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Greg Parker

the attempted planting of the weapon on oswald

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Here's a transcript of Eddie Barker's interview with Sgt. Hill for CBS.

It goes into the search of the TSBD, the finding of the shells, the location of Fritz, the fact that Inspecter Sawyer was responsible for securing the TSBD and the arrest of Oswald, including how Hill ended up with the gun.

http://www.aarclibrary.org/newsviews.htm

2008 - Courtesy of Roger Feinman is this transcript of a CBS interview with Dallas' Sergeant Hill regarding Oswald's arrest, the search of the Book Depository, and the Tippit murder scene. See part 1 an d part 2.

http://www.aarclibrary.org/notices/SGTHILL1.pdf

http://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin...5&mkt=en-us

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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.

David, yes it's odd isn't it, that the only thing he admits to on the way to City Hall is carrying a gun? And that just happens to be the one thing they need him to admit to as a bare minimum. And if I remember correctly, not all 5 cops recalled him saying that.

Yet the only thing he is alleged to have admitted to during his 12 hours of interrogations was punching McDonald.

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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.

David, yes it's odd isn't it, that the only thing he admits to on the way to City Hall is carrying a gun? And that just happens to be the one thing they need him to admit to as a bare minimum. And if I remember correctly, not all 5 cops recalled him saying that.

Yet the only thing he is alleged to have admitted to during his 12 hours of interrogations was punching McDonald.

Maybe I should clarify why I think it's odd. It's odd because it's superfluous. He may as well have also added that "You guys arrested me in the Texas Theatre." They already knew that. And if he had a pistol, they also already knew that too, since they took it off him. So why tell them something they already knew? It has always seemed to me to be another reason to doubt he had any weapon on him.

I should also clarify that punching McDonald was the only thing he admitted committing as a possible offence. He allegedly did admit carrying a pistol into the theatre, but denied he purchased it by mail order, instead allegedly saying he bought it in Irving. I don't recall ever seeing anything suggesting that the possibility of such a purchase in Irving was ever investigated.

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Wow, Lee: a brilliant synopsis if ever I've seen one! We differ in some minor details, but essentially we're singing from the same page in the same hymnal. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who sees the possibilities. I'd feared over the years that I'd made something out of whole cloth, seen things that "couldn't" have been, but feel somewhat vindicated now.

Something worthwhile to note, as you did in part, that "Officer Everywhere" was not corroborated by virtually anyone who was where he claimed to be. This is true beginning with Valentine (whom he claimed to have ridden from DPDHQ to DP with, practically "commandeering" the ride) or the news guy (Ewell?) whom Valentine reported picking up and taking to DP with him; none of the people in TSBD (tho' Hill was, I recall, photographed or videoed in an upper window) including those he "reported" events to on their later arrival; and none of the men with whom he said he rode from DP to Oak Cliff with, including his own temporary supervisor, Capt. Westbrook (even tho' each of them were generally consistent in terms of who the other men were in the car that they rode to Oak Cliff in).

The possibilities exist either that he was not with them, or that they deliberately left him out of the people they'd been with, whether to disassociate themselves from him and/or to undermine his bullet-riddled story, or for some other reason, is hard to say. Anyone can check each of these men's stories and find that OE doesn't appear in any of their narratives.

While Hill had taken Poe's car, remember that he also reported being at 12th & Beckley, which is both south of Jefferson and well west of the Tippit scene; it is also where the Dallas County constabulary headquarters (a constabulary - constables - in Texas is a supernumary county police force associated with the county courts and assigned to assist other law enforcement agencies in their duties as needed).

Bob Apple, with whom OE said he'd been commisserating on 10th Street after having "shaken down" the ALT and with whom he supposedly rode to the theater in "his" (Apple's) car, had actually been assigned to a three-wheeler (a motorcycle for non-motorcycle officers, effectively a more maneuverable car, not quite a "real" motorcycle) in the downtown area, and was last heard from - presuming call letters being consistently and correctly used - dealing with an intoxicated person on the railroad track "at the end of Laws" after the JFK shooting. Apple did not apparently file a report of his activities that afternoon, so there is no explanation how he went from being a three-wheel patrol officer downtown to a car-driving investigator in Oak Cliff remains either a mystery or a fabrication.

If the shooter had hidden out in the ALT after fleeing from the murder scene, then it is every bit as likely that OE was who retrieved the gun as it was that McDonald had retrieved it. This consideration is one of my main differences with Greg's analysis, and one of the reasons why I don't think it's likely that McDonald was part of the whole thing, at least not in the capacity Greg posits.

In Greg's scenario (as I understand it), McD enters the ALT and gets the gun, then "signals" that he's been successful in retrieving the gun by radioing that he intends to enter the building, which is also a CYA to explain why he'd been in the building in case anyone had seen him go in or come out (but wait! He only said he intended to go in, so why did I see him come out of it?). If I didn't explain that well, it's because it doesn't make sense to me, so I can't make it make sense in the explanation; sorry.

Alternately, McD innocently and rightly makes known his intention to enter the large building, which potentially held any number of perils; best not to enter alone. So he calls for backup and gets a response. Immediately, a diversion is made and the major part of the responding officers rush over to the library where the killer is presumably "holed up." That Patrolman McDonald is not mentioned by other officers as having responded is, to me, no surprise because, after all, he is "just" a patrolman, one of dozens in the area: why would he be particularly noteworthy?

