I’m not saying I agree with the conclusions, but it has some thought put into it and does make one think in ways few would otherwise. Being a fan of both Russell and Armstrong….I wish the two of them would address this issue- together! :joystick:
Harvey and Lee vs. Richard Case Nagell
The following is based on the research and theories of John Armstrong (“Harvey
and Lee”) and Dick Russell (The Man Who Knew Too Much).
In 1969, lawyer Bernard Fensterwald received an unsolicited phone call from a
man named Ricard von Kleist, who advised him to check out a Mexico City hotel called the Hotel Luma. Von Kleist told Fensterwald that a very important
meeting had occurred there in July of 1963, attended by “Alex Hidell, otherwise
known as Lee Harvey Oswald; a female attorney who is well known Communist in Los Angeles” . . . a hotel headwaiter named Franz Waehauf “who owned a launch believed to be shuttling between Mexico and Cuba,” and “Richard Case Nagell, former Captain, US Army, associated with Counter Intelligence in Japan” in 1957-58. Von Kleist recommended that Fensterwald contact a man named Robert Clayton Buick, who was then serving a 20-year sentence for bank robbery at the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington State (Russell, 373). “I went on that bank spree,” Buick told Dick Russell, “because I was bitter over the Kennedy assassination, and that nobody was doing anything about it. That’s the truth. .. . I knew that certain people with US intelligence knew what had gone down with the assassination, and that I myself had been used by them” (Russell, 376). As unlikely as his story is, it’s nowhere near as incredible as that of Richard Case Nagell.
On September 20, 1963, Richard Case Nagell had walked into the State National
Bank in El Paso, Texas, fired two shots into the ceiling with a revolver, and
then waited patiently for someone to arrest him. The only statement he made to police was, “I would rather be arrested than commit murder and treason.” During a preliminary hearing in mid November 1963, his arresting officer, Jim Bundren, quietly asked Nagell if he’d actually intended to rob the El Paso Bank. Nagell replied, “Well, I’m glad you caught me. I really don’t want to be in Dallas
right now.” “What do you mean?” Bundren asked. “You’ll see soon enough,” Nagell said (Russell, 43-45).
In July 1963, Buick was an American living in Mexico City, making a living as a
professional bullfighter, and he spent a lot of his leisure hours in the bar at
the Hotel Luma, a favorite hangout for a number of the town’s bullfighters. One
night he was approached by two agents of an American government agency which Buick declines to specify. They offered Buick an attractive retainer to report to them certain conversations he might overhear at the Luma. He agreed (Ibid.)
“One of the first people Buick reported back on was the Luma’s bartender, Franz
Waehauf. ‘He was way below his station, pal,’ Buick recalls. ‘I often wondered
what the hell he was doing as a cocktail waiter. . . It was just mysterious to
me why [manager Warren] Broglie and a simple cocktail waiter were always in
these very intense conversations'” (Russell, 377).
That same summer of 1963, Buick also observed a tall, well-dressed American
with erect military bearing in the bar. . . . “you can’t miss him because of
his scars and what-have-you. And he had a very penetrating look about him. It
was only later that things fell into place” (Russell, 377). The American, Buick
would later discover, was Richard Case Nagell (Russell, 94-96).
There was another American whom Buick saw in the Luma. “This guy in his early twenties, he came up to me and said he was interested in becoming a
bullfighter. . . . Then [he] went into some political things. And it began to seep in that this guy’s philosophical views were erratic. Out in left field somewhere. He was an extremist type.” The American introduced himself as “Alex Hidell” (Russell, 377-78). Then “Alex” screwed up: he came back using another
name, and Buick called him on it. “Alex” avoided Buick after that. So Buick
observed “Alex Hidell” from a distance, watched as he huddled in conversations
with bartender Waehauf and sometimes also with hotel manager Broglie. “As I
recall, ‘Alex’ wasn’t in the hotel very long. I saw him once fleetingly, either
leaving the bar or the lobby going out the front door. And I saw him twice in
the bar [with Waehauf and Broglie]. . . . They would talk to some Cubans, too.
