Another version of the Roscoe White story appeared in the December 1990

Texas Monthly

"I Was Mandarin..."

by Gary Cartwright

Did Dallas policeman Roscoe White pull the trigger on President Kennedy, or is he pulling our leg?

Gary Cartwright

Who Speaks for Roscoe White?

by David B. Perry


In early July, 1990 I was having lunch at a Dallas restaurant with Bud Fensterwald of the Assassination Archives and Research Center of Washington, D.C., retired Dallas police officer Jim Leavelle, Gary Shaw and Larry Howard of the JFK Assassination Information Center of Dallas, and Baltimore researcher Gus Russo. During that lunch, Bud looked at me and said, "In a few weeks you and Gus will need new avocations." As Gus and I returned to my house, we reviewed what we had heard and learned. We became convinced that the JFK Center and the AARC had the Kennedy case solved.

On August 6, 1990 I was invited to a press conference in Dallas. The JFK Center and the AARC sponsored the conference. At this conference a young man, Ricky Don White, announced that his late father, Roscoe Anthony White, was the "Grassy Knoll" assassin.

The opening remarks by Bud Fensterwald (AARC) left me somewhat puzzled. He stated that this was neither the JFK Center's nor the AARC's story, but Ricky White's story. He explained that if the "information...checks out upon further investigation," we would have additional insight into the "crime of the century." I expected they would announce the solution.

After the press conference, I spoke to Ricky with respect to statements he made about his father's shooting of fellow police officer J.D. Tippitt. Ricky's scenario was too pat and seemed to resolve every question related to the Tippit incident. I sensed potential problems. Two days later, I volunteered my services (I'm an ex-worker's compensation insurance claims investigator, Texas License # 000-12- 6679) to the JFK Center. My resume was reviewed and accepted by Gary Shaw. I set to work. Within weeks I was having difficulty in verifying any of Ricky's statements with factual information. I spent enormous amounts of time in the Dallas library, courthouse and records building. My photocopy, fax and phone bill went sky high.

By January, 1991 I had spoken with thirty-six individuals, six of whom personally knew Roscoe White. I had written reports and developed enough information to fill a two drawer file cabinet, traveled over six hundred miles conducting interviews, lost friends, made new ones and in the end discovered that some researchers are researchers in name only.

I presumed the researcher's duty was to accumulate factual evidence and, with that evidence, reach a conclusion. In the case at hand, I found the conclusion, Roscoe White was the assassin, immediately taken for granted. If facts not supporting that conclusion were brought to light, trouble ensued. On one occasion, after I indicated that statements made by Ricky concerning Roscoe's death could not be verified, Gary Shaw told me, "Stop looking at the peanut and start looking at the shell." This clearly reminded me of the famous "...we're supposed to be closing doors, not opening them" remark.

Another researcher asked what he probably thought was a rhetorical question: "Why would anyone want to do this to Roscoe White?" The simple answer, once I found out about the book and movie deals, "To make money!"

This "story" was not easy to follow. However, there is a common thread. Each part is similar to a building block. Those blocks should have been fully verified. I found this was not the case. In the end, the exaggerated and unproven remarks piled up upon one another and the whole scenario collapsed.

Why, then, do I continue to work on this case? For two reasons.

First, there still might be something there. There are several interesting coincidences: (1) White and Oswald travelled on the same ship, the U.S.S. Bexar; {2) White was a member of the Dallas Police Department on November 22, 1963 and (3) the third Oswald backyard photograph {CE 133-C) was in the possession of Roscoe White's wife, Geneva.

Second, because of an interview with one of Roscoe White's closest friends. They worked together at M&M Equipment Company, the location where Roscoe received his fatal burns. He was a pallbearer at White's funeral. He said, "They are treating him the way they claim the government treated Oswald. Roscoe is dead and can't defend himself. Who speaks for Roscoe?"

For now, I guess it will be me.

What follows are five monographs and comments. Each represents a major "building block" of the story. I report what I have discovered during my investigations. The conclusions are my own. As a researcher, I am willing to modify my conclusions when faced with factual information, which contradicts that discovered. What you are about to read represents a small part of the total investigative "package."

1. Did Roscoe White and Lee Oswald serve together in the United States Marine Corps?


This statement first came to light at the Ricky White press conference, held August 6, 1990. "White served in the Marine Corps with LEE HARVEY OSWALD. The two were stationed together in Marine Air Wing 1 at Japan's Atsugi Air Base, home of a highly secret CIA operation. Ricky White claimed to have a photograph of Oswald and Roscoe White together.


I was provided with a copy of Roscoe White's military record: a duplicate of the records Ricky claimed to have discovered in his father's footlocker in 1982. Research comparing Oswald's and White's records shows the statement "they served together" to be partially correct but highly amplified.

