JFK Assassination Information Center
Conference On Ricky White
September 1 and 2, 1990
What follows are my contemporaneous notes from a "Closed Conference" held by the JFK Assassination Information Center. To those unfamiliar with the case these notes may appear somewhat disjointed. However, the notes strictly follow the chronology of events at the time of the meeting. From the very beginning there were serious questions concerning the veracity of the story.
On September 1st and 2nd 1990,a conference was held at the JFK Information Center in the West End of Dallas, Texas. It was a 'by invitation only' meeting. Originally, there was to be a very select group meting in New York. This meeting was canceled and this session, involving more researchers, was held in its place. The moderator for the conference was Bob Dorff and his opening remarks stated the purpose of the get together:
1. "Clear up much of the public bickering over this story as it only confuses the public."
2. "Review the Attorney General's preliminary report and discuss what to do about it.'
3. "Have a full discussion of the Ricky White allegations."
The attendees were seated at a semi circular conference table with Bob Dorff In the middle. The seating setup was as follows:
* Bill Pulte was not there on 09/01, Jim Marrs arrived at 11AM on 09/01 and did not attend on 09/02.
Conspicuous by his absence was Bud Fensterwald. We also expected to hear from Ricky White, but he did not attend.
Gary Shaw stated Ricky's wife felt he was spending too much time on this and decided they would take a long weekend vacation in San Antonio.
Bob Dorff opened and commented that there was a talk radio show in California that created a slight furor. Ricky White, Robert Groden and David Lifton were invited as guests. Groden and White (through Larry Howard) refused to attend if Lifton was present. The station canceled Lifton while White and Groden appeared. However, the station had sandbagged the pair as Lifton was the first caller. Lifton and Groden got into a shouting match. Dorff said the whole thing came off badly.
We tried to develop a chronology of how the Ricky White story got to the Center.
Mary stated that in 1988 Ricky called her from a hotel room and asked she check the name Hazel in relationship to his father. Jack Shaw found, through Geneva, that Roscoe had an affair with Hazel, that she lived on Morocco "near the school", worked at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall and was a key CIA contact for Roscoe.
Within the past week, Groden, Howard and Ricky drove to Morocco and found the former residence of Hazel. They did not get the house number, but Mary will check the directories to see what that brings.
We also discovered that in March of 1989, Ricky and Andy Burke contacted Larry Harris with the story. Larry did not like Burke's attitude "he had $$$ in his eyes" and tried to work with Ricky directly. He received monthly contacts with Ricky and finally in June of 1989, "Ricky started to open up."
Mary indicated she was sure Burke was with Ricky when he made his 1988 call to her. Larry verified this was true.
We found Ricky has tried "to peddle" this story on several occasions. It appears sometime in 1988 Burke, Ricky and possibly Richard Abshire went to John Houghton of Matsu with some details. Houghton then gave Ricky the time to investigate. Abshire again surfaces in July of 1989.
Through Bill Pulte I found Abshire is a former Dallas Policeman and Assistant Chief of the S.M.U. Police Department. He has written at least one mystery novel under his own name and possibly one under a pen name. Gary Mack is fearful that Abshire might have invented the entire Ricky White story. He is capable of this.
We also found at some point Burke and White went to Viking Press, but were rejected. Also Ricky could not come to terms about a book with Hugh Ainsworth in February 1990.
At this point, John Stockwell became upset with Gary Shaw. To paraphrase Stockwell... If you had told me Ricky was "shopping his story", prior to the press conference, I would not have put my reputation on the line by indicating I felt with a 9O% certainty that the cables were authentic. You let me go on although you had knowledge of this. I am very distressed about this development and hold you personally responsible. If it were possible I would retract my conformation.
Ricky's brother Tony has tried to stay out of the whole episode. Ricky claims that Tony was coming over to see the Journal "around the Holidays" but before he got there the FBI had already picked it up.
Stockwell stated (when Jack Shaw was not in the room) that Tony told Shaw that he was worried about the credibility of Ricky and his mother with respect to this story. The family bickering over "book rights" and "this is my story" bothered him.
Jack Shaw indicated Geneva "is tired of waiting" and "wants to get going on this." ???
