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Thursday, 16 April 2020 02:43

The CIA and the Texas School Book Depository

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William Weston examines the curious letters of Elzie Glaze and considers potential connections between the CIA and the Texas School Book Depository.


According to former CIA finance officer James B. Wilcott’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), Lee Harvey Oswald “was a regular employee, receiving a full-time salary for agent work, for doing CIA operational work.”[1] A memorandum by Warren Commission general counsel J. Lee Rankin said that Oswald’s CIA payroll number was 110669.[2] As we shall see, there is evidence that Oswald worked with another CIA agent in Dallas. That would be William Shelley, who Oswald worked under for six weeks as an order filler for the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). With perhaps two CIA agents on the same premises, a careful scrutiny of the company they worked for is needed to understand what happened the day President Kennedy was killed.

The book depository was in a seven-story, red brick building located at 411 Elm Street. Also at this location were the office suites of eight schoolbook publishing companies, including Scott Foresman, Southwestern, Macmillan, and McGraw-Hill. These companies were part of a complex system involving:

(a) the state legislature, which purchased textbooks through a process called adoption

(b) the publishers, who were responsible for maintaining sufficient reserves

(c) the book depositories, which received the books, stored them, and shipped them out as needed to schools around the state

There were two depositories in the state of Texas. The other one was the Lone Star School Book Depository, also located in the city of Dallas.

On November 22, 1963, there were sixty-nine people working in the building at 411 Elm Street—thirty-three for the TSBD and forty-six for the publishers. In the decades following that fateful day, former employees of these companies have been reluctant to answer questions. If they do agree to be interviewed, they are truthful in what they say, except on one particular point: the year when they moved into the building. Retired TSBD vice president Ochus Campbell said the move took place about five years prior to the assassination. Spaulding Jones, former branch manager of MacMillan, said they moved in around 1957 or 1958. Mary Lea Williams, a receptionist for Allyn & Bacon, said the move occurred two or three years before the assassination. Dorothy Ann Garner, former staff supervisor of Scott Foresman, thought the move occurred around 1960 or maybe a little later.[3]

Actually, the move took place a few months before the assassination. According to an FBI report dated November 22, 1963, warehouse manager Roy Truly said, “The Texas School Book Depository has occupied the building at 411 Elm Street for only a few months. Prior to this time, the building was occupied by a wholesale grocery company engaged in supplying restaurants and institutions.”[4] The wholesale grocery company was the John Sexton Company. Two retired Sexton officials told me that they moved out of the building on November 14, 1961, and that it remained vacant for at least a year.[5] Examination of city directories and phone books in the Dallas Public Library shows that the book depository and the publishing companies did not have the 411 Elm Street address until 1963. (Their previous address was 501 Elm Street on the first floor of the Dal-Tex building.)

Was there something more to this move than meets the eye? Occupation of the building during the summer of 1963 could be a first step in a planning stage. This would include things like:

(1) determining lines of fire from upper story windows

(2) planning the access and escape routes for the sniper team

(3) positioning and controlling the designated patsy as a workman inside the building

(4) fabricating evidence such as rifle, cartridges, and paper bag to implicate the patsy

(5) selecting the so-called “sniper’s nest” where the ersatz evidence would be planted

And perhaps even having people inside the TSBD as assets.

As described to me by Joe Bergin, Jr., son of the regional manager of Scott Foresman, working conditions changed dramatically after the assassination. New security officers appeared.[6] They held a big meeting during which they warned everyone not to discuss the assassination with outsiders. All visits to the building must be strictly business-related. For example, Joe’s father had to clear visitors with Roy Truly, the building manager, even though they were top executives from the company headquarters in Chicago. Reminder warnings were given on an individual or a small group basis. The rationale for these restrictions was to prevent unscrupulous people cajoling them for information or committing hostile acts against them, because of the notoriety Dallas was suffering. As we shall see, this might have been designed to conceal the fact that some people working there were being harassed and bullied.

The home of Joe Bergin, Sr. and his wife seemed to have been a target for persecution, perhaps because Mrs. Bergin was strongly pro-Kennedy and actively worked for his election in 1960. She enjoyed keeping up on the Kennedy family during their years in the White House.[7] The Bergins’ house appeared to be under surveillance and their telephone line seemed to have been tapped. They received threats over the telephone, even death threats. Ruffians driving by yelled derogatory things and threw objects at the house such as half-empty beer cans.

