Interview with Dr. Jim Fetzer
by Jim Richardson and Allen Richardson
John-F-Kennedy.net Message Board
In this installment of our interview with researcher Dr. Jim Fetzer, he discusses the mysterious three “tramps” that were apprehended and photographed just after the assassination, only to disappear.
Gonzo Science: Who were “the tramps”?
Fetzer: … The first one appears to have been Charles Rogers, also known as Charles Montoya, also known as “the man on the grassy knoll” – a book was written about him under that very name.
Gonzo Science: And he was a psychotic killer?
Fetzer: Well, he may have been, I mean he appears to have murdered and dismembered his parents and put their parts in the refrigerator until he could flush them down the toilet, but the police got there before he was finished. And he just disappeared, though he seems to have turned up later.
The second, the tallest, is (hitman) Charles Harrelson.
The third, a fellow named Chauncey Holt who worked as a contract agent for the CIA. … I’ve got three or four pictures of me and Chauncey …
Gonzo Science: And so what did Chauncey tell you?
Fetzer: Chauncey was a counterfeiter who was working as a contract agent for the CIA. He had a long fascinating, history with organized crime. At one point he was an accountant for Meyer Lansky, for example, who of course was the boss of bosses; it was he who really brought the mobs together and created a national Cosa Nostra. …
Chauncey did a lot in Southern California … he was an artist, he was a shooter, he could make his own ammunition, he used to run a school for assassins.
He also worked at the – the CIA would buy up all these proprietaries with innocuous sounding names … Well, in this case, it was the Los Angeles Stamp and Stationary Store – sounds pretty innocuous, about a five-story building, central L.A. – the first three floors were a legitimate business, but then the CIA had the top two floors. Among his activities while he was there was preparing the forged documents for use by Lee Oswald when he was in New Orleans – the “Alec Hidell” identity documents were prepared there.
The first three floors, by the way, they had a legit business manufacturing - guess what? Police and Sheriff and law enforcement badges – can’t do better! Hey, if you need something, we’ll do better than a phony badge, we’ll give you a real one! He was given instructions by his handler at the CIA, a fellow by the name of Philip Twombly, to prepare 15 sets of forged Secret Service credentials for use in and around Dealey Plaza. …
And he prepared these 15 sets of forged Secret Service credentials and took them down there but the red pickup truck, where he was supposed to leave them - in the vicinity of the police parking lot by the way - wasn’t there. So he wandered around for a while, came back, and all of a sudden there it was. So he left them. He was headed back toward the railroad area - behind the police parking area - when he heard the shots.
He had been told there was going to be a non-violent incident to draw attention to our policy toward Cuba. Now think about this – “non-violent”, “intended to draw attention to our policy in Cuba” – how does it draw attention to our policy in Cuba? Well Oswald, when he was in New Orleans, was being “sheep dipped” as a pro-Castro communist sympathizer, right? Well if you have a pro-Castro communist sympathizer shooting at the President of the United States, that certainly invites attention to our policy in Cuba, doesn’t it? I mean, believe me! Not non-violent though … He found himself – he had gone to a designated railway car, a boxcar, to make the getaway, and found himself in the company of Harrelson and Montoya. He had provided them with weapons earlier when he got down there, with handguns, and he actually had a sophisticated radio himself. And he found himself in the railway car with them and he noticed that the railway car also was loaded with a lot of explosives and weapons.
Gonzo Science: Really.
Fetzer: Yes. Now the train started to pull out; they thought they were going to be okay, but then it was called back because a railroad switchman had observed something going on and had them come back. This time they opened the door and they apprehended them and they escorted them through Dealey Plaza.
And in one of the most famous photographs of the three tramps, you see the three of them walking along and there’s a civilian walking between them and the fence of the building. Well that civilian walking … is a rather distinctive guy: he has a characteristic ring, he has a characteristic walk, and he has been identified conclusively - even by Victor Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps - as Edward Lansdale. So there’s Lansdale right in there.
I got a guy who runs a think tank that evaluates military equipment and advises the Pentagon who gave a talk at my invitation in Dallas, who was describing the assassination and why he thought it bore all the distinctive, signature trademarks of Ed Lansdale. The guy’s name is Mike Sparks.
