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Marina Oswald: “It’s Lee”

Marina Oswald: “It’s Lee”

 

By Ed Ledoux and Bart Kamp.

Some photos and text has been added and amended. Feb. 22nd 2019.

In June and July of 2018 the core ROKC members were discussing amongst themselves whether to get in contact with Marina Oswald and ask her what she thought of the whole Prayer Man situation. We agreed to put it forward to her, nothing ventured nothing gained right?

Stan Dane printed one of the better shots of the Wiegman and Darnell films alongside a picture of the book cover and sent these enlargements to her. No photo of Doorway man (a.k.a. Billy Lovelady) was sent to her at any time. Stan did not receive a reply so  Ed Ledoux rang her and left a message on her answer machine not expecting to hear back from her. But less than 25 minutes later she rang back.  He asked her whether she had received the images and she said she had.

Prayer Man enlargements sent to Marina Oswald. Pic. Stan Dane.

Out Of The Shadows Into The Light Prayer Man book cover. Pic. Stan Dane.

What follows is Ed Ledoux’s story abut this particular phone call:

I wanted Marina Oswald to tell me about that figure seen in the Darnell and Wiegman films Stan Dane had sent to her, a figure who was standing in the dark shadowy top left corner, one whom was labelled Figure J. in drawings by Richard Bernabei.

Occupants front steps of the T.S.B.D. by Richard Bernabei. Click pic. to enlarge.

I felt the need to explain everything first, as she immediately asked what this was all about and began to tell all the details as best as I could relate quickly to her about Weigman and Darnell, the steps, our research and that of others.

Sketch of Prayer Man and Bill Shelley on the front steps of the T.S.B.D. by Richard Bernabei. Click pic. to enlarge.

Sketch of Prayer Man, Billy Lovelady, Otis Williams and Bill Shelley on the front steps of the T.S.B.D. by Richard Bernabei. Click pic. to enlarge.

When I was about to mention Richard Bernabei’s annotated sketches of Weigman from the late 60’s, which were not sent to her,  with the unknown figure marked J. she stopped me.

Marina interjected and said “That’s Lee” I was taken aback as she knew exactly what and who I had asked about. She volunteered her answer. I exclaimed “What?” to make sure I had heard her correctly. And she replied to me “It’s Lee.” and did so as quite a matter of fact.

There I was thinking, here is the one person besides Marguerite Oswald whom would know the likeness of Lee better than any armchair detective or internet warrior could. Here she was confirming the identity of her husband and in effect the work done by Sean Murphy until the 50th anniversary of the murder, and now carried on by the ROKC crew as a litmus test in the Kennedy assassination.

When I asked Marina about the images of Prayer Man to Lee she said, “Yes, seen it many times” like it was old news.
Well I was dazzled by her quick wit and retorts. She is no slouch when it comes to her late husband and the case.
She said “They have dropped the assumed part, and just say he is guilty” so I explained the FBI and Justice Dept. have both closed the case and retroactively declared Lee guilty.
I asked if she knew of a way to help and she understood the problem.
She wanted to know my age, she sharing hers first like a lady. I shared mine and she said “Good, you’re young enough to get something done.”
I told her about the book, “Prayer Man, Out Of The Shadows And Into The Light” by Stan Dane.
Marina asked when it was published. I said it has been out three and a half years.
When I told her what information it had about documenting Lee on the first floor and in the vestibule, she responded resolutely, “I don’t need to be convinced.”
Marina was kind and soft spoken, wanted me to help her children who suffer the most by having a father wrongfully called a murderer. No jury, no trial, no full investigation, yet the United States legal system allows this.
As Marina Oswald called me back in such a short time after I had left a message I did not record this call. But I did call her back again two weeks later, this was after I sent her Stan Dane’s book and asked her to give me her blessing to what she had said to me two weeks prior. In this conversation she stated that she had not read the Stan Dane book, as there were too many characters involved and that all they had to do is compare two faces; Lee and Billy Lovelady. The rest didn’t matter. Listen to the short recording below.

