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Robert MacNeil and the three calm men


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#1 William Weston

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 03:59 PM

I am currently working on a new article regarding the TSBD.

In that article I make the assumption that the reader has read my previous articles on the TSBD. I do not know how many readers of this forum has read those articles, so I would like to offer an old one here, and possibly more in the future. The following is an article that was printed in the Fourth Decade, Nov. 1994. It contains a section on Shelley, Lovelady, and Frazier that Jerry Rose left out, I guess because he thought it was too slanderous. So here it is, complete.

ROBERT MACNEIL AND THE THREE
CALM MEN
by
William Weston

It was less than three months after the death of President Kennedy, that William Manchester had taken on the project of writing a book about the assassination. A widely respected, well-established author, Manchester had no intention of departing from the no-conspiracy conclusions of the government. He soon realized that his task was not going to be easy. Lee Oswald, the accused assassin, was a complex enigma, who often defied rational analysis. One of the most difficult challenges the author had to face was explaining Oswald's escape from the Texas School Book Depository.
According to carefully tested calculations, Oswald was still in the Book Depository about two or three minutes after the shooting ended. Eight minutes later he was riding on a bus, seven blocks away. The Warren Commission firmly maintained that Oswald simply walked those seven blocks. But it had no way of proving it. Among the thousands of pedestrians and motorists who filled the streets of Dallas that day, not one apparently noticed this purposeful young man striding rapidly along the sidewalks of Elm Street. Whereas multitudes of people were advancing into the chaotic vortex of Dealey Plaza, Oswald was presumably going against the flow in his efforts to get away. This lack of eyewitness confirmation would not have been a serious problem had it not been for the persistence of a credible eyewitness who was sure that Oswald left in a Nash Rambler. Contravening details like these threatened to unravel the whole lone-assassin scenario.
A turning point in Manchester's research came when he discovered a document in the files of the FBI. It was a written statement by a news reporter named Robert MacNeil, who worked for NBC News Radio. After studying this report, Manchester was convinced that he had found a witness who could support the official reconstruction of Oswald's escape. He picked up the phone and called MacNeil at his office in New York. Although the latter remembered the incident, he was unable to recall any more details than what he had already given to the FBI. Even more disappointing was his inability to say for certain that the man he spoke to was Oswald. [1] Yet this was not an insurmountable difficulty. Manchester believed that he had enough evidence to make a positive identification unnecessary. In his mind, the encounter between Oswald and MacNeil was an important event, filling a major gap in his narrative of the assassination.
Manchester was not carefully reading his sources, for the eminent historian had relied on an incident that was entirely fictitious. Prior to Oswald's arrest, there was never a time when the news reporter or the accused assassin had ever seen each other face to face.
Yet Manchester was right about one thing. MacNeil's statement is indeed an important document, not for what it says about Oswald, but rather for what it reveals concerning the conspiracy that resulted in the death of a President. Especially illuminating is the description of three men, calm and relaxed, on the ground floor of the Book Depository. The strange tableau of the three calm men, so unnatural in comparison to the panic and alarm outside, is an indication that these men were involved in the plot to murder the chief executive. This article explores MacNeil's story as it pertains not only to the Book Depository but also to the grassy knoll.

WHERE DID MACNEIL SAY THE SHOTS CAME FROM?

Robert MacNeil was a reporter on the White House staff, accompanying the President on his five-city tour of Texas. When the motorcade left Love Field in Dallas, MacNeil was riding with other reporters in a press bus about eight cars behind the presidential limousine. [2] As the bus moved down Houston Street, the reporters heard a loud noise which some people interpreted as coming from a firecracker. MacNeil thought it was a shot. Other reporters said "no" or were not sure. A few seconds later, two more explosive noises re¬sounded through the bus. MacNeil stood up and said, "They were shots! Stop the bus! Stop the bus!"
The bus was by then turning the corner from Houston Street onto Elm. The driver opened the door and MacNeil jumped out. No one else followed him. Although the presidential limousine was no longer in sight, MacNeil quickly realized that there had been a shooting. The air was fi lied with screams and cries; people on both sides of the street had thrown themselves onto the grass to avoid getting hit. Several police officers and spectators were running up a grassy slope toward a tree-lined wooden fence, apparently in pursuit of a gunman. MacNeil followed them, and ended up at a spot where the wooden fence joined the railroad overpass.
There is a photograph of MacNeil standing among the cluster of people, looking over the fence toward the railroad tracks. [3] At the instant the picture was taken, MacNeil was no longer looking over the fence. Instead, he had turned his head to look over his left shoulder. He was undoubtedly scanning the area for some place that might have a phone. He quickly decided to try the building nearest him, which happened to be the Texas School Book Depository.
He ran in that direction. By the time he reached the front entrance, about four minutes had elapsed since the shooting ended. He managed to find an unused phone in the building and immediately contacted NBC News in New York. His report clearly demonstrates where MacNeil thought the shots came from:

Shots were fired as President Kennedy's motorcade passed through downtown Dallas. People screamed and lay down on the grass as three shots rang out. Police chased an unknown gunman up a grassy hill. It is not known if the shots were directed at the President. Repeat. It is not known if the shots were directed at the President. This is Robert MacNeil, NBC News in Dallas. [4]

Coming from an experienced and reputable newsman, this report adds more weight to the evidence that a gunman was shooting at the President from a front-facing position. Almost twenty years later MacNeil made the following comment concerning his initial impressions, "You follow your instincts and mine led me up the grassy knoll. It is one of the personal reasons I have for paying serious attention to those who claim there were shots from there as well as from the Book Depository." [5]
After finishing his report, he immediately went outside and made inquiries. He quickly learned that the President had been hit in the shooting and was taken to the emergency room of Parkland Hospital. Realizing that he was stuck in Dealey Plaza, while the story was developing at the hospital, MacNeil tried to think of some ready means of transportation. No cab was in sight, but there were cars moving through the plaza via Main Street. MacNeil ran out to that street and stopped the first car that came along. After explaining his situation to the driver, he offered him five dollars to take him to the hospital. The driver accepted the offer, and MacNeil got into the car. At the newsman's urging, the driver broke speed limits racing to the hospital. Arriving just ahead of the bus that dropped him off at Dealey Plaza, MacNeil paid the driver five dollars and rushed inside. He managed to find an unused pay phone and kept NBC apprised of up-to-date developments. After the departure of Mrs. Kennedy with her entourage and the casket, MacNeil spent the rest of the afternoon keeping up with the news by watching TV with his colleagues. When a picture of Oswald was broadcast, MacNeil had no flash of recognition. [6] Later that night, he observed Oswald as he was being led down the corridor of police headquarters. Looking into his face, MacNeil saw "a strange, frightened smirk." [7] It never occurred to MacNeil that he might have seen this face several hours earlier on the steps of the Book Depository not until a year and a half later, when he received a phone call from Manchester.

DID MACNEIL SEE OSWALD AS HE WAS LEAVING THE BOOK DEPOSITORY?

Considering the importance of the MacNeil-Oswald en¬counter to the thesis of Manchester's work, it is indeed remarkable that the only mention of it occurs in the chronological section of his book: "12:33 p.m. [Oswald] Leaves Depository by front entrance, pausing to tell NBC's Robert MacNeil he can find a phone inside; thinks MacNeil is a Secret Service man." [8]
The above notation treats the encounter as if it were a settled fact; yet behind the facade of historical accuracy is a multitude of uncertainties. MacNeil has never positively stated that he saw Oswald; Oswald never mentioned speaking to a reporter at the Book Depository. What grounds did Manchester have for including that brief chronological entry?
In order to understand how Manchester discovered this incident, it is essential to realize that his source is actually a composite of two statements. Both MacNeil and Oswald described an incident in which the central feature was a request for directions to the nearest telephone. Because the time and place of each account were virtually congruent, it is therefore not unreasonable for Manchester to suppose that both men were talking about the same thing. To see how this is possible, let us first examine what MacNeil had to say in his book The Way We Were, copyrighted 1988:

I ran to the right and into the first building I came to that looked as though it might have a phone. It was the Texas School Book Depository. As I ran up the steps and through the door, a young man in shirt sleeves was coming out. In great agitation I asked him where there was a phone. He pointed inside to an open space where another man was talking on the phone situated near a pillar and said "Better ask him." I was inside and asked the second man, who pointed to an office at one side. I found a telephone on the desk. Two of the Lucite buttons were lit up. I punched another, got long distance and was through to the NBC News Radio desk in about ten seconds. [9]

To identify the young man as Oswald, Manchester had to compare the details in MacNeil's story to some remarks made by Oswald to a member of the Secret Service, Thomas Kelley. The following is an extract from Kelley's report:

At the time he (Oswald) asked me whether I was an FBI Agent and I said that I was not that I was a member of the Secret Service. He said when he was standing in front of the Textbook Building and about to leave it, a young, crew-cut man rushed up to him and said that he was from Secret Service, showed a book of identification, and asked him where the phone was. Oswald said that he pointed toward the pay phone in the building and that he saw the man actually go to the phone before he left. [10]

The circumstantial similarities that appear in both statements seem to justify the notion that MacNeil and Oswald were indeed together for a brief conversation. These similarities are: (1) MacNeil asked a man on the front steps of the Book Depository where he could find a phone. Oswald was in front of the same building when a man came up to him and asked for the location of a phone. (2) The man whom MacNeil spoke to was young and wearing a shirt. Oswald was 24 years old and had on a shirt. (3) Oswald spoke to a man who must have been wearing a suit and tie as befits a Secret Service agent; MacNeil was wearing a suit and tie.
Yet here the similarities end. The differences in the other details bring intractable difficulties upon any attempt to recon¬cile them into a single incident: (1) The man whom Oswald spoke to had a crew-cut; MacNeil's hair was long enough to comb down; (2) Oswald spoke to a young man; MacNeil at the age of thirty-two was older than Oswald by eight years, It is not likely that Oswald would refer to MacNeil as "a young man," (3) MacNeil was wearing a press badge, whereas the man whom Oswald spoke to was not wearing a badge; instead he had a "book of identification" which he had to pull out of a pocket, most likely the inside pocket of his suit coat. (4) The man made a declaration to Oswald that he was a member of the Secret Service; his credentials must have also indicated that he was Secret Service. This one fact alone should dispel any speculation that Oswald spoke to MacNeil.
Although superficially similar, the statements of MacNeil and Oswald are actually two separate and distinct descriptions of two entirely different episodes. Under normal circum¬stances, it would have been a remarkable coincidence to find two very similar incidents occurring at nearly the same time at virtually the same location. But the assassination was an event that completely shattered the ordinary routines of daily life. All of a sudden the need to communicate became overwhelmingly urgent, putting a huge demand on every available telephone in the area. There must have been quite a few people criss-crossing through Dealey Plaza in the search for telephones. The Book Depository would naturally have been one of the most obvious places to look. It should not be surprising to find one phone search incident at the Book Depository closely followed by another.

