SYLVIA ODIO
(PART 2)




JOHN McADAMS SAID:

I think this [the Sylvia Odio incident] is just another Oswald sighting.

Lots of perfectly sincere and honest witnesses believed they had seen Oswald. The vast majority had to be mistaken.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

I've been looking at this again, John, and it occurs to me that the argument
that Oswald was in New Orleans until September 25th hinges entirely on
this statement about what time of day his unemployment check was mailed
from Austin.

If the check actually went out on the noon train to New Orleans, Oswald would have received it on the 24th (which would mean that he could've been at Odio's, after all).

Is there anything other than [Jack] Burcham's statement that places Oswald in New Orleans on the 25th? IMO, the rest of the evidence strongly suggests that he left N.O. on the 24th. (Unless I've forgotten something.)


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

So you are saying that if the check made the earlier dispatch, it could have gotten to Oswald on the 24th. I think that's true.

I'm not aware of anything other than Burcham's statement supporting that the dispatch was on the later train. But Burcham seems pretty sure, as though he has precise records. Which it's reasonable to believe he does.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

Seems to me that if Burcham had any records, he should've produced them. Also, he was asked about this six months after it happened.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

OK, but bureaucratic routines tend to be pretty set. If the checks always made the late afternoon pickup, he would know that.

But I'm not convinced that the FBI would have asked for the records, as opposed to writing down as authoritative what he told them. The language implies a high degree of certainty, while FBI reports often say a witness "thought" it happened this way, or "believed" it happened that way.

I understand that Oswald's whereabouts on the evening of the 24th is unknown.

Eric Rogers saw him leave his apartment on the "night" of the 24th (although it was "kind of light"). [See 11 H 463, Warren Commission testimony of Eric Rogers on 7/21/64; Rogers' exact quote was: "It was kind of daylight. You could see. You know what I mean?"]


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

True, but he also said that when Oswald left he had "goggles" on [11 H 462] (suggesting he might've been wearing sunglasses), so maybe he was wrong about the time.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

OK, but the theory I see you proposing below suggests that it doesn't matter.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

Marina said that Oswald always got his Texas unemployment checks on Tuesdays. According to the Warren Report, he'd cashed his check the previous week on Tuesday the 17th (no footnote, unfortunately). Marina also said that he'd told her he planned to leave town the very next day after she left with Ruth on the 23rd.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

Good point about Ruth Paine.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

After he left his apartment, Oswald wasn't seen again until around 6AM on the 26th, on a bus near the Mexican border. That's about a day and a half that's unaccounted for. The FBI couldn't find anyone who'd seen him on a bus from New Orleans to Houston, even though it found witnesses who'd seen him on every other leg of his trip to Mexico City and back to Dallas.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

I think the Twiford evidence is iron-clad.

Thus to get him at Odio's, we need a "Twiford plus Odio" scenario.

What would you propose?


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

I'm thinking that Oswald may've phoned the Twifords on the 24th.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

OK, so your scenario is "call to the Twifords on the 24th, visit with Odio on the 25th." Do I understand that correctly?


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

The Continental bus Oswald was supposedly on didn't arrive in Houston until 10:50 PM on the 25th, and Mrs. Twiford seemed sure that the call had been earlier than that, between 7 and 9 or 10. [See 11 H 180]

Besides, she said that Oswald told her he "had hoped to discuss ideas" with
her husband (a fellow leftist) "for a few hours" before he left for Mexico.
[See 11 H 179]

Why try to start a lengthy conversation with a stranger at that time of night? It seems more likely to me that he called earlier the night before. (The Twifords couldn't recall the exact date.)


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

But was Oswald in New Orleans wanting to converse for "a few hours" over the phone? Did the Oswalds even have a phone at their Magazine Street apartment? He ran out on the rent, so he might have been planning to run out on the phone bill. But that would be relevant only if he had a phone.

Making extended long distance calls simply wasn't Oswald's habit.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

Warren Commission staff lawyer Liebeler pointed out that there was a bus from Dallas to Alice, Texas, that connected with the bus that left Houston in the wee hours of the 26th, which might explain why no one recalled seeing LHO on the Houston bus until a few hours later.

I may be wrong, but I think it's certainly possible that Oswald could have been at Odio's on the 25th. All these pieces seem to fit together fairly well.


JOHN McADAMS SAID:

OK, but if I understand your theory correctly, most of this is moot. If he called from New Orleans to the Twifords on the 24th, he could have picked up the check on the 25th.

Also, if he was palling around with two other guys in Dallas, they could have driven him to Houston to get on the bus.

I read the Twiford testimony [as] being pretty clear that Oswald was in Houston and wanted to come over -- even at a late hour.

I think the key thing about judging this issue is how one views Oswald "sightings." There are a huge number of them. Some even in Wisconsin!

Not only were there a huge number of sightings, there was a large element of suggestion in the mind of Odio. Before she blacked out -- and before she had seen any pictures of Oswald -- she had it in her mind that the "loco" guy at the door shot Kennedy.

Which is why I think this was merely another sighting.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

True, she had problems. On the other hand, she claimed one of her visitors in Dallas had talked about killing JFK and two months later he was killed in Dallas. Anybody might've been spooked by that, imo.

You may well be right [about the Odio incident being "merely another sighting"]. However, I don't know of any other sighting that coincided with a long gap in Oswald's known whereabouts.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

To Jean Davison and John McAdams:

Hi Jean and John,

I have enjoyed reading your Internet exchange regarding the Sylvia Odio situation. You both have made some excellent points, and it's obvious from your posts concerning this matter that a pretty good case can be made for both of your positions -- with Jean Davison favoring the likelihood that Lee Harvey Oswald was (or at least could have been) at Sylvia Odio's door in late September of 1963; while John McAdams thinks it's likely that the Odio incident was just another one of the many false Oswald "sightings".

I want to thank both of you for your input. I, for one, appreciate it.


ODIO-RELATED ADDENDUM:

I've extracted an interesting section of audio from a 1966 KCBS radio program that features former Warren Commission counsel members Wesley Liebeler, Joseph Ball, and Albert Jenner.

The topic of the audio excerpt embedded below is "Did Lee Harvey Oswald Really Visit Sylvia Odio In September 1963?":





To listen to the complete 107-minute radio program with Liebeler, Ball, and Jenner, go HERE or HERE.


JEAN DAVISON SAID:

Thanks very much, David, for that very interesting audio. Liebeler presented good arguments against Oswald's being at Odio's, and he may very well be right. I just wish it were possible to pin this down with certainty.

Thanks for putting all this information online.


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LEE HARVEY OSWALD,
SYLVIA ODIO,
AND MEXICO CITY


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