Jump to content
The Education Forum
Greg Parker

the attempted planting of the weapon on oswald

Recommended Posts

I'm getting ready to go on a trip for the next week, so won't be able to respond regularly or have a lot of to add today, but thought I'd field some thoughts while I've got a little while.

Greg, we've discussed this at length, including the notion of the revolver being placed in Oswald's hand as well as by whom (I've tended to believe that it was someone behind him rather than in front of him). Your observations about McDonald are interesting, with the sole exception being that he appears to be a bumbler. Looks can be deceiving, however.

It is interesting to note that it was McDonald who'd proposed, via radio, to "send squad over here to Tenth and Crawford to check out this church basement" at 1:33 (almost 1:34). Dispatch took this to mean "a squad," singular, and broadcast that they "need a squad at Tenth and Crawford," which was acknowledged by Ptl F.S. Williams from District 66, which is immediately to the east of District 78 where Tippit was killed. He apparently wasn't entirely familiar with the area inasmuch as he sought clarification that Crawford was north of Jefferson:

95: Send squad over here to Tenth and Crawford to check out this church basement.

DIS: Need a squad at Tenth and Crawford.

66: 66 en route.

DIS: 10-4.

66(?): Crawford north of Jefferson?

DIS: Tenth and Jefferson.

I've thought about that, and I think he had already obtained the gun, and the suspect had left. Radioing in after that to request a search of the basement would be a good way of covering your butt. The call that should have got a better response was Hill's since he mentions a witness seeing someone enter.

First, a quick note on Unit #66, Williams. If you've seen the radio map, this is directly east of the district where Tippit was killed, separated by the Trinity River and accessible by two viaducts north and south of the latter. According to Russ Shearer's transcript (which is more detailed than Sawyer/Bowles' and apparently accurate enough to be used on John McAdams' site):

  • 66 first indicated that he was "clear" - ready for assignment, presumably in his district - at 12:18
  • He responded to the "Code 3, Elm & Houston" call ("66 en route") at about 12:44
  • He did not indicate via radio that he was going to Oak Cliff after the Signal 19 (shooting) call at 1:16
  • 66 responded to McDonald's ALT call at 1:33
  • Between 2:00 and 2:02, he calls from the Texas Theater requesting dispatch to contact Unit #79 (Billy Anglin) to ask him to return to the theater; dispatch attempts to raise 79, but there is no response
  • Between 2:05 and 2:08, he again calls to request contact with 79 "again" to inform him that "we've got his shotgun;" 79 does not respond

Anglin, of course, was a close friend and neighbor of Tippit, and as I recall he'd gone to Methodist Hospital (Beckley, north of the cross with Zangs) to check on Tippit's condition or to gather his effects. Don't hold me to that, but I mention it simply to note that /a/ it's not "odd" that he didn't respond to these two calls, and parenthetically, that /b/ "there were no shotguns at the theater."

The Abundant Life Temple calls (Part I - McDonald). The idea of McDonald's being a "CYA" call is not preposterous, but seems unlikely given both that a fairly large number of officers were nearby and might have noticed McDonald "slipping into" the ALT, and that because of their proximity, several might well be expected to respond to McDonald's call. What might've happened if several went in and someone already inside wanted to know "what's up" when the cops came in again after McDonald's "search?" A bad CYA, I'd think: if he'd gotten into and out of the ALT without being seen, best to just move on and not mention the place to anyone.

What is not generally known is that there was a very large number of respondents to the "Signal 19" call, including - as I remember the count I'd made - some 40 DPD officers and 20 sheriff's deputies (see DCSO and DPS transcripts prepared by FBI). In addition, the county constable's office was - and is - located at 12th & Beckley. Hill had radioed in having been there, and it is not therefore unlikely that several sworn officers from that department might have joined in the manhunt (I've not been able to find any records of this as yet, but haven't looked very hard either) either as a result of monitoring DPD channels and/or Hill's alerting them. None of the constabulary were interviewed by the WC, and none of their stories have surfaced that I'm aware of. There were, in any case, "swarms" of police in the area as a result of the shooting.

The search for the cop-killer had only just begun. Moving from 10th & Patton, police had begun a search of two houses used for furniture company storage that were situated in the area immediately across the alleyway behind the ALT. During this time is when an unidentified officer also indicated having found a white jacket under one of the cars behind Bellew's Texaco (Crawford & Jefferson, immediately behind ALT), and also one of the gunman's pursuers - can't recall which one - having reported last seeing the shooter running west or northwest behind the Texaco. There were, in short, too many cops with too much of an interest in that immediate area for McDonald to have been successfully surreptitious about getting the killer's weapon, and probably well enough for someone to have noticed him entering and exiting the ALT. Not impossible, just harder.

On the other hand, consider Walker's broadcast in another light, i.e., as a diversion:

McDonald makes the radio call for a squad or squads to check out the ALT; someone (66) responds reasonably quickly. Immediately thereafter, an urgent call is made from the library requesting immediate backup because "he's in the library. I'm going in around the back. Get somebody in front. Get them in fast." The response was immediate: dispatch had barely said "any unit near Marsalis and Jefferson at the library" when squads began to report being en route. How many went the few short blocks without calling in - one wouldn't expect it was necessary under the circumstances - is difficult to ascertain except that the library was "surrounded" and lots of cops either said they were there or were described as being there (e.g., "cops were everywhere ...").