. . .” (Russell, 378)
“Buick claimed he did overhear snatches of conversation in the Luma bar
concerning an assassination attempt against President Kennedy. ‘And I related
this to [the two US agents]. . . . [I]t wasn’t something that was directly stated, but more implied. Only in retrospect did it all come together for me. When Kennedy got hit, the top of my head came off. My whole five or six months [at the Luma] went right before my eyes when I saw Oswald’s face. It was Alex!'” Robert Clayton Buick has no doubt he was in Mexico City with Oswald before September 1963 (Russell, 378).
Russell located retired Hotel Luma manager Warren Broglie in Florida. Broglie didn’t recall Richard Case Nagell, but that he did “get together socially with
Win Scott, the head man of CIA in Mexico. . . .” Broglie was also ‘an old
friend’ of George Munroe, another ex-FBI agent who in 1962 was the CIA’s leading surveillance man in Mexico City, responsible for the electronic bugging
of the Soviet and Cuban embassies (Russell, 239). As for Franz Waehauf,
Nagell’s friend Arthur Greenstein says that Nagell said of Franz, “You know,
he’s Czech intelligence.” Czechoslovakia is the official intermediary between
the Castro government and the United States. Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee says that
outside of the US they were considered to be an auxiliary arm of the Soviets
Richard Case Nagell was born in Greenwich, New York, on August 5, 1930
(Russell, 91). He enlisted in the army on his eighteenth birthday, and trained
as a paratrooper at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He went into intelligence at
nineteen, studied Russian at Fort Bragg and took an extension course from the
University of California in Mandarin Chinese (Russell, 92).
In the fall of 1951, Nagell shipped off to Korea (Ibid.). Nagell had been through officer training school, and arrived in Teagu, South Korea as a second
lieutenant, leading a rifle platoon with the 24th Infantry Division. Nagell’s
sergeant in Korea, John Margain, told Dick Russell in 1991, “He did not know
what fear was. Shit, he would jump in the goddamn trench holes and you’d see
Chinese coming out of there. That’s where he got all the respect of the
company. Have you ever seen his body? He’s got bullet holes all over him”
Nagell was promoted to first lieutenant on Christmas Day 1951, the same say he
received his first battle wounds. He was leading a patrol up a hill when he
“got a grenade fragment in my leg, a burp gun bullet here in my left wrist, and
a bullet hole through my helmet which took the hair off but didn’t really
injure me.” In August 1952 he was rotated back to the US, but was sent back to
Korea at his own request. On December 6, 1952, he received grenade fragments in
his legs and face; five days later he was back at the front (Ibid.).
On June 11, 1953, fragments from a mortar or artillery shell hit him in the
face, giving him a concussion. He was flown to the Tokyo Army Hospital, but was
back in action by early July. He did not leave the front until ordered back to
Seoul just five hours before the armistice was signed. His assistant division
commander, a General Dunkelberg, was so impressed with Nagell’s service that he
backdated Nagell’s last promotion to July 15, 1953, making Richard Case Nagell
the youngest American to receive a battlefield commission to captain during the
course of the war. When the war ended on July 27, 1953, Nagell was just nine
days shy of his twenty-third birthday (Russell, 94).
Upon his return to the US, Nagell received “Special Orders” to report to the
Army Language School in Monterey, California, “to pursue a course of
instruction in the Japanese language.” This school is well known as a training
ground for Military Intelligence operatives. Nagell spent a year mastering not
only Japanese, but also Russian and Spanish. He was en route by airplane to his
first assignment when the plane went down. The whole platoon bailed out. Nagell
was the only soldier on board who’d undergone extensive training as a
paratrooper; he was the only survivor (Russell, 95).
