On September 10, 1963, Special Agent Hosty sent a report on Oswald to the Bureau and to New Orleans. It was the first FBI document to make it into Oswald's CIA files since the Fain report of August 30, 1962. Hosty began by acknowledging Oswald's Magazine Street address, an address everyone else in the FBI had known about for a month. Hosty then said Oswald had been working at the William Reily Coffee Company on August 5. He apparently did not know that Oswald had been fired from his job at Reily Coffee on July 19.103 Hosty did mention the April 21 Oswald letter to the FPCC from Dallas. It would appear, however, that he did not know about Oswald's arrest in New Orleans or chose for some reason not to say anything about it. Hosty did not know about the Quigley jailhouse interview.
On Monday, September 23, the employees at CIA headquarters were still catching up on the weekend's traffic when Hosty's report arrived under FBI director Hoover's signature. It was 1:24 in the afternoon when someone named Annette in the CIA's Records Integration Division attached a CIA routing and record sheet to the report and sent it along to the liaison office of the counterintelligence staff, where Jane Roman was still working. As discussed in Chapter Two, Roman received the first phone call from the FBI about Oswald on November 2, 1959.
When Jane Roman got the Hosty report, she signed for it and, presumably after having read it, determined the next CIA organizational element to whom it should be sent. The office she chose was Counterintelligence Operations, CI/OPS. The telltale "P" of William ("Will") Potocci, who worked in Counterintelligence Operations, appears next to the CI/OPS entry, along with the date that Roman passed the report on to him-September 25. Potocci presumably worked in this office, although something on the routing sheet-probably Potocci's name or some activity indicator in CU OPS-is still being withheld by the CIA.
CIA readers of the Hosty report were treated to the outlines of the story we have followed in this and the previous three chapters: how Oswald had returned from Russia to Fort Worth, Texas, where he subscribed to the communist newspaper the Worker, and then moved to New Orleans, where he took a job in the Reily Coffee Company; most important, the CIA learned that on April 21 Oswald, having moved from Fort Worth to Dallas, contacted the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York City. The report also recounted Oswald's claim to have stood on a Dallas street with a placard around his neck that read "Hands Off Cuba-Viva Fidel."
The CIA did not put this report into Oswald's 201 file, but instead into a new file with a different number: 100-300-11. We will return to that file in Chapter Nineteen. Even as the Hosty report made its way from Jane Roman to Will Potocci, an FBI agent in New Orleans was preparing yet another report on Oswald that would arrive at the CIA on October 2. This, as we will see, was the very day that Oswald, having spent five nights in Mexico City, departed from the Mexican capital.
On his way from New Orleans to Mexico City, Oswald is reported to have visited the home of Silvia Odio in Dallas. The Odio "incident," as it has become known with the passage of time, was labeled by researcher Sylvia Meagher as the "proof of the plot," because the Warren Commission accepted that Odio was visited by three men-one of whom was "Oswald." Meagher's point was that whether it was an impostor or Oswald himself, as Odio believes, the group that visited her apartment and phoned her afterward, and their pre assassination discussion of killing Kennedy, is awkward, if not antithetical, for the lone-nut hypothesis. The Warren Commission accepted that the event occurred, but dismissed Odio's version of it. First, the commission found that a September 26 or 27 visit was not possible given Oswald's time requirements for arriving in Mexico City at ten A.M. on September 27.
Second, the Warren Commission believed it had identified the three men who visited Odio: Loran Eugene Hall, Larry Howard, and William Seymour, who was "similar in appearance to Lee Harvey Oswald." All three were soldiers of fortune involved with the Cuban exiles. Hall was a self described gun runner." As discussed in Chapter Fourteen, Seymour was an associate of Hemming's.
Both of these Warren Commission contributions damaged the public's understanding of the facts in the case and the public's confidence in the integrity and objectivity of the Commission's work. The Hall-Howard-Seymour story, supplied by the FBI just in time to save the Warren Report - on its way to press - the embarrassment of not having discredited Odio's version of the incident, later turned out to be wholly fraudulent. No official connected to the Warren Report has ever apologized to the public or Silvia Odio for their shabby treatment of her and their acceptance of a concocted story, an egregious error given what was at stake.
In spite of this, strong feelings about the Odio incident remain. Silvia Odio is "full of hot air," FBI special agent Hosty said in a recent interview. Hosty did not elaborate further about the meaning of this remark, but he offered an interesting variation of the Hall and Seymour part of the story: "Hall told us [the FBI] that it was he who had been by Odio's. When the police arrested Hall they talked to Heitman." Special Agent Heitman, Hosty says, was the FBI agent "who worked among the Cubans. I was working the right wing extremists, like General [Edwin] Walker, etc." After Hall told the authorities he had visited Odio, Hosty claims, "Seymour threatened him and so he changed his story." Hosty's account also raises the possibility that William Pawley might have been involved.
"I knew of him," Hosty said of William Pawley in a recent interview."' As discussed in Chapter Seven, Pawley was working for the CIA in Miami, reporting on the Cuban situation through an extensive network of contacts. Hosty told researcher Dr. Larry Haapanan in 1983 that he thought the men who visited Odio might have been agents working for Pawley. In 1995 Hosty contacted the author, and in a follow-up interview he said, " It could be Pawley. H. L. Hunt was backing Pawley's people, and they were also getting support from Henry Luce. It could be that Pawley's guys spying on JURE (Junta Revolucionaria Cubana, led by Amador Odio]. They could have been working for Pawley or one of the other splinter groups.
The possibility that on September 25, Pawley and his right wing anti-Castro allies were using Oswald and his cohorts to collect information on the left wing JURE faction led by Silvia's father (then in one of Castro's prisons) is intriguing. It only further magnifies what the Warren Commission feared about the rest of the Odio story: It fits into the lone-nut hypothesis like a two-by-four in a Cuisinart.