DID OSWALD GET ON A BUS AT 12:40?

According to the Warren Commission, Oswald was seen at 12:32 by Mrs. Reid on the second floor of the Book Deposi¬tory. At 12:40 he boarded Cecil McWatters' bus and was recognized by a fellow passenger named Mrs. Bledsoe, who used to be his landlady. The Warren Commission reasoned that he went out the front door at 12:33 and walked at a rapid pace to Murphy Street where he boarded the bus. No witnesses have come forward to confirm this mode and direction of escape. Manchester's dubious attempt to strengthen the official version by manufacturing an encounter between MacNeil and Oswald only served to emphasize its weakness.
Even more damaging to the government's reconstruction of Oswald's movements is Sylvia Meagher's carefully reasoned analysis of the contradictory statements of the witnesses who supposedly saw Oswald on the bus. [11] While a recapitula¬tion of her analysis is beyond the limits of this article, it is sufficient to say that Meagher came to believe that neither Oswald nor Bledsoe rode on McWatters' bus that day. The accumulating weight of evidence demonstrates without a doubt that Oswald neither took a hike down Elm Street, nor did he get on a bus at Murphy Street; it also reinforces the credibility of Deputy Roger Craig, who insisted that Oswald got away in a car driven by a dark-skinned man.

WHO WERE THE THREE CALM MEN?

Having thus established that Mac Neil did not see Oswald on the front steps of the Book Depository, we can now return to their statements to see what direction they take us in our quest to discover the truth of the assassination. To supplement the details of the MacNeil story quoted earlier, I am providing below the complete text of the written statement that he submitted to the FBI:

Just before the shooting of the President in Dallas on November 22, I was riding in the first press bus of the motorcade, some seven or eight cars behind the President. On hearing the shots I got out of the bus immediately and followed some police officers who were running up the grass slope to the right of the road and which the President was shot. We climbed a fence and I followed the police who appeared to be chasing someone, or under the impression they were chasing after someone, across the railroad tracks. Wanting to phone news of the shooting, I left there and went to the nearest place that looked like an office. It was the Texas School Book Depository. I believe I entered the front door about four minutes after the shooting. I went immediately into the clear space on the ground floor and asked where there was a phone. There were, as I recall, three men there, all I think in shirt sleeves. What, on recollection, strikes me as possibly significant is that all three seemed to be exceedingly calm and relaxed, compared to the pandemonium which existed right outside their front door. I did not pay attention to this at the time. I asked the first man I saw a man who was telephoning from a phone by a pillar in the middle of the room where I could call from. He directed me to another man nearer the door, who pointed to an office. When I got to the phone, two of the lines were lit up. I made my call and left. I do not believe any police officers entered the building before me or until I left. I was in too much of a hurry to remember what the three men looked like. But their manner was very relaxed My New York news desk has since placed the time of my call at 12:36 Dallas time.

[s] Robert MacNeil
NBC New Correspondent
New York
November 30, 1963 [12]

This account is basically consistent with the recent version, except for one conflicting detail. In the 1988 version, MacNeil addressed his query concerning the location of a phone to a man on the front steps, who "pointed inside to an open space where another man was talking on the phone situated near a pillar." In the 1963 version, MacNeil asked the first man he saw a man who was telephoning from a pillar" where he could call from. The man paused long enough to direct him to a second man who was standing nearby. It is a small, but important point. If the man who said "Better ask him" was on his way out, then it is possible that the man was indeed leaving the building at 12:33. On the other hand if the man who said "Better ask him" was himself on a telephone, then he could not have been leaving until after he finished his cal1, or sometime after 12:33. The main effect of the inconsistency in the 1988 version is to make MacNeil's story more compatible with the official version. Perhaps the best way of explaining this discrepancy is to consider the effects of an aging memory which oftentimes distorts a man's recollections. In any case, we should adopt the standard practice of historians, who select the earliest versions as the most reliable.
The most striking detail in the early version is the eerie calmness of the three men he found inside the building. [13] MacNeil's amazement at this strange placidity is indicated by the way he repeated this observation for emphasis. As a group, the three men must have been united by a common purpose. Whatever that purpose might have been, it must have had something to do with the assassination. Any other purpose whether it be business-related or personal would have been swept aside by the crescendo of chaos just outside the front entrance. These men not only had prior knowledge of the assassination plot, but also they were performing some indispensable part in it. Their unexcitable demeanor is a distinctive trademark of disciplined agents trained to carry out a special mission.
Thus the question of who the man was who aided MacNeil in his search for a phone broadens to his two companions. Who were these three men? Let us see how far we can narrow the range of possibilities by examining the clues contained in the 1963 statement.
One thing that should be noted is the free and casual manner by which the three men occupied their surroundings. They could not have been strangers who had just walked in off the street. Their familiarity with the ground floor of the Book Depository is indicated by their precise and ready knowledge of the location of telephones. Only employees who come to work on a regular basis could have acquired such a comprehensive awareness of incidental details. Therefore the three men must have been workers whom other employees in the building would have recognized. On the 22nd of November there were sixty-nine people who came to work that day. Of that sixty-nine, thirty-six were women and twenty-three were men. Thus our field of inquiry narrows from an infinite range of possibilities to less than a couple dozen.
Of the twenty-four men who came to work, nine had gone outside to watch the motorcade. The other fifteen were either the inside the building at the time of the shooting or had gone inside immediately afterwards. Three of these men were management personnel: Steve Wilson, Otis Williams, and Roy Truly. Steve Wilson, the manager of a publishing company, remained in his office on the third floor. Otis Williams was standing on the steps of the Book Depository when the shooting occurred. Immediately afterwards he went inside and headed for the back stairs and climbed them up to the fourth floor in order to see the activity at the Triple Underpass, where he thought the shots originated. Roy Truly went up to the roof with Officer Marion Baker where a gunman was thought to be posted. Thus we can eliminate Wilson, Williams, and Truly as being among those who were on the ground floor when Robert MacNeil came in.
The remaining eleven men were all warehouse workers. Eight of these warehouse men were Negroes. Although MacNeil did not specifically mention skin color, we can be sure that he would not have omitted such an obvious characteristic in his description of the three men. Thus the eight black workers can be eliminated from consideration. This leaves five men: Jack Daugherty, William Shelley, Billy Lovelady, Wesley Frazier, and Lee Harvey Oswald.
Jack Daugherty could not have been one of the three, for he was up on the fifth floor during the shooting and came down at 12:33 by means of the west freighter. As soon as he came down, he immediately got in a discussion about the shooting with a fellow worker named Eddie Piper, a Negro warehouseman. [13] Daugherty would not have had time to stand with two other men by the pay phone, when MacNeil came into the building.
We can rule out Oswald as one of the three men for two reasons. For one thing MacNeil did not later recall seeing Oswald before, when he saw him that same night at the police station. Since MacNeil was close enough to the three men to interact with two of them, MacNeil would most likely have remembered Oswald if he were one of the three. Furthermore Oswald was on the second floor at least until 12:32 or 12:33. He would not have been able to go down the stairs and lounge around with two companions by the time MacNeil came in at 12:34. When taken together, these considerations make a strong argument that Oswald was not one of the three.
Thus through a process of elimination, we have remaining three warehouse workers: Shelley, Lovelady, and Frazier.

WHERE WERE SHELLEY, LOVELADY, AND FRAZIER?

When the shooting occurred at 12:30, a news photographer named James Altgens took a picture of the presidential limousine under fire. In the background, standing on the front steps, was Billy Lovelady. At 12:31, two women, Victoria Adams and a fellow worker, came down the stairs in the back corner of the building. They saw two men near the two freight elevators. They knew them as Billy Lovelady and William Shelley. [15] At 12:32 Police Officer Marion Baker and warehouse manager Roy Truly came rushing in to go up to the roof. Before going up the stairs, Truly paused to tell Shelly to guard the stairs and elevators to make sure no one uses them. [16] At 12:33 a brown suit coat man, who was previously seen by Carolyn Walther on the fifth floor standing next to a gunman, was seen by Worrell rushing out the back door. The brown suitcoat man was seen by another witness named Richard Carr getting into a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man. [17] In order to get out of the building, he must have used the west freight elevator and passed in front of Shelley and Lovelady. At 12:34 or 12:35 MacNeil came in looking for a telephone. He saw three calm men by the pay phone. From the position where the two women saw Shelley and Lovelady – about five feet east from the east elevator and about twenty feet from the back wall [18] – to the middle of the room where the phone was located, the distance was about twenty to thirty feet. The ground floor was all open space.
According to an affidavit that Shelley submitted to the sheriff’s office, he made a phone call to his wife shortly after the shooting ended. [19] The earliest he could have made this call was at 12:33. It would have taken only a few seconds to walk to the pay phone from his location near the east elevator.
The latest he could have finished his call would have to be before 12:40. According to an FBI report, Oswald told his interrogators that just before his departure form the scene he had a five to ten minute conversation with Shelley outside the building. [20] Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Craig saw Oswald getting away in a Nash Rambler at a time which was either 12:40 or 12:45. Thus the time when Shelley finished his call would be sometime between 12:35 and 12:40. This corresponds with the time when MacNeil was in the building.
Since Lovelady was with Shelley near the stairs and eleavtors, it would be quite natural for him to follow him to the pay phone.
As for Frazier, he told the Warren Commission that at 12:00 noon he went out to the front steps with Shelley and Lovelady and stayed “pretty close” to them while waiting for the appearance of the President. [22] When he was asked to account for his movements after the shooting, Frazier siad that he went back inside to a spot near Shelley’s office and “talked with some guys . . . right near the telephone.” [23]
The strange calmness that MacNeil noticed in the men he saw would be an apt description for the behavior of Shelley, Lovelady, and Frazier. When the two women came down the stairs to the ground floor, they saw Lovelady and Shelley and announced to them that the President had been shot. They made no reply. [24] Neither did they any move from their spot by the stairs and elevators. They were still there when Baker and Truly came in about a minute or two later. [25] Their lack of activity or comment indicates indifference or else a dedication to some unknown task. Frazier also seemed to have a lackadaisical attitude toward the pandemonium going on outside. After spending a few minutes talking to fellow workers near the telephone, he had the odd notion of going down into the basement to eat his lunch alone. He spent about ten minutes down there. [26]
The phone call that Shelley made occurred within a ten minute interval of time separting two improtant events. One was the escape of the brown suitcoat man out the back door of the Book Depository at 12:33. The other was the departure of Oswald at 12:40 or 12:45 in a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man. Because of Shelley’s close proximity to both incidents, it is likely that his phone call was not an innocent one. Given his key location at the center of conspiratorial activities, it is more probable that the purpose of his phone call was to report the safe departure of the brown suitcoat man and to confirm Oswald’s need for a driver to take him away from the area. Linking Oswald to the brown suitcoat man was the fact that both of them left in a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man. Linking Shelley to the conspiracy was his close proximity to the escape of the brown suitcoat man and to the escape of Oswald. That Frazier and Lovelady were closely associated with Shelley at this time is an indication of their complicity as well.