Nagell was assigned to the Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) School at
Fort Holabird, Maryland. He was returning to Fort Holabird from a Thanksgiving
visit to a girlfriend in San Francisco on November 28, 1954, in a B-25 bomber.
Due to weather conditions, the plane was redirected to Friendship Airport in
Baltimore. Minutes later the plane struck a hilltop and was torn to pieces
against the rocky surface and surrounding trees. Twelve hours later, rescuers
and packhorses made it through the forbidding terrain and freezing rain and
reached the wreckage. Five of the six-man crew were dead; Richard Case Nagell,
in deep shock and barely able to breathe, was found barely alive. By the time
he reached Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC, he’d fallen into a coma.
He’d sustained a skull fracture and severe concussion which would leave a
permanent depression on the left side of his head, as well as a shattered jaw.
A few weeks later, the Washington Post reported that “Nagell, three times
winner of the Purple Heart, is making a ‘remarkable recovery,’ a Bolling Air
Force Base spokesman said.” He was transferred to Walter Reed Army Hospital,
and spent the next four months recovering. Before his release he underwent a
thorough psychiatric examination which concluded he’d sustained no brain
damage; he was back on duty with the CIC in May 1955, sole survivor of two
consecutive plane crashes (Russell, 96-97).
Nagell would later describe CIC this way: “[T]he mission of the Counter
Intelligence Corps, which is part of the Army, is to investigate any matters
relating to treason, subversion, espionage, disaffection, that might be taking
place within the military establishment or that might be conducted by civilians
which are employed by corporations, factories or concerns which are under
military contract. . . . [O]verseas they are just like the FBI in some ways.”
On August 12, 1955, Nagell was designated a Counter Intelligence officer
Nagell would recall, “It during the winter of 1955-56, while assigned as a Case
Review Officer with the Counter Intelligence Corps at Los Angeles, that I was
initially recruited into the CIA’s far-flung network of informants and agents,
one of a number, I suppose, within the Defense Department’s intelligence
community who helped the Agency keep an eye on its not always tame competitor.
My recruitment was handled by a Herbert [Ernest] Leibacher, an agent of the
CIA’s Los Angeles office, and a Joe DaVanon, later identified to me through
photographs as an official from CIA headquarters, then located on ‘E’ Street in
Washington, DC.” Dick Russell was able to verify that both men were indeed with
the CIA in Los Angeles during the mid ’50s. Contacted by phone, the 83-year old
Leibacher could only say that Nagell’s name “sounds familiar” (Russell, 98).
On May 5, 1956, he received a letter from the headquarters of the Army
Intelligence Center that he was being reassigned to the Far East (Russell, 99).
He shipped off to the US Army Command Reconnaissance Activities Far East
(ACRAFE) headquarters in Japan, located strategically close to the Soviet
Union. He was assigned to a unit called Field Operations Intelligence (FOI): “I
was required to sign papers subjecting myself to ten years’ imprisonment or
ten-thousand-dollar fine, or both, if I disclosed to unauthorized persons the
nature of my duties or other classified information, including the fact that an
organization like FOI existed. I was instructed to never mention the phrase
‘Field Operations Intelligence’ or the acronym ‘FOI’ outside of a secure place
or in the presence of unauthorized persons, even around headquarters. On paper,
FOI was subordinate and operationally responsible to the Office of the
Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army. In function,
however, FOI was merely an augmentation to CIA special (military) operations,
in effect a covert extension of CIA policy and activity designed to conceal the
true nature of CIA objectives” (Russell, 101). Much of this, too, Dick Russell
was able to verify, despite the fact that — even decades later — former
employees were reluctant to do more than acknowledge a former position with FOI
Of the two men Nagell identified as his FOI superiors, Colonel John B. Stanley
was the more forthcoming. “There’s so much to it,” Col. Stanley told Dick
Russell. “It was independent of the CIC. FOI, generally speaking, had to do
with collection of intelligence in denied areas. Anyone considered unfriendly
was a target, and we were particularly interested in North Korea, China, and
the Soviet Union. . . . I guess we must have had about seventy-five or eighty
officers, sometimes between fifteen hundred and two thousand enlisted men. . .
