In his original notes, Warren Commission counsel, Liebeler
took a very
negative view of Silvia Odio's "hallway meeting" story. He went to great
lengths, citing reasons why LHO could not possibly have been in Dallas
when Silvia said he was. He referred to the affidavit by Doctor and Mrs.
John McFarland, which placed Oswald on a bus schedule that fully
Silvia's story, and declared that the Commission's evidence,
"..established that Oswald did not leave Mexico until October 3, and that
he arrived in Dallas the same day."
Liebeler's conclusion was,
"In short, the evidence is persuasive that Oswald was not in Dallas on
September 25, and therefore that he was not in that city at the time Mrs.
Odio believes she saw him".
In this same section, Liebeler's discusses more contradictions.
"Several discrepancies in Mrs. Odio's testimony provide further reason why
her allegations cannot be accepted. Although Mrs. Odio testified that the
only occasion on which she saw the man claimed to be Oswald was the visit
in question, two persons have related that she previously stated that she
also saw the man at anti-Castro group meetings. A third friend of Mrs.
Odio, the Reverend Walter J. McChann, relates that prior to the date on
which Mrs. Odio testified, she told him the name of the third person who
was present with Oswald at the alleged visit. In fact, the individual who
was named had contacted Mrs. Odio in June 1963 in regard to anti-Castro
activities, but not in September. During her subsequent testimony, Mrs.
Odio did volunteer information about the June visit, and then explained
that Father McCahann must have confused the two visits. However, this
third name had been obtained by Father McChann when he telephoned Mrs.
Odio at the request of a Secret Service inspector for the specific purpose
of urging Mrs. Odio to reveal all information in regard to the alleged
Oswald visit, so that it is unlikely that confusion would have developed
over any other visit.".
Obviously, Liebeler was no fan of Silvia Odio's at this point.
But, in September of '64, he experienced a baffling change of heart.
Although he saw virtually no change at all in the status of his evidence
and his witnesses, his interpretations went through a total reversal!
Suddenly, Liebeler found Silvia to be much more credible. In a memo dated,
9/18/63, he made a remarkable series of re-evaluations of the evidence.
1. He decided the McFarland testimony was "given too much weight.".
Nowhere, of course, did Liebeler state that Dr. McFarland and his wife had
suddenly lost credibility.
2. He stated, "The conclusion that the evidence is persuasive that Oswald
was not in Dallas on 9/25 is too strong.".
3. He declared, "The story of Father McChann is over-emphasized. We
should state that Odio never told anyone else that Eugenio had been one of
the men with Oswald.". Of course, Liebeler had no idea what Odio may have
told "anyone else", particularly since he refused to talk to a single one
of these witnesses who contradicted her story!
4. Perhaps Liebeler's lamest and most outrageous rationalization was when
he said, "Since we have never taken testimony from Odio's other two
friends on which people could base judgment as to their veracity, we
should not rely too heavily on their statements, about which they have
never been crossexamined.".
Of course, Liebeler had the power to subpoena any or all of these people
to testify, but refused to call any of them! To then declare that these
witnesses could not be relied upon because he refused to crossexamine
them, goes beyond ridiculous. It is painfully obvious that Liebeler's
excuses for letting Silvia off the hook are becoming steadily weaker.
5. The all new Liebeler now states, "The 'inconsistencies, if any, are minor.".
Compare that with his previous conclusion that these same
"inconsistencies" were, "..further reasons why her allegations cannot be
6. Perhaps even more unbelievably, Liebeler decided that Silvia's refusal
to comply with the law by reporting her story to authorities, was actually
in her favor!
"The paragraph about the psychiatrist is quite unfair. It states that Odio
'came forward' with her story, whereas she did not come forward at all and
was quite reluctant to get involved at all."
Then, despite the fact that Liebeler has never made the slightest effort
to question these people, including a psychiatrist who had copious notes
about Silvia's statements, he declares,
"The hearsay statements of 'friends' concerning their personal opinion of
a witness are thin stuff indeed."
What a dismal end to all the evidence Liebeler believed was conclusive,
just a few months before!
7. Liebeler completes his 180 degree turnaround with the following statement,
"Odio may well be right. The Commission will look bad if it turns out
that she is."
What could have caused this WC counsel to totally change his position? Was
he deluged at some point, with new and exciting evidence? If so, he
certainly never told anyone about it.
Perhaps, Silvia gave us the answer to this perplexing mystery, herself. It
is likely she knew that Liebeler was to appear before the HSCA when she
dropped this bombshell in an interview with Fonzi,
"..he (Liebeler) invited me to his room upstairs to see some pictures. I
did go, I went to his room.... Of course nothing happened because I was
right in my right senses. He showed me pictures, he made advances, yes,
but I told him he was crazy.....To me that was all so, I don't know,
MAJOR HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION: What would have happened to Liebeler and to
his professional reputation if Silvia Odio had reported his alleged
"advances" to the press, or complained to the Warren Commission?
Regardless of his guilt or innocence, and regardless of who may have
actually been the aggressor in this hotel room episode, Liebeler would
have been the big loser in such a scandal.
Is it perhaps possible that Liebeler' change of heart began the next morning:-)
And if anyone has even the slightest doubt that Liebeler was indeed
suspicious that Silvia knew more than she admitted, Gaeton Fonzi's report
of her own words makes that crystal clear. Here, Silvia is describing her
impressions at dinner, during the save evening she went to Liebeler1s
"..she had the feeling that they thought she was hiding something more,
that she was involved with other Cuban groups perhaps or that she knew
more than she was saying."
Of course, this reference was to a point in time, just *before* the hotel
room incident. After that, Liebeler completely changed his tune.
We can never know for sure what really happened in that hotel room, though
we do know that in 1978, Silvia was eager to get her side of the story to
Fonzi before Liebeler was interviewed by the HSCA. Whatever it was,
history, or at least the WC's perception of history seems to have changed
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