WHO WAS THE MAN THAT OSWALD SPOKE TO?

According to the Warren Report, all Secret Service agents remained at their posts during the race to the hospital. None stayed at the scene of the shooting, and none entered the Texas School Book Depository at or immediately after the shooting." [27] The first agent to arrive in the area came about 20 to 25 minutes after the shooting.
There is however a lot of evidence indicating that unknown men were impersonating Secret Service agents. When Ser¬geant D.V. Harkness went to the rear of the Book Depository building at 12:36, he found some agents already there. I didn't get them identified. They told me they were Secret Service agents." Police officer J.M. Smith found a suspicious man in the parking lot behind the grassy knoll, who claimed he was a Secret Service agent and even displayed his credentials. [28] Roger Craig talked to a man on the front steps of the Book Depository who also claimed he was with the Secret Service. [29]
Officially there were no agents in the area at the time when Oswald came out of the building. Yet the man whom he encountered said he was one, and even took out a book of identification. Evidently, the man was a conspirator, posing as an agent.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

The following is a chronology of events [30] which puts the MacNeil and the Oswald incidents within the context of what was happening in the Texas School Book Depository (some of the following times are approximations):

12:25 Electrical power goes out (6H1395, Geneva Hine). The two freight elevators are stuck on the fifth floor.
12:29 The brown suitcoat man is seen standing next to a gunman on the fifth floor.
12:30 Lovelady is photographed by an AP photographer at the front entrance, viewing the assassination.
12:31 Lovelady and Shelley are seen near the freight elevators by Adams and a fellow worker.
12:32 Shelley receives instructions from Truly to guard the elevator. Truly and Baker go up the stairs to search the rooftop.
12:33 Electrical power restored. Brown suitcoat man comes down from fifth floor using west elevator. He leaves by the back door. He is next seen by Richard Carr entering a Nash Rambler.
12:34 Shelley makes a phone call. Frazier and Lovelady are nearby.
12:34 MacNeil enters the building looking for a phone. He sees three calm men.
12:35 Oswald comes down from the second floor; goes outside, where he talks with Shelley for five or ten minutes. On his way out he pauses to help a Secret Service man (?) find a telephone.
12:45 Oswald is seen leaving in a Nash Rambler.

The observations of people like Hine, Walther, Adams, Truly, Baker, Worrell, Carr, MacNeil, and Craig are like snapshots of suspicious activities in progress. Looking at any one of these snapshots in isolation does not tell us very much, and in some instances are totally baffling in what they are said to be depicting. Yet when these snapshots are lined up in their proper chronological sequence, they reveal a distinct pattern of conspiracy and how it unfolded at the Book Depository. That concatenation of snapshots leads not to Cecil McWatter's bus; but rather it leads to a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man.

Notes

1. Robert MacNeil, The Right Place at the Right Time (Little, Brown and Co.: Boston-Toronto, 1982), p. 213.
2. MacNeil, Right Place, pp. 198-212.
3. Robert MacNeil, The Way We Were (Carroll & Graf: New York, 1988), p. 195.
4. MacNeil, Right Place, p. 208.
5. MacNeil, Right Place, p. 214. MacNeil's views on the assassination have not been consistent. In 1980 he endorsed the book of pro-conspiracy author, Anthony Summers. In 1988, he was on a talk show supporting the findings of the Warren Commission. See the article "Disinformation: Fun with Bob, Dick, and Larry" by Jan R. Stevens in the March 1989 issue of The Third Decade.
6. MacNeil, Right Place, p. 213.
7. MacNeil, Right Place. p. 214.
8. William Manchester, The Death of a President (Harper and Row: New York 1967), p. 279. Pierce Allman, who was a reporter for WFAA-TV in Dallas, told the Secret Service that he went into the Book Depository in search of a phone. He said Oswald himself directed him to a phone. According to Allman, the incident occurred just as Oswald described it to inspector Kelley. For some reason which I am not aware of, Manchester chose to believe that MacNeil was the man whom Oswald spoke to, and not Allman (CD 354).
9. MacNeil, The Way We Were, p. 196.
10. 24H479.
11. Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact (Bobbs-Merrill, 1967), pp. 75 82).
12. FBI report by Gerald V. Carswell and James 1. Rogers on 12/3/63, File No. NY 89-75.
13. WR 52.
14. Meagher, Accessories, pp. 25-27.
15. Roger Craig, When They Kill a President, unpublished manuscript.
16. 6H388 (Adams).
17. Shelley affidavit, 24H226.
18. For an analysis of the movements of the brown coat man, see Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas (Bernard Geis, 1967), pp. 237-244.
19. An excerpt from the FBI report concerning Oswald's meeting with Shelley is in "The Transplantation of the Texas School Book Depository" in the Sept. 1993 issue of The Third Decade.
20. 61-1266 (Craig).
21. For more information on the events of this chronology, please see my previous articles in the following issues of The Third Decade: Nov. 1992; May 1993; and Sept. 1993.

#2 Frank Agbat

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 05:54 PM

Interesting article!

One quick point, and a question:

1) You mention 69 people came to work: 36 women, 23 men. This adds to 59, not 69. Also, in a sentence later, you refer to "twenty four" men. Your later math points toward 24 men, not 23... (9 outside, 15 inside).

2) The power-outage you mentioned appears as cited in the WC report. Has this been investigated to any depth? I find this to be another one of those convenient coincidences that seem to pop up all the time when studying this case. A power outage would have not taken out all the phones, but it would have shut down PBX-based phones, elevators, lights, etc.

#3 John Dolva

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 06:22 PM

Interesting article!

One quick point, and a question:

1) You mention 69 people came to work: 36 women, 23 men. This adds to 59, not 69. Also, in a sentence later, you refer to "twenty four" men. Your later math points toward 24 men, not 23... (9 outside, 15 inside).

2) The power-outage you mentioned appears as cited in the WC report. Has this been investigated to any depth? I find this to be another one of those convenient coincidences that seem to pop up all the time when studying this case. A power outage would have not taken out all the phones, but it would have shut down PBX-based phones, elevators, lights, etc.



Thats an interesting thing to have happen. What could the benefits be?(maybe deserves a separate thread?)

To have communications shut down seems pointless as a head poked out the window shouting would do the trick. Whats left? Machinery and lights?

Elevator makes sense to control movement between floors. A limited number of 'lookouts' so in order to cut down on 'work': switch power off?

Lights? an illuminated room will expose persons inside more to outside. And looking through glass out to a sunlit area is perhaps less easy when looking from a lit room?

Where was the switchbox located? Would an inspection of it as result of power outage take one away from upper floors/staircases/elevator? If switch is on low floor (12.25) then a dash up to sixth floor to shoot is silly, hence conspiracy indicator?

Edited by John Dolva, 19 December 2005 - 02:15 AM.


#4 Francesca Akhtar

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:26 AM

Thanks for posting that article, I had not read it before. I look forward to reading your forthcoming article on the TSBD. I have read some of your other work, you kindly sent me an article on the TSBD some months back. Your point about the 'three calm men' raises some interesting questions indeed. Do you believe the story of Loy Factor as told in the book 'The Men on the Sixth Floor'? Seems like these three men could have been part of the hit team he describes.
He also said that the shooters exited through the back door of the building just like the 'brown suitcoat man' that Worrell saw going out the back.
Francesca

#5 William Weston

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:00 AM

I made an error with the numbers. My survey came from Commission Exhibit 1381, which had the FBI reports of all those who worked there that day.

There were 25 men that worked in the building:
Daniel Arce, O.V. Campbell, Jack Cason, Warren Caster, Jack Daugherty, Wesley Frazier, Charles Givens, James Jarman, Carl Jones, Spaulding Jones, Herbert Junker, Roy Lewis, William Lovelady, Joe Molina, Harold Norman, Lee Harvey Oswald, Eddie Piper, William Shelley, Edward Shields, Roy Truly, Lloyd Viles, Troy West, Bonnie Ray Williams, Otis Williams, and Steve Wilson.

There were 15 warehouse workers: Daniel Arce, Wesley Frazier, Charles Givens, James Jarman, Carl Jones, Roy Lewis, William Lovelady, Harold Norma, Lee Harvey Oswald, Eddie Piper, William Shelley, Edward Shields, Troy West, and Bonnie Ray Williams.


The electrical control panel was in the basement. I believe Frazier was the one turning off the electricity since he went down into the basement after the assassination to “eat his lunch.”


I think Loy Factor is a false confessor like James Files.

#6 Duke Lane

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:44 AM

... The electrical control panel was in the basement. I believe Frazier was the one turning off the electricity since he went down into the basement after the assassination to “eat his lunch.” ...

Hmmm ... an interesting theory that someone would drive LHO into work, provide testimony that would not tend to incriminate LHO (i.e., the bag LHO was carrying was shorter than what was shown him), but actually, Frazier himself was part of the conspiracy and was tending to exonerate LHO to keep suspicion from himself? I'm not sure how that follows. Is it possible to be suspicious of too many people?

#7 Lee Forman

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:32 PM

Great article. Needs some additional thought.

Perhaps this is Steve Wilson in the 3rd floor window, as seen in one of the 2 Dillard shots.

- lee

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Date 1/9/64

STEVEN F. WILSON, Office Manager, Allyne and Bacon, Inc., 301 Texas School Book Depository Building, advised at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, employees of his office had gone to view the Presidential motorcade on the corner of Elm and Houston Streets, and due to a heart condition which he has had, he opened the blinds on the third floor opposite from his reception desk and viewed the Presidential Motorcade as it proceeded north on Houston Street and then west on Elm Street. Due to a large tree being in the way, he could not view the entire procession, but as his view became obstructed, he heard three distinct shots which he thought came from a rifle, and subsequently it was determined that the President had been shot.