NBC Universal holds the original footage of Darnell and Wiegman from that day in 1963 when The President, John F. Kennedy, was murdered.
These original 16 mm films contain much better detail than the circulating ones. The copies that are around were transferred to 3/4 inch VHS tape nearly 60 years ago and are overall not very clear due to the generational gap and the artefacts it inherited due to the transfer.

Poor quality images allow the weak and timid to say it might be Lee or dispute it, and until better images they retort that they can’t agree it is Oswald, until its shown and proven to be Lee.
Thus the Prayer Man litmus test has enabled ROKC to sample those researchers genuinely looking to end all debate as to Lee’s innocence.
The naysayers dismiss with a wave of the hand the literal mountains of physical and documented evidence that puts Lee on the first floor during the assassination and outside during the shooting.
Naysayers accomplish this by saying the images taken from the films are to blurry.
Blurry yes, but good enough for them to identify Buell Frazier, and Billy Lovelady without second guesses.

I have spoken with Buell Frazier and I got the sense he recognises the figure but cannot allow himself to say what Marina effortlessly stated.  “It’s Lee.”

Buell has identified himself in the films.

Buell Frazier in Darnell.

He has said he thought the figure near him called Prayer Man is Bill Shelley, Buell may default to Bill but he also realises Bill left the steps with Billy Lovelady to walk down to the rail yard and knoll area. Buell cant reconcile the figure with the logistics of those present.
I want to show Buell a better image too.

Slowly these things help to settle this important matter. Just over a week ago Bart managed to show a note made by FBI agent James Hosty which clearly stated that “He went to 2nd floor to get coca cola to eat with lunch and returned to 1st floor to eat lunch. Then went outside to watch P. parade.”

This document and the Fritz interrogation notes show that Lee himself is giving his alibi to the police and knowing that Bill Shelley was there with him, only for police authorities to twist things and use it against him.

Lee said he stepped out to see what all the excitement was about as reported by Detective Ed Hicks.
Reporters were documenting this statement.

In his interview shortly before Lee was murdered by Jack Ruby, Postal Inspector Harry Holmes asked about Lee’s alibi.
Specifically that Lee was in the Vestibule or nearing the vestibule when the shooting took place. There is only one vestibule proper. It is between the two outer columns flanking the steps, up to the front door.
That is in part Oswald’s alibi, being out in the vestibule and knowing who else was on the steps.

I wanted to see the best images of those steps and who was in the vestibule and asked for and was granted a license for the Darnell film. Additionally I made an offer to transfer Darnell into 4k or 8k resolution, using the vendor of their choice to perform the scan and at my cost, but I was soon told that the powers that be had denied access to the film.

Rather than provide me the best quality image available NBC asked that I use a high quality format but media that was from a 3/4″  tape circa 1970’s era.
I declined to accept this paltry material.

I thank the folks who helped with the project, especially Bart Kamp, Greg Parker, and Stan Dane who have searched for the original films with me.

Thanks to the fine folks at ROKC I knew beyond a shadow that Lee was Prayer Man and I continued based on evidence that the films were in New York at the NBC ‘archives’ there.
The films are still awaiting a new Executive to allow access to study them.
Greg Parker has sent a public letter asking NBC Universal for the films to be accessed by researchers and students.

We are still waiting their reply.

Thanks to Marina I realised the truth has just begun.

Marina asked me about the films timing, she said its important. I explained that the limo is still seen exiting Dealey Plaza in the Dave Wiegman film, which syncs up with Wiegman and then Darnell, so its a matter of seconds.
Marina said that makes Lee innocent.

