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A STAR IS BORN: Parts 1-2

An Examination of Colonel L Fletcher Prouty, the Christchurch Star, Misinformation & Me

By Seamus Coogan. Edited by Greg Parker. Seamus Coogan & Greg Parker 2009.


Format, Terms and abbreviations

Please note that the correct U.S times are italicized whilst the correct New Zealand times are in bold. Incorrect times are not emboldened. The abbreviation CST is the U.S Time Zone which Dallas, TX operates under. NZST is New Zealands time zone. While we are discussing technicalities I fe el it pertinent to point out that New Zealand and Texas were not under day light savings at the time. Texas did not officially adopt Day light savings till 1964 and New Zealand 1974. For those of us in New Zealand or Australia, Daylight Savings begins around September or October, and in Texas either March or April. Daylight savings thus has nothing to do with the timelines herein, though as suggested in pt 2, the adoption of Daylight Savings in both NZ and Texas may have added to the confusion in regard to time differentials.


I have formatted dates in as 22nd of November, 1963. The New Zealand date format differs from the American in that it places the day before the month thus ie U.S 11/22/63 becomes 22/11/63 In New Zealand. I have not emboldened these dates in text as I have with certain times and footnotes.

Abbreviations used (some may not relevant due to editing but will remain).
AAP = Australian Associated Press. AARB = Assassination Records Review Board. ABC = American Broadcasting Corporation. AP = Associated Press. BBC = British Broadcasting Corporation. CIA = Central Intelligence Agency CBS = Columbia Broadcasting System. CCL = Christchurch City Library. COINTELPRO =Counter Intelligence Program. CRC = Cuban Revolutionary Council CST = Central Standard Time. DPD = Dallas Police Department. FBI = Federal Bureau of Investigation. FOIA = Freedom of Information Act. FPCC = Fair Play for Cuba Committee. FWST = Fort Worth Star Telegram. FRD = Frente Revolutionario Democratico. HSCA = House Select Committee on Assassinations. ITT = International Telephone and Telegraph JFK = John Fitzgerald Kennedy. MIG = Military Intelligence Group. NANA = North American Newspaper Alliance

NBC = National Broadcasting Corporation NZBC = New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation NZPA = New Zealand Press Association NZST = New Zealand Standard Time. ONI = Office of Naval Intelligence. TMWKK = The Men Who Killed Kennedy. TSBD = Texas School Book Depository UPI = United Press International. US/USA = United States=United States of America USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist Republics = Soviet Union = Russia My footnotes do not follow a standard format and are in smaller type and in brackets e.g. (Joe Bloggs ;JFK Autopsy, pg 34) This is a form frowned upon by academics and, I must add, so too is the rather informal language and phrasing I have used. All I can say to this is that if I cant write how I feel, I might as well be writing about chemicals and formulae. Before I go any further I would like to mention the examples of the Christchurch Star and the Manawatu Evening Standard and others I may refer to in the text. I have only inventoried those examples I deem worthy of interest and these are by no means extensive. Should you encounter an (Ex, 1) you can translate it as (Example, 1) I have also added an (AE,1) or (Additional Example, 1) To save time redoing pictures and frames etc. These examples will be included in the relevant section in part 5.

Footnotes and Examples

Notes on More Stuff You May Want To Know

The following is a series of references to some issues that were particularly interesting but upon editing I found had very little bearing on the outcome of the events explained herein. These may prove useful to the reader unfamiliar with some of the topics discussed in this work. I would like to point out that as notes they are not referenced. Yet the subjects they relate to in the main text of the essay are footnoted and referenced in the bibliography. If you are impatient however, all that is mentioned in this section can be uncovered by a good encyclopedia or Google search. Be warned however Wikipedia is not necessarily a good source of assassination material and in many cases is down right dubious.

News Papers and News Agencies

Some people reading this study may get a bit lost in the quagmire of news agencies and news papers. Simply put, news papers tend to use local journalists for reporting events of regional significance. If the local events are significant enough the stories are picked up by the news agencies they subscribe to and are transmitted elsewhere, be it another region or country. News agencies for their part collate and disseminate the information they receive to their subscription holders. Like newspapers they employ independent Journalists but these journalists are more likely to follow news stories across the globe or in this case the U.S. For an example of how this should have worked, (should being the operative word here) an unknown

UPI journalist who was in Dallas heard Oswalds name at the DPD head quarters. He then reported Oswalds name back to UPI (who purportedly had an extensive archive system) in Washington DC to find any available information they may have on file. Then when the suspects name began to gain further weight newspapers like the Fort Worth Star Telegraph, who were closely affiliated with UPI, and who also kept extensive archives of material on the people and subjects who appeared in their own paper, would also have sent out the suspects background if any was available. UPI would then distribute this to other affiliates and subscribers. If the news was a major event in the U.S., UPI would send their information to Reuters who would in turn supply UPI with international news and events. AAP feature in the Christchurch Star and obviously received their information via Reuters which they passed to the NZPA. Reuters and AAP have enjoyed a close working relationship for many years. But there are other less conventional ways and means around correlating information on an individual, as you shall discover.

Network Affiliated Television Stations

Network affiliated local television stations in the U.S work in a similar fashion to local newspapers and news agencies. Most affiliate stations in the U.S are now owned by the major networks outright. At the time of the Kennedy assassination however most affiliated stations were owned by local media magnates from that state and often had a radio division attached. Carter Publications, for example, owned the Fort Worth Telegraph newspaper which was affiliated with the UPI news agency whilst the WBAP television and radio stations which Carter publications also owned were affiliated to NBC. WBAP had competitors from the other local stations who were owned in a similar fashion to themselves and who were affiliated to ABC and CBS. These miniature media oligarchies in Dallas were highly important to the major networks during the events of 22nd November 1963.

