This is a very astute analysis of an article concerning Buell Frazier that was written by one of our newest members, Aaron Patterson, from Brisbane, Australia. He works in the legal defense field, although not as a lawyer.
Below, Aaron writes between the lines of the article. In a few spots, I offer short comments of my own as well, as indicated.
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The following story/interview appeared in an online article in the Richmond Times Despatch,
BY MARKUS SCHMIDT | Updated Jul 22, 2014
One day in October 1963, Buell Wesley Frazier, an employee at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, was paged by his supervisor, William Shelley.
Aaron: Oswald commenced employment on Oct 16th, and his daughter, Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald, was born four days later on October 20th, 1963.
Frazier: “I was working, filling an order. Mr. Shelley asked me to come in his office, where he was sitting with a young man. He said, ‘He is going to be working with us, I want you to teach him
how to fill an order, teach him everything that you can do.’”
Aaron: Buell was 19 years old, Lee was five years older, 24.
“For several days, Lee was just like my shadow,” Frazier recalled. “Everywhere you would see me, Lee was right there. One day, I said, ‘I think it’s time we find out what he has learned.’ Lee didn’t back off, he wasn’t scared. He was very eager to learn, and he learned very quickly. The questions he would ask were good questions.”
Frazier took Oswald under his wing. The two young men even shared a commute twice a week. Oswald would get a ride from Frazier so he could spend weekends with his wife, Marina, and their two young children, who lived in the Dallas suburb of Irving, just down the road from where Frazier lived. But Frazier maintains that his relationship with the shy, subdued Oswald was “strictly
business,” not personal.
“On the way home, we never stopped to have a beer or talk about the weekend,” Frazier said. “We just left work, went straight out to Irving and I dropped him off. I knew Lee was married, I knew his wife and that they had a daughter. I didn’t want to take any more time away from his family.”
Aaron: at the 1984 mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, which took place in England, Buell Wesley Frazier was called as a witness and
stated that Lee loved his kids, loved talking about them, and would chuckle when he talked about them. Buell also testified that although Lee Oswald was quiet and reserved, he loved playing with kids. Oswald displayed all the characteristics of a man who’d experienced a difficult childhood and didn't want his own kids to grow up with similar experiences as he had. On the other side of the coin, people charged with serious offences often use early
traumatic life experiences to present a picture of a troubled life which goes some way in their own minds of presenting themselves also as victims, to gain a degree sympathy from a jury. Lee Harvey Oswald didn't present this scenario whilst arrested; he answered
questions, protested his treatment by authorities, and he denied murdering anyone!
Frazier said that rumors of him and Oswald being seen together at doughnut shops and rifle ranges around town are false. “We never went anywhere together,” he said.
Aaron: it would have been good to know what Lee’s take on his working relationship with Buell was, and any socializing they may have engaged in. Buell lived just down the street from Ruth Paine's home and slept on his sister’s couch. Being a father of a second child, living away from his family Lee Oswald must have cherished his times with them. The evidence shows that he was devoted to them; that he lived for them. When Ruth Paine testified at the mock trial, she admitted that Oswald was a nice, polite man, who was saving up from his new job to raise funds to rent his own accommodation for his family.
On the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, Oswald rode with Frazier to work, as usual. Frazier didn’t pay much attention to the package on his back seat that Oswald had brought along. When Frazier asked him about it, Oswald said he had bought curtain rods for his apartment.
Ralph: I shall point out here that the above was Frazier's account of what happened. Oswald denied ever telling Frazier anything about curtain rods. Oswald told police that he brought only his lunch to work. Note also that no one inside the TSBD saw Oswald with the package that Frazier described. And, Jack Dougherty saw Oswald right as he came in.
Aaron: During the mock trial, Buell testified that Lee told him the curtain rods were 1. For Oswald’s room, and then 2. for Mrs. Paine, which seems odd since Oswald had slept at her place that night.
That afternoon, about two hours after the assassination, police arrested Frazier as a suspected accomplice of Oswald’s — and he was treated as such. He was fingerprinted, photographed and forced to take a lie detector test.
Aaron: Can police ‘force’ someone to take a Lie Detector test? There are laws against coercion.
“I was interrogated and questioned for many, many hours,” Frazier said. “Interrogators would rotate.” Dallas police Capt. Will Fritz, who was in charge of the homicide department, came into the room with a typed statement. He handed Frazier a pen and demanded he sign it. It was a confession. Frazier refused. “This was ridiculous,” he said. “Captain Fritz got very red-faced, and he put up his hand to hit me, and I put my arm up to block. I told him we’d have a hell of a fight and I would get some good licks in on him. Then he stormed out the door.”
Aaron: It would be interesting if Buell had stated what the “confession” consisted of. This is a revelation because Fritz was recognized as a very experienced law enforcement officer who
took great pains to talk subtly with accused men to win their trust so that they would open up to him. If it is true what Buell said in this interview about ‘rough tactics’ during his ‘interrogation’, how did Captain Fritz talk at different times during the hours spent with Oswald? If Fritz got rough with Frazier, did he also get rough with Oswald? If so, how rough?
Ralph: With that in mind, I am going to again point out that this is Frazier's account, and I certainly don't trust the things that Frazier said at the mock trial- nor what he is saying now.
Frazier never saw Fritz again. At around 3 a.m. the next day, police let Frazier go. “The way they treated me that day, I have a hard time understanding that,” he said. “I was a rural boy; I had never been in trouble with the law. I was doing my best to answer their
Aaron: Buell is now saying, “The way THEY treated me? So, does that mean that more than one police officer mistreated him? Were FBI, Secret Service, or other federal officers present during the questioning of Frazier? What about Jim Leavelle? Detective James Leavelle of the Homicide bureau was in charge of the J. D. Tippit murder investigation, and Lee Harvey Oswald was his only suspect.
Although he was never charged, Frazier was still guilty in the eyes of many. For years, he had trouble finding work. His reputation in Dallas was tainted for decades. At 69, he still works.
Ralph Cinque: Does Frazier still work outside of the cottage industry he has going over JFK?
Aaron: Buell found out what ex-convicts go through when released and start looking for work.
And now, 50 years after Kennedy’s assassination, Frazier said he’s still not convinced the man he drove to work so many times was the killer. But there’s one thing he claims to know for certain: that the package Oswald put on the back seat of his car that morning was not a rifle.
Aaron: Buell accepted an interview once where he was asked to describe how the package containing the rifle was wrapped and to demonstrate how it was carried. But, there was no way a broken- down rifle could be wrapped and carried the way he said Oswald
carried it- in the crook of his arm and the palm of his hand!
Over the years, many assassination researchers have come to Frazier to ask about Oswald. Once in a while, he accepts an invitation to join a panel discussion. But he tries to keep his
recognition in perspective.
“I’m just a normal, everyday person. I haven’t let this thing change me one way or the other. I’m still the same guy,” he said. “I’m just a little bit more cautious about who I talk to.”
BY MARKUS SCHMIDT | Updated Jul 22, 2014