Oswald Talked: The New Evidence in the JFK Assassination


Oswald knew Jack Ruby, the man who would become his executioner, and Oswald worked for the CIA.

After the Warren Commission and conspiracy writers pronounced the Dallas police files empty of new evidence in the JFK assassination case, investigative reporters Ray and Mary La Fontaine proved them wrong. Here are the La Fontaines' eye-opening findings, which bring readers directly into the worlds of Oswald, Ruby, and other characters,...

See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$25.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $16.50   
  • Used (26) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Oswald knew Jack Ruby, the man who would become his executioner, and Oswald worked for the CIA.

After the Warren Commission and conspiracy writers pronounced the Dallas police files empty of new evidence in the JFK assassination case, investigative reporters Ray and Mary La Fontaine proved them wrong. Here are the La Fontaines' eye-opening findings, which bring readers directly into the worlds of Oswald, Ruby, and other characters, and which prove Oswald's role as a CIA and FBI informant.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is something quite new in assassination literature: a book by a husband-and-wife team who are basically TV documentary makers-and in fact aired some of their discoveries in segments on network TV-but who write with vigor, persuasiveness and (almost unique in assassination literature) some humor. If only their discoveries had been up to their presentation, this would have been a significant contribution. As it is, despite the catchpenny title (a TV legacy), the book does not offer any very startling disclosures. There are three advances the authors made by painstaking research, however: they found a man who had been jailed in a cell next to Oswald-and whose incarceration in Dallas that day the FBI had hidden for more than 30 years. The man claims that Oswald knew a jailed gunrunner, as well as Jack Ruby. They discovered that Oswald carried a Defense Department card after his release from the Marines that gave him all sorts of privileges only an active agent would normally receive. And they determined that the famous "tramps" arrested on Dealey Plaza that day really were tramps, and their arrest had indeed been recorded. Beyond that, the LaFontaines have much interesting information about the bootleg gun trade in Dallas in 1963, and about the anti-Castro underground, which they are convinced was closely involved in the assassination. This is an entertaining book, by smart people with open minds, but it doesn't take us a whole lot further. (May)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565540293
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 1,352,039
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.68 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2001

    Loved it, a real page-turner

    This is a well-presented work by talented journalists. I'd recommend checking out from a library first, but I guarantee you'll want it for your collection of JFK literature. As a Warren Commission defender myself, I appreciate the fact that the 'three tramps' business (who have been throughout the years been suspected of being everybody from E Howard Hunt to actor Woody Harrelson's father) has been finally put to rest. The other material is very cogently argued, and points the way to fertile grounds of further research in this complicated case.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 1999

    The worst book on the JFK assassination yet.

    I had high hopes for this book initially, but no book ever written on the JFK case has disappointed me as much as this one has. It is a complete shambles from start to finish. Although the title creates an image of Oswald spilling his guts to a chronic drunkard in a Dallas jail cell, the truth is that the authors have not been able to produce any proof whatsoever that such an incident occurred, except for the befuddled ravings of a troubled man with a chronic alcohol problem. FBI reports of their interview with Elrod show that he was confused about the identity of an 'unknown' cellmate and further show that he couldn't remember whether his cellmate had told him tales about Ruby and gunrunning before or after Oswald was killed on 11/24/63. That should have been where this story ended. Does it? Of course not. The authors simply dismiss the FBI report (and choose not to include it in their book) because they claim the FBI lied. They also accuse the Dallas Police Department of lying. And Silvia Odio, one of the most important witnesses interviewed by the FBI, who testified before the Warren Commission that Oswald had visited her apartment accompanied by two other Latinos six weeks prior to the Kennedy assassination, is also called a liar by the authors. Everyone is a liar who presents a problem for the theory being pushed in this book! One wonders why anyone would choose to take the word of a self-admitted chronic alcoholic over *anyone* -- let alone the very people who were there and know Oswald was in isolation. The authors spend very little time on this little jail house episode (despite using the device for their title), indeed, they spend very little time on Elrod (their main witness who did not come forward during the recent Assassination Records and Review Board hearings) at all - his brother Lindy Elrod seems to know more about what Oswald allegedly said than Elrod does and Lindy wasn't even in the jail! It is no wonder the tabloid shows picked up this story as it has that 'I was captured by a UFO' sensationalism to it. But it gets worse as the reader slugs through chapter after chapter of inconvenient witnesses being called liars, romantic fiction supplanting primary source documentation on Silvia Odio, and leaps in logic to conclude that Lee Oswald was an FBI informant on an out-of-control group of Cubans who were planning for a second invasion of Cuba. First of all, Oswald feared the FBI and claimed he was being persecuted by them. Why would he agree to inform for such an organization if he felt they were persecuting him? But even if he was an informant, what was he informing the FBI of? A planned invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles? Guess what: newly released documents from the National Archives show that JFK and his brother RFK were up to their eyeballs in planning for a pretense to invade Cuba all through 1963. So he would have been informing the FBI of something they already knew was in the works. Second, even if he was an FBI informant, how does that exonerate him from the crime? After reading this nonsense, the reader is no closer to a solution to the case than when he started. This book is a testament to poor journalism and how not to investigate a murder. We've had enough books written by frustrated sleuths who have only confused this tragic case by injecting their own egos and pet theories into what is clear cut to anyone who has studied the evidence: The question is not 'did Oswald shoot Kennedy? The question is - did he have any help?' That's where the research stands today and this book does not come close to answerin

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 1999

    Is this book still in print??!