Interesting Radio Stuff

The Secret New Zealand show telecast on TVNZ channel 1 in 2003 (and whose title I cannot recall) which dealt with the Christchurch Star issue only had half an hour (including ads) to clarify its appallingly misinformed position on a conspiracy, thus it neglected to explain that the ABC transmission to New Zealand would probably not have come through to New Zealand directly. The NZBC a government owned body which had a virtual monopoly on New Zealand radio had all foreign news fed to it via the BBC. The ABCs live radio feed was disseminated to the BBC, and henceforth its affiliate stations around the world. I hasten to add however this is only speculation based on the opinions of the current New Zealand radio archives staff and anybody out there with better information would be most welcome to contact me regarding inaccuracies.

Warren Commission

Established on the 29th November 1963 and concluded September 27th 1964 it was officially named The Presidents Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. It became known as the Warren Commission however,

after Chief Justice Earl Warren who headed the panel. It was deemed to be a major investigation into the events surrounding President Kennedys death and declared that Oswald was the lone assassin of President Kennedy. However it is now widely discredited and numerous government investigations of the 70s into nefarious illegal government activities lead to the formation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) which concluded that Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy. This substantially weakened the Commissions credibility. However there are still some hard core defenders of the commissions original premise that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assailant. The main defenders of the Commissions conclusions are the U.S government, FBI, CIA and the media. Yet despite the crusade too decry any and all opposition, opinion polls indicated that anywhere between 60 and 70% of U.S citizens did not believe the official version proposed by the Warren Commission (and this was before Oliver Stones movie JFK was released).

Castro and Cuba!

Fidel Castro is a Cuban revolutionary leader who overthrew the Batista regime in his country in 1959. Castro, unlike many potentates of his time generally let those who didnt want to be around his regime leave, and by most accounts, gave relatively fair trials to some of the most notorious rapists, thieves and murderers he captured from the previous government. It alarms many that the rapists, thieves and murderers that left Cuba were actually sponsored by the U.S Government, big business, or organized crime; in some cases overlapping in an un-holy triumvirate that literally turned Cuba into a brothel and left its people amongst the most exploited, impoverished and uneducated in Latin America. Castro's ideas and his leftist appraisal of the situation frightened U.S interests who had wanted to keep him onside. The bearded Latino would become a major focus for the U.S government and his overthrow was entrusted to the CIA who, attempted to murder Castro innumerate times. After Kennedys election the CIA attempted an ill conceived invasion of the Cuban peninsula at the Bay of Pigs, which failed dismally. As a result in 1962 the world came to the brink of nuclear war in an event forever known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. For those of you with less time on your hands I recommend viewing Australian/New Zealand director Roger Donaldsons 13 Days, though there are some Hollywood moments, it gives a very accurate depiction of the events that transpired.

Thanks but No Thanks

I have long been an advocate of a high level conspiracy to kill the President, but have never had one thought or another on the rights or wrongs of Proutys more specific statements concerning the assassination. From what I have seen and read of them over the last few years, I find nothing to offend the eyes or mind. The problem for me began with my examination of Proutys discussions concerning the Christchurch Star some three years ago. I made the basic mistake then of not reading his works on this topic deeply enough. It was Dave Perrys examination of newspapers in the United States that led to my associating with him. Though upon

reflection, I feel I drunk from something of a poisoned chalice, I was raised by my mother to say thank you for any assistance, I shall say Thank you to Mr Perry and quickly move on.

Special Thanks

I have also been highly fortunate to have been helped along by less dubious individuals; Lisa Pease and Jim DiEugenio, Lisa and Jim are the co-authors and editors of Probe Magazine and easily one of the best assassination books ever written The Assassinations. To say that this was something of a coup is an unfortunate term in light of events, but highly fortunate for myself. Both Pease and Di Eugenio are in my opinion among the best researchers the JFK community has ever had. I must also give massive ups to Len Osanic for the benefit of his thoughts and wisdom and to my current editor Greg Parker. Though my opinions often differ to those of the following individuals, I would like to say thanks to Bob Groden, Peter Whitmey, Colonel Craig Roberts, Peter Wronski, Ian Griggs and Larry Hancock. But, most prominent amongst them is famed international man of excitement Jack White whom I sent my redemptive second draft to; thanks for your time and comradeship Jack. As for groups I would like to give mention to the JFK Lancer crowd for their generosity when my team and I were in the States circa 2006, and to my mates on the Lancer and JFK Murder Solved forums (you know who you are). Finally I would like to thank the many civilians who have helped me in this quest: My Mum Maryanne, staff of the Christchurch and Palmerston North City Libraries, and Gordon Findlater and also his mum as well. I also must give a huge word up to the McGurk family for their hospitality and also to Matt and Anushka for being such great friends and helping me edit the first drafts of this piece.

