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Pat Speer

Givens down to one lie

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Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

Edited by Pat Speer

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"Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

Funny but that's not Givens testified to:

Mr. BELIN. Did you see him reading the newspaper?

Mr. GIVENS. No; not that day. .... I didn't see him in the domino room that morning.

( 6 H 352 )

IOW, not at 7:50, 11:50 or any time before noon !!!!!

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

That's nonsense. The report specifically stated that the time was 11:50. It didn't leave anything to interpretation.

In addition, there were three other witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15:

Willam Shelley:

Mr. BALL. On November 22, 1963, the day the President was shot, when is the last time you saw Oswald?

Mr. SHELLEY. It was 10 or 15 minutes before 12.

Mr. BALL. Where?

Mr. SHELLEY. On the first floor over near the telephone.

( 7 H 390 )

Eddie Piper:

Mr. BALL. Was that the last time you saw him?

Mr. PIPER. Just at 12 o'clock.

Mr. BALL. Where were you at 12 o'clock?

Mr. PIPER. Down on the first floor.

( 6 H 383 )

In addition, Carolyn Arnold told the FBI that she caught a fleeting glimpse of Oswald on the first floor " a few minutes before 12:15".

Part of investigating involves the credibility of sources. These witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15 had no reason to lie about what they saw.

Shanklin, however, is another story.

Certainly his credibility is in question. He was the head of the Dallas FBI office that ordered Hosty to destroy the "Oswald note". He was also involved in the stretcher bullet fiasco.

And in light of the accounts of other witnesses whose claims support the original report that Givens saw Oswald on the first floor, it's obvious to me at least that Givens was persuaded to change his original story to the extent that his WC testimony was that he NEVER saw Oswald reading a newspaper THAT MORNING !!!!

And here's something else for the reader to consider:

If Oswald had been on the sixth floor prior to 12:15, as the Commission believed, it was a remarkable coincidence that out of all of the employees of the TSBD, Oswald was able to pick out two who were together as he claimed, on the same floor as he claimed, in the same room as he claimed and at the same time as he claimed.

Oswald could not have told the FBI that Jarman and a short Negro employee were together in the Domino Room on the first floor unless he had seen this himself.

And for Oswald to have observed this, he would have had to have been on the first floor between 12:10 and 12:15. The fact that he was able to relate this incident is evidence that he was on the first floor until at least 12:15.

Edited by Gil Jesus

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"Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

Funny but that's not Givens testified to:

Mr. BELIN. Did you see him reading the newspaper?

Mr. GIVENS. No; not that day. .... I didn't see him in the domino room that morning.

( 6 H 352 )

IOW, not at 7:50, 11:50 or any time before noon !!!!!

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

That's nonsense. The report specifically stated that the time was 11:50. It didn't leave anything to interpretation.

In addition, there were three other witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15:

Willam Shelley:

Mr. BALL. On November 22, 1963, the day the President was shot, when is the last time you saw Oswald?

Mr. SHELLEY. It was 10 or 15 minutes before 12.

Mr. BALL. Where?

Mr. SHELLEY. On the first floor over near the telephone.

( 7 H 390 )

Eddie Piper:

Mr. BALL. Was that the last time you saw him?

Mr. PIPER. Just at 12 o'clock.

Mr. BALL. Where were you at 12 o'clock?

Mr. PIPER. Down on the first floor.

( 6 H 383 )

In addition, Carolyn Arnold told the FBI that she caught a fleeting glimpse of Oswald on the first floor " a few minutes before 12:15".

Part of investigating involves the credibility of sources. These witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15 had no reason to lie about what they saw.

Shanklin, however, is another story.

Certainly his credibility is in question. He was the head of the Dallas FBI office that ordered Hosty to destroy the "Oswald note". He was also involved in the stretcher bullet fiasco.

And in light of the accounts of other witnesses whose claims support the original report that Givens saw Oswald on the first floor, it's obvious to me at least that Givens was persuaded to change his original story to the extent that his WC testimony was that he NEVER saw Oswald reading a newspaper THAT MORNING !!!!

And here's something else for the reader to consider:

If Oswald had been on the sixth floor prior to 12:15, as the Commission believed, it was a remarkable coincidence that out of all of the employees of the TSBD, Oswald was able to pick out two who were together as he claimed, on the same floor as he claimed, in the same room as he claimed and at the same time as he claimed.

