An official touchstone of the Kennedy case has been the repeated allegation that Lee Harvey Oswald fired his Carcano at General Walker and missed. Some contend this demonstrates Oswald's propensity for the subsequent assassination of President Kennedy, and striking at the enemies of Communism. Yet Lee Harvey Oswald was not a Communist, "Investigation by the Commission has produced no plausible evidence..." that Oswald was connected to the Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, or any other leftist organization.i
Critics of conspiracy often regard Oswald's imaginary New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba (FPCC) chapter and some present his letters to and from Communist and Socialist groups and his defection as definite proof. ii Yet Lee Harvey Oswald never actually joined a Communist group while living in the Soviet Union. He never joined the Marxist cause but claimed he was a Marxist in America repeatedly to whoever listened.
An FBI informant within the Communist Party records a meeting in which an officer proposed Oswald "was a 'nut' used by the FBI". Another member expected them to face attack based on the official claims regarding Oswald.iii However; the wide-ranging Communist plot long suggested by J. Edgar Hoover did not materialize and local Communists did not fear discovery but false blame. Yet Oswald tries to associate with right-wing groups as well and this is largely inconsistent with the official narrative of Oswald's background.
Carlos Bringuier is a delegate for the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE), a Cuban exile group funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.iv Bringuier's brother was among those exiles captured in the Bay of Pigs disaster. He rebuffs Oswald when he seeks membership in the DRE and Bringuier later mentions Oswald seemed to him either a "FBI informant" or a "Communist penetration agent".v New Orleans police arrest Bringuier for a subsequent fight with Oswald emerging due to the distribution of Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) flyers. Police state Oswald created a scene involving members of the DRE.
Bringuier's other activities include seeking to author a book supporting a false "relationship between Oswald and Fidel Castro of Cuba."vi Whether this disinformation was merely his creation or was birthed via Agency influence is unclear. Yet not just Castro was a target and in order to discredit the President's (Warren) Commission findings Bringuier also claimed Commission legal consult Norman Redlich was associated with various fronts for the Communist Party.vii
Officials support Oswald repeatedly lied but his many feasible deceptions include a Communist veneer, which fell short of actual Communism. Some critics seemingly only reveal Oswald's deceptions when they do not serve the official narrative but Oswald's actions were not that of the sinister Communist. They were dramatic and in my view wholly overt, Oswald literally wore a sign stating "Hands off Cuba", yet never bothered to attend relevant meetings. Oswald was not a practicing Communist; no matter how desperately inconclusive claims seek to designate him as such.
Without this sincere commitment to Communism, why would Oswald fire at Walker? Some presume to know Oswald's mindset yet this is based partially on speculation, no definitive evidence allows this knowledge. Consider Oswald's proven deceptions and now consider his death before any trial secures the legal presumption of innocence. This case feasible would not be so contentious if authorities had not repeatedly made presumptions of fact. Oswald received the Carcano and had fewer than eighteen days to prepare to shoot General Walker based on the Commission timeline. During this short period, Oswald never states he practiced to anyone, and no one ever observes him doing so. This is the first significant problem with the claim. The Carcano trigger requires practice firing to utilize it effectively and officials either are unaware of, or ignore this detail.viii
Marina Oswald states Lee buries the rifle days before and after the alleged shooting.ix Why bury the rifle? Beyond the fact that others could access it, burying the suspected weapon at a crime scene would offer authorities important evidence to implicate the shooter. It requires the shooter or someone assisting to return later for the weapon and if Oswald wanted to kill Walker and reduce the chances of capture, he could have just taken the weapon with him. Yet Marina states he buried it twice.
The Walker incident relies upon many statements offered by Marina Oswald, yet her credibility was impeached by multiple sources. President's Commission legal consultant Norman Redlich states Marina repeatedly lied to the Commission and "there is a strong probability that Marina Oswald is in fact...cold calculating, avaricious, scornful of generosity, and capable of an extreme lack of sympathy in personal relationships." x xi Redlich observes Marina's inconsistent testimony regarding the Walker and Nixon shooting allegations. She claimed Oswald had not engaged in violence and the tale evolved into the later official version with Marina's eventual support.
