The tramps are a single thread in the fabric of evidence.
They should not be discarded for lack of importance, since we do not know their significance.
If the thread ever becomes unraveled, it may add to our understanding of the assassination, and may not.
But PLEASE...do not dismiss them as insignificant. Their significance is still unknown.
I don't know their identities, but they are an intriguing trio.
WHEN DID YOU ARRIVE IN DALLAS?
John Gedney (FBI) 2/26/92: They got into Dallas on November 21st and had no place to stay. They stayed for the night and part of the next day.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST LEARN THAT KENNEDY HAD BEEN SHOT?
Gedney (FBI) 2/26/92): They “heard about President Kennedy getting shot and then they left the Salvation Army wanting to “catch out”.
WERE THE TRAMPS CLEAN OR DIRTY?
Both commented that they had gotten fresh clothes, showered, shaved and had a meal. They headed back to the railroad yard when they heard all the commotion and sirens and everything, and they asked what happened. They were told the president had been shot.
William Earl Chambers was interviewed on 3/3/92 by SA Gary Gerszewski of the FBI and Lieutenant Kenneth Lybrand, City of Dallas Police Department.
William Chambers worked for the City of Dallas Police Department from October, 1954 until January, 1992. He was later assigned as a Detective in the Forgery Division.
“Chambers described the hobos as “dirty”. Chambers noted that they were not wearing socks and their clothes did not appear to be clean”
(Original documents ascribed these comments to Jones. Jones was scratched out and Chambers inserted.
Marvin Wise was interviewed by SA Gary Gerszewski of the FBI and Lieutenant Kenneth Lybrand, City of Dallas Police Department on 3/6/92
“Wise described the men as dirty and smelly. He indicated the pictures of them do not do them justice. Wise explained that you had to look closely at the pictures to recognize just how dirty the three were”.
WHAT KIND OF RAILROAD CAR WERE YOU ON WHEN YOU WERE ARRESTED?
Bill Bass (FBI) 6/15/92: “a grain car.”
Marvin Wise 3/6/92: Wise was told that the three men climbed into a coal car.
John Gedney FBI 2/26/92 “Gedney said that he thought they were lying on big sheets of steel on a flatbed railroad car when the police came over with guns, said don’t move and then arrested them and took them over to the Dallas City jail.
Harold Doyle FBI 2/20/92 “They then got on a gondola, also known as a coal car, and were heading towards Fort Worth, when the train was stopped.”
Doyle and Gedney’s arrest record: "These men were taken off a train boxcar in the rail yards right after President Kennedy as shot,"
William Chambers: When questioned the three individuals said they were “on a freight car sleeping.”
WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN YOU WERE ARRESTED?
William Chambers: “When questioned regarding the circumstances of their arrest, the three individuals indicated that they were on a freight car sleeping when they were wakened by officers with different colored uniforms than the ones worn by the officers who drove them down to the station.
Marvin Wise told the FBI: He arrived and parked near the railroad tracks. He went to the TSBD and was assigned to the west side of the TSBD. “He was sitting in his car and a man working in the railroad building waved at him. Wise and another officer (name forgotten) were told by the man that three men got into a boxcar about four or five hundred yards down the track. Wise, in company with Bill Bass, Roy Vaughn and Middleton (although Middleton denies that he was there) went to the boxcars and took the men of the boxcar”.
So were they freshly showered, or were they dirty and smelly?
Did they learn of JFK's assassination before they left the Salvation Army, or afterwards?
Were they in a coal car, or on a flatbed freight car?
Did they walk to the police station, or were they driven?
The arrest records for Doyle, Abrams, and Gedney say that they were taken off a train boxcar right after the President was shot, but the arrest record gives the time of arrest as 4:00PM - nearly 3 ˝ hours later.
Marvin Wise was interviewed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations on November 14, 1977 at 9:00AM at Dallas Police Headquarters. HSCA 180-10112 10156. Wise was a Dallas Policeman on November 22, 1963 and assigned to District #71 Radio Patrol in south Dallas. Wise on a robbery call at the far end of south Dallas when the dispatcher told #71 to go Code 3 to the TSBD and report to the supervisor. (According to the Dispatch Tapes of Channel 1, Wise reported his location at 12:38pm)
12:38 DIS: 71, robbery of an individual, 2205 Cockrell. 12:38.
At approximately 12:42pm, 71 reported his location as Corinth and Harwood:
71: Corinth and Harwood.
DIS: Code 3.
Many squads were being instructed at this point to proceed to Elm and Houston Code 3.
He arrived and parked near the railroad tracks. He went to the TSBD and was assigned to the west side of the TSBD.
Wise stated that the men acted scared and he could smell wine on the breath of one of them. Wise took the men over to the Sheriff’s Office, and while waiting to turn them over, asked the men for identification. Wise stated that he believes that two of the men had documented ID’s. He wrote the ID’s down on a piece of paper and put them in his hat. “He turned the men over to the Sheriff’s Office (Deputy name unknown), ( I believe this Deputy to be Harold Elkins) and went back to his radio”. He heard over the police radio that a policeman had been shot, and a little later heard that it was J.D. Tippit”.
Notice the timing. The tramps have been picked up and are in the station when Wise hears about Tippit. (Officially, Tippit was shot at approximately 1:16pm)
I believe, with William Chambers, that they were, in fact, arrested twice, once by the Dallas County Sheriff's office, and a second time by the Dallas City Police Department.