Gonzo Science: So Lansdale’s figurative fingerprints are all over the assassination?
Fetzer: In my opinion, he’s the guy who supervised the actual execution.
Oswald Doubles/Officer Tippit
In this segment of our interview with JFK assassination researcher Dr. Jim Fetzer, he discusses the alleged Oswald “doubles”. Then he names one of the possible shooters, expanding a list he discussed in more detail a couple weeks ago in this space. Then we asked him about the case of Dallas Police Officer Tippit, who was mysteriously shot shortly after JFK. This murder was lamely pinned on Oswald by the Warren Commission; Fetzer here dissects the case against him.
Gonzo Science: Can you comment on the alleged Oswald doubles? How many were there?
Fetzer: Well, it’s very clear that there’s somebody - even J. Edgar Hoover observed that someone was impersonating Oswald down in Mexico City. They had the voice recordings - they weren’t Oswald’s voice. They had photographs - the photographs actually looked a great deal like a guy named Jim Hicks, who was photographed in Dealey Plaza and claimed to be a communication coordinator for the assassination. But the very fact that you have somebody impersonating Oswald right off the bat implies a conspiracy, I mean, there’s no way around it. Here you had Hoover advising his different FBI Agents-in-Charge that someone had been impersonating Oswald down in Mexico City. That’s really quite fascinating all by itself.
Gonzo Science: And he didn’t really look like Oswald either.
Fetzer: Oh, no, not at all. Then in Dallas you had people who were impersonating Oswald, going to have a telescopic sight mounted on a weapon; or going to test drive a car and driving at high speed and saying they were going to come into a lot of money but they like Russian vehicles better; then a guy out at the rifle range firing on somebody else’s target and when he was told to stop doing it, he said he got carried away because he thought it was Kennedy – all this shit! This is so phony and so superficial and so clearly implicating the conspiracy. I mean, Oswald didn’t know how to drive, for example. And who the fuck is going to go out on the rifle range and start shooting on somebody else’s target? I mean, it’s obviously planted, obviously going out of their way to make an indelible impression – you know, they could have been more subtle.
Gonzo Science: And did they ever pin it on any of these guys, like what was his name, John Thomas Masen, who was an Oswald look-alike from the Minutemen?
Fetzer: Oh, here’s another possible shooter. Jack Lawrence was an expert shot in the Air Force, and he had come to work at the automobile agency that provided the vehicles for the motorcade – this motorcade is also very peculiar because all the cars are different makes and colors. Practically all official motorcades are uniformly black limousines, like that. This is a real mix, and I think for the obvious reason: then you could visually identify who’s where.
Gonzo Science: Right – “Get the black limo.”
Gonzo Science: What about Officer Tippit?
Fetzer: Tippit’s a real wild card. He certainly was not shot by Lee Oswald. I mean, among other reasons, Tippit was shot with two different types of ammunition. And the first officer on the scene identified ammunition from an automatic, which of course automatically ejects, which makes sense. Oswald however only had a revolver. Can you imagine shooting a policeman four times – three times in the body and once in the head – interestingly in the right temple – and then opening the chamber and pulling out the rounds so you can immediately leave them for the benefit of the police? This is so absurd as to be beyond imagining. The officer first there initialed these automatic shell casings – and they’re shorter slugs than those from a revolver – anyway, he initialed them. But they were subsequently replaced by revolver ammunition that was uninitialed. And the woman across the street by the name of Aquilla Clemons said two men had killed Tippit and neither of them looked like Oswald. And two men with two types of ammunition makes sense.
Gonzo Science: And then why did they do it?
Fetzer: I don’t know precisely why they killed Tippit. Someone thought it was for body parts -- that they also shipped his body back to Bethesda. Tippit was alleged to have borne a resemblance to Jack Kennedy. Shooting him in the right temple is curious, because that’s where Jack, after all, suffered that wound.
Gonzo Science: I read somewhere – one of the more far-out conspiracy theories is that Tippit was actually in the limo posing as JFK.
Fetzer: No, that sounds fucking absurd.
Gonzo Science: But his physical resemblance must be the genesis of that.
Fetzer: There’s been suspicion that Tippit could have been “Badgeman”, who was a shooter on the grassy knoll that wearing a police uniform.
Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?
Gonzo Science: Do you agree with George Michael Evica that Oswald may have thought he was penetrating and foiling an assassination plot?
Fetzer: Oswald appears to have been recruited by the Office of Naval Intelligence when he was a Marine. If he had been studying Russian when he was in the Marine Corps, it was with his government’s blessing. He probably was receiving instruction from the Monterey School, where the Department of Defense runs a high-level rapid-instruction foreign language program.
Russian’s not an easy language to learn. Turns out he took a Russian language exam and scored 50%, and people say, “Well, he didn’t know (Russian very well)” – well, he got fifty percent of the problems right! That’s like giving somebody an exam in calculus and they only get 50% of the problems right. It’s so difficult and so technical that if they get half of them right, it’s really displaying a high level of competence, I mean relatively speaking, you know – he knew a lot of Russian, okay? And they called him “Oswaldovich” and everything else.
… And then he was subsequently stationed at Atsugi, which was our most secure base in the entire American military arsenal. It was the source of the U-2 flights, right? And he was even a radar operator. He would have known the altitude at which these overflights were taking place.
Now, the Soviets knew they were going on, but they couldn’t do anything about it. They were embarrassed because they didn’t know the altitude so they couldn’t shoot it down. And it looks as though his pseudo-defection, which took place on a Sunday when it had no legal significance, was really intended to bring him in so he could give information to the Soviets, I believe about the U-2.
Gonzo Science: To embarrass Eisenhower (when the U-2 was thereby brought down)?
Fetzer: Absolutely. Because there’s this forthcoming summit conference between Eisenhower and Kruschev, and instead of Gary Francis Powers taking his cyanide tablet and doing the right thing by blowing up his plane, he allows it to crash, he parachutes down, they capture him, they’re able to parade him around, you know, embarrassing Eisenhower, right, aborting the summit, and increasing Cold War tensions instead of decreasing them. Now who would be interested in increasing Cold War tension? You tell me. Because they were clearly behind all of this.
So then (Oswald) works in Russia, he winds up dating the niece of a KGB official, an attractive woman; they wind up getting married.
… Apparently there were at least two other defectors to the Soviet Union who married Russian women and came back to the US; you know, military defectors. One was in Chicago, maybe one down in Miami. In other words the CIA had its people planted around and could use them as assets when it needed them.
When Oswald came back … he wasn’t debriefed; he wasn’t treated as though he had been a traitor to the country; he wasn’t prosecuted. In fact he was given money by a CIA front organization … and relocates down in New Orleans, right? …
After the assassination, the Attorney General of Texas, Waggoner Carr, conducted his own investigation and discovered that Lee Oswald had been working as an informant for the FBI since 1962. They made him informant #179; he was getting paid $200 a month right up to the time of the assassination.
And it looks as though the letter he gave to (FBI agent) James Hosty may well have reflected that he had penetrated … a conspiracy to kill the president. He was a patsy.
He was photographed down in New Orleans – a lot of this was all staged – like he had this altercation with these anti-Castro Cubans because he’s distributing pamphlets on a street corner. The altercation lasts around two or three minutes, but it just happens to be captured by a television camera parked across the street. Now, you’ve got to be Johnny-on-the-spot, you’ve really got to be smart about your sources to be so well-positioned at such a time, right?
And he did this interview explaining he was a Marxist but not a communist – and I mean there’s a theoretical basis, a philosophical basis for all that – it’s like The Worker and The Militant … in the backyard photographs, he’s not only got his Mannlicher-Carcano, but the belt with the revolver he’s supposed to kill Tippit with. And he’s holding two communist newspapers.
Well, one’s The Worker and one’s The Militant. Well, I’ve consulted with my friend Dick Hudelson, many years my colleague. He’s now a professor over at UWS who does stuff on the history of communism and all that. He tells me that those who followed The Worker and those who followed The Militant had such strong differences of view that when they met, they would get into fights and try to kill each other! So it’s highly unlikely that someone would be subscribing to them both.
Plus — and you’re going to love this - it turns out that we know the dimensions of the newspapers so they constitute an internal ruler, that you can use to tell the height of the person in the photograph, who is about a half-a-foot too short to be Lee Oswald.