Jim and Ralph:
I have found this gem of a letter by James Altgens which has been redacted in the heading and addressee areas. I wonder why. The date of 4/8/76, and what is mentioned, indicates BNL had not yet left Dallas for Denver. It shows that Altgens himself had been trying for years to get an interview with BNL AND a photograph, to the point of him scheming a way of trading his photo for an interview and photoshoot. Apparently this never happened, and if did, those photos have never been made public!
It also tells quite a tale about the checkered colored shirt and what BNL went through to protect it from intruders. The letter tantalizes the reader at the beginning, about the letter Altgens was answering and what its content might have been. - "I am unable to prove the things you brought out in your letter" Is this letter Altgens cryptic way of telling the world his photograph had been altered and he knew and was aware of it? In the Altgens chapter of Trask's book, this incident with BNL is never mentioned.
This passage is of particular interest: "...the picture does show him as the Warren Report described..." , (in other words, BNL never told Altgens : "Hey, that's me in the picture!")
Larry asked what I think of this, and I think it was very astute of him to observe that the recipient of the letter- and other information, probably the person's address, office, agency, etc. was redacted. I wonder why.
But first, I want to say that this was a guy (Altgens) who was scrambling, hustling, shucking, and jiving. He was spewing excuses and trying to rationalize the whole thing, and I don't think we should take anything Altgens said at face value. For instance, Altgens was dead-wrong in saying that Lovelady still resided in Dallas. Lovelady had definitely moved to Colorado before 1976. That was the same year that Ken Brooten and Robert Groden went to Colorado to interview him and take pictures of him. They went to Colorado to do it; they didn't go to Dallas.
And that makes me consider the possibility (and strongly so) that an impostor called Altgens. The reason I say that is because we know damn well that Lovelady did NOT like talking about this stuff. CBS was going to include an interview of him in their 1967 Special, and that got cancelled. When Robert Jackson photographed him in 1971, there was NO accompanying interview. When Tink Thompson wrote his book in 1967 and started asking about Lovelady, he took the word of CBS about what Lovelady said and did not try to talk to Lovelady himself. And look what happened with the HSCA: Lovelady was never subpoenaed. Then, Brooten quit his job to represent Lovelady just to protect him, to keep him from having to talk- to anyone. For a government lawyer to quit his job to represent a person of interest in an investigation has probably never happened before or since in the history of jurisprudence.
So, Lovelady did NOT like talking about it, and you can hear how reticent he was in the informal and easy (i.e. friendly) deposition that Brooten did with him in Colorado that same year. Lovelady was terse- a man of few words. So, the idea that he would initiate contact with Altgens to talk to him about it all seems very unlikely. It was, in a word, out of character for Lovelady.
But, I agree with Larry that Altgens' first statement is very thought-provoking. What exactly was he referring to? So, this obviously was a response to a letter sent by the recipient in which that person pointed out certain things in the Altgens photo, asking Altgens to confirm. And Altgens could not. What were they? Well, for some reason, Altgens didn't even specify them; he just glossed over them.
Poor Altgens. He got caught up in something big, and then he was used and abused and forced to defend the authenticity of something that is photographically grotesque. And then, I think the odds are great that Altgens was killed during the ARRB. A carbon monoxide leak from the furnace at his posh home in Dallas? What were the mathematical odds of that? I assume that he was killed, and I can see why because the above letter of his is too rambling; too scattered; and he was trying too hard. And his incoherence must have gotten worse by 1995. JFK the movie had come just a few years before, triggering the ARRB, and they had to silence him before he said the wrong thing. That's my honest conviction.