WILSON advised he discovered later that the President had been shot, but he had not seen or heard anything unusual in the immediate area surrounding his office, and when questioned as to any knowledge he might have concerning LEE HARVEY OSWALD, he stated he did not know OSWALD and did not, in fact, subsequently remember seeing him in the Texas School Book Depository Building. However, he noted he could have possibly seen him one or two occassions in the lunchroom located on the second floor of the building.

Mr. WILSON could offer no information of subsequent value in this matter.


Edited by Lee Forman, 19 December 2005 - 04:49 PM.


#8 Duke Lane

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 05:37 PM

Great article. Needs some additional thought.

Perhaps this is Steve Wilson in the 3rd floor window, as seen in one of the 2 Dillard shots.

- lee

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Date 1/9/64

STEVEN F. WILSON, Office Manager, Allyne and Bacon, Inc., 301 Texas School Book Depository Building, advised at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, employees of his office had gone to view the Presidential motorcade on the corner of Elm and Houston Streets, and due to a heart condition which he has had, he opened the blinds on the third floor opposite from his reception desk and viewed the Presidential Motorcade as it proceeded north on Houston Street and then west on Elm Street. Due to a large tree being in the way, he could not view the entire procession, but as his view became obstructed, he heard three distinct shots which he thought came from a rifle, and subsequently it was determined that the President had been shot.

WILSON advised he discovered later that the President had been shot, but he had not seen or heard anything unusual in the immediate area surrounding his office, and when questioned as to any knowledge he might have concerning LEE HARVEY OSWALD, he stated he did not know OSWALD and did not, in fact, subsequently remember seeing him in the Texas School Book Depository Building. However, he noted he could have possibly seen him one or two occassions in the lunchroom located on the second floor of the building.

Mr. WILSON could offer no information of subsequent value in this matter.

It is he, no question. See his rather lengthy statement of 3/18/64 beginning here.

#9 Duke Lane

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 05:52 PM

I am currently working on a new article regarding the TSBD.

In that article I make the assumption that the reader has read my previous articles on the TSBD. I do not know how many readers of this forum has read those articles, so I would like to offer an old one here, and possibly more in the future. The following is an article that was printed in the Fourth Decade, Nov. 1994. It contains a section on Shelley, Lovelady, and Frazier that Jerry Rose left out, I guess because he thought it was too slanderous. So here it is, complete.

I think Weston meant "libelous" (think "L-EYE-bel" which is written, seen with the EYE; slander is spoken), and I think he's right about why Jerry left that part out. Before making the serious charge that people had "foreknowledge of the assassination," were "complicit," "united in purpose" with something that "must have had something to do with the assassination," and were "link[ed] to the conspiracy," one really should do more homework and rely more on original material than anything quoted in a book (that is not the author's original work). Let me give some very fine examples:

First, he cited a Commission Exhibit for the number of people who worked at the TSBD. If he had read the first page of CE1381 (at 22H331), which is a cover letter signed by J. Edgar Hoover and dated April 3, 1964, which states in part: "Enclosed for your assistance are two copies each of 73 signed statements obtained from those individuals known to have been in the Texas School Book Depository Building on November 22, 1963. ... Statements were not obtained from the following three [TSBD] employees as they were absent from work on November 22, 1963: Mrs Joseph A. (Vickie) Davis, Mr Franklin Kaiser, Mrs James L. (Dottie) Lovelady." Don't forget to add one more employee who was at work and obviously did not provide a statement: Lee Oswald. (In reality, two of the 73 statements were from TSBD personnel who worked at the North Houston warehouse and had not been to the 411 Elm location that day. That leaves 72 employees including Oswald.)

That may be a minor point, but it is one obtainable by reading a mere two paragraphs of the original source document that you cited. An elementary mistake such as this necessarily leads one to wonder what other, more substantial mistakes there might be in the words ahead. There are many.

He cited William Shelley's affidavit at 24H226, which does indeed mention his making a telephone call to his wife after the shooting, but it is certainly not detailed enough to even suggest when he made it. Notice that Shelley made two affidavits the same day; they are published as pages 59 and 60 of CD2003 and are, in fact, on the same page of Volume 24. If one were to read the second one to the exclusion of the first, one might get a totally different idea of what Shelley did and when.

The first affidavit reads:

Today [at] approximately 12:30 pm November 22, 1963 I was standing on the front steps at 411 Elm watching the President in the parade. The President's car was about half way from Houston Street to the Triple Underpass when I heard what sounded like three shots. I couldn't tell where they were coming from. I ran across the street to the corner of the park and ran into a girl crying and she said the President had been shot. This girl's name is Gloria Calvery who is an employee of this same building. I went back into the building and went inside and called my wife and told her what happened. I was on the first floor then and I stayed at the elevator and was told not to let anyone out of the elevator. I left the elevator and went with the police on up to the other floors. I left Jack Dougherty [sic] in charge of the elevator.

Now, forget you read that, and read the second one, made the same day:

Approximately October 10th or 12th, 1963 a man by the name of Lee Oswald w/m/21, came to work wher [sic] I do. I was put in charge of him by Mr. Truly to show him what to do. I have been working close with this man since he has been there. This man stayed by him-self [sic] most of the time, and would go for a walk at noon time. Lee would bring his lunch and usually eat with us in the lounge and read the paper. He would usually read about politics. Today I arrived for work about 8 am and went about my usual duties. Lee was already filling some orders just outside my office. I saw him periodically all morning with the exception of when we were on the sixth floor. At noon I started eating my lunch in my office and I went outside to see the President. XX [cross-out] After the Presidents [sic] accident, I started checking around and I'XX [cross-out] missed Lee. I ask [sic] Mr. Truly about him and He [sic] told me he had not seen him. I didn't see Lee until the Police brought him in to the Police Homicide Bureau. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [cross-out]

To read the second affidavit only, one could easily get the impression that (1) Oswald was not on the sixth floor at all that day ("I saw him periodically ... except when we were on the sixth floor"), and (2) that Shelley immediately started looking for Lee right after he'd seen the President's "accident."

Since Weston cited CE1381 (where he had discerned - or not - the number of people working at the TSBD, quoted above), Bill Shelley also submitted a sworn statement on March 18, 1964, to the FBI regarding what occurred on November 22:

... On November 22, 1963, I left my office in the [TSBD] and walked just outside the front entrance of the building to watch the Presidential Motorcade pass. This was about 12:15 PM. I recall that as the Presidential Motorcade passed I was standing just outside the glass doors of the entrance. At the time President John F. Kennedy was shot I was standing at this same place. Bill N. Lovelady who works under my supervision [at] the [TSBD] was seated on the entrance steps just in front of me. I recall that Wesley Frazier, Mrs. Sarah Stanton and Mrs. Carolyn Arnold, all employees of the [TSBD], were also standing in this entrance way [sic] near me at the time Pres. Kennedy was shot. I did not see Lee Harvey Oswald at the time Pres. Kennedy was shot.

... Immediately following the shooting, Billy N. Lovelady and I accompanied some uniformed police officers to the railroad yards just west of the building and returned through the east side door of the building about ten minutes later [emphasis added]. I remained in the building until about 1:30 PM when I was asked to go to the Dallas Police Dept. to furnish an affidavit. I returned to the [TSBD] Building about 5 PM. I did not leave the building until about 7 PM that day.

Lee Harvey Oswald worked under my supervision. He was at work when I arrived for work on November 22, 1963 at about 8 AM. I specifically recall seeing Oswald on the first floor about 11:50 AM this day. He was going about his regular duties filling orders at that time. I did not see Oswald again after this until I saw him at the Dallas Police Dept.

I emphasized Shelley's statement that he and Lovelady went to the railroad yards with "some uniformed police officers" didn't go back into the building until "about ten minutes later" not only because the latter statement speaks directly to the theory that Shelley was the man MacNeil saw on the phone, but because this is the only mention of "accompanying" police officers to the railroad yards.

Shelley also testified before the Warren Commission (6H327 et seq.). Before examining that testimony, let first look briefly at what Billy Lovelady and Buell Frazier said in their own affidavits and statements:

LOVELADY
Lovelady said in his November 22 affidavit that he was working on the sixth floor along with Danny Arce, Jack Dougherty, Bill Shelley and Charles Givens, and that when the motorcade came by, he was standing with Bill Shelley on the steps in front of the building. After the shooting, he said, "we" (presumably meaning him and Shelley) went back into the building and then he took some police officers up to search the building.

In his March 19 statement he recalled that Shelley and Sarah Stanton were standing next to him. After the shooting, he ran "toward the spot where President Kennedy's car had stopped," and that he and Shelley stayed in that area for "approximately five minutes" before going into the TSBD via the west doors. Several minutes later, a cop asked them to remain in the building, and at about 1:45 he and several other employees accompanied an officer to City Hall for questioning. He returned at 4:30 to pick up his coat and went home.

Without referring to the other information available, one could get the idea from reading Lovelady's affidavit only that the shots rang out and "we" turned around and went inside, then took police upstairs. Reading his statement alone, he appears to have run down Elm Street toward the Triple Underpass and gone inside a few minutes later. In one account, he doesn't go anywhere but helps cops search the building, and in the other he runs into the plaza and then the only role he plays with the cops is to provide a statement at headquarters.

FRAZIER
Frazier's November 22 affidavit talks a lot about driving Oswald to work; as far as what happened in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the final paragraph (only) says that he was stading on the front steps, that he heard three shots after JFK "had got out of my sight," and that he then stood there a while, then turned and went back into the building to get his lunch. He last saw Lee at about 11:00 a.m. when they were both working on the first floor.

His March 18 statement says only that he was standing on the front steps with Shelley and Lovelady, did not see LHO during the parade and shooting, and left the TSBD "sometime between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM and went directly home.

(For their parts, the people mentioned by these guys - and by each other - were pretty consistent as to who was with them.)

Both Shelley and Lovelady stated that they went to the railroad yards (Shelley alone having first crossed the Elm Street Extension, the dead-end street directly in front of TSBD), and then into the TSBD via the west entrance. While their affidavits read as if they went directly back into TSBD after the shooting, both said in their later statements that they were in the railroad yards for a few minutes ("about ten" for Shelley and "about five" for Lovelady). This discrepancy in timing will remain in all instances.

