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Pat Speer

First radio report on Tippit's shooting?

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I've been getting side-tracked with a lot of nonsense lately, so I'm hoping someone will know the answer to this and save me some time.

Brewer said he knew a policeman had been shot when he observed Oswald outside his store. This was roughly 15 minutes after the shooting. Well, did someone report the Tippit shooting on the radio within 15 minutes of the shooting? That seems mighty quick, considering there were no police or reporters on the scene, and they would need to be on the scene before a radio station would even think about reporting such a story, right?

Anyone know?

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Posted (edited)

I've often wondered which one of the several Dallas/Fort Worth radio stations Johnny Brewer was listening to when he was standing behind the counter of his Hardy's Shoe Store on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. He doesn't provide that information in his Warren Commission testimony, nor does he provide such info in his December 6, 1963, affidavit or during his brief time on the witness stand during the 1986 mock Oswald trial in London. Such information is also not available in Dale Myers' exhaustive book on J.D. Tippit's murder, "With Malice". [EDIT -- I was in error re: Myers' book; Click Here.]

Perhaps in some later interview Brewer mentioned which radio station he was listening to on November 22nd, but I've never been able to pin it down. That particular detail is also not to be found in Brewer's February 27, 1964, FBI interview.

In any event, it's quite clear that at least one of the radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area had provided, prior to approximately 1:36 PM (Dallas time), a bulletin concerning the shooting of a police officer in Oak Cliff. We know that whatever radio station Johnny Calvin Brewer was listening to on 11/22/63 most definitely did broadcast such a bulletin (most likely somewhere between 1:30 PM and 1:35 PM).

I agree with Pat Speer that the timing of that initial bulletin concerning the Tippit shooting does seem very fast, given the fact that Officer Tippit wasn't even shot until about 1:14 or 1:15 PM, but the alternative would be to believe that Brewer just made up the part about hearing a radio report about the shooting of a policeman before Brewer ever laid eyes on Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22.

Or, I suppose another alternative would be to believe that Brewer merely conflated the various timelines in his mind when he later told his story about what happened that day. That is to say, via this alternative, Brewer really only heard the information about the shooting of a police officer much later in the day, but his memory got all fuzzy and when he later told people what he remembered, he incorrectly said that the radio report concerning the policeman was something he had heard prior to Oswald poking his head into the lobby of Brewer's shoe store.

Analyzing The Radio Coverage....

If, in fact, Johnny Brewer definitely did hear a radio report about a policeman being shot prior to the time when Brewer saw Lee Oswald lurking in the doorway of the shoe store, I can say with some certainty that one of the stations that Brewer was definitely not listening to on 11/22/63 was KLIF Radio in Dallas....and that's because a timestamp provided by the KLIF announcers during their coverage at 1:48 PM CST indicates that the first KLIF bulletin concerning the shooting of a policeman in Oak Cliff didn't occur for another 14 minutes after that "1:48" timestamp, which would mean that KLIF's first bulletin on the Tippit shooting came at 2:02 PM CST (give or take a couple of minutes). And, of course, by 2:02 PM, Lee Oswald was already in police custody and, in fact, had just entered Dallas Police Headquarters in City Hall a couple of minutes earlier. (The initial bulletin about the Tippit murder comes at 2:25:45 in the video below.)

https://drive.google.com/file/KLIF-Radio (Dallas) (11/22/63)

Another local station that can be eliminated as being the one John Brewer was tuned-in to on 11/22 is Fort Worth's WBAP Radio, which didn't broadcast anything about the shooting incident in Oak Cliff until approximately 1:58 PM CST (go to 4:00:15 in the video below).

https://drive.google.com/file/WBAP-Radio (Fort Worth) (11/22/63)

KRLD Radio (Dallas) can also be eliminated as the source for Brewer's information about the Oak Cliff shooting. By my calculations, the first details heard on KRLD about the shooting of a policeman occurred at 2:04 PM Dallas time (at 1:23:31 in the video below).

https://drive.google.com/file/KRLD-Radio (Dallas) (11/22/63)

KBOX Radio might have been the station that Johnny Brewer had turned on that day, because within the first minute of the KBOX coverage heard below (which equates to about 1:35 PM CST), there's a bulletin which states: "We also have one Dallas detective reported dead on arrival at Parkland Hospital." (If that report was referring to Officer Tippit, then there are two errors in it, because Tippit was taken to Methodist Hospital, not Parkland, and Tippit, of course, was not a "detective". But later radio reports did also make the mistake of calling the slain policeman "Detective Tippit". So that KBOX bulletin probably is referring to Officer Tippit's death. And if that's the case, then Johnny Brewer could have heard about the Tippit shooting prior to seeing Oswald come into the lobby area of his shoe store. And it's also possible that KBOX could have provided a bulletin about the policeman's shooting even earlier than 1:35, but I have no way to confirm whether they did or not, because the version of the KBOX material in my collection begins at about 1:35 PM.)

