I thought it would be a good break to return at least briefly to the JFK assassination and some loose ends from Dallas. One of the things that frustrates me a good deal these days is very limited amount of new research that actually goes on in respect to many of the fascinating leads which have turned up in the document releases of the past two decades. Perhaps its too much work, after all there is so much JFK content (much of it heavily dated and questionable) on the internet that its possible to be immersed in that forever (sort of like becoming addicted to computer games I suppose).
To that end, I’ll offer the following tidbits to those who would like to go off on some less traveled roads.
1) J.D. Tippet – it would probably be news to most folks that in addition to his security job at the BBQ restaurant, Tippet had worked off duty security at the Stevens Park theater, owned by Manuel Avila. What makes that especially interesting is that Avila was very much connected to Cuban exile activities at the House on Harlandale. The theater was reportedly a Spanish language show, attracting Latino’s and Cuban exiles as well. Reportedly in addition to the movies downstairs, a prostitution business went on using facilities associated with the theater. Even more interesting is the apparent rumor that Tippet got into some problems involving one of the girls working that side of the business.
Avila’s activities had included serving as a translator for Cuban exiles in Dallas, apparently including visitors. Amelia Diaz, who had immigrated from Cuba in 1959, worked for Avila, was an active DRE supporter and reportedly moved into the House on Harlandale during the relatively brief period in which it was used by DRE and Alpha 66 members. Victor Murillo, another individual who did volunteer translations, he lived in a house with Domingo Benavides.
Jose Salazar had rented the House on Harlandale, served as vice president of the Dallas Alpha 66 chapter and was a friend of Oswaldo Aurelio Pino – Pino was one of those specifically questioned by the FBI about knowing and possibly visiting Sylvia Odio. The FBI was particularly interested in Pino as he had been an important figure in Cuba (Chief of the Fuels and Lubrication Department at the Institute of Agrarian reform) following the revolution. He was suspected of involvement with Cuban G-2 inside Cuba and being an informant on anti-Castroites and anti-Communists. After arriving in the US, the FBI investigated him as a possible Cuban intel agent. He was investigated by Dallas FBI agent Walter Heitman from June 63 to March 64 – the investigation was delayed because Heitman was pulled for JFK assassination investigation work. If Pino was not a Castro agent, clearly he had become a very dedicated anti-Castro activist.
(side note: virtually none of Heitman’s pre- assassination reports and files are available; yet he played the main role in FBI subversive investigations focused on Cubans in Dallas. This is one of the most important and least pursued areas of JFK research…in case anybody is interested).
Pino admitted joining a variety of exile groups in Dallas including Alpha 66 / SNFE / MRP) and being Vice Secretary; this was confirmed by a series of FBI informants.
…….so, it seems rather interesting that J.D. Tippett might have been socially connected to a series of Cuban exile figures extending all the way to the House on Harlandale (where Oswald was reported) and it is also just possible that some of those individuals might have known of information on Tippet, pertaining to the theater, that would have given some access and even leverage over him.
2) Oswald at the El Fenix Mexican Restaurant – everyone knows that Oswald asked to be dropped off the cab a distance away from his apartment. They should also know about the police report of the suspicious car in the back of that restaurant that left immediately when the occupants realized they were being observed. It just so happens that Oswaldo Pino had worked at that restaurant, and also as a delivery drive to the restaurant (El Chico Food services) in 1963.
We often talk about an abortive contact at the Texas Theater, but the possibility arises that either there might have been another potential contact point or that Oswald was being monitored by a variety of individuals, not just including Officer Tippet. There is a lot more to this part of the story. The license plane noted at the El Fenix restaurant mystery car ties into a close friend of Tippet, who had seen him that morning – and has its own major mysteries related to it. Indeed the El Fenix car incident – along with the activities at the House on Harlandale – may be one of the hottest loose ends remaining. There is much more to be said about the House on Harlandale, and about FBI agent Heitman’s exile work – or there would be if somebody would get serious with these sorts of leads and move off of the same subjects (and photos) that have been so consistently discussed for decades (sorry, disclaimer, attitude showing – as my friend Jim Marrs said years ago – look, we know there as a conspiracy, there were multiple shooters and Oswald was not a lone nut…get on with it ).