom line here is that the LaFontaines do not provide any quote from Elrod or Oswald.

In an attempt to bolster what was now a THEORY, the LaFontaines were instrumental in convincing John Elrod to appear on television's Hard Copy TV show on November 16, 1993. The piece, not coincidentally produced by Ray and Mary LaFontaine, runs for 7 minutes and 30 seconds. John Elrod appears a total of 4 times encompassing 57 seconds. His brother Lindy Elrod, speaks for 24 seconds.

If every there was a venue to determine just what Oswald said this, in my opinion, would be it.

Mary LaFontaine asks the questions so here is the transcript of what was said.

Mary LaFontaine begins by asking, "Did he (Oswald) look nervous?"

Elrod: "I imagine we were all nervous - when you say the word nervous I say worried."

Others arrested that day besides Oswald and Elrod were Daniel Douglas, John Gedney, Gus Abrams, and Harold Doyle. Since Elrod never specifically mentions Oswald or says "Yes Oswald looked nervous or worried." he could just as easily have been referring to that group of individuals. Elrod even goes so far as to downgrade Mary LaFontaine's word "nervous" into "worried."

Elrod: "See right now I'm saying things that could really get me in trouble."

LaFontaine: "It's not going to get you in trouble - you're tellin the truth and you know . . ."

Elrod interrupts: "Yeah, and the truth can get you killed to. You take Oswald - [a] lot of people think he's innocent. His ass is dead. He's gone. I could be innocent. I could be gone next week if, if, if the wrong things is said."

I find it somewhat bizarre that Elrod would think he could get into trouble by indicating someone, anyone, in jail would look "worried." Also notice that he would not comment on Oswald's guilt or innocence and instead leaving that decision to others.

I think Mary LaFontaine should have asked Elrod what he was innocent of that he feels he was wrongly accused of. What could he have done that if he speaks out he could "be gone next week." Mary never follows up on what could have been a potentially significant revelation by Elrod.

Elrod is asked by LaFontaine if he noticed any bruising on Oswald's face:

"I can't say for sure but in my mind I thought that he was bruised slightly somewhere around the area in here." He ran his hand over both of his cheeks.

Oswald had an obvious bruise over his left eyebrow that can easily be seen in his mug shot. This is something Elrod totally missed, at least according to the interview.

Elrod is asked if the shooting of Oswald scared him and if so why.

"Scared the hell out of me because I knew Jack Ruby."

Again, Oswald is not mentioned. I think Mary LaFontaine should have asked Elrod why he was afraid of Jack Ruby. She apparently never did.

Mary asks Elrod about the FBI report.

LaFontaine: "What did you tell them [the FBI]."

Elrod: "I just told them I was arrested for the murder down there and I was in the cell with Oswald and that was it."

Elrod claims he disclosed nothing of import to the FBI.

Apparently having struck out with their primary witness and supposed focus of Oswald Talked, the LaFontaines look to his brother for insight.

Lindy: "He [Oswald] told John he said 'I did not shoot the President and John said 'I know I didn't shoot no President.' I believe that Oswald told Johnny something and he just don't want to come out with it. I don't know what happened really don't know what happened and probably never will know. But something to me put a fright in Johnnie."

Lindy: "If he tried to tell it and nobody listened he will probably never tell it again."

Oswald's claim that he never shot the "President" is hardly new. We are left with nothing but Lindy's feeling that John knows something but will never reveal it.

The final statement by Lindy is almost comical. Here we have the LaFontaines who DID LISTEN to John Elrod. When given the opportunity he didn't say anything auspicious. Ten years after the broadcast, Elrod died on February 5, 2004.

In my view, the LaFontaine's book is unique. The authors claim Oswald talked. However, most of the book is about weapons theft, gun running, and spurious gun sales. Apparently this information is something that leads Robert Harris to believe there is historical merit in the gerrymandered link between Elrod, Oswald, Ruby, and an alleged motel meeting. I fail to see where any of this has anything to do with Elrod and what he heard, said, or did. In the end, one discovers the LaFontaines and Mr. Harris never produce any documentation or direct evidence that Oswald or Elrod ever spoke to each other.

If not being willing to accept the LaFontaines and Robert Harris' questionable evidence, testimony, links, and supposition concerning John Elrod makes me a Lone Nutter, I will be happy to live with that blemish on my record.


Dave Perry

August 12, 2005