(PART 42)




1. Seaport Traders sent REA [Railway Express Agency] a different priced gun than that which was ordered.



Lee Harvey Oswald (aka A.J. Hidell) ordered a .38 revolver for $29.95. And Seaport Traders mailed him a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver worth that exact amount -- $29.95. Michaelis Exhibit No. 2 proves this fact:

Jim DiEugenio apparently thinks that because there's a ".38 S&W Special" listed for $39.95 on this order form that Oswald used to purchase his .38 revolver, this must mean (per Jim D.) that Seaport shipped the wrong gun to Oswald/Hidell:

Jim, as usual, is wrong. Quite obviously, BOTH the $29.95 gun that Oswald ordered and the $39.95 gun marked as a "Special" in the above-linked advertisement were BOTH considered to be Smith & Wesson "Specials".

Jim D., as always, is focusing on the wrong information, as well as twisting other information into his liking, to serve his pathetic "Anybody But Oswald" purposes.


2. There is no evidence LHO went to REA to pick up the gun, which was normal procedure.


There was very likely no need for Oswald to go to the Railway Express office to pick up the revolver. The gun itself was physically shipped by REA to Oswald's Dallas P.O. Box. We know that via Michaelis Exhibit No. 4 and the testimony of Heinz W. Michaelis [at 7 H 378]:

JOSEPH BALL -- "I will show you another document here which is a slip of red paper marked "Railway Express Agency" which has been heretofore identified with an FBI Exhibit No. DL-29 [which was marked by the Warren Commission as "Michaelis Exhibit No. 4"]. What is that document?" ....

HEINZ MICHAELIS -- "That is a copy of the receipt which we got from the Railway Express Agency showing that on March 20, 1963, one carton with a pistol was shipped to A. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Texas. It shows, furthermore, that Railway Express is instructed to collect a c.o.d. fee of $19.95. And it shows furthermore the number of the original receipt, which is 70638."

So the merchandise itself (the revolver) was shipped by REA to Oswald's Dallas post office box. And if REA's procedure was to collect the C.O.D. and service fee directly from the purchaser (in this case, Oswald/Hidell), then why would they ever actually physically ship the merchandise to a POST OFFICE BOX in the first place? They would obviously realize that the purchaser would likely not be standing beside his P.O. Box waiting for the REA truck to come by.

So the post office workers would place in Oswald's P.O. Box a slip of paper telling him he has a C.O.D. package at the front desk. The post office would then collect the proper C.O.D. charges from Oswald/Hidell.

I suppose it's possible that I'm wrong about how these types of "COD" transactions worked when companies shipped merchandise to P.O. Boxes, but if the PHYSICAL ITEM itself was actually shipped to P.O. Box 2915 (and Heinz Michaelis said it was in his WC testimony), then it means that the post office employees would be initially handling the money from Oswald (since, quite obviously, Oswald didn't set up camp and live right there inside his post office box as he waited for the delivery truck to show up with his pistol).

But, then too, only conspiracy theorists actually believe that all of this chaff about the REA paperwork is the slightest bit important. Reasonable people, however, can easily determine that Lee Harvey Oswald received revolver #V510210 from Seaport Traders in March 1963 and he killed Officer J.D. Tippit with that gun on 11/22/63 (regardless of any paperwork and red tape that might be missing from the official records of the Railway Express Agency).

EDIT --- Since writing the above remarks, I've come into possession of additional information concerning the method by which Lee Harvey Oswald likely came into physical possession of the .38 Smith & Wesson mail-order revolver he ordered from Seaport Traders, Inc.

This information comes from the person who probably knows more about the J.D. Tippit murder (and, hence, more about the gun that was used to kill Officer Tippit) than anyone else on the planet, Dale K. Myers, the author of the excellent 1998 book "With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald And The Murder Of Officer J.D. Tippit".

Quoting Mr. Myers:

"Upon arrival at the REA Express office in Dallas, notice was given to the consignee, Hidell. REA Express VP Robert Hendon testified that in a similar case, "a card was sent to the name and address" on the package.

"Presumably, a card was sent to Oswald's P.O. Box, notifying him that a package was to be picked up at the REA Express Office, located at 515 South Houston Street -- at the north end of the Houston Street viaduct.

"Oswald's P.O. Box was at the Main Post Office in the Federal Building, 1114 Commerce Street, on the south side, seven blocks east of Houston at Murphy. Both locations were along bus routes easily accessible from Oswald's Neely Street address.

