Letter Of The Month
Len: This is a response to Tony Pitman on the subject of
the Christchurch STAR coverage of the JFK assassination, and
Dear Mr. Pitman:
I am pleased to have a copy of your research in Christchurch
about the STAR newspaper's issue of Saturday, November
23,1963. In many ways what you have learned locally
verifies the information I got from the STAR and many other
papers that were issued on that same day from around the
world. (We are allowing for the time change over the Int'l
Dateline when applicable.)
JFK was hit at 12:30 pm on Nov 22, Dallas time. I was in
the hotel (Hermitage?) at the foot of Mt. Cook in the N.Z.
Alps having breakfast at 07:30 am on Nov 23 when the hotel
speaker system reported:
"BBC have just reported that President Kennedy has been
shot... dead, in Dallas, Texas." (Silent thereafter.)
The U.S. Congressman, who was with me at breakfast, and I
left the hotel as soon as possible and were driven back to
Christchurch without delay. We arrived there around 1 pm.
We found a newspaper being sold by a newsboy on the street.
This is the source of my "official" copy that day.
The point of this timing is that much of the "news" items
about the assassination, that appeared in that issue of the
STAR, had to have been written before the shooting took
place. The paper was printed before Oswald had been
arraigned for the crime of killing the President.
We must keep in mind that Oswald, although picked up by the
police on suspicion for the murder of a Dallas Patrolman
J.D. Tippet, 35 minutes after Kennedy was shot, was not
arraigned for the assassination of JFK for another twelve
hours, i.e. early on the morning of Nov 23rd, Dallas time.
This account becomes pivotal in understanding the sources of
the around-the-world news that contained considerable
biographical items (true or contrived with respect to the
assassination) that we found on the pages of the STAR early
A newspaper on the streets between 1300 and 1400 hours on
the 23rd, in Christchurch, had to have been printed and on
the streets at least 6 hours before Oswald had been
arraigned for JKK's murder. This time gap itself creates a
very doubtful possibility for anything but the most
rudimentary account. Reporters would not have started on
the collation of such bizarre data as was created for the
Oswald scenario. They had to collect it, verify it, and
then write their columns, first - let alone the time
consumed in publication and distribution required for true
What has concerned me, since that date, is that this early
afternoon newspaper, published in New Zealand, has many
columns of Lee Harvey Oswald's biography that must have been
assembled, written and transmitted around the world many
hours before Oswald had been arraigned. Other papers were
given the same material about Oswald. They printed it too.
Keep in mind, he was picked up by the police as a suspect in
the crime of killing a Dallas policeman. That certainly
could not have been the basis for reporters to begin a
world~wide search for "Oswald News Items". Such activity
could only have begun, properly and lawfully, after the
court had charged Oswald with the crime.
With these questions in mind, let's take a look at the
a) Only a few sentences into the lead story that is
accompanied with a full-faced photo of Kennedy on one
side, and a full ground to roof shot of the building
from which the fatal shots were alleged to have been
fired, there is an on-the-spot release of singular
content for those of us who are familiar with the
content of the Warren Commission Report and other
"factual" data. This immediate release states:
"Three bursts of gun-fire, apparently from
automatic weapons were heard. Secret service men
immediately unslung their automatic weapons and
NOTE: Those two "on-the-spot" sentences wipe out the entire
"Oswald did it, alone" cover story that appeared near the top of
this front page of the Christchurch STAR. Notably, they were
also the very first remarks broadcast by the nation-wide CBS TV
network when they hurriedly shut down their scheduled programs
and broke in with the news of the President's assassination.
They appeared also around the world in story~breaking broadcasts
These two sentences do not appear in the Warren Report, and
do not appear again in any media sources after this first
release. After that release they began to get a steady
stream of "cover story" material about Oswald and other
matters related to JFK's death.
It is up to the reader/listener to decide, a) are they the
curb-side actual truth, or b) were they contrived to lead
the breaking story? *`(a) is the truth. It was the earliest
phone call by an alert, on-site source that was flashed
around the world. He simply reported what he heard, and it
was factual. It was not written by the conspiracy team.
This calls for another few words of personal information.
have written about, spoken about, and have had inserted into
Oliver Stone's film "JFK", this source of information about
the Christchurch STAR, for one reason, and one reason only.
I just happened to be in New Zealand that day... on my way
back to Washington from a brief military assignment to
Antarctica. I had no other reason the make reference to the
STAR. I just happened to be there, and it was the local
Once I returned to Washington, DC and to my assigned
military office in the Joint Chiefs of Staff area of the
Pentagon, on Nov 28, 1963, I made it a goal to assemble as
many "First Day" sources of JFK Assassination news as I
could locate. This led me to the U.S. Library of Congress
and to its vast, world-around files of newspapers. By doing
this I discovered that for the most part they had access to,
and printed, the same words from the same news sources as
did the STAR. The conspiracy really got out there first.
It became clear that the biographical material on the
assassin, reportedly Oswald, had to have been put together
before the shooting took place. It's simply a factor of job
scope and timing.
I won't go into a lot of detail; but in the lower left-hand
corner of the front page there is a story under the heading,
"Arrested Man Lived in Russia." At that time the STAR, and
other papers around the world, also published a fine studio
photo of Oswald. There is no way that the newspapers could
have run that select photo unless it had been provided to
them before the murder and his arraignment. Oswald, who had
yet to be charged, was wearing street clothes that day, not
a suit coat and tie.
There can be no question but what this "Oswald biography"
that was flashed around the world even before he was charged
with the crime was a preplanned part of the conspiracy.
The STAR proved to me that a major conspiracy was behind this
murder. There is a large photo of the Dallas Textbook Depository
building, where Oswald worked and where they say the shots came
from on the left side of the front page. This photo was taken
right after the shooting. Look at it closely. Note how many
windows are open.
During my military years in the Pentagon, 1955-1964, I had worked
with military and on occasion Secret Service "Presidential
Protection" units. I know that it is mandatory in those jobs
that all windows over-looking the route of a Presidential
procession must be closed. Then ground observers watch to see
that they are not re-opened; and, if opened, that radio calls to
men in the building and on nearby roofs will alert rifle
marksmen, and will cause others to go into those rooms and have
all windows closed. None of this standard procedure was done as
this photo confirms right at the time of the shooting. This is a
powerful and key factor of the existence of a conspiracy.
This photo tells a major story. The Secret Service and the
Military Presidential Protection units were not there, they were
not on the job. They could only have been removed, or over-
looked for duty in Dallas, as the result of a massive conspiracy.
This building photo with open windows is proof, beyond doubt.
Why weren't the Presidential Protection units there and on duty?
Who had the influence, or power to have given them bogus orders
not to go to Dallas, i.e. "Other units will cover Dallas?"
By the time, the Congressman and I had scanned this important
publication that day in Christchurch we were sure that the murder
had been the result of a conspiracy. This newspaper, and others
around the world, tell the story.
I am well aware of the fact that global communications in 1963
was fast and effective everywhere. I find no fault with that
part of the game. What is clear is that the "Oswald did it
alone" story was contrived, and the cover story had been printed
and made available around the world even before Oswald had been
This is the significance of the Christchurch STAR as published on
Nov 23, 1963. A careful study of its content destroys the "Lone
Assassin" theory, and gives irrefutable evidence of a major
conspiracy at work in Dallas and around the world that day.
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