Once the patrols have been diverted, there is now the opportunity to retrieve the weapon. There is nobody to witness what we don't want to be seen, and the "shakedown" is its own rationale for not having responded to the library call. Then, all that's left is to wait for the call to the theater or wherever the patsy might be, and what better way to do it (while everyone else is surrounding the library several blocks away) than by lounging around and chewing the fat with a patrolman who's not actually even there?

Then, to the library and behind the suspect ... and it is noteworthy, I think, that another of those behind the suspect is also unaccounted for during the time leading up to the theater call and with a confused (that is to say, uncorroborated) history of getting from DPDHQ to Oak Cliff and to the theater while managing to be in the thick of things to boot. Once behind the suspect, how easy is it to introduce a weapon from behind, to have your hand confused with the suspect's (and handcuffed ... because it had a gun in it?), and maybe even squeeze the trigger?

You've of course noted how (without saying as much) OE's fingerprints on the weapon were later explained by his taking possession of the gun (which neither McDonald or Carroll ostensibly ever saw and technically couldn't even officially identify in a court of law) and/or obliterating anyone else's by his manhandling of the weapon and shells in the car (per his testimony) and later at DPDHQ. And we have yet to go into "the old switcheroo" involving the two(?) pistols in the personnel office and the interrogation room.

That's all I've got time to add for now: I am, after all, on holiday and supposed to be spending time with folks around me, not with my nose in a computer screen! More later as time allows ....

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LHO hand gun

The Smith & Wesson that was in Oswald’s possession when they arrested him in the Dallas theater came from Empire Wholesale of Montreal. Several researchers have wondered if Oswald had ordered it through the mail, or if the CIA had supplied it to him.

Empire Wholesale of Montreal used to be Century International Arms, which the CIA used in supplying arms to the Nicaraguan Contras. Soldier of Fortune magazine even had a photo that shows the Contras with a case of weapons that says, "CIA (Century International Arms), Montreal, Canada."

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[Oswald] allegedly did admit carrying a pistol into the theatre, but denied he purchased it by mail order, instead allegedly saying he bought it in Irving. I don't recall ever seeing anything suggesting that the possibility of such a purchase in Irving was ever investigated.
When one only has the word of someone else about what someone says, the hearsay is only "alleged." When the person alleging something has a stake in its acceptance, it's more rightly called "suspicious."

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Duke, that moment in the theatre could have been the moment of the switch. If Oswald did have a pistol, this was likely known, so he couldn't deny it but he knew that he had not used it. Then sudenly a dropgun indistinguishable to his and the bullets fired from it in Oswalds pocket and that was it. Then Oswalds gun was relegated to the dropped category and so stayed in the loop.

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Hi Greg

This, for me, is one of the most interesting and revealing parts of the whole assassination day's events.

My head swirls thinking about it though. I believe Duke's arguments are compelling. I think your theory is compelling. But as Bill Kelly says, it could only happen one way.

Long may your head swirl Lee if this is what comes out of the mix…

Going back into the testimony and the books has got me thinking (as Duke has alluded) that it is Gerald Hill who is the mastermind in this.

I had always given Hill a free pass on the basis that he’d been the only one to mention the ALT in testimony and had been the one to radio in about a witness… I can see now that I was mistaken in doing that.

He's there at the TSBD within 20 minutes of the shooting. His placement on the sixth floor when the hulls are found has serious question marks over it as far as his timings and testimony are concerned. He states that he bumped into Fritz who was coming up in the elevator after the snipers nest was found. In another statement he claims he went straight down and told Sawyer that he had found the spent cartridges and omits his bumping into Fritz. In the thread "Captain Fritz and the Spent Cartridges" the timeline of events is being discussed and the weight of evidence being put forth is that the cartridges were found much earlier than the official 1:15PM time. The dispatch message that mentions the spent hulls is announced at 1:11PM so they had to be found prior to this time. Luke Mooney states he found them at 1:15PM. I think he's right - he did find them at this time but he mentions nothing about Hill being there when, or after, they were found. I think Hill found them much earlier between 1:00PM and 1:10PM because it possible that he put them there prior to Mooney finding them. Hill then told Sawyer outside the building who then called it in at 1:11PM. After which they are then "officially" found by an unsuspecting Mooney.

Hill then responds to the Tippit shooting. He's at the scene with Poe and then leaves in Poe's car and says he then searches the vacant properties on the North Side of Jefferson and then returns to the Tippit scene. Poe then has the empty shells in the Winston cigarette pack. Hill then walks? up to the ALT and he speaks to the "women" who we have no record of, takes their word for it that no one is in there and then blasts off to the Texas Theater in Bob Apple's car. He quite possibly has the gun at this point and then the suppositions start. He either hands it off to McDonald and it is McDonald who tries to palm it off on Oswald. Or McDonald approaches Lee, gives him a sly dig or kick to begin the ruckus and then it is Hill who tries to palm the revolver onto Oswald. This one makes more sense to me if we take into account Duke's observation that Hill's hand was handcuffed in the melee. Bob Caroll ends up with the pistol. And then conveniently hands it back to Hill, placing an intermediary within the chain of custody, and allows him to deal with any loose ends concerning swapping either the actual gun or the ammunition back at HQ.