Both Oswald and White were in the Marines. They both embarked for Japan on the U.S.S. Bexar on August 21, 1957 They left San Diego and arrived at Yokosuka, Japan on September 12, 1957. The ship held hundreds of servicemen.

Both Oswald and White were part of Marine Wing 1. However, Marine Wing 1 operations encompassed extensive territory including Japan, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and Guam. White was part of the Marine Observation Squadron-2, Marine Air Group 16. On September 19, 1957 he left Tachkawa, Japan for Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. He served as an auto vehicle operator. Oswald reported to Marine Air Control Squadron-1, Marine Air Group 11 at Atsugi, Japan on September 13, 1957. He obtained a security clearance and worked with the U-2 project.

With respect to the Oswald/White photo Ricky claimed to possess: at first I thought it was a copy of the John Marcxx photograph that appears in Epstein's "Legend". However, additional investigation shows the photo in question to be copied from the November 28, 1988 issue of "Time" magazine. Another version of the Marcxx photo, cropped differently, appears in "Life" magazine. Ricky White claimed Roscoe is the Marine in the background, leaning against the tree with the bill of a cap covering his face in the John Marcxx photo. This is incorrect. The photograph was taken when Oswald's group was on the northern end of the Philippine archipelago as part of "Operation Strongback." White was in Naha, Okinawa acting as a vehicle operator.


Oswald and White did serve in the Marines. They travelled together to Japan on the U.S.S. Bexar. They were assigned to different units and had different vocations. White was never stationed at Atsugi. Oswald had at least a "Confidential" security clearance. I can find no record of White having any security clearance. White and Oswald could not have been photographed together in the photo exhibited by Ricky White, as they were in different places at the time of the photograph.

2. Was there a relationship between the Whites and Jack Ruby?


The press kit synopsis states, "Geneva White, Roscoe's wife, was employed by Jack Ruby at his Carousel Club for several weeks in September, 1963. During that period, she overheard her husband and Ruby discussing plans for the assassination. Roscoe photographed Geneva and Ruby together (see press kit).

Ricky White underwent a polygraph examination on 01/27/90. He stated his mother worked for Ruby. His answer was deemed to be truthful.


The press kit photograph is not a photograph at all. It is a laser photocopy of a photograph that appeared in the 11/28/88 issue of "Time" magazine. The press kit attributes the photo to Roscoe White. The statement is incorrect. The photo was taken by Jimmy Rhodes. Rhodes was employed by Ruby.

I have interviewed friends of the White family who identify the woman in the photograph as Geneva White. The JFK Center claimed Geneva was a rail girl. However, Time/Life indicates Rhodes labeled the photograph, "Ruby with stripper."

No authenticated evidence has been presented by Ricky White or the JFK Center (i.e., an original of the Rhodes photo, payroll stub, canceled check, autograph or family snapshot) that Geneva White worked for Ruby or more specifically that a relationship of any kind existed between the White family and Ruby.


While it is possible that Geneva White did work for Ruby, there is no evidence that a personal relationship existed. Someone, in my opinion, distributed tainted evidence and made incorrect statements to support a pre-conceived conclusion. To distribute spurious material at a press conference as "evidence" is inexcusable.

The purpose of the Ricky White polygraph test is also suspect. On November 26, 1990, I called The Integrity Center. This company conducted the polygraph examination of Ricky White. I spoke with the examiner, Billy Wingo. He commented, "Joe West (a former investigator for the JFK Center) had about twenty questions, but some were duplicates. We threw out the duplicates and re-phrased some, so the questions were set up correctly for the polygraph. In the end there were only fifteen questions. Joe West and I put them together."

I provided two ex-law enforcement officers, experienced with the administration of polygraph examinations, copies of the exam. Both concluded the questions were poorly framed. The exam was incomplete in that appropriate follow up and "blind" questions were not asked. "It's as if the next question was never asked. Instead of asking Ricky if the FBI took the diary, they asked if he knew where the diary was! I can't consider this a competent exam. It's totally unacceptable." On February 14, 1991, I recontacted The Integrity Center to requestion Billy Wingo. I was curtly told, "Wingo no longer works here." To date I have been unable to contact Mr. Wingo at his last known address.

If one cannot prove Geneva White worked for Ruby, then the statement, made later, that Geneva "overheard Ruby and her husband discussing the assassination of Kennedy" fails. A major point of the "story" disintegrates.

3. Did Roscoe White die in a "mysterious" fire because he wouldn't perform one more assignment?


The press kit states, "White died under suspicious circumstances in a 1971 fire. This fire occurred just months after Roscoe, according to a local minister, made known his desire to sever his affiliation with U.S. Intelligence. Reverend Jack Shaw said White told him "the explosion was no accident."