The Polygraph Test
We got into a discussion about Ricky's answer to question 6 on the polygraph. I stated we now know that Roscoe didn't buy 219 Glencairn until June of 1966. When I mentioned this at the Center before, I was told that Ricky may have been mistaken but truthful. Gary Shaw told me that we all were being too petty. "Dave, you have to stop looking at just the peanut, you have to look at the whole shell." We then found the following:
1 Ricky learned he lived across from the Tippit's in 1964 from his mother. He never investigated this on his own.
2 Joe West prepared all the questions. The report of the test did not include the "blind" questions.
3 Before the test, Ricky tested positive for marijuana use.
Joe West commented that the positive test would only affect the stress evaluation test, not the polygraph.
Gary Mack asked if a story of Ricky's arrest for sale of amphetamines had any merit. Gary Shaw indicated that this was another example of unfounded rumors distorting the story. I don't remember anyone providing information that the records had been researched to prove or disprove the story.
Now the polygraph test is in question, as well as, how many other questions has Ricky been mistaken but truthful about?
Stockwell indicated polygraph tests can be beaten.
The Witness Elimination Book
Stockwell tried to get Gary Shaw to produce this book claiming he as well as several others had seen it. Shaw refused but offered to discuss it.
It is a LEXICON shorthand book. It looks like a textbook. Roscoe turned the book over so the back cover became the front. There are 186 pages missing. There are 28 pages with writing or numbers in the front (back) followed by some blank pages then the missing pages. The Center knows 186 pages are missing because the pages are pre-numbered. The title page has written upon it:
PLAYER OR WITNESS ~ ROSCOE WHITE
It lists 5 members of the witness elimination team, some of whom are still alive, The handwriting has never been subjected to analysis. Ricky says it's his fathers but the Center has made no effort to verify. Geneva has never seen the book and it appears the Center has no intention of letting her see it.
The book is mostly in code consisting of numbers. The Center has never requested a cryptographer look at it. Gary Shaw has been trying to crack the code on his own. They have enlisted Stockwell to get them a name of a cryptographer, but I had the impression they did this during our meeting. He claims they would have as much luck as he would.
Ricky's father gave it the name Witness Elimination Book. Two names revealed for elimination were . . . Military Man and Man In Depot.
There are pictures in the book, but they are all newspaper photos. i.e. There is a photo of Jack and Bobby Kennedy with a caption below that states. - - "Now have the head . . . go for the tail later."
The Center claims Geneva overheard a conversation between Roscoe, Jack Ruby and possibly others, discussing getting Jack first, then Bobby. They also claim that Roscoe was out of town at the time of the Bobby Kennedy assassination and they are unable to determine where he was. Additionally, Jack Shaw stated that Geneva was working for Ruby specifically to give him an alibi for the killing of Oswald. That would mean Oswald's killing did not come off as planned.
Jack Shaw also stated, Ricky did not divulge that he had the Elimination Book at first. "That didn't come until later."
We heard that the missing pages are claimed by Ricky, to be in the possession of Phillip Jordan. Jordan is supposed to be the family friend with CIA connections who went to Ricky before the HSC started it's investigation and told Ricky his father might be involved in the assassination. Lately there have been rumors that Jordan is the "Mexico City Man". Joe West claimed Ricky has signed an affidavit stating Jordan has the missing pages. This is confusing, since the Center feels the pages may be blank.
Other sources claim Jordan was interviewed by Ricky and West earlier this year. At that time Jordan claimed this was nonsense and Ricky and West fabricated the whole thing. He may have instituted a suit against the Center over this but at this time I have no proof of that.
I remember someone at the Center claimed after the press conference, that "Ricky's friend" called and said, "Kid ... that took guts. I have guts to and will call the Attorney general to verify your story." It never happened. The claim was also made that after the conference the "friend" turned his house into a "maximum security area." Mary Ferrell says Jordan owns a house and auto junk yard in East Texas. It's located behind a bar. The "maximum security" consists of a cyclone fence with chicken wire on top and some lights. Jordan got tired of people coming out of the bar and into the yard to steal car parts.
Gary Mack and I spoke with Jack Shaw independently of the group concerning Geneva's medical condition. He states she is not bedridden but is in bad shape. She has tumors on her chest, an inoperable ruptured colon, is on oxygen and many forms of medication. He wants to bring her to Dallas from her home (Odessa,TX) under an assumed name to have new doctors look at her. Shaw claimed to have pieced the whole story together after a meeting he had with Geneva in May of 1990.
We heard through the Center that she had a history of alcohol and drug abuse when coupled with her shock treatments and current medical problems cause her memory to come and go. The three shock treatments were given by a Dr. Pearson. The Center is now trying to obtain the medical records through "legal means."