https://drive.google.com/file/KBOX-Radio (Dallas) (11/22/63)

Another station that's still in the running for a possible pre-1:35 PM bulletin about the Tippit shooting is Dallas' WFAA Radio. I can't confirm one way or the other whether WFAA broadcast any Tippit bulletins prior to about 1:45 PM, because that's when my copy of their coverage begins. But WFAA was very quick with their first bulletin concerning Oswald's arrest in the Texas Theater, which is a bulletin that occurred within a very few minutes of Oswald's capture (at the 4:20 mark in this WFAA Radio coverage).

For the record, the only other Dallas/Fort Worth radio station that I currently have in my assassination archive is a little bit of coverage from KXOL in Fort Worth, but it has been heavily edited and cannot be used for any kind of a reliable timeline of events.

 

Edited by David Von Pein

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Julia Postal was listening to KLIF and did not hear anything about an officer being shot before police arrived;

And they raced in, and the next thing I knew, they were carrying----well, that is when I first heard Officer Tippit had been shot because some officer came in the box office and used the phone, said, "I think we have got our man on both accounts." "What two accounts?" And said, "Well, Officer Tippit's," shocked me, because Officer Tippit used to work part time for us years ago. I didn't know him personally.

This implies that Brewer did not mention to Julia Postal anything about an officer being shot

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Mr. Von Pein, I want to thank you for your research on this specific topic. I hardly expected it, based upon your tendency to rely on the Warren Report, Bugliosi, and Myers. It has changed, somewhat, my opinion of your work. Glad to see you not relying on mere faith in the aforementioned triumvirate, and instead checking outside sources, such as the radio broadcasts you checked. 

Amazed, but glad you stepped outside that "Bermuda Triangle."

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm certainly willing to accept the possibility that Johnny Brewer might have gotten mixed up concerning the precise time when he first heard the news about a police officer being shot in Oak Cliff. Perhaps he did hear that news a little later in the day. But also keep in mind the 1:35 PM KBOX report about the DOA "detective" (which is a remarkably speedy bulletin, because KBOX not only was reporting on the wounding of a police officer, they were already reporting on the death of that policeman as early as 1:35), which tends to indicate that at least one Dallas-area radio station was reporting the officer's shooting at a time which would be perfectly consistent with Johnny Brewer's account of only seeing Oswald after hearing about the policeman's shooting on the radio.

The KBOX audio footage I provided does not, however, give the necessary detail about the shooting taking place in Oak Cliff, but, as I mentioned earlier, it's possible that such an "Oak Cliff" detail was mentioned in an earlier KBOX bulletin, which preceded the point in time when my truncated copy of the coverage begins.

In any event, even if Brewer didn't hear any pre-1:36 PM radio bulletin concerning the Tippit shooting, it's still quite clear to me from the weight of John Brewer's testimony and statements over the years that Brewer was suspicious of Lee Harvey Oswald's behavior and actions shortly after 1:30 PM on 11/22/63 (such as: Oswald turning his back to the street just as the police cars went roaring by).

And if some conspiracy theorists have a desire to totally discount and deem invalid all of Mr. Brewer's testimony because of this issue of whether he really did hear a radio bulletin at the time he said he heard it, then I think those conspiracists are making a big mistake.

As it turned out, Johnny Brewer was the person who was most directly responsible for setting the wheels in motion which ultimately led to the capture of President Kennedy's (accused) assassin in the Texas Theater less than 90 minutes after JFK was shot.

And I have a strong feeling that those wheels would have been set in motion that day with or without Mr. Brewer hearing anything on the radio about a police officer getting shot nearby. And that's mainly because of Lee Harvey Oswald's appearance and actions when Brewer saw him. Brewer could see that Oswald was "scared", "looked like he had been running", and was trying to duck from the police cars out on the street. And all of this was occurring just an hour after the President had been shot and killed just a few miles away. Those factors, in total, resulted in Brewer taking the actions that he took on November 22, 1963.

 

Edited by David Von Pein

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Posted (edited)

BTW / FYI....

Below is a CBS-TV interview with Johnny Brewer from 1964. In this interview, Brewer says this: "Just a few minutes before he [Oswald] walked into the lobby, on the radio they had a bulletin that an officer had been shot here in Oak Cliff."

