Tuesday, 17 December 2019 05:17

Oswald's Last Letter: The Scorching Hot Potato

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Paul Bleau reveals the scorching hot potato that is Oswald's last letter to the Soviet Embassy and how the Warren Commission and HSCA attempted to sweep it under the rug.

So much time is spent in the JFK assassination debate arguing about shaky evidence that we have seen serious researchers sometimes turn on one another and lone-nut apologists then pounce and deliver their salvos portraying the research community as made up of quacks. This is even though the official HSCA conclusions, as well as the opinions of an overwhelming number of government inquiry insiders, clearly discredit the Warren Commission conclusion that Oswald and Jack Ruby both acted alone. Therefore, this author has steered clear of discussions around subjects such as Judyth Vary Baker, Madeleine Brown, James Files, the Badge Man photo, the Prayer Man photo, etc.

My focus has always been on smoking gun evidence. There are three levels of smoking guns:

  1. Those that prove that the Warren Commission inquiry is impeached.
  2. Those that demonstrate conclusively that there was a conspiracy.
  3. Those that prove who some of the conspirators were.

There are a number that prove the first two points:

  1. Conclusions from post-Warren Commission inquiries and statements made by the investigation insiders.
  2. Oswald during his short life had touch points with over seventy-five people with plausible intelligence links including over thirty with definite ones.
  3. Ruby had ties with the mob including some who are suspects in the assassination such as Santo Trafficante.
  4. Oswald was impersonated in Mexico City.
  5. Too many witnesses in Dealey Plaza, as well as those who inspected the president’s wounds, confirmed a front shot.
  6. The demolishing of the Single Bullet theory.
  7. The similarities in the prior plots to kill JFK.
  8. The weak security on November 22, 1963, and the behavior of some Secret Service operatives.
  9. The obvious cover-up.

There are none at this point that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who the conspirators were. Some do expose persons of extreme interest, these include:

  1. Oswald’s summer in New Orleans in 1963.
  2. Oswald’s and Ruby’s links to Trafficante and intelligence.
  3. The case against David Atlee Phillips.

In this article, we will look at another important piece of evidence and let the reader decide whether it rises to the level of a smoking gun: Oswald’s last letter!

Dueling Spins

On the very day that Kennedy was assassinated, forces that desperately wanted the overthrow of the Castro regime went into a press relations frenzy, most likely led by CIA propaganda whizz David Atlee Phillips. The tale they were peddling was that Cuba and Russia were Oswald’s backers.

Much has been written about the steps taken to sheep-dip Oswald in 1963, so that he could come out looking like an unbalanced Castro sympathizer: the famous backyard photos of him holding alleged murder weapons, as well as communist literature, his recruitment efforts for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, his scapegoating in the General Walker murder attempt, and his interviews in New Orleans where he openly paints himself as a Castroite.

Some steps, however, went further. They were designed to make Oswald seem to be in league with Cuban and Russian agents, plotters, and assassins. They came out of the assassination play-book code-named ZR Rifle, authored by exiled, CIA super-agent William Harvey. It would have given the U.S. the excuse they needed to invade Cuba. But the new President Lyndon Johnson eventually nixed this stratagem.

Persons of interest like John Martino, Frank Sturgis, and Phillips-linked contacts (Carlos Bringuier, Ed Butler, and journalist Hal Hendrix) began a “Castro was behind it” spin to the assassination.

Carlos Bringuier of the DRE, who had gotten into what was likely a staged fight with Oswald on Canal Street in New Orleans in August of 1963, also wrote a press release that was published the day after the assassination to position Castro as being in cahoots with Oswald.

The DRE was actually set up under William Kent in 1960, working for David Phillips. David Morales was the group’s military case officer. Later, with Phillips in Mexico City, Kent was George Joannides supervisor. Kent’s daughter told Gaeton Fonzi that her father never mentioned Oswald except one time over dinner. He stated that Oswald was a “useful idiot”.

Through Ed Butler and the CIA-associated INCA, Oswald’s apparent charade and his televised interview went a long way in painting his leftist persona to the public at large. INCA had been used by Phillips for propaganda purposes during the period leading up to the Bay of Pigs. Butler was quick to send recordings to key people on the day of the assassination.