Colonel L Fletcher Prouty, as portrayed by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stones Academy award winning film JFK which was first screened in 1991. Prouty is depicted here reading the Christchurch Star at the Christchurch city Airport (I would like to point out that no part of this movie was actually filmed in New Zealand)


The shooting of President John F Kennedy on the 22nd of November 1963 in Dallas Texas sent shockwaves around the world and whilst the world press sat back in horror, their counterparts in the United States of America began scurrying like ants to gather the facts as fast as they humanly could. According to the Warren Commission, the assailant left the murder weapon, a 6.5 caliber Mannlicher Carcano rifle on the 6th floor of his work place; the Texas School Book Depository. The assailant had purportedly hit two men with 2 bullets from 3 shots. Again relying upon the scenario arrived at by the Commission, we next find the assailant fleeing down four flights of stairs, entering the second floor lunchroom and having a brief encounter with a police officer who had entered the building after apparently seeing startled pigeons fly off the roof. Our man then caught a bus and a Taxi home to his boarding house in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas where upon arrival, he raced into his bedroom grabbed a pistol, some ammunition, a jacket and left the premises for the last time. In a matter of minutes, he would be accosted by police officer JD Tippit with Tippit not surviving the encounter. The fugitive is then seen running away in the direction of the local cinema known as the Texas Theatre. No one saw any more of this individual until a short while later when he reemerged from an undisclosed location and was seen walking slowly toward

the theater by a shoe salesman who had heard the drama of the President s assassination and the nearby shooting of a police officer unfold on the radio in his store. The employee saw the individual quickly enter his shop as police cars sped past and then leave as the sirens trailed off. Whats interesting is that the clerk thought he had recognized the suspect from some weeks earlier as being a rather difficult customer. Puzzled by his behavior he quietly followed the individual out of the shop and, saw him duck into the Texas theatre. Our hero then immediately told the cashier who in turn called the police. Let this be a lesson for those of you who plan to sneak into a movie during lunchtime in Dallas. An armada of police cars swamped the area and dozens of police officers piled into the building. What immediately ensued has gone down in history with the arrest of the suspect; an unassuming, smallish, balding individual who would later become known as Lee Harvey Oswald, who was hauled out of the theatre into waiting a police car and into the pages of infamy for eternity. (Warren Commission Report pages 1-8) On the day of the assassination in New Zealand it was early Saturday morning, the 23rd of November. Hearing about the events in New Zealand at that time was a little known U.S.A.F Colonel named Fletcher Prouty who was returning to the U.S from a trip to Antarctica. Anxious for more details, he bought a copy of a small time regional New Zealand newspaper called the Christchurch Star.


Setting the framework for an assignment is often difficult, and I admit this was a difficult essay and not one made any easier by rash decisions made at the start. I began with a premise that looked and felt legitimate but, well, as you will see later it became something far less. There are some big questions, like did New Zealand receive the news about Oswald before the rest of the world in a bungled cover operation? Did, Prouty actually say it did? Who got what wrong? And what is the likelihood of their even being a cover story? This essay only works if we examine it in 4 parts. In this the first and second parts I take a rosy David Perry like look at the Christchurch Star and examine, albeit from some extremely limited sources, how things unfolded that day. In

doing so I present a possible timeline of events that makes a case for the Christchurch Star and their American counterparts legitimately collating the evidence within that given time frame. The third and fourth parts (not included in this study) examine Colonel Fletcher Proutys statements concerning the Christchurch Star as originally presented by Dave Perry in his article Mr. X in New Zealand I also utilize correspondence between Perry and myself to explore the statements he made in his critique of Prouty. I hope the reader will find this section informative, enlightening and surprising with its conclusions. Part five will, provide the reader with the examples mentioned in the text throughout this essay.

The author, Washington early November 2006.

An Introduction. Now heres another discontented paper found in his pocket too: and this it seems, Roderigo meant t have sent this damned villain. Lodovico, Othello, William Shakespeare.

Thanks to Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty, the Christchurch Star article Arrested Man Lived in Russia (Ex,1) printed on November 23rd 1963 has earned itself one of the strangest and most misunderstood places in the history of the press. The good Colonels musings on the article were so influential that Oliver Stone cast Donald Sutherland as Prouty (who was referred to as Mr. X) in the movie JFK to discuss many of the more intricate aspects of the plot to kill Kennedy and in which the Christchurch Star was seemingly implicated. (Stone Oliver JFK 1991 Directors cut) The Stars odd footnote to history has not gone unnoticed in New Zealand either. The documentary series Secret New Zealand also discussed the significance of the Christchurch Star article and the pointed questions posed by Prouty, who wrote the following.

In a long account in the Christchurch Star about Lee Harvey Oswald, which inserted that film studio portrait in a business suit, white shirt and tie, these press services provided, and the Star published, some very interesting information.
According to the account, Lee Harvey Oswald..

Defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 Returned to the United States in 1962 Has a (Russian) wife and child Worked in a factory in Minsk Went to the USSR following discharge from Marine corps Became disillusioned with life there (in the USSR) Soviet authorities had given him permission to return with his wife and child Had been chairman of the fair play for Cuba committeeand much more

By what process could the wire services have acquired, collated, evaluated, written, and then transmitted all that material about an unknown young man named Lee Harvey Oswald within the first moments following that tragic and 'unexpected' event even before the police had charged him?" (JFK, the CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate President Kennedy by L Fletcher Prouty. Summarized from pgs 308-309
of the published version)

I shall not be moving into an in depth examination of these points right away in Parts 1-2 as I aim to give the reader a little background on the Star and a possible timeline that the stories emergence may have followed. In parts three and four, I examine the above points in more detail. I intend to do this by utilizing Proutys comments in comparison to Dave Perrys about the 10

