(PART 866)

Subject: Re: Second Oswald
Date: 2/12/2010 1:31:14 PM EST
From: Richard
To: David Von Pein


I must say that this Mexico incident at the Soviet Embassy and the Odio incident shortly before Oswald entered Mexico still cause me to scratch my head a bit. How is it that the "picture of Oswald" that turned out to be clearly someone else outside the Embassy survived, while no pictures of the real Oswald at the Embassy survived?

If the real Oswald was there at the same time as the photo was taken of the "second Oswald", this does seem to raise questions about why no photos of the real Oswald were ever produced. Why would the real Oswald photos have been destroyed while the fake Oswald photos taken in the same time frame were not?

Was there any attempt to obtain pictures of the real Oswald from the Russians after the assassination? Wouldn't the Russians have pictures of persons entering the Embassy as well? Did the FBI continue to believe there was a "second Oswald" in Mexico for many years after the assassination? Is there any FBI documentation clearing up the issue and indicating that the explanation by Hosty [at the 1986 TV docu-trial, "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald"] had solved the mix-up?

Did James Hosty later claim in a 2003 book that Oswald had offered to kill JFK to the Cubans? Does this raise a question about whether Hosty can be believed in his explanation about the second Oswald?

What are your thoughts about the letter sent to the Russian Embassy in Washington purportedly from Oswald dated November 9, 1963 referencing Oswald's inability to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana and containing the phrase "there would have been time to complete our business." Is this a genuine letter? If so, what do you think Oswald is referring to? If the letter is a fake, does this provide some further issue about the "second Oswald"?

In his recent book "JFK and the Unspeakable," James Douglass suggests that the Soviet Embassy received the letter 4 days before the assassination and that the Soviets considered the letter to be "clearly a provocation" by those who were involved in the assassination so as to place blame on the Soviets and that perhaps the letter was a forgery. (See pages 229 et seq of the Douglass book)

I certainly don't intend to vouch for the credibility of Mr. Douglass and I have many questions about his book and the conclusions he reaches, but I wanted to get your thoughts about all of this.

If Oswald did actually visit Sylvia Odio on the way to Mexico City with 2 other men who were anti Castro, and one of them called Odio the following day to say that Oswald said JFK should have been killed because of failure to provide support for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, there seems to [be] confusion about what Oswald was up to. He is both "pro Castro" and "anti Castro" within a very short period of time prior to the assassination.

Of course none of us can know with certainty what Oswald was thinking, but all of this (Odio visit, trip to Mexico, letter to Russian Embassy in D.C., etc) lead me to wonder just where Oswald was coming from and what his motives were in portraying himself as both pro and anti Castro shortly before the assassination.

I am completely satisfied that Oswald was the lone gunman who killed JFK, but the entire "second Oswald" issue does make me wonder what Oswald was thinking and what his motives were for the assassination.

I apologize for the rambling nature of the e-mail, but I have great respect for your views and extensive knowledge about the JFK assassination and am interested in trying to understand it all.

Many Thanks.



Subject: Re: Second Oswald
Date: 2/12/2010 6:27:29 PM EST
From: David Von Pein
To: Richard



The Mexico City/Oswald/Odio/Second Oswald stuff is riddled with possibilities, no doubt about that. And it's a confusing and sometimes contradictory morass that can probably never be solved to everyone's satisfaction.

But just giving you my "gut" feelings (and interjecting some common sense into the feelings), I feel very confident in saying the following things:

1.) Lee Harvey Oswald positively shot and killed President Kennedy (and Officer Tippit).

2.) Nobody else but Oswald fired any shots at President Kennedy (or Officer Tippit).

3.) Oswald positively made a trip to Mexico City in September 1963 and visited both the Cuban and Russian embassies while he was there (the witnesses are a half-mile deep to support this conclusion).


There can be NO DOUBT whatsoever that Oswald did go to Mexico City two months prior to the assassination. Oswald, in effect, TOLD US that he went there, via his signature on various documents and the letter he would later write to the Soviet Embassy in Washington in November 1963.

And since we know beyond any doubt that the REAL Lee Harvey Oswald travelled to Mexico in late '63, then the theory about a "second Oswald" or an "imposter Oswald" ALSO being in Mexico at the very same time the REAL Oswald was there just simply makes no sense whatsoever.

