The Story of Two "Steven Landesbergs"

In the 1960s there were two young men living in and around Greenwich Village (in New York City) named “Steve Landesberg.” Although they were similar in age and appearance, there were distinct differences between them. One boy, Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), was from Queens. He was quiet, introverted, kept to himself, a bookworm, and an honor student. He had dark brown hair, brown eyes, a life-long speech impediment, stuttered profusely when excited, never wore glasses, and never had nor improvised his speech by using a southern accent. The other boy, Stephen Richard Landesberg (a future actor), from the Bronx, was outgoing, likable and gregarious. He had reddish brown hair, occasionally wore rimless eyeglasses, enjoyed being around people, had no speech impediment, and acquired a Southern accent that he could use or not use at will. In late 1961 and early 1962 Stephen Richard Landesberg (the future actor) became entangled in activities involving the harassment of liberal Jewish, and minority-oriented political groups that were active in and around the Village. During this time he befriended and became involved with American-born Lee Oswald, while at the same time Harvey Oswald and Marina were living in Russia. In the 1970s Stephen Richard Landesberg gained notoriety as an actor on the TV show, Barney Miller. The actor's relationship with Oswald motivated a number of JFK researchers, including author Carleton W. Sterling, Professor Stan Weeber (UNT, Denton, TX), attorney Carol Hewitt, author/researcher Joachim Joesten, and myself to investigate the two "Steve Landesbergs." (To read Mr. Sterling's article, CLICK HERE; to read Prof. Weeber's essay, CLICK HERE; to read a few pages from Joachim Joesten's book CLICK HERE).

Steve H. Landesberg (the student), with brown hair and hazel eyes


On Sept., 24, 1940 a child was born in Queens, NY to George and Edna Landesberg and given the name "Stephen Harris Landesberg (BC #25976)." The boy was burdened with a speech impediment and stutter, but did very well scholastically and graduated from Forest Hills HS in 1957. Stephen Harris Landesberg soon dropped the German/Jewish "berg" from his name and thereafter used the name "Landes" while attending Rutgers University (June, 1957 thru Feb., 1960), where he made the Dean's honor roll. According to Carol Hewitt, whose legal practice was limited to Social Security, Landes/Landesberg received Social Security number 126-30-3500 between 1955 and 1957. This number was subsequently used by former German national Joseph Wiersch, who was born in 1900, lived in NYC, and died in 1985. Landes/Landesberg then began using SS number 126-30-3503--only one number ("3") different from his original SS number.

During the first 20 years of his life Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) coped with his speech impediment and, when excited, stuttered profusely. He was very quiet, introverted, stayed to himself, a "bookworm," and in Feb 1960 dropped out of college. His mother was so concerned that she asked him to visit Park Ave. psychiatrist, Dr. Efhraim, which he did to appease her. Landes discussed with his dean his desire to leave college. The dean did not believe that Landes' decision was of a psychiatric nature, and suggested that it might be a good idea to take a break from his studies and try to sort out his problems. Landes and a roommate soon left school and hitchhiked to Florida where they parted ways. For the next few months the young man traveled throughout the USA, and finally returned home on July 13. Four months later (Nov 12, 1960) Landes joined the marines (serial #1893702). He was asked to read and sign a statement that he had read and understood the Uniform Military Code of Justice. Who, but lawyers, would have the desire to read and understand this very large manual? Landes (the student) refused to sign the statement, and was taken to the Provost Marshall. As he answered questions relating to his refusal to sign the statement Landes began to stammer and stutter. The Provost Marshall ended the interview and referred him to the Psychiatric Unit. During his initial interview Landes was very wary of the psychiatrists and their questions. He told them, "I don't take stimulants or depressants. I don't believe in drugs, they are not right. You don't have to use me for a guinea pig." Guinea Pig? Landes was observed to be "suspicious of the physician's motivations and extremely apprehensive." The doctors sedated him with Thorazine, diagnosed him with numerous psychiatric issues, and had him committed to the US Naval Hospital in Philadelphia. Seven months later, in June, 1961 he received an honorable discharge (for physical disability, diagnosed as a schizophrenic reaction, paranoid type, chronic) and returned home where he was treated by another Park Ave psychiatrist, Dr. Kalmanoff. In the fall of 1961 Landes (the student) moved into an apartment on East 84th St. In October he got together with Steve L'eandes (the actor).

Steve R. Landesberg (the actor), with brown hair and blue eyes

Barry Gray was an announcer for WMCA radio in NYC. On November 17, 1961 Gray had a panel discussion of CORE (Congress on Racial Equality) activities in the southern United States. Panelists included William Larkins (public relations director of CORE), Elaine Shepard (newswoman for Hearst Headline Service), and a young man who identified himself as "Steve L'eandes." During the panel discussion "L'eandes" (the actor) expressed his support for segregation in a deep southern drawl. How "L'eandes," a self-proclaimed segregationist with no history of recent political activity and no known political affiliations, was able to appear on a New York radio program remains unknown.