No sooner, in other words, had one cop called attention to the ALT than another called attention away from it, and surprisingly, in the opposite direction from that the shooter had last been seen running. Apparently, the cops on site were convinced enough of this sighting being "the real thing" that acting shift lieutenant Sgt Cal Owens broadcast, "they've got him holed up, it looks like, in this building over here at the corner." If Walker's urgent call to "get somebody in front [of the library, and] get them in fast" wasn't enough to arrest everyone's attention and get them running, what else could have been?

That it could have been a diversion from police attention focusing on the ALT, what such a diversion may have accomplished is an open question I'll address later, when I've got more time (as if I haven't already spent enough on this!). Next, however - a littler later tonight, maybe, or tomorrow - the question of McDonald's being at the library and/or "first" into the theater....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I must say, you put together a great case - and one that may hold some water. However --

Let's address the main problems with it since they concern what you consider the "primary" reasons for your thesis: The alleged snap, and the alleged jammed digit/webbing.

If I left the impression that McDonald's injured hand was a "primary" reason for anything, I apologize. I realize I said that, but it was said in a hurry. It is actually secondary to the supposition inherent to the events described by several officers, in different ways, that the gun was cocked, the hammer drawn back to fire a bullet, which it didn't do for one or another reason. I did also say what that supposition was.

The revolver was single-action, meaning that pulling the trigger when the hammer was at rest did not draw back the hammer and then cause it to be released to strike the firing pin and fire the bullet; instead, the hammer had to be drawn back manually, and the trigger served only to release the hammer. This necessitates that McDonald, if it was he who was attempting to plant the gun on Oswald, would have had to have cocked the hammer before he attempted it to transfer it to Oswald's possession.

That is suicidal. At any point, the trigger could've snagged on something - someone's finger, for example - and fired the bullet into McDonald. As someone professionally familiar with pistols, who used one as a "tool of the trade," I cannot concede that he would have done that, even if he'd been the dumbest cop on the force. Who in their right mind would deliberately put themselves into that kind of danger, even considering that they might only get a flesh wound?

At least two or three officers testified to hearing the gun "snap," including McDonald, and even Bentley's later recollection was that it was his hand that had prevented the gun from firing. Whose hand it was, and whether or not McDonald's received any kind of "hammer wound," the consistent testimony is that it was ready to fire, meaning that it was already cocked before anyone attempted to put it into Oswald's possession. I have to rule out McDonald as being the person who cocked it, period.

(We'll not get into a discussion about whether or not there was actually an indentation on the primer of the bullet, as McDonald and others testified - and Bentley disputed - at this juncture, a tertiary argument at best.)

We would have to agree, I think, that Oswald simply possessing the weapon would most likely not cause the other officers to kill him then (although it very well might today): in order for his killing to be justified, the gun at least had to be fired, more preferably for the bullet to hit someone, and preferably a cop. While some people might suggest that McDonald would attempt to fire it without being hit is to attributed full control over the weapon to McDonald, a proposition fraught with potentially fatal consequences. If he wished any certainty, he'd have simply fired the gun and not put it into Oswald's belt.

On the other side of the coin, if it had been decided by someone that a cop "had to die" for Oswald to be killed while being apprehended, it is more likely that someone other than McDonald was holding that gun, who didn't care about it going off and firing a bullet because he wasn't in the line of fire! That said, the candidates would have been behind Oswsald - and the gun - so that they weren't in the line of fire, and wouldn't be injured or killed. Any of the three men behind Oswald and facing McDonald are candidates.

One of them, like McDonald, had been to the ALT, and the other one could have been. Neither was in a position to get hurt by it firing.

In his usual fashion, [McDonald] made himself the hero of the library debacle. ... No other officer however, placed McDonald at the library, let alone suggested he sorted out the situation.
There was no testimony, other than what the deponent himself may have testified to themselves having done, that placed very many of the officers present at the theater by name at all. Remember that there were at least sixty uniforms there, including 20 sheriff's deputies and possibly some constables. If none were named, does that mean that nobody was there? If only a few claimed that someone other than theirselves was there, does that mean they were the only ones there? I can't recall that anyone testified to anyone having "sorted out the situation," and most assuredly, it is not still going on!

Someone saying that McDonald was not there, or that he'd been somewhere else, might be creditable, but his simply not being singled out and named from among all of the other officers there is indicative of nothing. Someone "sorted out the situation," but was not named; does that mean that he "didn't" sort it out because he wasn't named? (I promise you that the library is not still surrounded!)

In his usual fashion, [McDonald] made himself the hero of the library debacle.

I parked the squad car, took my shotgun, and went to the west basement entrance to the public library.... Just as I got into the squad car, it was reported that a suspect was seen running into the Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson. ...

This fairly well eliminates the possibility that McDonald got the revolver from the ALT between the library call and the theater call anyway; you agree? He'd had to have it before going over to the libary, wouldn't he? If he had it at all, that is?
You note that "other cops were at the theatre ahead of McDonald, but none entered until his arrival;" would you substantiate that please? What was McD's arrival time relative to anyone or everyone else's?
Mr. McDONALD - Well, when I got to the front of the theater there was several police cars already at the scene, and I surmised that officers were already inside the theater.

So I decided to go to the rear, in the alley, and seal off the rear. I parked my squad car. I noticed there were three or four other officers standing outside with shotguns guarding the rear exits. There were three other officers at the rear door. I joined them. We walked into the rear exit door over the alley.

Despite what he alleges is his own surmising - no other officers had entered before him.

Can we credit the testimony of an officer who "in his usual fashion ... made himself the hero" a situation he cannot be substantiated as having anything to do with other than by his own word, by using his own words and (dubious?) surmises?

McDonald said that there were cars at the theater ahead of his arrival past the front; were there?

