with Dr. Jim Fetzer
by Jim Richardson and Allen Richardson
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.
Science: Who were “the tramps”?
… 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.
Science: And he was a psychotic killer?
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 tallest, is (hitman) Charles Harrelson.
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
Science: And so what did Chauncey tell you?
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
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.
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
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. …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Science: So Lansdale’s figurative fingerprints are all over
In my opinion, he’s the guy who supervised the actual execution.
Oswald Doubles/Officer Tippit
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.
Science: Can you comment on the alleged Oswald doubles? How
many were there?
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.
Science: And he didn’t really look like Oswald either.
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.
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?
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
Science: Right – “Get the black limo.”
Science: What about Officer Tippit?
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.
Science: And then why did they do it?
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.
Science: I read somewhere – one of the more far-out conspiracy
theories is that Tippit was actually in the limo posing as JFK.
No, that sounds fucking absurd.
Science: But his physical resemblance must be the genesis of
There’s been suspicion that Tippit could have been “Badgeman”,
who was a shooter on the grassy knoll that wearing a police
Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?
Science: Do you agree with George Michael Evica that Oswald
may have thought he was penetrating and foiling an assassination
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.
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.
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.
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
Science: To embarrass Eisenhower (when the U-2 was thereby brought
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.
(Oswald) works in Russia, he winds up dating the niece of a
KGB official, an attractive woman; they wind up getting married.
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.
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? …
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
— 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
Theory Theory, 9/11, and Wellstone
Dr. Jim Fetzer, he addresses the question of what constitutes
a conspiracy. He also touches on 9/11
and the Wellstone crash. (This interview was conducted within
hours after Wellstone’s plane went down.)
Science: What about controversies surrounding TWA Flight 800,
Oklahoma City, 9/11 – is everything a conspiracy? Is it just
that if you analyze any one event closely enough, discrepancies
will arise between the facts?
I don’t think so. … reasoning is always relative to the available
relevant evidence. The evidence is relevant when its truth or
falsity, or presence or absence, makes a difference to the truth
or falsity of the conclusion. … You’ve got to go with the evidence.
It just depends on the individual case.
are as American as apple pie. Most of them occur in the economic
area. Insider trading, for example – all the time. Martha Stewart
was engaged in a conspiracy. To what end? To make fucking money;
well surprise, surprise.
two guys join together to knock off a 7-11, they’re engaged
in a conspiracy. Now, they’re usually prosecuted for armed robbery
rather than under a conspiracy statute. But conspiracy merely
involves two or more individuals acting in collusion to bring
about an illegal end, it’s no more complicated than that. They
don’t actually have to have taken steps to further that end
in fact, which is why usually people are prosecuted for what
they’ve done rather than what they’ve planned to do. But the
fact is these conspiracies are ubiquitous.
was a period of 40 years, for example, when the American government
was conducting these radiation experiments on the mentally retarded
– some of the best hospitals, best physicians in the country
- and nobody knew about it until it was revealed by the woman
Secretary of Energy, Hazel O’Leary, I think, in the Clinton
are other conspiracies. There were the syphilis studies of these
prisoners down in Tuskegee, where they thought they were being
treated, but in fact, the government was allowing syphilis to
run its course – well, do you think none of them knew that they
were allowing these prisoners to develop tertiary syphilis,
which brings about brain paralysis and death? I mean, fuck man,
this is a dirty disease! It’s across species – syphilis actually
originated from shepherds spending too much time tending their
flock – which is why it’s been such a serious problem for the
human species. It’s one for which we don’t have any natural
of conspiracies - look at Enron! Look at Worldcom! Look at all
these corporations: those were all fucking conspiracies! You
have the goddamn … chief executives of the companies assuring
their employees they should be investing in their company the
day before it falls flat on its fucking face. So people are
telling us we shouldn’t believe in conspiracies?
just 9/11. In fact I tell you 9/11 actually appears to have
been penetrated by multiple governments – the French government,
the Israeli government, the German government, the British government
- were all warning the United States that there was going to
be an attack by al Qaeda, on targets like the World Trade Center,
involving airplanes. We did nothing about it.
did we do nothing about it? Why were those planes allowed to
fly around up there for all that time – some of them were up
there as long as two hours – and we not interdict them? Payne
Stewart’s plane had been in the air approximately 20 minutes
when an Air Force jet was hovering side-by-side to check it
out to see what had happened, because they had lost radio contact
and they discovered the depressurization – 20 minutes!
could have four commercial jet liners hijacked virtually simultaneously
and no one knows about it, and nobody’s going to send up any
military jets to check it out? Those planes fly 1500 hundred
miles an hour – they could have got there in time. … They were
waiting for more to happen. They knew what was going to happen.
Science: I can’t believe just the irony of coming to talk to
you about conspiracy theories and JFK and stuff, and then to
have Wellstone drop out of the sky like that.
Oh fuck, I know it, man; I mean listen, I’m not taking anything
for granted here. There’s a conservative professor of political
science I like a lot. … He was walking out there as I was coming
in, he asked, had I heard? And without finishing the sentence
… I said, “I want to know how this happened!,” and he said,
“You’re kidding me!” And I said, “No. I want to know. It’s a
hell of a fucking coincidence.” It’s ridiculous … they can’t
even get to the plane yet, it’s in such a remote area, and there’s
so many trees and bushes and all this shit, you know. I mean,
I don’t know how they already know everyone’s dead; I just suppose
there’s no signs of life. But I’m extremely suspicious.
Science: Yeah, I’ll be very interested to hear what the black
box has to say.
Oh yeah. I predict: there’s just not going to have been a black
box on that plane. “Isn’t that fucking amazing! No fucking black
box!” [This prediction came true.]