On Dec 15 (1961) a dark-haired man with a full beard, who identified himself as Yves L'eandes (the actor), caused a disturbance in Greenwich Village by heckling speakers at a rally to urge Mark Lane, a Democratic State Assemblyman, to run for Congress. Political activist Tom Hayden, who gained notoriety following his marriage to actress Jane Fonda in 1973, spoke about the recent protests in Albany, Georgia. L'eandes (the actor) constantly interrupted Hayden and said, “I want to get the record straight.” When speakers began criticizing the south L'eandes called their statements "lies." Reporters from the weekly newspaper Village Voice spoke with L’eandes, who said that he was a former US Marine who was trying to be heard on vital American subjects.   During the rally and after, when speaking to reporters, L'eandes spoke with a southern drawl, but without stuttering or stammering. The reporters described L'eandes as “a handsome Mississippi Creole, dark, with a trim mustache.” L'eandes told the reporters, "Call me Steve."

The following month, on January 10, 1962, Steve L'eandes (the actor) attended a meeting of the American Jewish Congress, held at Chelsea Hall in the Village. The meeting was organized to protest a recent attack on Rabbi Kurt Flasher. Wearing a blue coat, red scarf, and speaking with a southern drawl, L'eandes represented himself as a segregationist from Wiggins, Mississippi. He made statements that angered people sitting near him, but never stuttered nor stammered. One of the attendees was so angered that he attacked L'eandes and punched him in the face. During the meeting Lee Oswald, who was thought to be sharing an apartment with L'eandes on 8th St, was standing nearby and took photos of the assault, one of which was allegedly given to the National States Rights Party to be published in "Thunderbolt" magazine. The disruptive behavior of these men at liberal rallies was reported by the Village Voice. The reporters wrote that L'eandes was connected to Pro-Fascist and anti-Semitic groups. The following day L’eandes met with Village Voice reporters and tried to explain his behavior. L'eandes said that he thought the meeting was, “an open forum.” But the Village Voice reporters could not understand why L'eandes, who they believed was Jewish, would want to create havoc among Jews in NYC while posing as a southern bigot from Mississippi.

L’eandes (the actor) soon visited the offices of the Village Voice and wanted to place an ad commemorating Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19). He gave Village Voice reporter Jack R. Goddard a business card that read, “Stephen L’Eandes Your Man on Campus," with a PO Box at Grand Central Station. L'eandes, using his well rehearsed southern drawl, then discussed his association with a right wing group in Mississippi called the “Magnolia Rifles.”

On March 7 L'eandes (the actor) appeared at the “Stand Up for Democracy” rally at the St. Nichols Arena in New York, featuring Senator Hubert Humphrey and Mark Lane. A woman began to heckle Humphrey and he responded by ignoring her. L'eandes, using his now familiar southern drawl, shouted, “Why don’t you let her speak?” He later remarked, “Why do Jews in New York call themselves a minority?” Later that spring (1962), L'eandes appeared at the Judson Memorial Church’s “Hall of Issues” meeting and also attended a meeting of the NAACP in New York where his pro-segregation remarks started a fight.   During all of these political disruptions the mood and atmosphere became more and more intense with L'eandes' continual derogatory remarks and interruptions. There was no indication that this gregarious and somewhat intimidating man ever once stuttered or stammered, yet this New York born young man could speak in a convincing southern drawl, as demonstrated in the clip below.

 Aulden Jay Fowler (Al Fowler)

In the early 1960s Al Fowler was living with his girlfriend, Ann Leggett, in Greenwich Village. A National Merit Scholar in High School, and later a poet, Fowler first saw L'eandes (the actor) when he caused disruptions at various liberal rallies. Fowler befriended L'eandes and the two young men attended liberal rallies and hung out together at various coffee houses in the Village. Fowler said, "I liked him. He was amusing." Fowler witnessed L'eandes (the actor) create a disturbance at a meeting of the Socialist Labor Party at the Militant Forum on University Place, and saw him at the headquarters of the General Strike for Peace at the Living Theater in January, 1962. At a diner on Sheridan Square, vividly recalled by Fowler, L'eandes talked for a long time about Castro, Cuba, and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), in a deep southern accent. He discussed his family, life in New Orleans, and talked in detail about the French Quarter. L'eandes asked Fowler how he felt about Cuba, to which Fowler replied, "Castro's noble struggles against the giant of the North were of no more consequence to me than any other replacement of any government by more government." Fowler and L'eandes continued to hang out together in restaurants and coffee shops in the Village. Two of their favorite hangouts were the Circle Bar at Waverly and 10th St. and the West End Cafe on Broadway.