    It is humorous to see that this book is still being published. Is no one aware that its central hypothesis, that Lee Harvey Oswald bared his soul to a Dallas cellmate, has been discredited, as it has been proven that Oswald never HAD a cellmate? Is no one aware that John Franklin Elrod, who today claims that he was in a cell with Oswald, told the FBI in 1964 that had didn't know WHO his cellmate had been? Does it not bother the publishers that Mr. Elrod was by his own admission an alcoholic, a criminal with numerous arrests to his credit, and once considered killing his wife with a twelve-gauge sawed-off shotgun? Is no one aware that the entire chapter alleging that a particular Navy ID card proves Oswald to have been a CIA agent has been discredited, as ALL members of Oswald's Marine unit were given that same type of ID? (The authors allege that Oswald worked for both the FBI _and_ the CIA! Most students of the John F. Kennedy assassination would tend to choose one or the other.) Is no one aware that even a lightweight like Gerald Posner has discredited the chapter on Oswald's alleged spy career in New Orleans? Is no one aware that the chapters attempting to debunk important conspiracy witness Silvia Odio are based on evidence that even the Warren Commission itself found weak? By their own admission, the authors were once taken in by the infamous Roscoe White hoax. It was obvious when this book was published that they had been taken in by yet another silly story. Further work done by independent JFK assassination researchers proved that the information in the book is false, and even a cursory reading demonstrates that it was never based on anything but the most dubious speculation. Apparently the publishers still have faith in the story nevertheless. How touching.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 1999

    'OT' never lets facts get in the way of a good yarn

    Few books on the JFK assassination have ever been as potentially exciting but ultimately worthless as Oswald Talked. When I first read the book, I found the story quite intriguing, but the more I thought about it, the less plausible it seemed. Later I learned that the authors had suppressed a great deal of evidence that discredited their thesis. Here are some of the problems: ***** 1. The story is based wholly on the allegations of one John Franklin Elrod. The FBI interviewed Elrod in 1964, while he was 'an inmate of the Shelby County, Tennessee, Jail.' Prior to his arrest, he had 'been staying at the Harbor House, Memphis . . . a home for alcoholics,' and he confirmed that 'he, himself, is an alcoholic.' (I'm quoting from the actual FBI report of Elrod's interview.) He volunteered the information that 'on several occasions he has had difficulty remembering due to his extreme use of alcohol.' Elrod 'had come to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office during the early morning hours of August 11, 1964, after having consumed some beer and vodka. He was at that time in possession of a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun which had a pistol grip. He stated that he had begun to think of the possibilities of killing his wife from whom he is now separated.' So 'he decided he should come to the Sheriff's Office and talk, which he did.' Elrod had a record of previous arrests, including two for DWI, one for assault, and one apparently for theft. So right off, how credible is this witness? ***** 2. In 1964, Elrod's story was that he had been picked up for investigation the day of the assassination, and placed in a cell with 'a man whose identity he could not recall.' Today, Elrod says this was Lee Harvey Oswald. Elrod told the FBI that the cellmate spoke about being involved in some kind of gunrunning operation, had met with several accomplices a few nights before, and that several thousand dollars in cash had changed hands. According to Elrod, the cellmate named Jack Ruby as one of those involved. It would be odd for someone to drop Ruby's name at that time, however, as Ruby was not yet the celebrity he would soon become. Indeed, Elrod 'stated he could not recall whether Jack Ruby's name had been mentioned prior to the time of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.' This would tend to suggest that whoever the cellmate was, chances are he was not Lee Oswald. The La Fontaines, however, do not reproduce this FBI report in their book, so the reader cannot know that. ***** 3. The book presents no evidence that John Elrod was ever in a cell with Oswald, or even in the same cell block. None. Moreover, the record shows unequivocally that Oswald never had a cellmate at all. Researcher Gus Russo interviewed literally dozens of Dallas police officers, who all agree that Oswald intentionally was kept isolated from other prisoners, and had a cell block all to himself. Researcher Russ Burr also interviewed a number of Dallas policemen, who all recalled the same exact thing. Police Chief Jesse Curry wrote in his memoirs two decades ago, 'The suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was to be kept in a maximum security cell in F block on the fifth floor. All other prisoners were removed from adjacent cells, and a police guard was kept directly outside of the cell opposite the door.' In the hours following the assassination, WFAA-TV in Dallas reported that Oswald 'has been taken to a single cell on the fifth floor of this building,' 'an isolated cell under heavy guard where he will be held through the night.' ABC reported the following day that Oswald had been kept 'in an isolated cell. Prisoners had been moved away from the area.' 'There were two or three patrolmen watching him through the evening.' Oswald Talked does not mention any of this. Russ Burr used Warren Commission testimony and recent interviews to trace Oswald's whereabouts in the jail that weekend, and researcher Hazel Barrow independently compiled a similar chronology based on contemporaneous police reports. Between a do

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)