"Once Oswald received the notification card at his P.O. Box, he simply took a bus back to the REA Express office -- presented the notification card, the balance due, and some form of identification -- and accepted delivery of the revolver.

"After REA Express had delivered the package to Oswald, the C.O.D. remittance document and the amount collected from Oswald, was forwarded to Seaport Traders. Once received, the C.O.D. remittance document was attached to the red copy of the invoice, indicating that the money had been collected and the package delivered. These documents were placed in the Seaport Trader files, where they were discovered by FBI agents on November 30, 1963.

"The paper trail created by Oswald's purchase of the .38 Smith & Wesson revolver under the name A.J. Hidell is clear and direct. The actions taken by Seaport Traders and REA Express in response to Oswald's order are consistent with each company’s rules and regulations at the time and serve as evidence that the order was processed and delivered as described.

"The fact that the revolver shipped to Oswald's P.O. Box was in his possession at the time of his arrest is further evidence that the transaction occurred as demonstrated.

"In conclusion, there can be no doubt that Oswald ordered and later took possession of the V510210 revolver."

-- Dale K. Myers; 1998 [Source link to complete article.]


3. There is no evidence of a notification card telling LHO to do this [i.e., go to REA to pick up the gun].


And that's very likely due to the fact that Oswald didn't need to go to the Railway Express office to pick up the revolver. He picked it up right there at the post office.

[EDIT: I have since changed my opinion on this point. See the Dale Myers' quote and article above.]

[ADDITIONAL EDIT: But also see THIS POST, which includes the Post Office regulations for the handling of C.O.D. mail, which seem to indicate that my original interpretation of Oswald picking up his revolver at the Dallas Post Office might not be incorrect after all.]

Plus: Even if Oswald was required to go to the REA office to get the gun, why on Earth would the slip of paper telling him to do so need to be retained by anybody? That type of paperwork would very likely get thrown away after Oswald picked up his merchandise.


4. There is no signed receipt in evidence.


And that's because Oswald didn't need to sign anything, as explained by Heinz W. Michaelis [at 7 H 377]:

HEINZ MICHAELIS -- "The order received by mail is written up and invoiced in quadruplicate on a snap-out form. .... The fourth copy is the acknowledgment of the order copy and lists on the back side a statement which has to be signed by the respective customer."

JOE BALL -- "What statement?

MR MICHAELIS -- "A statement to the effect, I believe that it said that the buyer states that he is a citizen of the United States, and that he has never been convicted in any court of the United States, territories, possessions, et cetera."

MR. BALL -- "Well, now, this fourth copy that has on the back this statement by the customer, is that mailed to the customer?"

MR. MICHAELIS -- "It is mailed to the customer, but not in this particular case. Indicated on the invoice are three X's, which indicates that we have already a statement to this effect on file because this particular mail order coupon has already the statement, and the name of the witness."


5. There is no 5024 form in evidence.


Here again, to a conspiracy theorist like Jim DiEugenio, the stuff that ISN'T in evidence (which the CTer thinks should be in evidence) is always much more important than what IS in evidence.

In this instance, Jim is much more concerned about a "5024 form" not being in evidence than he is about the fact that Oswald had on him the EXACT GUN that Seaport Traders mailed to "A.J. Hidell" at Oswald's P.O. Box.

In other words, chaff always trumps wheat if you're a conspiracy theorist the likes of James DiEugenio.


6. In the WC, the wrong price is added up on the exhibit.


Oh, good heavens! Tell me it ain't so, Jim!

I guess this must mean we should let Oswald off the hook for shooting Tippit then.

And, btw, if you're referring to Michaelis Exhibit 5, the amount written in the "Amount To Be Paid" box ($19.95) is not incorrect at all. That is the correct amount to be remitted to Seaport Traders. The other amount (the $1.27 C.O.D. service charge) goes to Railway Express, not Seaport Traders.


7. There is no evidence of a certificate of good character being produced, even though it was state law.


No certificate was required in this case, because Oswald had already provided that information via his fake "D.F. Drittal" endorsement on the mail-order coupon that he sent to Seaport Traders. (Also see my response to your #4 item above.)


