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Warren Commission Report: Page 332« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy)

Hutchison also testified that Ruth Paine was an occasional customer in his store; 818 however, Mrs. Paine indicated that she was not in the store as often as Hutchison testified; 819 and her appearance is dissimilar to the description of the woman Hutchison stated was Mrs. Paine.820 In light of the strong reasons for doubting the correctness of Hutchison's testimony and the absence of any other sign that Oswald ever possessed a personal check for $189, the Commission was unable to conclude that he ever received such a check.

The Commission has also examined a report that, not long before the assassination, Oswald may have received unaccounted funds through money orders sent to him in Dallas. Five days after the assassination, C. A. Hamden, early night manager for the Western Union Telegraph Co. in Dallas, told his superior that about 2 weeks earlier he remembered Oswald sending a telegram from the office to Washington, D.C., possibly to the Secretary of the Navy, and that the application was completed in an unusual form of hand printing.821 The next day Hamden told a magazine correspondent who was in the Western Union office on other business that he remembered seeing Oswald in the office on prior occasions collecting money orders for small amounts of money. 822 Soon thereafter Hamden signed a statement relating to both the telegram and the money orders, and specifying two instances in which he had seen the person he believed to be Oswald in the office; in each instance the man had behaved disagreeably and one other Western Union employee had become involved in assisting him. 823

During his testimony, Hamden did not recall with clarity the statements he had previously made and was unable to state whether the person he reportedly had seen in the Western Union office was or was not Lee Harvey Oswald. 824 Investigation has disclosed that a second employee does recall one of the occurrences described by Hamden, and believes that the money order in question was delivered "to someone at the YMCA"; however, he is unable to state whether or not the man involved was Oswald. 825 The employee referred to by Hamden in connection with the second incident feels certain that the unusual episode described by Hamden did not occur, and that she at no time observed Oswald in the Western Union office.826

At the request of Federal investigators, officers of Western Union conducted a complete search of their records in Dallas and in other cities, for the period from June through November 1963, for money orders payable to Lee Harvey Oswald or his known aliases and for telegrams sent by Oswald or his known aliases. In addition, all money orders addressed to persons at the YMCA in Dallas during October and November 1963 were inspected, and all telegrams handled from November 1 through November 29 by the employee who Hamden assertedly saw service Oswald were examined, as were all telegrams sent from Dallas to Washington during November. No indication of any such money order or telegram was found in any of these records.827 Hamden himself participated in this search, and was "unable * * * to pin down any of these telegrams or money orders that would indicate

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