Oswald could not have told the FBI that Jarman and a short Negro employee were together in the Domino Room on the first floor unless he had seen this himself.

And for Oswald to have observed this, he would have had to have been on the first floor between 12:10 and 12:15. The fact that he was able to relate this incident is evidence that he was on the first floor until at least 12:15.

Three points, Gil.

1. Good catch about Givens' testifying to not seeing Oswald in the morning. That puts his Lie count back to 2, IMO. It's always possible, of course, that he told the FBI on the 22nd that he'd seen Oswald that morning, and then realized that he'd been thinking of the day before, and decided to stop telling this part of the story. But I doubt it. This interview, after all, was only hours after the shooting, when his memory of that morning would be a lot clearer than it would be months later.

2. When one reads the widely quoted bit about 11:50 in context, it's clear the phrase "On the morning" is a reference to the beginning of work, not lunchtime. Here it is again: "Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

3. This has little bearing on the probability Oswald did come down for lunch. As you say, he was seen by Shelley, Piper, and Arnold. Jarman, in his HSCA testimony, also acknowledged seeing him come down. The small man Oswald claimed to see with Jarman, however, was not Givens, but Norman. And Norman's testimony supports this.

From patspeer.com, chapter 4:

The statements and testimony of Harold "Hank" Norman, were even less helpful to the commission. In his 3-24-64 testimony, Norman admitted "I ate my lunch in the domino room." When asked if anyone had been in there with him, moreover, he answered in a strange manner: "I think there was someone else in there because we usually played dominoes in there but that particular day we didn't play that morning." Well, what does this mean? How would his normally playing dominoes but not on that day make him think someone else was in there? Well, I suspect this is explained in a 12-7 Secret Service Report on the depository employees, in which Billy Lovelady is quoted as stating "The other employees usually play dominoes during their lunch period after they have eaten, but Oswald never showed any interest in taking part in the games."(CD87 p780) This undoubtedly suggests that the "someone else" Norman thought was in the domino room was specifically one Lee Harvey Oswald. In either case, Norman next told the commission that he got together with Jarman after finishing his lunch and that the two of them went outside around "12 or 12:10." (3H186-197). As Norman was of small stature and was almost certainly the short man Oswald claimed to have seen, either Oswald had actually seen Norman and Jarman together during this lunch period or had made an incredibly lucky guess.

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Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

You'll probably encounter a fair amount of resistance to this, Pat, but FWIW I think you're right.

It knocks no. 9 right off Bugliosi's infamous "53" too.

Nice job.

Thanks, Martin.

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"Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

Pat there's something else to consider when discussing whether or not Givens said he saw Oswald in the Domino Room at 11:50 -- from Roffman's "Presumed Guilty" pg. 287:

"When Givens was interviewed by the FBI on the day of the assassination, he not only failed to mention having seen Oswald on the sixth floor, but he actually said he saw Oswald on the first floor at 11:50, reading a newspaper in the domino room (CD 5, p. 329). A lengthy memorandum by Joseph Ball and David Belin dated February 25, 1964, acknowledges that Givens originally reported seeing Oswald on the first floor reading a paper at 11:50 on the morning of November 22 (p. 105).

I haven't been able to find this memo on line. I only get so many searches at the Ferrell site.

Other's footnotes ( incl. Meagher's ) have referred to that memo pgs. 101, 105-107, and 110.

If anyone out there can post a link to this memo it would be appreciated.

Because if the memo does indeed acknowledge that Givens originally said that he saw Oswald in the Domino Room at 11:50, then there is no doubt that the "11:50" in CD 5 pg. 329 is correct and not a typo meant to be "7:50".

It also calls into question where Gemberling got the time of "7:50" from.

Based on the supporting evidence from other witnesses that puts Oswald on the first floor between 11:50 and 12:15, I suspect that Givens' "11:50" is correct.

But I'd like to see that memo to be fully convinced.

Edited by Gil Jesus

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"Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

Pat there's something else to consider when discussing whether or not Givens said he saw Oswald in the Domino Room at 11:50 -- from Roffman's "Presumed Guilty" pg. 287:

"When Givens was interviewed by the FBI on the day of the assassination, he not only failed to mention having seen Oswald on the sixth floor, but he actually said he saw Oswald on the first floor at 11:50, reading a newspaper in the domino room (CD 5, p. 329). A lengthy memorandum by Joseph Ball and David Belin dated February 25, 1964, acknowledges that Givens originally reported seeing Oswald on the first floor reading a paper at 11:50 on the morning of November 22 (p. 105).

