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Sean Murphy

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  1. Sean, was any reason given for blocking the discussion? I am curious now if there are other topics that have been blocked. Richard, No, it's as if the topic doesn't exist. On the (very) rare occasions Prayer Man does get a passing mention, it is strictly in the context of a Cinque-focused discussion. The policy is clear: force an association of Prayer Man with Cinque's nonsense. The editors of Pravda ca. 1975 would have been proud of McAdams's performance.
  2. After several weeks of canvassing hardline Lone Nut Theory believers over on Duncan's forum for credible alternatives to Oswald as Prayer Man, the results are as follows: They've got nothing. They've thrown the world and his brother at that doorway, and not a single suggestion has come close to holding up under close inspection. It started with Steve Barber taking one look at Prayer Man and identifying him confidently as Billy Lovelady. And that about set the standard intellectually for the WC defenders' subsequent suggestions. ** Meanwhile over on alt.assassination.jfk, Lone Nut propagandist John McAdams has blocked discussion of the topic--while happily facilitating endless discussion of Ralph Cinque's barmy Altgens-Doorman claims. Prayer Man is evidently too toxic for Professor Factoid. ** As of this, the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, there remains only one viable candidate for Prayer Man:
  3. David, the most significant words in Truly's 11/22 statement are: "... and he accompanied the officer into the front of the building. They saw no one there..." Why is Truly even telling us this? Because the 'no one' he and the officer saw there, in the front of the building, is in custody. And he's talking.
  4. The story told by Baker is clear and maximally damning of the 'man': He and Truly were coming up the stairs together, Baker leading. As they were reaching the third or fourth floor (i.e. both of them just reaching the landing--not Truly way ahead already halfway up to the next floor), Baker (being in front) was the first to spot a man walking away from the stairway up which Baker and Truly were running. The man had clearly been on his way down when he had heard Baker & Truly running up, so he had turned tail and started walking away from the stairway. But not quickly enough--Baker saw him walking away. Baker immediately called out to him (i.e. without running 20 feet over to a door, opening the door and hollering). The man came back to Baker's location at the top of the stairway. The man, we have been given to understand in no uncertain terms, was escaping down the building by the rear stairway. And that's how Fritz will describe the incident to Curry on 23 Dec: "Baker says that he stopped this man on the third or fourth floor on the stairway" (my emphasis). Fritz, fully a month after the assassination, knows nothing about the second-floor lunchroom incident. This despite the 'fact' that, as he will tell the WC months later, Oswald had personally confirmed the details of said lunchroom incident in custody! Oswald never confirmed the lunchroom incident. Nor did he confirm a rear stairway incident. Instead he talked about an incident at the front entrance. And he was telling the truth.
  5. David, Truly first told the basic second-floor lunchroom story late 11/22. It was, as you note, markedly different to the story told in Marrion Baker's affidavit given several hours earlier. And also markedly different to the first-floor Oswald-officer encounter everyone else had been talking about that day. Sean - can you please cite the source for that... WHO did he tell this too and HOW was it recorded... Here it is, David.
  6. Tommy, The too-good-to-be-true coincidence of Baker's and Brennan's 11/22 descriptions is indeed troubling. I believe Baker went back to City Hall that afternoon and told his superiors the truth: he and the building manager went upstairs and saw and found nothing and nobody. This caused consternation, so Baker was given the 'Oswald' description (as well as the detail as to 'tan jacket', which had come in either from Tippit witnesses or from someone at the Depository imperfectly recalling Oswald's tan shirt [CE151]) and instructed to go on the record with a phoney story about intercepting an employee who was obviously coming down the stairs. Just as Baker was giving this affidavit, Oswald was brought in. Baker was shocked when he recognised the suspect in custody as the man he had met at the front entrance. Up to this point, he had assumed the affidavit was simply a white lie designed to nail a truly guilty man--and a cop-killer to boot. How did Baker react to this sudden revelation that he was being enlisted to frame an innocent man? He refused to make a positive ID of Oswald. And he clammed up for several months.
  7. David, Truly first told the basic second-floor lunchroom story late 11/22. It was, as you note, markedly different to the story told in Marrion Baker's affidavit given several hours earlier. And also markedly different to the first-floor Oswald-officer encounter everyone else had been talking about that day.