Mr. BALL - Who pulled the pistol?

Mr. APPLIN - I guess it was Oswald, because--for one reason, that he had on a short sleeve shirt, and I seen a man's arm that was connected to the gun.

The testimony immediately following this makes it clear Applin places the Mr Short Sleeve Man holding the gun prior to the arrival of the other cops.

Who was wearing a short sleeved shirt, Oswald or McDonald? B)

Mr. BALL - What did the officer do?

Mr. APPLIN - Well, the officer was scuffling with him there, and----

Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?

Mr. APPLIN - Well, about the only thing I heard was the snap of the gun and the officer saying, "Here he is."

Mr. BALL - You heard the snap of a gun?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL - Are you familiar with guns?

Mr. APPLIN - Well, yes, sir; I am familiar with a few guns.

Mr. BALL - Pistols? Have you ever shot a pistol?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir; I have shot my daddy's nine-shot .22 pistol.

Mr. BALL - Sounded like a hammer of a pistol failing?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL - Then what happened after that? You say several officers came down?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir; they started wrestling and scuffling with him.

Mr. BALL - How many of them?

Mr. APPLIN - Well, there was about five officers, I believe.

Gerald Hill as David Andrew's pointed out is the one who sows the seed concerning Oswald's statements in the car. In addition to claiming that Oswald admitted to carrying the pistol he also claims that the .38 bullets that he took from the revolver were sticky and covered in lint claiming that he had the impression they had been "taped inside a coat, or in his pocket." Obviously this "lint" was never analysed.

He also claims in CBS interview with Eddie Barker that Bob Carroll handed him the pistol before they left the theater. He says "As we got him handcuffed, and got him to his feet, and started to move with him, Detective Carroll, Bob Carroll, who's one -- gonna be one of the officers that made the first wing of the point -- and he was gonna have to move out before I'd do it,. and as we started to move, he turned around and handed me this snub-nosed .38. Said it was the prisoner's gun. And I stuck it in my belt, under my coat. And then I put my hands on Oswald, and we started out the theater." In his Warren Commission testimony he claimed that the gun was handed to him by Bob Carroll when they got in the car. And let's not forget the classic words that Hill puts in Oswald's mouth during the ride to headquarters after Oswald was told he had "killed a policeman", "you can only fry for that" or "You can fry for that." What a piss-take!

Those are all good examples of the incredible statements made by the cops that weekend. No wonder word came from Washington to muzzle them!

The hardest part to believe is Hill's description of the "fast frisk" Oswald was subjected to. Again during his CBS interview, he was asked to explain a "fast frisk" after stating the frisk was conducted to determine that Oswald had nothing else on him that could hurt them or himself. Hill states "That's, well, he was handcuffed, with -- an officer checks under your arm pits, your crotch, your pockets, your -- shirt, your waistband of your trousers and anyplace that a weapon could be concealed, that -- even as small as a razor blade, or anything of this type that you could conceivably get to and either hurt the officer or hurt yourself." And they managed to miss 5 live rounds of ammunition in his front left pocket.

Good point. Very good. And that stubbornly unwrinkable bus stub.

I think Gerald Hill is the ideal candidate to get the gun from either the ALT or the empty property he "searched." I think he lied (sorry Mike W) about some of his movements that day and it puts him in the running for planting of evidence in the TSBD, planting of evidence at the Tippit scene, the planting of the jacket, the planting of evidence on Oswald, and the possible shenanigans with the revolver and ammo at the Dallas Police Department Office.

Although some of that applies (or could apply) equally to McDonald, and not withstanding Applin’s testimony, you make a very solid case against Hill.

To answer your question Greg, I don't think it was actually necessary to plant the gun on Oswald at the theater, it just had to put in an appearance during the scuffle. I don't believe the gun was meant to ever go off in the theater,

We’re in agreement here. This is what I said in post #4 "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."

although I think you're right that Oswald thought that's what may happen and resulted in his screaming of "police brutality" and him "not resisting arrest." Although that doesn't mean Duke's theory doesn't hold water because it does. I, at this moment in time, am more inclined to think that the defective firing pin would suggest that the objective was ensuring it looked like Oswald had the gun, that he attempted to fire it, but not to actually fire it and kill anyone.

I think we (you, me and Duke) agree that there was a plan to kill Oswald in the theatre and that an essential component of that plan was to make it look like self-defense.[/color]

Do we also have agreement on who the actors were, even if we disagree at the margins on specific roles or actions? You and Duke have convinced me that Walker and Hill were actors in this, along with McDonald. I get the impression you have McDonald as a “maybe”?

What about “Bud” Owens? Does he fit into this?

This is from his testimony:

Mr. OWENS. No. I told Inspector Sawyer that I was assigned to Oak Cliff and an officer was involved in the shooting, and I was taking off, so I proceeded--I got in my car, and Captain Westbrook and Bill Alexander, an assistant district attorney, also was in the car with me and we started out to--I think the call came out at 400 East 10th or 400 East Jefferson. There was confusion there where the situation was. It was corrected and we went to the scene of the shooting.