As for their testimonies:

SHELLEY (April 7, 1964)
Shelley said (6H328) he heard three shots. Asked "Then what happened?" by Joseph Ball, he said "Gloria Calvary from South-Western Publishing Co. ran back up there crying and said 'The President has been shot' and Billy Lovelady and myself took off across the street to that little, old island and we stopped there for a minute." By the "island," he was referring to the strip of land that is the eastern end of Dealey Plaza between Elm Street and the Elm Street Extension. He estimated that it was about "3 or 4 minutes" after the shooting before he and Lovelady crossed the street "because this girl [Gloria Calvery] that ran back up there was down near where the car was when the President was hit." Asked later how long they had been on the divider "island" (6H331), he said it "wasn't very long ... maybe a minute or two."

They "ran out on the island while some of the people that were out watching it from our building were walking back and we turned around and we saw an officer [M.L. Baker] and [Roy] Truly [who] were at the first step like they were fixin' to go in ... they were moving," he said, but wouldn't swear to them running (6H329-30). When Truly and Baker were headed into the building, soon thereafter to encounter Oswald in the domino room, Shelley and Lovelady were still out front, across the extension at the corner of the plaza. Shelley confirmed this again (6H331).

After stopping at the corner of the plaza for a minute, the two then "walked on down to the first railroad track there on the dead-end street and stood there and watched them searching cars down there in the parking lots for a little while, and then we came in through our parking lot at the west end [of the building]" (6H330). Again, Ball sought to confirm what Shelley was saying. He asked how long they were actually in the railroad yards before going back to the buidling, and Shelley responded, "not very long ... I wouldn't say over a minute and a half," (it had been ten before!) and that they took their "good old easy time more or less" walking back to the building (6H331).

LOVELADY (April 7, 1964)
Lovelady (6H338) said he thought he heard firecrackers and that "it didn't occur to me what had happened until this Gloria [Calvery] came running up to us and told us that the President had been shot." Ball asked him what he did then:

Well, I asked who told her. She said he had been shot so we asked her was she for certain or just had she seen the shot hit him or — she said yes, she had been right close to it to see and she had saw the blood and knew he had been hit but didn't know how serious it was and so the crowd had started towards the railroad tracks back, you know, behind our building there and we run towards that little, old island and kind of down there in that little street. We went as far as the first tracks and everybody was hollering and crying and policemen started running out that way and we said we better get back into the building, so we went back into the west entrance on the back dock had that low ramp and went into the back dock back inside the building.

Lovelady said that it was "approximately 3 minutes, I would say" before Calvery came up to them, which Ball commented "is a long time," to which Lovelady replied "Yes, it's — I say approximately; I can't say because I don't have a watch; it could." He did confirm that he left the steps with Shelley, that they didn't leave the steps until Calvery had come running up to them, and stated "I would say we were at least 15. maybe 25. steps away from the building [when] I looked back and I saw him [Truly] and the policeman [Baker] running into the building." Asked how long they were in the railroad yards, Lovelady replied, "Oh, just a minute, maybe minute and a half" (6H339). There's that old time discrepancy again.

FRAZIER
Buell Wesley Frazier first testified before the Commission on March 11, 1964 (2H210-245). In it, he indicates that he had been working at TSBD only since September, 1963, and that he had obtained the job after moving up from Huntsville, a small city about 50 miles north of Houston (now most famous for housing Texas' Death Row) because his father was ill, and that he was referred to it by an employment agency after a fruitless job search on his own ... a heck of a way for a "conspirator" to get a job!

Given his association with Oswald and his driving him into work that day, quite a bit of his testimony is devoted to the ride to and from Dallas and Irving, the "curtain rods" parcel, and what Oswald was wearing. He did note, however - this being important only to Weston's later attribution of suspicion to Frazier's going into the basement - that he had gone "like I did every morning, I went down in the basement there and hung up my coat and put up my lunch" in a refrigerator kept there for that purpose. He later notes that, after the parade had gone by, he realized that he'd only had ten minutes left for lunch - lunchtime was from 12:00 noon until 12:45 each day, so Frazier noticed the time at approximately 12:35 ... at about the same time as it's estimated that MacNeil came into the building - and so had gone down to hurry to eat his two sandwiches and an apple.

Frazier went outside shortly after noon and stood on the steps with Shelley and Lovelady until the parade came by, also noticing "Sarah something" (2H233), a "heavy-set lady who works upstairs ... I don't know her last name" standing nearby. He heard sounds he thought were backfires - first one, then two more - and when he saw people "running everywhere, and falling down and screaming," he concluded that "somebody else, somebody was shooting at somebody and I figured it was [the President]."

Frazier stood still. He explained why: "I figured it was somebody shooting at President Kennedy because people were running and hollering so I just stood still. I have always been taught when something like that happened or anywhere as far as that it is always best to stand still because if you run that makes you look guilty sure enough." Effectively, he froze: he hardly noticed anything that went on around him. He "believed [that] Billy [Lovelady] and them went down toward that direction," and as for cops entering the building while he was still standing there, he said "Not that I know. They could walk by the way and I was standing there talking to somebody else and didn't see it" (2H234).

Then he went inside and stood around on the first floor for a few minutes before thinking about lunch: he had two sandwiches and an apple downstairs, and only ten minutes left to eat them. So he went downstairs, wolfed down the sandwiches and came back upstairs, re-joining "the guys" who he'd been talking with before.

Most of the rest of Frazier's testimony - including this deposition at Dallas on July 24 (7H531) - dealt more with Oswald than with himself or anything he had done, seen or experienced (his incident with the DPD over his ownership of an Enfield rifle was never discussed, for example), the latter exchange being wholly about the "package" Frazier had seen Oswald with. We unfortunately - "unfortunately" mostly on account of the accusation leveled against him by Weston - learn little about his movements through his testimony, statements or affidavits, which all centered mostly on Oswald due to Frazier's familiarity with and proximity to him.

OTHERS
Roy Truly (who, incidentally, rated LHO to be "a bit above average" as a worker, who "kept working and talked little to anybody else. He just kept moving. And did a good day's work" - 3H216) testified before the Commission on March 24, 1964. In his testimony, he said there was "an explosion ... nothing happened at this first explosion. Everything was frozen. And immediately after, two more explosions ... I heard a policeman in this area along here [where he was standing] make a remark, 'Oh, goddam,' or something like that. I just remember that. It wasn't a motorcycle policeman. ... just moments later I saw a young motorcycle policeman run up to the building, up the steps to the entrance of our building. He ran right by me. And he was pushing people out of the way. He pushed a number of people out of the way before he got to me. I saw him coming through, I believe. As he ran up the stairway--I mean up the steps, I was almost to the steps, I ran up and caught up with him. I believe I caught up with him inside the lobby of the building, or possibly the front steps. I don't remember that close. ... I ran in with him."

In this portion of his testimony (Truly was also deposed at Dallas on May 14), he mentions Shelley once in the context not of telling him to guard the elevators, but to ask him if he'd seen Oswald anywhere (3H230), and a couple of times in telling of the finding of Oswald's clipboard on December 2 (3H234 et seq.). Truly said he'd "noticed" Shelley standing among a group of "boys" - which is not pejorative for blacks, if you follow everyone's testimony; it is merely a colloquialism).

Marrion Baker, the police officer who encountered LHO on the second floor, also testified before the Commission (and was later deposed in Dallas) the morning after Roy Truly did. He noted that the Presidential limo was turning onto Elm Street just as he, Baker, was turning onto Houston from Main. They were going quite slow - he estimated at "5 or 6 or 7 miles an hour because you can't hardly travel under that and, you know, keep your balance." He had, in fact, nearly lost his balance when he'd made that turn because of a stiff northerly wind, but managed to correct himself. About "some 20, 30 feet, something like that" (3H245) or "60 to 80 feet there, north of the north curbline of Main on Houston" ((3H246) is when he heard the first shot; when he heard the "two extra shots," he revved the motorcycle up and sped the remaining 180-200 feet (3H247) to the northwest corner of Elm and Houston where he parked his bike.

From this point, we know that it took Baker from one minute and 15 seconds (1:15) to one minute and eighteen seconds (1:18) to reach the second floor. Their original intent was to ride one of the elevators to the top floor, but neither elevator was on the first floor, so Baker suggested taking the stairs after Truly had yelled up for the elevators twice. After the encounter in the domino room, he and Truly ascended to the fifth floor by stairs, then took the east elevator to the sixth floor and continued up to the 7th floor and the roof. Baker estimated ((3H261) that they'd been on the roof "a little over five minutes." They then descended again to the sixth floor and rode the elevator to the ground floor and got off. Baker then went out of the building "immediately" (3H262) . He makes no remarks at all about Shelley, or about Truly's having anyone guard the elevator.


Truly mentioned Shelley in connection with Warren Caster's bringing his guns to the TSBD a few days before (Shelley was there - see 7H382), and again in wondering if he'd seen Oswald (7H383). There was much use of the word "elevator" in his testimony, but it was not in connection to anyone guarding it. We therefore cannot state with any certainty when - or, absolutely, even if Truly told Shelley to guard the elevator except that we have no real reason to doubt Shelley.

What we can discern, however, is that Truly did not tell Shelley to guard the elevator immediately after the shooting because:

1. There was no elevator at the bottom floor when Truly and Baker first entered the building for him to tell anyone to guard;
2. Truly was upstairs for at least five minutes before he and Baker came down, so even if the west elevator was downstairs, Truly wasn't there to tell anyone to guard it;
3. Shelley and Lovelady both stated that they had walked into the railroad yards and remained there for anywhere from a minute and a half to five minutes before coming inside;
4. A minute and a half after the shooting, Truly was already starting upstairs inside the TSBD, and would not have been down by the time Shelley came inside via the west doors;
5. Truly testified that he saw Shelley after he and Baker reached the ground floor.

Insofar as Weston's article goes about proving that MacNeil was not the "Secret Service" man seen by Oswald, and showing the time that he had actually been inside the Depositor, I think he did a creditable (and credible) job. But insofar as identifying the "three calm men," he is clearly far afield - actually, from all accounts, it seems as if there were many "calm" men hanging around on the first floor even if they weren't as "excessively calm" as to draw MacNeil's notice - and has done a disservice to the three men he identified those "three calm men" as being, especially insofar as their having "prior knowledge of the assassination" and being "complicit" in any way. It is easy to understand why Jerry Rose excised this portion of the article from The Fourth Decade.