A lack of eyewitnesses also damages the Walker claim because a young witness in the area subsequent to the shooting observed two men in separate cars leave the area.xii Yet Lee Harvey Oswald could not drive a car, nor did he own one. A friend of Walker's testified he saw "two men peeking in windows" days prior to the shooting.xiii None of this supports the official implication but that others may have been involved based on testimony. Thus, no witness supports the lone shooter theory offered by officials.
The Commission asserts despite all the witness testimony and contradiction, Oswald is responsible for firing at Walker. They base their findings on certain pieces of evidence and the first is a note discovered at Oswald's home. This often-declared piece of official evidence is a letter allegedly authored by Lee Harvey Oswald, and then discovered and read by Marina Oswald. The undated letter in Russian is offered to support Oswald's guilt but it contains no specific information about the Walker attack. When checked by the FBI this note had no fingerprints from Lee Harvey Oswald, nor Marina Oswald, but did have unidentified fingerprints on it.xiv
Ruth Paine gathered some of Oswald's possessions and offered them to the Dallas Police and the note was subsequently discovered among these items. Yet this note does not support the official claims and fails to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald. Some may state too long a time had passed for fingerprinting and they would be feasibly incorrect because fingerprints can be detectable on porous surfaces for significant durations, hence the unknown prints on the letter.xv No date appears that could verify the letter and the Walker shooting correspond and the letter does not infer Oswald's guilt.
Officials next rely upon photographs of Walker's home found in Ruth Paine's house and identified by Marina Oswald. Yet this again does not place a rifle in Oswald's hands, it does not mean he did anything more than take pictures or receive them. He was feasibly involved, as he was in the Kennedy plot but no one observes the unpracticed Oswald firing a weapon, nor is the Walker claim based on consistent witness testimony. These photographs too do not prove the assertion; they do connect Oswald to a plot, but not to a shooting.
The Walker bullet is another problematic item of evidence and despite the Commission's claim of "firearms identification of the bullet found in Walker's home" no such conclusive verification occurred. xvi Commission expert Robert Frazier states he "was unable to reach a conclusion" and could not link the bullet to Oswald's Carcano. A second expert Joseph Nicol states, "that there is a fair probability" the Carcano fired the Walker bullet and neither affirms the Commission charges. xvii Commission experts testing the Walker bullet stated the lead alloy present did not match the bullet fragments recovered from the Presidential limousine.xviii
Additionally, the House Select Committee on Assassinations Firearms panel determined due to damage, the Walker bullet "could not be identified or eliminated as having been fired from CE 139 rifle."xix This is not substantial or convincing evidence and most facts regarding the Walker bullet do not implicate the Carcano or its owner. It does not prove the same weapon fired all the shots and Oswald had but a single rifle. Additional weapons possibly equate to additional snipers and the claimed evidence does not support the Commission's findings.
The Walker bullet is not demonstrably linked to the Carcano and The President's (Warren) Commission often relies upon inconsistent witnesses to decide matters requiring greater evidence. The photographs only prove Oswald feasibly possessed the pictures and may have photographed Walker's home. The letter actually infers another person feasibly handled it, and that Oswald and Marina did not. The majority of evidence does not support Oswald firing a rifle. Now let us consider the witness that provided officials with most of the information they attempted to form into the Walker allegations.
Officials prior stated the Walker allegations did not emerge in Marina's original statements to the Secret Service or the FBI, and Marguerite Oswald alleged that Marina lied about some of Oswald's actions.xx The Commission stated the crime was "unsolved until December 3, 1963".xxi Yet the original rumor that feasibly began some unproven later claims occurred before this official date. The alleged victim would begin a campaign overseas to ascribe Oswald's infamy to his anti-Communist political agenda.