Now, right there--here's where I'm not quite sure--I don't know whether I was given the gun and all--but I believe I was given the gun and this was Tippit's gun and shells.

Mr. ELY. Do you recall who gave them to you?

Mr. OWENS. No; some officer, but I don't know who it was.

Mr. ELY. And how long did you have the gun and shells in your custody?

Mr. OWENS. Well, I had them at the hospital and we put them in a paper envelope, a large paper envelope with some more of his possessions.

Mr. ELY. Did you make any identifying marks on them?

Mr. OWENS. No; they were his city issued--his own gun.

Mr. ELY. And do you recall whom you gave them to eventually?

Mr. OWENS. No; I believe it was Barton--I'm not sure. I couldn't say positively who I gave them to, to go put them in the property room. In fact, I don't even know whether I gave them to anybody. I might have taken them out to the Oak Cliff substation and put them in our property room--I don't know.

Then right at the end of his testimony, he adds without prompting:

Mr. ELY. All right, thank you very much, sergeant.

Mr. OWENS. I don't know of anything else--as I say, I couldn't remember where they handed me the gun. I knew it was at the scene because my wife said she saw it on television and I had his gun, and when I asked her about it she said it wasn't the suspect's gun she knew because she has been a policeman's wife long enough to know I wouldn't be handling a gun like that if it was the suspect's.

Mr. ELY. All right, Sergeant, thank you very much.

Mr. OWENS. All right, thank you.

This is quite extraordinary. He needs his wife to tell him the weapon he was displaying for Reiland’s TV camera at a cop’s murder scene was the cop’s service weapon? I just can’t buy that. I believe he put those words (it’s Tippit’s gun!) into his wife’s mouth as a way of avoiding perjury. To put it another way – it was NOT Tippit’s weapon. Just what would have been the point of displaying Tippit’s gun (and not to mention wallet)? Some one once tried to tell me that Reiland described it as Tippit’s in the voice-over for the story. But if that was really the case, there would be no need for Owens’ wife to “know” it was Tippit’s on the basis of how her husband was handling the weapon. She would have known it was Tippit’s because it was reported that way.

Could this have been a throwdown which they had to later say was Tippit’s because of the pistol at the TT?

Lee

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Mr. APPLIN - Well, about the only thing I heard was the snap of the gun and the officer saying, "Here he is."

Mr. BALL - You heard the snap of a gun?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir.

If it wasn't "Oswald's" pistol that misfired, whose was it?

If the intent was for a cop to kill the perp in the theatre, who screwed the pooch?

McDonald's weapon was drawn; who else had drawn theirs?

Applin seems to place the snap of the gun and the discovery of Oswald - "here he is" - at about the same time, with the melee following the attempt to fire.

This is why Oswald began shouting about "police brutality" and "I am not resisting arrest." Both statements would be ridiculous on their very face to anyone who had witnessed Oswald try to kill a cop or fight to avoid being apprehended. He thought they were going to kill him.

Some would construe that as guilty knowledge, the natural fear of apprehension exhibited by a felon who fully expected to be chased down.

Some could interpret that otherwise inexplicable behaviour as a man frightened by an incoming wave of police, at least one of whom seemed intent upon killing him.

Since the webbing between McDonald's thumb and forefinger was injured (shown to media), do we infer that in the scuffle with Oswald, McDonald's flesh prevented the firing of his own weapon? If we don't at least consider this, why not?

It has also always bothered me that in the first press accounts, McDonald waved away the matter by saying words to the effect of "He didn't give us too much trouble." While it is possible he was displaying an admirable false modesty, it is also possible that Oswald didn't give them too much trouble, with the thwarting of an Oswald pistol-shot being fabricated after the fact. Cue the false heroics of the subsequent story.

Good thread, lads. (And Lady Bernice.)

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Greg, I'm unsure of what your arguments are other than that McDonald was the bad guy in all of this, and that Oswald was going to get killed in the theater. We agree on the latter point, but the conundrum lies in how you propose this to have taken place. I've got thoughts on these things, obviously, and they don't agree with yours entirely, but my purpose in raising these questions is to focus your thoughts on the mechanical aspects of this, not to convince you of the validity of my thoughts, but rather to help you flesh out your own, which could be more correct than mine when solidified.

You'd said that you've given Hill a "free ride" of suspicion because he mentioned the ALT in his testimony, yet you also point out that you suspect McDonald in part because he could've raised the issue on the radio about the ALT to cover his butt in the event someone had seen him in or near the building.

You suggest Oswald was going to be killed in the theater, but dismiss the most obvious reason to kill him, i.e., his attempt on the life of another police officer, by saying that the whole thing about the "snap" and the cut on McDonald's hand were "concocted" and that no attempt would be made to fire the gun - it would make no "snapping" noise - "because of" a defective firing pin that had worked perfectly well just 45 minutes before when it was used to successfully fire four bullets into JD Tippit's body.

Tellingly(?), you "substantiate" that position by noting that "even the WC" dismissed McDonald's hand having prevented the firing of the weapon without seemingly considering that the WC also dismissed the idea of a shot from JFK's front or the involvement of a second shooter in DP. If the WC's dismissals are so readily creditable, why are we even having these discussions?