These frame-up tactics were the ones the cover-up artists wished had never occurred and worked hard to make disappear. The perpetrators of the framing of Castro offensive soon ran into stiff competition after Oswald was conveniently rubbed out. The White House and the FBI concluded, without even investigating, that both Oswald and Ruby were lone nuts. The pro-Cuba invasion forces were overmatched and their intel leaders had no choice but to fall in line.

But it was too late, there was too much spilled milk around plan A. In time, government inquiry investigators like Gaeton Fonzi, Dan Hardway, and Eddie Lopez, along with some very determined independent researchers, would uncover leads that all pointed in the same direction: Oswald was framed to appear to be in league with Cuban and Russian agents.

This can only lead to two possibilities. If Oswald was in cahoots with foreign agents, there was a foreign conspiracy to remove the president. In the more likely scenario that Oswald was being framed to look like he was cahoots with foreign agents, there was a domestic conspiracy to remove the president. In both cases, the lone-nut fairy-tale is obliterated.

Spilled Milk

Oswald and Kostikov

On September 27, 1963, Oswald allegedly travelled to Mexico City and visited both the Cuban consulate and the Russian embassy, in a failed attempt to obtain a visa to enter Cuba. FBI agents, who had listened to tapes of Oswald phone calls made while in the Cuban consulate, and Cuban consul Eusibio Azque, confirmed that there was an Oswald imposter.

In October 1963, the CIA produced five documents on Oswald that linked him to Valery Kostikov. One of the claims was that they had met in the Russian Embassy in Mexico City. Kostikov was later described as “an identified KGB officer … in an operation which is evidently sponsored by the KGB’s 13th Department (responsible for sabotage and assassination).” They also confirmed that they felt that there were either fake phone calls made by an Oswald impostor to Kostikov while he was allegedly in Mexico or at least faked transcripts.

In September 1964, the case against Kostikov took a bizarre turn, when a September 1, 1964, Hoover memo (105-124016) to the CIA seemed to indicate that the CIA (James Angleton’s department) in fact had no evidence to prove Kostikov was part of the infamous Department 13.

This means either one of two things:

  1. Angleton knew Kostikov’s connection to Department 13 was unfounded, but tried to recycle that info in November.
  2. Angleton lied to Hoover on June 25, 1963, perhaps for the same reason (to keep the lid on it until November 22).

David Atlee Phillips’ dirty tricks

HSCA investigator Dan Hardway hypothesizes that, because of compartmentalization, Phillips and Oswald may have found out on November 22, 1963, that Oswald was a patsy and Phillips received orders to tie the murder to Castro.

In a critique of Phil Shenon’s work written for the AARC in 2015, Hardway expresses the opinion that the CIA is heading to what he calls a limited hang-out by admitting that Oswald may have received guidance from Cuba and that the CIA director at the time, John McCone, was involved in a benign cover-up.

Following the assassination, it became obvious that Phillips was connected to several disinformation stories trying to link Oswald to Castro agents. HSCA investigator Hardway called him out on it:

Before our unexpurgated access was cut off by Joannides, I had been able to document links between David Phillips and most of the sources of the disinformation that came out immediately after the assassination about Oswald and his pro-Castro proclivities. I confronted Phillips with those in an interview at our offices on August 24, 1978. Phillips was extremely agitated by that line of questioning, but was forced to admit that many of the sources were not only former assets that he had managed, in the late 50’s and early 1960’s, but were also assets whom he was personally managing in the fall of 1963. Mr. Phillips was asked, but could not explain, why the information that came from anti-Castro Cuban groups and individuals pointing to Cuban connections, all seemed to come from assets that he handled personally, but acknowledged that that was the case.

One of these assets was Nicaraguan double agent Gilberto Alvarado who, on November 25, claimed to have witnessed Oswald being paid off to assassinate Kennedy when Oswald was in Mexico City. A tale that was quickly debunked.

While the HSCA hearings were going on, Phillips himself made the claim to a Washington Post reporter that he had heard a taped intercept of Oswald when he was in Mexico City talking to a Russian Embassy official offering to exchange money for information (Washington Post, November 26, 1976). Something he never repeated. Phillips also tried to get Alpha 66 operative Antonio Veciana to get one of his relatives in Mexico City to attest that Oswald accepted bribes from a Cuban agent.