I haven't been able to find this memo on line. I only get so many searches at the Ferrell site.

Other's footnotes ( incl. Meagher's ) have referred to that memo pgs. 101, 105-107, and 110.

If anyone out there can post a link to this memo it would be appreciated.

Because if the memo does indeed acknowledge that Givens originally said that he saw Oswald in the Domino Room at 11:50, then there is no doubt that the "11:50" in CD 5 pg. 329 is correct and not a typo meant to be "7:50".

It also calls into question where Gemberling got the time of "7:50" from.

Based on the supporting evidence from other witnesses that puts Oswald on the first floor between 11:50 and 12:15, I suspect that Givens' "11:50" is correct.

But I'd like to see that memo to be fully convinced.

Meagher mentions that memo in her article on Givens. While that memo reflects only Belin's interpretation of the FBI report, I suspect he discussed both interpretations of the report in the memo, as he ended up asking Givens a lot of questions about his seeing Oswald first thing in the morning, as well as his seeing Oswald at 11:50. So I'm anxious to re-read it as well. Unfortunately, the Warren Commission's internal memos, for whatever reason, are not available on the Mary Ferrell site. Still, I think I've seen it somewhere, perhaps on the Weisberg site.

As far as the 7:50, that doesn't come from a Gemberling report, which were summaries of other reports. It comes from Shanklin's teletype on the status of the investigation, written early in the morning of the 23rd. This was almost certainly before the report on Givens had been typed up. This means it was written based upon the notes created during the interview and/or a brief discussion with the interviewer. That is why I find it credible. If one assumes the time in the notes was "7:50" and that Givens said he saw Oswald at 7:50 then the structure of the final sentence makes sense, with the "about 11:50" referring to the time the employees normally eat lunch, not when Givens saw Oswald.

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If one assumes the time in the notes was "7:50" and that Givens said he saw Oswald at 7:50 then the structure of the final sentence makes sense, with the "about 11:50" referring to the time the employees normally eat lunch, not when Givens saw Oswald.

I have some problems with that interpretation. The first is because Givens told the WC that Oswald read the newspaper at lunch time:

Mr. BELIN. Did you ever observe Lee Oswald getting the newspaper in the domino room shortly before lunch on days other than November 22d?

Mr. GIVENS. Not before lunch. It would be right at lunch time.

Mr. BELIN. Right at lunch time?

Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir. We always ate in there.

Mr. BELIN. Would Oswald always eat in there?

Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.

( 6 H 354 )

The second is that Frazier didn't get to the TSBD that day until after 7:55:

Mr. FRAZIER. Usually, I usually leave not any later than 7:25. I usually try to leave about 7:20, and if you leave at 7:20 you usually get around there, by the time you get down to the parking lot now it is usually pretty close to 5 minutes to 8 and that gives you enough time to walk to the Book Depository, put up your lunch and take off your coat.

If Frazier left at 7:20, he would have arrived at the parking lot at 7:55. But that morning, he left AFTER 7:20:

Mr. FRAZIER. "........I just turned around and looked at the clock to see what time it was and it was right amount 7:21 then and I went in and brushed my teeth real quick and running through the house put my coat on and we left.

( 2 H 226 )

Givens couldn't have seen Oswald at 7:50 if Frazier didn't arrive in the parking lot until after 7:55.

Edited by Gil Jesus

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Guest Robert Morrow

If one assumes the time in the notes was "7:50" and that Givens said he saw Oswald at 7:50 then the structure of the final sentence makes sense, with the "about 11:50" referring to the time the employees normally eat lunch, not when Givens saw Oswald.

I have some problems with that interpretation. The first is because Givens told the WC that Oswald read the newspaper at lunch time:

Mr. BELIN. Did you ever observe Lee Oswald getting the newspaper in the domino room shortly before lunch on days other than November 22d?

Mr. GIVENS. Not before lunch. It would be right at lunch time.

Mr. BELIN. Right at lunch time?

Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir. We always ate in there.

Mr. BELIN. Would Oswald always eat in there?

Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.