(The WC's position, of course, was that there was no evidence of the "misfire" - that is, a dented cartridge - despite the "snap" heard by three men, two men's conflicting claims of preventing the gun from firing, and three men's having seen an indented cartridge. Said cartridge not being in evidence, and the firing pin of the supposed Tippit murder weapon being "defective," however belatedly, could the WC have done anything else but dismiss the pistol's hammer from wounding McDonald without admitting that there was something fishy going on here that Oswald obviously had no hand in?)

Given the number of men, both civilian and trained police, who heard the snap or otherwise claimed to have prevented the hammer from falling, we cannot dismiss the likelihood of the trigger having been pulled to cause the hammer to travel. If the hammer did fall, then we must posit that someone had cocked the weapon for it to fire, and perhaps for it to fire "accidentally" with little effort, since merely squeezing the trigger of an uncocked single-action pistol will not cause the hammer to rise and it therefore could not have fallen.

Three trained officers also testified to having seen an indentation on a cartridge associated (somewhat loosely) with the gun in evidence, but that bullet (that would seemingly prove the "misfire" described) was not presented among the evidence. This leaves either those three men being "mistaken," or the evidence having been lost and/or substituted for some unexplained reason. In any case, there is substantial evidence to show that the "misfire" did occur, whether or not "even the WC" dismissed it.

Where the WC could not reconcile its available evidence with its conclusion of Oswald-as-sole-guilty-party, they ignored, dismissed, discredited or perverted it. We, on the other hand, cannot fail to take it all into account in an attempt to make sense of it to reach another conclusion. A gun was used to successfully fire four bullets into JD Tippit's body to kill him at 1:08 p.m.; we cannot dismiss other evidence and testimony of the gun's attempted use in the theater 45 minutes later "because" it had a defective firing pin that was not "defective" earlier, at least not without explaining how it became defective in that short time span.

We cannot simply presume that merely displaying a gun would have gotten Oswald killed in the theater - especially in light of the evidence that an attempt to use it successfully did occur, albeit without effect - when Oswald supposedly did display a weapon and was not killed. The gun did not go off (for whatever reason) and Oswald did survive.

Other available evidence suggests that a man's hand held the gun, and that hand was attached to an arm wearing a short-sleeved shirt (or that Oswald's shirt may have appeared to George Applin to be short-sleeved, perhaps from being pulled up his arm during the scuffle; in any case, neither McDonald nor any of the other officers in the theater close to Oswald was wearing a short-sleeved shirt); that Oswald was unable to let go of a gun in his hand; that a police officer's hand was cuffed during the scuffle for some reason, most likely because that hand was thought to constitute a threat at the time; and that that hand belonged to someone who was in all of the "right" places at all of the "right" times to play a part in the orchestration of Oswald's presumed guilt, at all times without corroboration of how he came to be in all of those places.

At last, let us also consider the "chain of custody" of the presumed "murder weapon" and police officers' ability to conclusively identify it as being the gun in evidence:

McDonald sees a gun at or near Oswald's back and scuffles with him. He extracts the gun and immediately holds it out behind him. It is taken from him by Bob Carroll, whom McDonald cannot see, and cannot see what Carroll does with it. McDonald did not examine the gun that left his possession, and cannot legally identify it or any other gun in connection with the incident.

Carroll then places the weapon in the small of his back and assists with taking Oswald into custody. He in turn passes it to Jerry Hill when (according to Hill's testimony) Carroll gets into the driver's seat of the police car in front of the theater after Hill - a husky man described by some as "a fireplug with legs" - insinuates himself into the front center seat of the car.

Hill then describes how he manhandled the weapon, which effectively obliterated any identifiable prints that might have been on the weapon, be they Oswald's or someone else's. He then removed the cartridges from the pistol, accomplishing the same thing with them. This maneuver also either places Hill's fingerprints on the weapon, or explains and justifies their (prior) appearance there (what if they had been, and he'd been unable to get into a position to receive the weapon from Bob Carroll by slipping into the uncomfortable middle seat?).

When he's done, he puts the gun into his jacket pocket, out of everyone's sight. Up to this time, nobody other than he has had any opportunity to examine the weapon, and certainly not to the extent that they would be able to identify it to the exclusion of any other weapon of the same manufacture.

Upon arriving at DPDHQ, Hill assists in escorting the suspect to the second floor interrogation rooms, and leaves Oswald in the custody of "a uniform," unnamed by Hill but who is Patrolman Hutson, a particularly observant officer who'd even counted the number of people in the theater when he'd gone in the back door with McDonald. Hill then brought the weapon, still in his jacket pocket, to the personnel office with Bob Carroll, and then sent Carroll in search of McDonald and others who may have been able to identify the weapon, who eventually returned to Hill's (temporary) office, and examined and initialled the weapon and cartridges.

Near this time, Captain Westbrook returned to his office in the personnel section, to which Hill had been on temporary assignment. Seeing Hill and company in the unsecured personnel office with evidence, he causes the Homicide & Robbery Bureau to be summoned to the office to take custody of the weapon, which is done.