Other information attributed to Geneva White:
Jack Shaw indicates Geneva was in New Orleans in the spring of 1971 at a business meeting. At dinner in a restaurant with friends she was approached by a man who wanted her to deliver a message to her husband. It is unclear to me if the message was written or verbal. The man gave Roscoe 48 hours to reply.
When she delivered the message to Roscoe, he decided to tell her "the whole story." I expected we are lead to believe the shock treatments destroyed her memory. At any rate, she told Shaw she thought the man's name was Charles Netti. At the request of the Center, Shaw showed Geneva 11 photographs of various men. From that group she positively identified Charles Nicoletti.
She also related that Roscoe showed her the plans for the Kennedy assassination. Included in the material was a map of Dealey Plaza. There was a first and alternate plan. The team was to use Dealey Plaza if the bubble top was not on the car. If the top was on (someone was watching at Love Field as to the status) they would be told to proceed to the Trade Mart "and get him there." The Team was assured the bubble would not be on the car.
One person, not identified, was responsible for the whole operation. All participants had suicide pills.
With reference to the Tippit shooting, she said that she overheard Roscoe tell Ruby "I'll take care of Tippit." This creates a problem. The Center claims the diary stated White and Tippit's meeting was a "chance encounter." (Larry Harris' words). They also claim there is mention of Tippit stopping to make a call with Roscoe in the car. (The phone call from the Top Ten Record Shop ?) The call was made "before Oswald bolted from the car two blocks from the Tippit shooting scene."
When pressed for details, the Center staff, in particular Gary Shaw, gets defensive. "Dave you can't prove or disprove it happened that way."
Safe Deposit Box
In Roscoe's foot locker Ricky discovered a bank bag that contained a safe deposit box key (#203) and a note saying the box contained $100,000. The bag was from the Windwood State Bank. Ricky didn't know what to do so he consulted an attorney. We were not told who the attorney was but the Center used this fact to confirm the date of 01/13/88 as the date Ricky went to the D.A. in Midland. At any rate, the Center did locate the box in Dallas. Joe West was admitted to the bank and the key did work in the lock. Joe says the box had a "black tab" on it. The box was last signed into by Delma Hanson on 12/16/77. They have not investigated into this further. I am assuming they expect the Attorney General to look into this for them.
At some point Ricky was again met by some FBI men who told him in essence to forget about the box because he would never find out what was in it, if there was anything there in the first place.
It seems to me that when the payment of a deposit box lapses, the bank must file papers with the Attorney General's office. It is also curious how the Federal Government (FBI) would be allowed to inject itself into the affairs of a State bank.
The bank has changed it's name but still remains a State bank.
Gordon Arnold's Camera
Roscoe, in his diary, stated he went around to the other side of the picket fence and took some film from the "military man". This has raised some eyebrows because the Gordon Arnold story did not become public until 1978. It has been stated that Roscoe's foot locker contained an 8mm Bell and Howell take up reel with some film attached. (This film was on display at the time of the press conference.)
The film is double rank 8 and shows signs of being torn. The Center brought the film to Kodak in Denver earlier this year. This is the only lab that can develop film using the required K-II Kodachrome process. After development, the film was totally exposed (black). This may have been due to heat and exposure to natural radiation. The perforated serial number was visible and when checked showed the film to be manufactured prior to 1964.
Arnold's mother, who is still alive, owned the camera he used. It is in her possession. It is a Bell and Howell Director Series with telephoto lenses mounted on a turret. Gary Mack is sure that it was cartridge loading and not reel to reel. Earl Goltz, in his article, refers to it as canister loading.
What is interesting is the fact that the Center has a take up reel. It is not the Kodak regular loading reel. If the "policeman with dirty hands" tore the film from the camera he might well have ripped out the Bell and Howell reel as opposed to the Kodak reel. This would require special replacement by Arnold or his mother.
Nigel Turner is on friendly terms with both Gordon and his mother. He knows the mother has been on vacation in Canada and will return shortly. He will try to see if Gordon or his mother ever had to replace the take up reel,when he visits them this week.
Special note: Nigel Turner later reported the discovered Arnold's camera was NOT a Bell & Howell but a Keystone. This revelation seemed to indicate someone was fabricating evidence in an attempt to bolster the claims of Ricky White.
Later this month, the notes from Ricky's meeting with Jim Marrs' advanced study group on September 4, 1990.