Letters from Cuba to Oswald—proof of pre-knowledge of the assassination

For this obvious frame-up tactic, it is worth revisiting what was written in this author’s article The CIA and Mafia’s “Cuban American Mechanism”.

In JFK: the Cuba Files, a thorough analysis of five bizarre letters, that were written before the assassination in order to position Oswald as a Castro asset, is presented. It is difficult to sidestep them the way the FBI did. The FBI argued that they were all typed from the same typewriter, yet supposedly sent by different people. Which indicated to them that it was a hoax, perhaps perpetrated by Cubans wanting to encourage a U.S. invasion. However, the content of the letters and timeline prove something far more sinister according to Cuban intelligence. The following is how John Simkin summarizes the evidence:

The G-2 had a letter, signed by Jorge, that had been sent from Havana to Lee Harvey Oswald on November 14th, 1963. It had been found when a fire broke out on November 23rd in a sorting office. “After the fire, an employee who was checking the mail in order to offer, where possible, apologies to the addressees of destroyed mail, and to forward the rest, found an envelope addressed to Lee Harvey Oswald.” It is franked on the day Oswald was arrested and the writer refers to Oswald’s travels to Mexico, Houston and Florida …, which would have been impossible to know about at that time!

It incriminates Oswald in the following passage: “I am informing you that the matter you talked to me about the last time that I was in Mexico would be a perfect plan and would weaken the politics of that braggart Kennedy, although much discretion is needed because you know that there are counter-revolutionaries over there who are working for the CIA.”

Escalante informed the HSCA about this letter. When he did this, he discovered that they had four similar letters that had been sent to Oswald. Four of the letters were post-marked “Havana”. It could not be determined where the fifth letter was posted. Four of the letters were signed: Jorge, Pedro Charles, Miguel Galvan Lopez, and Mario del Rosario Molina. Two of the letters (Charles & Jorge) are dated before the assassination (10th and 14th November). A third, by Lopez, is dated November 27th, 1963. The other two are undated.

Cuba is linked to the assassination in all of the letters. In two of them, an alleged Cuban agent is clearly implicated in having planned the crime. However, the content of the letters, written before the assassination, suggested that the authors were either “a person linked to Oswald or involved in the conspiracy to execute the crime.”

This included knowledge about Oswald’s links to Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Mexico City. The text of the Jorge letter “shows a weak grasp of the Spanish language on the part of its author.” It would thus seem to have been written in English and then translated.

Escalante adds: “It is proven that Oswald was not maintaining correspondence, or any other kind of relations, with anyone in Cuba. Furthermore, those letters arrived at their destination at a precise moment and with a conveniently incriminating message, including that sent to his postal address in Dallas, Texas … The existence of the letters in 1963 was not publicized or duly investigated and the FBI argued before the Warren Commission to reject them.”

Escalante argues: “The letters were fabricated before the assassination occurred and by somebody who was aware of the development of the plot, who could ensure that they arrived at the opportune moment and who had a clandestine base in Cuba from which to undertake the action. Considering the history of the last 40 years, we suppose that only the CIA had such capabilities in Cuba.”

We will see that these letters are suspiciously similar to Oswald’s “last letter.”

Policarpo Lopez

Attempts to link foreign governments to the assassination were not just limited to the framing of Oswald. As reported in the article The Three Failed Plots to Kill JFK, eight alternate patsies were profiled and no fewer than five of these made strange trips to Mexico City and at least four had visited Cuba.

One who did escape authorities to Mexico and was reportedly the lone passenger on a plane to Cuba shortly after the assassination was Policarpo Lopez. Even the HSCA found this case egregious.

The HSCA described parts of what it called the “Lopez allegation”:

Lopez would have obtained a tourist card in Tampa on November 20, 1963, entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on November 23, and flew from Mexico City to Havana on November 27. Further, Lopez was alleged to have attended a meeting of the Tampa Chapter of the FPCC on November 17 … CIA files on Lopez reflect that in early December, 1963, they received a classified message requesting urgent traces on Lopez … Later the CIA headquarters received another classified message stating that a source stated that “Lopes” had been involved in the Kennedy assassination … had entered Mexico by foot from Laredo on November 13 … proceeded by bus to Mexico City where he entered the Cuban Embassy … and left for Cuba as the only passenger on flight 465 for Cuba. A CIA file on Lopez was classified as a counterintelligence case.