5.) No "Cuban connection" to Lee Harvey Oswald has ever been confirmed or proven with regard to Oswald's murder of JFK.

6.) The best place to turn if you have questions about virtually any aspect of the JFK assassination is Vincent Bugliosi's 2007 book "Reclaiming History", which is a book that contains large quantities of solid, common-sense-based information (always backed up by numerous sources and citations), such as the excerpt shown below (re: Oswald's alleged threat against JFK while LHO was in Mexico):

[V.B. Quote On:]

"In a June 17, 1964, letter to Warren Commission general counsel J. Lee Rankin, J. Edgar Hoover said a "confidential source" who had "furnished reliable information in the past" reported that Castro had "recently said" that "our people in Mexico gave us the details" of Oswald 's visit to the Mexican consulate, and when his request for a visa "was refused him, he headed out saying 'I'm going to kill Kennedy for this'."

The story doesn't make sense. Why would Oswald threaten to kill Kennedy because the Cuban consulate turned down his request for a visa? What's the connection?

Silvia Duran, the secretary at the consulate who dealt with Oswald and was present at the time of Oswald's outburst when his request for a visa was denied, said she heard no such threat by Oswald against Kennedy. And the Cuban consul, Eusebio Azcue, who was also present, also said no such threat by Oswald was made, adding that if it had, he would "have passed this information to Fidel."

It should be noted that the Warren Commission should have included in its report Oswald's alleged threat to kill Kennedy at the Cuban consulate in Mexico City, but it did not, and I have not been able to find Hoover's letter to Rankin in any of the Commission's volumes of exhibits."

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 1285-1286 of "Reclaiming History"



The November 9, 1963, letter that Oswald wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. [Warren Commission Exhibit No. 15], is most definitely a letter that was written by Lee Harvey Oswald himself. It is certainly not a "fake" (i.e., it wasn't written by a "second Oswald").

The letter seen in CE15 was signed by Oswald, and that signature was determined to be the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Making that important determination for the HSCA were three handwriting experts from the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners.

Those experts examined 63 documents purportedly written by Lee Oswald during the last seven years of his life, one of which was the November 9, 1963, letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington:

"48. November 9, 1963. Photomechanical (halftone) reproduction of a typewritten letter to the Consular Division, Embassy, U.S.S.R., Washington, D.C., signed Lee H. Oswald. Location: Archives. (Photomechanical reproduction-CE 15; JFK F-500.)" -- HSCA Volume #8, Page 231

The HSCA's exhibit marked F-500, which is a handwritten draft of Oswald's 11/9/63 letter, is the same as Warren Commission Exhibit No. 103.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations said this on page 233 of HSCA Volume #8 (with respect to the more than sixty "Oswald" documents that were examined):

"SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS -- The signatures and handwriting purported to be by Oswald are consistently that of one person."

As to the specific reference in the November 9th letter about Oswald not being able to "reach the Soviet embassy in Havana" and Oswald's remark about the Havana embassy having "time to complete our business":

Those comments don't seem overly suspicious to me. Oswald was attempting to acquire an intransit visa to Cuba, which would have permitted him a short stay in Cuba before going on to Russia.

Whether or not Oswald really intended to travel on to Russia after getting to Cuba can never be known, of course. But from what Oswald told his wife, Marina, it's very likely that Lee wanted to stay in Cuba, versus continuing on to the Soviet Union.

So, I don't think the words Oswald used in his 11/9/63 letter ("time to complete our business") necessarily mean anything other than Oswald's "business" in trying to get permission to go back to Russia. Although, as mentioned, the part about travelling all the way to Russia was probably just a ruse on Oswald's part, in order to get his visa quicker, because he likely had every intention of staying in Cuba and fighting for Castro's "revolution" (if he could).

There is also this:

When comparing Oswald's final typewritten 11/9/63 letter to one of his handwritten rough drafts, I noticed quite a few differences with respect to the "time to complete our business" remark.

In Oswald's rough draft, he said this (and keep in mind, because of all the cross-outs, it's a bit difficult to read every single word accurately in this rough draft of Oswald's [Page 2 of CE103], but I think this is what Oswald originally wrote):

"Had I been able to reach Havana as planned I could have contacted the Soviet Embassy there for the completion of..."

[The sentence then breaks off and Oswald then writes:]

"...would have been able to get the necessary documents I required [to] assist me."

