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I took an interest in the JFK assassination after reading Harrison E. Livingstone's book "High Treason: The Assassination of JFK & the Case for Conspiracy" in 1990 or '91. In August, 1992, when I received my copy of "U.S. News and World Report" magazine, I was immediately interested in the cover story "JFK: The Untold Story of the Warren Commission."
I flipped through the article and when I came to pages 38 and 39 I was in for quite a shock. One of the men in the "single bullet theory" photo with Arlen Specter looked just like my father, Harry E. Landsberg, Jr.
Click on the link below and scroll down to the second photo. The image on the right is from pages 38-39 of that U.S. News and World Report issue. The man who resembles my father is wearing a straw hat.
Full text of ‘US News’ article can be found at archive.org under:
I had realized by that time in my life that there were many things I didn't actually know about my family, but I'd never suspected my father might have played a role in the JFK assassination investigation.
Here is an enlarged image of the man in the magazine photo:
Here is a collage of photos of my dad at various ages, with a photo of the man in the magazine in the mix:
Originals from the collage:
It may be relevant that the man in the straw hat is dressed differently than the other men in the photo. Harry was rather notorious for his loud clothing, though I don't recall that he wore loud print shirts as much as pink, purple and polka-dotted outfits.
Earlier this year, as I was reading the book "Assassination Science", I found another photo of the man in the straw hat. (Edited by James H. Fetzer, Ph.D., Catfeet Press, Chicago, 1998, page 36).
It's the second of two photos in Warren Commission Exhibit 900 (CE 900). I was able to find this photo on-line in the "History Matters Warren Commission Archive." The exhibit is in "Warren Commission: Hearings and Exhibits" Volume XVIII.
The photo reveals the right profile of this man. I was able to find a photo of my father in a similar pose. My photo is hand-dated October 1962, so it would have been taken two years before the Warren Commission photo. The enlargement of CE 900 is very unclear, but the man appears quite cleary to have white hair, as did Harry, and the sizes of the noses seem reasonably similar. I can only conclude that Harry cannot yet be ruled out.
Original (front & back)
I put some of this information up on a web page, drawing from posts I'd made to the Yahoo CIA-drugs_Darkside group. The day after I'd found the above photo in "Assassination Science" and had read about Leon Jaworski and his connection to the alleged CIA front "MD Anderson Foundation," I tracked a hit from someone at the MD Anderson Cancer Center on my very low-traffic website. I saved this "extreme tracking" info on my hard-drive and on data CD's but the files are corrupt.
Assassination Science, page 4:
...The Commission relied on Leon Jaworski, who would become prominent during the Watergate affair, to explore this issue, but his ties to the CIA as a trustee of the M.D. Anderson Foundation have cast doubt upon the diligence of his investigation, which yielded the finding that these were no more than "false rumors."
Update 6/24/04: I found the eXtreme tracking info last night on a CD I had forgotten about.
See entry, "16 Apr, Tue, 16:51:38."
See, for example:
(The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Biomathematics)
(The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center)
eXtreme tracking referral source
The name Harry Earl Landsberg, Jr. does not appear in the Warren Commission index, nor have I been able to find this name associated with any aspect of the assassination. The only possible connection seems to be the resemblance between my father and this man.
There are other oddities, though. I knew my father as a traveling salesman and then later as an apartment manager but it is possible that he may have been an engineer and kept this hidden. There are a few things which would seem to contradict that conclusion, however.
According to records obtained from John Marshall High School in Lakewood, OH, my father graduated 55th in a class of 58 students. This would seem to contradict an admission to a Polytechnic Institute. In addition, when he was 21 years old, his Social Security application listed his employer as a Cleveland grocer, which is consistent with photo "Top Right" above.
Social Security application
But when I was in high school and college I helped my parents in their Nob Hill Apartment management offices on Sundays. One Sunday, in dad's office, I noticed his resume in an in-box. I looked it over and saw that he had gone to a Polytechnic Institute. He told me he'd never gone to college, but that he had studied art after high school. I assumed then that a Polytechnic Institute was some kind of an art school. Years later my husband corrected me. He told me that M.I.T., for example, was a Polytechnic Institute.
In the late 1960's, when we lived in Ohio before moving to Miami, Florida, my father was a "sales engineer" for a large corporation. (See photo "Bottom Left" above. His occupation is listed as "sales engineer.") Last year I emailed this firm to ask if their sales engineers are indeed engineers. I was told that many, but not all, of their sales engineers are engineers.