. we had units in various places in Japan. I had one in Korea, and there were
more in the Philippines, Bangkok, and especially in Taiwan. . . . We were
allowed to put people undercover — I think this was the first time the Army
tried it — take them out of uniform and get them civilian jobs.” Stanley was
being modest; his own “Team 26,” which included Nagell, engaged in a great deal
of activity infinitely more consequential than the mere gathering of
intelligence. Stanley said that Nagell’s name “rings a bell” (Russell, 103).
According to Nagell, one of the reasons for the extreme secrecy surrounding FOI
was that a number of its operations were “in violation of the armistice ending
the Korean conflict.” Others were flagrantly illegal: “During my service with
the FOI and CIC in Japan, the FOI sponsored, financed, supported, or otherwise
participated in assassinations, kidnappings, blackmailings and a host of other
illicit practices in violation of US federal statutes, the Uniform Code of
Military Justice, international law and US treaties and treaty obligations.” He
was a first-hand witness to more than one US-sponsored kidnapping and
assassination. He rapidly grew disenchanted with this business, and got himself
reassigned to an administrative position. He was returned from South Korea back
to FOI’s Far East Headquarters in Tokyo. It was here that he says he first came
into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald (Russell, 106, 109, 134-36; cf. “Two
Oswalds: Marine Years” on this NG).
In 1986, Nagell sent Russell a copy of a Military Intelligence “Agent Report”
dated May 2, 1969, which Nagell had obtained under the Freedom of Information
Act. The report, apparently written by a Special Agent Thomas J. Hench of the
766th Military Intelligence Department. Headed, “NAGELL, Richard Case,” the
report states, “During the period from August 1962 to October 1963, SUBJECT
[Nagell] was intermittently employed as an informant and/or investigator for
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In April 1963, SUBJECT conducted an
inquiry concerning the marital status of Marina Oswald and her reported desire
to return to the USSR. During July, August, September, and on one occasion
prior to this, SUBJECT conducted an inquiry into the activities of Lee Harvey
Oswald, and the allegation that he had established a Fair Play for Cuba
Committee in New Orleans, Louisiana. SUBJECT stated that while working for the
CIA, HE had operated in Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California, Puerto
Rico, and New York. HE was primarily concerned with investigating activities of
[a]nti-Castro organizations and their personnel in the United States and
Mexico. On 20 September 1963, SUBJECT was arrested in El Paso, Texas on the
charge of entering a Federal bank with the intent to commit a felony. In May
1964 and September 1966, SUBJECT was twice tried and twice convicted on this
charge. The conviction of the May 1964 trial had been subsequently reversed,
thus the reason for the second trial. SUBJECT was sentenced to a maximum of ten
years imprisonment, but was released after four and one-half years. SUBJECT
claimed that HIS conviction and subsequent incarceration was a result, not of
HIS supposed intent to commit a felony, but rather as a result of HIS knowledge
of Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination of President Kennedy” (Russell, 54).
Nagell was working for the CIA in Mexico City when he was recruited by an
American calling himself “Bob,” whom Nagell believed to be a CIA officer for a
separate division than his current employer. This operation involved
infiltrating the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald and Franz Waehauf at the Hotel
Luma. He found himself in the middle of an assassination plot, the target of
which was only revealed to him later as President Kennedy. By this point he no
longer was certain that his paychecks, which were disbursed through an
intermediary, were coming from the CIA. Then his case officer “Bob” suddenly
disappeared without a trace (Russell, 240-42, 372-73).