Roscoe White and Richard Adair were both burned in an industrial accident (fire) while working at M&M Equipment. The fire report shows the accident happening on 09/23/71 at 4:30 p.m. Adair survived. White died on 09/24/71 at 5:50 p.m. "of severe burns of the body."

Both Adair and the Estate of Roscoe White filed lawsuits against Arrow Chemical to recover for damages. Each lawsuit described how the loss occurred. Adair's is more specific, as he lived through the ordeal. What follows are the descriptions of the loss as found in Adair's lawsuit.

Richard Adair was helping White "to weld a piece of metal by holding the piece of metal while White did the actual welding. They were working on a metal table which had been constructed for that purpose and under this metal table was stored a can of liquid compound known as PC-68...a substance which is highly volatile and inflammable and explosive in nature." Arrow Chemical marketed this compound which they claim "was of merchantable quality, safe, and fit for the purpose for which it was used." Adair claims that the defendant (Arrow Chemical) failed "to test its product and provide an adequate warning of any dangerous propensity..." of the product PC-68.

As to the claim of the Estate of Roscoe White: "Retired Dallas lawyer Lamar Holley represented the White family in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a flammable chemical that apparently caused the explosion that resulted in Mr. White's death. Mr. Holley said he considered the lawsuit nothing more than a product liability case."


There was a fire, but the record shows it was not intentional. A can of volatile liquid with the warning label missing was stored under a workbench for an indeterminate period of time. No one knew of its dangers until metal slag dripped onto the top of the can, burned through, and the liquid exploded.

I have interviewed four witnesses to the fire (including Adair) and the widow of a fifth witnesses. Not one person indicated the fire mysterious, only accidental. One witness stated "Roscoe was in the driveway, totally burned. He said he was sorry for causing the accident and felt it would cost him his job."

4. Were photos, including the famous third backyard photograph, stolen from Geneva White?


The press kit states, "1975...JFK assassination photographs belonging to the late Roscoe Anthony White are taken during a break-in of the White home in Paris, Texas. The materials are recovered in Arizona and returned to Roscoe's widow Geneva (by now remarried) who notifies the FBI.

An article in TEXAS MONTHLY states, "Two men broke into the White home in Paris, beat up Geneva, and took, among other things, the packet of pictures. The men were arrested a few days later in Florida on an unrelated charge, and FBI agents sent the pictures to Washington."


The Paris, Texas police department has no record of any burglary, robbery or attack at the White (Dees) home in 1975. They have records of burglaries in February, 1974 and January, 1976. The 1974 report mentions a "strong arm robbery" and theft of jewelry. Neither report mentions the theft of photographs.

The March 19, 1976 issue of NEW TIMES reports, "Some months ago, the widow surrendered the pictures to a pair of would-be con artists. Schweiker's staff was tipped to the case by a Texas law enforcement official and managed to track the con men -- and the pictures -- down."


It appears this portion of the story was never fully investigated, nor were any of the "facts" verified prior to the press conference. Ricky's version to the JFK Center mentions a break-in and capture of the culprits in Arizona. For TEXAS MONTHLY, it becomes a break-in and beating of Geneva White; the thieves are apprehended in Florida. In NEW TIMES there is no beating or burglary, only some con-men. The Paris police have no record of a break-in, beating or theft of photographs on or near the date given by Ricky White.

The NEW TIMES article, written within a year of the episode, is probably the closest to actual events.

5. What is the status of the three cables ordering Roscoe White to assassinate Kennedy?


The press kit states, "1990 (June 9)...Using a cryptic message left by his father, Ricky White travels to Paris, Texas, to his grandparent's empty house. There in the attic, shielded by boards, Ricky discovers an unusual steel container...Inside he finds three messages similar to cable grams which allude to the Kennedy assassination.

The press kit contains copies of the cables. It appears some governmental authority placed White on the Dallas police department and later ordered White to shoot Kennedy, deemed to be a "national security threat to worldwide peace."


In August 1990 a former investigator for the JFK Center, Joe West, obtained the cables. He was not authorized to do so. At that point, Matsu, a company financing Ricky's investigation, filed suit for the return of the cables. Pending trial, West turned the cables over to a forensic laboratory in Arizona. The laboratory discussed the authenticity of the cables in a report dated August 19, 1990.

Because of pending litigation and the fact that the cables were sealed in .0008 inch plastic, only non-destructive testing could be used. Still the cables were reviewed as to type of paper (inexpensive newsprint), instrument used for typing (manual typewriter using 10 character per inch Pica style font), evidence of involvement in a fire (Ricky's grandfather's house had partially burned -- no smoke residue was discovered) and content.


Matsu did get the cables back from Joe West. They have not publicly refuted the test results, nor have they given the impression they will submit the cables for non-destructive or destructive testing by a qualified laboratory. Until new testing is done, we have only the results of this test:

"Based on these findings, I have concluded Items A(1-3) are not genuine, but are the enabling products of a potential hoax."

