Tag Archives: oswald

Remembering the day JFK left us..

The day is stuck fresh in the mind of those that had to live through it, and it has become fresh in the mind that visit Dealey Plaza even today. The day, November 22nd, 1963 has had much meaning for those that were alive during the year 1963, and for those not quite old enough to have been around for this event. If you have never been to this spot, it is not as big as it might look on television, and it is a very high traffic area. On my recent visit to Dallas, I took my own children to visit this historic place. My children were ready to learn about everything that I have been studying since I was 8 years old. As we approached the plaza, there was hundreds of people who were taking pictures of the old Texas School Book Depository, pictures of the grassy knoll and selfies in front of just about anything they thought had meaning. As I was standing there explaining things to my children, I could not help but look out in the distance and find, families having picnics, people playing football, and others who seemed liked they were just dragged there by their significant other. Were these people disrespecting the site I thought? Were they not appreciating the history that was right in front of their face? Regardless, they were there, and with that, the history and the mystery surrounding the Kennedy assassination will live on.

I have been to Washington D.C a few times, and each time I have walked past Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was killed. The book store across the street, and the adjoining building in which Lincoln lost his life, were right there in front of me to visit. My interest in history started with JFK, and here I was in front of where Lincoln was shot, much like I was, when I was in Dealey Plaza. Not many people were in the book store, and from the times that I was there, the visitor entrance for the theater was never crowded. Sure, people have paid money to go inside of the theater to see the spot of his assassination, but it was not like Dealey Plaza. Had time let people forget about this special place? Were they not interested in this spot some 100 years after his assassination? These questions were in my head at that time when I visited Dallas, I wondered when people would stop caring. Here we are 53 years later, and on any given day, you will find people taking pictures, going to the museum, and standing in the spot where history changed. But when will that change, just as people not visiting Ford’s Theater as much

The Saturday I visited Dealey Plaza, the place was full of families, individuals, and others who were in town for a football game the next day. Regardless of why they were in Dallas, they were there. My fear is that this next generation may not have the same feeling that my generation, and the ones before me have had about the Kennedy assassination. I firmly believe that I have taught my kids enough about history, and how it must never be forgotten. It is with history that we are to learn from our mistakes, and can create a better life, from what has happened in the past. Do the kids playing football, or the ones having a picnic, not care about the spot where they are, and will their kids stop passing the history down? We must never forget the events in history that changed our world, and the Kennedy assassination was one of those events.

The difference between the two places in history is that with Dealey Plaza, it is there in the open for anyone to visit for free. It is a major part of Dallas, and the entrance and exit away from downtown. The painted white “X” on the spot where the fatal shot took place, is a constant reminder for those that drive over it each day. You can feel a sense of history from that spot, as you cross the very same area in which the 35th President of the United States lost his life. The assassination will live on for many years and for many generations to come, and how people remember both the event, and the man whose life was cut short that day will live on through them. Whether they are there for that picnic, football game, or even that group selfie, they know that history forever changed at that spot and on this day 53 years ago. If you were alive during this time, tell us what you were doing at the time of the president’s assassination, and if you were not alive at this time, tell us why you think people will always remember this day.

 

dscn0246Dallas 2013 089

Access to the Texas School Book Depository

 

Three years ago I found something in a police statement that has overtaken my mind and my time. This police statement was not meant to be of much, as it was the police statement of Texas School Book Depository Superintendent Roy Truly. The statement was to put more guilt onto alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and ended up having something in it, that I have been researching ever since. Within the statement, Mr. Truly mentions that the Texas School Book Depository had a janitor service that worked overnight within the building. These individuals had keys to the building, and had access to it, in the early morning hours of Friday, November 22nd, 1963. My original post about this company was in the early stages of my research, and within this article, you are going to read about everything that I have found over the past 2 years. Graduate school took me away from the research, but now I am back into it, and finding more out about this company.