He "surmised" that the officers in those cars "were already inside the theater," but you say they weren't. If they were parked in front of the theater and not inside, where were they?

On what basis are you saying that they didn't go in the front door, but "waited" for McDonald to go in the back door (which they couldn't see)?

How was McDonald going to signal the other officers from inside the theater that it was okay for them to enter the theater from outside the theater?

If the other officers were, in fact, "waiting" for McDonald to enter, could that only have been because McDonald was bringing the gun in? Could it not equally have been that someone other than McDonald was keeping the other officers at bay so that they could bring the gun in and shoot McDonald (and not accidentally hit anyone else)?

In fact, isn't that more plausible? If, that is, that's even close to the way it all went down?

Ultimately, our points are the same, to wit that police brought the revolver into the theater and attempted to palm it off onto Oswald, somehow causing "the" suspect to die in a hail of gunfire before he could speak a word of protest.
Yup.
If that was the goal, then it seems there are better ways to attain it than having McDonald bring in the gun to palm it off on the unsuspecting suspect in such a way that McDonald himself could have become the victim of his own gun-planting? Wouldn't it be a more direct approach to have someone else bring the gun in and shoot McDonald with it, than having McDonald plant it so he could get shot himself or somehow cause someone else to get shot with it? And how exactly was he going to accomplish the latter when everyone else was outside waiting for his signal to come in? And who was going to shoot Oswald if not McDonald?

These are some of the gaps that need to be filled in your hypothesis. As I said, I think you're better off looking at the folks behind Oswald in the theater than anyone in front of him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duke,

I do find merit in your case even while disagreeing with some your findings in getting there.

Here are all the reasons I had pegged McDonald for the deed. I'll then deal with some of your objections.

1. Was given a specific duty order in Dealey Plaza but abandoned that duty to head for Oak Cliff without consent.

2. Disposed of partner once in Oak Cliff. Remained solo the rest of the day.

3. Lied about being at the library.

4. Led the troops into the Texas Theatre even though others were already there and he lacked seniority.

5. Initially told the media that he was holding a pistol as he made his way to Oswald.

6. Lied about getting a thumb or webbing jammed in pistol.

------------------

YOUR OBJECTIONS

The revolver was single-action, meaning that pulling the trigger when the hammer was at rest did not draw back the hammer and then cause it to be released to strike the firing pin and fire the bullet; instead, the hammer had to be drawn back manually, and the trigger served only to release the hammer. This necessitates that McDonald, if it was he who was attempting to plant the gun on Oswald, would have had to have cocked the hammer before he attempted it to transfer it to Oswald's possession.

That is suicidal. At any point, the trigger could've snagged on something - someone's finger, for example - and fired the bullet into McDonald. As someone professionally familiar with pistols, who used one as a "tool of the trade," I cannot concede that he would have done that, even if he'd been the dumbest cop on the force. Who in their right mind would deliberately put themselves into that kind of danger, even considering that they might only get a flesh wound?

The firing pin was defective. It was never going to shoot anyone. The story of a digit or hand webbing preventing a shot being fired was even dismissed by the WC. The story was concocted so that the claim could be made that Oswald intended to shoot.

------------------

At least two or three officers testified to hearing the gun "snap," including McDonald,

McDonald testified that he heard a snap, but didn't know what it was. Only 2 of the 6 cops claimed it was the snap of a hammer; Hutson, and your man, Walker. Hawkins testified that it was a seat... which is what I believe it was - if it was the type of seat I recall from those days, which indeed did "click" when snapping back.

------------------

We would have to agree, I think, that Oswald simply possessing the weapon would most likely not cause the other officers to kill him then (although it very well might today): in order for his killing to be justified, the gun at least had to be fired, more preferably for the bullet to hit someone, and preferably a cop. While some people might suggest that McDonald would attempt to fire it without being hit is to attributed full control over the weapon to McDonald, a proposition fraught with potentially fatal consequences. If he wished any certainty, he'd have simply fired the gun and not put it into Oswald's belt.

At the risk of sounding like a contrarian, I don't agree that another cop had to be sacrificed in order to kill Oswald. It only had to look like he pulled a weapon - a scene which could be quickly and easily arranged after the fact without any danger.

Oswald did not call out he was not resisting arrest for fear of being roughly handled. It was because he knew a pistol was being planted on him, and that they intended to kill him.

-----------------

There was no testimony, other than what the deponent himself may have testified to themselves having done, that placed very many of the officers present at the theater by name at all. Remember that there were at least sixty uniforms there, including 20 sheriff's deputies and possibly some constables. If none were named, does that mean that nobody was there? If only a few claimed that someone other than theirselves was there, does that mean they were the only ones there? I can't recall that anyone testified to anyone having "sorted out the situation," and most assuredly, it is not still going on!

Someone saying that McDonald was not there, or that he'd been somewhere else, might be creditable, but his simply not being singled out and named from among all of the other officers there is indicative of nothing. Someone "sorted out the situation," but was not named; does that mean that he "didn't" sort it out because he wasn't named? (I promise you that the library is not still surrounded!)

Myers' relatively detailed account of the library fiasco omits any mention of McDonald, if I recall correctly.

And Walker claimed in testimony that he was the one who spoke to and cleared Hamby.

"I parked the squad car, took my shotgun, and went to the west basement entrance to the public library.... Just as I got into the squad car, it was reported that a suspect was seen running into the Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson." ...This fairly well eliminates the possibility that McDonald got the revolver from the ALT between the library call and the theater call anyway; you agree? He'd had to have it before going over to the libary, wouldn't he? If he had it at all, that is?