In Oswald's final typed version of the letter, the above verbiage was changed to this:

"Had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business."

So, it seems fairly obvious to me that the "business" Oswald was talking about in his 11/9/63 letter was merely red tape (so to speak), i.e., the acquisition of further visas and documents that would aid Oswald in his travels.


Here's another good passage from Mr. Bugliosi's book (relating to James Hosty of the FBI). It's yet another example (among many) of the common sense that appears throughout Vincent's "Reclaiming History":

[V.B. Quote On:]

"One other alleged attempt on the part of the FBI to withhold key information from the Warren Commission comes not so much from the conspiracy theorists but from a quasi-conspiracy soul mate of theirs, former FBI agent James Hosty himself.

In his book 'Assignment: Oswald', Hosty says that shortly before his testimony before the Warren Commission, someone removed "two key items" (both had been sent from FBI headquarters) from his file on Oswald in his Dallas office. One was an October 18, 1963, communique from the CIA to the FBI stating that while Oswald was in Mexico City he was in contact with the Russian embassy and had probably spoken to one Valeriy Kostikov at the embassy.

The second document contained a reference to the November 9, 1963, letter Oswald had written to the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., in which he refers to speaking to a "Comrade Kostin" (believed to be Kostikov) at the Russian embassy in Mexico City.

Based on these two documents, Hosty said he figured Kostikov "was just a simple administrative officer at the Russian Embassy." But Hosty says he later learned that Kostikov was a KGB agent in Department 13, the department of the KGB that dealt in sabotage and assassination.

Hosty suggests that the reason the FBI (who he correctly presumes knew this fact) kept this information from him is that the bureau, in league with the CIA, the Warren Commission, and President Johnson himself, didn't want him to introduce this information into the public record when he testified before the Warren Commission, for fear, Hosty says, that it could precipitate a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

One immediate problem with Hosty's thinking is this: Hosty said he read both documents before they disappeared from his files. Obviously, neither contained a reference to Kostikov being a KGB agent. Indeed, this is the predicate for Hosty's whole argument. Since the documents did not contain a reference to Kostikov being a KGB agent, how in the world would their removal from his file, which he felt was highly suspicious, prevent him from knowing Kostikov was a KGB agent? It obviously makes no sense at all.

Moreover, if the documents had contained a reference to Kostikov's KGB status, since Hosty had already read both documents, he could have testified to their essential content before the Warren Commission even if he did not have them in his physical possession.

It is also noteworthy that unlike his published book, his earlier 1986 manuscript of the book pointed out (page 20) that right after the assassination, when he located his Oswald file, the two subject documents were "right on top" of the file. Obviously, they were important, and just as obviously, his supervising agents had a right, without his permission, to look into the file (and remove any documents they deemed important) on someone who had just been identified as the president's assassin.

Indeed, one such supervising agent, Kenneth Howe, testified to this being routine procedure in ANY case."

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 1338-1339 of "Reclaiming History"


Thanks for the e-mails, Richard. I don't know if I have helped you at all with your questions about Oswald and Mexico, etc., but I've enjoyed our conversations nonetheless.

Furthermore, your recent e-mails and the questions you have raised about certain aspects of the JFK assassination and its investigation have provided the impetus for me to look a little more deeply into those specific matters being discussed. And for providing that additional incentive, I am grateful.

David Von Pein
February 12, 2010


Subject: Re: Second Oswald
Date: 2/13/2010 1:37:27 PM EST
From: Richard
To: David Von Pein


Dave, thanks so much for the generosity of your time in responding to my inquiries. I will look over the cites you provided me in your emails. I certainly agree with the numbered list of points you made in your initial response yesterday. Oswald did the shooting that day and no one else fired a shot. But why?

With regard to point 5 about the lack of a Cuban connection to the assassination, do you know what basis Hosty claimed to have for his allegation that Oswald offered to kill JFK to the Cubans?

Without the benefit of having read 'Oswald's Game' and 'Reclaiming History', I am at some disadvantage in speculating about Oswald and his motives. It would appear to me that since at least March 1963 when he purchased the rifle under a false name, he had some nefarious plan in mind. Whether that involved the assassination of JFK at that time, I certainly don't know, but it looks like he was planning to shoot somebody or somebodies.