An FBI investigation on Lopez through an interview with his cousin and wife, as well as document research, revealed that … He was pro-Castro and he had once gotten involved in a fistfight over his Castro sympathies.

The FBI had previously documented that Lopez had actually been in contact with the FPCC and had attended a meeting in Tampa on November 20, 1963. In a March 1964 report, it recounted that at a November 17 meeting … Lopez said he had not been granted permission to return to Cuba, but was awaiting a phone call about his return to his homeland … A Tampa FPCC member was quoted as saying she called a friend in Cuba on December 8, 1963, and was told that he arrived safely. She also said that they (the FPCC) had given Lopez $190 for his return. The FBI confirmed the Mexico trip (Lopez’ wife confirmed that in a letter he sent her from Cuba in November 1963, he had received financial assistance for his trip to Cuba from an organization in Tampa) … information sent to the Warren Commission by the FBI on the Tampa chapter of the FPCC did not contain information on Lopez’ activities … nor apparently on Lopez himself. The Committee concurred with the Senate Select Committee that this omission was egregious, since the circumstances surrounding Lopez’ travel seemed “suspicious”. Moreover, in March 1964, when the WC’s investigation was in its most active stage, there were reports circulating that Lopez had been involved in the assassination … Lopez’ association with the FPCC, however, coupled with the fact that the dates of his travel to Mexico via Texas coincide with the assassination, plus the reports that Lopez’ activities were “suspicious” all amount to troublesome circumstances that the committee was unable to resolve with confidence.

Oswald’s Last Letter

On November 18, 4 days before JFK’s assassination, the Russian Embassy received a letter dated November 9 from “Oswald”, which was uncharacteristically typed and was in an envelope post-marked November 12. The letter, as was the case for all mail sent to the Russian embassy, had been intercepted by the FBI (Hoover phone call to Johnson November 23 10:01). The envelope is addressed to Tovarish Reznekohyenko, N. (note that Tovarish means Comrade).

Before this incriminating letter, there were at least 6 exchanges in writing between the Oswalds and the Russian Embassy between February and November 1963, where the Russian contact was Nikolai Reznichenko according a number of Warren Commission exhibits. We can assume he is also the recipient of the last letter, despite different spellings.

The FBI sent a briefing about the letter to the FBI Dallas office who received it on the day of the assassination. The Russians, sensing they could be blamed, handed over a copy of the letter to the Americans after noting correctly that it was the only one of all the letters from Oswald that was typed and that its tone differed from all previous correspondence. As the Soviet Ambassador pointed out at the time, the tone was also quite dissimilar to anything Oswald had communicated before; it gave “the impression we had close ties with Oswald and were using him for some purposes of our own.” Their opinion was that it was either a fake or dictated to him. Previous letters were more straight to the point dealing with visa applications.

This letter became a hot potato. One that posed problems for the Warren Commission and the HSCA, which were amplified by the different takes Ruth and Michael Paine, Marina Oswald, the CIA, and the Russians had on it and the incredible lack of depth in the Warren Commission probe.

With time, researchers like Peter Dale Scott, James Douglass, and Jerry D. Rose pointed out several troubling points, not only in the letter itself, but also with a Ruth Paine generated handwritten draft of the letter, as well as a Russian analysis of it.

Warren Commission Volume 16 Exhibit 16

Letter from Lee Harvey Oswald to the Russian Embassy, dated November 9, 1963:

Warren Commission Volume 16 Exhibit 15

The mistake-riddled letter was linked to Ruth Paine’s typewriter. Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald testified that they had seen Oswald working on the letter shortly before it was sent and Ruth and Michael Paine both testified that they had seen a handwritten draft of the letter, which Ruth Paine handed over to an FBI official on November 23. Somehow, investigators who had combed through the Paine house had missed it. Handwriting analysis apparently confirmed it had been written by Oswald.