Even though we can identify several times when the weapon is outside of other officers' sight and possession, this might be the end of the story were it not for Officer Hutson's testimony of taking custody of Oswald in the interrogation room where Hutson also "had his pistol" with him. Do we think that a homicide detective turned the weapon over to "a uniform" supervising Oswald before officially taking it into evidence? Do we think that Hutson was lying or hallucinating? Given this statement by Hutson, can it be shown to be in error?

Given these factors, can it any longer be said that the weapon in evidence - with a defective firing pin and ostensibly tied to Oswald via mail order - was in fact the weapon that was in the theater and/or the one that shot Officer Tippit?

There is yet more to these questions to be posed, but they represent more of the totality of evidence that must be considered before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

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THIS ARTICLE INFORMATION FROM JOHN ARMSTRONG IS NO LONGER ON THE WEB, THE LINK IS DISABLED BUT FYI THERE MAY BE SOMETHING OF INTEREST WITHIN TO YOU...B

Man in the Balcony, Man in the Alley

Johnny C. Brewer claimed that on the day of the assassination, he saw a man standing in the lobby of his shoe store at about 1:30 PM. He watched the man walk west on Jefferson and thought (Brewer says he is not positive) that he ducked into the Texas Theater. It was not until December 6th, two weeks after Harvey Oswald's arrest, that Brewer described the man he saw as wearing a brown shirt. He asked theater cashier Julia Postal if she had sold the man a ticket. Postal replied "she did not think so, but she had been listening to the radio and did not remember." She did remember, when testifying before the Warren Commission, that she sold 24 tickets that day.

The Texas Theater has a main floor level and a balcony. Upon entering the theater from the "outside doors," there are stairs leading to the balcony on the right. Straight ahead are a second set of "inside doors" leading to the concession stand and the main floor. It is possible to go directly to the balcony, without being seen by people at the concession stand, by climbing the stairs to the right. Brewer walked through the first and second set of double doors to the concession stand. He asked Butch Burroughs, who operated the concession stand, if he had seen the man come in. Burroughs said that he had been busy and did not notice. Brewer checked the darkened balcony but did not see the man he had followed. Brewer and Burroughs then checked and made sure the exits had not been opened. Brewer then went back to the box office and told Julia Postal he thought the man was still in the theater and to call the police.

Julia called the police. Police broadcasts at 1:45 PM reported "Have information a suspect just went into the Texas Theater . . . Supposed to be hiding in the balcony" (17H418). When the police arrived, they were told by a "young female," probably Julia Postal, that the man was in the balcony. The police who entered the front of the theater went to the balcony. They were questioning a young man when Officers Walker, McDonald and Hutson entered the rear of the theater. Hutson counted seven theater patrons on the main level. From the record, these seven would break down as follows:

2 Two boys (half way down center section searched by Walker & McDonald while Hutson looked on)

1 Oswald (3rd row from back-center section)

1 Jack Davis (right rear section-Oswald first sat next to him)

1 Unknown person (across the aisle from Davis-Oswald left his seat next to Davis and moved to a seat next to this person; Oswald then got up and walked into the theater lobby)

1 George Applin (6 rows from back-center section)

1 John Gibson (1st seat from the back on the far right side)

Oswald bought popcorn at 1:15 PM, walked to the main floor and reportedly took a seat next to a pregnant woman. Minutes before police arrived, this woman disappeared into the balcony and was never seen again. She was not one of the seven patrons counted by Officer Hutson.

Captain Westbrook and FBI Agent Barrett came into the theater from the rear entrance minutes later. Westbrook may have been looking for "Lee Harvey Oswald"-identified from the contents of the wallet he found at the scene of Tippit's murder.

From police broadcasts, the police were looking for a suspect wearing a white shirt, white jacket, with dark brown or black hair, and hiding in the balcony. But their attention quickly focused on a man wearing a brown shirt with medium brown hair, on the main floor. When this man was approached by Officer McDonald, he allegedly hit McDonald and then tried to fire his .38 revolver. Several police officers and theater patrons heard the "snap" of a pistol trying to fire. A cartridge was later removed from the .38 and found to have an indentation on the primer. An FBI report described the firing pin as "bent." The man in the brown shirt, Harvey Oswald, was subdued by Officers Hawkins, Hutson, Walker, Carroll and Hill, and then handcuffed. Captain Westbrook ordered the officers to "get him out of here as fast as you can and don't let anybody see him." As he was taken out the front, Julia Postal heard an officer remark "We have our man on both counts." In an FBI report, we find the following:

this was the first time that she [Postal] had heard of Tippit's death, and one of the officers identified the man they arrested by calling out his name, "Oswald".… (Emphasis added. FBI report 2/29/64 by Arthur E. Carter.)

If the person who identified Oswald by name was Captain Westbrook, he could have obtained Oswald's name from identification-perhaps the Texas driver's license-in Lee Oswald's wallet found at the scene of the Tippit shooting. If someone other than Captain Westbrook identified Oswald by name, then someone in the Dallas Police had prior knowledge of Oswald. Identification of the policeman who made this statement might have aided in answering this question.