8. There is no evidence of a payment deposited by REA or transferred to Seaport.


You're wrong. And Heinz Michaelis provided that information in his Warren Commission testimony [at 7 H 378-379]:

JOE BALL -- "Is there anything in your files which shows that the Railway Express did remit to you the $19.95?"

HEINZ MICHAELIS -- "The fact that the exhibit number...was attached to the red copy of the invoice...indicates that the money was received."

Plus: The word "Paid" is written right on the invoice too (Michaelis No. 2).


9. No documentation that the transaction ever happened was in Oswald's belongings.


I guess Jim DiEugenio thinks that Oswald should have kept every receipt he ever had in his possession for everything he ever purchased throughout his life. LOL.

And as indicated earlier, it's very likely that no "receipt" was ever given to Oswald (by anybody) regarding his purchase of the revolver. Therefore, of course, no receipt is going to be found among Oswald's possessions after the assassination.


10. There is no evidence the ammo was ever purchased.


This is just too silly to talk about.

Oswald quite obviously DID purchase some bullets to go into his Smith & Wesson revolver. We know he acquired several bullets to go into that gun, because he fired at least four (and maybe five) of those bullets at Officer Tippit on Tenth Street. Plus, LHO had five bullets in his pants pocket and six additional bullets inside the chamber of the gun when he was arrested in the theater just thirty-five minutes after Tippit was slain.

The math's pretty easy to figure out here (except if you're in the "Anybody But Oswald" club, of course).


The first reports were of automatic shells found at the scene.


But those early (and inaccurate) reports weren't as a result of a cop actually examining the shells themselves. The initial confusion about the shells possibly being from an automatic came mainly from eyewitness Ted Callaway, who told the police that the gunman he saw leaving the Tippit crime scene was carrying the gun in such a manner that he thought the gun was an automatic (which could be loaded through the handle of the weapon). Hence, the incorrect information was broadcast about the killer being armed with an "automatic".

Plus, this whole "automatic" argument is really, really stupid in the first place (even if you're a conspiracy believer).


Because if an automatic gun had really been used to kill Officer Tippit, then the bullet shells that were recovered at the crime scene would have been found right next to Tippit's patrol car, instead of where we know they all were found--in the Davises' yard at the corner of 10th & Patton.

Does Jim DiEugenio really believe that the real killer of Tippit picked up his four spent "automatic" cartridges and then tossed them into the bushes at the corner of Tenth and Patton? There's not a single witness who ever said anything like that occurred. The gunman was physically dumping shells out of his gun at the corner, which MUST mean that the killer shot Tippit with a revolver and not an automatic.


What happened to Poe's initials?


Let's have a look at what Dallas Police Officer J.M. Poe told the Warren Commission on April 7, 1964 [at 7 H 68]:

JOE BALL -- "Did you put any markings on the hulls?"

J.M. POE -- "I couldn't swear to it; no, sir."

So, as we can see via the above testimony, Officer Poe told the Warren Commission that he wasn't sure whether or not he marked the two bullet shells that Domingo Benavides handed him.

But, naturally, anything that anybody told the evil, rotten Warren boys is supposed to be flushed down the toilet. Right, Jim D.?

DiEugenio pulls this same trick with Darrell Tomlinson too (the man who found Bullet CE399 on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Hospital). Tomlinson told the Warren Commission over and over again that he wasn't sure which of the two stretchers he had taken off of the elevator at Parkland. He said he wasn't sure about TEN different times during his WC session. But, naturally, that testimony means zilch to an "Anybody But Oswald" conspiracy theorist like James DiEugenio.

Plus, the two "Poe" bullet shells aren't even needed in order to know with 100% certainty that ALL FOUR shells found at the Tippit murder scene were shells that came out of Oswald's V510210 S&W revolver.

Why is this so?


Because we know from the weight of the witness testimony that ONLY ONE GUNMAN was ejecting shells out of ONE SINGLE GUN near the corner of Tenth Street and Patton Avenue just after Officer Tippit was killed.

And since we know for a fact that the OTHER TWO SHELLS FROM OSWALD'S GUN that were found by TWO additional witnesses on that same day of November 22 have absolutely no problems or question marks hanging over them regarding the chain of custody....this, therefore, must mean that ALL FOUR of the shells had to have been left at the scene by the one gunman who was dumping shells out of ONLY ONE GUN at the crime scene.

Conspiracists never seem to want to perform the above common-sense math. (Gee, I wonder why?)

David Von Pein
August 2010



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