Conditions at home and at work put a severe strain on Joe’s parents. His father lost weight and developed a stoop in the way he stood and walked; his hair and facial features aged prematurely. His mother was a strong, confident woman before the assassination, but afterwards she suffered a complete breakdown in her health and had to be hospitalized. She died in 1969. About a year or two after her death, while his father was away, someone broke into the house and set it on fire, creating a furious blaze. It was a total loss. Joe was unable to determine if the arson was assassination-related.

Other people who worked at the book depository suffered as well. Jack Cason, the TSBD president, was a stocky, robust man before the assassination. Afterwards, Joe visited him in his office and could hardly believe the change that came over him. He was sickly looking, and, like his father, had lost weight. Unknown adversaries tormented Cason so much at his home on Druid Lane, that he was forced to relocate to another part of the city.

Apparently, security measures to keep people from talking continued even after they went into retirement or found other occupations. Roy Truly was, up to the time of his death in 1985, continuously frightened by "federal authorities." His wife Mildred refused to talk about the assassination even with members of her own family.[8] Carolyn Arnold, a secretary for Vice-president Ochus Campbell, told a friend in 1994 that she had been, and still was, terrified. She said that “there is a whole lot more to tell about the TSBD than what has been published—that the whole building should be suspected as more or less of a ‘safe base’ to operate from that day in November 1963.”[9]

II

This fear casting a shadow over the lives of former employees was also directed against journalists seeking to lift the veil of secrecy. Consider the following letter:

June 2, 1989

Doug Kellner and Frank Morrow

The Alternative Information Network

P.O. Box 7279

Austin, Texas 78713

Re: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

Dear Mr. Kellner and Mr. Morrow,

While working as a journalist in Dallas late in 1974 and early 1975, I met and spoke with Lee Harvey Oswald’s supervisor at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, Texas. (At this time the school book depository had been relocated to a warehouse near the intersection of Royal Lane and Interstate 35.)

During this same time, I also met and spoke with relevant employees who later worked for Lee Harvey Oswald’s supervisor after the assassination of President Kennedy. One of said employees, her husband, and child, disappeared without a trace a few hours after granting me an interview.

In addition, all of my interview notes and tapes inexplicably disappeared. Finally, under threats and intense harassment from Dallas Police, I was forced to flee Dallas in early 1975.

In late 1977, while working as a reporter for the Avalanche-Journal newspaper in Lubbock, Texas, I submitted written testimony to the United States House of Representatives’ newly-formed Select Committee on Assassinations. Enclosed is a copy of the response from G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Director of the Select Committee on Assassinations. Copies of my written testimony have disappeared from my personal files.

My testimony included numerous meetings with a man named Bill Shelly (I am no longer certain of the correct spelling of his last name.) Mr. Shelly was Lee Harvey Oswald’s supervisor at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy. Mr. Shelly claims to have been an intelligence officer during World War II and thereafter joined the CIA.

Bill Shelly claims he was arrested by the Dallas Police and formally charged with the assassination of President Kennedy. He claims the charges were dropped, but he stated that he turned away several newspapers and magazines offering huge amounts of money for his personal account of the assassination. He refused to let me quote him or use his name in print.

One of the aforementioned employees (whose name I cannot recall) stated that when she went to work for Bill Shelly at the school book depository in the early 1970’s she was interviewed for the job by some type of “government agents” who asked if she had been recruited by the F.B.I. or C.I.A. As you can well imagine, she was quite confused because the job was low-paying and involved minor duties.

This employee said that fellow employees were subjected to similar job interviews by government agents. As mentioned, this woman, her husband, and young child disappeared within hours after my interview. Their apartment looked as if no one had ever lived in it. All I remember is that her husband was previously a member of the musical group “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.” She didn’t show up for work the next day and didn’t pick up her final paycheck. Their whereabouts are completely unknown.

The day after their disappearance, an estimated 20 Dallas policemen pulled up on front of my apartment. They lingered in front of my apartment for nearly an hour, pointing their pistols at my window and shouting in a very threatening manner. As mentioned, I was forced to flee Dallas until another day.

Insofar as I know, this information has never been made public. Feel free to use any part of it as you please. However, please contact me before mentioning my name to anyone. I will help any way—I just want to be forewarned. There is a very large spider guarding this web of secrecy. I have entered other webs, but this one is different because the spider leaves the web and stalks its prey—sometimes for many years.

By the way, I am a Mr.—not a Ms.—as the letter from Mr. Blakey indicates.

In Solidarity,

(name inked out)

Cc: My Will

Below is the letter from Blakey:

Dear Ms. Glaze,

Thank you for your letter. It has been directed to the Deputy Chief Counsel in charge of the investigation for his review. Your interest in the work of our Committee is appreciated.

Sincerely,

G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Director

Obviously, if Shelly had been arrested, someone with the police had that record expunged.