Harvey Oswald, the man wearing the "brown shirt," who probably bought a ticket from Julia Postal, bought popcorn from Butch Burroughs at 1:15 PM, sat next to Jack Davis before the main feature began at 1:20 PM, sat next to another identified patron, and then sat next to a pregnant woman (who disappeared), was brought out the front entrance and placed in a police car. En route to City Hall, Oswald kept repeating "Why am I being arrested? I know I was carrying a gun, but why else am I being arrested?" In light of the above, it was a good question to pose.

The police (Lt. Cunningham and Detective John B. Toney) did question a man in the balcony of the theater. Lt. Cunningham said "We were questioning a young man who was sitting on the stairs in the balcony when the manager told us the suspect was on the first floor." Detective Toney said "There was a young man sitting near the top of the stairs and we ascertained from manager on duty that this subject had been in the theater since about 12:05 PM." Notice that both Cunningham and Toney say they spoke to the "manager." Manager? We know from Postal's testimony that the owner of the theater, John Callahan, left for the day around 1:30 PM. The projectionist remained in the projection room during Oswald's arrest. Julia Postal remained outside at the box office. Burroughs was the only other theater employee and, according to his testimony, he "stayed at the door at the rear of the theater" (near the concession stand), "did not see any struggle" and then "remained at the concession stand" during Oswald's arrest. Burroughs never left the main level of the theater. Clearly, neither Postal, Burroughs, nor the projectionist (the only theater employees on duty) spoke to these officers either in the balcony or on the stairs in the balcony. Someone either identified himself as a theater "manager," or the officers mistook someone as the theater "manager," or these officers were lying about speaking to the "manager." The "manager" and the person whom they questioned in the balcony remain unidentified.

Oddly, and inconsistently, the police homicide report of Tippit's murder reads "suspect was later arrested in the balcony of the Texas Theater at 231 W. Jefferson." Detective Stringfellow's report states "Oswald was arrested in the balcony of the Texas Theater." After (Harvey) Oswald's arrest Lt. E..L. Cunningham, Detective E.E. Taylor, Detective John Toney, and patrolman C.F. Bentley were directed to search all of the people in the balcony and obtain their names and addresses. Out of 24 (the number of tickets Postal said she sold) theater patrons that day, the Dallas Police provided the names of two-John Gibson and George Applin. If the names of the other 22 theater patrons were obtained, that list has disappeared. The identity of the man questioned by police in the balcony remains a mystery. He was not arrested and there is no police report, record of arrest, nor mention of any person other than Oswald. What happened to this man? What happened to the list of theater patrons?

Captain C.E. Talbert and some officers were questioning a boy in the alley while a pickup truck was sitting with the motor running a few yards away (24H242). Talbert was one of the few DPD officers at the Texas Theater who did not write a report of Oswald's arrest to Chief Curry (16 officers wrote such reports). Talbert's testimony before the Warren Commission runs for over 20 pages. At no time was he asked about his involvement at the Texas Theater or his questioning of a young man in the alley behind the theater.

Bernard Haire, owner of a hobby shop two doors from the theater, walked out the rear of his shop shortly before 2:00 PM and saw police cars backed up to Madison Street. He watched as the police escorted a man from the rear of the Texas Theater wearing a "white pullover shirt." They placed the man in a squad car and drove away. He noticed the man was very "flush" in the face as though he had been in a struggle. Haire's description of this man-"white shirt" with a "flush face"-is consistent with witness statements of Tippit's killer before, during and after the shooting. For 25 years Mr. Haire and other witnesses thought they had witnessed the arrest of Oswald behind the Texas Theater in the alley. When told Oswald was brought out the front of the theater Haire asked "Then who was the person I saw police take out the rear of the theater, put in a police car, and drive off ?"

http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr198-jfk.html

This post has been edited by Bernice Moore: Apr 2 2005, 07:13 PM

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ALSO INFORMATION FROM IAN GRIGGS THAT HE GAVE IN REGARDS TO BREWER ON LANCER,,FYI..,,B

Johnny Calvin Brewer never attended a police line-up. Furthermore, his affidavit was not taken until 6th December.

Like you, I am mystified why he was not interviewed officially until then. So is he.

Unlike you, however, I have implicit trust in what Brewer said and what he claims to have seen. I conducted a recorded interview of Brewer at his home in Austin on 25th November 1966 - possibly the first time he had been interviewed on this matter for many years.

Brewer remembered Oswald as an awkward customer who had purchased a pair of shoes at the shop a few weeks prior to the assassination. If you study CE 2003 (page 285 of exhibit) at 24H 343, you will find them listed among the property seized from Oswald's rooming house by the DPD on 23rd November. They also appear as CE 147.

Please see Chapter 8 of my book No Case To Answer (avaialble from Lancer after 15th of this month). This is a transcript of my interview with Brewer in which he talks about many of the events in this thread.

IAN Johnny Calvin Brewer never attended a police line-up. Furthermore, his affidavit was not taken until 6th December.

Like you, I am mystified why he was not interviewed officially until then. So is he.

Unlike you, however, I have implicit trust in what Brewer said and what he claims to have seen. I conducted a recorded interview of Brewer at his home in Austin on 25th November 1966 - possibly the first time he had been interviewed on this matter for many years.