Additional notes and comments

What follows are common questions asked in relationship to the White case. I include them here as some are unsupported by documentation.

1. Who is Matsu? Matsu is a group of Midland, Texas oilmen who became interested in the White story after being approached by Ricky and Ricky's friend, Andy Burke. Matsu was incorporated in Texas on January 25, 1989. The agent of record was Jack Ladd. Matsu takes its name from the Island of Matsu, off Taiwan. Handling of the island was a subject covered in the Kennedy/Nixon debates. Matsu funded Ricky and Andy's "research efforts."

2. Who is Andy Burke? Andy worked with Ricky in West Texas for Orkin Pest Control. He and Ricky worked on the White investigation. At some point, Ricky felt "Andy was looting the story." Matsu bought out Burke for an undisclosed sum of money.

3. Who is "Bill X?" "Bill X" is a long time friend who resides in Paris, Texas. He is an interesting character. Based on Ricky's recollections: (a) "Bill X" hid the packet of photographs, including the Oswald backyard photograph, for Roscoe for several years. He later returned them to Geneva. (b) Geneva White knew "Bill X" before she knew Roscoe. (c) Shortly before the HSCA report was to come out in 1979, "Bill X" warned Ricky that his father might be implicated in the Kennedy assassination. (d) Some people in Paris, Texas think "Bill X" is a former Navy intelligence agent. (e) "Bill X" owns an auto upholstering shop in Paris, Texas.

I understand Kevin Walsh interviewed "Bill X." He denied the Naval Intelligence background. He did serve in the regular Navy, however. He claims he is often mistaken for a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent, who has a similar name. "Bill X" also believes Ricky has a rather fertile imagination.

On October 25, 1962, "Bill X" received a commendation from the Navy. He saved the life of an infant by applying mouth to mouth resuscitation. This makes it difficult to believe he was a "Naval intelligence" operative within a year of this event.

4. Was there a book deal? Yes. Matsu signed a contract with local author Richard Abshire. Abshire did produce a synopsis of the Roscoe White story prior to November 1, 1989. Representatives of the Whites (including Ricky) met with a Viking/Penguin representative at the Melrose Hotel, New York City in early 1990. Viking/Penguin rejected the synopsis and future book rights.

5. Was there a movie deal? I'm not sure. The JFK Center was working with Oliver Stone. On October 12, 1990, the Houston Chronicle reported "Alex Kitman (Stone's producer) has a contract with the JFK Assassination Information Center..." The Center's staff were to act as consultants to Stone. This does not mean they were to provide Stone with the White scenario.


There are only four people who could shed light on this "story:" Roscoe White, Geneva White, Reverend Jack Shaw and the family friend known as "Bill X." Ricky was three at the time of the assassination and about eleven at the time of his father's death. As a researcher, I cannot accept childhood recollections as fact without some documentation. Factual documentation has never been presented.

I sadly report Geneva White died in February 1991. The list is reduced to two: two who were on the fringes of what went on within the White household during many critical days. We may never know.

I am sure we all would like to see the Kennedy assassination resolved. To date I have found nothing linking Roscoe White to that event. I have received little cooperation from Ricky White, Matsu or the JFK Assassination Information Center. I must assume that is because I could find no supporting evidence.

Have you ever gone to some social event, and been introduced as a Kennedy researcher? If so, what happens? Some people roll their eyes and give you the "here we go again" look. It may be because of the sheer volume of sublime to ridiculous "stories" they have heard over the years.

We now have Roscoe Anthony White's name added to the list of "grassy knoll" assassins. Unbelievably, Gary Shaw held a press conference in May 1990, just three months before the Ricky White conference. There he named Charles Nicoletti as the "grassy knoll" assassin. One reporter, at the White press conference, referred to the presentation as "the assassin of the month club." We can ill afford this type of publicity if we expect people to take us seriously.

It is our responsibility to properly investigate allegations and let the narratives stand or fall on the merits. We should be opening doors not closing them.


I finished the article you just read in February 1991. It has been over a half year since the report was completed. What follows is an update.

Defenders of the Roscoe White story have claimed that statements made by the "military man" (Gordon Arnold) support what was written in the diary. Based on this "evidence," we are encouraged to believe that Roscoe White was the grassy knoll assassin. For that reason, a closer look at the record is warranted.

On September 4, 1990 Ricky White appeared at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was questioned by Jim Marrs' class extensively about his father's diary. At some point he was asked, "What did the diary say your father did after he shot the President?" Ricky's response was, "The diary said after my father shot the President he handed his 7.65 Mauser to the man standing beside him, hurled over the fence, took the film from the military man, whirled around the fence and went through the parking lot."

