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Thread: The Tippit Case in the New Millenium

  1. Default Longer answer

    Bowley's Ruby connection was anathema to the FBI. Benavides was a well-placed candidate to supersede Bowley. It's even possible, although doubtful, he was the person observed by Bowley fumbling with Tippit's radio, but that would not make him an eye-witness to much of anything. It was a simple matter to get more subornation mileage out of his pickup by having it arrive a few minutes earlier at the moment of the shooting.

    The memo shows he was an FBI informant, because it describes an instance of providing information to the FBI three years after he gave his WC testimony. How was he recruited? Probably some variation of the carrot & stick method. The memo describes an attempt to reach out for another carrot.

    This detail should raise a few eyebrows:

    It was BENAVIDES belief that BERENDT was trying to place VAGANOV at the scene possibly as the man in the "red Ford" which he (BENAVIDES) had eluded [sic] to in his statement to the FBI on the date of the assassination.

    What statement was that? The "red Ford" made its public debut as an afterthought to Benavides' WC testimony, as if pinning a tail on the jackass Belin. Despite the appearance of spontaneity the Hood memo reveals it was a prepared line.

  2. Default

    In that regard, do you agree with Weston?

    That Tatum was not there and Vaganov was?

  3. Default

    Tatum was not there, a conclusion reached long before reading Weston's article.

    Vaganov may have been there, it's tempting to conclude as much, but his presence was more plausible than certain.

    Tatum lied about being there & Vaganov lied about everything. It took an astute detective to get to the bottom of this. Instead there was Moriarty who based his cock & bull story on Benavides' red herring. He's the master sleuth who couldn't find Holan across the street when he claimed to be searching for new stones to turn.
    Last edited by Milo Reech; 03-28-2019 at 09:13 AM.

  4. Default

    What are the problems you have with Tatum, the same one Weston does, the wrong red car?

    I just find it hard to buy that he would shut up for all those years.

  5. Default Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio View Post
    What are the problems you have with Tatum, the same one Weston does, the wrong red car?

    I just find it hard to buy that he would shut up for all those years.
    1. Ridiculous reason for shutting up -- "There were more than enough people there and I could not see what I could contribute."
    2. Zero corroboration of his statements by Moriarty (who couldn't remember in 1986 "how he had traced Tatum"), including the claim that he actually owned a 1964 red Galaxie.
    3. Failure of being seen by any other witness (e.g. Clemons, Markham, Cimino, Burt, WA Smith, Scoggins) at the scene.
    4. Lying about seeing the killer walk in an easterly direction on 10th Street (cf. Burt & WL Smith).
    5. Absurdity of the belated coup de grace witnessed by no one else.
    6. Nonsense about giving personal comfort to Markham and taking her "to the police station to give evidence."

    #s 5 & 6 are discussed in this thread:

  6. Default Benavides' FBI statement

    The quote from the FBI memo cited earlier (#176) has an insignificant date error. More important is that Benavides gave a statement to the FBI on the date of the assassination. Recall Leavelle's report of 11/22/63 that says Benavides also gave an affidavit to DPD on the date of the assassination. That makes two missing items from someone routinely considered a major eye witness following the WR publication.

    Doubly important is Benavides' reference to the "red Ford" in the FBI statement made well before it popped up at the tail end of his WC testimony. It's not much of a stretch to sense the presence of a red Ford in the DPD affidavit.

    So why would the FBI want to squelch this item? There would have been no reason to keep Tatum's presence at the scene concealed, a far more effective eye witness than Markham, and no reason at all to suppress an adventitious vehicle of any description driven by a non-entity. Much more likely the purpose was to conceal the presence of someone whose identity if it were revealed would have caused grave problems for the scenario being worked out immediately after Tippit's murder.

    Two distinct possibilities:
    1. Vaganov
    2. LHO double seen at El Chico by T.F. White

    Both drove red Fords, notwithstanding Vaganov's white roof. The Ford was a wild card in Benavides' hand, therefore variable, until Moriarty converted it into a joker named Tatum.

    Here's the whole text with date correction:

    TO: SAC, DALLAS (89-43) DATE: 3/1/67


    DALLAS, TEXAS, 11/22/63


    On 2/27/67, DOMINGO BENAVIDES, 910 East Hobson, Dallas, telephone FR4-4500, telephonically contacted the writer and advised that he had been interviewed by the FBI on a prior occasion, during the assassination investigation because he was a witness to the OSWALD - TIPPIT killing.

    BENAVIDES said that on or about 2/10/1967, he received a long distance phone call from a man who identified himself as JOHN BERENDT, a reporter, for Esquire Magazine in New York. BERENDT stated that he wanted to speak with BENAVIDES about a man called IGOR VAGANOV. During the conversation BERENDT stated that he wanted to show a photograph of VAGANOV to BENAVIDES in an effort to determine if BENAVIDES had seen VAGANOV in the area of the OSWALD - TIPPIT killing on the date of the assassination.