At that point Nagell got in touch with a representative of the KGB, to warn
them that a pro-Communist, pro-Castro American was plotting to kill the
President. He was aware that an assassination of President Kennedy was as much
a threat to the Soviets as to America, particularly if the act was plotted by
Communists, as Nagell believed it was. The KGB offered him an unspecified
amount of money to “stop the clock” on the assassination: to either talk Oswald
out of it or kill him (Russell, 436-37).
In September 1963, Nagell claimed to have met with Oswald in New Orleans and
tried to convince him that he was being used by forces he did not understand.
When this failed, he decided not to go through with the murder, for reasons
that he’s never specified. He planned to leave the country, certain that by
openly confronting Oswald he had made himself a marked man (Russell, 438-40).
Oswald would apparently head for Mexico City at the same time Nagell expected
According to a sworn affidavit of November 21, 1975, drafted by Nagell, he sent
a registered letter to J. Edgar Hoover on September 20, 1963, informing him
that President Kennedy would be assassinated during the last week of September
as part of a conspiracy involving Lee Harvey Oswald, whose description,
aliases, and current address Nagell included. He named one “overt act” Oswald
had previously committed which would justify his immediate arrest or at least
an investigation. Nagell also named a criminal act he himself had committed,
details of which he never provided to anyone else. He added that by the time
Hoover received the letter, he himself would be out of the country. He sent
another letter, presumably of similar content, to the CIA. Then he changed his
mind, and walked into a bank instead (Russell, 43-45, 53-57, 446-48).
When Robert Clayton Buick was arrested in Texas for bank robbery in 1966, he
was supposed to be extradited to California. But first he was taken to the El
Paso County Jail where he was reunited with Richard Case Nagell, with whom
Buick found himself sharing a cell. The two men had no doubt they had been
placed together for a reason. They assumed their cell was bugged. Buick added,
“Nagell’s been fortunate because they’ve tapped him off as a kook. Well, he’s
definitely no kook. An absolutely brilliant man — who’s been through some
shit, I’ll tell you” (Russell, 379).
Former CIA operative Robert Morrow says that Tracy Barnes, chief of the CIA’s
Domestic Operations Division, had confided to him that he was concerned about a
Mafia-connected ultra right-ring clique in New Orleans that worked with the
Agency, but he believed was getting out of control. The group included Guy
Banister and David Ferrie. Barnes mentioned to Morrow that he’d dispatched an
agent under the false name “Joseph Kramer,” complete with a fake Department of
Defense security dossier, to infiltrate Banister’s organization at 531
Lafayette/544 Camp Street. “Kramer,” according to Morrow, had successfully
infiltrated an assassination plot directed at JFK, had found himself in way
over his head, and took himself out of the action by getting himself arrested
in the State National Bank in El Paso in September 1963 (Morrow, Betrayal,
133-35). By his own admission, “Joseph Kramer” was one of Richard Case Nagell’s
aliases. Dick Russell interviewed Robert Morrow in 1976, and Morrow confirmed
that he’d heard “Kramer’s” story directly from Tracy Barnes at the CIA
(Russell, 216). Barnes died in 1972.
In February 1983, Robert Morrow received a phone call from someone he hadn’t
seen in many years — someone, in fact, he believed was long dead. Morrow had
known Col. William Bishop in the early ’60s, when Bishop – under a different
name — was training anti-Castro Cubans out of a camp located at No Name Key in
southern Florida. He’d been a leading player in the CIA’s 1961 overthrow and
assassination of the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo. In 1983 Bishop had
just read Morrow’s semi-fictionalized novel, Betrayal, and wanted to talk to
Morrow. Bishop said he knew from first-hand experience that Betrayal got the
events of the assassination very nearly correct, and as he was dying of cancer,
he wanted to set the record straight on certain details. Among other things, he
remembered Morrow’s “Richard Carson Fillmore” (Russell, 505-06).