During the years I worked in their offices I noticed that dad frequently received mail addressed as “Harry E. Landsberg, Jr. OR The Engineering Research Institute of Florida”. I asked him about this once and he was hesitant to explain. When I persisted he said he'd created a corporation having to do with pre-fab houses he was building in Homestead, Florida. I do not know if he actually did build homes, but he and mother are on record as having bought and sold various homes in Dade County, Florida.
In my senior year of college I became motivated to do whatever I could to learn more about my family. Among other things, I called the Secretary of State's Office in Florida to ask about this corporation. I was told there was nothing listed under that name. To date I have found nothing in the archives at the Secretary of State's Office with a similar name. It is possible that this "Institute" was registered in another state.
Part of my snooping at that time revealed that my parents paid a regular monthly payment to something with "Virginia" in the pay-to. The amount was over $700 per month, but I cannot recall if it was $750 or $780. I did not know what this could be. It might have been a mortgage payment. There was another regular monthly payment of $400 -- one I did understand. These and other considerable expenses were somehow supported on a modest apartment manager's salary. As explained below, there might have been military disability pay, and, in the late 70's, there were Social Security payments to supplement this income.
In 1970 we sold our roomy suburban home and most of our possessions and moved to Miami Beach, FL, where my parents became an apartment management team for a small complex. We had apparently fallen on hard times. My father painted hallways and made repairs for tenants for six months and then we moved to Greater Miami to a larger apartment complex. From that time on, until 1981 when I moved out, I observed that my father was rarely on the premises in his role as apartment manager. He would usually say that he'd been out golfing. He was, in fact, an avid golfer.
My parents said they moved to Washington D.C. shortly after they were married. They were married in '41 or '42 and, as the story goes, mom was the secretary to the Undersecretary of the Navy -- to the 2nd in command, was my understanding -- and dad was a salesman for a film/theater company based out of Fostoria, Ohio (John B. Rodgers & Co -- also spelled Rogers -- Fostoria is mom's home town). Later, they said, they moved to Hamburg, NY, and then back to Ohio where they settled in the Cleveland area until moving to Miami.
(According to one of her obituary notices in June of 2002, Mom's sister, Margaret E. Engler, joined the American Red Cross during World War II, and traveled to Europe as a "staff assistant." According to another obit, she married my Uncle Howie (Army Major Howard A. Engler) in Munich, Germany in 1945.)
Obituary 2, from archive.org
Dad had various sales jobs in the years between 1950 - 1970, according to information obtained from various siblings' birth certificates, and according to my own memory. "> On my birth certificate (February 1959) he was listed as self-employed under the name of a company he is on record for having registered about six weeks later, in April. That company was dissolved in December 1961.
I asked my father once if he'd ever been in the Army. He told me that he'd wanted to join but they wouldn't accept him because of circulation problems in his legs. He added that they offered to do experimental surgery on him to help correct this problem. He accepted the offer, he said, but the surgery was not a success. I accepted his explanation, and he did have circulation problems.
The day he died I accompanied mother to the funeral home and sat with her while the financial arrangements were made. When she was asked if my father qualified for VA burial benefits, she said yes. My husband recalls me coming home that night and expressing confusion about that. We thought my father had never served in the military.
Last year I looked up what it takes to qualify for VA burial benefits. My father would have had to complete substantial military service to qualify for VA burial benefits, unless a single failed experimental surgery would have sufficed to qualify him.
I am estranged from my family and cannot inquire about this, though there is no reason to think I would be told the truth. I do not know which branch of the military he might have served in.
Update November 14, 2002: In the spring of this year I sent in a request for my father's military records. I decided to try Army first, and if that didn't produce results, I would try the others. On October 28, 2002, I received a Certification of Military Service from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. Harry served in the Army for a brief period in 1943 (45 days).
Certification of Military Service
Update May 12, 2003: On April 24, 2003, I wrote a letter to Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, to whom the US News & World Report photo was attributed. I enclosed a copy of that picture and a copy of CE 900, with the man in question circled, asking if he could help me identify him.
He responded that he does not know the individual in the photocopies I sent, but suggested that he may be "the chief surveyor who with his crew determined the distances and angles from the president to the various poimts [sic] such as the triple overpass, the window of the Book Depository, and other locations of interest."