So who was Acme Building Maintenance Company, and why did the Warren Commission not look into this company any further? Let’s start at the beginning and review who owned the company and how it became in what could have been, a key part of the set up in the assassination. The company was founded in 1920 by a man named Frank C. Jones. As high rise buildings were popping up inside the city of Dallas, Mr. Jones sought to take advantage of the vast amount of cleaning that these new buildings would need. The company grew at a fast rate and by the 1940’s and 1950’s, they were cleaning over 2 million square feet of office space within the city of Dallas. With an office set up on 1901 Laws Street in Dallas, the company was in a central location to all of its primary customers. The success of the company enabled Mr. Jones to become one of Dallas’s elite businessmen, and with articles featured in the Dallas Morning News during this time, he was able to have great financial success. With this success, Mr. Jones joined the Dallas Citizens Council, a group of powerful Dallas business owners who in later years would set up the luncheon at the Trade Mart for President Kennedy upon his arrival in Dallas. In 1954, an article in the Dallas Morning News had the caption “Acme Building Maintenance, Dallas’ Industrial Janitor”.

frank-jones

With over 125 employees working under him, and major businesses such as the Baker Hotel, The Dallas Morning News, Southwestern Bell, The Dallas Times Herald, and Dallas Medical and Surgical Hospital, all used the services of Acme Building Maintenance. Although the company was growing, the company was trying to stay local with its business, and it board of directors included such names as, Milt Thomas, Paul Clark, Robert Whitener, and even Mr. Jones’ wife, Eva Jones. The company would get one particular business that would change the course of not only the country’s history, but also this small company as well. In May 1963, Acme became contracted with the Texas School Book Depository. In the months before this contract was taken, another man would join the ranks of the board at Acme, and his name was William Travis. William Travis was also on the board of directors at Republic National Bank of Dallas at this time as well. This new director would play a key part in the eventual downfall of Acme in the coming months, and would later look to take control of the company away from Frank Jones.

The events surrounding the assassination have been well documented, and there is no mention of Acme Building Maintenance except in two police statements. The first was by Truly, and the second would be by the janitor of the TSBD, Eddie Piper. Following along with what Truly had mentioned in his own statement, Piper reiterated the fact that the employees at Acme had access to the building overnight. Yet again, no action was taken place to investigate this company. On November 8th, 1963, a document pertaining to the housing of William Travis, stated that his home was in the stages of foreclosure. This chain of events would lead one to believe that Mr. Travis was in need of money, and he needed it fast. The home was not taken away from him, and in fact by 1964 you would not have known Mr. Travis was in any kind of money issues. By April 1964 in documents found, the Acme Building Maintenance Company changed hands and changed names. The new owners of the company included a man by the name of William Travis, the board member who came to the Acme company in 1963. In documents obtained, the new company would be named, Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas Inc. and with it, the new board consisted of two former Acme board of directors, Travis, and CFO Milton Thomas.

This new company would not keep that new Acme name for long. In June 1964, parts of the Acme company was again sold to an acquisition company called CT Corporation (ChemTech), and the Acme name was still as late as 1966. The remaining holdings of the former Acme company were gone, and what was known as Acme Building Maintenance, a strong Dallas based company with over 200 businesses as customers, was suddenly gone within a year. What came about in the aftermath of this sale, was the founding of a new businesses by William Travis, each of which would be named “Maintenance of”. There was Maintenance of Dallas, Maintenance of Fort Worth, Maintenance of San Antonio, and finally Maintenance of Houston. Each one of these companies has a president or CEO with the last name of Travis. William Travis himself is still listed as the Chairman of the Board of Maintenance of Houston. When reached for comment about this finding, the representatives at Maintenance of Houston said they would get back to me, so far, no contact has been made.

8893809341_d0d888e50c_z-1

So where did the original owner Frank C. Jones end up? After the sale of his company, Mr. Jones went was not able to find the success he had with his first company, and by 1966 in documents obtained, he was forced to sell his original home since 1944. Mr. Jones, would go onto working at various companies over the next couple of decades, and would live off of pensions from these jobs. By the time of his death in 1991, Frank Jones was not a well-known man in Dallas anymore, and the company he had founded was broken up into many different companies by a former board member.

By the time the Warren Commission was pulling together witnesses, the Acme company had already been sold twice, and broken up into different companies. With that, the records of all employees went with these acquisitions. The only names that can be found are the original board of directors, and the board of directors from the new company. Was this done to keep the real killers identity a secret, was William Travis paid off and handed keys to would be assassins to set up a sniper’s perch? All of these theories are left to the unknown, but what we know, is that a company that should have been looked into more, clearly was not. If you try and find the name Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas, you will be unable to find them. Most likely, my website will come up. In various city directories they are briefly mentioned, but the State of Texas does not even have them as a business that existed in that state. Another Acme Building Maintenance Inc., existed in Austin, Texas, and they had to give permission to William Travis in order to use the name Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas Inc.