Oswald strikes me as the type of person who wanted to be recognized as "somebody" of importance. What continues to baffle me is why he apparently engaged in the game of being both anti Castro and pro Castro within a matter of days in connection with the trip to Mexico City in September/October 1963.


I may do a little additional digging and get back in touch with you for some more sound advice. I hope you will forgive these perhaps baseless musings. Many thanks.



Subject: Re: Second Oswald
Date: 2/13/2010 4:58:47 PM EST
From: David Von Pein
To: Richard


Hi again Richard,

Re: James Hosty.....

I haven't read Hosty's book, so I don't know everything that he might have heard or theorized about certain aspects of the JFK case. But it's very likely that Hosty heard about Lee Harvey Oswald's alleged threat against President Kennedy via this method (as explained here by Vincent Bugliosi):

[V.B. Quote On:]

"British tabloid journalist Comer Clark...in an October 1967 edition of the National Enquirer...wrote that on July 15, 1967, he had an exclusive interview with [Fidel] Castro late one night in a Havana pizzeria. He quotes Castro as saying, "Lee Oswald came to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City twice. The first time, I was told, he wanted to work for us. He was asked to explain, but he wouldn't. He wouldn't go into details. The second time he said something like: 'Someone ought to shoot that President Kennedy.' Then Oswald said--and this was exactly how it was reported to me--'Maybe I'll try to do it.' This was less than two months before the U.S. President was assassinated...Yes, I heard of Lee Harvey Oswald's plan to kill President Kennedy. It's possible I could have saved him. I might have been able to, but I didn't. I never believed the plan would be put into effect."

The HSCA learned that Clark, who died in 1972, "wrote extensively for the sensationalist press in England. His articles include such items as 'British Girls as Nazi Sex Slaves' [and] 'I Was Hitler's Secret Love'."

When the HSCA asked Castro on April 3, 1978, about Clark's allegation, he responded in a blizzard of denunciatory words. Among them: "This is absurd. I didn't say that. It has been invented from the beginning until the end. It's a lie from head to toe. If this man [Oswald] would have done something like that, it would have been our moral duty to inform the United States."

Denying that he had ever met Clark or been interviewed by him, [Castro] said, "How could [this man] interview me in a pizzeria? I never go to public restaurants...I would never have given a journalist an interview in a pizzeria...What is the job of that journalist? What is he engaged in? ... You should...find [out] who he is and why he wrote it." "

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 1285 of "Reclaiming History"


Re: Oswald's Mindset In Late 1963.....

I really have no idea what Oswald was "up to" in the months leading up to the assassination with respect to his seemingly "flipping sides" from pro-Castro to anti-Castro at the drop of a hat. But he did seem to like to play games sometimes.

As for Oswald's reason for buying the rifle in March of 1963 -- that one is easy:

He bought the rifle so he could kill Retired General Edwin Walker with it. Oswald's attempted murder of Walker occurred only a couple of weeks (approximately) after he received his rifle in the mail.

The Walker shooting is something that most conspiracy theorists want to totally ignore, or they want to pretend that Oswald, himself, didn't really shoot at Walker in April, which is nonsense, of course, based on his paper trail that he left behind for Marina and Marina's own testimony concerning the matter.

But it's easy to see WHY those conspiracy promoters want to deny that Oswald shot at Walker --- because if they were to admit to themselves that Sweet Lee Harvey HAD IT IN HIM TO KILL A HUMAN BEING (and a political figure at that!), then it would be much more difficult to paint Oswald as the completely innocent "patsy" when it comes to John F. Kennedy's murder.

The Walker shooting, IMO, has always been a vital key to understanding OSWALD HIMSELF. Because when Oswald took that gun and fired a shot at General Edwin Walker's head on April 10, 1963, it forever proved that the man who was charged seven months later with the murder of the President of the United States positively had it WITHIN HIMSELF the willingness to kill a human being.

In other words -- Oswald was, in effect, a POLITICAL ASSASSIN many months prior to November 22, 1963.

And, in my view, that's a very important thing to know about Lee Harvey Oswald. And it's a part of Oswald's inner character that conspiracy theorists SHOULD (but don't) pay a lot more attention to, particularly the large number of conspiracists who currently reside in the silly "Anybody But Oswald" fraternity.

Thanks again for writing.

David Von Pein
February 13, 2010