    BENAVIDES stated he agreed to view the photograph if and when it was shown to him. Shortly thereafter BERENDT visited BENAVIDES atthis [sic] place of business and in his company was VAGANOV. BENAVIDES stated that he did not identify VAGANOV as being in the area of the assassination scene, and so stated to BERENDT.

    BENAVIDES furnished the above information to the FBI indicating that he had a photograph of VAGANOV which had been left with him by BERENDT. BENAVIDES stated if the FBI desired the photograph they could have it at any time they wanted to pick it up. In conclusion, BENAVIDES stated that VAGANOV appeared familiar to him for some reason, but he can not state now where he has seen him in the past. It was BENAVIDES belief that BERENDT was trying to place VAGANOV at the scene possibly as the mand [sic] in the "red Ford" which he (BENAVIDES) had eluded [sic] to in his statement to the FBI on the date of the assassination.

    Route this memorandum to supervisor ROBERT P. GEMBERLING for action deemed appropriate by him.

  7. Default Benavides' FBI statement (cont.)

    So far no luck in finding FBI reports relative to statements made by either Vaganov or Benavides on 11/22/63, although both were interrogated. T.F. White is another matter. SA Brown filed several reports regarding his investigation in which he contrived to interview everyone except Carl Amos Mather, who owned the car with license plate PP4537 and worked at a firm linked to the CIA. Documents relative to the conversion from blue Plymouth to red Falcon can be found in Armstrong's repository at Baylor:

    William Kelly sums up matters well:

    Instead of going out to Collins Radio to interview Mather however, the FBI went first to Mr. White, who Wes Wise had promised wouldn’t be involved. They took additional statements from him, changing his story for the official reports and changed the two-tone Plymouth to a red Ford Falcon. Certainly a mechanic would know the difference between a Plymouth and a Ford.

    Benavides was also a mechanic and certainly would have known the difference between Vaganov's Thunderbird and Tatum's Galaxie. At this point I'm holding in abeyance the speculative question of what he was up to with the connivance (or at the behest) of the FBI, pausing to finish off his eyewitness credentials.

    DPD's arraignment papers of Oswald for Tippit's murder omit Benavides although Markham, Callaway, Scoggins, Guinyard & Bowley made the cut (pp.118-119):

    The papers may not have been the most carefully prepared documents (misspelling Callaway as Calloway on p.118 and placing Tippit's murder scene at "400 Blk. W. 10th" under "LOCATION OF EVENTS RELATED TO PRESIDENT'S ASSASSINATION" on p.158) but what would have occasioned the absence of the witness often proclaimed the nearest to the murder when it occurred?

    Another document at Hood, sent by the FBI to Rankin dated 3/26/64, also furnishes a list of witnesses to Tippit's murder (Scoggins, Markham, Callaway, Davis & Davis), likewise omitting Benavides whom it had interviewed the day of the murder. p.12

    One week later (4/2/64) Benavides presented himself to WC as an eyewitness, and a star was born.

  8. Default Benavides' FBI statement (concluded)

    To finish up there is Fritz's 12/23/63 report to Curry which omits Benavides entirely, giving him credit for neither discovering spent shells nor witnessing the actual shooting (p.441, items 21 & 22).

    When Benavides crashes into the void Tatum must follow, unless one is willing to believe a phantom eyewitness' detailed account of an unobserved event accurately described, as if by a prodigy of coincidence, the unwitnessed objective reality. IOW Tatum's tale hangs from Benavides' WC testimony by a single slender thread. Nothing else of a probative nature exists, or imparts credibility to any degree.

    A much more likely scenario:

    1. Benavides heard shots while eating lunch at his mother's house.
    2. The alley to 10th was blocked so he drove around to the murder scene via Denver.
    3. Proceeding west on 10th his pickup was passed by a red Ford going in the opposite direction (i.e. leaving the scene heading east).
    4. His arrival at the murder scene was observed by Guinyard.
    5. Later on 11/22/63 he gave an affidavit to DPD that mentioned the red Ford.
    6. The FBI deep sixed the red Ford reference by taking immediate control and suppressing the affidavit, eventually repurposing him to replace Bowley.
    7. He played ball to an extent but kept the red Ford alive in the fabricated context of his WC testimony.

    Fourteen years later Tatum was groomed as a better Benavides and fed to Moriarty, who did nothing to ascertain the validity of this discovery, either hiding behind secrecy requirements, or feigning mental fuzziness & an inability to locate his notes. He did not make an attempt to obtain corroboration from Benavides. Berendt had enough sense to bring Benavides & Vaganov together, but to Moriarty Benavides' presence was perfunctory, a rung in Wittgenstein's ladder, thrown away after climbing to the next level of deception.

  9. Default


    Why was it necessary to get rid of that red Ford?


  10. Default

    Just so, only other choice would be an unknown who was likewise anathema to the FBI. Tatum as contender just got knocked out of the ring. It would not have been "necessary to get rid of that red Ford" if he had been the driver.

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