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Joe Rodriguez Molina

 

Joe Molina 1969 El Centro Jr College yearbook photo. Scan by Ed Ledoux

Joe Molina worked alongside Otis Williams at the TSBD, he had been an employee of the TSBD for 13 years. Molina would arrive at 7 am to let himself and Jack Dougherty in.

He stood on the top of the steps of the TSBD, 5 7.5″ tall, and the funny thing is, is that he got not noted by anyone (not even Otis Williams who was his colleague and stood just in front of him) as someone they saw standing on the steps. He himself saw Pauline Sanders, Mrs Robert Reid, Roy Truly and Ochus Campbell (who left for lunch and left the steps accordingly) and while inside the vestibule Gloria Calvery as well.

Here is something to think about: that besides Molina (a Hispanic) neither African Americans Carl Edward Jones and Roy Edward Lewis, were not mentioned as being occupants on the front steps of the TSBD either just like Lee Oswald did not get that mention!

Joe Molina

Molina was captured in Altgens 6 (above, a HSCA print from the Mary Ferrell site) and also in the Wiegman film (below).

Joe Molina in the Dave Wiegman film

And finally also in the Darnell film (below)

Joe Molina in Darnell

 

Molina stands on the top landing of the steps and is seen in the films above. Shortly after he makes his way towards the area behind the picket fence and then makes his way back.

Molina describes in his HSCA testimony that he went back in through the red gates, further west of the building and he stood inside the mailing room on the first floor with others, such as Ochus Campbell talking about what happened. He sees Forrest Sorrels of the Secret Service arrive, who wants the building sealed (which is roughly about 20-25 minutes after the assassination).

Molina is noticed going into the second floor office with Mrs Reid, Otis Williams and O.V. Campbell by Geneva Hine who did not leave that floor when it all happened. Knowing that Molina saw Sorrels come in

At his W.C. testimony he says he sees Gloria Calvery arrive in the lobby and discusses the shooting. So did Gloria twice say the same story, first with Bill Shelley and then in the lobby? Or was there a little pow wow afterwards?

Mr. BALL. Do you know a girl named Gloria Calvary[sic]?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Did Gloria come up?
Ms.. MOLINA. Yes, she came. I was in the lobby standing there and she came in with this other girl.
Mr. BALL. What did she say?
Mr. MOLINA. She said “Oh, my God, Joe, he’s been shot.” They were both horrified. I said “Are you sure he was shot?” She said “Oh, Joe ,I’m sure. I saw his hair fly up and I’m sure he was shot” something to that extent.

Joe Molina went to see a friend (he never mentioned who this was), after the assassination and then went home,  while asleep his phone rings which he answers but on the other end only for some heavyweights of the DPD to arrive between 2 and 3 am with a search warrant to search his house,  instead Molina invited the officers in so they had no reason to execute the warrant. They searched his house while his wife and four kids were there and woken up. They could not find anything related to a connection between him and Lee Harvey Oswald or the assassination of JFK, nor anything that could lead to any . The only thing they found was a handbook of the American GI forum with a list of names which they copied according to the police. CE 2036 however states that: “The officers never did say what they where searching for, but they spent from thirty to forty minutes searching his home. To the best of his knowledge, the only thing they found which appeared to interest them, and which they carried away, was a list of names his wife had been given by the Holy Trinity’s Mothers’ Club of women to be contacted to help serve dinner at the Trade Mart.” CE 2036 is a most interesting document, it got no mention during Joe Molina’s W.C. testimony at all.

Assistant DA Bill Alexander mentions about the search of Molina’s house the following: At that time, there was another employee of the School Book Depository, Joe Molina, who worked with Oswald who was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. So, being careful, we got a search warrant. It was about midnight when I got the search warrant and went
out to his house with Captain Gannaway and a group of his Vice Squad officers. We had no idea what we would find. Joe was in bed, so we told he and his wife to just stay in bed and keep the kids quiet and that we would try not to tear anything up, that we just wanted to do a search job. He was very cooperative in that he lay there and spoke only when spoken to. Really there wasn’t anything for him to say. It was about three o’clock in the morning when we finished the search. Not finding anything that would connect him to the assassination, we thanked him and told him that we hoped we hadn’t disturbed him too much. Later he sued Channel 4 but didn’t get anything out of it. After all, we had a valid search warrant based on probable cause, and card-carrying Communists were very few and just really didn’t have too much standing in Dallas at that time.

The next morning he reported at 11 AM at the DPD station to be interrogated and kept waiting until late that afternoon. After giving his statement at the DPD station, DPD chief Jesse Curry while talking to local media, told them that Joe Molina, a subversive was being questioned.

