Who was the first to call Lee Harvey Oswald a Communist? Was it Carlos Bringuier? Jim Garrison? James Hosty? None of the above. It was Dallas Deputy DA William F. Alexander.
Released by the National Archives in 1998 are interview notes by the reporter Ronald Duggar and his interviews with Deputy District Attorney Bill Alexander. Duggar was an editor for The Texas Observer and a special correspondent for The Washington Post.
Alexander was a cantankerous and opinionated man whose world was black and white….no areas for gray. He believed the JFK Assassination was a conspiracy and was shut down by the FBI before he was able to file it as such. He was also reprimanded for saying Earl Warren should be hung, not impeached, when the Supreme Court Capital Punishment decision came down.
One would think Alexander seemed to be a man of character, right?
Duggar also wrote this about Alexander in his essay:
Alexander and Fritz were the only two people who interrogated
Oswald. They did not discuss whether or not Oswald was a communist nor anything about Hosty, because they were”trying to get a confession.” Alexander confirmed to Duggar that he put out the story that Oswald was a communist to offset the publicity saying that he was a right-winger.
The right wing was being blamed immediately after the assassination due to the Stevenson incident a month before. Whether or not Alexander was a Bircher, I don’t know, but District Attorney Wade got a call from Barefoot Sanders telling him to put a muzzle on “Alexander’s Communist crap.”
Before the interrogation, Fritz and Alexander along with Jim Allen went to have a steak at the Majestic. Alexander told Duggar:
They noted that Oswald had been seen running down the stairs and had never really denied anything, but that he . . . just never admitted anything. Then, there was a curious discussion which described a flight which was to occur that evening at midnight (the night of the assassination) a flight that Vince Drain would be picked up at Carswell Airforce Base by a U-2 that was supposed to be a 58 minute flight from D.C. to Dallas to pick up the gun and return it to Washington. The flight path was said to include a pass over the Gulf of Mexico.
What could this mysterious flight by FBI Agent Vince Drain be about? He was responsible for taking the rifle LHO allegedly used (sans prints) to be examined. In Washington, FBI print expert Sebastian LaTona found no verifiable prints either, but once Drain got it back to Dallas, viola! Oswald’s prints were there.
At the end of the interview, Duggar asked Alexander what he thought about the assassination. Alexander’s reply? “…no one has captured the full worldwind of it.”
Notes: Information from the John Armstrong Collection, Poage Library