Christchurch Star. Part 3, examines the validity of my timeline in light of what others have ignored and I link aspects of parts 1 and 2 into this discussion. Part 4, serves as my overall conclusion, and examines how right or wrong Prouty was about the Star and if right or wrong is even relevant to this study. You may now wish to refer to my examples in Part 5 here you will find the article and the picture that has caused so much controversy. A more discernible text of the article, Arrested Man Lived in Russia, is framed underneath. The emboldened paragraph within it is at the heart of the matter. Part 1: The Christchurch Star. When and How the Christchurch Star got the News Before we delve into the issue of a cover story, lets familiarize ourselves with the Star. I am a little embarrassed to be a New Zealander and admit to having major problems unearthing information on the papers production that day. During my trip to Christchurch in May of 2006, the staff of the Star (now a bustling community paper) kindly gave me Bob Cottons email address to contact him. Sadly, Mr. Cotton never responded to frequent emails and telephone calls. This then is what I could scrape up from sources inside and out of New Zealand. This lack of first hand information definitely needs to be fleshed out and if any body has any more information pertaining to activities at the Star that day Id be interested in hearing it. I would also like to add that the following opinions on Prouty are not my own. A) The Christchurch City Library Website This website is the repository for much of what we can unearth about the Star. What damages the credibility of their website is that it shows a distinct bias against anything other than Oswald did it and it also has some mistaken times. But, bias aside it does have some interesting comments from Bob Cotton concerning the Stars production that should be mentioned, namely the time it was published. 1. The Christchurch Star began life as a four page evening paper known simply as the Star in 1868. It merged its operation with another paper, the Sun, and became the Christchurch Star-Sun in 1935. It officially became the Christchurch Star in 1958. ( The paper according to Cotton would not have been published until 1.30 pm or 2.15 -2.30 pm depending on the edition. Mr. Cotton further added that the Star was never published in the morning during his time on the newspaper ( 963/) Mr. Cottons first comment concerning the dual times (though informative) needed further clarification. Thus I discovered that the



1:30pm time is when the rural editions are printed whilst the 2:15 pm onwards is given for the urban editions. (Brett Wilson Stylex Print Manawatu Standard 8/7/2006) 3. Cotton makes an important revelation often overlooked by the more zealous advocates of a cover story and that is that the material received by the Star was not checked here but taken on trust from reputable international services; it was handled by sub-editors, not reporters ( 63/). Dave Perry it seems was quite an influence on the Christchurch City Libraries Webpage. Not that the casual reader would know, as they never credited his article Mr. X in New Zealand. He was also something of an influence on Cotton himself. This is explored in Part 3.


B) Secret New Zealand

The Secret New Zealand documentary series purported to show the mysteries

of international significance that somehow involved New Zealand. The episode of concern was inspired by the film JFK, and quoted liberally from the movie. Thus the focus was on Colonel Fletcher Prouty and whether or not there was enough time for the paper to have gathered the amount of information they did on Oswald. To cut to the chase, the entire series was awful, though the show it dedicated to Prouty gave viewers some fairly good information regarding the Stars set up at the time (if little else). The uninitiated learnt that the Stars staff started work at 7:00 NZST. They also learnt Oswalds mysterious photo was sent to the paper via a Klischograph (a precursor to fax machines); that President Kennedys death was announced via special bulletin on New Zealand radio from a live link to the ABC around the same as the Stars staff work begun; that the Christchurch Stars deadline for accumulating all of its information was 12:15pm NZST (though this should not be taken as an exact time as it occurred on the day for big stories like assassinations, thus the print time could be bought forward or elongated.) This sound bite was the highlight the show. I deeply regret not making a complaint to the broadcasting standards authority it really was that bad. C) Natasha Utting If anybody does a search on the Christchurch Star one will find Uttings piece extremely easily, and will receive what appears to be a convincing smack down of the supposed mystery. Concerned by the lack of hard research presented in the Secret New Zealand documentary series, Radio New Zealand Journalist, Natasha Utting, panned the show, but got some useful information, nonetheless. 1. A news flash reached the Star office from Dallas, Texas through the

New York office of the Australian Associated Press/Reuters


combination within minutes of the actual shooting and before the President had actually been pronounced dead. This was followed by a continuous stream of news coming at the rate of 66 words per minute by the leased Zeerad radio channel over which news is transmitted to the New Zealand Press Association and relayed by landline directly into the Star Office.
2. Utting also examined similar Saturday newspapers in New Zealand; Wellingtons Evening Post and the Auckland Star and stated they all came off the same newswires. Also that they all ran a variation of the same story on Lee Harvey Oswald. 3. The show was so bad, it inspired Utting to go on line and do some research about the Christchurch Star and Prouty, whom she mocked.

Prouty was convinced that the Christchurch Star had been duped by the CIA she goes on "Where's the mystery? There are many sites on the internet dedicated to debunking both the JFK movie (scene by scene) and also the claims made about the Christchurch Star by the real Mr. X, Colonel Fletcher Pouty. The Christchurch City Library website has a whole section on the so called conspiracy theory about The Christchurch Star and the assassination of John F Kennedy. On that site, Bob Cotton, says the theories are based on inaccurate assumptions about the Star's newspaper production.

4. Utting, also made a rather haunting remark - one which we should do well to remember: Either the program researchers cant Google or they didn't let the facts stand in the way of a good story. (Natasha Utting: Not so Secret New Zealand 19/10/2003).