The letters themselves came to me from Larry Ray Harris, a prominent researcher of the Kennedy assassination, who knew a lot about the shooting of Officer Tippit and was featured in the British television documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy. During a phone conversation, he told me that he had a letter that mentioned Shelley joining the CIA. At my request, he sent me a copy. He also sent a copy of the letter from Blakey as well as a 1978 article from the Dallas Morning News concerning the aforementioned Carolyn Arnold, “who states she definitely saw Oswald in the second-floor lunchroom at 12:25 pm.” She told a reporter that the FBI falsified her statement to read that she “thought” she caught “a fleeting glimpse” of Oswald on the “first floor” at “12:15.”

Below is an excerpt from Harris’s letter dated December 15, 1992:

Dear Bill,

Enclosed is the Bill Shelley document I read to you over the phone. I don't recall its origins with clarity, but I think it was given to me by a professor at Southern Methodist University here in Dallas. Regardless, it ended up in my files around the time we opened the JFK Center in 1989. I don't know that anyone has ever looked into it. It could be a hoax, but sounds sincere. It would be easy to verify:

(1) if a reporter named Glaze has ever worked for the Lubbock newspaper

(2) if a journalist named Glaze was living in Dallas in 1974/1975

(3) if there is/was an ‘Alternative Information Network’ in Austin, or if Kellner and Morrow are real persons and remember receiving the letter.

If it is true that Shelley was affiliated in some way with CIA or U.S. intelligence, that would be a disturbing and potentially significant development.[10]

III

My efforts to follow up on the leads suggested by Harris were initially unsuccessful. I called the number of the Avalanche Journal in Lubbock, Texas and got the personnel director. She said that no one by the name of Glaze was currently working for the newspaper, nor was that name among the files of past employees. She said that she had been in the personnel department since 1982, and she never knew anyone by that name. Years later, I found out that he moved to Austin, Texas, where he began working for the Austin American Statesman in 1979.

My next call was to the Alternative Information Network founded by Doug Kellner and Frank Morrow. They were co-hosts of a program called “Alternative Views” featuring news, interviews, and opinion pieces from a progressive point of view. It was first broadcast in 1978 on a public access television channel in Austin, Texas. In 1984, they began sending tapes of their programs to public access channels in Dallas and San Antonio and then to other cities around the country, hence the name of the umbrella organization, the Alternative Information Network.

When Doug Kellner answered the phone, I described to him the contents of the letter. He said he never saw it and said it was strange that I should possess a letter that was addressed to him. He asked that a copy of the letter be sent to his home—not to the business address—and after he read it, he would check into it. Two weeks later when I made a follow-up call, Kellner said that his partner Frank Morrow vaguely remembered the letter, but could not provide any additional information.

I next called John Peets, the manager of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The band started out in 1966 in Long Beach, California, and became known for its unique blend of country western and rock and roll. It achieved commercial success in 1970 with a hit song called "Mr. Bojangles.” In 1992, the band was still active, touring the country and recording albums. I asked Mr. Peets if he knew of any member of the band who disappeared in Dallas in the mid-1970s. He said there were two musicians who had been with the band since the beginning and he would speak to them. During a follow up call, he told me that the two musicians were not in contact with former members of the band and knew nothing of their whereabouts nor of their current activities. It was not until 1999 that I located and spoke with Leslie Thompson, one of the original members. Although he left in December 1973, he was certain that the musician who disappeared in Dallas was not among the core members of the band. Instead, he might have been one of the temporary musicians. In the mid-1970’s, the band employed a ten-piece orchestra to back them up.

IV

After failing to get anywhere, I let the matter sit for six years. In 1999, a friend and fellow researcher named Steve Gaal discovered among the listings of the JFK assassination section of the National Archives website a notice of a letter written by a Mr. Glaze to the HSCA. Upon request, the National Archives sent me a copy of the letter. It was dated December 12, 1977,[11] and, at the bottom, it had the author’s full name. I then proceeded to write an article called “The Glaze Letters” for the May 1999 issue of Jerry Rose’s JFK assassination research journal called The Fourth Decade. Below is Mr. Glaze’s letter:

House of Re. Kennedy Assassination Committee

Wash, D.C.

Dear Persons,

I have some information concerning the assassination of President John Kennedy that I wish to submit for your scrutiny.

While working as a journalist in Dallas, Tx. In 1974, I met a person who says she was at that time working for Bill Schelly, who says he was Lee Harvey Oswald’s superior at the time of the assassination.

According to this person, shortly after going to work for Bill Schelly, she & another new employee were subjected to some rather odd questioning when considering they were hired as clerks.