Only if he was at the library. The lack of mention of him being there by others may mean nothing if they also failed to mention anyone else, or if he had not claimed to have sorted out the situation. That claim in itself should have gotten a mention from someone.

-------------------

Can we credit the testimony of an officer who "in his usual fashion ... made himself the hero" a situation he cannot be substantiated as having anything to do with other than by his own word, by using his own words and (dubious?) surmises?

McDonald said that there were cars at the theater ahead of his arrival past the front; were there?

He "surmised" that the officers in those cars "were already inside the theater," but you say they weren't. If they were parked in front of the theater and not inside, where were they?

On what basis are you saying that they didn't go in the front door, but "waited" for McDonald to go in the back door (which they couldn't see)?

How was McDonald going to signal the other officers from inside the theater that it was okay for them to enter the theater from outside the theater?

If the other officers were, in fact, "waiting" for McDonald to enter, could that only have been because McDonald was bringing the gun in? Could it not equally have been that someone other than McDonald was keeping the other officers at bay so that they could bring the gun in and shoot McDonald (and not accidentally hit anyone else)?

In fact, isn't that more plausible? If, that is, that's even close to the way it all went down?

I chose to describe his surmising as "alleged" as it comes across to me as more CYA. "Hey look... nothing special about my arrival. There were already cops inside."

Trouble with that is that if there were any cops already inside, I have found no trace of them. Another problem is that if any were already in there, why didn't they act? And why didn't Brewer point Oswald out to them?

------------------

Is Walker a viable suspect? Yes. You've made the case. Is he more viable than McDonald? I don't think I can go that far. You cannot place him at the ALT. And you need to explain why McDonald went along with Oswald having the pistol knowing it was Walker who had it (and therefore - at least in your scenario - was the one attempting to use it).

Actually, the position you're shifting me to is more along the lines of Walker being in on it with McDonald. That would explain the diversionary call to the library, and possibly some other contentious issues.

I readily accept that the McDonald call on the ALT is the weak point in my scenario and my explanation for it is far from airtight. But I also see that as the only potential weakness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, the position you're shifting me to is more along the lines of Walker being in on it with McDonald. That would explain the diversionary call to the library, and possibly some other contentious issues.

I readily accept that the McDonald call on the ALT is the weak point in my scenario and my explanation for it is far from airtight. But I also see that as the only potential weakness.

My position, as may be deduced from many of my other postings on the Tippit/Oak Cliff subjects, would make it a much more complex issue than simply "Walker being in on it with McDonald." Your comment ...
I don't agree that another cop had to be sacrificed in order to kill Oswald. It only had to look like he pulled a weapon - a scene which could be quickly and easily arranged after the fact without any danger
... would effectively isolate the theater incident from all of the other events of the day. This is not uncommon, as many people will point out, for example, that Oswald might not have been able to get to 10th & Patton in time to shoot Tippit, but then continue to analyze that aspect of the case as if Oswald - who "couldn't have gotten there" - was the one "escaping" from there (e.g., if it wasn't Oswald at 10th & Patton, why is it necessary to either determine how "he" got to the theater, or to postulate that the real shooter went there also?).

You might be spot-on about your "only potential weakness" in the scenario you've drawn, but that's maybe true only insofar as the scenario goes. It's only the tip of the iceberg.

For example, you note that McDonald "was given a specific duty order in Dealey Plaza but abandoned that duty to head for Oak Cliff without consent," but don't consider at the same time that well more than a score of officers did exactly the same thing. Have you ever followed #87 R.C. Nelson's exploits after ignoring the order to "move into central Oak Cliff?" If so, had you noticed how dispatch kept deflecting him from responding to the Tippit shooting? What about the diversion of officers from Oak Cliff starting minutes before the motorcade arrived in DP and continuing through and to immediately after Tippit was reassigned, which was done at the same time that it was known that at least two additional officers from other, distant patrol districts were acknowledged as being in Oak Cliff, while the regular patrol officer ate lunch at a cafeteria, agitated to the point of calling "numerous times" to headquarters and leaving his lunch unfinished when he finally rushed out the door when, ostensibly, he was completely unaware of the downtown shooting, much less that of his fellow officer? What about Harry "the cripple" and "Officer Everywhere" and their convoluted and unconvincing activities during that timeframe, the officer who was handcuffed in the middle of the scuffle of subduing Oswald, and the machinations that led to an apparent "switcheroo" of the revolver at police headquarters, all of which are detailed in the WC hearings and exhibits?

Tippit himself was sacrificed as a diversion; why is it so far-fetched to think that McDonald - or some other hapless patrolman - didn't also have to die to "cinch" the case by ensuring the death of the only suspect that there ever was? Don't you think it's telling, too, that from the time that Oswald was taken into custody (as would probably have also been the case if he'd been killed in the theater) that there were "no further relevent transmissions" relating to the "manhunt" for the President's killer(s), and that senior patrol officers were relieved of further duty - told they could leave the scene(s) of the crime(s) and go about their regular assignments - immediately thereafter?

All of this didn't happen simply because "Walker [was] in on it with McDonald."

The issue of the "snap" - dismissed by the Commission, as you pointed out, in the same way that the indented cartridge was, even despite being closely examined by no fewer than five veteran police officers - is ultimately eye candy. Something dented that cartridge that they saw (whether or not it was introduced into evidence), and "defective firing pin" or not (how was it supposed to have shot Tippit if that was the case? Another "isolation" incident), I still cannot credit a police officer palming off a cocked pistol, even on the off-chance that it "only just might" fire, but probably won't; I can, however, believe that another officer would introduce a cocked weapon aimed at another police officer into the equation, with the intent of that gun going off.