For some incredible reason, by April 1964, the Warren Commission had accepted a Ruth Paine request to have Oswald’s draft returned. However, when the Dallas FBI did return it to her, she decided to send it back to the Commission, because, finally, she felt it would be more proper for it to be kept in the public archives, but would take it in the event it would not be archived. Hoover said with finality that the Commission would not hold onto it and, by May 1964, had the original sent back to Ruth Paine, which escaped further examination as to its authenticity. (JFK and the Unspeakable, p.443)

Oswald’s draft of the letter found by Ruth Paine:

HSCA exhibit F 500/Warren Commission exhibit 103

The Warren Report’s descriptions of Oswald’s trip to Mexico City and his last letter are among the best examples of just how weak their investigation was and how misleading they were in their disclosures.

It seems the only thing that they found perplexing from the letter was how a “drifter” like Oswald could have known that a consul from the Cuban consulate in Mexico City could have been replaced. So, they asked the CIA to weigh in. The CIA surmised that the consul in question was Eusebio Azque and speculated that Silvia Duran or some Soviet official might have mentioned it if Oswald had complained about an altercation with Azque.

The Commission recognized that Kostin, who Oswald talks about, was KGB officer Valery Kostikov, but dilutes the meaning of this by stating “that it was common procedure for such KGB officers stationed in embassies to carry on normal duties along with undercover activities”.

Buried in the appendices of the Report, we can find a memo (Warren Commission Document 347 of January 31, 1964, p. 10) by the FBI’s Ray Rocca, sent to the Commission in January 1964:

Kostikov is believed to work for Department Thirteen of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. It is the department responsible for executive action, including sabotage and assassination. These functions of the KGB are known within the Service itself as “Wet Affairs” (mokryye dela). The Thirteenth Department headquarters, according to very reliable information, conducts interviews or, as appropriate, file reviews on every foreign military defector to the USSR to study and to determine the possibility of using the defector in his country of origin.

Richard Helms, while heading the CIA, went on to confirm this very important detail. Kept hidden from the public was an allegation that Oswald had met Kostikov just a few weeks earlier in Mexico City and that a likely Oswald impostor had placed a call to Kostikov that was intercepted by the CIA! This makes the reference to “unfinished business” that we can read in the letter quite suggestive.

It is interesting to note that the letters from Cuba designed to incriminate Oswald and link him to Cuban agents use some of the same suggestive language. “Close the business”, “after the business, I will recommend you”, and “after the business I will send you your money” are some of the phrases that can be found in just one of the letters. Others talk about “the matter” or “the plan”.

A real investigation and transparent report would have revealed a lot more about Kostikov’s explosive background and would have blown the lid off what really happened in Mexico City. It would have also delved into who the recipient of the Washington letter was and its important significance, if Plan A (blaming foreign foes for the assassination) had been pursued. Something we will discuss later.

Instead, the report concludes its extremely hollow analysis on a whimper: “In the opinion of the Commission, based upon its knowledge of Oswald, the letter constitutes no more than a clumsy effort to ingratiate himself with the Soviet Embassy.” The truth was that, had plan A gone ahead, the letter would have been peddled as further proof of complicity between the president’s “murderer” and foreign adversaries.

The Warren Report on the letter

While Jim Garrison clearly suspected something unholy occurred in Mexico City, as well as with the letter, the public had to wait until 1970 to see some of the first clues about what the FBI really thought about this correspondence, when newsman Paul Scott revealed the following:

The F.B.I. discounts the C.I.A. suggestion to the Warren Commission that Silvia Duran, a pro-Castro Mexican employee of the Cuban Embassy, might have told Oswald about Azque being removed. In her statement to Mexican officials concerning her discussion with Oswald, Mrs. Duran made no mention of Azque. And, although she was questioned at the request of C.I.A., no attempt was made to quiz her about whether she knew of Azque's recall. This makes the C.I.A. conclusion highly dubious, to say the least.

Although the F.B.I. still has not been able to resolve the key mystery of the Oswald letter, it has narrowed the sources of where he might have obtained information about Azque. These sources are: (1) An informant in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City who contacted Oswald after he returned to the U.S. (2) The Central Intelligence Agency. Or (3), the Soviet Secret Police (K.G.B.) in Mexico City. Significantly, the F.B.I. probe discovered that the K.G.B. and the C.I.A. learned of Azque’s replacement at approximately the same time and not until after Oswald visited Mexico City. This finding has raised the possibility that whoever informed Oswald contacted him after he returned to Dallas from Mexico City.

