Before diving into the detail of my interpretation of resigned General Edwin Walker’s WC testimony, I’ll first briefly summarize his testimony in as few words as I can, from the perspective of a memo that Walker had written to Senator Frank Church in June 1975. I found this memo in 2012 as I was rummaging through the personal papers of General Walker stored at the Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin. Let’s read that memo first. Here it is:
All right – with that memo in mind, let’s proceed.
1. Ex-General Walker’s role in the JFK Assassination begins at 9 PM on April 10, 1963, when somebody fired a rifle at him through a back window of his Dallas home.
2. Walker told friends and associates for the rest of his life that only a few days after this shooting. he knew that Lee Harvey Oswald was his shooter. As we saw in Walker’s memo to Senator Church, he claimed that a high-ranking Dallas official had revealed this to him (though Walker would never divulge his identity).
3. That memo clearly shows that Walker knew for a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who had tried to murder him in cold blood! For Walker, this ex-Marine had defected to Communist Russia and returned to Ft. Worth/Dallas with a Russian bride! Oswald was a local icon of Communism in Walker's own back yard! On top of all that, Walker learned that Oswald was his shooter only days after the shooting! Oswald was clearly running wild and had to be stopped!
4. Walker’s own words to Senator Church are incontrovertible proof that Ex-General Walker committed perjury to the Warren Commission when he repeated, again and again, under oath, that he never heard the name of Lee Harvey Oswald until November 22, 1963.
5. Even with his lawyer at his side Walker remained candid. He openly expressed his main worry – that Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t alone that night. Robert Alan Surrey had seen two men in a car sneaking around Walker’s house the night before the shooting. A neighbor boy had seen two men rush to their car and speed off immediately after the shots. There must have been two men -- not one! This theme is also emphasized in Walker's letter to Senator Church. There was a killer on the loose – out to get him!
5.1. Walker believed that the Dallas Police, the FBI and the WC knew all of this, but were deliberately hiding the truth about the April shooting from Walker! (We’ll see more of this in further documents penned by Walker.) Walker's attorney would never let him say that – yet Walker did repeatedly complain to the WC attorney that the Dallas Police, the FBI and the WC were blatantly uncooperative in his incessant efforts to close the case of his April shooting.
6. To more effectively disguise his perjury, Walker meandered on and on inside his WC testimony, about 15 subordinate stories which were mere distractions. Here they are:
6.1. The photograph of a 1957 Chevy in Walker’s driveway, with the license plate blacked out, was a distraction. No evidence came of it.
6.2. The story about Robert Alan Surrey chasing two men away from Walker’s property the night before was also a distraction. No evidence came of it.
6.3. The story about William Duff was a distraction. Walker, a lifelong bachelor who never had a girlfriend, liked having young Duff around the house from December 1962 to February 1963. Walker never suspected Duff of being his shooter. No evidence came of this.
6.4. The story about 14-year-old neighbor boy, Kirk Coleman, was a distraction. Coleman was terrified to talk with anybody after his initial police report. Walker blamed the Dallas Police, the FBI and the WC for Coleman’s secrecy.
6.5. The Warren Reynolds story was another distraction. Reynolds’ shooter of January 1964 was known to Dallas Police as Darrel Garner, a local jailbird. Yet since Reynolds was known in Dallas as ‘the man who chased Oswald,’ and since Garner’s air-tight alibi kept the Reynolds case open, Walker was reminded of his own case – “a shooting involving Oswald that remained open.” Walker contacted Reynolds quickly, and convinced him to testify for the WC. Then, Walker sent the WC a telegram claiming that Reynolds was an important witness. The WC heard Reynolds’ melodrama, including the drama of Garner’s girlfriend who committed suicide, and that the FBI had visited Reynolds only two days before Reynolds was shot. The WC concluded that all of this was irrelevant. No evidence came of it.
6.6. Walker said he had evidence that Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were connected because Ruby took his car in to be fixed, and Oswald signed the ticket to pick up the car. The WC attorney asked Walker to name his sources for this rumor. Walker refused to give their names. No evidence came of it.
6.7. Walker said he had evidence about a musician named DeMar who once worked for Jack Ruby and who told newspapers that he once saw Lee Harvey Oswald in the Carousel Club. No evidence came of this tabloid rumor.
6.8. Walker said he personally verified that Oswald lived for a short period in 1963 in the same Dallas apartment house as Jack Ruby’s sister, Eva Grant, near Walker’s house in Oak Lawn. The WC attorney recounted all four of Oswald’s addresses in Dallas from the time that Oswald had returned from the USSR until his death. None of these was in Oak Lawn. Again, no evidence came of this.
6.9. Walker said that both Ruby and Oswald had post office boxes in the same post office, and they rented them out during the same week. No evidence came of this coincidence.
6.10. Walker said that since Jack Ruby shot Oswald, that was proof that Ruby wanted to silence Oswald. No evidence came of this guesswork.
