Buel Frazier was only 19 when he met Lee Harvey Oswald. They both worked at the Texas School Book Depository for minimum wage ($1.50) and Frazier sometimes drove Oswald the 15 miles to work if his broken-down Chevy was functional. The day of the assassination Oswald appeared with a two-foot-long package and told Frazier they were curtain rods. When they arrived at work, Oswald carried the package between his palm and armpit.
Frazier never swallowed the story that short package was actually a 36-inch Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Nor did he swallow the story that soft-spoken, highly intelligent Lee Oswald shot JFK that day.
A much different, longer package from the one Frazier had seen that morning was produced for the media. Enormous efforts were made to connect Oswald to the murder weapon, and some of this activity seems to have involved fabricating evidence as it went along, which is why there was so much revision. The problem with the enormous bag shown to the media is it was put together with tape from the book depository, indicating it wasn’t the bag Oswald carried because his bag had been manufactured off-site.
I have no doubt Oswald was instructed to bring a package to work that day because he was seen departing the scene in a green Rambler station wagon driven by David Morales, or someone who looked much like Morales. Two others might have been hiding on the floorboards inside, one of whom could have been Ted Shackley. I wonder if Bill Harvey was the third seen entering that Rambler right after the murder that afternoon. Certainly that trio worked on a number of murderous missions over the years.
Frazier was put through a 12-hour hostile interrogation and told at one point that Oswald had named him as a co-conspirator. He demanded and eventually got a lie detector test, which he easily passed. However, the hostility of the police towards his belief in Oswald’s innocence caused Frazier to lie very low for a long time. He was pressured to change his story and also change the length of the bag by the Warren Commission, but never wavered. The Commission eventually rejected his story and concluded his memory was not accurate.
Although the area around Dealy Plaza was loaded with important witnesses who picked up fragmentary clues on who killed JFK, many of the most important ones were culled out and never interviewed by the Warren Commission. In hindsight it appears the more important an eyewitness testimony was, the more likely it would be flushed down a rabbit hole early in the game.
Several people claimed to have seen men acting strangely on the fifth and sixth floors of the Texas School Book Depository that tragic afternoon, and Richard Carr was one of the most important. He was interviewed by the FBI, although the report filed by the agents left out important details. This was not Carr’s fault, obviously, but evidence of FBI manipulation of the case. During his FBI interview Carr was told something along the lines of: “If you didn’t see Lee Harvey Oswald with a gun on the sixth floor, you didn’t see anything and better keep your mouth shut.” So Carr did exactly that until the Garrison investigation emerged several years later.
Although Garrison wisely tried to launch his investigation in secret, it was immediately exposed and denigrated by the media. Immense efforts were made to shut it down, and when that didn’t succeed they surrounded Garrison with spooks on all sides and snowed him under with useless leads to nowhere.
Although some honest journalists appeared early on the scene, there were eight or nine secret agents sowing disinfo for every honest researcher like Penn Jones. The center of gravity was quickly handed off to suspicious characters, two of whom were lawyers: Mark Lane (former army intelligence) and Mary Ferrell (attorney for Mobil). While the FBI and CIA were busy destroying and hiding evidence, fake researchers were snowing the case under with inconsequential details and rabbit holes.
One of the most effective items floated out was Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal by William Torbitt, a pseudonym for a Texas lawyer with intelligence connections. Like most disinfo, it established its bona fides by revealing something real: the participation of a Swiss Corporation named Permidex in helping fund the assassination. From there, it went on to blame the FBI’s Division 5 working with NASA and others. Torbitt implicated many people, most of whom did not play any role in the event. Yet for decades, many researchers took it as unbridled truth, while in reality, it was designed to steer researchers away from the obvious culprit needing investigation: the CIA.
Here is Carr’s original FBI report documenting the two individuals he saw on the sixth floor during the shooting. As he moved closer to the scene, he saw three men flee in a Rambler station wagon, easily recognized by a unique mini-luggage rack. Carr began receiving death threats telling him to leave Texas. He moved to Montana, where Garrison tracked him down.
When Carr testified in New Orleans, many important details were added to the sketchy FBI statement. He managed to miraculously survive two murder attempts, one by gun and one by knife. When stabbed in Atlanta, he managed to kill one of his two assailants, a remarkable feat. He died in West Virginia on August 4, 1996, and was never located by the Congressional investigation, although they did make note of his contributions to the case.
The part I find fascinating is his description of the team on the sixth floor. One was a stocky Cuban or Spanish man, and the other a taller man with distinctive thick-framed glasses.
Over the decades, the secret of Permidex was finally uncovered. The company was a cut-out deployed by the Italian CIA officers. At the time of JFK assassination, the head of the CIA in Italy was William Harvey. Harvey was supposed to have been fired after his assassination plots against Castro were called off. Instead, James Angleton and Allen Dulles moved him to Rome, where he no doubt began assisting the secret plans to eliminate JFK.
JFK and RFK tried to get control over anti-Cuban operations and RFK got into a heated argument with Harvey in the White House, resulting in Harvey being removed. Ted Shackley, Harvey’s longtime cohort remained, however, with Ed Landsdale put in charge. In the fall of 1963, the White House created a new entity inside the CIA for the covert Cuban operations, naming it SAS. Because JFK had promised not to invade Cuba as part of his post-missile crisis agreement with the Soviets, anti-Cuban operations needed to be cloaked to insure deniability.
Six weeks before the assassination, documents about Lee Harvey Oswald began floating through the intelligence community. Strangely, the memos made no reference to Oswald’s recent altercations in New Orleans or his participation in pro-Castro organizations, only his defection to and return from the Soviet Union. In fact, they went further indicating that Oswald’s Soviet sojourn had matured his political views. Many signing off on this memo had to realize the information was fraudulent. The appearance of the suspicious Oswald memo may indicate the beginnings of a JFK assassination plot.
Two of the key players in this plot are Ted Shackley and David Morales, the two key individuals working under Harvey in Miami prior to his removal. It appears Harvey enlisted them along with his friend Johnny Roselli and others from the Chicago outfit, as well as at least one assassin from Europe, and I say this because Shackley went on to run Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, the biggest assassination program in the CIA’s sordid history, and from there became a major player in the international heroin trade.
Morales became a suspect in the RFK assassination before retiring in 1975. He returned to his native Arizona, and died of a heart attack in 1978. A Congressional investigator tracked Morales to Wilcox, Arizona shortly after his death, and talked to his friend Ruben Carbajal and a business associate of Morales’ named Bob Walton. Walton revealed Morales once went into a tirade about Kennedy at a bar after several drinks, and finished by saying “Well, we took care of that son of a bitch, didn’t we?” Carbajal, who had been present at this confession, corroborated it.
Harvey, Shackley and Morales were all named as participating in the event by Howard Hunt’s death bed confession. It’s unfortunate that Morales and Shackley were never investigated, nor were they ever put in the same room with Carr to find out if they were the mystery couple he saw flee the scene.