Pseudonym: Bowen, John Howard
Ronald L. Ecker, "From Grimsby With Love" - http://www.ronaldecker.com/osborne.html
In late September, 1963...Oswald left New Orleans and made a bus trip to Mexico City. His purpose was ostensibly to try to get visas in Mexico City to go to Cuba and Russia. Oswald first obtained a 15-day Mexican tourist visa on September 16 at the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans. (Obtaining Mexican tourist visa No. 24084, the one immediately before Oswald's No. 24085, was CIA agent William George Gaudet, but that's another story.) 1 On September 26, Oswald traveled by Continental Trailways bus from Houston to Laredo (the FBI could never determine how he got to Houston and where he spent the night there), entering Mexico at Nuevo Laredo. There Oswald boarded a Flecha Roja (Red Arrow) bus for Mexico City. Boarding this same bus was a man identified by his tourist card as John Howard Bowen. According to witnesses, he sat next to Oswald on the long overnight Flecha Roja bus ride to Mexico City. But Bowen's tourist card was full of false information. His real name was Albert Alexander Osborne. He was 75 years old, not 60; he was born in England, not America; and he was not a resident of Houston. 3 Why the false identity? By one account (his own), Osborne was just an itinerant preacher and missionary to Mexico, though his means of support seemed almost nonexistent... In its files...the FBI found that in June, 1942, John Howard Bowen, operator of a boys' camp at Henderson Springs near Knoxville, Tennessee, had been accused by one of the boys of tearing down an American flag and stomping it in the ground... 16 The FBI also found that in 1953 John Howard Bowen had been arrested at the Woods Hotel in Houston and held for investigation in connection with a mattress fire. No charges were filed, but the FBI had John Howard Bowen's fingerprints from the 1953 arrest. 17 ...Residing in "a native mud wall dwelling" in Texmelucan, Osborne had a Canadian passport and claimed permanent residence in Montreal, Canada.
Ronald L. Ecker, "From Grimsby With Love" (continued) - http://www.ronaldecker.com/osborne.html
...Osborne was issued a Canadian passport in New Orleans on October 10, 1963, using his real name. Then, in November 1963, this itinerant preacher did a remarkable thing. Over the years he had corresponded very seldom with relatives in England...his only known regular income was rather modest contributions from individuals for his missionary work. Osborne did say, when questioned about his means of livelihood, that he was an excellent gardener, and that when funds ran low he obtained work at various places as an itinerant gardener. But he was unable to recall names of employers other than the Tyler Nursery Company where he had allegedly worked as a gardener. 36 It seems little wonder, given his traveling about on an apparently shoestring budget, that Osborne looked "scruffy" to Pamela Mumford. Yet on November 13, 1963, Osborne left from New York City on a commercial flight to England. 37 He would visit relatives there for the first time in 50 years, though even then he would lie about why he was there. Osborne told his older brother Walter, whom he suddenly visited that November in the Old Folks Home in Grimsby, that he was traveling to Prestwick, Scotland, with a group of scientists who were going to Iceland to photograph a volcano that had emerged from the ocean. 38 Osborne visited his sister Mrs. Emily (Lillie) Featherstone in a rural district outside of Grimsby, where he stayed four or five days. According to Lillie, he then left for London, stating that he was going to Spain. 39 It is not known where Osborne was on November 22...Did Osborne or someone who knew him in England express foreknowledge...A CIA cable from London to the CIA director on November 23, 1963, stated that on November 22 an anonymous call was made...to the senior reporter of the Cambridge News. "The caller said only that the reporter should call the American embassy in London for some big news and then rang off."...the call was made about 25 minutes before JFK was shot...
"On June 4, 1942, George M. Pickel, Rural Route 7, Henderson Springs, Tennessee, Sevier County, advised an agent of the FBI, Knoxville, that one J. H. Bowen, who he believed to be an Italian, had resided in the vicinity of Henderson Springs for the past two years. He stated that Bowen operated a camp for boys known as the 'Campfire Council'. According to Pickel, one of the boys at the camp told George Sharp that he had seen Bowen tear down an American flag and stomp it into the ground.