James F. Rizzuto (AKA Stephen Harris Landesberg, the STUDENT) on WMCA radio

President Kennedy was assassinated at 12:30 PM on Nov 22, 1963. Eights hours later a man who identified himself as "Jim Rizzuto" called Barry Gray at WMCA radio. Rizzuto (Stephen Harris Landesberg, the student) told Gray he had information that Steve (AKA Yves) L'eandes (the actor) was a close associate of Lee Harvey Oswald in Greenwich Village in late 1961 and early 1962. He said they shared a room together on 8th Street in the Village. Gray telephoned the FBI at 1:30 AM (11/23/63) to advise the Bureau of his conversation with Rizzuto. Gray told bureau agents that he knew L'eandes and had interviewed him on one of his radio programs approximately two years ago. At 2:00 AM "Rizzuto" again telephoned the radio station and, according to the FBI, spoke with Roger Turner, Director of Public Affairs at WMCA (the Director of Public affairs was working on Saturday morning, at 2:00 AM?). According to the FBI, Mr. Turner persuaded "Rizzuto" to meet with him at a restaurant on 42nd Street. FBI agents Leonard McCoy and Wayne Morse were dispatched to join Mr. Turner. "Rizzuto" arrived around 3:00 AM and, after being introduced to the two FBI agents, was very nervous. He the shared his knowledge of Steve L'eandes (the actor) with Turner and Bureau agents. After the interview Rizzuto left the phone number of the Figaro bar and restaurant in the Village where he could be reached. It is worth remembering that Barry Gray told the FBI that he knew and had interviewed Steve L'eandes (the actor) in November, 1961. But Barry Gray never met, nor was he present, at the meeting with the FBI agents and "Jim Rizzuto" (Landesberg, the student), with whom he spoke on 11/23/63. According to an FBI report, Bureau agents showed Barry Gray a photo of a full-bearded Steve L'eandes (the actor), wearing a coat and red scarf, taken in early 1962. Gray identified the man as the person he had previously interviewed on his radio program on November 17, 1961. But Gray was never asked if he knew or had ever met "Jim Rizzuto" (Landesberg, the student), the man with whom he spoke on 11/23/63.

It is very significant that within hours of Oswald's arrest in Dallas, a man who identified himself as "Jim Rizzuto" called radio announcer Barry Gray and told him that he knew that Lee Harvey Oswald was in NYC in late 1961-62. "Rizzuto" (Landesberg, the student), for reasons known only to himself, wanted the public to know that Oswald had been in the Village in 1961-62, and informing the public was the purpose of his phone call to Barry Gray (11/23/63 @ 1:30 AM).

The following day FBI agents interviewed James F. Rizzuto (Landesberg, the student) at their NY office. Rizzuto said that he met Steve L'eandes (the actor), Earl Perry, and Lee Oswald in the Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune and Barstow, CA in the summer of 1956 (Landesberg, the actor, was 19 years old in the summer of 1956 and perhaps in the military during this period). Rizzuto said that he kept in touch with L'eandes (the actor), Oswald, and Perry, who lived in El Paso, TX. In 1961 Rizzuto saw L'eandes (the actor) at the Hotel Tamiana, in Florida, who was then looking for hotel work in south Florida (in 1961 Landesberg, the student was in Florida; prior to his acting career, the actor worked in hotels). L'eandes (the actor) told Rizzuto that Oswald had gone back to Texas. Rizzuto said that in October (1961) he again met with L'eandes (the actor) in NYC, where he (the actor) was a close personal friend of Oswald. He said both men were professional agitators who were paid to attend meetings of the American Jewish Congress and other civil rights organizations in order to disrupt meetings. Rizzuto thought that both Oswald and L'eandes (the actor) belonged to an organization called the "States Rights Party."  Oswald and L'eandes (the actor) may have shared an apartment in the Village. Voice reporters wrote (11/29/63), "There were reports the two men once shared an apartment here."

Rizzuto told the FBI that Oswald and L'eandes (the actor) were being paid by a large 250 lb, 6 ft 4 inch tall man named "Regan," who lived at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. Rizzuto said that in early 1962 L'eandes (the actor) was living with Regan at this hotel, located at 45 E. 45th in Midtown Manhattan. Rizzuto saw L'eandes (the actor) on Tuesday, November 19, 1963 at the Circle Bar at 139 West 10th St., and was told that Oswald and Perry were together in Texas. Rizzuto told the agents that he saw L'eandes and Linda Halpern at the West End Cafe (Broadway) on Wednesday, November 20. Linda, who Rizzuto thought was a student at City College of New York, told him that L'eandes (the actor) wanted to take her to the theater matinee.

NOTE: Linda Halpern was one person who knew both Steve Landesberg (the actor) and Steve Landesberg (the student), yet she was never questioned by the FBI.