( 6 H 354 )

The second is that Frazier didn't get to the TSBD that day until after 7:55:

Mr. FRAZIER. Usually, I usually leave not any later than 7:25. I usually try to leave about 7:20, and if you leave at 7:20 you usually get around there, by the time you get down to the parking lot now it is usually pretty close to 5 minutes to 8 and that gives you enough time to walk to the Book Depository, put up your lunch and take off your coat.

If Frazier left at 7:20, he would have arrived at the parking lot at 7:55. But that morning, he left AFTER 7:20:

Mr. FRAZIER. "........I just turned around and looked at the clock to see what time it was and it was right amount 7:21 then and I went in and brushed my teeth real quick and running through the house put my coat on and we left.

( 2 H 226 )

Givens couldn't have seen Oswald at 7:50 if Frazier didn't arrive in the parking lot until after 7:55.

The problem with this, Gil, is that you're trusting his claim about the time he left his house but you know he lied elsewhere in his testimony. So how do you decide when he's telling the truth and when he's lying? Seems to me there's a very good reason why juries are instructed that if a witness has lied on a single point they can feel free to disregard their entire testimony.

I think it's a mistake to try to use anything from Givens' testimony to argue about his first-day statements.

There are very few people who tell the truth all the time or who lie all the time. Often in life and in JFK research it is best to take a person's statements on a case by case basis. Someone can tell you 70% lies, but it is the 30% truth on critical points that need to be paid attention to.

On conversely, someone can tell you the truth on 95% of things, but they are doing it to make you swallow the 5% disinformation poison pill more easily.

The only thing to do is use your "critical thinking skills" and common sense as you evaluate a person's statements. Context is critical, too. Marina Oswald, when she was scared and terrified and controlled in 1963 and 1964 told a tremendous amount of lies (one whopper would be that Oswald was going to shoot Nixon - pure garbage)... but decades later when the pressure is off, Marina is more credible and trustworthy.

That is why I believe she really did take the backyard photos of Oswald because she says it 46 years while at the same time stating Oswald was framed.

Edited by Robert Morrow

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Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

Not that I'm in anyway saying Oswald is guilty of killing the president, I'm the first to disagree and suggest he was in fact set up, but to assume of someones innocents because he was reading the paper and not getting down to business rarely means anything if you're conspiring to assassinate someone, it doesn't entirely mean you're off the hook. I mean if I were to whack someone. I'd want to make it look as inconspicuous as possible, and if it meant reading the paper, then completing my job at a latter time, then that's what I'm gonna do.

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Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

Not that I'm in anyway saying Oswald is guilty of killing the president, I'm the first to disagree and suggest he was in fact set up, but to assume of someones innocents because he was reading the paper and not getting down to business rarely means anything if you're conspiring to assassinate someone, it doesn't entirely mean you're off the hook. I mean if I were to whack someone. I'd want to make it look as inconspicuous as possible, and if it meant reading the paper, then completing my job at a latter time, then that's what I'm gonna do.

I agree, Scott, that Oswald's reading the paper doesn't really tell us all that much. But there are a number of Oswald-did-it types who insist Oswald didn't really work that day, but only pretended to work while preparing for his moment. If Oswald spent the first part of the day calmly reading the paper, that cuts into their nonsense.

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The second is that Frazier didn't get to the TSBD that day until after 7:55:

Mr. FRAZIER. Usually, I usually leave not any later than 7:25. I usually try to leave about 7:20, and if you leave at 7:20 you usually get around there, by the time you get down to the parking lot now it is usually pretty close to 5 minutes to 8 and that gives you enough time to walk to the Book Depository, put up your lunch and take off your coat.

If Frazier left at 7:20, he would have arrived at the parking lot at 7:55. But that morning, he left AFTER 7:20:

Mr. FRAZIER. "........I just turned around and looked at the clock to see what time it was and it was right amount 7:21 then and I went in and brushed my teeth real quick and running through the house put my coat on and we left.

( 2 H 226 )

Givens couldn't have seen Oswald at 7:50 if Frazier didn't arrive in the parking lot until after 7:55.

Gil, Because Frazier said he usually left "not later than 7.25" and it "usually" got him there at 7.55, doesn't mean that whatever time he left that he arrived at that time on the 22nd. Isn't that just supposition?

