Most researchers, especially those that are conspiracy bound (which seem to be most writers on the subject these days), mostly do not go near the issue of Oswald being a doppelganger despite the obvious discrepancies in his narrative. Most will agree that Oswald was being impersonated during his Mexico trip, such as Jeff Morley (Our Man in Mexico) and John Newman (Oswald and the CIA). However, it seems for most researchers find the subject is too weird even for them. In fact, it’s almost taboo. Author and researcher John Armstrong is the only person to seriously tackle the subject and he does so in a big way. Besides the doppelganger issue which is the main focus of the book, the sheer amount of detail he documents of the Kennedy assassination is staggering. It makes a good overall source book on the assassination. Jim Marrs has a section in Crossfire on Oswald doubles and Vince Bugliosi in Reclaiming History mentions it but then dismisses the subject as fringe kook material. In my growing library of Kennedy assassination books not much else is available. Why?
The Silvia Odio Incident
Quite well known in the annals of the JFK assassination is the story of Silvia Odio, the daughter of Armado Odio, trucking magnate of pre-Castro Cuba. Well known in that her story is evidence for conspiracy and a thorn in the side of the Warren Commission and its defenders.
The eldest of 10 children Silvia along with other family members fled Castro’s Cuba and in September of 1963 was temporally staying with her sister Annie in Dallas. There father Amador along with their mother were imprisoned by Castro after uncovered plotting against him. Amador had the largest trucking company in Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power. This is an important point to consider because one day in September of 1963, two Cubans and an American came knocking at her door, ostensibly to ask for help for her father’s organization, JURE. The Cubans introduced themselves as Leopoldo and Angelo, with the American introducing himself as Leon Oswald. Suspicious of these men, and later being warned by her father imprisoned in Cuba, she had nothing more to do with them. Later, when watching the results of the assassination on television and seeing the arrest of the alleged killer of the President she recognized Lee Harvey Oswald as the young man that introduced himself as Leon Oswald at her door.
Silvia Odio gave her testimony to the Warren Commission on this incident but shortly before the Warren Report was released they dismissed her story, saying she was mistaken, much to her disgust. She resented be told that she didn’t know who she was looking at and speaking with. Years later she would give her testimony again to the House Select Committee on Assassinations and they agreed her story was true. (It should be pointed out that there is more than one witness to this event. Her sister Annie who answered the door, saw Oswald and the Cubans and overhead the entire conversation. Her testimony was never taken by the FBI, Warren Commission or later, the HSCA.)
However, there is more to it than just additional lines of conspiracy and Oswald being seen with people when he was cast as a loner. Authors, Larry Hancock, Gaeton Fonzi, Joan Mellen, Peter Dale Scott, John Newman, and Lamar Waldron all give Silvia Odio credibility in her story of meeting Lee “Leon” Oswald prior to the assassination and his interaction with Cuban exiles. However, none of these authors make the connection of Oswald’s meeting with Odio and his bus trip to Mexico City. Because the FBI narrowed down the timeline of the Silvia/Leon meeting to September 26, the same exact time Oswald is traveling in Mexico. The implications are of more than one Lee Oswald in play. No wonder the Warren Commission (and Hoover behind the scenes) dismissed her account! Oswald being in Mexico at this precise date is verified by almost ten witnesses which includes fellow bus passengers and the hotel staff in Mexico City. There are also Hotel records to verify the date as well.
And this not the only sighting of Lee Oswald in Dallas on that date. Henry McCluskey, an Interstate Claims clerk for the TEC (Texas Employment Commission) remarked that Lee Oswald showed up on either the 25th or the 26th of September and gave him an address correction which he filled on an Interstate Claims form. He related this to the Warren Commission and was interviewed at home by attorney Albert Jenner. Jenner would conclude his testimony was hearsay. Typical. He has to so they can avoid the conflict. McCluskey would never be interviewed by the FBI or the WC. Interestingly the Interstate Claims form shows signs of tampering. The top was meant to be cut off in a straight line but that was not possible since the “P.O.” was written too high off the baseline. Whoever cut it did so by carving around the two letters. An amateurish job at best. This was done in the FBI’s possession and represents the tampering of evidence. Why would they do that? Because the date of September 25 or 26 would be written there and would show Oswald at Dallas and Mexico two at the same time.
Fearing to Tread
I must admit when I first started looking into the subject of Oswald doubles there was that sense of it being a far out subject not worthy of exploring. It’s gets even weirder when one considers that if it was an intelligence project, it starts when Lee Oswald is a teenager. That means there has to be a double for his mother as well. It takes a turn for the worse when you have two sets of doubles loose leaving a lengthy and contradicting witness and paper trail. And that is an important point; there is a paper trail to this that is so conflicting the only way to resolve it is to have two sets of sons and mothers. Just hunt through the Warren Commission’s 26 volumes and a lot of vexing things will be unearthed. Still more is waiting for us as there is a ton of paperwork still to be released from the various investigations. One day perhaps we’ll find out who John and Minnie Smith are, or the contents of the still unreleased tax returns of Marguerite Oswald from 1956-62, also marked, “referred...postponed in full.” There is no sound reason for any of this if these are normal people.
I can honestly understand why so many researchers don’t go near the subject even with the evidence staring them right in the face. This is not clearly not the case with John Armstrong who has written the definitive book on the subject in his Harvey and Lee. He’s a voice crying in the wilderness and I applaud him for his courage to pursue this subject. I’ve long held that there is more to the assassination of JFK than his murder. This business of doubles running about, appearing in places they should not be has possibilities for a tie-in to the deep cover that surrounds the assassination.
As I have noted in this piece, virtually no assassination author that believes Silvia Odio’s account of seeing Lee Oswald, connects the timing conflict between her encounter and Oswald being on the bus headed to Mexico City. Either one occurred or one did not. Or perhaps both did occur and Lee Oswald’s double was at her door with the Cubans. I have only stated one example here, but there are many more examples of this occurring all through the investigation.
Obviously, a lot of worms are going to escape if this can is opened. And there is more than one can.
Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Newman, John, Oswald and the CIA; McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Warren Commission Report; Douglass, James, JFK and the Unspeakable; www.ctka.net (Probe Magazine article archive); www.history-matters.com; Mellen, Joan, A Farewell to Justice, Marrs, Jim, Crossfire; Scott, Peter Dale, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Fonzi, Gaeton; The Last Investigation