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The Other Schoolbook Depository

Updated: Mar 11

The Other Schoolbook Depository

By Gary Hill


“This is the night I should go to the theatre.”

-JFK[1]

In my book, The Other Oswald, A Wilderness of Mirrors, I explored the strange occurrence of paired evidence. There were two rifles, two pistols, two wrappings for the rifle, two or more Oswalds, two (or three) wallets, two sets of incriminating I.D.'s linking Oswald to Hidell in those wallets, two jackets, two shoe stores, two Marinas etc.. Since the book was published I discovered another example. It seems there were actually two Schoolbook Depositories in Dallas and both were on JFK's motorcade route on November 22, 1963; the Texas Schoolbook Depository on Elm Street, where Oswald worked, and the Lone Star Schoolbook Depository located at 4646 Harry Hines Boulevard.[2] Both warehouses were owned by right-wing radicals. The Lone Star's owner was Russ Carlson, who also acted as vice-president of the company. The Texas Schoolbook Depository was the property of right-wing oil tycoon, D.H. Byrd. It's president was Jack Cason. Cason's wife Gladys[3] was openly quoted as saying, “Someone ought to shoot President Kennedy.”

However, the excellent research of William Weston has uncovered evidence that Carlson was running things in the background at the TSBD as well as the LSBD, and that Cason was merely a front man. Carlson was anti-Kennedy, anti-Johnson, anti-segregation, a gun collector, and was accused by a close acquaintance of being a suspect in JFK's murder.

The memoirs of Oswald’s employment counselor, Laura Kittrell, reveal that she had in years past sent applicants to the Texas School Book Depository. Checking into the background of these applicants was not Jack Cason nor Roy Truly, but “the Ross Carlton family” who, she said, were the owners of the Texas School Book Depository.[4] According to Kittrell, the Carltons sold the depository “a year or so before the assassination,” but apparently still maintained control over the screening of applicants. If she tried to send someone to the TSBD “who was not a 100% red-blooded, true-blue American,” the Carltons would loudly complain.[5]


Kittrell was therefore surprised at the ease with which Lee Harvey Oswald got his job at the TSBD in spite of his undesirable discharge from the Marine Corps. She wondered why the Carltons had hired Oswald. Were they finally relaxing their standards in order to fill job positions that earned very little pay? Weston concluded that what Kittrell did not know was that Oswald had been recommended by the CIA, according to George de Mohrenschildt, whose source was Domestic Contacts Service Chief, J. Walton Moore. An additional contributing factor was that Oswald was also an undercover informant for the FBI. The Carltons were probably aware of Oswald’s counterintelligence background when Roy Truly hired him on October 15, 1963.

Weston uncovered several links to US intelligence agencies involving the schoolbook business. It seems that CIA agent William Harvey[6] worked as a law editor for Bobbs Merrill in Indianapolis in the late 60's.

McGraw-Hill occupied the third floor of the TSBD in 1963. This company not only published schoolbooks but was a contractor for the Foreign Technology Division and collected data on Soviet aerospace technology.

Van Nostrand schoolbook salesman, Newcomb Mott[7], like Lee Oswald, entered the Soviet Union by a little known and remote route. He crossed the Norwegian[8] border without a visa and was arrested by the Soviets who were convinced he was a CIA agent. Mott was put on trial for entering the country illegally. He was convicted and sentenced to a forced labor camp. Like Oswald, he attempted suicide with a razor blade. Unlike Oswald, he was successful. Strangely, the blade was included in a gift package from the American Embassy. Hmm... A real care package.

Behind the scenes intelligence connections of several of Oswald's fellow employees at theTSBD are intriguing as well. William Shelby had connections to the CIA. Joe Molina, the building's credit manager, worked with Bill Lowery to infiltrate the G.I. Forum.[9] Molina was arrested on the weekend of the assassination and suspected of being an accomplice of Oswald. Billy Lovelady was involved in an illegal weapons deal while in the Air-Force and stationed in Washington, DC.[10] Roy Truly's right-wing and racist leanings are well documented.

At the time of the assassination, the Lone Star Schoolbook Depository had recently moved from downtown Dallas to Harry Hines Boulevard. The old location was 703 & 707 Browder Street. This was not far from Jaggars, Chiles and Stoval, which was located at 522 Browder Street. Oswald had worked there from October 1962 to April 1963. The new location was part of Market Hall which, along with the Trade Mart and a Home Furnishing Mart constituted the Dallas Market Center. LSBD, NAPA and Binswanger Glass were the three buildings making up the complex. The 12 story high Stemmons Tower was also included in the project and financed by real estate developer, Trammell Crow. Crow hobnobbed with conservative republicans such as Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and H.W. Bush.

In 1956, Binswanger built the Cabana Motel with the help of Teamster funds approved by Jimmy Hoffa. This was the same Cabana Motel that was visited by Jack Ruby, Eugene Hale Brading, Lawrence Myers and Jean Aase on the night before the assassination.