  8. Yes, and I think Truly had genuine grounds for reporting Oswald to the police. He had seen this man apparently on his way out of the building before the smoke from the shots had even cleared. And when he came back downstairs from the roof with Baker, he noticed that he was indeed gone. Very suspicious haste on this employee's part to leave the building. So Truly reported Oswald's name to Lumpkin & Fritz as someone who might be involved somehow. But Oswald as the actual sixth-floor triggerman? The very furthest thing from Truly's mind. When it became clear to Truly later that evening just what Fritz was proposing to charge Oswald with, he must have experienced profound shock and disbelief. And when they asked him to put his name to a ridiculous story about the second-floor lunchroom, well... one can only imagine his state of mind.
  9. Chris, the guy in Altgens is Billy Lovelady. Oswald cannot be seen in Altgens, for he is standing slightly behind and to the right of Lovelady--as shown in the Wiegman film. The Altgens Doorman issue has been one big decades-long distraction. It did however throw the FBI into a panic on the evening of the assassination. Oswald in custody was putting himself "out front" at the time of the shooting, and the presence of an Oswald-resembling man on the steps in Altgens seemed to be bearing him out. So they made a beeline to Billy Lovelady's home and, in Lovelady's own words, gave a sigh of relief when he told them it was him.
  10. Either Prayer Man is Lee Oswald or he is a non-TSBD person. The first option makes sense: Oswald, being a TSBD man, emerges from the vestibule to the front steps just as the President is passing the building. At this time everyone else's attention is riveted on the motorcade, so the presence back in the shadows over on the west side of nondescript grunt Oswald goes unremarked. The second option does not make sense: A stranger to the building cannot emerge from the first floor vestibule. They must walk up the front steps in full view of everyone already there and, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb like they might be expected to do, have their presence go completely unnoticed and unremembered. Now why would a total stranger go up the front steps all by their lonesome amidst all these TSBD people? To get a better view than is obtainable from down on the street? Well, if that's the reason then isn't it just a teeny weeny bit odd that Prayer Man, as evidenced in Wiegman and Darnell, makes absolutely no effort to keep the Presidential limousine in view as it proceeds down Elm Street? That Prayer Man is conspicuous precisely by the fact that he has by far the poorest line of sight down Elm Street of anyone in the doorway? Way to secure yourself a better view, non-Oswaldian Prayer Man! ** I'm sorry, but the smart money is still on Prayer Man's being Oswald:
  11. Sean, as part of this scenario (last line bold-faced above), there is an issue which needs to be addressed. The back walls of each elevator were 3/4 walls, with a wire mesh on the remaining 1/4 to the roof. Both elevators were in a single, open air shaft. There was no barrier between them. This means occupants in one elevator could look into the shaft and see the other elevator. Truly certainly would have observed the descending East elevator passing them as the West elevator was ascending. In fact, it would also be difficult for Baker not to have noticed. I am not saying this could not have happened, but rather that the narrative needs to be expanded to encompass this information. It would also imply that Truly and Baker omitted a rather important detail from their testimony. FWIW, there are similar issues to be addressed concerning the elevators movements in the WC version which has the two men going up the stairs. It's a fair point, Richard. The short answer is, they may very well have noticed the east elevator moving but did nothing about it. Just as the story they told the WC has them noticing the west elevator gone by the time they reach the fifth floor--and doing nothing about that. Had Baker and Truly not been leaned on to rewrite their experience on 11/22 and subsequently, the moving east elevator might very well have featured in their statements. All the more so if there had been a way of putting Oswald on that elevator.
  12. Marvin Johnson's account of what Baker told him as he gave his affidavit within hours of the assassination is suggestive of a more physical--and realistic--confrontation I'm lost again, Sean. Who is Marvin Johnson again? Robert, he's the DPD detective who took Baker's affidavit at City Hall that day.