D) Ian Griggs Is an English Kennedy assassination researcher and is regarded as one of the most respected researchers in the field of examining the hard physical evidence. His book, No case to answer goes into some length detailing aspects of the Stars work that day. Much of what he has written has been covered, but he still has some great information I feel it is important to add. The Oswald image depicted in the Christchurch Star was also depicted in Wellingtons Evening Post! The Paper as seen on JFK the movie was completely different to the actual Christchurch Star published that day. No Extra insert or edition was published. Oswald's name came out around 2:40 PM CST via AP


Griggs also made some comments about the controversy surrounding the Star which I think are very important for non New Zealand based researchers to consider (Bear in mind however, we have not yet been given Proutys version of events): It seems that researchers are unaware that New Zealand has more than just

one newspaper. I wonder how many realize that the Christchurch Star was not a morning newspaper but was published in the early afternoon. He continues The fears raised by Fletcher Prouty and perpetuated in the Oliver Stone film have been greatly exaggerated. I believe that this resulted from faulty calculations of the Dallas/New Zealand time difference, plus a seeming reluctance to refer to primary sources in Christchurch! (both quotes, Griggs: No Case to Answer pgs 305-307: 2005).
Transmission of Oswald photo Photos did not have to be hand delivered internationally. Telecommunication was fairly advanced in the early 60s. The photo was sent to the Star via a machine called a klischograph, a machine that received international images via radio waves. Bob Cotton, who was a junior reporter with the Star at the time, explained on the Christchurch City library website how the photo was sent: (C Robat: Rudolf Hell

Photographs were usually wired to Australia then to Auckland and thence to Christchurch. This time, to get the photographs early some of the geographical links were bypassed through technical ingenuity by the Star.
(Christchurch Library: The Christchurch Star 23rd November, 1963) In the Manawatu (a smallish farming region in the central North Island where I live) I asked local print specialist Bret Wilson of Stylex Print who used to print the Manawatu Standard, about the technology of the time and how long the process actually took to make ready for print. The photo or image could take anywhere between 20 seconds to 2 minutes to arrive then the process to produce the photo from the engraved/etched image would take an hour minimum and thats really pushing it (Bret Wilson interview 20/07/2006). When asked if this would upset any collation of information or detract from time, Wilson reminded me that Though most good printmakers could turn their hand to anything printing was and still is a relatively specialized and compartmentalized operation and that everybody would be working in their area to meet the publishing deadlines. Unless there was a major hassle, printing and publishing a picture wouldnt cause to much loss of time if any, you just gotta be organized like anything else Brett also confirmed for me that it was possible for a photograph to be intercepted like Cotton explains but, he remarked, theyd have to be bloody on to it or lucky. (Ibid 2006). Conclusion:


As we can see, there are some interesting bits and pieces about the Star out there. But this information seems to swing quite severely against Prouty, even at this early stage. This is not his fault however. Much of that has to do with the Christchurch Library website which links to John McAdams and from there, a direct link to a webpage denouncing Prouty by David Perry. As was given mention earlier, the imbalance here is rather shameful for a supposedly unbiased library, with such helpful staff. Thanks to the Library, Natasha Utting, went down a similar dark path, Ian Griggs did. The Christchurch City Library, and Natasha Uttings rather derogatory comments will also be discussed in Parts 3 and 4 which follow this essay. (I would like to point out that Griggs did not source his material from anything written by Perry nor it seems the CCL). Part 2, A: Building up for a Timeframe. The Time of Assassination President Kennedy was shot dead in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas at 12:30 pm CST on Nov 22nd 1963. New Zealand is 18hrs ahead of Dallas hence the time equates to 6:30 a.m. NZST, Saturday, 23rd November 1963. Not 7:30 am NZST as stated on the Christchurch Library webpage. One of the odd twists in this case is that Prouty actually gave the correct time of the shooting as 6:30 a.m. NZST in his work, Guns of Dallas. Yet by 1989, Prouty seems to have started to give the incorrect time in a series of interviews with Daniel Ratcliffe (A Very Special Operation Part 1, The Christchurch Stars impact upon the facts of the Assassination) by the time he published his book "JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy" in 1992, he seems to have set the incorrect time in concrete. (Prouty: JFK: pg 306) Perry, rather than criticize Prouty, used this same timeline. (Perry: Mr. "X" Gets It Wrong or Fletcher Prouty in New Zealand, 2003). The Christchurch Star does not mention the shooting at all, and only gives the time of Kennedys death at 7.00 am NZST. This may have caused some confusion for researchers examining the paper. Further confusion may have been caused due to Daylight Savings Time in New Zealand. Some researchers failed to examine the fact New Zealand did not adopt Daylight Savings Time permanently till 1974 and it came into action in 1975 (Department of Internal Affairs: Background New Zealand Standard Time and Daylight Time 2009). Dallas Texas did not adopt Daylight savings till 1966 (Anne Woods GCM: Government Watch December 2003 pg 32). Time of Oswalds Arrest and Arrival at the DPD Verifying, when Oswald was arrested at the Texas theatre was relatively easy and judging by accounts seems to have taken place around 1:45-1:50 pm CST. Oswald was placed in a patrol car around 1:51-1:52 pm CST. Oswalds actual arrival time at the DPD is slightly more problematic to establish. Warren Commission: Oswald arrested: 1:45 1:50 pm CST Arrival at DPD: 2:15 pm CST


Interrogation starts: 2:30pm CST. William Manchester: Oswald arrested: 1:50 pm CST Arrival at DPD:? Interrogation Starts: 2:30 pm CST. Tracey Parnell: Oswald arrested:1.50pm CST:

Arrival at DPD: 2.00pm CST: Interrogation starts: 2.30pm CST. Mae Brussell: Oswald arrested: 1:45pm CST Arrival at DPD: 2:15pm CST Interrogationstarts:2: 15 -2:20pm CST Ira Dave Wood III:

Oswald arrested: 1:51pm CST Arrival at DPD: 1:51pm - 2:00pm CST? Interrogation starts:? Dale Myers: Oswald arrested: 1:51pm CST Arrival at DPD: 2:02pm Interrogationstarts:2: 20pmCST.