According to Paul Scott’s son Jim, his father was wiretapped for over 50 years, because of his dogged investigations into the assassination.


Perhaps the biggest blow to the Lone Nut fabrication came when the Church Committee and the HSCA investigations deciphered one of the most important ruses, which would turn the tables on the frame-up artists who concocted the aborted Plan A stratagem. This had to be kept secret.

One thing the Lopez Report makes very clear is that an Oswald impostor made a phone call designed to lay down a trace that would be used as proof of Russian complicity in the assassination and would provide the types of motives and stratagems that were part of the ZR/RIFLE and the Joint Chiefs of Staffs Operation Northwoods play books, both which involved having adversaries blamed for their own covert acts of aggression. The letter served to authenticate the Oswald-Kostikov relationship and add a third player to the mix. The potato became scorching hot.

This analysis needed to be buried as much and as long as possible. The HSCA did not want to be the ones exposing this in the 1970s. The world had to wait nearly 25 years for the declassification of the explosive reports concerning Oswald’s trip to Mexico City and the mysterious letter and sometimes much later for their eventual release.

The HSCA’s conclusions about the letter were even more hypocritical than the Warren Commission’s. While they recognize that it is “disturbing”, they seem to ignore the fact that the letter had been intercepted by the FBI and do not factor in the explosive findings of their very own Lopez Report, nor the confirmations about Kostikov’s role as Russia’s head of assassinations for the Western Hemisphere. When we consider the proof that they were sitting on, that an Oswald impersonator was recorded talking to Kostikov, and that Oswald (or an impostor) was said to have actually met him, we can easily see that the context of the letter and its explosive meaning were completely sidestepped in the Report:

While the second paragraph represents a fake opinion designed to deviate from the real implication of the letter, the first one represents a blatant deception that can be proven outright by the transcript of Hoover’s call to President Johnson the day after the assassination:

In short, the FBI did in fact examine all mail sent to the Soviet Embassy and had a copy of the letter all along.

The ARRB and Russians Weigh In

Thanks in large part to Oliver Stone and his landmark JFK movie classic, the ARRB was founded in 1992 and began declassifying files shortly after on the JFK assassination. In 1996, the Lopez Report was available. By 2003, a less redacted version was released. The explosive document shed light on Oswald impersonators, missing tapes, photos, and bold-faced lying by top CIA officials. The lone drifter was not alone!

As reported by Jerry Rose in the Fourth Decade, in 1999, Boris Yeltsin handed Bill Clinton some 80 files pertaining to Oswald and the JFK assassination. One of the memos reveals that, at the time of the assassination, Russian ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin had right away seen the letter as a “provocation” to frame Russia by the fabrication of complicity between Russia and Oswald, when none existed. “One gets the definite impression that the letter was concocted by those who, judging from everything, are involved in the president’s assassination,” Dobrynin wrote. “It is possible that Oswald himself wrote the letter as it was dictated to him, in return for some promises, and then, as we know, he was simply bumped off after his usefulness had ended.” In late November, the Russians sent the letter to U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk explaining why the letter was a fraud. By then, the White House was peddling the lone nut fable. Kept hidden was the fact that the FBI already had a copy of the letter.

In his article, Rose points out that the typed letter had many more spelling errors in it than the rough draft. Very odd indeed.

If you go back to how the Warren Commission fluffs off the alleged Kostikov/Oswald (and/or impostor) exchanges and compare it with what is written by Bagley in the CIA’s November 23rd 1963 memo (declassified in 1998), you will see a startling difference in Kostikov’s status:

Memo of 23 November 1963 from Acting Chief, SR Division, signed by Tennant Bagley, "Chief, SR/Cl." CIA Document #34-538

Just one of the reasons the Warren Report was impeached! But wait, it gets worse.

The FBI’s Reaction to the Letter and the Mysterious Tovarish Reznkecnyen

Since the mid-1990s, there have been a few revealing writings about the letter, but very little about the FBI’s take on it.