In 2013 on a visit to Dallas, I was visiting the reading room at the Sixth Floor Museum. While I was in there, the late curator of the museum Gary Mack happened to be in there at the same time. I was too afraid to talk to him about this company at the time, so I emailed him later that day in hopes that he would have some more information about them. In his response, he was not able to provide much except for the same police statements that I already had in which they were mentioned. At the end of his email, he told me to keep him informed of this company, as he found it intriguing. I kept digging, and will continue to dig into this company and those that were a part of it at the time. For they, may hold the key to some of the answers in the Kennedy assassination.

 

The Shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald

The video that shows Lee Harvey Oswald being shot and killed in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters. Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry stated in his book that the television crews were not in their assigned area and that they rushed towards Oswald as he was coming out. Clearly the video shows that camera crews were set up waiting for Oswald and their was no rush to the suspect.

Another person claims Curtain Rods!!!

I know I may be a little late to this discussion about someone else claiming curtain rods, but I feel the need to share it with everyone who is not familiar. As I was looking through some of the FBI files on the case I found another person that claims he was told by Oswald that he had curtain rods. My journey to this discovery came as I was looking through old telephone records of the home of Michael Paine. In the notes that the FBI had, was a memo that stated a man named Robert Yates voluntarily came into the office on November 26th, 1963. In his statement he claimed that he picked up a hitchhiker in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas on Beckley Street on either November 20th or 21st (Note that Oswald’s rooming house was located on Beckley Street). The man according to the witness had a package with him as he was standing on the side of the road. When Mr. Yates offered him a ride in his pickup truck, he told the man that he could put the package in the bed of the truck. The man stated that he wanted to hold on to him, because they were “curtain rods”.

The witness stated that once he saw the television coverage of the assassination he immediately recognized the man as Lee Harvey Oswald. How could Oswald be in two places at the same time? As the statements given by employees of the Texas School Book Depository mentioned, Oswald was at work on these two days leading up to the assassination. The witness said that he picked this Oswald up at around 10:30am and he was certain it was the Oswald on the television. The witness went on to further say that during the ride, that Oswald was asking him questions about  “if someone could shoot the president”, “ever been to the carousel club”, “you think this rifle in this picture can kill him”. Even questions about the motorcade route of the president were talked about in this less then 15 minute drive into Dallas. The hitchhiker wanted to be dropped off at the intersection of Houston and Elm ( Texas School Book Depository) These kinds of questions raised some suspicion in the witness because when he arrived back to work that day, he mentioned his encounter with the hitchhiker to another co-worker. This witness was never brought before the Warren Commission and was completely left out of the final report. The FBI did not find that Mr. Robert Yates to be telling a lie, because they interviewed the other co-workers who claimed that he did mention to them about the hitchhiker story when he came back to work that day.

So how can there be two Oswald’s doing things at the same time on November 20th or 21st. My guess is that this witness Mr. Yates did not know Lee Harvey Oswald at the time, and that he did not want any fame from this. In the FBI memo, it states that the witness does not want publicity from it. The Warren Commission found this to go against the things they had already thought happened, and they did not want any part of it as well. We know from witness testimony at the Texas School Book Depository ( TSBD), that many of them take lunch at 12:00 but that they do not punch out for their break. Could Oswald have left the building unnoticed and caught a ride to his rooming house to retrieve a different gun to be used in the assassination? Then caught a ride back into the city before his lunch break would be over. Remember, it is only a 15 minute ride to the rooming house. We also know that someone has already brought a rifle into the building a few days before and that everyone was glancing over it. If Oswald was to bring a package in then, nobody would notice.

The real question should be, if he was able to get a gun into the building on either the 20th or 21st, why would he need to bring another package on the 22nd. The story that Buell Frazier mentions is the one that the Warren Commission is so readily wanting to accept instead of Mr. Yates’s story. Could it be that Frazier’s link to getting Oswald the job, and the every Monday car rides seemed so much better. Or are they trying to hide the fact that there was two rifles found that day, and the gun they wanted to find was right where they thought it would be and the other rifle used went missing. I’m not saying that Oswald pulled the trigger, but I do believe that there was involvement on his part, and to figure out what it was is another mystery to uncover. Two Dallas Police Officers make a mention about finding another rifle and not the one that had been shown to the world. They have made statements about finding this other gun but yet again, this gets overlooked. But that discussion will be for another day and time to examine.

Sources:

F.B.I, (1963).  (DL 44-1639). Retrieved from  website: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/FBI%20Records%20Files/105-82555/105-82555%20Section%20071/71c.pdf

Frazier changes his story

This video is about Buell Frazier explaining the morning of November 22nd,1963. For 50 years he has maintained the curtain rod story, and now it seems he may not think that Oswald had a rifle in the package. Not what he thought back then.