These timelines, as you can see, range from the plausible to the down right odd. Its also interesting that most timelines I have come across seem content to give information leading up to Oswalds arrest, yet only a few note what time he arrived at the DPD headquarters. Even less give the starting time of his first interrogation, which I believe actually began with Gus Rose before Fritz arrived. This was any time between 2.15pm CST - 2.20pm CST and finished anywhere between 2.25pm CST 2:30pm CST. Fritz seemed to have arrived between 2:20 2:30 pm CST After a brief examination of various timelines I believe Oswald arrived in the basement of city hall anywhere between 1:59-2:01 pm CST. Myers places Oswald in the Homicide and Robbery office at approximately 2:02pm CST. (Myers: With Malice pg 197) In fact it could have just as easily been 2:05 CST. Starting the Timeframe Naming the sources in the press that pointed out Oswald as public enemy number one has been fraught with difficulty because when I first began examining the Christchurch Star, I had to track down the earliest possible time that Lee Harvey Oswalds name came from the police to the print media. It soon became my most difficult task because my knowledge of the comings and goings, not to mention goings-on around the DPD headquarters at the time of Oswalds arrest was not strong, so I was starting from virtual scratch. Another problem I encountered was finding out whose times were more accurate and whose were off. Mae Brussel for example believed that the police who arrested Oswald had learnt his identity in the car en route to the DPD headquarters. (Mae Brussell: The Last words of Lee Harvey Oswald. The People's Almanac #2, by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, Bantam Books, 1978, pp. 47-52.) Whilst Hugh Aynesworth (who was present at Oswalds arrest) stated that Oswalds name first became public at 2:00 pm CST, (Hugh Aynesworth Stephen G. Michaud: Chapter 3 JFK Breaking the News 2003) about the time the Warren Commission stated he arrived at the DPD HQ. (Warren Commission Report pg 198) Farnsworths time is also far to contentious as Oswald may have still


been on his way to the Police Station (or was just arriving there) Another problem with Aynesworths timing is that Oswald's name would have had to have been learnt almost immediately upon his arrival by the entire press corp. who congregated around the suspect. This in my opinion was probably not the case. After reading the testimonies of Oswalds arresting officers I found Mae Brussels could well have been correct and Paul Bentleys filed report on December 3rd 1963 could indicate that Oswalds identity was established in the car. However, Bentleys report is extremely vague. He did note that he passed on Oswalds information to Lt. Baker who stated in an 11 page report that the suspect was identified as being an employee of the Texas School Book Depository. (Greg Parker 2007) Thus it is safer and easier for us at this point to go along with the notion that Oswalds identity was established in the 3rd floor homicide office by either Detective Brown or patrolman Charles T Walker. (Testimony of C.W Brown 3/4/64 Vol 7 Testimony of CT Walker 3/4/64 PG 41 Vol 7). If the book The President Has Been Shot is correct a journalist working for UPI (identity as yet unknown) seems to have overheard Oswalds name from around the 3rd floor Homicide and Robbery amidst two possible interactions. The first occurred when Detective C.W Brown who was taking an affidavit from William Shelley, Oswalds supervisor at the Depository, when Shelley identified the suspect as he was marched in as Oswald - one of his boys at the Depository. (Testimony of C.W Brown 3/4/64 pg 248). Or the journalist may have been privy to Walkers establishment of Oswalds identity in the very same 3rd floor office. Dale K Myers has these incidents of identity establishment occurring between 2:02 2:05 pm CST. (Ibid pg 197198) Now, because its difficult to settle the issue of when Oswalds identity became known in the car it looks as if something solid may well have come forth from the 3rd Floor Homicide Office. Because some 8 - 11 minutes later UPIs Southwest Division news manager Jack Fallon became the first person outside of Dallas who remembered hearing Oswalds name at approximately 2:13pm CST. (Jones: The President Has Been Shot, Pgs 107-108 ) What alarmed me the more I looked into the comings and goings at the DPD (via the Warren Commission Report) is that researchers like Dale K Myers, and Hugh Aynesworth have blatantly ignored the fact that the Warren Commission they so arduously defend was seriously flawed. Certain members of the Dallas police force had for what ever reason leaked or shared information with the press about the suspect before, during and after his first formal interrogation. The Commission wrote Interrogators differ on whether the confusion prevailing in the third floor corridor penetrated Fritzs office and affected the atmosphere within Chief Curry himself admitted "we were violating every principle of interrogation it was just against all principles of


good interrogation practice." (Warren Commission Report pg 284) The legal ramifications were so horrifying that it even caused the Warren Commission alarm. I wonder if staunch defenders of the DPD, Dale Myers and Hugh Aynesworth, actually read the damning article in Chapter 5 of the Warren Commission report? (Chapter 5 Detention and Death of Oswald Pgs 196-242). Oswalds Interrogation

