Lee Harvey Oswald Tipster Nuts, and John Wilcock Somehow Not Guilty Again!
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
December 12, 1963, Vol. IX, No. 8
FBI Discovers 3 are 1
The distance from Wiggins, Mississippi, to Greenwich Village proved to be only a subway ride on the E train. Stephen H. Landesberg of Forest Hills, Queens, was picked up on December 5 following a search that began on the morning after President Kennedy's assassination. He was charged with giving false information to the FBI in the investigation of the Lee Harvey Oswald case. Landesberg was sent to Bellevue Hospital for 10 days of psychiatric examinations.
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Landesberg, 23, turned out to be the same man who on other occasions had called himself Stephen L' eandes, native of Wiggins (population 1400) in Mississippi's Delta country. L' eandes was the young man the FBI originally thought it was looking for.
The intensive search for L' eandes, which absorbed a large part of the local office of the FBI for the period of a week, was touched off by a series of telephone calls placed by James F. Rizzuto on the assassination night. Rizzuto claimed that Oswald, following his return from the Soviet Union, had spent some time in New York City working with L' eandes, a right-wing activist, whose pro-segregation activities won him considerable attention in Greenwich Village in 1961 and 1962. Rizzuto claimed that he had been in the same Marine outfit as Oswald and L' eandes and knew them both slightly.
"James F. Rizzuto," the FBI now informs us, is another alias for Landesberg-L' eandes.
...A random photograph taken at [a] Village meeting was apparently what finally linked the various names in the case together. The photograph enabled the FBI to identify L' eandes as the man who had the previous Saturday morning called himself "Rizzuto." The trail led to Forest Hills and Landesberg.
It turned out that Landesberg had actually been in the Marine Corps, but had been discharged after eight months. His service conduct was officially described as "bizarre" and "unusual."
Landesberg has been charged with violation of a federal statute that makes it a felony to knowingly give false information to the FBI. If found guilty, he faces a five-year jail term and a $100,000 fine.
Nude Ascendant! No Stares, No Case
A few seconds' exposure led to some uncomfortable hours in court for Voice columnist John Wilcock, actress Jan Tice, and professional photographer Eugenia Louis. But on Monday came a happy ending for the threesome.
The exposure was that of Miss Tice who took advantage of unseasonably balmy weather on Sunday, November 10, to pose nude for the camera of Eugenia Louis on Liberty Street in the heart of New York's financial district. John Wilcock was also present, presumably taking notes. The scene was meant for a book of photographs of various parts of New York in which Miss Tice will figure prominently.
The sole passerby in the vicinity, apparently, happened to be detective Joseph Leahy of the First Precinct. Before Miss Tice could be wrapped up and whisked away, he arrested the trio for breaching the peace.
...Judge Daly postponed decision until December 9, when he acquitted all three defendants. He ruled that no breach of the peace had occurred because no one other than the detective had seen the incident. The choice of time and place indicated, he said, "a contrary intention" than that of disturbing the peace.
"I don't feel guilty," was Miss Tice's reaction to the acquittal. "I don't feel guilty about posing nude so long as it doesn't offend other people."
Wilcock and Tice said they had taken other New York-Tice pictures and plan to continue the book when the weather and civic climate become more clement. Right now the three co-workers are looking for a publisher. "We're all broker and we all need the money," Wilcock explained.
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
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