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The JFK Assassination And The Link To NC

5:09 PM, Nov 22, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Fifty years later,  historians, researchers and an entire nation have questions about JFK's assassination.

Whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or was part of a conspiracy is still up for debate.

2 Wants To Know found a little known story linking the assassination in Dallas to Raleigh, N.C.

It's a piece of evidence known as The Raleigh Call.

"I've read so much. Its become part of my life," says Dr. Grover Proctor.

The collection of JFK assassination materials Proctor has in his home is impressive. He's been studying the assassination and what has become known as The Raleigh Call for decades.

"Lee Harvey Oswald attempted, if we believe this story, to make a call to Raleigh, N.C." Dr. Proctor doesn't just believe The Raleigh Call story, he has been consumed by it.

The story links a jailed Lee Harvey Oswald to a North Carolina man, a former U.S. Intelligence officer in WWII named John Hurt.

On a 3-D timeline, Dr. Proctor lays out the events: The Raleigh Call took place on the 2nd evening of Oswald's incarceration.  At about 10:45 p.m., he lets authorities know he wants to make a telephone call.

An affidavit from a Dallas jail switchboard operator says two men "would be coming to the switchboard to listen to the call."

It was another operator who wrote down the name and numbers Oswald gave: John Hurt in the 919 area code.

From his research Proctor believes, "Oswald was doing exactly what someone told him to do. He was calling someone who would report to his intelligence handlers whoever he thought they were, that he was in trouble. That is standard operating procedure to have a "cut out", a person that you call indirectly when you want to get a message back you're in trouble."

Proctor goes on to say, "if Oswald thought he was acting on behalf of American intelligence, even if he wasn't  and there is no evidence he was, but if they were manipulating him, they probably would have said, if you ever get in trouble, call a man named John Hurt in N.C. and he'll contact us,  don't contact us directly.

The switchboard operator never placed the call and told Oswald no one answered. That operator, L. Sweeney never told her story. No one knows why.
"There was a lot of things that happened in the jail cell with Oswald that we don't know anything about. The notes taken during the interrogations have magically disappeared."

It wasn't until 1968, when the other operator who witnessed it all, told her story and an affidavit was written up. 

In 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations looked into The Raleigh Call.

Dr. Proctor interviewed Chief Counsel Robert Blakely, who told him this, "We looked into it, we are convinced Oswald did want to make that call  but he said, in the end we couldn't explain it. So to not leave loose ends, we decided to not include it in the report."

The story of The Raleigh Call isn't part of the history you read and  it's not in the Official Assassination Report or part of the evidence. It is however in the National Archives. 

And Proctor believes The Raleigh Call  could be the lens through which the conspiracy and intelligence theory is focused.

"We have this situation of asking ourselves who did he call, who did he want Hurt to call on his behalf and who had set him up with Hurt to begin with? These are questions no one has satisfactorily answered yet."

Proctor believes knowing who might have been involved in The Raleigh Call could solve the mystery. 

"I've always maintained that if we want to know who he was November 1963 you need to look at the people he surrounded himself with."

People on the fringes of intelligence, people disgruntled with the government that Oswald may have met when he defected to Russia for a short time, people who may have been interviewed and then left alone.

"Who is to say that one of those theories isn't the exact one or very close to it and we just don't know yet which one really does confirm? We hope that one day the murder of our young President will tell us the truth about itself."

Dr. Proctor interviewed John Hurt. He still had the same phone number as was on the call slip!

Hurt told Proctor he had no idea why Oswald would have his name or number. Mr. Hurt died in 1981. 

Dr. Proctor is packing up most of his research materials and sending them to Baylor University, which has a dedicated section for JFK materials.. He hopes others will study The Raleigh Call and put all the pieces together.    

Dr. Proctor is a historian and former University Dean.

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