Brewer remembered Oswald as an awkward customer who had purchased a pair of shoes at the shop a few weeks prior to the assassination. If you study CE 2003 (page 285 of exhibit) at 24H 343, you will find them listed among the property seized from Oswald's rooming house by the DPD on 23rd November. They also appear as CE 147.

Please see Chapter 8 of my book No Case To Answer (avaialble from Lancer after 15th of this month). This is a transcript of my interview with Brewer in which he talks about many of the events in this thread.

IAN Johnny Calvin Brewer never attended a police line-up. Furthermore, his affidavit was not taken until 6th December.

Like you, I am mystified why he was not interviewed officially until then. So is he.

Unlike you, however, I have implicit trust in what Brewer said and what he claims to have seen. I conducted a recorded interview of Brewer at his home in Austin on 25th November 1966 - possibly the first time he had been interviewed on this matter for many years.

Brewer remembered Oswald as an awkward customer who had purchased a pair of shoes at the shop a few weeks prior to the assassination. If you study CE 2003 (page 285 of exhibit) at 24H 343, you will find them listed among the property seized from Oswald's rooming house by the DPD on 23rd November. They also appear as CE 147.

Please see Chapter 8 of my book No Case To Answer (avaialble from Lancer after 15th of this month). This is a transcript of my interview with Brewer in which he talks about many of the events in this thread.

IAN

Researchers should be made aware that Brewer should not have been at work that day. It was only because his assistant's young child was unwell that he was there at all. He had arranged to have the day off and his assistant would run the business. This was to allow him to play with his new toy - a brand new 1964 model Ford Galaxy CL500. Instead of enjoying his new car, he could only admire it from behind his shop counter and, in his own words to me: "feed nickels to it all day" as it remained at a parking meter outside the store.

IAN

Edited by Bernice Moore

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Mr. APPLIN - Well, about the only thing I heard was the snap of the gun and the officer saying, "Here he is."

Mr. BALL - You heard the snap of a gun?

Mr. APPLIN - Yes, sir.

If it wasn't "Oswald's" pistol that misfired, whose was it?

If the intent was for a cop to kill the perp in the theatre, who screwed the pooch?

McDonald's weapon was drawn; who else had drawn theirs?

Applin seems to place the snap of the gun and the discovery of Oswald - "here he is" - at about the same time, with the melee following the attempt to fire.

This is why Oswald began shouting about "police brutality" and "I am not resisting arrest." Both statements would be ridiculous on their very face to anyone who had witnessed Oswald try to kill a cop or fight to avoid being apprehended. He thought they were going to kill him.

Some would construe that as guilty knowledge, the natural fear of apprehension exhibited by a felon who fully expected to be chased down.

Some could interpret that otherwise inexplicable behaviour as a man frightened by an incoming wave of police, at least one of whom seemed intent upon killing him.

Since the webbing between McDonald's thumb and forefinger was injured (shown to media), do we infer that in the scuffle with Oswald, McDonald's flesh prevented the firing of his own weapon? If we don't at least consider this, why not?

It has also always bothered me that in the first press accounts, McDonald waved away the matter by saying words to the effect of "He didn't give us too much trouble." While it is possible he was displaying an admirable false modesty, it is also possible that Oswald didn't give them too much trouble, with the thwarting of an Oswald pistol-shot being fabricated after the fact. Cue the false heroics of the subsequent story.

Good thread, lads. (And Lady Bernice.)

Robert,

I'd agree with all bar the bit about the injury. He was told to have his injuries photographed as evidence of what happened during the arrest. The only photo taken was of the scratch on his face. When he took the bandaid off his hand to show Ewell, he refused permission for Ewell to take a picture of it. Ewell described it as looking like he'd been jabbed with an ice pick. I think that is probably what it was - a deliberate jab to give weight to the story. He did not want it photographed for fear someone might actually realise it wasn't caused by a pistol hammer.

As for the snap... I go with Hawkins' suspicion that it may have been a seat:

Mr. HAWKINS. I heard something that I thought was a snap.
I didn’t know whether it was a snap of a pistol—I later learned that they were sure it was. I didn’t know whether it was a snap of the gun or whether it was in the seats someone making the noise.

Mr. BALL. There was some noise you heard?

Mr. HAWKINS. Yes, sir; there was.

Mr. BALL. You couldn’t identify it?

Mr. HAWKINS. No, sir; I don’t think so—I don’t think I could say for sure.

He learned later? Evidence received by the commission was that such a jamming would be extremely painful - yet not so much a mild "ouch" from McDonald? If it really happened, I think the cursing and carrying on would have left no doubt that McDonald had just received a painful injury.

What weapon was McDonald carrying?

It seems his weapon of choice for storming the hideouts of assassins was his shotgun. At least in his fictitious account of storming the library, he has himself carrying this weapon.

And all the other cops in the TT had their shotguns.

So why has McDonald forsaken his trusty shotty?

Maybe because he can't carry it and the pistol he is about to try and plant on Oswald?

Meanwhile, it seems at least one news service was reporting that the weapon Oswald had was... a shotgun... (I suspect that confusion arose because there was a shotgun involved in the struggle -- as witnessed by Jim Ewell).

Edited by Greg Parker

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