Edited by Ray Mitcham

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Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

Not that I'm in anyway saying Oswald is guilty of killing the president, I'm the first to disagree and suggest he was in fact set up, but to assume of someones innocents because he was reading the paper and not getting down to business rarely means anything if you're conspiring to assassinate someone, it doesn't entirely mean you're off the hook. I mean if I were to whack someone. I'd want to make it look as inconspicuous as possible, and if it meant reading the paper, then completing my job at a latter time, then that's what I'm gonna do.

I agree, Scott, that Oswald's reading the paper doesn't really tell us all that much. But there are a number of Oswald-did-it types who insist Oswald didn't really work that day, but only pretended to work while preparing for his moment. If Oswald spent the first part of the day calmly reading the paper, that cuts into their nonsense.

I understand, isn't there anything indicating any time cards on those who worked that day, weren't they interviewed? I read somewhere about another employee named Frankie Kaiser was he there when Oswald was apparently at work?

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I think this is a really nice little job of research, Pat. Nice going!

JT

Since at least the publication of Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, it has been taken as a "given" by most conspiracy theorists that Charles Givens told two lies regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. 1. He initially claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room at 11:50 AM on the day of the shooting, but then pretended this never occurred. 2 He initially claimed he saw Oswald on the fifth floor as he (Givens) headed down for lunch between 11:30 and 11:45, but then testified he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, during his lunch, after going back up to get his cigarettes.

I have found reason to believe the first of these lies was not a lie, but a colossal misunderstanding.

The source of the confusion is an FBI report on its 11-22-63 interview of Givens. It has long been quoted as claiming: "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M." Some researchers, based upon this statement, have even taken to stating that Givens said he saw Oswald at 11:50 in the domino room.

But this is clearly incorrect. And here's why. This FBI report is not a verbatim account of Givens' statements. It is a typed-up report taken from the notes created by the FBI agent interviewing Givens. While the FBI has never released the original notes of any of its agents, I have recently realized there is another report written based upon these notes that sheds fresh light on what Givens actually said. This report is a teletype written early on the 23rd in which Dallas Special Agent in Charge Gordon Shanklin summarized the interviews conducted in Dallas for FBI headquarters.

Here is Shanklin's discussion of Givens:

"Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

This passage can be found in FBI file 62-109060, sec 9, p54 here: Shanklin on Givens

As you can see he specifies that Givens saw Oswald at 7:50, not 11:50 as appeared in the typed-up report. But that's not quite accurate, either. After reading Shanklin's account, I went back and re-read the FBI's typed-up report on its interview with Givens, and realized that the report had actually never claimed Givens saw Oswald at 11:50. This is what people thought it claimed. But it's not what it actually claimed. It actually claimed exactly what Shanklin said it claimed, with the unfortunate subtraction of the time Givens saw Oswald. Here is the confusingly written passage, from which people, including myself, have long extracted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:50.

"Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

So, you see, by leaving out the time Givens saw Oswald--7:50--the writer of the report allowed people to think the words "On the morning" referred to 11:50.

It's clear when one views this all in context, moreover, that Givens never did claim to see Oswald at 11:50. It's not all bad news for conspiracy theorists, however. Oswald's reading the paper at 7:50 in the domino room does little to suggest his guilt, and actually makes him look less guilty. I mean, if he's gonna shoot the President in a few hours, shouldn't he be picking out a window or stacking up some boxes or something?

There's also this. Shanklin's teletype asserts that Givens: "Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass."

While the FBI's typed-up report said Givens traveled to the first floor and then walked around until 12 o'clock, it did not specify that he did not go back up. Shanklin's message is much more specific on this matter. There is NO WAY this is compatible with Givens' subsequent testimony he went back up to the sixth floor and talked to Oswald. Shanklin's teletype thereby clears Givens of one lie, but helps convict him of another.

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The problem with this, Gil, is that you're trusting his claim about the time he left his house but you know he lied elsewhere in his testimony. So how do you decide when he's telling the truth and when he's lying? Seems to me there's a very good reason why juries are instructed that if a witness has lied on a single point they can feel free to disregard their entire testimony.

I think it's a mistake to try to use anything from Givens' testimony to argue about his first-day statements.

I agree that a jury would consider the witness unreliable. In this case, I trust more what the witnesses ORIGINALLY said on the day of the assassination more than I do their subsequent revisions. Givens affidavit to the Dallas Police on 11/22 made no mention of seeing Oswald in the Domino Room at 7:50, 11:50 or of seeing him on the sixth floor at 11:55. Later on the same day, he claimed that he saw Oswald at 11:50. Givens originally said that they broke for lunch at 11:30, went downstairs, washed up for lunch, then he "walked around" the first floor until noon, when he left the building.