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KFei3W7bGOZElxNDFOdnRJWE0/view

 

Edited by David Von Pein

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5 minutes ago, David Von Pein said:

BTW / FYI....

Below is a CBS-TV interview with Johnny Brewer from 1964. In this interview, Brewer says this: "Just a few minutes before he [Oswald] walked into the lobby, on the radio they had a bulletin that an officer had been shot here in Oak Cliff."

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KFei3W7bGOZElxNDFOdnRJWE0/view

 

Do you know if Brewer warned Postal about the guy being possibly armed and dangerous? It would have been obvious to Brewer if he thought the same guy had just shot someone.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Tony Krome said:

Do you know if Brewer warned Postal about the guy being possibly armed and dangerous? It would have been obvious to Brewer if he thought the same guy had just shot someone.

I don't recall anything like that coming out in Julia Postal's testimony. But, interestingly, in that 1964 CBS-TV interview, Brewer claims that in addition to the fact that he said Oswald was acting scared, he (Brewer) was also relying on the physical description of the suspect in the President's assassination ("5-8, 5-9, 150 pounds").

Brewer said he had heard that description on the radio before he ever saw Oswald that day. Brewer actually implies in the '64 interview that he had also heard the description of Tippit's killer being given out on the radio as well (although when he refers to the shooting of the officer, it's quite possible that Brewer was still talking about the description of the man suspected of shooting the President).

But I think there might, indeed, have been a bit of unintentional "conflation" on Mr. Brewer's part concerning the timelines and when he might have heard certain things on the radio.

The 1964 CBS interview had previously led me to speculate that Brewer possibly might have been listening to a police scanner on November 22nd in his shoe store. But after checking Brewer's Warren Commission testimony, I learned that the "police scanner" idea could not be accurate, because Brewer told the Commission this: "We were listening to a transistor radio there in the store, just listening to a regular radio program."

 

Edited by David Von Pein

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re: Johnny Brewer's 1964 CBS interview

Brewer also says that there man he saw in the store portal "matched the description" of the shooter - a man wearing "a brown shirt". But none of the immediate descriptions broadcast of the Tippitt shooting mention a brown shirt, they all describe the shooter as wearing a white shirt. As John Armstrong noted.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jeff Carter said:

re: Johnny Brewer's 1964 CBS interview

Brewer also says that the man he saw in the store portal "matched the description" of the shooter - a man wearing "a brown shirt". But none of the immediate descriptions broadcast of the Tippitt shooting mention a brown shirt, they all describe the shooter as wearing a white shirt. As John Armstrong noted.

I think you'd better listen to it again. Because you're totally misrepresenting what Brewer said when he used the words "brown shirt" for the only time in that '64 interview. It was Brewer HIMSELF who was describing Oswald to Julia Postal. He wasn't referring to any radio description there. And, of course, Brewer HIMSELF could easily see that Oswald was wearing a "brown shirt". So that's what he told Postal.

Edited by David Von Pein

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2 hours ago, David Von Pein said:

I don't recall anything like that coming out in Julia Postal's testimony.

Could it be that Brewer didn't say anything to Postal because Brewer knew the man since he had previously sold him a pair of size 8-1/2 crepe soled shoes, and maybe he thought, even though he's acting strange, he did not believe he was the shooter?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tony Krome said:

Could it be that Brewer didn't say anything to Postal because Brewer knew the man since he had previously sold him a pair of size 8-1/2 crepe soled shoes, and maybe he thought, even though he's acting strange, he did not believe he was the shooter?

Then why did he follow Oswald up the street to the theater? Just for the exercise?

And why did Brewer ask Postal to call the police? Did he do that because he DIDN'T think the strange-acting man who was ducking the police sirens had done anything wrong that day?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David Von Pein said:

Then why did he follow Oswald up the street to the theater? Just for the exercise?

And why did Brewer ask Postal to call the police? Did he do that because he DIDN'T think the strange-acting man who was ducking the police sirens had done anything wrong that day?

 

No, I'm saying Brewer viewed both the strange actions of the man and the cops tearing up the street as somehow related, then decided to follow who he thought be a suspicious person, but necessarily an armed shooter.

In other words, since we can't find a radio broadcast that mentions an Oak Cliff shooting together with a description of the suspect, Brewer followed him only for the reasons mentioned above

BTW, Brewer has stated that he thinks it was KLIF he was tuned into that day

Edited by Tony Krome

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1 hour ago, Tony Krome said:

BTW, Brewer has stated that he thinks it was KLIF he was tuned into that day.

When did he say that?

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