I agreed,…

I’ve spoke to Marina a few more times to update her on the Prayer Man project and various aspects of the case. I am going to tell her about the Sixth Floor Museums donation they received of a 2k copy of Darnell.
Alan Dale asked Stephen Fagin at the Lancer conference about the film and Fagin told that it can be viewed in the museum’s viewing room, but there is no zooming or slowing the playback there unfortunately.
I had mentioned to her that I would find better footage, as she was not positive NBC would ever allow access. So we are hopeful to have more to discuss in the near future.
Cheers and ROKC on.

Living History with Karen Westbrook Scranton

Living History with Karen Westbrook Scranton

 

Updated March 25th 2018, March 20th 2019 and Dec 8th 2019.

Recently the 6th Floor Museum uploaded a video of Stephen Fagin’s interview with Karen Westbrook Scranton. She worked for a small publisher Southwestern Company alongside with Gloria Calvery, Karan Hicks, Carol Ann Reed and Carol Hughes on the second floor office of the T.S.B.D. after she graduated from high school.

At about 07:15 it is shown that her desk inside the second floor office is in the southeast corner. But this wrong, Room 203 is on the Western wall, what is shown is the 2nd floor office of the TSBD office and not the Southwestern offices.

Karen Westbrook’s desk was in the far right upper corner of this pic. Click to enlarge.

At 11:10 it starts to go really wrong. She states that after seeing the photograph of the fake vestibule that that door was always open. The door in question was part of a unit built to keep the noise out and had a door closing attachment fixed at the top of the door, which you can see below in a picture at the top left of the door on the inside. What she refers to as the door of the lunch room is the door after that, which I am showing next in the gallery below. Plus a close-up showing that that lunch room door is open. Imagine that outer door being open all that time then Baker’s and Truly’s remarks with the door being closed and that Baker caught a glimpse through the glass of the door can be completely discounted then. Some nerdy shizzle going on here folks….. But I do not find this suspicious merely human error and it being a long time ago.

At 12:10 Stephen Fagin makes the mistake of referring to the 2nd floor lunch room as to the Domino room, the Domino room was downstairs on the first floor and not the second. It was called that way as they tended to play a lot of domino games in there. It was the labourers’ lunch room.

Then shortly after that she drops a massive bomb shell, and states that Oswald had his lunch in there in the corner by himself. So that would be the first table coming in on the right on the photo below.

Click on pic to enlarge.

That is quite a thing to say as many others said that Oswald always had his lunch in the Domino Room which was on 1st. Then also if Oswald was in the lunch room at 12:15 as stated by Carolyn Arnold in the 70’s then others could have easily confirmed that. Reid especially as she left later at about 12:20. Molina had lunch and could have seen him there as well, but he made no mention of it, nor did anyone else. Plus the lunch room on the second floor was off limits to workers, since they had the Domino Room to have lunch in, on the first floor.It is quite possible it is true that she must have seen him on the odd occasion getting coke, but sitting down and having lunch no way.

At 13:00 she mentions that Lee was always reading strange looking material. Pamphlet style material. Again I have to take this with a massive grain of salt.

After that she tells about Altgens 6, and confirms that it was Billy Lovelady, and that the guy was looking a bit like Lee, but it wasn’t him. “It became a terrible joke in the office.”

At 18:10 Karen Westbrook Scranton IDs herself in the Zapruder film. And also pointed out that redheaded Gloria Calvery was standing right beside her. There was no doubt in her mind. Finally an ID of Gloria Calvery! She then says that she believes the person next to Gloria Calvery is Carol Ann Reed and that is wrong. It is Stella Mae Jacob, who was a (Native) Indian.

Click to enlarge.

With this ID, it can be said that running woman in Couch and Darnell is not Gloria Calvery. Furthermore she cannot be compared with any of the women going up on the west side of the stairs in Darnell either. Gloria Calvery’s son seems to dispute that the woman with the red hair is his mum. Stephen Fagin relays this, but does not elaborate any further, nor does anyone else

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Add on March 25th.

In this film still, by James Darnell. We see Jakob, Holt and Simmons within a few minutes after the shooting.

Stella Mae Jakob, Gloria Holt and Sharron Simmons in the Darnell film. Click to enlarge.