Two men, who identified themselves (with I.D.) as members of the F.B.I., approached the two new employees at work & took them to an empty room inside the building. The two new employees were administered a written questionnaire asking about their opinions of current topics of the day, especially social issues. After completing the questionnaire, the two F.B.I. men asked the employees point blank if they were members of the C.I.A. The incident occurred in about 1969.

The incident interested me enough to question the F.B.I. about it & possibly do a story on it. However, the woman became terrified at the mention of it & said she would deny she ever said it if I tried to publicize the incident.

She & her husband left Dallas shortly afterward.

I must admit that my own fear of getting involved in the investigation has prevented me from writing you earlier. I apologize.

Please excuse this messy letter. Of all times to break down, my typewriter chose tonight to do it. Obviously, my handwriting has long been broken down.

If you should need to contact me, you may do so in care of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal newspaper in Lubbock, Tx. I am a reporter there.

God bless you all,

Nervously yours,

Elzie Dean Glaze

Common to both the 1977 and 1989 letters are the strange men asking strange questions. They appear to be members of the security staff described by Joe Bergin, Jr. Glaze’s letters add a further detail that they were members of the FBI. It must have been puzzling to Glaze, as it is to us reading his letters, why a government agency would be providing security for a privately-owned company. Also puzzling is the manner by which they asked new employees “point-blank” if they were members of the CIA. Why would men who had just shown their FBI identification badges suspect that new employees were concealing the fact that they too were connected to an intelligence agency?

The search for a solution to these riddles leads into the murky world of intrigue involving the FBI and CIA dirty work. CIA finance officer James Wilcott said, “Several different individuals or firms in Dallas had been involved in one way or another with acting as cut-outs for arms shipments to Cuban exiles for the invasion. This we concluded from putting various pieces of information together. I remember hearing about some CIA people who had somehow helped the right-wing Minute Men in Texas to get arms, originally intended for the invasion.” Among the Dallas individuals and companies engaged in supplying arms to Cuban exiles and the Minute Men might have been the ones occupying the building at 411 Elm Street.[12]

A suggestion of smuggling activities within the TSBD comes in the form of boxes too large to be practical containers of books. Henry Hurt, author of Reasonable Doubt, discovered such boxes while investigating the claims of an alleged conspirator. This man said that a large wooden box, 36 x 48 x 60 inches, was used to import arms into the building, one with a false bottom. Hurt initially doubted that such a large container could be moved into the building inconspicuously. The largest typical box for books measured 12 x 14 x 18 inches, was made out of cardboard, and when filled with books weighed 55 pounds. However, while visiting the vacant building in 1983, Hurt saw seven large wooden boxes on the sixth floor, left behind by the TSBD when it moved to a new location in 1970. All seven boxes had the names of schoolbook publishers stamped on them. One label read Texas School Book Depository, 500 Red Pony books by John Steinbeck, from Bobbs-Merrill. Three of the seven boxes appear in a photograph in his book. By comparing the window next to them, which measured 14 inches off the floor, one box was about 15 x 30 x 60 inches, and thus had an estimated capacity of 15 cubic feet. Since a cubic foot of books is about 25 to 30 pounds, a box such as this, when loaded with books, would have weighed around 375 to 450 pounds—too heavy to manage with a handcart.[13]

(As an aside, CIA officer William Harvey worked for Bobbs-Merrill in the last years of his life as a law editor.[14])

Oversized boxes were also seen by Joe Bergin, Jr. when he visited his father at the 411 Elm Street building. He could not remember when this occurred, but it was before the assassination, but after extensive remodeling had been done on the third and fourth floors to add office suites for the publishing companies. This would put his visit in a period sometime during the summer or fall of 1963. When Joe entered the building, he took a recently installed passenger elevator to the fourth floor. Upon exiting the elevator, he saw a short hallway. To his left was a door that led into the office of Scott Foresman. At the end of the hallway to his right was another door. Out of curiosity, he opened this door and saw a large storage area that took over half of the square footage of the fourth floor. In this area were numerous cardboard boxes, four feet square by five feet high. Since the floors were not strong enough to accommodate forklifts, he wondered how the warehouse men could have moved such enormous boxes.

Yet the mere existence of oversized boxes on the premises does not constitute proof of ongoing illegal activities. The significance of Glaze’s 1989 letter is that it provides a tantalizing piece of information which may indicate a covert side to the depository itself. Namely the mention that Shelley was a CIA operative, while at the same time he was an employee in the schoolbook business.