In 1990, two years before Bishop’s death, Dick Russell tracked the Colonel down
through assassination researcher J. Gary Shaw, who had found him through Morrow
and had built up a strong rapport with him. Russell interviewed Bishop in
Shaw’s presence. Russell handed Bishop a photocopy of Nagell’s 1962 passport
photo. “[H]e was with Alpha 66. Does he admit that?” Alpha 66 was the rabidly
anti-Castro group that Angel and Leopoldo were associated with (Russell, 508).
When Bishop met Nagell, Nagell was allegedly working as a bodyguard for Rolando
Masferrer. “Later I began realizing that this guy was with intelligence, under
CIA contract. But you see, Rolando Masferrer was deeply involved with Alpha
66.” Russell asked Bishop if he’d been in New Orleans during the late summer of
1963. “It had to be August or September of ’63,” he replied. “. . . When I got
to New Orleans, within a matter of days this fellow’s presence came up. He had
been there several times before I ever went there and got involved, okay? He
was trying to get into the inner workings of the anti-Castro movement. Asking
about the various and sundry pro- and anti-Castro groups in the New Orleans
area. The training camps. Who was doing the training, who was putting the money
up for ’em, all that kind of stuff. The exiles I was working with asked, did I
know him? They were trying to check him out. He was asking too many pointed
questions about things he had no business knowing (Russell, 510).
“. . . That’s when I called Bill Colby at CIA.” Colby, in 1963, had replaced
Desmond FitzGerald as head of the CIA’s Far Eastern Division. “So I asked
Colby, ‘who the hell is this?’ He said, ‘I don’t know the man. Use
discretion.'” (Russell, 510-11).
Had Bishop put a Cuban on Nagell’s tail in El Paso? “That’s not what happened,”
he said. “I put somebody on him to check him out — IN New Orleans. The exiles
brought up a name, a man I didn’t know but was said to be responsible, that
they wanted to put on this guy’s tail. I said okay, use him. But don’t confuse
the issue. You’re talking about two different operations altogether. I don’t
know who the hell was following him in El Paso. It was several months after
that when I heard about your man here shooting up this bank. I do know there
was a Cuban after him. Antonio Veciana [of Alpha 66] told me this, word of
mouth” (Russell, 511).
Did Bishop know Oswald? “I did look into Oswald’s background. I’d never met
him, but I’d seen him in a training film in New Orleans the past summer. He
just happened to be in the group out there at the Pontchartrain camp. Trying to
get in with the anti-Castro exiles.” (Russell, 508). Did Bishop know Angel and
Leopoldo? “What about ’em?” “Do you know who they really were?” Russell asked.
“No comment,” the Colonel replied. Was it safe to say they were with Alpha 66?
“Absolutely.” Did they operate out of Mexico City? “I can tell you that much
“There was talk as early as 1962 about assassinating Kennedy,” Bishop
continued, “doing it right after his speech at the Orange Bowl. And then about
doing it in Los Angeles. Nothing ever came of that. Nothing SERIOUS ever came
of that.” Russell was stunned: Nagell had told him the exact same thing. In
fact, Nagell claimed to have infiltrated and attempted to warn the authorities
about both of them. Bishop implied that Angel and Leopoldo were a part of all
these operations, just as Nagell had also said (Russell, 514).
Could Angel and Leopoldo have convinced Oswald that they were working for
Castro and recruited him into an assassination plot? Bishop sighed. He said, “I
don’t know that for a fact, but it’s a good possibility. . . . I’ll tell you
one damn thing, whoever set up that poor little son of a bitch did a
first-class job” (Russell, 514).
Now Russell had found three people to support Richard Case Nagell’s claim that
he was heavily involved with the murmurs of assassination conspiracy that
thrived in the years of 1962 and 1963, two of whom — Buick and Morrow — knew
of his involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald. Can we now take Richard Case Nagell
seriously? And if so — which Oswald?