Wounding might have been sufficient, but the important thing is that the gun had to go off in order to cause officers who might not have been "in on" the scenario to "return fire" and kill the suspect. In fact, it would have been much better for some unsuspecting, uninvolved officers to have fired the killing rounds, not necessarily to "kill the suspect" or "silence the patsy," but simply from training that provided a "dead end" to the investigation because they knew nothing more; to have had a "clique" of officers all in close proximity and doing the shooting might've had a completely different outcome and have appeared contrived.

That's it; gotta go. Got a plane to catch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remind me - did Oswald say anything that can be construed as a notice that DPD tried to plant a pistol on him at the theatre?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I should have said, "Did any recording capture Oswald saying..." Obviously the hallway and press conference statements would be the only records of what he said in custody.

I couldn't recall any recorded remark disowning the gun, unusual since that would be the first line of defense by any unarmed man.

One of the most valuable books anybody could write would be a cross referencing of provable Oswald statements with the assassination weekend jaw-flapping of DPD, Henry Wade, et al., together with any facts that could contradict Dallas justice and WC witnesses.

Edited by David Andrews

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David in doing a search i found this posted on the alts some years ago, sorry at the time i neglected to copy the posters name, interesting i believe even if it adds nothing to your search, you have a very good idea there for a book, have you begun...... :rolleyes: .b..

There has been much mystery surrounding the events from the time Lee

Harvey Oswald was arrested on November 22, 1963, until his own

assassination two days later. Was he mistreated? What were the police

interrogations like? What did Oswald tell the police while in jail?

Direct from the pages of the Warren Report itself is the report by

Captain J. W. Fritz, who during the almost two days that Oswald was in

his custody, interviewed and interrogated him more than any other law

enforcement officer in Dallas. Hopefully you will read this and pick up

on a couple of things I managed to notice as well.

The report is without a doubt one of the worst I've ever read. It tends

to show a total lack of professionalism on the part of the Dallas Police

Department during this period of time. It's as if everyone in Dallas

was a couple of cards short of a full deck. They were totally

unprepared for the pressure that erupted during their investigation and

as a result, performed poorly. (and that's being kind!)

Anyway, I offer this transcript of Captain Fritz's report. Please do

not blame me for the grammar or the spelling. I verified that what you

see below and in the subsequent messages is EXACTLY what was published

in the Warren Report!

<<Beginning of Transcript>>

REPORT OF CAPT. J. W. FRITZ, DALLAS POLICE

DEPARTMENT

INTERROGATION OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD

We conducted the investigation at the Texas School Book Depository

building on November 22, 1963, immediately after the President was shot

and after we had found the location where Lee Harvey Oswald had done the

shooting from and left three empty cartridge cases on the floor and the

rifle had been found partially hidden under some boxes near the back

stairway. These pieces of evidence were protected until the Crime Lab

could get pictures and make a search for fingerprints. After Lt. Day,

of the Crime Lab, had finished his work with the rifle, I picked it up

and found that it had a cartridge in the chamber, which I ejected.

About this time some officer came to me and told me that Mr. Roy S.

Truly wanted to see me, as one of his men had left the building. I had

talked to Mr. Truly previously, and at that time he thought everyone was

accounted for who worked in the building. Mr. Truly then came with

another officer and told me that a Lee Harvey Oswald had left the

building. I asked if he had an address where this man lived, and he

told me that he did, that it was in Irving at 2515 W. 5th Street.

I then left the rest of the search of the building with Chief Lumpkin

and other officers who were there and told Dets. R. M. Sims and E. L.

Boyd to accompany me to the City Hall where we could make a quick check

for police record and any other information of value, and we would then

go to Irving, Texas, in an effort to apprehend this man. While I was in

the building, I was told that Officer J. D. Tippit had been shot in Oak

Cliff. Immediately after I reached my office, I asked the officers who

had brought in a prisoner from the Tippit shooting who the man was who

shot the officer. They told me his name was Lee Harvey Oswald, and I

replied that that was our suspect in the President's killing. I

instructed the officers to bring this man into the office after talking

to the officers for a few minutes in the presence of Officers R. M. Sims

and E. L. Boyd of the Homicide Bureau and possibly some Secret Service

men. Just as I had started questioning this man I received a call from

Gordon Shanklin, Agent in Charge of the FBI office here in Dallas, who

asked me to let him talk to Jim Bookhout, one of his agents. He told

Mr. Bookhout that he would like for James P. Hosty to sit in on this

interview as he knew about these people and had interviewed them before.

I invited Mr. Bookhout and Mr. Hosty in to help with the interview.

After some questions about this man's full name I asked him if he worked

for the Texas School Book Depository, and he told me he did. I asked

him which floor he worked on, and he said usually on the second floor

but sometimes his work took him to all the different floors. I asked

him what part of the building he was in at the time the President was

shot, and he said that he was having lunch about that time on the first

floor. Mr. Truly had told me that one of the police officers had

stopped this man immediately after the shooting somewhere near the back

stairway, so I asked Oswald where he was when the police officer topped

him. He said he was on the second floor drinking a coca cola when the

officer came in. I asked him why he left the building, and he said

there was so much excitement he didn't this there would be any more work

done that day, and that as this company wasn't particular about their

hours, that they did not punch a clock, and that he thought it would be

just as well that he left for the rest of the afternoon. I asked him is

he owned a rifle, and he said that he did not. He said that he had seen

one at the building a few days ago, and that Mr. Truly and some

employees looking at it. I asked him where he went to when he left

work, and he told me that he had a room on 1026 North Beckley, that he

went over there and changed his trousers and got his pistol and went to

the picture show. I asked him why he carried his pistol, and he

remarked, "You know how boys do when they have a gun, they just carry

it."