At the time of the assassination, Shelley was in his sixteenth year of employment at the TSBD. His first day on the job was October 29, 1945. Earlier that year, he graduated from Crozier Technical School in Dallas. According to his testimony to the Warren Commission, after graduating from high school, he “worked in defense plants a little bit during the war and started working at the Texas School Book Depository.”[15] The short amount of time between his graduation in late May 1945 and the end of World War II on September 2 plus his employment in defense plants seems to conflict with his claim that he joined an intelligence service and became an officer. However, information on the Prayer-man.com website shows that Shelley was indeed an officer during the war, albeit as a lieutenant in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Crozier Tech. Shelley’s claim that he was an “intelligence officer” would make sense if, as an ROTC lieutenant, he received intelligence training and perhaps even given some assignments in counterespionage. After leaving high school he might have continued as an intelligence operative working undercover in local “defense plants” (plural) during the last months of the war.

Shelley’s second claim was that he joined the CIA. In 1947, the year when the CIA was formed, the Dallas city directory lists William Shelley as a clerk for the Hugh Perry Book Depository (the old name for the Texas School Book Depository), and that he had a room at 515 Martinique Avenue. The 1960 directory lists him as a department manager for the Texas School Book Depository, living in a house at 126 Tatum Avenue. He was still living on Tatum Avenue at the time of the assassination. If Shelley’s claim to Glaze about his association with the CIA is true, it indicates that he was leading a double life as a schoolbook man as well as an intelligence operative.

Having a double life would not have made Shelley unique among the people who worked at the book depository. Roy Truly, who started working for the book depository in 1934, took a part-time job at the North American Aviation plant in Arlington, Texas during the war years.[16] At the same time, the president of the company, Jack Cason, spent five days a week, Monday through Friday, in uniform at Fort Wolters at Mineral Wells (80 miles west of Dallas). It was an infantry replacement center as well as a German POW camp.[17] Joe Bergin, Sr. became a Texas Ranger in 1934, while serving concurrently as a school superintendent in Greenville, Texas. In 1938, he became a salesman for Scott Foresman. That he continued to serve in a military, or semi-military, capacity at the same time he was working for a schoolbook company is indicated by his obituary, which said he was a veteran of World War II. Joe Molina, credit manager for the book depository since 1947, worked with FBI informer William Lowery in infiltrating leftist organizations. Apparently, work at the book depository was not so demanding as to preclude these forays into military, law enforcement, or intelligence organizations.

Investigations of the CIA in the 1960s and 1970s shows that the agency had embedded agents in a wide variety of organizations and institutions, including labor unions, airlines, college student associations, foundations, law firms, banks, savings and loans, investment firms, travel agencies, police departments, post offices, publishing companies, newspapers, call girl services, and mental health institutions. Considering the far-reaching extent of control over so many occupations in American society, the CIA could very well have infiltrated the schoolbook depositories and their associated publishers. The owner of the establishment, rightwing oil man, D. H. Byrd would have had little problem approving that kind of clearance.

Carolyn Walther, a street spectator waiting to see the president’s motorcade, observed a two-man sniper team at a window on the fifth floor on the far-right side of the building. One man had blonde or light-brown hair, wore a white shirt, and was armed with a rifle. Standing next to him was a man wearing a brown suitcoat. Walther was sure they were not as high as the sixth floor. Confirming these observations were two more spectators, Ronald Fischer and Robert Edwards, who saw a man with light-colored hair and a light-colored open-neck shirt at a window on the fifth floor.[18]

Less than a minute after the assassination, two Scott Foresman employees, Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles, who were on the fourth floor, ran down the stairs to the first floor. Near the two freight elevators were Shelley and co-worker Billy Lovelady. Adams said, “I believe the President has been shot.” Neither Shelley nor Lovelady said anything in reply.[19] Immediately after Adams and Styles went out the back door, Officer Marion Baker came in through the front door and met Roy Truly. He saw two white men sitting by the stairs.[20] Before going up the stairs, Truly paused to tell Shelley to guard the stairs and elevators to make sure no one uses them.[21]

There is an interesting paradox about this issue. For in Barry Ernest’s book, The Girl on the Stairs, the reader will read that both Vickie Adams and Sandy Styles told Barry that they did not see either Shelly or Lovelady when they descended from the fourth floor to the first. The Warren Commission did all they could to delay the arrival time on the first floor by Adams and Styles in order to remove the two girls from the stairs when Oswald would have likely been on them.[22] And this likely included coaxing Shelly and Lovelady into making an ersatz trip across the street to the railroad yards before their return to the TSBD, which is now when they said they saw Styles and Adams.