During September 1990 Woody Woodland of "Manchester" magazine interviewed Ricky. Woodland had two telephone conversations with Ricky (9/27/90 and 9/30/90). The calls were the basis for an article Woody wrote to the December 1990 issue under the title, "Woody Interviews Ricky Don White."

White: "That (fatal shot) was fired by the man behind the stockade fence."

Woodland: "Okay. And then you read that and --"

White: "Then it states that he hands the rifle to a man to the right of him. And he has to hurl over the fence. He hurled over it, so therefore he jumped over the fence. There was a man that was evidently standing just right in front of him that was filming the motorcade because he talks about a military man that he had to hurl over the fence and obtain his film. And this man is Gordon Arnold, I don't know if you are familiar with Gordon Arnold."

Woodland: "No, I'm not. You say he had to obtain his film you say?'

White: "Obtain. Obtain."..."And he had a small Bell and Howell camera that he was sitting there shooting this motorcade that was coming by. Well, when the shots were fired -- now I know what happened, it's because Gordon Arnold said he heard these shots come from the right side of his ear..."

Ricky has always maintained the diary indicated his father shot from what has come to be known as the House Select Committee acoustic position: approximately 10 feet west of the southern corner of the picket fence.

Earl Golz of the Dallas Morning News first interviewed Gordon Arnold. Golz's article appeared in the August 27, 1978 issue under the caption, "SS 'Imposters' Spotted by JFK Witnesses.' Here is what Arnold said about the event:

"He said he 'felt' the first shot come from behind him, only inches over his left shoulder. He said he heard two shots 'and then there was a blend. For a single bolt action, he had to have been firing darn good because I don't think anybody could fire that rapid a bolt action.' 'The next thing I knew someone was kicking my butt and telling me to get up,' Arnold said, 'It was a policeman. And I told him to go jump in the river. And then this other guy -- a policeman -- comes up with a shotgun and he was crying and that thing was waving back and forth. I said you can have everything I've got. Just point it someplace else.' Arnold took his film from the canister and threw it to the policeman."

Ricky claims Roscoe was in the acoustic position when he fired. The military man "heard these shots come from the RIGHT side of his ear." Arnold said the first shot was "inches over his LEFT shoulder." Roscoe handed his Mauser to an accomplice to his right and "hurled" over the fence (from the acoustic position). That would put him on the embankment to the south side of the fence. Arnold did not say specifically where the first "policeman" came from. However, if this individual came from Roscoe's alleged position, he would have been in full view of the witnesses headed for the grassy knoll. This person would also have been visible to the workers on the railroad overpass who already had seen a puff of smoke in the acoustic area.

The diary makes mention of White handing the gun off "to the right." There is no indication of what the accomplice does next but if he accompanied Roscoe in "hurling" over the fence both would certainly be noticed.

Ricky has been quick to point out that Arnold had a Bell and Howell camera. This story, not linked to the diary, surfaced because he found an 8 mm reel of film in the foot locker. Later we were told this was possibly Arnold's film. There are two problems here. (1) Arnold referred to a canister, not a reel of film. (2) In September l990 Nigel Turner ("The Men Who Killed Kennedy") checked with Arnold to find out if his mother's camera (the same one he used that day) was a Bell and Howell. It was not!

Since this is such a major part of the story, why the discrepancies? Could Roscoe White be that far off in his diary? Could Gordon Arnold be that confused? One possibility is that the diary is a hoax created by an individual with some knowledge of the Arnold incident but not enough to get the details straight. That individual would have no knowledge of the Golz article. This leads to several questions: (1) Are there references to the Arnold story elsewhere? (2) Are they as accurate as the Golz story or do they only give partial information? (3) If there is incomplete information, does it dovetail with the story as related in the diary? (4) If there are other stories, when were they available to the public?

Since Arnold's story came out in 1978 and the diary was found in 1982, then a forgery could be developed during that four-year window. However, if the stories do not match, someone had to work on the diary AFTER an incomplete or erroneous version of the story surfaced.

Richard Abshire wrote a manuscript on Roscoe White's life for Matsu. It was completed prior to November 1, 1989. From the Woodland interview of Ricky White, it appears Matsu was satisfied with the work. What is interesting is that the manuscript MAKES NO MENTION OF THE ARNOLD STORY BUT IT DOES MENTION AN "8 MM REEL OF UNDEVELOPED FILM."

There are four places I find references to the Arnold story.

(1) In Jim Marrs' Crossfire (1989) the Arnold story is almost verbatim to the Golz article. The major difference in Crossfire is that the policeman "pulled out the film." No mention is made of the canister.

(2) In Anthony Summers' Conspiracy (1980) the story is of two policemen approaching. "Arnold said he gave the police his film and then left..."

