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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

A Travesty in Dealey Plaza


Judyth Vary Baker in Dealey Plaza


Every year in September I go to Dallas to hang out with my JFK buddies -- Frank Badalson, Bill Brown, Steve Roe, Dave Ledbetter, Ed Murray, Steve Roe (who unfortunately couldn't make it this time), Scott Maudsley, Freda Dillard, and others -- and visit the various JFK assassination sites. Last year, we also went to New Orleans.


We decided this year to time our visit with the 60th anniversary. The big news for our group was that Ruth Paine was going to speak at the Irving Arts Center and that she would also spend time with our group. Accompanying Ruth was her son Chris, and Joe Alesi who is her assistant back home in California. And some new people joined our group (if you are interested in our next get together, send me an email).


November 22nd in Dealey Plaza this year was a travesty. Conspiracy theorists from the JFK Historical Group, set up a PA system and brought in a variety of ridiculous speakers. Judyth Vary Baker spoke and even sang God Bless America. Hundreds of people in the plaza were exposed to unadulterated nonsense about the assassination. You can read details of what happened below.


My trip to Dallas started with a quick visit to Dealey Plaza. Here is a photo of Scott Maudsley on the grassy knoll:


Ruth spoke on the evening of November 20th and she would be on stage with Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine's garage.

Ruth on stage with Thomas Mallon


Ruth talked about 45 minutes and then answered questions from Thomas. She dismissed conspiracy noting that whenever Oswald was at her house, he was usually on the floor watching television.


The place was packed and about a hundred people stood in line to have Mrs. Paine's Garage autographed by both Ruth and Thomas:

Mark Anthony Wright and Frank Badalson are deep in conversation with Ruth at the autograph table.


Robert Groden attended and sat in the front row. I got into a long conversation with a 14-year-old conspiracy theorist. He just kept on asking about topics like Rose Cherami, smoke on the grassy knoll, mysterious deaths, etc. I tried to convince him to not rely solely upon conspiracy books for his information and to read more widely on the assassination, I will offer to send him free copies of my books.


The next morning Ruth had an interview at the house she lived in in 1963, which is now a museum. The house has been completely restored and even has the original kitchen cabinets.

Ruth Paine's kitchen (and original cabinets) along with a light from her interview.


Here is a picture from 1963. They were not able to get a real washer that Ruth used in 1963 and so they had to build a mock-up.


Marina's bedroom.


There are holograms in several of the rooms recreating events from 1963.


Thomas Mallon, me, Ruth Paine, Matt Kordelski, and Frank Badalson.


Holograph of Marina -- notice the blanket which would have contained the rifle.


Ruth and her son Chris outside the garage.


Our next stop was the Dallas Municipal Building which now houses the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law.


They have built a new Lee Harvey Oswald exhibit which is currently closed to the public. We were fortunate to have a private tour.


Here is the crew:

In front: Frank Badalson, Bill Brown, and Chris Panym. In back: Scott Wheeler, Dennis Moricet, Ed Murray, Freda Dillard, Mark Anthony Wright, Ruth Paine, Scott Maudsley, Matt Kordelski, Fred Litwin, Joe Alesi.


This building used to be Dallas Police Headquarters, and this is where Oswald was briefly jailed before he was killed by Jack Ruby.



Here is Oswald's cell.


You can also go into Captain Will Fritz's office which is where Oswald was interrogated:

Scott Maudsley and I recreate the interrogation of Oswald.


And here is the ramp that Jack Ruby walked down on the morning of November 24th.

Photo courtesy of Freda Dillard.


At midnight we headed down to Dealey Plaza:

From left: Bill Brown, me, Freda Dillard, David Morley, and Scott Maudsley.


On the morning of November 22nd, we all visited the Sixth Floor Museum:

Stephen Fagin, the curator of the Sixth Floor Museum, in the foreground, and from the left: Ruth's son Chris, Ruth Paine, Bill Brown, Ed Murray.


The view from the 7th floor window:


After our visit to the Museum, we went down to Dealey Plaza, which was quite crowded:


A speaker's platform was set up and for an hour, the most ridiculous of conspiracy theorists had control of Dealey Plaza. The speakers seemed to be associated with the JFK Historical Group and there was no shortage of crazy nonsense.


Here is a video taken by my friend Matt Kordelski:


Robert Groden spoke as did Judyth Vary Baker. Right after the minute of silence, Baker sang God Bless America.


Here is a summary of the above video:


0:53: I am not sure who the MC is. If you know who this is, please let me know. He tells the audience to watch the episode of the documentary series, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, about Judyth.

2:43: MC says is a "solemn occasion,"

5:44: Introduction of Gilles Lauzon who is from Montreal. He informs the audience who killed JFK. By the way, Mr. Lauzon recently left this post on Facebook:

10:55: MC asks audience if they know the name Roscoe White. Was Roscoe White actually in one of the backyard photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald? He claims that they took Oswald's face and put it on White's body. Oy, is this insane or what?

12:20: Introduction of Judyth Vary Baker. She then promptly gives the crowd medical advice on vaccines. She talks about the weaponizing of cancer which began in 1963. Baker claims that cancer could have been cured in the 1970s. Baker then talks about bacteriophage! Of course, Lee Oswald had to pretend in 1963 to be a communist and to like Fidel Castro. Baker tells the crowd she was involved in trying to come up with bacterial agents to kill Castro. And guess what, she has never been sued! So, you know she is telling the truth.

21:20: Baker invites people to Oswald's grave. She says the more you know Oswald, the more you will admire him.

24:03: MC talks about Judyth - that she knew Lee Oswald and loved Lee Oswald, and she was working with Oswald on a top-secret project to kill Castro. Oswald tried to save JFK and was a patriot.

23:55 Linda Baker, sister of Judyth. Tells the audience to read Judyth's book.

26:00: I don't know who this speaker is, but he talks about Israel. I wish Matt had more of this guy's speech. Why not blame Israel for the JFK assassination?

28:28: Judyth again.

28:50: Introduction of Robert Groden.

33:50: MC talks about lack of security back in 1963. He says the Secret Service stood down on November 22, 1963.

34:38: Bob Cochran reading.

35:20: Amazing Grace.

38:14: MC recommends David Lifton's book, Best Evidence.

39:30: Janet Groden, Robert's wife.

42:20: Moment of Silence.

43:29: Taps

45:00 Reprise of Amazing Grace.

46:47: Ruth Paine in Dealey Plaza.

47:58: James Files.


One speaker mentioned that no military sniper has been able to duplicate the feat of Lee Harvey Oswald. My new Australian friend Mark Anthony Wright quipped that "you guys must not have a very good military."


The video mercifully does not include Judyth's rendition of God Bless America. After her talk, Judyth handed out candies to the audience. She then headed over to Oswald's grave for her usual histrionics.


On our last night in every trip, we go to Campisi's, the restaurant at which Jack Ruby ate the night before JFK was assassinated, for dinner. Here I am sitting opposite from Ruth Paine.


It was a lot of fun hanging out in Dallas this year. Ruth Paine is a very gracious lady. She will have her picture taken with anybody, will answer any question about what happened back in 1963, and will also autograph anything. One man in Dealey Plaza wanted her to autograph a 'paper bag' marked 'curtain rods.'


But I will never go back on November 22nd -- I don't want crazy conspiracy theorists to be in control "of the vertical and the horizontal."



Previous Relevant Blog Post


Our terrific dinner at El Fenix in Dallas.



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