About a minute or two later, NBC news reporter Robert MacNeil came in through the front door, amazed to see three calm men.

I went immediately into the clear space on the ground floor and asked where there was a phone. There were, as I recall, three men there, all I think in shirt sleeves. What, on recollection, strikes me as possibly significant is that all three seemed to be exceedingly calm and relaxed, compared to the pandemonium which existed right outside their front door. I did not pay attention to this at the time. I asked the first man I saw—a man who was telephoning from a pillar in the middle of the room—where I could call from. He directed me to another man nearer the door, who pointed to an office. When I got to the phone, two of the lines were lit up. I made my call and left. …I was in too much of a hurry to remember what the three men looked like. But their manner was very relaxed.[23]

The man using the pay phone was Shelley, for in an affidavit made out that same afternoon, he said, "I went back into the building [from outside where he viewed the shooting of the president] and went inside and called my wife and told her what happened."[24] Lovelady must have been one of the other calm men, since, as previously noted, he made no response when Adams said that the president had been shot. The third calm man was probably Wesley Fraizer, who stuck close to Shelley and Lovelady. After standing on the front steps to see the shooting of the president, Frazier did something odd, about which he seemed to contradict himself about in an interview with the Sixth Floor Museum in 2013. He said he went back inside and went into the basement for ten minutes, supposedly eating his lunch.[25]

There was a fourth calm man, perhaps unnoticed by MacNeil, who was getting a coke on the second floor. According to one of the FBI reports of the first interrogation of Oswald in the Dallas homicide office:

OSWALD stated that he took this Coke down to the first floor and stood around and had lunch in the employees’ lunch room. He thereafter went outside and stood around for five or ten minutes with foreman BILL SHELLEY, and thereafter went home. He stated that he left work because, in his opinion, based upon remarks of BILL SHELLEY, he did not believe that there was going to be any more work that day due to the confusion in the building.[26]

Pierce Allman, a local newsman, later said that after he approached the TSBD, a man he recalled as Oswald near the front of the building, directed him to a phone inside.[27]

Considering the noise of gun blasts and the uproar going on outside, it is odd that Oswald continued to be unconcerned. Like Frazier, who was “eating lunch” in the basement, Oswald went to the first-floor lunchroom to eat his lunch. The fact that he went and got his gun afterwards and then walked to the Texas Theater, perhaps to meet with someone, this suggests that he had some kind of agenda to fulfill. What it was is hard to guess. Yet judging by the disgust in his voice when he said at the police station “I’m just a patsy,” he probably did not know that he would be the one accused of killing the president.

V

Not long after Oswald departed from the scene, Shelley told Truly that Oswald was missing.[28] A roll call of warehouse employees seemed to indicate that Oswald was indeed absent. Truly notified Police Captain Will Fritz, who immediately thought that it was "important to hold that man.”[29] What makes this even more interesting is the following new information. In the work that Oliver Stone has done for his upcoming four-part documentary series on the JFK case, he uncovered information that Truly was not being paid directly through the Texas School Book Depository in 1963. Which he was allegedly working for. We should not jump to conclusions, since we do not know the entity that was actually paying him. But in the light of the information in this essay, it seems interesting that it was Shelly and Truly who took the name of Oswald to the police. Fritz was on the sixth floor examining the scene when Truly told him of this. Which seems to be an odd premise, especially since, as Jerry Rose pointed out in his article, “Important to Hold that Man” there were at least 14 people missing from the building at the time; and they would not return until 1:30 PM. Charles Givens, like Oswald, had left the building after the assassination.[30] In that same article Rose writes that Shelly was one of the building employees who identified Oswald for the police when he was brought in to the station. As Rose points out, this is a bit odd also, since most of the building witnesses were taken to the sheriff’s office, which was much closer to the TSBD than police headquarters.

Shelley told Glaze that he himself was arrested for the assassination. There are photos of him getting into a police car along with Bonnie Ray Williams and Daniel Arce. No doubt the police asked Shelley a lot of questions, and it is possible that they kept him in custody until he gave satisfactory answers. Admittedly, there is no record of Shelley’s arrest, but that does not necessarily mean Glaze was wrong. Missing evidence could be attributed to the systematic destruction of anything contrary to the official version.

A puzzling aspect of Glaze’s 1989 letter was his reference to the book depository having moved to a location near the intersection of Royal Lane and Interstate 35. In 1970, the TSBD and the schoolbook publishers moved out of the old 411 Elm Street building. Yet their new location was seven miles south of the intersection of Royal Lane and Interstate 35 at 8301 Ambassador Row. Obviously, the distance to Ambassador Row was too great to serve as a useful guide to anyone seeking to verify Glaze’s account.