(3) The story also appears in the video, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" (1988). Arnold is interviewed and if you don't pay close attention you could infer only one policeman was there. The problem is that "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" was not released for viewing in the United States until late September 1991 on the Arts and Entertainment Network.

(4) I find a reference to Arnold in High Treason. The first edition of the Groden/Livingstone book has a publishing date of March, 1989. On pages 399-400 I found the following:

"Gordon Arnold, a service man, tried to film the motorcade from the carpark behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll, and was chased away by a man in a suit showing CIA credentials. Arnold moved away and filmed from an area close to the stairs, and he seems to appear in enhanced versions of the Moorman photograph shown on the broadcast, standing close to a rifleman firing. He said a shot whistled close by his left ear and he hit the dirt as he had been trained to do. A second shot was fired close 'over my head,' and he was then confronted by a gunman in a blue policeman's uniform, without a hat, and with dirty hands, who kicked him and asked Arnold if he was filming, and then took his film away from him."

It is obvious from the above that the authors of High Treason related their summation of the interview of Arnold from "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." Note the reference to "carpark" and "photograph shown on the broadcast." They also made the mistake of not listening closely enough. Arnold talks about two policemen not one.

So in my opinion the Arnold episode as related in the diary is a forgery -- one that fooled many researchers. I conclude this because the version in the diary most matches the incomplete version printed in High Treason, which was published in March of 1989. The Abshire manuscript (which does not mention the incident) was published in November 1989. So it would seem this part of the "diary" was created sometime between November, 1989 and August 6, 1990, the day the JFK Assassination Information Center surfaced the tale.

Of some importance is the fact that fellow researcher Gary Mack and I succeeded in contacting Linda Wells, Roscoe White's sister. Additionally we gained indirect contact, through Linda, with Merle Rogers, White's mother. Gary and I conducted a four-hour video taped interview with Linda in late June. Her comments put some of this "story" in perspective.

For example: other investigators were working on the theory, originally advanced by the JFK Assassination Center, that Roscoe White was responsible for forging the "backyard photos." The Center indicated that White was a photography enthusiast, had a darkroom, and printed trick photos such as his children floating in mid-air or a bowling ball landing in the wrong alley. This led to the claim that it was White who stuck Oswald's head on photographs of Roscoe's body.

We asked Linda Wells and, through her, her mother what they knew about this. Linda and Merle never knew Roscoe to have a photographic hobby. They had never seen any examples of his work. Originals or copies have been requested from Ricky White and the JFK Center for months, but examples have never been provided.

In a related episode, Merle Rogers was shown a copy of the Philippines photo that supposedly shows Roscoe and Oswald together. She could not identify her own son as the Marine in the background. She felt the physique was somewhat similar, but the hat was so far down over the one could tell for sure.

In April, a military associate of White contacted two local researchers. He related a story that White broke his right wrist during a howitzer recoil accident. While looking at the backyard photographs, he pointed out a bump on White's right wrist supposedly the result of the accident.

My copy of the military records shows no accident resulting in a broken wrist. Merle Rogers told Linda that Roscoe did break his wrist, but not in the service. He broke it in a sawmill accident before he entered the Marines. A drive belt had snapped that caused the fractured wrist. If you look at your own wrists, you will find bumps. In my opinion they are caused by the common protrusion from the ulna bone.

More information from the Linda Wells interview: Roscoe was a rookie in the fingerprint department. He told his mother and sister he was getting to see evidence brought in. He saw the gun used to kill Kennedy -- hardly the statement of one of the assassins.

Roscoe told Linda that he got his set of photographs, those later provided the Schweiker committee, while on his job with the Dallas police department. He felt that he was not supposed to have copies and he believed he might get into trouble if his superiors knew. Again, hardly the statement of an assassin.

As an interesting aside, the JFK Center indicated that the additional "backyard" photo (CE-133 C) was one "...which [had] never before surfaced..." This is not true. The HSCA Appendix to Hearings, Volume VI, page 180, shows another version of this photograph was supplied by Dallas police officer Richard Stovall.

Linda Wells claims Gary Cartwright quoted her out of context in his article "I Was MANDARIN..." for the December 1990 issue of Texas Monthly magazine. The quote later appeared in Newsweek on December 10, 1990:

"I think he was the Oliver North of his time. He was just doing what he thought was best for our country." "Texan LINDA WELLS, sister of the late Roscoe Wells(sic). She is one of the several conspiracy theorists who think he was the actual killer of John Kennedy."

Linda states Cartwright asked her a series of questions concerning Roscoe's role in the assassination. Linda maintained her brother could not be involved. Cartwright asked if she was shown absolute proof, what would she say? It was only at that point that she said "I think he was the Oliver North...etc."

