On December 8, 1963, a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Joseph Goulden claimed that an anonymous source said, “the FBI attempt to recruit Oswald as an informant,” but did not know if they succeeded. On January 1, 1964, a Houston Post article by Alonzo “Lonnie” Hudkins said an anonymous source told him that Oswald’s informant number was S179 and he was on the FBI payroll for $200 per month, up until the assassination. A few weeks later, the Attorney General of Texas, Waggoner Carr, called the Warren Commission to ask if they knew anything about this rumor growing in popularity. As time went on, the amount of Oswald’s alleged monthly payments changed in subsequent retellings – from no less than $150 to no more than $225 – as did his alleged informant number, with S172, 172, or 179 with no “S” being interchangeably used. The claim also morphed into the FBI or the CIA, with no certainly as to which agency Oswald was allegedly connected to.
The Warren Commission thoroughly investigated this question, by looking through FBI records and talking to all the relevant people. It was then reinvested in the 1970 by the Church Committee, which looked at allegations of Executive Branch misconduct in general, and the HSCA, who looked specifically at President Kennedy’s assassination in great detail. One person who was repeatedly interviewed by all these groups and public media outlets, was Houston Post reporter Lonnie Hudkins, who kept changing his story as to who allegedly told him about Oswald’s alleged work for the FBI. In the end, it seems clear that Hudkins simply made the story up, since no one can find anything that supports it in any way.
In addition to looking into this allegation specifically, along with many, many others like it, the Warren Commission also did a complete analysis of Oswald’s finances. What money came in and where it went. What he reported on his taxes and what he did with his time. There was absolutely nothing anomalous about his money situation. Oswald did not have some great pile of extra cash, or even a little pile, and he wasn’t living an extravagant lifestyle, or even a slightly luxurious one. This is a guy who had to take the bus from North Texas to Mexico City, to beg the Soviets to help him get into Cuba. He couldn’t afford something like a plane ticket, or even keep up on his families bills, since he kept losing the low paying jobs he could get.
Despite all this, conspiracy theorists are hard pressed to give up on their lies just because they can’t be substantiated by actual evidence. As recently as March 22, 2020, an Amazon customer named Peter Hymans wrote a scathing review of my documentary, Conspiracy Theorists Lie (2015), claiming that, “[Mr. Lambert] is unaware that Lee Harvey Oswald was getting $200/month from the FBI,” among other false and misleading accusations against me and my work.
Return to the complete list of 55 reasons to accept that Oswald acted alone.