It was not until 1999 that I spoke to someone who could solve this apparent discrepancy. Dorothy Ann Garner was a former office supervisor of Scott Foresman. She and three co-workers—Victoria Adams, Sandra Styles, and Elsie Dorman—viewed the shooting of the president from their fourth-floor office window. About four or five years after the assassination, she said, Scott Foresman and another publisher called Southwestern decided to sever ties with the Texas School Book Depository. They constructed a new building in the northwest part of Dallas, which both companies shared. I asked her if the new building was near the intersection of Royal Lane and Interstate 35, and she said yes, on Gemini Lane. (Its address, I later learned, was 11310 Gemini Lane.) Garner went on to say that at the same time, around 1969, William Shelley quit the book depository and began working for Scott Foresman. He was still there when Garner retired in 1986.

Glaze’s meetings with Shelley were therefore not at the Ambassador Row facility, as I originally believed, but rather they occurred at the building on Gemini Lane. The incident involving two government agents asking new employees strange questions also occurred at this location.

A fellow researcher named Eric Lee Jordan visited the site and took pictures of it. The building is a large, one-story, concrete tilt-up, ideal for storing and moving huge quantities of material goods with forklifts and palettes. Behind the building are five loading docks and an asphalt lot extensive enough to accommodate a number of trucks of any given size. Enclosing the back area is a high, chain-link fence with coils of barbed wire on top. At the time he visited the place, Scott Foresman was gone, and a carpet company was occupying the building.

When the woman heard that Glaze was planning to go to the FBI, or had already been to the FBI, she was terrified and told him that she would deny everything. Afterwards, she, her husband, and their child quickly disappeared. This is an indication that the covert side of the schoolbook business had shifted to the Scott Foresman and Southwestern building, perhaps because the notoriety of the TSBD had hampered its ability to conduct smuggling operations and thus had to be discontinued.

Just as in the case of Carolyn Arnold and Roy Truly, the strange menace that Glaze encountered in early 1975 continued to follow him through the course of his life. His desire to tell what he knew overcame his fear at least twice in his life. In the closing paragraphs of his 1977 letter, he wrote, "I must admit that my own fear of getting involved in the investigation has prevented me from writing you earlier. I apologize." He closed his 1989 letter with a lurid metaphor: “I will help any way—I just want to be forewarned. There is a very large spider guarding this web of secrecy. I have entered other webs, but this one is different because the spider leaves the web and stalks its prey—sometimes for many years.”

Through another researcher, I obtained Glaze’s mailing address. In my letter to him, I praised him for his courage and expressed the hope that someday he might fill in the gaps of his story for the sake of history. Two weeks later, he wrote back:

July 14, 1999

Dear Mr. Weston,

Received your letter of July 7, 1999. Thank you for your kind words and interest. All that I know—and the attending dead ends—were passed along to a researcher and author in Dallas a few years ago. He is about to publish his book and, as you can understand, friendship and loyalty make me reluctant to discuss this matter with anyone else. It’s perhaps a moot point anyway, because based on what you’ve told me, you now know more than I do. Mine was a happenstance meeting and short, casual friendship with a man who appeared to have fallen through the cracks. Had the seemingly insignificant trail of bread crumbs I stumbled across had not been so he avidly guarded, I might never have given it a second thought. My actions were less courageous than they were the result of being naïve. I was up to my neck before I realized it. You may have noticed that at the end of my letter to “Alternative Views” I carbon-copied to “my will.” It was intended as a jab at myself lest I get too full of myself rereading it 50 years from now.

“With that, I pass along my rather tiny candle, plus my best wishes and encouragement. Those generations who were there in 1963 are grateful that people like you are continuing the pursuit and taking another look at events which may have been too shocking for the rest of us to ever fully comprehend. Perhaps that is why I was so unprepared during that brief step into the looking glass.”

Sincerely,

Dean Glaze

As far as I know, the unknown Dallas author who interviewed has not published his book.

Elzie Dean Glaze passed away on November 15, 2019. Below is an obituary from the Austin American-Statesman published on Dec. 15, 2019.

GLAZE, Elzie Dean Age 66, is celebrated by his family for his compassion, humor and willingness to help family, friends and the world at large. He was an accomplished journalist and author and had worked as a radio engineer in his early career. For many years he assisted organizations that helped veterans, monitored the nuclear power industry, and worked to ensure basic human rights. He had keen interests in history and weather, and much of his writing related to these. He followed environmental concerns and space exploration, and he enjoyed playing and watching sports. He was fortunate to have many travels, including celebration of his 60th birthday in Antarctica. Dean was the son of Elzie L. Glaze and Geneva I. Glaze and was born in Lubbock, Texas. He passed away on November 15, 2019, after a fall causing brain injury. He is loved and will always be remembered by his wife Sylvia Glaze, daughter Hailey Glaze, and sister, brothers, nieces, nephews and friends. He enjoyed giving to others, and loved the companionship of his four dogs. Many notes and gifts, often created by him, are left for us as a tribute to his kindness and love.