In May 1991, Gary Mack and I were given copies of a newspaper article on the Patterson-Rogers wedding. It reported Linda Merle Rogers married John Patterson. The ceremony was performed at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Dees. Mrs. Dees was the former Geneva White. The best man was Ricky White. The matron of honor was Mrs. Ray Tippit. Since Ray Tippit was the nephew of J.D. Tippit, we were told the wedding announcement was proof Roscoe White was a friend of J.D. Tippit.

Since Linda Wells is the former Linda Patterson, we asked about the connection. Linda felt this was preposterous. "Using this 1974 article to make a connection between J.D. Tippit, my brother and me is foolish. It was only Ray's wife that was a friend, not the whole Tippit family! Ray Tippit never even showed up. How irresponsible can these people be?"

Since November 1990, the JFK Assassination Information Center promised an interim report on the White case. The report was to be prepared by the office of the Texas Attorney General. It came, not as a report, but as an article by Earl Golz in the February 2, 1991 edition of the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman.


"'So far everything we have looked at has not given any credibility to anything these people have been trying to say about the documents and that whole affair,' said Morales' aide Ron Dusek."

Linda now says Ricky feels abandoned. Andy Burke tried, in Ricky's words, "to loot the story" and was asked to leave by Matsu. The JFK Center fired Joe West at the time of the press conference. Ricky believed West used their friendship to obtain the "cables," which West then held for safekeeping. Matsu finally obtained the "cables" from West, but only after filing a temporary restraining order (Harris County #90-053893). The state of Matsu is unknown. Three weeks after the Ricky White press conference, Reverend Jack Shaw denied hearing a death bed confession from Roscoe White. He has made no further comment. Linda says Tony White, Ricky's brother, almost lost his job over this episode. Geneva White died in February 1991.

Not mentioned at the press conference was the fact that Ricky White flew to California a few weeks earlier to meet with Oliver Stone. I also determined the JFK Center did have an $80,000 agreement with Stone to consult on a movie about the assassination. That contract may have been signed shortly after the press conference.

Jerry Urban of the Houston Chronicle made the existence of the contract public. Urban had been interviewing Gary Mack about the Stone film. During the course of their conversation, Mack revealed he had a copy of a draft contract between Stone and the JFK Center. When Urban asked for a copy, Gary declined to provide one. Urban then called Bud Fensterwald of the AARC and Kitman Ho, Stone's executive producer. Both confirmed the agreement's existence.

In an October 1990 letter to Mack's employer, KXAS-TV, the JFK Center threatened both Gary and the station with a lawsuit. The lawsuit was based on the belief that the contract between the JFK Center and Stone might be cancelled because Mack had divulged some terms of the agreement to the Houston Chronicle. If the contract were to be canceled, the JFK Center would demand restitution in the amount of $80,000 for the contract and $5,000,000 in damages.

With respect to Oliver Stone's film, "JFK": you may have learned that Warren Commission critics Harold Weisberg and David Lifton as well as defender David Belin are concerned about the movie. On May 19, 1991 George Lardner's critical article "On the Set: Dallas in Wonderland" appeared in the Washington Post. Stone replied to the Post two weeks later with "Stone's 'JFK': a Higher Truth? The Post, George Lardner and My Version of the JFK Assassination."

With all the charges and counter-charges, little attention has been paid to Stone's change in ideology before and after gaining access to the former Texas School Book Depository. When the film's advance staff was in Dallas, they tried to obtain approval for access to the building from the Dallas County Commissioners. At that time Stone was stressing the need for accuracy in reports to the media. For example, there appeared in the April 14, 1991 edition of the Dallas Morning News the following quotes from Oliver Stone: "It's a question of accuracy. It's always better to be accurate if you can."..."And these are native Texans. They say, 'We want the truth to be known. We're glad you're making it here.'"..."There is a younger generation of people that want some element of truth to come out."

Once filming in Dallas was nearly complete and the company moved on to New Orleans, Stone's statements about the film changed. This from a story by Elaine Duta in the Los Angeles Times Calendar for June 24, with a story headlined OLIVER STONE FIGHTS BACK: "...His 'JFK' is still being filmed but critics are already assailing its accuracy and motives. 'This isn't history, this is moviemaking,' the director rejoins -- and star Kevin Costner agrees."

Why do I bring this up? On April 19, 1991 I received an invitation to observe some of the filming. This was during the film company's "need for historical accuracy" period. I observed the crew filming an actor in a Dallas policeman's uniform shooting from the acoustic position---exactly where Ricky White claimed the diary said his father was. I also saw the Gordon Arnold character. For the shot to pass over Arnold's left shoulder as he revealed to the Dallas Morning News in 1978, Stone had Arnold standing much closer to the street than he really claimed he was.

