From Joachim Joesten, THE CASE AGAINST J. EDGAR HOOVER:
I have always considered this little-known case as highly characteristic of the
suppression technique employed by the FBI in its cover-up of the true facts of
the Kennedy assassination and have given a brief account of it in my first
book, Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy?
In the belief that someday a decent government in Washington will want to take
a close look at all of the sinister goings-on surrounding the murder of
President Kennedy, I now set down for the record all the information I have
about the case -- which is not an awful lot, for all my efforts to establish
contact with Landesberg have failed. I would not be surprised to learn that he
has long been dead.
On Nov. 30, 1963, the Long Island newspaper Newsday ran a story entitled, "FBI
Searches the Village for Pal of Oswald's" which began with these words:
"A Mississippi segregationist, reported to be an ex-Marine buddy of Lee H.
Oswald, President Kennedy's assassin, was hunted last night by FBI agents in
Greenwich Village. The agents hope he can fill in many of the still-murky
details surrounding Oswald's life, personality and political activities.
"Several bars and coffee-houses in the Village that cater to the college crowd
reported that FBI agents had been around and showed a color snapshot of a
dark-haired, red-bearded man in his early or mid-20s. The man was dressed in a
blue coat and wore a red scarf. Villagers said the FBI identified the man in
the snapshot as Stephen L'eandes and that he was described by agents as being
fond of creating disturbances during meetings of liberal groups in the Village.
L'eandes, who in no way has been connected with the assassination of the
President last Friday, was reported to be living either on 8th Street or
MacDougal Street in the heart of the Village. The FBI flatly refused to comment
on its search for the man. 'We are conducting an investigation into the
assassination of President Kennedy as ordered by President Johnson,' a
"The FBI, it was learned, was led to the Village by another man who was said to
have called several newspapers and radio stations in the city after Oswald's
arrest and own assassination by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator. The
man, it is reported, said that he, Oswald and L'eandes were in the Marines
together and that in 1962 Oswald and L'eandes often appeared together at
left-wing rallies to cause a disturbance. Other reports have placed Oswald in
Russia in 1962. This latest report posed another paradox, because Oswald was a
self-described Marxist and pro-Communist while L'eandes is said to be a
hard-core rightist and segregationist."
Let me stop here for a moment to say that the seeming contradiction between
reports of Oswald being in Russia in 1962 and at the same time appearing at
rallies in New York exists only on the surface and that the other "paradox" of
Oswald being a self-described Marxist in one place and a hard-core rightist and
segregationist in the other is just as illusory.
Actually this episode offers just one more corroboration of a key element in
the Kennedy murder plot which I have discussed at great length in my book,
Oswald: The Truth, namely the existence of a False Oswald who played a
prominent part in the frame-up of the real one. At the time this man engaged in
disturbing left-wing rallies in the Village, of course, the Kennedy murder plot
and the frame-up of Lee Harvey Oswald were still far away in the future and the
man described in this Newsday story as "Oswald" was not yet consciously playing
that role. The confusion arose later because of his evident resemblance to Lee
Harvey, which is documented in detail in my book. There is no doubt in my mind
that the "Oswald" referred to in this story is the same person as the False
Oswald who in November 1963 planted a rich harvest of false clues against Lee
Harvey Oswald and whom I have identified as Larry Crafard, Jack Ruby's handyman
(for further details, see Oswald: The Truth). Reverting now to the Newsday
story, it goes on as follows:
"A man by the name of L'eandes made headlines twice in the Village Voice, a
weekly community paper, by allegedly causing disturbances. In Dec. 1961, he
allegedly heckled speakers at a rally called to urge Mark Lane, a Democrat, to
run for Congress. In January 1962, a Voice story reported that a L'eandes was
punched at PS 41 during a meeting called to protest violence to a rabbi in the
Village. L'eandes was quoted as describing himself as 'a former US Marine who
is trying to be heard on vital American issues.' Police of the Charles Street
Station said they knew nothing about L'eandes. It was learned that the FBI had
shown police his picture although police denied this -- apparently at the FBI's
Let's recapitulate a few salient points point we proceed with the Landesberg
It is December 1961 and a heckler who calls himself Yves L'eandes is making
quite a splash in the Village; he does so again in January 1962 and the
occasion suggests that he approves of violence to rabbis. He is dark-haired,
bearded, and dresses conspicuously in a blue coat and a red scarf. Most
distinctively, he is a Mississippi segregationist.
The New York Post, also on Nov. 30, 1963, published a similar story entitled,
"Racist Linked to Lee Oswald Hunted Here," which gave these additional details:
". . . The man the FBI is looking for has been described as about 5 foot 10,
slender build, handsome, with brown hair and a large brush-type mustache. He is
said to have once described himself as being a member of the Magnolia Rifles,
reportedly a Mississippi segregationist group. He has been a frequent figure in
the Village during the last two years and has been involved in a number of
brawls over racial issues."
Now we turn again to Newsday, issue of Dec. 6, 1963:
"A 23-year-old self-styled student of philosophy, accused of hoaxing the FBI
into a massive two-week search for a non-existent Greenwich Village buddy of
President Kennedy's assassin, was arrested yesterday and committed for
psychiatric observation at Bellevue Hospital. FBI agents arrested Stephen
Harris Landesberg yesterday morning at his Greenwich Village apartment,
reported to be at 66 W. 10th St. They accused him of triggering a widespread
FBI manhunt for a Stephen Yves L'Andres,* who supposedly was closely associated
with Lee Harvey Oswald during the assassin's stay in New York in 1962. The FBI
had been led to believe L'Andres could shed important light on the Nov. 22
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*The name of "L'Andres" appears only in this Newsday story. The New York Times,
in a brief account of the arrest (see following page), referred to the man as
L'eandes, as Newsday itself had done in its [sic] of Nov. 30.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"An FBI agent said that on the morning of Nov. 23, shortly after Oswald was
officially charged in Dallas, Tex., with Kennedy's murder, Landesberg came to
the bureau's office at 201 E. 69th Street here. 'He identified himself at that
time as James F. Rizzuto,' the agent said. As Rizzuto, the FBI said, Landesberg
spun a cloak and dagger story around the political activities of 'ex-Marine
buddies' Oswald and L'Andres.