If these three women are the same then Westbrook was wrong about the ID of the person standing next to Gloria Calvery as being her. The darker skinned person is Stella Mae Jacob, who describes herself as of Indian descent (in this context that means Native American). If this is true, then there is an even bigger problem with regards the timing of  their return, according to Jacob’s statement in CE1381 she did not even make it back inside the T.S.B.D. and left for home instead! That by itself is interesting with regards to the so called missing persons and the roll call by Roy Truly. There were lots of people missing, LOTS!

Here are all the women involved in this chapter. But they are from different companies.

 

From the women that are in that group according to their statements in CE1381 I can relay.

Gloria Little/Calvery stated she was with: Carol Reed, Karen Westbrook and Karan Hicks. After getting back in the office she made her way back down near the front entrance, but was told she could not leave.

Karan Hicks stated she was with: Gloria Calvery, Karen Westbrook and Carol Reed. After making her way back in the office, like Calvery, she made her way back down near the front entrance, but was told she could not leave.

Gloria Jean Holt was with Stella Mae Jacob and Sharron Simmons. She did not manage to get back inside the T.S.B.D. and subsequently went home.

Stella Mae Jacob was accompanied by Sharron Nelson/Simmons and Gloria Jean Holt. She also did not manage to get back inside the T.S.B.D. and subsequently went home as well.

Sharron Nelson/Simmons was with Gloria Jean Holt and Stella Mae Jacob.  She did not return to the T.S.B.D. either.

Carol Reed stated she was with Karan Hicks, Karen Westbrook and Gloria Calvery.

This then translates into the following graphic.

 

Click to enlarge.

 

We can see Stella Mae Jacob and Gloria Holt embracing each other in the Harry Cabluck picture from the Dallas Times Herald below. You can also notice the two ladies on the right are lady 4 and 5 to the left of the Stemmons freeway sign in the Z film still.

Stella Mae Jacob and either Gloria Calvery or Gloria Jean Holt embracing in a Harry Cabluck/D.T.H. pic. From Robin Unger’s jfkassassinationgallery.com. Click to enlarge.

 

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Then at 29:17 she starts to relay the conversation she apparently had with Mrs. Robert Reid, the clerical supervisor. The most astonishing bit is she had that convo after the assassination, on the very same day, while people were locked-in the office by the police and they were milling around inside it.  Mrs Reid said Lee came in with a coke in his hand and asked “what’s all that excitement all about.”  And she answered “OMG someone shot the President.” And Karen Westbrook Scranton then says “Whether that’s true and fits in with the timeline of the story. that was Mrs Reid’s story, seeing Lee after the assassination.”   Think about it, Lee asked what the commotion was about? Mrs Reid described Lee’s manner as almost non-responsive, he had said something that she could not understand. And she said all this to everyone inside the office within an hour after the assassination? Molina could have confirmed that, but he did not, nor did anyone else. Especially Geneva Hine would not relay that, since she was alone in the office between 12:25-12:35! And she saw Reid, Stanton, Reed, Molina and others come in about 25 mins after.

At 33:40 she tells the story of Marguerite Oswald coming in and causing a scene and being removed from the building. A situation that was described by Roy Truly as well. He even said that she showed Altgens 6 and claimed that it was Lee on the front page picture.

She is convinced Lee did it, and has of course taken in certain pro-Warren Commission scenarios to support that opinion. What she says is informative, but there are some mistakes and also some statements that are hard to believe.

Update Dec 8th 2019.

Karen Westbrook Scranton has donated a set of photos which were taken inside the office of Southwestern Publishing Company to the Sixth Floor Museum. I have enhanced these photographs with more colour and sharpness.

Lone Gunman Podcast Ep.84 Prayer Man Revisited

Rob Clark did another pod cast on Prayer Man, this time with a lot of info from Stan Dane’s recent book Out Of The Shadows And Into The Light: Prayer Man. A book I will review in the next week or so myself.