Now, thanks to document declassification, we can see it through a wider scope that includes troubling dovetailing facts, such as the impersonation of Oswald in Mexico City and multiple hoaxes to tie him in unequivocally with sinister foreign agents and the chief assassination officer in Mexico—Kostikov. The analysis of tape recordings and transcripts, the mysteriously disappearing evidence, the fake letters from Cuba, and the full-fledged perjury of CIA officer David Atlee Phillips during the HSCA hearings prove there was subterfuge beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Hoover’s phone call to Johnson is already very revealing. The following FBI report (HSCA Record 180-10110-10104), released only in 2017, is nothing short of stunning. It was the one Scott wrote about in 1970. It is strongly urged that you follow the above link to understand the full implication of the report, which sheds light on the investigation mindset which preceded the whitewash. However, for this article, our attention will be on the following paragraph of the report which focuses on the letter Oswald sent to the Soviet Embassy in Washington.

Oswald’s letter deeply troubled the FBI for a number of reasons. Its tone was one of ongoing complicity referring to “unfinished business” and convenient reminders of the alarming exchange between Oswald and Kostikov. But the letter stretches the elastic to add yet another element that has so far gone under the radar.

The fact that the letter was sent to Tovarich Nikolai Reznichenko all of a sudden became alarming, even though the Oswalds corresponded with him several times in 1963. The FBI report clearly refers to him as “the man in the Soviet Embassy (Washington’s) in charge of assassinations.” In 1970, Scott had described him as “one of the top members of the Soviet Secret Police (K.G.B.) in the United States.”

The significance of this report leads to many conclusions and as many unanswered questions. Hoover had already decided that Oswald acted alone and they would not “muddy the waters internationally”. The HSCA, who possessed this document, in reports debates the authenticity of the same letter that was given to Dean Rusk by the Soviet ambassador, when they knew full well of its existence and FBI worries about its explosive implications. While this author has found little corroboration about Nikolai Reznichenko’s status, or perceived status, he believes it should not be dismissed as a mistake or confusion with Kostikov. This is an official FBI report that was written in 1963. There have not been any clarifications made about this very significant statement, despite the fact that Paul Scott exposed this in 1970 and its access to HSCA investigators.

The mere fact that he worked in the Russian embassy and that he often corresponded with a “defector” on a watch list and his Russian wife and that the last letter by Oswald addressed to him has a complicit tone while name dropping the Mexico-based KBG chief of assassinations and talking about unfinished business suggests that both the FBI and the CIA had files on him. Where are they? For him to be described by Hoover as the head of assassinations in Washington on the part of the Soviet government in an official FBI document is of utmost significance and requires an explanation.

This is one issue that deserves more debate in the research community.


The last letter on its own, perhaps, does not rise to the level of a smoking gun that proves there was conspiracy. It is another compelling piece of evidence that does prove that the Warren Commission and the HSCA shelved important evidence and information from the public that they found bothersome.

If one adds this letter to the other attempts to pin the blame on foreign agents, including the charade in Mexico City, false testimonies by CIA contacts, the perjury of CIA officials of interest in the case, the Policarpo Lopez incident, and the incriminating letters from Cuba, we have proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was conspiracy. The naysayers cannot have it both ways. Either these events were genuine, which proves an international conspiracy, or they were not, which proves a domestic conspiracy. There has been enough evidence to demonstrate that they were not genuine.

The letter has one attribute that can play an important role, actually proving who some of the conspirators were. It pre-dates the assassination. As it refers to happenings and ruses that took place in Mexico City two months earlier that few knew about, we can narrow the scope on who was involved. When we inspect the propaganda aspect of the operation, the case against David Atlee Phillips as a person of extreme interest is almost airtight. He had many touch points with Oswald and is easy to link to all of the ruses behind the sheep dipping activities, including the incriminating last letter.

See also Carol Hewett’s Ruth Paine “Finds” Evidence: Oswald’s Letter to the Soviet Embassy

Last modified on Monday, 06 January 2020 00:18
Paul Bleau

Paul Bleau holds an MBA from McGill University; he owned and ran a leading marketing communications agency for 25 years, and supervised Canada’s first "denormalization" campaign of the tobacco industry.  Since 2006, he has been professor at St. Lawrence College. His break-through study of how history textbooks cover the JFK assassination and how their authors defend themselves, along with a series of follow-up pieces, are published on this site. He has also been a guest on BlackOp Radio.

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