Mr. Hosty asked Oswald if he had been in Russia, He told him, "Yes, he

had been in Russia three years." He asked him if he had written to the

Russian Embassy, and he said he had. This man became very upset and

arrogant with Agent Hosty when he questioned him and accused him of

accosting his wife two different times. When Agent Hosty attempted to

talk to this man, he would hit his fist on the desk. I asked Oswald

what he meant by accosting his wife when he was talking to Mr. Hosty.

He said Mr. Hosty mistreated his wife two different times when he talked

with her, practically accosted her. Mr. Hosty also asked Oswald if he

had been to Mexico City, which he denied. During the interview he told

me that he had gone to school in New York and Fort Worth, Texas, that

after going into the Marines, finished his high school education. I

asked him if he won any medals for rifle shooting in the Marines. He

said that he had the usual medals.

I asked him what his political beliefs were, and he said he had none but

that he belonged to the Fair Play For Cuba Committee and told me that

they had headquarters in New York and that he had been Secretary for

this organization in New Orleans when he lived there. He also said that

he supports the Castro Revolution. One of the officers had told me that

he had rented the room on Beckley under the name of O. H. Lee. I asked

him why he did this. He said the landlady did it. She didn't

understand his name correctly.

Oswald asked if he was allowed an attorney and I told him he could have

any attorney he liked, and that the telephone would be available to him

up in the jail and he could call anyone he wished. I believe it was

during this interview that he first expressed a desire to talk to Mr.

Abt, an attorney in New York. Interviews on this day were interrupted

by showups where witnesses identified Oswald positively as the man who

killed Tippit, and the time I would have to talk with another witness or

to some of the officers. One of these showups was held at 4:35 pm and

the next one at 6:30 pm and at 7:55 pm At 7:05 pm I signed a complaint

before Bill Alexander of the District Attorney's office, charging Oswald

with the Tippit murder. At 7:10 pm Tippit (sic) was arraigned before

Judge Johnston. During the second day interviews I asked Oswald about

the card that he had in his purse showing that he belonged to the Fair

Play For Cuba Committee, which he admitted was his. I asked him about

another identification card in his pocket bearing the name of Alex

Hidell. He said he picked up that name in New Orleans while working in

the Fair Play FOr Cuba organization. He said he spoke Russian, that he

corresponded with people in Russia, and that he received Newspapers from

Russia.

I showed the rifle to Marina Oswald, and she could not positively

identify it, but that it looked like the rifle that her husband had and

that he had been keeping it in the garage at Mrs. Paine's home in

Irving. After this, I questioned Oswald further about the rifle, but he

denied owning a rifle at all, and said that he did have a small rifle

some years back. I asked him if he owned a rifle in Russia, and he

said, "You know you can't buy a rifle in Russia, you can only buy

shotguns." "I had a shotgun in Russia and hunted some while there."

Marina Oswald had told me that she thought her husband might have

brought the rifle from New Orleans, which he denied. He told me that he

had some things stored in a garage at Mrs. Paine's home in Irving and

that he had a few personal effects at his room on Beckley. I instructed

the officers to make a thorough search of both of these places.

After reviewing all of the evidence pertaining to the killing of

President Kennedy before District Attorney Henry Wade and his assistant,

Bill Alexander, and Jim Allen, former First District Attorney of Dallas

County, I signed a complaint before the District Attorney charging

Oswald with the murder of President Kennedy. This was at 11:26 pm He

was arraigned before Judge David Johnston at 1:35 am, November 23, 1963.

Oswald was placed in jail about 12:00 midnight and brought from the jail

for arraignment, before Judge David Johnston at 1:36 am.

On November 23 at 10:25 AM Oswald was brought from jail for an

interview. Present at this time was FBI Agent Jim Bookhout, Forrest

Sorrels, special agent in charge of Secret Service, United States

Marshall Robert Nash, and Homicide officers. During this interview I

talked to Oswald about his leaving the building, and he told me he left

by bus and rode to a stop near home and walked on to his house. At the

time of Oswald's arrest he had a bus transfer in his pocket. He

admitted this was given to him by the bus driver when he rode the bus

after leaving the building.

One of the officers had told me that a cab driver, William Wayne Whaley,

thought he had recognized Oswald's picture as the man who had gotten in

his cab near the bus station and rode to Beckley Avenue. I asked Oswald

if he had ridden a cab on that day, and he said, "Yes, I did ride in a

cab. The bus I got on near where I work got into heavy traffic and was

traveling too slow, and I got off and caught a cab." I asked him about

his conversation with the cab driver, and he said he remembered that

when he got in the cab a lady came up to who also wanted a cab, and he

told Oswald to tell the lady to "take another cab".

We found from the investigation the day before that when Oswald left

home, he was carrying a long package. He usually went to see his wife

of week ends, but this time he had gone on Thursday night. I asked him

if he had told Buell Wesley Frazier why he had gone home a different

night, and if he had told him anything about bringing back some curtain

rods. He denied it.

During this conversation he told me he reached his home by cab and

changed his shirt and trousers before going to the show. He said his

cab fare was 85 cents. When asked what he did with his clothing, he

took off when he got home, he said he put them in the dirty clothes. In

talking with him further about his location at the time the President

was killed, he said he ate lunch with some of the colored boys who

worked with him. One of them was called "Junior" and the other one was

a little short man whose name he did not know. He said he had a cheese

sandwich and some fruit and that was the only package he had brought

with him to work and denied that he had brought a long package described

by Mr. Frazier and his sister.