Oswald was questioned intermittently for approximately 12 hours between 2:30 pm, on November 22, and 11 am, on November 24. (pg 167 WCR)
Oswalds first interrogation which happened almost immediately after his arrest is the most relevant for this study. Because much of the information the world received about Oswalds background actually happened while this interrogation was still in progress. Therefore, it was important that I establish exactly when the first interrogation really began, because it does not seem to have begun at the Warren Commissions given time of 2:30 pm CST. (Warren Report, Appendix XI pg 598) nor does it seem to have started at Myers time of 2:20 pm CST. Both sets of times seem to belie the idea that Oswalds interrogation began when Homicide Chief Captain Will Fritz arrived on the scene. As mentioned previously, Oswald had a number of interactions with detectives in the 3rd floor interrogation room prior to Fritzs arrival, and judging by the testimonies given by Detectives Guy F Rose and Richard Stovall there seems to be no doubt in their minds that they were involved in the preliminary phase of the formal interrogation. (Rose, pgs 232-227, vol. VII, 4/8/74: Stovall pgs 186-195 vol. VII 3/8/74) Thus of all the timelines I have looked at with regard to when the interrogation began, Mae Brussels time of between 2:15-2:20 pm CST though imprecise may well account for these interactions and seems to back up my opinion that the interrogation was semi underway before Fritz showed up. (Brussell: The Last words of Lee Harvey Oswald. The People's Almanac #2: David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, Bantam Books, 1978, pp. 47-52.) According to Hosty (who seems to be the most studious time keeper of all involved), the interrogation ended at approximately 4:05 pm CST. (Hosty: Assignment Oswald pg 25) This leads us to the next important question, that being, when did Special agent Jim Hosty of the FBI arrive in the interrogation room? In his testimony to the Warren Commission, Hosty stated that he arrived there at approximately 3:15 pm CST. How did Hosty come to get there? According to Dale Myers, at 3:10 pm CST, roughly 40 minutes into Oswalds questioning by the DPD, the 112th Military Intelligence Group headed by Lieutenant Colonel Robert E Jones in San Antonio Texas ordered his counterparts in Dallas to cross reference a file the MIG group had on one AJ Hidell; a person whose name had come up in connection to the assassination. This file was linked to Lee Harvey Oswalds. By 3:15 pm CST Myers states that Jones was in direct telephone contact with Dallass Special Agent in charge, Gordon Shanklin, describing the contents of the file which apparently contained Documents


from various agencies and articles on Oswalds defection to the Soviet Union, his return to the United States, and his pro Castro activities in New Orleans. (Myers: With Malice 205-206). Shanklin promptly had Hosty informed. The problem for Myers is that Hosty had already arrived in the interrogation room at 3:15 PM CST and moreover, was already armed with this information (he had no need for Military Intelligence) (Hosty: Assignment Oswald pg 19). Part 2, B: The Tale of Two Time Frames The timeframes I have used in this study may or may not be entirely relevant to my conclusions at the end of this essay. However, Proutys claims that the amount of information the press had correlated on Oswald was impossible in the time they had available to them is at the dark heart of this part of the investigation. Here in I shall describe the two time frames and why one had more time than the other to collate information. New Zealand Timeframe Though I have given the reader some information about the Stars production that day, I have done so to flesh out this assignment and inform the reader. Yet, the debate about when Prouty picked up his copy of the paper or whether or not there was an Extra inserted is utterly irrelevant to this study and should be put to bed once and for all, Prouty could have picked up a copy of the Star in the evening and it would not have made difference. Why? Because the actual time the stories arrived in the press is far more important than the time they were printed. Thus the Christchurch Star gives us precious little to go by here as they did not give specific times detailing when they received their information. However, other papers did. Oswalds background story apparently arrived in New Zealand at precisely 11:30 am NZST. This is confirmed by the Manawatu Standard, Policeman Shot Dead: Arrest Made. (Ex, 4) which was published on the same day as the Christchurch Stars, Arrested Man Lived in Russia. Lee Harvey Oswalds name first became known outside of the DPD headquarters at around 2:13 pm CST (= 8:13 am NZST) by a UPI employee and then it came out over their rivals at AP wire around 2:40 pm CST (= 8:40 am NZST). The Manawatu Standards Policeman Shot Dead: Arrest Made. article received the controversial background detail on Oswald by precisely 5:30 pm CST = 11:30 am NZST (Ex 2). From a local perspective, New Zealand had around 2 hrs and 37 to 3hrs 17 minutes to collate and disseminate the information on Lee Harvey Oswald from all other news agencies. Within this timeframe the information pertaining to Lee Harvey Oswald and photos of him could have been collated, transposed and set to print with some ease in New Zealand (Brett Wilson Stylex Print) Its also worth pointing out that the Manawatu Standards article, Policemen Shot Dead: Arrest made Was received via NZPA and Reuters, and is virtually the same article as Arrested Man Lived in Russia as can be seen in the examples. Its not a well known fact that the main source for the NZPA, and AAP was Reuters and that these three news agencies had entered into a