This author has always been in a quandary concerning Nagell. On the one hand, I
do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald — the Oswald killed in Dallas by Jack
Ruby — was a gunman or conspirator in the JFK assassination plot. Yet I find
Nagell’s story compelling – even now when, after his death, physical evidence
Nagell claimed to possess has failed to surface. In fact, one of the very
reasons I find Nagell so compelling is that his story is exactly the opposite
of what he knew the assassination research community wanted to hear. In a
bitter note to Dick Russell, Nagell complained, “Bigfoot Jim Garrison and all
of the so-called Assassination Buffs and journalists didn’t want me because I
insisted that LHO was in it up to his ears” (Russell, 612). Does Nagell fit
into the world of Harvey and Lee?
Lee Oswald had served in the Far East when Nagell claimed to have met him;
Nagell was in Japan from February 1957 to August 1958, while Harvey Oswald was
at Pfisterer’s in New Orleans with Palmer McBride until July 1958, then (at
least briefly) in Fort Worth. Harvey Oswald’s whereabouts are largely accounted
for through the summer of 1963, when Nagell and Robert Clayton Buick say he was
in and out of Mexico and Texas. Yet it sounds like Harvey the men describe.
While there are any number of possibilities, I have outlined the four theories
that are the most probable given the facts as we know them.
Theory #1: None of Nagell’s story vis-a-vis Oswald in 1963 is true (regardless
of whether he knew Oswald in Japan). For this to be so, he and Robert Clayton
Buick colluded to fabricate the story of Oswald’s involvement in the
assassination. This would mean that William Bishop and Robert Morrow (or,
conceivably, his alleged source, Tracy Barnes) also fabricated their stories.
Theory #2: Nagell knew the man we call Harvey in Japan in 1957-58 and also in
the US and Mexico in 1963, and therefore either John Armstrong’s “Harvey and
Lee” theory is completely and utterly wrong, or that Armstrong is mistaken in
placing Harvey in New Orleans with Palmer McBride, William Wulf, and the rest.
Thus Lee — or someone else — would have been in New Orleans impersonating
Harvey — spouting Communist doctrine, threatening Eisenhower, etc. I mentioned
this to Armstrong as a hypothetical possibility; he replied only, “I doubt it”
(Correspondence between the author and John Armstrong, September 1998). I doubt
Theory #3: Nagell never met Harvey. Nagell knew Lee in Japan in 1957-58 where
both were US intelligence operatives. When he spied upon Lee in late 1962 and
most of ’63, he assumed Lee was both the Marine he’d known in Japan as well as
the “pro-Castro Marxist” whose current intelligence dossiers he was familiar
with. It is conceivable — however unlikely — that their few face-to-face
meetings failed to dispel this impression. Thus Nagell may well have been
(mostly) correct — the Oswald he knew may well have been an assassination
conspirator. The likelihood, however, is that if Nagell went looking for
Oswald, he would find Harvey, who was living under the name of “Lee Harvey
Oswald” in New Orleans and Texas, not Lee, who was elsewhere, working
underground with the CIA-Cuban community. And in all probability, Lee would
have to be posing as a pro-Castro sympathizer like Harvey in order to give
Nagell that impression, something Lee may indeed have done on occasion.
Theory #4: Nagell knew Lee in Japan, but knew Harvey in 1962 and ’63. He met
Harvey in late ’62 or 1963, unaware that Harvey was not the man he knew in
Japan. Nagell was adamant that it was absolutely a pro-Castro, FPCC-involved
Oswald he knew. This would make Harvey either an assassination conspirator or
an infiltrator who’d penetrated deeply enough to fool an observer such as
Nagell. This would also invalidate completely our sole source of knowledge of
Harvey’s whereabouts in the summer of ’63 — his wife, Marina, whose testimony
consistent places Harvey at home reading or practicing working the bolt on his
rifle when he’s not out working or involved with his fake FPCC activities.
With the exception of the first, none of these theories is likely; yet, barring
more complicated scenarios (an infinite number of which could be put forward),
one of them must be true.