November 29, 1963 a German newspaper reported the Walker story and Edwin Walker days prior suggested to this newspaper that Lee Harvey Oswald was the person who shot at him.xxii It is unknown how many times he repeated it or how many people in America and abroad Edwin Walker influenced with this claim. Yet this occurred before any notebook was given to the Dallas Police and evidence could be offered to dispute it. The Walker rumor feasibly tainted both the inconsistent later claims offered and public perceptions before the Commission investigated.
The Washington Post and Times Herald subsequently reported, "Gun Used to Slay JFK is Linked to Walker Case", yet this is not based on most evidence.xxiii These later rumors swirled as the Commission was still investigating and newspapers credit Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry as the source of these reports. Curry denied all these allegations, and the Bureau wonders how this could have occurred since they knew of no prior tests on the bullet. The media continued to feed the speculative atmosphere with additional rumors that assumed Oswald's guilt.
A second alleged threat reported by "Marina Oswald and her business manager, James Martin" claims Oswald additionally attempted to assassinate Richard Nixon. Yet this story like the Walker story does not emerge until long after Marina's initial statements. Marina failed to mention this in a prior Commission testimony.xxiv In fact; the many inconsistencies of the Nixon event and witness recollections led the Commission to attach no "probative value" to the Nixon claims.xxv While the Walker claims scant evidence is part of the official story, the Nixon claims were even less substantial and therefore set aside.
Many of the relevant facts never appear in the Commission report and officials present the Walker event as feasibly proven. Edwin Walker himself constructed the rumor blaming Oswald and it later gained inconsistent support from largely unproven allegations. Officials ignored substantial contending evidence to support their chosen narrative. Based on formerly suppressed evidence, officials should have further investigated these unproven Walker allegations.
i. Report of the President's Commission, Chapter 5, Death and Detention of Oswald, p. 289
ii. Department of the Treasury Document, Secret Service Phone Report of ASAIC George Jukes, November 25, 1963, p. 0369
iii. Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), 1996 Releases, No Title, November 26, 1963, p. 0498, National Archives and Records Administration Identification Number: 124-10241-10201
iv. HSCA, Segregated CIA Files, Additional Information on Carlos Bringuier, Box 1, File No. 15, 1967, p. 1, NARA ID: 1993.06.28.15:55:39:460280
vi. Federal Bureau of Investigation file, Oswald Headquarters file 105-82555, Section 198, Re Carlos Bringuier, p. 18
viii. LP Brezny, "The Gun Digest Book of Long Range Shooting", Gun Digest Books, Jun 24, 2007, pp. 9, 51
ix. President's Commission Document 79, Secret Service Interviews with Marina Oswald dated 30, December 1963
x. Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Appendix XI, Dean Norman Redlich, p. 126
xii. Report of the President's Commission, Chapter 4, The Assassin, The Attempt on the Life of Maj. General Edwin A. Walker, p. 183
xiv. FBI file, JFK Headquarters file 62-109060, Section 36, Latent Print Examination, December 5, 1963, p. 21
xv. Brian Yamashita and Mike French, "Latent Print Development", Chapter 7, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, United States Department of Justice, ncjrs.gov
xvi. Report of the Pres. Com., Chap. 4, The Attempt on the Life of Maj. General Edwin A. Walker, p. 183
xvii Ibid, p. 186
xviii. FBI file, Oswald HQ file, Section 108, Memo to Conrad from R. H. Jevons, March 27, 1964, p. 1
xix. Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Appendix Volume VII, Findings and Conclusions of the Firearms Panel concerning the Kennedy assassination, p. 370
xx. Hearings of the Pres. Com., Volume I, Testimony of Marguerite Oswald, p. 244
xxi. Report of the Pres. Com., Chap 4, p. 183
xxii. FBI file, Oswald HQ file, Section 201, Memo to J. Lee Rankin from J. Edgar Hoover, August 11, 1964, pp. 1, 2
xxiii. FBI file, Edwin Walker, File 116-165494, Section 2, Memo to Conrad from R. H. Jevons, February 20, 1964, p. 1
xxiv. Report of the Pres. Com., Chap 4, pp. 187-188
xxv. Ibid, p. 188
Improbability Vault: The Walker Allegations
The Walker Incident
Edited: December 2017