Unless that scene is edited or cut, we will see Roscoe White -- not necessarily by name but by implication. Oliver Stone can claim it's only a movie, not a documentary, but that scene will have a profound impact on the audience. By innuendo, Roscoe White, without any proof, has been charged with the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

To paraphrase one of Roscoe White's best friends, who was also a pallbearer at this funeral: some "researchers" have done to Roscoe White exactly what the Warren Commission did to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Further Updates

The "Witness Book" or "Witness Elimination Book" as it was originally called purported to list individuals Roscoe White killed to cover up his crime. The book contains a photograph of one such victim Perry Raymond Russo. Russo's an important witness in the Garrison/Shaw trial, is not only very much alive but was featured as an angry bar patron in Oliver Stone's JFK!

The doctor responsible for giving Geneva White shock treatments stated flatly that those treatments were given for depression. Additionally, Roscoe White's military file reveals Geneva White was receiving shock therapy years before the assassination. Therefore, statements that Jack Ruby demanded she receive the treatments so she would "forget everything" are suspect.

Reverend Jack Shaw, after questioning by Richard Ray of Dallas TV Channel Four (KDFW), admitted he never heard a deathbed confession from White and everything he heard about White's activities he "heard from Geneva."

The Dallas Police Department pre-employment background check on Roscoe White reveals that at the time Geneva White claimed employment for Jack Ruby she was out of work as a waitress at the Cattleman's Restaurant. She sustained a head injury in a slip and fall accident, was disabled and unable to work.

Ricky White asserted he obtained his father's military footlocker filled with papers documenting his father's role in the assassination from "two of my aunts while attending my grandfather's funeral in Paris, Texas." Both his aunts, Geneva White's sisters by the way, deny the incident took place. They claim Roscoe gave the footlocker to their brother who "stored tools in it." I have also contacted the brother who claims his sisters' report is accurate and "Ricky got my footlocker while I was away."

All three of Geneva's relatives indicated they didn't believe the story and were never shown any evidence of their brother-in-law's involvement. One sister claimed Ricky told her "if you go along with this we're all going to get rich."

Ricky maintained he discovered his father's military records in the foot locker. Under a Freedom Of Information Act request I ascertained it was Ricky who ordered the records from the government. The US Navy/Marine Record Center in St. Louis, MO. forwarded the documents on December 2, 1988.

A Dallas Police memo stamped "Top Secret" reveals Ricky originally told Midland and Dallas, Texas police as well as the FBI that his father had an affair with a woman named Hazel "who worked at the Texas School Book Depository." Ricky later changed the story claiming Hazel "worked for Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall." I must assume someone, knowing that researchers have lists of every employee at the TSBD on November 22, 1963, coached Ricky to change the account. No person with the first or last name Hazel appears in TSBD records.

In the Spring of 1990, Ricky unearthed a canister in the attic of his grandfather's "burned out" house in Paris, Texas. We were led to believe White probably secreted the container there before his death in 1971. This was the same canister that held the "military cables" shown by the Northern Arizona Forensic Laboratory to be fabrications. Curiously, included in the canister was at least one of Roscoe White's dog tags. There is a problem. When White entered the service he received two dog tags. Upon separation from the Marines, White gave both tags to his mother, Merle H. Rogers. Mrs. Rogers gave one dog tag to Ricky and another to Roscoe's sister, Linda Wells in January 1989. Linda Wells gave her dog tag to Ricky in the presence of J. Gary Shaw and Joe West, the later two of The JFK Assassination Information Center, in June of 1990. This occurred a few months before the press conference (August 8, 1990) when the contents of the canister ware shown. The question remains: if White hid the container before his death how did one of his dog tags get in the canister?

I could go on and on about this. Actually I already have. By early 1991 I was somewhat disillusioned. The very researchers I looked up to for many years remained silent on an issue I felt was their responsibility to expose as a hoax. Why did the act this way? Was it because they were trying to sell the story to Oliver Stone for three-quarters of a million dollars?

What was the outcome? What resulted from The JFK Assassination Information Center's lack of response to the story?

From Oliver Stone's book JFK: The Book of the Film, page 20:

[Note: In what appears to be nothing more than a publicity- seeking hoax, a Texas group that included White's son and widow presented "evidence" in 1990 that White was the real assassin behind the picket fence. Many of their claims have been debunked. (See David B. Perry "Who Speaks for Roscoe White?," The Third Decade, November, 1991.)]

The JFK Center presented the same "evidence" to the Texas State Attorney General. In the end what was the reaction from the State of Texas?

"So far everything we have looked at has not given any credibility to anything these people have been trying to say about the documents and that whole affair."

Ron Dusek

State Attorney General Aide

February 1, 1991

No wonder we are called "buffs." This is the stuff that diverts us from the real purpose of our efforts to resolve the case.

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