Rizzuto then gave the Bureau names and addresses of 9 people who knew Steve L'eandes (the actor):

1) Linda Halpern, who L'eandes had invited to a theater matinee.
2) L'eandes' former roommate, Maurice (Michael) Dunn, of 169 East 49th St. apt 5C.
3) Watt Espy, described by Rizzuto as a very good friend of L'eandes.
4) Nancy Mizrachi
5) Walter French
6) R. Wolf
7) Ralph Jorenson
8) Jacob Proser
9) S. Kraus

It is clear that Rizzuto (Stephen Harris Landesberg, the student), knew a lot about Steve L'eandes (the actor), because he knew about his background, his friends, his prior interest in hotel work, his work as a professional agitator, the man who paid him, and the names and addresses of numerous friends and of a former room mate. Rizzuto (Landesberg, the student) provided this information to the FBI, but during this lengthy interview there is no indication that he ever spoke with a southern drawl. The FBI now wanted to interview Steve L'eandes (Stephen Richard Landesberg, the actor), Earl Perry, and Regan.

On Nov 25 Bureau agents interviewed Daniel Wulf, editor of the Village Voice, and inquired about Steve L'eandes (the actor). Wulf did not personally know L'eandes (the actor), but told the agents he heard that L'eandes (the actor) hung out at the Circle Bar at Waverly and 10th St. FBI agents soon interviewed Pat Padgett, wife of poet Ron Padgett, at her place of employment at 11 Waverly Place in the Village, where L'eandes (the actor) had once lived. Al Fowler soon learned that Bureau agents were asking people in the Village about his friend, Steve L'eandes (the actor). Fowler knew L'eandes (the actor) well, and was likely familiar with Lee Oswald because he had attended political rallies in the Village. Fowler decided to contact the FBI and tell them what he knew about his friend, Steve L'Eandes (the actor). He called the FBI and agreed to meet with agents at Stanley's bar that evening. But this was only one day after the hated and despised Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby. Fowler, probably because of what he knew about L'eandes' (the actor) relationship with Oswald, got cold feet and never showed up for the meeting. The Village Voice reported that a number of people insisted they knew Oswald, and spoke with Bureau agents on the telephone. But there is no indication either from the Village Voice, Newsday, or from a single FBI report that federal agents attempted to interview anyone who either knew, associated, or spoke with Landesberg (the actor) or Lee Oswald in the Village in 1961-62. They just wanted the unexplainable problem of Lee Oswald residing in Greenwich Village to go away. The Bureau not only ignored witnesses who knew Landesberg (the actor), and may have known Oswald, but FBI agents were assigned leads that senior officials surely knew were false.

The FBI began looking for the man who supposedly paid L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald for their disruptive activities. The man's last name was "Regan," (first name unknown) and Rizzuto said that in early 1962 Regan and L'eandes (the actor) were living at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. To verify Rizzuto's statement the Bureau only needed to check registration cards, phone records, and interview employees who may have known this large 250 lb., 6 ft. 4 inch man in early 1962. So what did the FBI do? On Nov 25 they sent SA James E. Schmidt to the Roosevelt Hotel and asked the night manager to check registration cards from 1961 for James F. Rizzuto, Yves L'eandez, Earl Perry, (FNU) Regan, and Lee Harvey Oswald. No registration cards were located, because SA Schmidt checked registration cards for the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, LA., instead of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The FBI's coverup relating to L'eandes (the actor) had begun. By this time someone in the Bureau realized that Lee Oswald was living in NYC in late 1961 and early 1962, while Harvey Oswald was living in the Soviet Union at the same time. Two Oswalds in two different locations at the same time was a serious issue that could never be made public.

Rizzuto (Steve Landesberg the student)  told the FBI that L'eandes (Steve Landesberg the actor)  was staying at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City along with  Regan and Earl Perry.  Amazingly, FBI agents were deliberately sent to check registration records at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans instead of the correct hotel in NYC.

On Nov 25 SA J. Richard Nichols contacted Major Robert C. Whitebread of the USMC in an attempt to locate Earl Perry, who knew L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald. Nichols learned that the only Earl Perry on active duty was assigned to the Marine Supply Center in Barstow, CA., and was from El Paso, TX. But on Nov 26, instead of requesting the military file for Earl Eugene Perry (El Paso, TX), SA Leonard Lewis obtained the file for Earl Sheldon Perry from the Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Earl Sheldon Perry was from Casper, Wyoming, joined the US Army in 1954, and was discharged in 1956. The FBI avoided contacting Earl Eugene Perry from El Paso, who was mentioned as an acquaintance of Oswald and L'eandes (the actor) by James Rizzuto, and instead collected information on Earl Sheldon Perry, a former chaplain's assistant in the US Army. The FBI's coverup relating to L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald continued.