mutual agreement between them on the 26th of December, 1946, hence they were all practically one and the same on the day (Graham Storey Reuters Century 1851-1951 pgs 253-254). Thus its fair to assume that these articles would have both arrived at around roughly the same time. But what do we make of Oswalds two hour interrogation, work in a Minsk factory, and his disillusionment with Russia (major discussion points in this essay) not being included in the Manawatu Standards article? As it happens there could be any number of valid reasons why the Standard did not include some of the more contentious information on Oswald that was published in the Star (which I promise you we shall explore soon). During my discussion with Brent Wilson of Stylex print in Palmerston North, he confirmed Bob Cottons point that it was at the sub-editor's discretion What went in the paper and what didnt. They also had to account for space available and layout. (The Christchurch Star 23 November, 1963: Christchurch City Libraries 23/05/2006) Due to the speed and reach of audio communications in the United States at the time of the assassinations, news wire services, radio stations and television networks had major advantages over newspapers in getting the scoop on a dramatic event. The Kennedy assassination was a massive leap into the unknown of network journalism (Stephen L Vaughn, Encyclopedia of American Journalism pg 241). However, it must be reiterated that newspaper journalists, archivists and newswire services still aided radio and television networks in accumulating the information they broadcast. We should bare this last point in mind when we examine the next part as there is a distinct possibility that a television report from ABC seriously influenced the outcome of the Reuters newswire dispatch that was eventually seen in the Christchurch star. (Jim Ewell: NewsReporter Oswalds name goes public in the USA Though UPI news manager John Fallon may well have been one of the first to hear the suspects name at 2:13 pm CST (8:13 am NZST) there has been a lot of confusion as to which public broadcaster in the United States was actually the first to break the news. Firstly, Dale Myers claims that Oswalds name was On the lips of every newsman in the hallway at Dallas Police Headquarters by 3:10 pm CST. (Myers pg 204) This is totally incorrect. Oswalds name was well above ground before then. Dave Perry consulted the Sixth Floor Museum archives and found that ABC radios John Gardiner was probably the first person to bring Oswalds name out of obscurity and onto the world stage at least half an hour beforehand. 1) 2:40 pm CST: ABC Radio: John Gardiner: Mentioned Oswalds name. (Dave Perry: Email 12th October 2006) 2) 2:43 pm CST: WBAP Radio: David Daniel: Mentioned Oswalds name.


(Ibid) 3) 3:15 -3:30 pm CST: CBS News: Dan Rather: Film of Oswald/no name (Ibid) 4) 3:23 pm CST: ABC News:? : Oswalds- Background information. (President Kennedy has been Shot Pg 127) 5) 3:23 3:26 pm CST: NBC News: Charles Murphy: Mentioned Oswalds name (Perry Email 12th October 2006) 6) 3:54 pm CST: NBC News: Bill Ryan: Oswalds name mentioned (Steve Gerlich: Probable Cause. JFK Assassination Timeline) 7) 4:35pmCST:ABCNews:?:Oswalds name Background information. (Jones: The President Kennedy has been Shot Pg 139-140) 8) 4:44 pm CST: NBC News Oswalds name was broadcast on network television to the American public by ABC at 3:23 pm CST = 9:23 am NZST (Jones, President Kennedy has been shot pg, 127), while NBC broadcast Oswalds name at either 3:23 or 3:26 pm CST = 9:26 am NZST. (Perry Ibid) One of the reasons why people may have been chasing ghosts for so long with the Christchurch Star is that their seems to have been a real cross over between the print and audio visual media in Dallas that day (Dave Perry: Email 12th October 2006). Now how this happened can only be explained by examining the local media in Texas and its ownership. David Daniel was employed by the Carter publications group who owned the radio Station WBAP which also had a Television component attached to it. WBAP Television and radio were affiliated to major network NBC whilst the Carter Group also owned the Fort Worth Star Telegraph who enjoyed a close working relationship with UPI. NBCs chief rivals in Dallas-Fort Worth were the A.H Belo Corporation who owned local Television and Radio station WFAA who were affiliated with ABC and owned the Dallas Morning News (Dave Perry Email 1/10/2006). The U.S Timeframe Now the 3hrs and 17 minutes that New Zealand newspapers had to collate the background story on Lee Harvey Oswald is not the same time frame we should use for the United States. Starting with two reports around 3:23 CST that seemingly came out on top of one another via NBC, we can see a complete picture of the suspect slowly emerging (please note, I have not quoted statements verbatim and have only included fresh statements once). NBC First Report: 3:23 pm CST:


There is little doubt that 24-year old Lee Oswald, the suspect picked up earlier is the slayer of the of the Dallas policeman Oswald worked as a stock man at the Depository and is reported to be a defector. NBC Second Report: 3:26 pm CST: Lee Harvey Oswald, the man picked up in the theatre. Applied for Russian citizenship on Nov. 1st 1959. He is married to a Russian woman. NBC Third Report: 4:44 pm CST: Suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was a member of a pro-Castro committee in New Orleans In a gunfight with two Dallas policemen, he shot and killed one of them, saying Its all over now (David Blackburst: Media Coverage of the Arrest of Oswald 23/10/2000) The ABC Report: 4:35 pm CST: Though I have neglected to put comparable reports from the ABC alongside those of NBC, the ABCs summation of Oswald at 4:35 pm CST is probably the most important news release pertaining to this essay and could well have been the catalyst for some of the more sensitive information the Star received from Reuters as the information is nearly identical.

Who is this Lee Oswald? His home is Fort Worth, Texas. He had been in the Marines. When he got out of the Marines, he said he wanted to go to Russia. He said he wanted to stay there. He apparently became disillusioned with life under communist rule after working in a Soviet Factory in Minsk, marrying a Russian woman, giving her a child. (Jones; President Kennedy Has Been Shot pg 127)
Conclusion: To Parts 1 & 2: Keeping loose to play safe: Hopefully, you now have a solid grounding in the Christchurch Star and the timelines involved. There is however, a slight difference in the way that I have chosen to frame the time available for the US based journalists and archivists who supposedly bore the brunt of discovering important aspects of Oswald's background. If we still use Jack Fallons time of 2:13 PM CST (Ibid pg 108-109) as a point of reference and the 4:35 pm CST ABC report for most of the information on the suspect that would be printed in the Star (and other newspapers around the world) The U.S press would have actually had around 2:22 hrs to legitimately collate this information on Oswald. But due to the near impossibility of finding out the exact time the unknown journalist that informed Fallon himself discovered Oswalds identity, I have decided to add a + which denotes an additional 1-10 minutes that could be added by the reader thus 2:22hrs becomes 2:22+