I can't understand how people cannot believe that Oswald was in the Domino Room at 11:50.

Whether or not Givens is telling the truth about seeing Oswald in the Domino Room at 11:50 can be easily determined by looking at the corroborating evidence.

Three other witnesses saw Oswald on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15. How does Givens spend 20 minutes or so walking around the first floor and never see Oswald ?

How is it so impossible for Oswald to be in the Domino Room at 11:50 when there's no evidence that he was in the Domino Room at 7:50 ?

Mr. BELIN. Did you see him come into the domino room at all?

Mr. GIVENS. Not that morning, no, sir; I didn't.

Mr. BELIN. When did you leave the domino room to go up to the sixth floor?

Mr. GIVENS. 8 o'clock.

Mr. BELIN.. At 8 o'clock?

Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN. So you don't feel he came in the domino room before 8 o'clock ?

Mr. GIVENS. No, sir; not that morning he didn't.

( 6 H 348 )

It's not that I'm trying to be an a**hole about this, but I just don't see any corroborating evidence that Oswald was in the Domino Room at 7:50. I DO see evidence that Oswald was in the Domino Room at 11:50 supported by multiple witnesses who saw him on the first floor between 11:45 and 12:15.

This ( CD 5, pg. 329 ) is a very poorly written FBI report. It's all over the place, including an account where Oswald tells Givens "during the past few days that LEE had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley."

Oswald never spoke to Givens.

Mr. BELIN. Do you remember any conversation you ever had with him? What you said and what he said?

Mr. GIVENS. Well, he was a fellow that kept pretty much to himself. He never had too much to say.

Mr. BELIN. Did he ever say anything to you, what a nice day, or about his family, or baseball, or anything?

Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.

Mr. BELIN. Ever talk to you about any politics?

Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.

( 6 H 348 )

Oswald never even made small talk with Givens, but he told him that he rode to work with Wesley ?

The FBI put a lot of crap in these reports that wasn't the truth. The only way to find out the truth is to cross check it for corroboration. In addition, witnesses were pressured to change their stories from their original versions.

Givens seems to me to be one of those types of witnesses.

So much so, that by the time Givens got to give testimony to the WC, he didn't see Oswald in the Domino Room that day at all.

I believe that Shanklin's account of Givens saying he saw Oswald in the Domino Room at 7:50 is a lie. And I base that belief on the testimony of Givens, on the FBI report of the interview of Givens and on the testimony of witnesses who saw Oswald on the first floor at the time Oswald was allegedly in the Domino Room.

Furthering that belief is that I can find no document and no witness to support Shanklin's report putting Oswald in the Domino Room at 7:50.

That being said, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Edited by Gil Jesus

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Re: Charles Givens and his "11:55 encounter" with Lee Oswald....

Givens merely didn't mention his brief encounter with Oswald when Givens wrote his affidavit. Such an omission certainly doesn't mean that Givens' sixth-floor encounter with Lee Oswald never happened. Only a conspiracy theorist would possibly believe such a thing.

Plus, we know that there's no good reason for the authorities to start putting words into Givens' mouth about seeing Oswald on the sixth floor, because even WITHOUT Givens' account of seeing LHO on the sixth floor at approximately 11:55 AM, there is still ample witness testimony from other Depository employees who said they saw (and heard) Oswald on an UPPER FLOOR (either the fifth or sixth floor) shortly before noon. Those other employees are Billy Lovelady, Bonnie Ray Williams, and Danny Arce. And even Givens HIMSELF, in the 11/22/63 FBI FD-302 report, talks about hearing Oswald shout down the elevator shaft.

There is some confusion surrounding some of Charles Givens' statements with respect to Oswald asking to have the elevator sent back upstairs to him, which I talk about in this article.

But even if conspiracists wish to toss Charlie Givens under the bus and deem him a totally worthless l-i-a-r (which many CTers have done), what do they do with Lovelady and Williams and Arce with respect to their individual observations about seeing (and hearing) Lee Oswald on an upper floor of the TSBD shortly before 12:00 noon on 11/22/63?