6.11. Walker said that if Oswald was his April shooter, then maybe he hid out at Jack Ruby’s Las Vegas Club, less than a mile from Walker’s house. No evidence came from this guesswork.
6.12. Walker cited news of Professor William Wolf who burned to death in his first-floor Dallas apartment in late April 1963. Walker suspected murder, but no evidence came of this guesswork.
6.13. Walker cited news of Professor George Deen who had reportedly died of natural causes, but the only news about him ever was his obituary. Walker again suspected murder, but no evidence came of this guesswork.
6.14. Walker said that Oswald’s claim to be an officer in the FPCC was material evidence of a Communist conspiracy in the JFK Assassination. More guesswork said the WC attorney -- and no evidence came from it.
6.15. Walker said the WC should investigate Russian expatriate George De Mohrenschildt and his friendship with Oswald. The WC had already done this. Again, no evidence would come from this.
7. So, after putting all those rumors and coincidences aside – let’s examine the main focal points of WC attorney Wesley Liebeler in his questioning of Ex-General Edwin Walker:
7.1. Liebeler asked Walker if he was familiar with the Dallas Minutemen; if Walker was a member, and if Walker knew of any connection between the Minutemen and the JFK Assassination. Walker said he had heard of them but had no further information about them. (Yet we have seen that Walker thought little of perjury before US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Commission. ‘Impeach Earl Warren' was one of the main slogans of his chapter of the John Birch Society.)
7.2. Liebeler asked Walker about any possible connection whatsoever between Dallas Radical Right activists and the JFK Assassination. Walker said no.
7.3. Liebeler asked Walker about the humiliation of UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson in Dallas, on October 24, 1963. Walker admitted that he led a political rally on the night before Adlai Stevenson’s event – in the same auditorium, in the same room, on the same platform. Walker had called his event “US Day” to contrast with Adlai’s, “UN Day.” Walker had whipped his 1,400 followers into a frenzy of opposition against UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson!
7.4. Liebeler asked Walker about a rightist Cuban revolutionary closely associated with Guy Banister in New Orleans, namely, Carlos Bringuier. This was the man who had fought with Lee Harvey Oswald near Canal Street in New Orleans on August 9, 1963. Walker admitted attending a DRE meeting in October 1963 and donating money. (Here’s a tangible link between General Walker and Guy Banister of New Orleans.)
7.5. Liebeler asked Walker about Helmet Muench (alias Hasso Thorsten), a West German journalist who wrote an article for the Deutsche Nationalzeitung und Soldatenzeitung, published only days after the JFK Assassination. The content was a long-distance telephone interview with Walker.
7.5.1. Walker admitted that, very early on November 23, 1963, from his hotel room in Shreveport Louisiana, he gave an interview to Hasso Thorsten. Thorsten and his editor published excerpts from that interview, as well as their own summary in their headline article, The Strange Case of Oswald. This headline article claimed that:
(A) Oswald had been Walker’s shooter back in April 1963
(B) US law enforcement knew about this and refused to arrest Oswald
(C) If they had arrested Oswald then JFK would still be alive.
7.5.2. Liebeler asked Walker where this German newspaper got that information so soon after the JFK Assassination, since the FBI didn’t know that Oswald was Walker’s shooter until the first week of December 1963, when Marina Oswald told the Secret Service. Walker denied telling Thorsten any of that, because after all, Walker got no help on his case from the Dallas Police, the FBI or the WC, so how could he possibly know?.
7.5.3. Liebeler demanded to know how these German editors could write about Oswald shooting at Walker when nobody else knew it! Walker replied, “people began to guess at it immediately.” Liebeler accepted that, evidently.
8. This was all of Walker’s WC testimony. After eliminating 15 distracting stories, we could focus on the topic that the WC attorney really wanted to hear about, namely, the Radical Right in Dallas and Germany. Walker denied any wrongdoing – yet as we have already seen – Walker had no problem with perjury before the despised WC.
9. Actually, Walker knew for a fact that item (A) was true. For the rest of his life, Walker would cherish the bizarre fantasy that item (B) was true – though he never dared to tell the WC attorney as he told others. Finally, in my opinion, Walker knew more about item (C) than he ever told anyone. Walker repeated this A-B-C formula often, and for the rest of his life.
9.1. It’s more likely that Walker himself was the actual source of A-B-C to that German newspaper. I’ll attempt to show in future blog posts that Walker in subsequent years would repeat similar mixtures of fact and fantasy to the National Enquirer.
10. After all this, Walker took the last word. He continued to demand to know what the Dallas Police, and the FBI and the WC were doing about the Walker and Reynolds cases! Walker advised a “round robin discussion” between the Dallas Police, the FBI and the WC to agree on their individual scope of responsibility for these ‘open’ cases. Walker was never defensive – he remained on the offense for his entire WC testimony. I can imagine Liebeler just rolling his eyes.