  13. Marvin Johnson's account of what Baker told him as he gave his affidavit within hours of the assassination is suggestive of a more physical--and realistic--confrontation
  14. French Le Figaro correspondent Leo Sauvage was puzzled by press references to Oswald's sipping a coke when the officer saw him. So he asked Roy Truly about it in January 1964. Here's what Truly told him: “From where I stood, I couldn’t see if Oswald held something in his hand” (The Oswald Affair, 1966, p.30). As we know, Truly will change his tune for the WC appearance a couple of months later: Mr. BELIN. All right. Could you see whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald had anything in either hand? Mr. TRULY. I noticed nothing in either hand. Mr. BELIN. Did you see both of his hands? Mr. TRULY. I am sure I did. I could be wrong, but I am almost sure. I did. Why the change? Because it has become painfully clear to the WC investigators that an Oswald with a coke already in his hand is an Oswald with even less time to descend from the sixth floor. ** Now it is this aspect of the coke--the timing aspect--that has tended to exercise most researchers over the years. This is unfortunate, as the significance of the coke's finding its way into the interrogation reports, the newspapers and Marrion Baker's Sep 64 statement goes way beyond a question of mere timing. No, it goes to the heart of the very credibility of the lunchroom story itself. ** Here's why: If Oswald already has a coke when Baker comes into the lunchroom, then Baker's WC story is dead. Because that story depends upon Oswald's being on his way into the lunchroom. If Oswald is already in the lunchroom, then Baker has absolutely no reason to be diverted from his route up the rear stairway. Remember: Baker has nothing close to a line of sight into the lunchroom from his position on the second-floor landing. So there is a whole lot more at stake in Oswald's reported claim (per Bookhout and Fritz) to have already bought (and even started drinking) the coke before the officer came in. ** The options facing those who still believe in the lunchroom story are deeply unattractive. A. If Oswald is telling the truth about the coke, then the following happened: 1. Oswald went into the second-floor lunchroom and bought a coke from the machine 2. Oswald then left the second-floor lunchroom 3. Oswald was then seen by Baker through the door window 4. Oswald went back into the lunchroom to--the coke machine. Utterly absurd. B. If Oswald is lying about the coke, then the following happened: The exact contents of Oswald's lie would be replicated, quite independently, in newspaper reports and in a statement by Marrion Baker. An incredible coincidence. C. If Bookhout and Fritz are misreporting or misremembering what Oswald said in custody, then the following happened: The exact contents of something Oswald never actually said but was falsely said to have said would be replicated, quite independently, in newspaper reports and in a statement by Marrion Baker. Another incredible coincidence. ** Again, I believe a front entrance encounter between Oswald and Baker was transplanted wholesale up to the second-floor lunchroom. At first it included the true-but-transplanted detail about Oswald's sipping a coke when seen by Baker. Oswald's true claim in custody about the coke did not make it into Bookhout and Hosty's joint interrogation report. It did however make it into Bookhout's solo interrogation report, written after the lunchroom switcheroo had been decided upon. In the end, the "sipping coke" detail was eliminated as toxic to the fairy tale. Leaving behind just the interrogation report references, the newspaper references and the Sep 64 Baker statement. But those references are an invaluable resource for us as, fifty years later, we try to reconstruct what really happened.
  15. According to James Bookhout's solo interrogation report, written just after Oswald's demise, Oswald told Fritz "he was on the second floor of said building, having just purchased a Coca-cola from the soft-drink machine, at which time a police officer came into the room with pistol drawn and asked him if he worked there". Fritz himself, in his Interrogation Report for the WC, will back Bookhout's recollection: "I asked Oswald where he was when the police officer stopped him. He said he was on the second floor drinking a coca cola when the officer came in." Both Bookhout and Fritz are clear: Oswald claimed he had already bought the coke by the time the officer came into the room. ** It is not generally appreciated just how deeply problematical Oswald's reported words are for the second-floor lunchroom story. ** First, they harmonise quite uncannily with a story that will appear in The Washington Post on 1 Dec 1963: If this is nothing more than unverified hearsay or a reporter's error, then how exactly did Oswald manage to anticipate its content so uncannily in custody? Argued contrarily: if Oswald never said this in custody, but has had the words put in his mouth by design or accident by Bookhout and Fritz, then how exactly have the words put in Oswald's mouth managed to anticipate so uncannily the Washington Post version of events? ** Secondly we have this, Marrion Baker's September 64 statement: Same problem. "I saw a man standing in the lunch room drinking a coke": How exactly is one to explain the very weird match between these words and the claim reportedly made by Oswald in custody? ** No matter how one spins all this, it's a mess for the lunchroom story. SPIN #1: Oswald really did make this claim in custody, but he was lying. PROBLEM: How then is it that Oswald's lie will manage to reappear with uncanny accuracy in a ) a story written by a national news reporter several days later and b ) Marrion Baker's Sep 64 statement? SPIN #2: Oswald really did make this claim in custody, and he was telling the truth. PROBLEM: If Oswald's claim is true, then Marrion Baker's entire WC account of how he caught his first glimpse of Oswald is untrue. SPIN #3: Oswald never made this claim in custody. PROBLEM: How will a claim that Oswald never made in the first place manage to find its way not just into two interrogation reports but also into a story written by a national news reporter and a statement given by Marrion Baker months later? ** I believe Oswald did indeed tell Fritz that he was standing drinking a coke when the officer came in and asked him if he worked there. But Harry Holmes was right: Oswald didn't put the encounter up in the second-floor lunchroom. He put it at the front entrance of the building. And he was telling the truth.
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