[1] Testimony of James B. Wilcott, RIF 180-10116-10096, pp.25-26.

[2] Midnight/Globe, February 14, 1978. The memo said that Oswald’s FBI informant number was S172 and that his CIA number was 110669. Mae Brussell showed copies of this document to the editors of Globe.

[3] Telephone interviews of Campbell March 19, 1994; Jones, March 19, 1994; Williams, April 4, 1994; Garner, August 14, 1999.

[4] FBI report of Roy Truly interview by Nat Pinkston, November 23, 1963, File No. DL 100-10461.

[5] Interviews of Ted Leon and Thomas H. Butler. The November 14, 1961 date came from Leon, Sexton branch manager in Dallas from 1961 to 1964. He kept his pocket calendars from his years of employment, and he noted when the grocery company moved out of the building to a new facility in another part of Dallas. Butler took over as branch manager after Leon transferred to Los Angeles. Butler said that the 411 Elm Street building was vacant for at least a year after his company moved out.

[6] Interviews of Joe Bergin, Jr. February 12 and 26, 1994 and August 7, 1999. When I interviewed him, he was living alone with his three cats, depending for his income on the charity of his father and disability checks. His father died on November 2, 1990. Joe died on August 29, 2001 at the age of 55.

[7] Through some insider intrigue, a saleslady at Neiman Marcus found out what Jacqueline Kennedy was going to wear the day of her arrival in Dallas. She confided this information to Mrs. Bergin and told her that she had a copy of the First Lady’s dress, pink in color with the black velvet collar. Mrs. Bergin paid a great deal of money for that dress. She planned to wear it that Friday evening at a social gathering. Needless to say, she never did wear that dress.

[8] Jim Marrs, Crossfire (Carroll & Graf. New York, 1989) p. 319.

[9] Carolyn Arnold statement in “Byrd/TSBD Concerns” posted by Martin Barkley on May 24, 2000 on the JFK Today website.

[10] Larry Ray Harris at the age of 44 died in an automobile accident on October 5, 1996. He was traveling from his mother’s house in Ohio to Georgia. Supposedly, he fell asleep at the wheel, or committed suicide, when he rammed into the back of a semi-truck. Since the CIA has the capability of engineering car crashes to look like accidents, Harris’s name should be added to the list of mysterious deaths, along with Warren Commission witness Lee Bowers, who died when his car ran off the road and ran into a freeway abutment.

[11] Glaze misdated his letter as “12/12/74.”

[12] Wilcott’s 3/22/78 HSCA deposition, pp. 25-26.

[13] Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985), pp. 359-360, 386-387.

[14] William Harvey obituary in The New York Times, June 14, 1976.

[15] Shelley testimony, Volume 6 of the Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits on page 327, hereafter to be cited as 6H327.

[16] Roy Truly testimony, 3H213.

[17] Gladys Cason, One Life, self-published book, 2004, pp. 66-67.

[18] Carolyn Walther, 24H522; Edwards, 24H207; Fischer, 24H208.

[19] Adams testimony, 6H388-390.

[20] Baker testimony, 3H263.

[21] Shelley testimony, 6H330.

[22] Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact, p. 74.

[23] William Weston, “Robert MacNeil and the Three Calm Men”, in the November 1994 issue of The Fourth Decade.

[24] Shelley affidavit, 24H226.

[25] Frazier testimony, 2H23.

[26] FBI report of Oswald at the police station, Warren Report, p. 619.

[27] Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust p. 115.

[28] The Third Decade, May of 1986.

[29] Shelley affidavit, 24H226.

[30] Fritz testimony, 4H206.

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 April 2020 03:08
William Weston

William Weston began researching the assassination of President Kennedy in 1992, after making a comparison of Anthony Summer’s excellent book Conspiracy to a book defending the official version called Final Disclosure by David Belin. The stark contrast in the quality of scholarship between the two books was one factor convincing him that there was a huge conspiracy behind the assassination. Since then, he has written numerous articles on the subject for various periodicals, including The Fourth Decade, Dealey Plaza Echo, and Probe. Currently he has been studying the Zodiac Killer case and writes for a website called zodiackilleridentified.com.

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