1/31/64 report: Lola Loving, wife of Eugene Loving, told the FBI that she and her deceased husband had been missionaries in Mexico. "(in about 1956) they met a missionary by the name of Albert Osborne. This man, whom she believed was a Baptist, had a mission in Texmelucan, not far from Mexico City. His mission consisted of his own large home where he gathered in young men who appeared to have no homes or ties, trained them and then sent them out on their own as missionaries. It was not long before the Lovings found out that Osborne was using two names. His second was JOHN HOWARD BOWEN. In fact, Osborne readily admitted the use of both names and voluntarily explained that John Howard Bowen, at one time, had been an associate of his at the mission at Texmelucan but had died. Monetary contributions for the mission, which is dependent upon such donations, kept coming in to Texmelucan in Bowen's name, and rather than lose this money, Osborne had gone to banking officials and explained the situation. Specifically mentioned by Osborne was American Express authorities in Mexico City, who had agreed to honor the contributions and make the payments to Osborne, using Bowen's name. Consequently, over the years since that time, Osborne had assumed the dual identity...She recalled in recent weeks, possibly in the past month of two, she had received a letter from Osborne in Spain." She sent him donations of clothing, which had to be sent to the US because Mexican regulations did not permit such packages. "(he wrote her recently and told her "that the clothing this time should be sent to him in either name Albert Osborne or John Howard Bowen, Post Office Box 308, Laredo, Texas. Mrs. Loving said that this was the address of a friend of Osborne's but that she had never known the name of this individual.
2/14/64 memo from Director FBI to San Antonio office, FBI: "Immediately reinterview Bowen and press him for full details of personal background. Note that Osborne obtained Canadian passport number five dash six zero five three seven seven at Canadian consulate, NO (New Orleans). He claims residence YMCA, Montreal, and said he was en route from Canada to Mexico City on vacation. Note that Bowen, after entering Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on 9/26/63, left Mexico at same point under name Bowen 10/2/63, one day prior to Oswald. He apparently proceeded on to NO (New Orleans) where he obtained passport under Osborne identity, 10/10/63...Press him for his use of his dual identity and his misrepresentation to Legat (legal attache) January 7 last."
2/27/64 memo from NY FBI to Director: (INS Records Administration) advised records show Albert Osborne was born 11/12/1888 Grimsby, England, Canadian passport number five six zero five three seven seven. Home address one four four one Drummend Street, Montreal, Canada...Osborne is classified as non-controlled class alien which means they do not have to list destination or to be controlled in their travels in the US."
3/6/64 urgent memo from Director, FBI (Richard Cotter and FNU Mossberg probable authors) to SAC New York, SAC Houston, SAC San Antonio: "Jean Souetre, aka Michel Roux, aka Michel Mertz...French authorities have REDACTED. WFO (Washington Field Office) has determined one Michel Roux, born August 31, 1940 at Soyaux, Charente, France, and carrying a B-2 visa, entered US at New York City November 19 last and departed December 6 last at Laredo, Texas. At time of entry he listed US address as quote Houston, Box 308, Fort Worth, Texas, end quote. San Antonio and Houston both check INS records locally. Identify subscriber to Box 308 and, if no reason exists to contrary, interview. Expedite and sutel Bureau and New York any pertinent data developed. New York should furnish any pertinent data reported by Houston and San Antonio to (REDACTED - "informant). French liaison representative at New York and French authorities in Paris are REDACTED. Legat, Paris, being kept advised of results of our inquiries."
3/9/64 memo: "Jean Souetre, also known as Michel Roux, aka Michel Mertz...Rebutel March 6, last, requesting San Antonio and Houston to check INS records regarding Subject and identify subscriber to box 'Houston, 308, Fort Worth, Texas'. (INS advised) no record identifiable with Jean Souetre, Michel Roux or Michel Mertz...Dallas has been requested to conduct investigation regarding Box 308, Fort Worth, Texas." Also see 124-10224-10064, 3/9/64: "Postal inspectors advised no such number as Box 308 utilized in Houston." Also see 180-10110-10054, re 3/12/64 memo from Director FBI to Legal Attache, Paris, "Roux was in Houston November 20 last and visited (Leon Gachman, head of Gachman Metals, Post Office Box 308, Fort Worth).
March 1964 memo from Director, FBI to SAC, New York: The Washington Field Office learned in the last few days that "a Michel Roux entered US 11/19/63 and departed 12/6/63 at Laredo, Texas for Mexico...Legat, Paris, advised 3/13/64 Michel Roux referred to above has been located by French in Paris and it has been determined he is not identical with Jean Souetre."