On Nov 29 the FBI office in NYC sent out a notice that the investigation of L'eandes was to cease. The FBI had no choice, because a thorough investigation would show that Lee Oswald had been with L'eandes (the actor) in NYC in 1961-62, while Harvey Oswald was living in the Soviet Union.  The FBI's decision required them to: 1) repress and ignore information about L'eandes (the actor), which would negate his association with Oswald and 2) say nothing about Lee Oswald in NYC in 1961-62.  Avoiding this "troublesome witnesses" was in keeping with the Bureau's preemptive actions on numerous fronts to suppress documentary and eyewitness testimony that would uncover the existence of the two Oswalds. From the disappearance of the Stripling Junior High records in Ft. Worth, the disappearance of payroll records from Tujague's, the disappearance of payroll records from the Pfisterer Dental Lab, the disappearance of payroll records from J.R. Michaels in New Orleans, the disappearance of Oswald's Social Security records prior to 1962, and the association of L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald in 1961-62 in NYC, the FBI actively and intentionally sanitized any and all records that showed the existence of two Oswalds in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.

On Nov. 30, 1963 the Long Island newspaper Newsday reported that L'eandes (the actor) was living either on 8th Street or MacDougal Street in the heart of the Village. From a photograph taken at one of the rallies in the Village, two years earlier, the FBI located a former roommate of L'eandes (the actor), Michael Dunn. Dunn identified the full-bearded man in the photo as his former roommate, Steven L'eandes (Stephen Richard Landesberg, the actor, who had red hair). But the man in the photo was not Stephen Landes, the clean-shaven, black/brown haired student. The same photo was then shown to the two FBI agents who had originally interviewed Rizzuto (Stephen Landes, the student) on Nov 23, 1963. Both agents conveniently identified the man in the two year old photo, with a full beard, as James Rizzuto (but Rizzuto, whose real name was Stephen Harris Landesberg, the student, had dark brown/black hair and was never known to wear a beard). Bureau agents soon arrived at Stephen Harris Landesberg's (the student) apartment at 66 W. 10th St., where the name plate on his apartment door read "Stephen H. Landes." So, who was the L'eandes living on either 8th Street or MacDougal as reported by Newsday? Was this Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor) who indeed had red hair? This lead was ignored, because the FBI had already decided that Stephen Harris Landesberg's (the student) was to take blame for the activities of the paid agitator, Steve L'eandes (Stephen Richard Landesberg, the actor).  Anything and everything about Oswald in the Village was also ignored.

On Dec 5 Stephen H. Landes was taken to the NYC office of the FBI and interviewed. He soon began speaking with a severe stutter and became incoherent, but never spoke with a southern drawl. He admitted that he had used the name "Jim Rizzuto" when interviewed at the FBI office. He allegedly told the agents that he had also used the name "Steven Yves L'Eandes." He allegedly told the Bureau that the activities that he had attributed Steven Yves L'Eandes were actually his own activities. These alleged admissions allowed the Bureau to erroneously conclude that Steven Yves L'Eandes (the student) and Stephen L'eandes (the actor) were the same person. But Barry Gray, Al Fowler, Linda Halpern, Madeline Zak, Michael Dunn, Ann Legget, Village Voice reporters and many people in the Village who knew red-headed Stephen L'eandes (the actor) could have told the FBI that this man was not "Jim Rizzuto," the quiet, introverted, stuttering young man the FBI had committed to Bellevue (Stephen Harris Landesberg, the student). After merging the identities of these two young men into one "Steve Landesberg", and then committing Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) to a Bellevue (a psychiatric hospital), the FBI was able end its investigation of "Steve L'eandes" (the actor and paid agitator) and any relationship he may have had with Oswald in 1961-62.

Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) never recanted his story about Oswald and L'eandes' (the actor) activities in 1961-62, and there is no indication the Bureau asked him anything about Oswald, which was the reason for their investigation. But Landesberg (the student) did tell the Bureau that he, L'eandes (the actor), and Oswald were paid agitators, and said the information about Oswald and Perry was furnished to him by someone else. Information provided by someone else may or may not be true, but one thing is certain. Someone, possibly Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), wanted the public to know that Oswald, the agitator and protestor, had been in the Village in 1961-62. This was the reason Stephen Harris Landesberg (using the name Rizzuto) telephoned Barry Gray within hours of the assassination and was interviewed on 11/23/63 at 3:00 AM. That "someone" was most likely Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), who did not realize or understand that when (Lee) Oswald was in the Village, a 2nd Oswald (Harvey) was living in the Soviet Union. If someone provided him with part or parts of the story, as he told the FBI, it may have come from his personal relationship with Steve L'eandes (the actor), who later became the actor Steve Landesberg (Barney Miller television show). By using the alias "Jim Rizzuto," and by leaving a contact number at a restaurant instead of his home address, Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) was trying to protect his identity and maintain some degree of anonymity. He didn't want any trouble, but by revealing that Oswald had been in the Village in 1961-62, he unexpectedly received lots of unwanted attention and trouble.