While we are on the road toward almost totally demolishing this scenario (Jack White, are you paying close attention to my "disinformation?" My "mentor Dave Perry" would be proud if you did, and tickled pink if you called it that!), let's visit a few other items.

Weston notes that, at 12:25 "electrical power goes out," citing 6H1395, Geneva Hine's testimony. He says that the two elevators are "stuck at the fifth floor." If one reads Hine's testimony (6H395), one finds that she had seen Kennedy up close before and offered to answer phones while the other girls went outside to see him because she had been the phone receptionist before the TSBD company had moved to 411 Elm. Her actual words in this regard were in response to Joe Ball's questions about what she was doing before the shooting. She describes the phone system saying that they had "three incoming lines, then we have a warehouse line and we have an intercom system." They did not have a switchboard system as they had in the previous location.

Geneva was alone in the office after her boss, Otis Williams, decided to go outside "for five minutes" as he expected the motorcade would be along soon. Then: "I was alone until all the lights went out and the phones became dead because the motorcade was coming near us and no one was calling." Why did the phones go dead? She said it: "no one was calling." What lights went out? For that answer, let's return to the cited MacNeil account:

I was inside [looking for a phone] and asked the second man, who pointed to an office at one side. I found a telephone on the desk. Two of the Lucite buttons were lit up. I punched another, got long distance and was through to the NBC News Radio desk in about ten seconds.

Get it? They had three lines on one of those old black phones with clear "Lucite buttons" on it that indicated which lines were in use. MacNeil saw that two were lit up; the one he punched was "out," that is, not in use. Hine said: "... until all the [Lucite] lights went out and the phones became dead because ... no one was calling."

This is clearly a reference to the lights on the phone, not the lights in the building. If the building lights had gone out all at once and the phone was really "dead" (i.e., no dial tone, calls cut off, etc.), clearly this would have elicited more excited commentary from her. I mean, c'mon: the President's coming so the utilities are all cut off? Give me a break! No, give her a break and credit her with just a little more brains than that!

(To find out more about possible power outages, check a sheriff's deputy's testimony about riding up on an elevator a few minutes after the shooting and seeing "a plain clothes officer like me" coming down the stairs with a rifle.)


We have already visited the issue of how many people were working in the TSBD building, including those who didn't work for the TSBD company: Weston reported "On the 22nd of November there were sixty-nine people who came to work that day," (see below) while J. Edgar Hoover, in the same cited CE1381 (beginning at 22H331) discussed the seventy-three people "known to have been in the Texas School Book Depository Building on November 22, 1963," two of whom were not in that building (but were employed by the TSBD company at their warehouse a few blocks away on Houston Street), and not (obviously) including Lee Oswald.

Someone else (and I apologize to the author for not remembering at the moment who he is!) pointed out the obvious error in math that "of that sixty-nine, thirty-six were women and twenty-three were men," which adds up (36+23=59) to ten less than cited, which is again at least four less than stated by Hoover (not including Oswald) and three less than the actual (?) number of people who were employed in that building.

In the "process of elimination," Weston tells us that "Of the twenty-four men who came to work, nine had gone outside to watch the motorcade. The other fifteen were either the inside the building at the time of the shooting or had gone inside immediately afterwards." From that, we can reasonably discern that only nine men had gone outside, or that of the remaining 15, some unspecified number had gone outside(!) and "gone inside immediately afterwards." So ... how many of these men (whose numbers don't add up to either 69 or 72 or 74) "went outside" or "went outside" AND "gone back inside immediately afterwards?"

The correct answers are:

Total number who gave statements: 73

Females: 47
Males: 26

White: 17
Black: 9

Total: 73

Not at TSBD: 5

Worked at Houston St warehouse: 3 (Aiken, Shields and Webster)
Day off: 1 (Palmer)
Out of town: 1 (Caster)

Workers present at TSBD who stayed inside: 19

Females: 11
Black Males: 6
White Males: 2

Workers who went outside: 49

Females: 35
Black Males: 2
White Males: 12

Couldn't or didn't get back in: 14

Females: 11
Black Males: 1
White Males: 2

Came back inside: 33

Females: 22
Black Males: 1
White Males: 10

Return is unclear: 2 (females)
Total: 73
NOTE: All of the females were white except one who stated she was "Indian" (don't know if is Native American "Indian" or "from India").

Thus, assuming that all of the men inside the building were in fact employees (in their statement, all but one employee noted that they did NOT see any strangers inside the building, the sole exception being an 80-year-old "elderly" gentleman who asked to use the bathroom, noted by Danny Arce), there were a total of seven black men and and 12 white men, for a total of 19 men. Since two (Jones and Junker) didn't return from lunch until 1:00, we can reduce that number to 17 for the purposes of determining who MacNeil may have been referring to as "excessively calm" when he was in TSBD.

Note that throughout most of their statements, affidavits and testimony, the race of various people was seldom mentioned by these Southern people: "guys," "boys" and "men" were not often distinguished according to race ("boys" not being a pejorative description of black men). If Southerners did not often distinguish, we cannot automatically assume that because MacNeil - a Yankee who may well not have paid as much attention as Southerners to color - did not say "black men" does not necessarily mean that they were white men, and it is even less likely that if the men he referred to were of mixed races he would have made such a distinction (e.g., "two white men and a black man"), thus we cannot "eliminate" black men as being among the three "excessively calm" men ... or that they could not all have been black.


With respect to MacNeil's observations of "where the shots came from," Weston tells us that his "report adds more weight to the evidence that a gunman was shooting at the President from a front-facing position" because he filed a statement saying:

Shots were fired as President Kennedy's motorcade passed through downtown Dallas. People screamed and lay down on the grass as three shots rang out. Police chased an unknown gunman up a grassy hill. It is not known if the shots were directed at the President. Repeat. It is not known if the shots were directed at the President. This is Robert MacNeil, NBC News in Dallas. [4]

Presumably, these are the comments that MacNeil made in his phone call to the New York news desk and were recorded by them. Weston seemingly ignores the fact that MacNeil was on the press bus and was not, therefore, in a position to determine what direction the shots had come from other than "from outside the bus." They were not to his left or to his right or directly ahead of him, they were merely "outside the bus." MacNeil himself said that his "instincts" led him to follow the people who were racing up the grassy knoll, which is basically to say that he reacted to what other people were doing, not to what he, himself, heard. It does not in any way, shape or form indicate MacNeil's own observation of where the shots came from, which in turn lends no weight to anything at all.


While Weston clearly put some energy and thought into this account, by not searching just a little farther into original sources, he has arrived at an unsupportable conclusion, once certainly not strong enough to paint Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier as "conspirators" who were "complicit" and had "prior knowledge of the assassination plot." One can only hope that his other articles, including that upcoming, do not rest on this faulty study to draw further conclusions ... and that he'll use these forum pages to apologize (posthumously, in two cases) to those he's wrongly accused.

#10 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 09:19 PM

[
While Weston clearly put some energy and thought into this account, by not searching just a little farther into original sources, he has arrived at an unsupportable conclusion, once certainly not strong enough to paint Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier as "conspirators" who were "complicit" and had "prior knowledge of the assassination plot." One can only hope that his other articles, including that upcoming, do not rest on this faulty study to draw further conclusions ... and that he'll use these forum pages to apologize (posthumously, in two cases) to those he's wrongly accused.



Wow. Not since the glory days of Leo Sauvage, Harold Weisberg and Sylvia Meagher has anyone written with such encyclopaedic (sp) knowlege of the events in Dealey Plaza as Duke Lane has in this thread. It is also admirable indeed that he defends three innocent people. There is hope for us yet.

I should also thank Willam Weston for inspiring Mr. Lane to rise to the occasion.

#11 William Weston

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 04:41 PM

Lane has delivered a defense of Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier that is certainly impassioned but it falls short in addressing the points I raised in my article. I will reiterate those points below. But first I want to say something about this forum, and other forums like it. Those who read and generate messages on this form are like jurors in a jury box. We are also prosecutors, defenders, and judges. We look at the evidence and then evaluate it. If after a fair and impartial assessment of the evidence, any of us deems someone to be guilty in the plot to kill President Kennedy, and I do not care how small a minority such people may be, we should not hesitate to say so. Personally, I have looked at the evidence in I believe a fair and impartial manner, and I say that Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier are guilty, and I do not hesitate to call them murderers in print or in public to their faces. Accusations of libel or slander have no effect on me, nor should they have on anyone else who wants to join me in condemning them. Of course, we do not have the power to mete out the punishment that they deserve, yet we can ostracize them, and at least that is something.

How do we determine whether someone is guilty or innocent? The method we use is to see if their stories hold up. If they are innocent, then what they say will be truthful with no inconsistencies. If someone has inconsistencies in their stories or if they say things that are certainly not true, then they are guilty. Truth and innocence go hand in hand, just as crime and falsehoods go hand in hand.

Now let us look at the points that Lane has failed to address.

According to Victoria Adams, she and Sandra Styles came down the stairs and got to the first floor about a minute or two after the shooting. At the bottom of the stairs she said they saw Shelley and Lovelady. Adams said “I believe the President’s been shot.” They made no response. The commotion outside apparently made no effect on them. Obviously if Shelley and Lovelady were innocent people taken by surprise by the events outside they would want to see what happened. Something else held those two men by the elevators. I believe they had a duty to perform. Their silent indifference to Adams statement is evidence that they were indeed the calm, indifferent men seen by Robert MacNeil.

Marion Baker said he saw two white men by the elevators. If they were not the same two men that Adams saw they who were they?

Now Shelley said that, “Immediately following the shooting, Billy N. Lovelady and I accompanied some uniformed police officers to the railroad yards just west of the building and returned through the east side door of the building about ten minutes later.”

Did Shelley go back inside as Adams’ and Bakers’ statements would indicate or did he stay outside as Shelley’s own statement would indicate? Will Lane call Adams and Baker liars in order to defend Shelley and Lovelady? Or can he reconcile Adams and Bakers’ statements to theirs? If he tries to do so, then that requires time that would keep them inside the building on the first floor until the arrival of MacNeil.

I do not dispute that Shelley and Lovelady went outside. Oswald said to the police that he was with Shelley shortly before his departure from Dealey Plaza five to ten minutes after the shooting. Yet Shelley said he did not see Oswald after 11:50. How does Lane reconcile these statements? Some people think Oswald was innocent. Does Lane want to risk the label of libeler to say otherwise?