With those three witnesses saying what they each said, why would the FBI or the Warren Commission (or anyone else) have felt the need to coerce Charlie Givens to tell some wild tale about seeing Oswald in just about the VERY SAME PLACE at just about the VERY SAME TIME that those three other men saw him?

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

Re: the "7:50 vs. 11:50" timing issue....

Givens' memory is obviously not too sharp when it comes to this particular topic. In his Warren Commission session, he seems very certain that he never saw Oswald reading a paper at all that morning, but on the other hand, I don't think it's reasonable to believe that the FBI just made up (or totally misunderstood) what Givens was telling them in the 11/22/63 FBI interview either.

My own belief concerning this mix-up is ---

I think Givens probably did see Oswald reading a paper in the Domino Room on November 22 at 7:50 AM, and Givens told the FBI that very thing. (Otherwise, why would the FBI write it up the way they did in such detail--including a very specific time of day--"7:50 AM"?) But when it came time to testify in front of the Warren Commission on April 8, 1964, that particular detail about seeing Oswald reading the paper slipped Givens' mind entirely for some reason.

I think such testimony just goes to prove one thing (once again) --- Human beings are not machines with perfect memories. Mistakes get made by humans. And things get forgotten by humans. And such mistakes and lapses of memory don't always have to translate to lies either.

Now, as to why there's a conflict between the two different FBI reports regarding the time when the FBI said Charles Givens saw Oswald reading a newspaper on 11/22/63 (7:50 vs. 11:50), I can't say for sure what the answer to that discrepancy is, but I do have a possible explanation....

My explanation assumes that this 11/22/63 FD-302 report written by FBI agents Will Hayden Griffen and Bardwell D. Odum was prepared after this FBI document, which is a document that has the words "Seven Fifty AM" spelled out in longhand (instead of writing it out as 7:50).

I think it might be possible that Griffen and Odum were relying on that first report with respect to the information about Givens seeing Oswald in the Domino Room, and the "seven" in that report was misread as "eleven". If someone was quickly reading a report with all the times spelled out in the rather unorthodox fashion in which we find them all spelled out in words in this report, I think a mistake could easily occur. (After all, the numbers 7 and 11 do both contain the letters "even" at the end of them.)

Whether or not the strange way of writing out (in words) the time of "seven fifty" resulted in the time later being misinterpreted by the agents who wrote up the FD-302 report, I have no idea. But given the “E-V-E-N” similarity in both numbers (plus the “:50” similarity as well), it makes me think that such a mistake just might be possible.

One other thought on the “7:50/11:50” discrepancy....

If the FBI report which says "11:50 AM" is in error about the time of day (which I now think it is), it means that another one of the CTers' arguments can be dismissed---i.e., the argument that essentially goes like this:

Why would Lee Harvey Oswald be bouncing all over the place in the Book Depository Building around noontime on 11/22/63? He's on the 5th or 6th floor at about 11:45 AM or so (as verified by Charles Givens [and others] who heard Oswald yelling down the elevator shaft as four TSBD workers were going down to lunch in the two freight elevators). Oswald is then, per an FBI report, seen by Givens reading a newspaper on the first floor at about 11:50. And then, according to Givens, Oswald is then seen on the sixth floor just five minutes later, at 11:55. It just doesn't add up. Somebody--namely Charles Douglas Givens--must be lying his head off!

[End CTer Simulation.]

But if Charlie Givens had really seen Oswald reading the paper at 7:50 instead of 11:50 (as Page 6 of this FBI memo/report clearly states), then the 11:50 time for an Oswald "sighting" by Givens doesn't really exist at all, and thusly the above simulated conspiracy argument can be discarded entirely.

In short, the 11:50/11:55 "timing" problems associated with the observations of Charles Givens completely vanish if the 7:50 AM time is the correct time for Givens' sighting of Lee Oswald in the first-floor Domino Room, instead of the more widely-accepted time of 11:50 AM.

So that "Seven Fifty" FBI document is actually an excellent document for Lone Assassin believers to utilize in the future. About the only thing a conspiracy theorist could still reasonably use it for would be to say that Vincent Bugliosi made a mistake (or flat-out lied) on Page 956 of his book, "Reclaiming History", when Vince discusses the 9th item on his list of "53 Things" that point to the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald.

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More:
http://jfk-archives.blogspot.com/search?q=Charles+Givens

 

Edited by David Von Pein

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