In the weeks following the assassination reporters at the Village Voice could not understand why the activities attributed to Oswald in NYC showed him to be a segregationist, a rightist denouncing liberal causes, and a member of the "States Rights Party," while the U.S. Government and media were proclaiming Oswald to be a Communist. To Village Voice reporters these political opposites made no sense. The Voice reporters didn't realize that the (Lee) Oswald in NYC and the (Harvey) Oswald arrested in Dallas were two different people.

The Troublesome Witness

In 1961-62 nobody realized there were two NYC born Steve Landesbergs in the Village--the gregarious and outgoing Steve L'eandes (the actor and agitator who was able to speak with a southern drawl) and the quiet, introverted Steve Landes (the student who, when nervous or agitated, stuttered profusely and became incoherent). Now, which of these young men, using a distinct southern drawl, confronted, harassed, and intimidated crowds of negroes and Jews and peace demonstrators in 1961-62? The FBI knew, but made no attempt to locate the man who spoke with a southern drawl while causing disruptions at liberal rallies.

The FBI, instead of asking Steven Harris Landesberg (the student) about Oswald or asking him the names of the people who provided him with information about Oswald, stopped their investigation. They decided there was only one "Steve Landesberg" (AKA Jim Rizzuto, Steven Yves L'Eandes, Steve Landes), and they charged him (the student) with providing false information to the FBI. Stephen H. Landesberg (the student) was committed by Federal Judge John Cannella to 10 days at Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric observation. Being locked up for providing false information to the FBI is understandable. But what is not understandable is the FBI's reluctance to question Landesberg (the student) about the identity of the people who provided him with information about Oswald in late 1961 or 1962, and who paid him to support right-wing causes. However, the FBI's reluctance to ask these questions is very understandable if their motive was to protect a government paid agitator, Steve' Leandes (the actor) and hide the fact that Oswald had been in the Village in 1961-62. The FBI wanted their "inconvenient witness" (the student) to go away as quickly as possible, so they had him placed in confinement at Bellevue. Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor) was now free of worry to continue his life.  All leads concerning Oswald in the Village in 1961-62 were henceforth ignored.

Steven Harris Landesberg's (the student) 10 day commitment to Bellevue makes it appear as though he was mentally unstable, just as the FBI tried to do with numerous troublesome JFK witnesses. When confronted with witness testimony that conflicted with the government's "official story," the bureau would often claim the witness was "incoherent, mentally unstable, delirious, confused, etc." This became the FBI's cover for leads the Bureau did not want to pursue. Throughout their investigation of JFK's assassination the Bureau repeatedly avoided numerous "inconvenient" eyewitnesses to the double lives of LEE and HARVEY including Sylvia Odio, Marita Lorenz, Ralph Leon Yates, and dozens of other witnesses. Odio met one Oswald, who visited her home in Dallas at a time when the other Oswald was allegedly boarding a bus to Mexico City. Lorenz knew LEE Oswald in Florida at a time when HARVEY Oswald was residing in the Soviet Union. Yates gave LEE Oswald (who was carrying a package that he said contained curtain rods) a ride to the TSBD at 10:00 AM, two days before the assassination, while HARVEY Oswald had been working in the same building since 8:00 AM. Desperate attempts were made to discredit these witnesses and expunge the documentary record. These "inconvenient" eyewitnesses were treated with utter contempt by the FBI, Warren Commission, and the HSCA, and their stories were nearly lost to history.

The Coverup

Our national security network, including the FBI, CIA, and the Warren Commission selectively drew upon eyewitnesses and documents that suited their purposes in order to craft the biography of one "Lee Harvey Oswald." In the case of Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) and Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor), the FBI did exactly the same thing. With the alleged admission from Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) that he had used the name "Steven Yves L'Eandes," the Bureau was able to claim these two people were one and the same. In doing so they were able to avoid interviewing people who knew Oswald in NYC in 1961-62 and thereby exposing the two Oswalds. By locating Earl Sheldon Perry, instead of Earl Eugene Perry, the FBI was able to avoid a "troublesome witness" who had contact with L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald in 1961-62. And by searching hotel registration cards for the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, instead of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, the FBI was able to avoid identifying "Regan," the man who allegedly paid L'eandes (the actor) and Oswald to cause disruptions at liberal rallies. The FBI's coverup was complete. Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) was now the FBI's one and only suspect, but in reality he was just a "patsy." He took the blame for the disruptive activities of Steve L'eandes (the actor), who all but disappeared from public view until the late 1960s. The FBI had Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) placed in confinement at Bellevue for 10 days, but one year later all charges against him were dropped.