Finally, Frazier has manifested inconsistencies in his statements, yet I think it would suffice at this point to ask Lane if he thinks someone eating lunch all alone in the basement with no windows to view the outside reasonable behavior for someone innocent and totally surprised by the shooting yet had no curiosity to find out what happened.

To me suspicious behavior, story inconsistencies, and outright falsehoods indicate suspects guilty of a crime. Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier are guilty, and I will say that as often as I need to.

#12 Jack White

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 05:25 PM

Duke...thanks for a well-organized presentation of the inconsistencies
in the various testimonies, especially the memories of time frames.

I agree that such inconsistencies don't necessarily indicate complicity,
but neither do they imply innocence as you suggest. For instance,
I do not find enough evidence to implicate Lovelady, but on the
other hand, there is enough evidence to be suspicious of Frazier...
not that he was "involved"...but that he certainly KNEW much more
than he testified to.

I find interesting that you did not comment on the most glaring
statement by Lovelady:

quote....

LOVELADY
Lovelady said in his November 22 affidavit that he was working on the sixth floor along with Danny Arce, Jack Dougherty, Bill Shelley and Charles Givens, and that when the motorcade came by, he was standing with Bill Shelley on the steps in front of the building. After the shooting, he said, "we" (presumably meaning him and Shelley) went back into the building and then he took some police officers up to search the building.
In his March 19 statement he recalled that Shelley and Sarah Stanton were standing next to him. After the shooting, he ran


"toward the spot where President Kennedy's car had stopped,"


and that he and Shelley stayed in that area for "approximately five minutes" before going into the TSBD via the west doors. Several minutes later, a cop asked them to remain in the building, and at about 1:45 he and several other employees accompanied an officer to City Hall for questioning. He returned at 4:30 to pick up his coat and went home.
Without referring to the other information available, one could get the idea from reading Lovelady's affidavit only that the shots rang out and "we" turned around and went inside, then took police upstairs. Reading his statement alone, he appears to have run down Elm Street toward the Triple Underpass and gone inside a few minutes later. In one account, he doesn't go anywhere but helps cops search the building, and in the other he runs into the plaza and then the only role he plays with the cops is to provide a statement at headquarters.

...unquote

If Lovelady is being truthful and accurate, why do you have no comment on this
statement WHICH ALL ALONE PROVES THE Z FILM A FABRICATION? The Z film does NOT
show the limo stopping! This statement is far more valuable than his poor estimate
of how much time passed.

Again, thanks for the nice narrative which shows many glaring inconsistences in
witness "time estimates".

Jack

#13 Duke Lane

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:44 PM

Duke...thanks for a well-organized presentation of the inconsistencies in the various testimonies, especially the memories of time frames.

I agree that such inconsistencies don't necessarily indicate complicity, but neither do they imply innocence as you suggest. For instance, I do not find enough evidence to implicate Lovelady, but on the other hand, there is enough evidence to be suspicious of Frazier... not that he was "involved"...but that he certainly KNEW much more than he testified to.

Thanks, Jack! In all of the testimony I've read, I can only recall a couple of instances where the deponents have been allowed to carry on a monologue or lengthy discourse; Jack Ruby was one such exception.

The vast majority of deponents, however, were subject to direct question-and-answer interrogation. When the next question comes rolling around, you answer; you don't elaborate on a previous answer - or return to a previous question because you suddenly remembered something - unless you're asked to.
If Frazier knew or knows more than he testified to, it is because he wasn't asked.

After all, how many citations can we compile of people whose testimony was moving along "unprofitable" lines was suddenly "sidetracked" by counsel? "Well, Oswald was standing next to me when the President ---" "Now, what time do you normally come to work, and did you come to work that day at the same time, Mr Doe?" "Oh, I usually come in at 8:00, but that day --" "That's 8:00 and not 8:30 like everyone else? Why is that?" ... "Well, no further questions, thank you for coming."

I find interesting that you did not comment on the most glaring statement by Lovelady:

LOVELADY
... recalled that Shelley and Sarah Stanton were standing next to him. After the shooting, he ran "toward the spot where President Kennedy's car had stopped," and that he and Shelley stayed in that area for "approximately five minutes" before going into the TSBD via the west doors.

If Lovelady is being truthful and accurate, why do you have no comment on this statement WHICH ALL ALONE PROVES THE Z FILM A FABRICATION? The Z film does NOT show the limo stopping! This statement is far more valuable than his poor estimate of how much time passed.

Jack, you've done perspective studies before, and can no doubt calculate how far the Z-film shows the limo to have moved forward while the brake lights were on. You can probably tell us the dimensions of the rear of the limo as well, and the speeds that it was going before the lights came on and after.

Given those calculable things, tell us how much the rear of the limo would have decreased in perceived size (objects that move away from an observer appear smaller as they get farther away, larger as they get nearer) to an observer as far away as the end of the divider "island" between Elm Street and the extension that goes in front of TSBD ... which was, what, 100 feet away? 150?

I didn't find it to be a significant statement because Lovelady was behind the limo and could not discern the forward movement of the vehicle.

That brake lights came on for a couple of seconds on a slow-moving vehicle, I would posit that it is reasonable to perceive that it stopped because the "size" of the vehicle did not perceptibly change. You can see movement in the Z-film, however, solely because it is "side-to-side" motion from Zapruder's perspective.

If it had come to a complete stop and, a couple of seconds later rolled forward just five feet before stopping again, it would have been obvious to someone at the side, but not necessarily to someone a hundred feet directly behind it. Gerry Hemming did a good job of explaining why they came on and the car slowed in another thread here; do a keyword search on "left foot" to find it.

I think hanging your hat on Lovelady's statement is grasping at straws. I didn't consider it as indicative of anything except that Lovelady saw the brake lights come on.

EDIT: PS - I'll respond to timing issues later when I'm able to return to Weston's response.

Edited by Duke Lane, 26 December 2005 - 08:45 PM.


#14 William Kelly

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:54 PM

Duke,

Not being familiar with Wm. Westons other excellent articles, I think you're jumping on him too soon, and being too presumptious about him having to later appologize to anyone.

And WW,

We are looking forward to any and all of your work, especially in regards to the TSBD.

Those who aren't familiar with his other articles should read them (Jerry Rose's Third/Fourth Decade), especially Oswald in Wisconsin and The Man in the Brown Suit.

Two witnesses not mentioned in The Man in the Brown Suit, a husband and wife who stood near Brennan, and saw two men in a window - one in a brown suit - (Arnolds? ) - Can somebody give me their name (possibly from Six Seconds In Dallas) and help determine if they are still alive?

Thanks,

Bill Kelly
bkjfk3@yahoo.com

#15 Duke Lane

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 12:50 AM

[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM'][Duke] Lane has delivered a defense of Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier that is certainly impassioned but it falls short in addressing the points I raised in my article. I will reiterate those points below. But first I want to say something about this forum, and other forums like it. Those who read and generate messages on this form are like jurors in a jury box. We are also prosecutors, defenders, and judges. We look at the evidence and then evaluate it. If after a fair and impartial assessment of the evidence, any of us deems someone to be guilty in the plot to kill President Kennedy, and I do not care how small a minority such people may be, we should not hesitate to say so. Personally, I have looked at the evidence in I believe a fair and impartial manner, and I say that Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier are guilty, and I do not hesitate to call them murderers in print or in public to their faces. Accusations of libel or slander have no effect on me, nor should they have on anyone else who wants to join me in condemning them. Of course, we do not have the power to mete out the punishment that they deserve, yet we can ostracize them, and at least that is something.

How do we determine whether someone is guilty or innocent? The method we use is to see if their stories hold up. If they are innocent, then what they say will be truthful with no inconsistencies. If someone has inconsistencies in their stories or if they say things that are certainly not true, then they are guilty. Truth and innocence go hand in hand, just as crime and falsehoods go hand in hand.[/quote]I think it's unfortunate that Mr Weston has chosen to invalidate whatever "research" he has done - and undermine his own credibility - by stating, in effect, that his conclusion, based upon the limited information he has evaluated, is "correct" simply because he says so. He has chosen to use a rather limited set of data - witness affidavits made on the day of the shooting during a period of "complete pandemonium" in the sheriff's office (60 or more affidavits were taken that afternoon amid other routine and assassination-related activities) - to arrive at his conclusion, and invites everyone to take part in a "public stoning" of people he has, alone, tried and convicted as prosecutor, defender, judge and jury, a regular one-man band.

I don't know what world he lives in, but in the one I inhabit, even the most truthful people are sometimes inconsistent. But to Weston, inconsistency is a clear sign of guilt, part of something which he calls a "fair and impartial" evaluation.

Weston may believe that "accustions of libel or slander have no effect" on him, but he should be forewarned that the "long arm of the law" is even longer on the Internet. The Shelley-Lovelady-Frazier issue aside, it is clear that he hasn't done his homework. See Bochan v. LaFontaine on this very same subject.

That said, let us now "look at the points that Lane has failed to address:"
[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM']According to Victoria Adams, she and Sandra Styles came down the stairs and got to the first floor about a minute or two after the shooting. At the bottom of the stairs she said they saw Shelley and Lovelady. Adams said “I believe the President’s been shot.” They made no response. The commotion outside apparently made no effect on them. Obviously if Shelley and Lovelady were innocent people taken by surprise by the events outside they would want to see what happened. Something else held those two men by the elevators. I believe they had a duty to perform. Their silent indifference to Adams statement is evidence that they were indeed the calm, indifferent men seen by Robert MacNeil.[/quote]There are several points in this, so let's begin with the simplest one: Adams said that Shelley and Lovelady said "nothing" when she talked about the shooting. Did she (or could she) testify that "they heard me when I asked?" She didn't even say they acknowledged her, and she didn't say she waited around for them to answer. Remember: everything - in Weston's words, anyway - was "complete panemonium," and it is therefore possible that Shelley and Lovelady did not hear her in the first place.

Styles and Adams were watching the parade with two other women, Elsie Dorman and Dorothy Ann Garner. They were all watching from the third set of windows from the east corner of the fourth floor, Adams specifically in the sixth individual window. Of the four, only Adams was deposed. None provided affidavits on the day of the shooting, but gave statements to the FBI in March 1964. From among these:
  • Sandra Styles states that she and Adams left the office and went downstairs, but does not mention either Shelley and Lovelady, or that either of them had said anything to anyone on the way outside, or whether or not they replied.

  • Elsie Dorman said only that she, Dorothy Ann Garner, Adams and Styles were present in the office on the 4th floor, and that all were employees of Scott, Foresman Company. She did not state that Virginia or Sandra left the room ... so, therefore, did they not?