I asked him why he lived in a room, while his wife lived in Irving. He

said Mrs. Paine, the lady his wife lived with, was learning Russian,

that is wife needed help with the young baby, and that it made a nice

arrangement for the both of them. He said he didn't know Mr. Paine very

well, but Mrs. Paine and his wife, he thought, were separated a great

deal of the time. He said he owned no car, but that the Paines have two

cars, and told that in the garage at the Paine's home he had some sea

bags that had a lot of his personal belongings, that he had left them

there after coming back from New Orleans in September.

He said he had a brother, Robert, who lived in Fort Worth. We later

found that this brother lived in Denton. He said the Paines were close

friends of his.

I asked him if he belonged to the Communist Party, but he said that he

had never had a card, but repeated that he belonged to the Fair Play For

Cuba organization, and he said that he belonged to the American Civil

Liberties Union and paid $5.00 dues. I asked him again why he carried

the pistol to the show. He refused to answer the questions about the

pistol. He did tell me, however, that he bought it several months

before in Fort Worth, Texas.

I noted that in questioning him that he did answer very quickly, and I

asked him if he had ever been questioned before, and he told me that he

had. He was questioned one time for a long time by the FBI after he had

returned from Russia. He said they used different methods, they tried

the hard soft, and the buddy method, and said he was very familiar with

interrogation. He reminded me that he did not have to answer any

questions at all until he talked to his attorney, and I told him again

that he could have an attorney any time he wished. He said he didn't

have money to pay for a phone call to Mr. Abt. I told him to call

"collect", if he liked, to use the jail phone or that he could have

another attorney if he wished. He said he didn't want another attorney,

he wanted to talk to this attorney first. I believe he made this call

later as he thanked me later during one of our interviews for allowing

him to use the telephone. I explained to him that all prisoners were

allowed to use the telephone. I asked him why he wanted Mr. Abt,

instead of some available attorney. He told me he didn't know Mr. Abt

personally, but that he was familiar with a case where Mr. Abt defended

some people for a violation of the Smith Act, and that if he didn't get

Mr. Abt, that he felt sure the American Civil Liberties Union would

furnish him a lawyer. He explained to me that this organization helped

people who needed attorneys and weren't able to get them.

While in New Orleans, he lived at 4907 Magazine Street and at one time

worked for the William Riley Company near that address. When asked

about previous arrests, he told me that he had had a little trouble

while working with the Fair Play For Cuba Committee and had a fight with

some anti-Castro people. He also told me of a debate on some radio

station in New Orleans where he debated with some anti-Castro people.

I asked him what he thought of President Kennedy and his family, and he

said he didn't have any views on the President. He said, "I like the

President's family very well. I have my own views about national

policies." I asked him about a polygraph test. He told me he had

refused a polygraph test with the FBI, and he certainly wouldn't take

one at this time. Both Mr. Bookhout, of the FBI, and Mr. Kelley, and

the Marshall asked Oswald some questions during this interview.

Oswald was placed back in jail at 11:35 am. At 12:35 pm Oswald was

brought to the office for another interview with Inspector Kelley and

some of the other officers and myself. I talked to Oswald about the

different places he had lived in Dallas in an effort to find where he

was living when the picture was made of him holding a rifle which looked

to be the same rifle we had recovered. This picture showed to be taken

near a stairway with many identifying things in the back yard. He told

me abOut one of the places he had lived.

Mr. Paine had told me about where Oswald lived on Neely Street. Oswald

was very evasive about this location. We found later that this was the

place where the picture was made. I again asked him about his property

and where his things might be kept, and he told me about the things at

Mrs. Paine's residence and a few things at Beckley. He was placed back

in jail at 1:10 pm.

At 6:00 PM I instructed the officers to bring Oswald back into the

office, and in the presence of Jim Bookhout, Homicide officers, and

Inspector Kelley, of the Secret Service, I showed Oswald an enlarged

picture of him holding a rifle and wearing a pistol. This picture had

been enlarged by our Crime Lab from a picture found in the garage at

Mrs. Paine's home. He said the picture was not him, that the face was

his face, but that this picture had been made by someone superimposing

his face, the other part of the picture was not him at all and that he

had never seen the picture before. When I told him that the picture was

recovered from Mrs. Paine's garage, he said the picture had never been

in his possession, and I explained to him that it was an enlargement of

the small picture obtained in the search. At that time I showed him the

smaller picture. He denied ever seeing that picture and said he knew

all about photography, that he had done a lot of work in photography

himself, that the small picture was a reduced picture of the large

picture, and had been made by some person unknown to him. He further

stated that since he had been photographed her at the City Hall and that

people had been taking his picture while being transferred from my

office to the jail door that someone had been able to get a picture of

his face and that with that, they had made this picture. He told me

that he understood photography real well, and that in time, he would be

able to show that it was not his picture, and that it had been mode by

someone else. At this time he said that he did not want to answer any

more questions and he was returned to the jail about 7:15 pm.

At 9:30 on the morning of November 24, I asked that Oswald be brought to

the office. At that time I showed him a map of the City of Dallas which

had been recovered in the search of his room on North Beckley. This map

had some markings on it, one of which was about where the President was

shot. He said that the map had nothing to do with the President's

shooting and again, as he had one in previous interviews, denied knowing

anything of the shooting of the President, or of the shooting of Officer

Tibbit. He said the map had been used to locate buildings where he had

gone to talk to people about employment.