Stephen Harris Landesberg, MBA from Columbia, Successful Businessman in Florida

A casual observer, reading only the reports from Marine Corps psychiatrists and his court ordered 10 day confinement at Bellevue, may conclude that Stephen Harris Landesberg had mental problems. But Steven Harris Landesberg (aka Landes) was an honor roll student, attended Rutgers, received an MBA from Columbia in 1967, and became a successful businessman in Florida--very different from the "troublesome witness" the FBI had committed to Bellevue in order to suppress his statements about Oswald. In 1978 Steve Landes (Stephen Harris Landesberg) was living in Florida. Information from the 1991 edition of Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives shows that Stephen Landes was employed as the corporate Secretary of the Rocky Mount Undergarment Co., Inc., and living at 1259 N.W. 16th St. in Boca Raton. In 1998 he was living at 9775 Boca Gardens Circle (Boca Raton) and in 2000 he was living at 533 W. Gulf Beach Dr., in Eastpoint, FL. Landes/Landesberg's parents (George and Edna) relocated to Florida and in the 1990s were living at 6100 S. Falls Circle in Ft. Lauderdale. A check with the Social Security database in 1993 showed that Stephen Landes was using SS number 126 30 3503, the same number issued to Stephen Harris Landesberg in 1955-57.

Stephen Harris Landesberg's US District Court Records Disappear

In an attempt to learn more about Steven Harris Landesberg's (the student) possible involvement with Oswald the author travelled to the US District Court House for the Southern District of NY at 40 Foley Square in NYC. After locating an index card titled "USA vs. Stephen Harris Landesberg" I requested the court file from Rosemarie Fugnetti, supervisor of the Records Control Division. Ms. Fugnetti soon discovered that two microfilm file records had disappeared, and said that she would request the original "paper" file from their archives/warehouse. After learning that the paper file had also disappeared, she told the author that this was the first and only time she knew of the microfilm case records, and the original "paper copy," disappearing from US District Court files. If the FBI questioned Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) about his knowledge or involvement with Oswald in 1961-62, or questioned him about the people who paid him to be an "agitator" at liberal rallies, those records disappeared. All federal records relating to his arrest and incarceration have disappeared. The undeniable fact is that these official records, and a thorough FBI investigation, could have provided answers to the true identity of Steve L'eandes (the actor) and of his association with Oswald, yet those records vanished. It is worth remembering that FBI official William Sullivan said, "If Hoover decided there were documents that he didn’t want to come to the light of the public, then those documents would be destroyed and the truth would never be known." The disappearance of all the court records covering the Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student) and the Oswald affair speaks volumes about the degree to which the government would go to suppress the true story of Steve Richard Landesberg (the actor), Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), and Lee Harvey Oswald. If Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor) was a paid FBI/government agitator in 1961-62, which is likely, then the FBI's reluctance to locate and interview him, and instead frame Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), is understandable.

Stephen Richard Landesberg Conceals His Past

A couple of years after the assassination of President Kennedy Steve L'eandes (the actor), wearing a nice suit and tie, saw his friend Al Fowler walking in the Village and approached him. Fowler's friend no longer had a southern accent, and was now openly using the name Stephen (Richard) Landesberg. Landesberg (the actor) offered Fowler $600 to fly to Montreal and bring back a small package, contents unknown. Fowler refused the offer. Years later, in the 1970s, Fowler saw his former friend on television in the Barney Miller TV show. In June, 2015 I spoke at length with poet, author, and historian Ed Sanders, who was a close personal friend of Al Fowler for nearly 20 years. Mr. Sanders said that Fowler insisted, repeatedly, that it was his friend Steve L'eandes (the actor) who had participated in disruptions at various liberal rallies in the Village. Mr. Sanders made several tape recordings of their discussions regarding L'eandes (the actor), which today are safely stored in his files. A more in-depth account of Fowler and Landesberg (the actor) is described in the book The Glories of the Early '60s, by Ed Sanders.

Al Fowler's friend, Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor) was born Nov. 23, 1936 (BC #13894). He grew up in the Bronx, where his father ran a small grocery store, and graduated from high school in 1954 (age 17). But after high school in 1954, until his acting debut in 1969 (age 33) with the New York Stickball Comedy Team, Steve Landesberg provided the media with virtually no information. He never provided his middle name and it was not until 1989 that Landesberg finally provided his correct year of birth (after his death many news publications reported his birth year as 1945, instead of 1936). And his middle name (Richard) appeared on only one property record in NYC.

During his 40 year acting career only a few tidbits of information about his young life (age 17-33) are known, and they came directly from the actor himself late in his career. Landesberg told the Detroit Free Press, "Before getting into show business I worked in a lot of hotels, as an assistant credit manager" (remember that Landesberg, the student, told the FBI that L'eandes (the actor) was looking for hotel work in south Florida). The actor told the Alameda (Calif.) Times-Star (2003) that he had served in the military and said, "When I was in the service I was quiet, but in the barracks I'd get crazy." The branch of service, his length of service, his rank, his locations during military service and the dates of his service remain unknown. However, it is worth remembering that L'eandes (the actor) told the Village Voice in 1962 that he was a former US Marine. And Stephen Harris Landesberg, the student, told the FBI that he met L'eandes (the actor) when L'eandes was in the Marines in 1956.The most likely dates of Landesberg's military service (three years in the Marines) would have been after graduation from high school (1954) and prior to autumn, 1961.