  • Dorothy Ann Garner likewise did not say that Adams and Styles left the room, ergo we have "corroboration" that (ahem!) "neither Adams nor Styles left the room."
Based on this limited sample, one could (somewhat) reasonably argue that Adams and Styles did not leave the 4th floor and that all the rest of what she and they related is a fabrication. Of course, it is clear that Dorman and Garner wrote only what pertained directly to themselves - where they were and who they were with - and did not record the actions of two of their compatriots. Indeed, Garner said that she "remained on the fourth floor of the building in the Scott, Foresman offices until approximately 2:30 ... at which time I and the remaining employees departed the building." She includes "the remaining employees," presumably including both Adams and Styles, in their departure from the building at the (early) end of the day. Should we find something "suspicious" in her not mentioning Adams and Styles' actions leaving the office after the shooting yet deeming to include them in the departure?

I didn't think so.

As to the supposed "fact" that "the commotion outside made no effect on them" and the "fair and impartial" evaluation that "if Shelley and Lovelady were innocent people taken by surprise by the events outside they would want to see what happened," allow me to relate the "strange" and "disturbing" story of Madie Belle Reese and Ruth Dean, whose actions after the shooting surely bear greater scrutiny by Weston's measure.

Who the heck are Madie Reese and Ruth Dean you might ask? Madie was the 60-year-old office manager for the MacMillen Company officing on the 3rd floor of the TSBD. She had worked with them for 19 years, while Ruth Dean was their 48-year-old receptionist. When the shooting took place, they were situated on "the second step from the bottom to the right or west side of the main entrance of the Depository building," Dean standing to Reese's left. They heard three shots, and Dean observed Kennedy "slump over in the automobile in which he was riding." If Reese saw anything, she did not say so.

After the shooting, during the "panemonium" and "commotion" during which anyone "taken by surprise" would want to "see what happened," the two women stood around for about five minutes and then - gasp! - "walked up to the National Bank of Commerce where I [Reese] completed some personal business!!" Clearly unimpressed or taken aback by watching someone get shot and killed almost right in front of them, these women calmly walked to the bank and took care of personal business when they should have remained milling around in the front of the building like innocent people should and did, or at least should have fled hysterically into the building (only one woman did, by the way ... the only one to have been "taken by surprise?").

If Shelley and Lovelady didn't react according to Weston's expectations, Reese and Dean did even less so, and were apparently every bit as calm and collected as the three "suspiciously calm" men inside. What should we make of this? I wonder what their roles were in the assassination? Could Reese possibly have been going to make the money transfer to Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier's accounts?

There are other similar reports of people going about their business, but none quite so "strange" as this one. We can only hope that someday, someone is able to "get to the bottom of it!"

In closing this portion, I should note that MacNeil did not describe anyone as "indifferent." This is a fabrication by Weston. MacNeil called them "exceedingly calm," but in reality, that was an impression after the fact for he said that he "didn't really notice" the "excessive calmness" at the time.

[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM']Marion Baker said he saw two white men by the elevators. If they were not the same two men that Adams saw they who were they?[/quote]He did? I've just been reviewing his testimony (3H242-70) and don't find any reference to anyone other than Truly on any floor below the 2nd floor. A reference would be helpful. I've mis-remembered things, too; could this be one of those?
[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM']Now Shelley said that, “Immediately following the shooting, Billy N. Lovelady and I accompanied some uniformed police officers to the railroad yards just west of the building and returned through the east side door of the building about ten minutes later.” ...[/quote]My typo: the statement reads "west side door of the building." (CE 1381 pages 84-85 at 22H673) I mistakenly typed "east side door."
[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM']... Did Shelley go back inside as Adams’ and Bakers’ statements would indicate or did he stay outside as Shelley’s own statement would indicate? Will Lane call Adams and Baker liars in order to defend Shelley and Lovelady? Or can he reconcile Adams and Bakers’ statements to theirs? If he tries to do so, then that requires time that would keep them inside the building on the first floor until the arrival of MacNeil.

I do not dispute that Shelley and Lovelady went outside. Oswald said to the police that he was with Shelley shortly before his departure from Dealey Plaza five to ten minutes after the shooting. Yet Shelley said he did not see Oswald after 11:50. How does Lane reconcile these statements? Some people think Oswald was innocent. Does Lane want to risk the label of libeler to say otherwise?[/quote]We have to remember a couple of things: first, that these statements were made four months after the events they describe, and it is therefore possible that some remembered events may not have been in the exact sequence in which they occurred. Second, that of all the people who made particular statements as to the times or timings of when things happened, Virginia Adams' was one that was not timed, purportedly because it would have ruined the Oswald walk/run timing to the second floor lunch room because, by her words, she should have encountered him - or at least heard him - on the stairway; she did not. Third, that it is difficult at best to reconcile a lot of people's statements with what other people did, or said they did. I'll get into this shortly, especially since two events Adams' statements can be clearly reconciled with others ... although the timing still remains questionable. Finally, whatever Oswald supposedly said must be taken with some skepticism because none of it is first-hand and he was given no opportunity to expand on any of it. Indeed, we cannot state with absolute certainty that he actually said any of it, even if we take everyone's word about what he said.

Adams said, in late March 1964, "Sandra Styles and I then ran out of the building by via the stairs [in the northwest corner, the only stairs that led all the way to the 4th floor] and went in the direction of the railroad where we had observed other people running" (22H632). This would seemingly indicate that she went out the west door and southwest toward the Grassy Knoll, since that is where she would have been able to "observe" from her office (sixth individual window from the southeast corner on the 4th floor), and the west door is the closest to it. That is all she said in her statement in this particular regard.

In her deposition on April 7, she said she was on her way out to the Houston Street dock, that is, the east side of the building. First, she went into the stockroom on the 4th floor; then she went to the stairs and began her run down. She encountered no one, and the elevators were not running. She did not see or hear Truly or Baker, or anyone calling for an elevator (which Truly did twice, according to both him and Baker). She estimated (6H388) that it was 15-30 seconds from the time she heard the shots to the time that she left the window, and "no longer than a minute at most" to get from the window to the bottom of the stairs at the first floor where she said she encountered Shelley and Lovelady.

Remember that she didn't see or hear anyone on the stairs, and that it is supposed to have taken Oswald about 1:14 to get from the 6th floor to the 2nd, and Truly and Baker about 1:18 to get to the 2nd floor landing and lunchroom door where they lingered long enough for Truly to identify Oswald before continuing up the stairs. Thus:
  • 12:30:00 - shots are fired

  • 12:30:06 - shots finished

  • 12:30:36 - latest time Adams left the 4th floor window

  • 12:31:21 - Oswald in lunch room

  • 12:31:24 - Truly and Baker at lunch room

  • 12:31:34 - (?) Truly and Baker continue upstairs (allowing 10 seconds for the Oswald encounter)

  • 12:31:36 - Adams reaches 1st floor landing
Clearly, since she was on the same stairwell as Baker, Truly and Oswald were, and Baker and Truly had encountered Oswald only 12 seconds before Adams reached the first floor (one floor below where she should have encountered them as well) ... and remember, they did not go entirely into the room, so it is not as if she could have missed seeing them or, at the very least, hearing them on the stairwell. Truly, for his part, said that he didn't hear the elevators operating while going up the stairs "with all the commotion we were making running up the enclosed stairwell" (3H229).

How could Adams not been aware of anyone else on the stairwell ... unless she was not in the stairwell while any of the three of them were? This means she was in there either earlier or later than they were, and if it were earlier - before Truly and Baker started upstairs - then Shelley and Lovelady were still out front (it was less than a minute after the shooting). So she must have been in the stairwell sometime after either Truly and Baker had reached the 5th floor, ascended to the 7th floor and stopped the elevator (she was adamant that the elevators were not running while she was in the stairwell because she didn't either hear them or see the cables moving). Not having an exact timing of those later movements, we cannot know how long it was before Truly and Baker stopped the elevator and got off such that the stairwell would be quiet once again.

Am I fair in suggesting that it might have taken T&B 10 seconds to ascend each "floor" of stairs, that is, 30 seconds to reach the 5th floor, where they found the east elevator (only)? Should it be a little longer? Shorter? Then perhaps a little less time to go up two more floors (let's say seven seconds per floor; I have no idea how fast the elevator went. That would be a total of about 15 seconds. Thus it is no earlier than 12:32:15 (I'm splitting the time of T&B's encounter with Oswald to 12:31:00) that Adams entered the stairwell at the 4th floor.

We could, of course, argue that, in her flight, she didn't notice the noise of Truly and Baker above her which could skew the time by perhaps as much as 30 seconds, but we don't know that that is what happened. And remember: none of this timing includes whatever time she spent getting to the storeroom on the 4th floor. The point of this exercise, then, is to point out that we don't know exactly when Adams and Styles got to the 1st floor to encounter Shelley and Lovelady.

As for how some people noticed time, see Truly's testimony before the Commission (3H212 et seq.) as to what time it might have been when he noticed Oswald missing and had it reported to Capt Fritz on the 6th floor: it was anywhere from 12:40 to 1:15 or so. If Truly can be so mistaken on a crucial issue such as this by so wide a margin of time, how can we suggest that Adams - and Shelley and Lovelady, whose times for what they did also varied by half - was absolutely dead-on as to how long it took her to do what?

Does that make her a "liar?" You decide: I'd hate to de-construct her testimony and be libelous too!!

As to Oswald being out in front with Shelley (or in the train yards? Remember: we have no transcript of what he said, and only the several-months-old statement by someone who "didn't take notes" as to exactly what he said ... or not; maybe he only said "outside," which was interpreted as "in front?") and why he left, that will save to another time.
[quote name='William Weston' post='49911' date='Dec 26 2005, 09:41 AM']Finally, Frazier has manifested inconsistencies in his statements, yet I think it would suffice at this point to ask Lane if he thinks someone eating lunch all alone in the basement with no windows to view the outside reasonable behavior for someone innocent and totally surprised by the shooting yet had no curiosity to find out what happened.

To me suspicious behavior, story inconsistencies, and outright falsehoods indicate suspects guilty of a crime. Shelley, Lovelady and Frazier are guilty, and I will say that as often as I need to.[/quote]Actually, I don't find Frazier's behavior any more "odd" than Reese and Dean going to the bank amid such commotion. Surely, they, too, must be "guilty" of something, we only have to figure out what!

Is there anything else I've "failed to address?"

Edited by Duke Lane, 29 December 2005 - 12:50 AM.





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