"'Acting on that information, the FBI agent said, 'we initiated a widespread
investigation to try and verify the allegation. On completion of that
investigation today (Thursday), we determined that Landesberg, under the alias
of Rizzuto, had perpetrated a hoax.' He said the FBI was convinced that
L'Andres was Landesberg's own creation.
"Landesberg identified himself yesterday as a student of philosophy at Columbia
University. However, Columbia University officials said that Landesberg was not
registered as a student, either under his own name or under his alias.
Landesberg was arraigned yesterday before Federal Judge John M. Cannella. The
charge, making false statements to the FBI, is a felony and conviction could
bring five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Landesberg was hold in
$10,000 bail [sic] and he voluntarily agreed to commit himself for psychiatric
observation. The FBI named Landesberg's parents as Mr. and Mrs. George
Landesberg of 111-50 76th Rd., Forest Hills."
Finally, here is an item that appeared in the New York Times, also on Dec. 6,
"A 23-year-old man who had led the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a futile
search for a supposed friend of Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested yesterday on a
charge of giving false information. Stephen H. Landesberg of 66 West 10th
Street was later committed by Federal Judge John M. Cannella to Bellevue
Hospital for ten days for psychiatric examination.
"Landesberg, also known as Stephen Yves L'Eandes and James F. Rizzuto, was
discharged from the Marine Corps after eight months for a physical disability.
His service conduct was officially described as 'bizarre' and 'unusual.'
"On Nov. 23, the day after the assassination of President Kennedy, Landesberg
went to the New York office of the FBI. He said his name was Rizzuto and he had
served with Oswald and L'Eandes in the Marines. He said L'Eandes was a paid
agitator. At least once, he said, Oswald photographed a disturbance created by
"The agency began an intensive search for L'Eandes in Greenwich Village only to
discover, it said, that Landesberg, L'Eandes and Rizzuto were the same person."
What is one to make of all this?
In the first place, it is an established fact that a man who called himself
Yves L'Eandes lived and agitated in the Village in 1961-62. I went to the
office of the Village Voice and checked in their files the two issues referred
to in Newsday of Nov. 30, 1963, and found that they effectively reported the
disturbances created by L'Eandes.
The FBI, then, clearly and deliberately lied in alleging that L'Eandes was
Landesberg's "own creation" and was indeed Landesberg himself. Or can the
Bureau explain how come the purported figment of Landesberg's imagination in
November 1963 had happened to get two mentions in a local newspaper almost two
years before the Kennedy assassination?
Secondly, the FBI says that Landesberg, when he called at its New York office
on Nov. 23, "identified himself" as James F. Rizzuto. Is it credible that the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, in a matter involving the murder of a
President, should take the word of a stranger who drops in to volunteer
information that he is such-and-such a person, without proper verification? It
is not; in fact it is utterly unbelievable.
If Landesberg, in the words of the FBI, "identified" himself as Rizzuto, then
he had papers to prove that he was Rizzuto, that's for sure. But -- how could
he have such papers? The reference in the FBI statement to a "cloak and dagger"
story explains everything. "Cloak and dagger," in modern usage, means just one
thing: undercover work for an intelligence agency.
Lee Harvey Oswald was for years an undercover operative for the CIA, as I have
documented in detail in my book, Marina Oswald. He was trained in the Marine
Corps for his assignment to the Soviet Union and it can be taken for granted
that some of his buddies in the Corps were undergoing similar training.
Landesberg, alias Rizzuto, apparently was one of them and if he was in a
position to identify himself as Rizzuto, it was because the CIA had issued to
him identification papers in that name -- just as Oswald used the CIA cover of
Alek J. Hidell and possessed documentary evidence to that effect.
In the third place, it is evident that the FBI would not have launched a
massive search, lasting two weeks, for a "non-existent" person without some
pretty solid data to go upon. If Landesberg was an impostor, the FBI, with its
immense facilities for research and verification, would have spotted him as a
phony within hours, if not minutes. It is a certainty, therefore, that the
information which Landesberg had imparted to the FBI was both credible and of
great importance to set in motion the vast sweep through the Village described
in Newsday and the Post.
Why then did the FBI suddenly "determine" that the whole thing was a hoax and
that the elusive L'Eandes was none other than Landesberg himself?
Again, the answer must be sought in the murky background of the Kennedy
assassination and the heavy involvement of the CIA in this crime. Had the FBI
pursued the lead offered to them by Landesberg, a lead that pointed to
Mississippi segregationists and "Magnolia Riflemen" as well as to the CIA
nucleus in the Marine Corps to which Oswald belonged, it would have gotten into
deep waters indeed. It was so much easier to turn around and arrest the
informant on a charge of hoaxing the FBI.
Such a case, however, would be hazardous to present in a court of law and so a
convenient exit was found: a "voluntary" commitment of the alleged offender to
a mental institution. This is indeed the favorite technique of suppression
employed by the masterminds of the Kennedy murder cover-up. It obviates the
need for proving in court what can't be proven. And the only exit from such an
institution is, often enough, to the graveyard.
One more observation is in order. Landesberg, judging by his name and also the
photo of him which appeared in the Dec. 6 issue of Newsday, appears to be
Jewish and is clean-shaven. Would he be identical with a racist and
segregationist from Mississippi -- and a bearded one at that?