Marrion Baker testified before the Warren Commision that Lee Oswald was just behind the door with the glass pane when he first glimpsed him:
Now, through this window you can't see too much but I just caught a glimpse of him through this window going away from me and as I ran to this door and opened it, and looked on down in the lunchroom he was on down there about 20 feet so he was moving about as fast as I was.
Oswald was "moving about as fast" into the lunchroom as Baker was moving from the landing just off the stairway to the door?
It's hard to see how.
Baker's story is that he "ran" to the door in order to go after a man he had glimpsed "walking away".
Yet we are to believe that they covered about the same distance in the same time--i.e. that Baker running did not cover more ground than Oswald walking.
It's a nonsensical scenario, so nonsensical that one wonders why Baker is making such a transparently unrealistic claim.
Why doesn't he just say that Oswald was running?
Or, alternatively, that Oswald was only a few feet into the lunchroom by the time he himself opened the door and looked into the lunchroom?
The short answer is, Baker has to merge by force two stories that cannot easily be merged:
#1: I saw a man walking away (as per Baker's 11/22 affidavit)
#2: I saw Oswald standing by the coke machine (as per a later draft of the story, as told by [or to?] Roy Truly)
As we have already seen, Baker in September 64 will go on the record again with a careless reversion to the "standing" version of the story:
Yet his own WC testimony has both of his sightings of Oswald being of a man who is moving, walking:
I just caught a glimpse of him through this window going away from me
==> I ran on up here and opened this door and when I got this door opened I could see him walking on down.
He has a real problem here:
His 11/22 affidavit talked of "a man walking away from the stairway".
For Oswald, just behind the glass pane, to be "walking away" in any commonsense meaning of the words, he would need to be walking into--a wall.
The lunchroom was sharply off to the left, it was not straight ahead--not even close.
So Baker, in his WC testimony, has to split his affidavit's single description of a man "walking away" into two incidences of walking away.
The result, as one would expect, is a horrible muddle.
The one thing Baker desperately needs to say--that his first glimpse of Oswald had him "walking away from the stairway"--is the one thing the layout of the landing/door/lunchroom disallows him from saying.
And so we get a hesitation around the words "walking away":
Mr. BAKER - As I came out to the second floor there, Mr. Truly was ahead of me, and as I come out I was kind of scanning, you know, the rooms, and I caught a glimpse of this man walking away from this--I happened to see him through this window in this door. I don't know how come I saw him, but I had a glimpse of him coming down there.
Mr. DULLES - Where was he coming from, do you know?
Mr. BAKER - No, sir. All I seen of him was a glimpse of him go away from me.
"I caught a glimpse of this man walking away from this--": if only Baker could finish the thought with the magic word: "stairway"!
But he can't, for to do so would be to make a ludicrous claim that would only draw attention to the discrepancies between his current story and the story told in his affidavit.
Excruciatingly, the money shot--the shot of Oswald actually walking directly away from Baker's position such that Baker can call to him and have him turn around and come back to where Baker is--has to be held back until Baker has left the stairway and gone over to the door:
Mr. BAKER - ... There is a door there with a glass, it seemed to me like about a 2 by 2, something like that, and then there is another door which is 6 foot on over there, and there is a hallway over there and a hallway entering into a lunchroom, and when I got to where I could see him he was walking away from me about 20 feet away from me in the lunchroom.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do?
Mr. BAKER - I hollered at him at that time and said, "Come here." He turned and walked right straight back to me.
Baker is now, at last, giving a story that sounds a little more like his 11/22 affidavit story:
As we reached the third or fourth floor I saw a man walking away from the stairway. I called to the man and he turned around and came back toward me.
(Baker, 11/22 affidavit)
But only a little.
The two stories--11/22 affidavit + WC testimony--are still unreconcilable.
Even after the heavy coaching that Baker has been put through ahead of his WC appearance.
We still are being asked to believe that an indeterminate glimpse of a man moving behind a door located well off the stairway could be described as a sighting of "a man walking away from the stairway".
The plain sense of those words in Baker's 11/22 affidavit cannot be ignored:
the man had just left the stairway and was putting distance between it and him.
That's what "walking away from" means, and it's how Baker himself is using those words in his WC testimony.
No amount of special pleading (Baker in his affidavit was being economical with language; he used an unfortunate choice of words; etc.) can change the plain sense of those words.
Especially as there is nothing--nothing--in the rest of Baker's 11/22 account to particularise the scene of the encounter as the second floor, let alone a room on the second floor, let alone a room on the far side of a closed door on the second floor, let alone a lunchroom on the far side of a closed door on the second floor.
If a witness were to say, "Just after the shooting I saw a car driving away from the Triple Underpass", would anyone dare to suggest that this could mean anything other than that the car had been at or by the Triple Underpass and was now increasing its distance from it?
Yet that is the offence against common sense and the English language that those arguing for the veracity of the lunchroom story would have us commit.
Just how many impossible things are we expected to believe before breakfast?
Edited by Sean Murphy, 13 October 2013 - 10:06 AM.