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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Is this the Oliver Stone Contract for the Ricky White Story?

Here is a contact that Oliver Stone signed with John F. Kennedy Assassination Center in 1990:

These were the people who brought the Ricky White story about his father to the world. While Roscoe White and his son Ricky White are not mentioned in the contract, it does appear that Stone wanted that story for his upcoming film.

"In July of '90," Howard said, "we had evidence that the story was true, evidence no one else had. So I put together a list of things that I obtained from Ricky White and all the evidence and faxed a copy to Oliver Stone. He immediately sent me airplane tickets for Ricky and me to fly to California to visit him. We told him the story, and he wanted to buy the story that night. He offered money to me, but I refused. He said nobody ever said no to him. I said there are two reasons I can't do it. One, the story needs to be investigated more to make sure everything we have here is true, and two, we're scared to death."

In an October 1990 letter to Mack's employer, KXAS-TV, the JFK Center threatened both Gary and the station with a lawsuit. The lawsuit was based on the belief that the contract between the JFK Center and Stone might be cancelled because Mack had divulged some terms of the agreement to the Houston Chronicle. If the contract were to be canceled, the JFK Center would demand restitution in the amount of $80,000 for the contract and $5,000,000 in damages.

With respect to Oliver Stone's film, "JFK": you may have learned that Warren Commission critics Harold Weisberg and David Lifton as well as defender David Belin are concerned about the movie. On May 19, 1991 George Lardner's critical article "On the Set: Dallas in Wonderland" appeared in the Washington Post. Stone replied to the Post two weeks later with "Stone's 'JFK': a Higher Truth? The Post, George Lardner and My Version of the JFK Assassination."

With all the charges and counter-charges, little attention has been paid to Stone's change in ideology before and after gaining access to the former Texas School Book Depository. When the film's advance staff was in Dallas, they tried to obtain approval for access to the building from the Dallas County Commissioners. At that time Stone was stressing the need for accuracy in reports to the media. For example, there appeared in the April 14, 1991 edition of the Dallas Morning News the following quotes from Oliver Stone: "It's a question of accuracy. It's always better to be accurate if you can."..."And these are native Texans. They say, 'We want the truth to be known. We're glad you're making it here.'"..."There is a younger generation of people that want some element of truth to come out."

Once filming in Dallas was nearly complete and the company moved on to New Orleans, Stone's statements about the film changed. This from a story by Elaine Duta in the Los Angeles Times Calendar for June 24, with a story headlined OLIVER STONE FIGHTS BACK: "...His 'JFK' is still being filmed but critics are already assailing its accuracy and motives. 'This isn't history, this is moviemaking,' the director rejoins -- and star Kevin Costner agrees."

Why do I bring this up? On April 19, 1991 I received an invitation to observe some of the filming. This was during the film company's "need for historical accuracy" period. I observed the crew filming an actor in a Dallas policeman's uniform shooting from the acoustic position---exactly where Ricky White claimed the diary said his father was. I also saw the Gordon Arnold character. For the shot to pass over Arnold's left shoulder as he revealed to the Dallas Morning News in 1978, Stone had Arnold standing much closer to the street than he really claimed he was.

Unless that scene is edited or cut, we will see Roscoe White -- not necessarily by name but by implication. Oliver Stone can claim it's only a movie, not a documentary, but that scene will have a profound impact on the audience. By innuendo, Roscoe White, without any proof, has been charged with the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

To paraphrase one of Roscoe White's best friends, who was also a pallbearer at this funeral: some "researchers" have done to Roscoe White exactly what the Warren Commission did to Lee Harvey Oswald.

By the way, there is a scene in JFK where we briefly see a policeman on the knoll with a gun: (JFK: The Book of the Film, page 162)

At the picket fence a shooter in a Dallas Police uniform moves into place, aiming up Elm Street. His spotter has a radio to his ear. Another man in a Secret Service suit moves further down the fence.

What on earth is Oliver Stone talking about -- "another man in a Secret Service suit."

If anybody can find such a suit, let me know

Is this gunman Roscoe White or is this gunman Badgeman?

Previous Relevant Blog Posts on Oliver Stone's JFK

A very good opinion piece published in the Washington Post.

An important article from The Atlantic by Edward Jay Epstein on Oliver Stone's JFK.

Wrone was a friend of Harold Weisberg's and was also very critical of JFK.

More inane comments on the JFK assassination.

An excerpt from an interview with Chris Wallace.

A good opinion piece from the Boston Globe.

Two letters from Weisberg to Stone.

A good review of Stone's JFK.

Two JFK researchers watch Stone's JFK.

An interesting look back.

Wicker reviews JFK for the New York Times and Weisberg responds.

Even this counterculture newspaper knew the truth about JFK.

David Lifton gave me permission to post this letter.

The Deputy Chief Counsel of the HSCA offers up some opinions.

Garrison instructed Tommy Lee Jones on how to play Clay Shaw.

The Advocate writes about Oliver Stone and Jim Garrison.

This post has a large Robert Sam Anson article on the film JFK from Esquire magazine.

Pershing Gervais, Garrison's first chief investigator, and reporter Rosemary James report back on the film JFK.

Lardner writes a memo to his editors about Oliver Stone.


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