It contains a few mistakes but overall it is a huge improvement compared to last year’s episode which I reviewed a few weeks back. Great work Rob now please tell all your listeners to contact the 6th FloorMuseum and ask for the release of the  1st generation copy of the Darnell film!

The search for the Weigman & Darnell films

I happen to come across this news article from about two years ago, where the late Gary Mack visited the archives of NBC5 in East Fort Worth.

The video shows the late Gary Mack of the 6th Floor Museum going into a room in a basement of NBC 5, where various boxes are standing on shelves which contain WBAP (later to become KXAS) film spools of the JFK Assassination and above all its aftermath, looking at this makes me think about all the excuses TV corporations and disinfo agents spread about the films being hard to find or ‘locked away’ when the video clearly shows that the films are just chucked in a box without any serious form of preservation and identification present.

Our quest is to find the best possible versions of the Dave Weigman and Jimmy Darnell films, they are very hard to find so it seems, and we have been trying to locate them for quite some time now.

Then UNT Libraries posts a release that they will house the complete news archive from NBC5/KXAS (formely WBAP)  from 1950 – 2012 and that the UNT Library will digitise all this material.

 

I contacted the UNT Library and conversed  with Morgan Gieringer, who told me that they had all the films except the JFK Assassination related material (why was this exception made?), since those, according to her message, went to the 6th Floor Museum (there was not a word about this in the press release).

The first thing I did when I was notified was to contact the 6th Floor Museum through Twitter and asked them if they had these films. To which I got the following reply.
twitter 6th floor museum asking where is the darnell film

 

In March 2015, Gary Mack had sent a few members of the Education Forum a PM which contained some info on these films, I quote from the PM Darren Hastings received (post #1649):

NBC owns the original Wiegman film but when producers of JFK: Death in Dealey Plaza asked them for it 12 years ago (at my request), NBC could only locate a 1960s-era video tape of it. We wound up using, I think, a 1963/1964 theatrical newsreel version held by UCLA.

NBC took the original Wiegman and Darnell films from the Dallas NBC affiliate to New York following the assassination weekend. Whether the network still has the original Darnell film is unknown, but as a former employee I know the affiliate does not have it or a copy. Nor does Jimmy Darnell.

Fortunately, a first-generation 16mm copy print was made in Dallas over that weekend and it is in the Museum’s collection; however, the Museum cannot do anything with it until copyright issues are resolved. It’ll happen, and sooner rather than later.

I contacted NBC 5 as well and Sharla Alford  assistant to the News Director/Custodian of Records got back to me promptly telling me that the University Of North Texas or the 6th Floor Museum has got all the JFK Assassination related film material from KXAS.

I replied and asked her if she could provide an inventory of the films, to which I got a reply from Brain Hocker, who is the VP of programming, research and digital media at NBC5.

He forwarded me to their online archive instead containing all the video screeners that were beamed across the nation that weekend and just after. Video, exactly the low resolution is not worth the bother, as the HD documentaries that have shown snippets of these films are in a larger resolution than what was offered to me. Furthermore the Darnell film was nowhere to be seen and the Weigman film was shown 3 times, and only once did it show the front of the TSBD.

I replied asking them (Brian Hocker at NBC5 and Megan Bryant at the 6th Floor Museum) several questions:

1/The film reels are clearly shown in the NBC5 news item, as shown above, just dormant in some boxes on a shelve in the basement at NBC5 archives, so where are they now?

2/Why are they not being digitised at ENT since everything else from that period of KXAS is?

3/Where are the original Darnell and Weigman films?

4/Can we get some high resolution still scans of the 1st gen. Darnell film that is at the 6th Floor Museum?

 

The ‘secrecy’ or better yet, the overall silence about this is deafening and looking at the video above with Gary Mack in the basement checking out the cardboard boxes holding these films one has to wonder how this stuff is being ‘treated’ for preservation.

As soon as I have the answers then so will you.