The actor was also in the National Guard Reserve. After Landesberg's death in 2010 a former acquaintance "Marty Z," posted the following on the Hollywoodland web site (12/21/2010): "Steve and I served in the same NY National Guard Reserve Unit in the early 60’s. At the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, NY. It was the 742 Ord Battn." During a television interview in the 1990s Steve Landesberg (the actor) made a comment that could explain his reluctance to provide information about his past. During the interview, which was seen by Dallas reporter Earl Golz, Landesberg said that "he was sorry he ever got mixed up with Oswald."  We may never know the extent of Landesberg's (the actor) involvement with Oswald in NYC in 1961-62, or the likelihood that he was a paid FBI/government agitator.But his friendship with Oswald, and their involvement with subversive activities in the Village in the early 1960s, is probably the reason why the actor withheld information about his life from 1954-1969. But the up and coming actor, who would later become a television celebrity, unwittingly became another one of the "inconvenient witnesses" to history, due to his association with Lee Oswald in NYC at the same time Harvey Oswald was in the Soviet Union. Following the assassination of President Kennedy any prior association with Lee Harvey Oswald could have quickly ended an acting career, or worse.

In 1993 I wrote to the actor (address obtained thru voter registration in Calif), identified myself and my interests, and asked him for a response. I (and fellow researcher Jack White) soon received phone calls from a man who identified himself as Tom Walker, who said that he was head of security for Mr. Landesberg. Mr. Walker, or whoever made the call (could have been the actor Landesberg), told me and fellow researcher Jack White to stop researching Steve Landesberg "or else." "OR Else?" Something about Steve Landesberg's past was important enough to threaten JFK researchers to stop investigating the actor's background.

Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor), and LEE Oswald were together in 1961-62 (while HARVEY Oswald was in the Soviet Union). What remains unknown is the extent of their involvement. But the past 50 years have allowed us to recognize the remarkable similarities between the political careers and actions of Steven Richard Landesberg and Lee HARVEY Oswald:

* Both young men were interviewed by radio stations concerning their political views-Oswald in New Orleans, and Landesberg in NYC. 

* Both young men were involved with radical organizations-Oswald with the "FPCC" and Landesberg with the "Magnolia Rifles."

* Both young men created confrontations designed to attract media attention-Oswald in New Orleans, and Landesberg in NYC.

* Both young men created confrontations designed to provoke anger and fear-Oswald in New Orleans, and Landesberg in NYC.

* Both young men used aliases, and both aliases sounded so similar that either surname could be mistaken for the other.

* Both young men promoted political issues on behalf of others.

* Both young men had a second person who was using their names, in the same city, and at the same times.

* Both young men were close to the same age (4 years apart)

Both young men's methods were so similar that one must consider the possibility they were both paid government agitators. We may never understand the relationship between Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), Stephen Richard Landesberg (the actor), and Lee Oswald. But one or both of these men were involved with Lee Oswald in NYC in late 1961 and/or early 1962 (while Harvey Oswald was in Russia), and this clearly demonstrates the presence of Harvey and Lee in two different locations at the same time. The story of the two "Steve Landesbergs" raises a lot of questions that may never be satisfactorily answered, but the origin of this story was not about Landesberg--it was about Lee Oswald residing in New York City in 1961-1962. So, what did the FBI do when they heard that Lee Oswald was in the Village in 1961-62?

There is no indication in any FBI report that Stephen Harris Landesberg (the student), or anyone associated with the Landesberg affair was asked a single question relating to "Lee Harvey Oswald," such as:

     Where did you see and/or meet with Lee Oswald in New York City in 1961 and/or 1962?

     Was Oswald with another person or persons? If yes, do you know their name or names?

     Did Oswald say where he was living?

     Was Oswald employed?

     Did Oswald drive a car?

     How would you physically describe Lee Oswald?

     Did Oswald talk about attending liberal rallies, or other activities?

     Did Oswald talk about his past?

     Did Oswald drink alcohol?

     Did Oswald have any noticeable scars?  


Not only did the FBI fail to question a single person in the Village about Lee Oswald, they also failed to pose a single question about Oswald to Steve Landesberg (the student), who was responsible for the FBI's interest in Oswald in the first place. Why did the FBI fail to question Villagers and Landesberg (the student) about Lee Oswald? Because neither the FBI nor any government agency would be able to explain why Lee Oswald was in the Village (1961-62), while at the same time Harvey Oswald was in the Soviet Union.