The choice of the Trade Mart as the site of the luncheon on November 22nd was not decided until the last minute. Connally wanted the Trade Mart, while Secret Service advance man Jerry Bruno preferred the Woman's Building. The motorcade routes for both buildings would have passed through Dealey Plaza. However, had the Woman's Building been chosen, there would have been no hairpin turn onto Elm Street. The motorcade would have continued down Main Street and not slowed down. This would have made a shot from the TSBD much more difficult. Therefore, it is logical that a contingency plan be in place possibly involving the LSBD further along the route. Weston believed that the possibility of a kill zone at the railroad crossing near the LSBD was a real possibility. He sites Jerry Bruno's statement in his memoirs The Advance Man. In this manuscript, Bruno said that of the five cities the president was planning to visit in Texas, the least likely for a plot to occur was in Dallas. This was because of the long uncertainty over whether the Women’s Building or the Trade Mart would be selected for the president’s luncheon.

I came across a little known item in Vince Palamara's book, Survivors Guilt that struck me as a possible connection. Vince quoted an article from the NY Times 12/20/63:

“A 21-year-old Dallas machinist was arrested by the Secret Service today on charges of threatening to kill President Kennedy. The machinist, Russell W. McLarry, said the threat had been made “in jest” on Nov. 21, the day before Mr. Kennedy was assassinated here. Two women to whom Mr. McLarry allegedly made the statement reported it to the police in Arlington, about 15 miles west of here, soon after they heard of the assassination.”

“Mr. McLarry was alleged to have told the women that he would be working near the Trade Mart the next day and would be waiting with a gun to “get” the President.”

The coincidences are striking. McLarry worked at the Dahlgren[11] Manufacturing Company, which makes Lithographic printing equipment in a plant three blocks north of the Trade Mart. In Chicago, potential patsy Arthur Vallee worked in a lithograph printing building overlooking a planned motorcade route in Chicago. Oswald worked at Jaggars, Chiles and Stoval, another printing enterprise. A strange coincidence?

Furthermore, McLarry was unmarried and lived in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, making him a neighbor of Lee Harvey Oswald as well as Jack Ruby.[12]


Assassination by the Book


“Oswald would never have been found guilty of killing Tippit or JFK at the time of his death.”

DPD Homicide Detective, James Leavelle, 1988


Logically, planning for the assassination would have had to take into account the fact that the motorcade route was not yet decided and might be changed at the last moment. Therefore, there had to be a separate plan prepared for each route. If the Woman's Building had been the site of the luncheon, Oswald would not have been the patsy since a successful attempt from that location would have been extremely difficult. A second location for the crossfire would be needed. A second warehouse controlled by the same people and a second patsy would be essential. Note that it was after Oswald started working at the TSBD that the motorcade route was changed. Not until November 19 was the Elm Street route made public.[13] Was Russell McLarry a backup patsy? Was the backup team of shooters to be located in the Dallas Market Center and the Lone Star Schoolbook Depository? Was this site to be used in the event that the Woman's Building was the site chosen for the luncheon? Were these locations Plan B and the Dealey Plaza and Texas Schoolbook Depository Plan A? Was Plan A activated when the Trade Mart was finally chosen? Since the Trade Mart was the chosen luncheon site and Plan A was carried out to perfection, we will never know. But if Einstein was right and parallel universes occur whenever historical forks in the road apply, there may well be another version of events where the LSBD is famous and the TSBD just another warehouse.


"If the American people knew the truth about Dallas, there would be blood in the streets."

Robert F. Kennedy


 

[1] (After his decision to remove missiles from Turkey and Italy in exchange for Russian missiles in Cuba.) Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, RFK

[2] Ruth Paine actually was surprised when she on the news that Oswald worked at the Dealey Plaza facility. She had assumed he was located at the other schoolbook warehouse.

[3] Cason, Gladys, One Life, (GSC Creations, 2004), pp. 67-71

[4] Laura Kittrell’s typewritten memoirs consisting of ninety pages is designated as FBI record no. 124-10057-10339; Agency file no. 62-109060-4052


[5] On the Death of JFK: Spider’s Web at the Trade Mart, William Weston

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

[7] Newcomb Mott story in the Chicago Tribune, January 29, 1966.

[8] Oswald crossed the border in Finland.

[9] For more on this see The Other Oswald, A Wilderness of Mirror, Gary Hill, Chapter 6.

[10] Rivera, Larry, “Billy Lovelady: A Troubled Past,” 28 September 2012 on oswald-innocent.com.


[11] The role of the Dahlgren raid in the demise of Abe Lincoln is just another weird coincidence between the histories of the two Presidents who were killed 100 years apart but shared so many odd connections.

[12] Survivors Guilt, Vince Palamara p. 372-373

[13] This is strong evidence that Oswald could not have planned the assassination ahead of time. He didn't know the motorcade would go past his job site until a couple days before the assassination.

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