This was aired out and had serious consequences for his career: the potential whiff of being a communist sympathiser was enough for the TSBD management to let him go. The whole thing was done under cover of newly introduced automated processes in the bookkeeping department, and he got a  pay off, but his reputation was tarnished by the whole episode. He experienced difficulty obtaining a job, but he did eventually land new work.  He also went back to college in the late 60’s (the pic at the top of this page is from his yearbook at Crozier Tech.

Here is Jesse Curry at two different times talking to the press in the corridor of the DPD about Molina

 

It even makes it into the Washington Post of Nov. 24th 1963, but his name has been withheld.

Washington Post Nov 24

And Curry also mentions that, although unnamed in the article, Molina has been in their subversives files since 1955. Which begs the question, if the DPD has a go at the FBI for not disclosing Oswald to them as a possible person of great interest with regards the visit of The President, then why was Molina not a person of interest since he worked in the same building. And the DPD knew this. But the real fact of the matter is, that the DPD had nothing on Molina. 

 

But the Monterey Peninsula Herald from  Nov. 23 states his name as ‘Rodriguez Molina’.

There is a 60 page dossier at Mary Ferrel on Joe Molina, I add the most important ones below. You will see that everyone is very busy covering their behind when it comes to painting Molina as a subversive, even Jesse Curry who mentioned his name to the press is busy covering himself.

Joe Molina insist on giving his testimony to the Warren Commission. He starts of by listing some of the things that happened to him in the evening and day after the assassination and subsequently why he was let go from the Texas School Book Depository.

More importantly he is being asked about Truly and Baker going in, since Molina stood on the top of the steps.

Mr. BALL. Did you see Mr. Truly go into the building?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Where were you when sol; saw him go into the building?
Mr. MOLINA. I was right in the entrance.
Mr. BALL. Did you see a police officer with him?
Mr. MOLINA. I didn’t see a police officer. I don’t recall seeing a police officer but I did see him go inside.
Mr. BALL. Did you see a white-helmeted police officer any time there in the entrance?
Mr. MOLINA. Well, of course, there might have been one after they secured the building, you know.
Mr. BALL. No, I mean when Truly went in ; did you see Truly actually go into the building?
Mr. MOLINA. I saw him go in.
Mr. BALL. Where were you standing?
Mr. MOLINA. Right at the front door; right at the front door.
Mr. BALL. Outside the front door?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes, outside the front door I was standing; the door was right behind me.
Mr. BALL. Were you standing on the steps?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes, on the uppermost step.
Mr. BALL. You actually saw Truly go in?
Mr. MOLINA. Yeah.
Mr. BALL. You were still standing there?
Mr. MOLI~A. Yes.
Mr. BALL. How long was it after you heard the shots?
Mr. MOUNA. Oh, I would venture to say maybe 20 or 30 seconds afterward&
Mr. BALL. Had somebody come up and said the President was shot before you saw Truly go in?
Mr. MOLINA. No.
Mr. BALL. Do you know a girl named Gloria Calvary?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Did Gloria come up?
Mr. MOLINA. Yes, she came. I was in the lobby standing there and she came in with this other girl.
Mr. BALL.. What did she say?
Mr. MOLINA. She said “Oh, my God, Joe, he’s been shot.” They were both horrified. I said “Are you sure he was shot?” She said “Oh, Joe, I’m sure. I saw his hair fly up and I’m sure he was shot” something to that extent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mr. BALL. You left the building that day about what time and went home?

1/Molina does not see Baker go in, while standing near the door.

2/The Calvery story, which means Bill Shelley‘s version is either BS or she told the same story twice, which is a possibility.

During this testimony there is a peculiar exchange relating to the accusations levied against him:

Mr. MOLINA. I just wanted to state in the record that I want to deny any accusations if there is any doubt in anybody’s mind.
Mr. BALL. No; there is nobody I ever heard has accused you of anything.
Mr. MOLINA. I know there’s a fella that I talk with that belongs to the or had worked with the FBI that knows my position in this thing.
Mr. BALL. I never heard anybody accuse you of any wrongdoing in connection with this matter.
Mr. MOLINA. In fact, Bill Lowery worked with the FBI.
Mr. BALL. You don’t have to worry about that; no one is accusing you of anything.
Mr. MOLINA. Except the local people here.

 

 

Joe Rodriguez Molina in the DMN 1988, scan by Stan Dane.

 

Joe Molina’s HSCA testimony was classified until 1998. No one however bothered to dig it up until ROKC did in 2016. A terrific read by itself.

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