During this interview Inspector Kelley asked Oswald about his religious

views, and he replied that he didn't agree with all the philosophies on

religion. He seemed evasive with Inspector Kelley about how he felt

about religion, and I asked him if he believed in a Diety. He was

evasive and didn't answer the question.

Someone of the Federal Marshall's officers asked Oswald if he thought

Cuba would be better off since the President was assassinated. To this

he replied that he felt that since the President was killed that someone

else would take his place, perhaps Vice-President Johnson, and that his

views would probably be largely the same as those of President Kennedy.

I again asked him about the gun and about the picture of him holding a

similar rifle, and at that time he again positively denied having any

knowledge of the picture or the rifle and denied that he had ever lived

on Neely Street, and when I told him that friends who had visited him

there said that he had lived there, he said that they were mistaken

about visiting him there, because he had never lived there.

During this interview, Oswald said he was a Marxist. He repeated two or

three times, "I am a Marxist, but not a Leninist-Marxist. He told me

that the station where he debated on in New Orleans was the one who

carried Bill Stakey's program. He denied again knowing Alex Hidell in

New Orleans, and again reiterated his belief in Fair Play for Cuba and

what the committee stood for.

After some questioning, Chief Jesse E. Curry came to the office and

asked me if I was ready for the man to be transferred. I told him we

were ready as soon as security was completed in the basement, where we

were to place Oswald in a car to transfer him to County Jail. I had

objected to the cameras obstructing the jail door, and the Chief

explained to me that those have been moved, and the people moved back,

and the cameramen were well back in the garage. I told the Chief then

that we were ready to go. He told us to go ahead with the prisioner

(sic), and that he and Chief Stevenson, who was with him, would meet us

at the County Jail.

Oswald's shirt, which he was wearing at the time of arrest, was removed

and sent to the crime lab in Washington with all the other evidence for

a comparison test. Oswald said he would like to have a shirt from his

clothing that had been brought to the office to wear over the T-shirt

that he was wearing at the time. We selected the best looking shirt

from his things, but he said he would prefer a black Ivy League type

shirt, indicating that it might be a little warmer. We made this change

and asked him if he wouldn't like to wear a hat to more or less

camouflage his looks in the car while being transferred as all the

people who have been viewing him had seen him bearheaded. He didn't

want to do this. Then Officer J. R. Leavelle handcuffed his left hand

to Oswald's right hand, then we left the office for the transfer.

Inasmuch as this report was made from rough notes and memory, it is

entirely possible that one of these questions would be in a separate

interview from the one indicated in this report. He was interviewed

under the most adverse conditions in my office which is 9 feet 6 inches

by 14 feet, and has only a front door, which forced us to move this

prisoner through hundreds of people each time he was carried from my

office to the jail door, some 30 feet, during each of the transfers.

The crowd would attempt to jam around him, shouting questions and many

containing slurs. This office is also surrounded by large glass

windows, and there were many officers working next to those windows. I

have no recorder in this office and was unable to record the interview.

I was interrupted many times during the interviews to step from the

office to talk to another witness or secure additional information from

officers needed for the interrogation

<<End of Transcript>>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i notice that fritz states he did not have a recording device, in his office at the end of said article, also he was interrupted many times by officers keeping in mind roger craig......I found a map of the 3rd dpd office building, on tomlin's site, somewhere http://whokilledjfk.net/

thanks, will try to find his link, one room clearly states recording room.... :rolleyes::lol:

Edited by Bernice Moore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People are no doubt familiar with William Weston's article, based on DPD personnel memories, one of which (Sgt. Gerald Hill's) plants the meme that Oswald had copped to "carry[ing] a pistol in a movie":

http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_...sue/weston.html

I had been wondering if there was anything Oswald had said on record to confirm or deny, construeably.

Edited by David Andrews

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remind me - did Oswald say anything that can be construed as a notice that DPD tried to plant a pistol on him at the theatre?

Well, of course, we don't really know what he said other than what was captured on tape at DPDHQ; we only have what he was reported to have said, right?

While nothing he was reported to have said can be said to directly address this, at one point in the theater he was apparently told to let go of the gun, to which he supposedly replied "I can't."

Does this mean that someone was holding his hand to the gun with the intent of firing it from his hand? Can't say that it does, but taken as part of the whole, it's not an impossible thing.

Capt Westbrook made note of a "funny thing" during the scuffle to subdue Oswald, noting that a police officer's hand was cuffed by mistake. I wondered about that: what would make someone take ahold of an arm that was clothed differently than Oswald was - i.e., with a blue uniform sleeve, or a jacket and shirt - and attempt to manacle it? I wondered, "was it because there was a gun in it?"

It seemed as good a rationale as any, albeit without basis ... until I learned whose hand it was - from the man whose hand it was. Oddly enough, he was someone who was always in all the "right" places that afternoon and had, in fact, been at the Abundant Life Temple after everyone else had gone on the library call, and who'd just hung out there and chatted with another officer (who was demonstrably somewhere else) until the theater call came in.

Then he was right back in the thick of things, right alongside another officer who had been tagging along and lagging behind around 10th & Patton while everyone else went to the library and until the theater call.

Both were in a position to have gotten the pistol from either the ALT or other nearby source and to have both shot someone and put - and held - the gun in Oswald's hand until they or someone else had managed to "recover" it from him. One did manage, in any case, to totally obscure the chain of evidence of that pistol, and even to have potentially put another one into play.

(Isn't it odd, as we discuss this, that we note that the "theater pistol" couldn't have shot McDonald because it had a "defective firing pin," yet that same pistol lacked such a defect when it supposedly fired four shots into Officer Tippit less than 45 minutes before? Does that qualify as an "oops" that was overlooked?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...