Hours following Kennedy’s assassination, following Lee Harvey Oswald killing Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit and following being named the assassin of the president, Mike Howard, Secret Service Special Agent was send to the small room Oswald’s rented. There Howard discovered a little address book green in color, and on page 17 under the heading “I WILL KILL” was a list of 4 men assumed to be written by Oswald:
- FBI agent named James Hosty;
- Right-wing general, Edwin Walker;
- Vice President Richard Nixon.
At the top of the list was John Connally governor of Texas – with a dagger drawn through his name with blood dripping.
Special Agent Howard handed in this little green book to the FBI and the Warren Commission. He learned later that this list with insights into the Oswald’s motive was torn out of the book.
Until the book “The Accidental Victim” was published on the 50th anniversary of the assassination 3 years ago, some had argued that a case although circumstantial could be made for the actual target was Connally, not John F. Kennedy. This is the story of a hatred that smouldered in Oswald who came to link Connally with the setbacks in his hopeless life.
This hatred or grudge against Connally started in January of 1962. At that time Oswald was in the Soviet Union, where he had travelled to after an early out from the Marine Corps with an ‘honorably’ discharge. Later when the Marines learned Oswald wanted to defect, his discharge was changed to ‘undesirable’. Oswald was angry and some might say he had reason: his actions following his discharge had nothing to do with the three years he served as a Marine.
FEW JOB PROSPECTS
By early 1962, having become disillusioned with Soviet life Oswald wanted to return home. He had a wife, Marina, and small child, and he was smart enough to know that with only a 9th grade education, having spent time in Russia and having an ‘undesirable’ discharge from the Marines on his record, job prospects in the United States would be few.
CLASSIC BUREAUCRATIC DENIAL
John Connally, a fellow Texan was at this time the head of the Navy Department, and the civilian oversight of the Marines – Oswald wrote asking Connally to restore what was clearly just a mistake of justice. When back home a month later, in February 1962, there was a classic bureaucratic denial waiting for him. This letter of dismissive was from Connally.
Following Oswald’s return it didn’t take long before his fears became true. He really had serious problems finding and also keeping a job in Texas. According to the testimony of emigres from Russian living in Dallas and knew Oswald at this period, when his discharge came up during a job interview, Oswald always froze and he blamed all of this on John Connally.
In her testimony to the Warren Commission, Oswald’s wife, Marina, confirmed that Connally and not Kennedy would have been her husband’s true target. She also repeated this belief during her testimony in 1978 to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. Dallas emigres also testified about Oswald’s fixation with Connally. There was also enough testimony stating the Oswald had no problem with John Kennedy – in fact, he seemed to greatly admire Kennedy especially because of Kennedy’s efforts at détente with the Soviet Union.
This important information on a motive was ignored and buried in these two official investigations, and the question has to be asked why? Another question is why Oswald’s little address book – which can be examined in the National Archives – missing that one key page? For many years, in a community college class that Secret Service Agent Howard taught, he always put out his view of the assassination: Connally was Oswald’s real target, not Kennedy.
To this question of the missing address book page, Howard always suggests two likelihoods. Dir Hoover of FBI won’t want his agency, to be linked in Oswald’s homicidal rage. As it turns out, Agent Hosty of the Dallas office of the FBI had interviewed Marina Oswald rather briskly over her immigration status only weeks prior to the assassination. This infuriated Oswald who left a written threat at the office of the FBI early during November. Hosty gave evidence to Congress that he was ordered by higher-ups to tear up the note and throw it away after the assassination.
President Lyndon Johnson might have also had an even stronger desire: He would not have wanted Connally who was a close friend, to be identified as the real reason for this horrible crime.
OVER THE YEARS
For 53 years, there has been an industry that has developed over everything having to do with the Kennedy assassination. It just had to have been caused by a connection to the Russians or the Cubans or the Mafia or Oswald’s Marxist views or Jack Ruby’s crimes in the underworld of Dallas. Many amateur detectives in the public have the belief that the greatest crime of the 20th century must have been the product of an equally grand conspiracy. Hundreds of books have been written with various theories and the proof that they are the correct reason of what really happened that day and why.
The problems with all these conspiracy theories when studied – none hold up going back through the events of the six months prior to Nov. 22, 1963. Oswald was no professional assassin under orders from someone else. The real answer to the reasons he took his rifle to work on that morning in November is to be found in his obsessions and frustrations. And the real tragedy of Dallas lies in the accidental death of a young president who unfortunately happened to be in the line of fire.