It had been suggested to me by more than one researcher that the man in question might be Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt himself. (Tom Purvis at Lancer stated it as a fact that the man was Shaneyfelt. Allan Eagelsham assumed it was Shaneyfelt because a "sniper's nest photo" shirt he wore was similar to the shirt worn by the man who resembles my father. But I found another man in the Specter photo that looked just like Shaneyfelt -- wearing a white shirt.)
Here are more photographs of my father. When I was a senior in college at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL -- transcripts: (Cover letter, page 1 , page 2) , my parents and others began the process of having me discredited as mentally ill. Because of this, since 1981, I have been motivated to research family matters. ----
Update 5 27 04: I broke a ten year silence and contacted two family members for more information on my parents.
A maternal uncle, Charles Volkmer, said he didn't know who my mother, Donna Landsberg (Donna Jean [Volkmer]Landsberg), did secretarial work for in the Navy in DC in the 1940's. He claimed not to recall where Donna and Harry were married or even if he and his wife Ruth had attended the wedding. He seemed unsurprised by my phone call, and asked me to provide proof that my father was a deep cover spook.
I contacted my brother, Harry III (Herky), and asked him about various things having to do with our mom and dad. I learned that we have different versions of family lore in a few significant areas.
Herky said when the parents were in DC in the early-mid 1940's, he understood that our dad was an ironworker ("built multi-story buildings… [unintelligible] out on the iron") and that dad had worked in Sandusky, OH, "at Plumbrook which was a big military thing that they were building, and then I think they went to Washington DC and he still did that."
I was told dad worked for a film/theater company (John B. Rodgers & Co) when he and mom lived in DC. In fact, some of my parents' friends created a scrapbook (in the mid-1970's) of our parents' significant moments together and they included a reference to dad's work with John B. Rodgers & Co.
I asked, "How do you suppose mom got on with the Undersecretary of the Navy? Was she that good?"
He replied, "I don't know… no, I don't … I've never asked her. I don't think it was a really a very long thing in their life."
It was Herky's understanding that our dad had been in the military and had been medically discharged. "He was called … I think it was '44/'45 … he had been called several times and varicose veins always prevented him from going. But they got so desperate for troops they did draft him and he did pass the physical but then he was discharged to basic training… he entered and was in basic training, but I'd say just a couple of months."
Herky seemed surprised to learn that our dad was "honorably discharged." (I, personally, don't know the difference between a medical discharge and an honorable discharge– 'Certification of Military Service' -- link above.)
I was told that our dad had never been in the military, but that he'd agreed to experimental surgery for circulation problems in his legs.
I recently mailed my brother a packet containing some of the information I've accrued over the years.
…."Herky, dad was a salesman all those years – different places – stuff like that?"
"Do you know what he did with Gar Garland? Like ... they shared office space – I thought it was in Lakewood (OH)."
"Yeah, but they didn't have any business dealings together."
"Right. They shared office space. Do you have any idea what Gar did?"
"Okay, I … Gar married money."
"Lois had money?"
"Yes, well, owned a couple of shares … [unintelligible] … freighter … sand and gravel. That's all I knew… [unintelligible] .. ships."
Gar and Lois Garland, Christmas, 1960's (cutout)
Screen capture of cropped photo:
Gar and dad were close. They shared office space in the Cleveland area for a few years. I never knew what Gar did. Dad was working for EFCO at that time, as I recall (Economy Forms Corporation). Dad supposedly had a secretary, but my sister and I never met her. We were permitted to play at her desk on days when dad would bring us to the office.
A search at Military.com showed that Gar & Lois' son is a veteran of the 441st Military Intelligence Detachment (CIC) -- Vietnam, 1967-71. I was searching on the Garland name for personal reasons and took note of the 441st entry because I had seen it mentioned in a significant way in Dick Russell's book, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (page 109).
Herky and my other brother, John, were both in the Army during the Nam years, though, according to family lore, neither served a tour of duty there. John was a journalist in Seattle, Washington and Herk was a paratrooper in Guam.
I asked Herky what he understood that our dad was doing in 1964. He replied that, as he understood it, our dad owned Cle-Land Partition then (in Bay Village, OH), and that he had done work with him. "We made wooden partition for offices…"
I was born in February, 1959, and my birth certificate listed CleLand Partition as my father's place of employment.
According to Cuyahoga County /Ohio Corporate records, CleLand partition was created six weeks after my birth -- in April 1959, and dissolved in December 1961.
Harry's wallet contents
Laura Hanning (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)