Jump to content
The Education Forum
Ron Bulman

Two Oswalds in the Texas Theater

Recommended Posts

That doesn't match at all what Butch Burroughs and Bernard Haire witnessed.  From James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable:

Butch Burroughs, who witnessed Oswald’s arrest, startled me in his interview by saying he saw a second arrest occur in the Texas Theater only “three or four minutes later.”[444] He said the Dallas Police then arrested “an Oswald lookalike.” Burroughs said the second man “looked almost like Oswald, like he was his brother or something.”[445] When I questioned the comparison by asking, “Could you see the second man as well as you could see Oswald?” he said, “Yes, I could see both of them. They looked alike.”[446] After the officers half-carried and half-dragged Oswald to the police car in front of the theater, within a space of three or four minutes, Burroughs saw the second Oswald placed under arrest and handcuffed. The Oswald look-alike, however, was taken by police not out the front but out the back of the theater.[447]

What happened next we can learn from another neglected witness, Bernard Haire.[448]

Bernard J. Haire was the owner of Bernie’s Hobby House, just two doors east of the Texas Theater. Haire went outside his store when he saw police cars congregating in front of the theater.[449] When he couldn’t see what was happening because of the crowd, he went back through his store into the alley out back. It, too, was full of police cars, but there were fewer spectators. Haire walked up the alley. When he stopped opposite the rear door of the theater, he witnessed what he would think for decades was the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

“Police brought a young white man out,” Haire told an interviewer. “The man was dressed in a pullover shirt and slacks. He seemed to be flushed, as if he’d been in a struggle. Police put the man in a police car and drove off.”[450]

When Haire was told in 1987 that Lee Harvey Oswald had been brought out the front of the theater by police, he was shocked.

“I don’t know who I saw arrested,” he said in bewilderment.[451]

Butch Burroughs and Bernard Haire are complementary witnesses. From their perspectives both inside and outside the Texas Theater, they saw an Oswald double arrested and taken to a police car in the back alley only minutes after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald. Burroughs’s and Haire’s independent, converging testimonies provide critical insight into the mechanics of the plot. In a comprehensive intelligence scenario for Kennedy’s and Tippit’s murders, the plan culminated in Oswald’s Friday arrest and Sunday murder (probably a fallback from his being set up to be killed in the Texas Theater by the police).

There is a hint of the second Oswald’s arrest in the Dallas police records. According to the Dallas Police Department’s official Homicide Report on J. D. Tippit, “Suspect was later arrested in the balcony of the Texas theatre at 231 W. Jefferson.”[452]

Dallas Police detective L. D. Stringfellow also reported to Captain W. P. Gannaway, “Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in the balcony of the Texas Theater.”[453]

NOTES:

444. Author’s interview of Burroughs, July 16, 2007. Butch Burroughs is a man of few words. When asked a question, he answers exactly what he is asked. Burroughs told me no one had ever asked him before about a second arrest in the Texas Theater. In response to my question, “Now you didn’t see anybody else [besides Oswald] get arrested that day, did you?” he answered, “Yes, there was a lookalike—an Oswald lookalike.” In response to further questions, he described the second arrest, that of the “Oswald lookalike.” Ibid. Because Butch Burroughs saw neither Oswald nor his lookalike enter the Texas Theater, each must have gone directly up the balcony stairs on entering. Oswald crossed the balcony and came down the stairs on the far side of the lobby. There he entered the orchestra seats and began his seat-hopping, in apparent search of a contact. His lookalike sneaked into the theater at 1:45 P.M. and, like Oswald, went immediately up the balcony stairs. By the time Burroughs witnessed the Oswald double’s arrest, he had also come down the balcony stairs on the far side of the lobby, either on his own or already accompanied by police who had been checking the balcony. 

445. §
Ibid. 

446. §
Ibid. 

447. §
Ibid. 

448. §
In the data base of the JFK Records Act at the National Archives, there is no record of Bernard Haire. Archivist Martin F. McGann to James Douglass, July 20, 2007. 

449. §
In a photo taken about 1:50 P.M., November 22, 1963, that shows people gathering around the police cars in front of the Texas Theater, Bernard Haire can be seen at the edge of the crowd, leaning on a parking meter and trying to see. Photo by Stuart L. Reed; on p. 68, Myers, With Malice. 

450. §
Bernard J. Haire interview by Jim Marrs, summer 1987. Crossfire, p. 354. 

451. §
Ibid. 

452. §
Dallas Police Department Homicide Report on J. D. Tippit, November 22, 1963. Reproduced in With Malice, p. 447 (emphasis added). 

453. §
Letter from Detective L. D. Stringfellow to Captain W. P. Gannaway, November 23, 1963, Dallas City Archives. Cited in Harvey & Lee, p. 871 (emphasis added). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, David Von Pein said:

I think it's possible that some of the confusion about the alleged "two arrests" could have been initially sparked by the fact that Johnny Brewer was briefly held at gunpoint as a suspect by the police at the back of the theater. And Brewer, like Oswald, was a slender white male in his 20s.

I can't find anything in the records that indicates whether or not Brewer was actually dragged outside into the alley behind the theater when he was held at gunpoint....and, of course, Brewer wasn't actually placed into a police car....but if someone did see the incident between the police and Johnny Brewer at the back of the theater, this could certainly have elevated the confusion of any witnesses as to how many people were being detained by the police at the theater.

JOHNNY BREWER (WC Testimony) -- "I heard a noise outside, and I opened the door, and the alley, I guess it was filled with police cars and policemen were on the fire exits and stacked around the alley, and they grabbed me, a couple of them, and held and searched me and asked me what I was doing there, and I told them that there was a guy in the theatre that I was suspicious of, and he asked me if he was still there."

JOHNNY BREWER (1986 Mock Trial Testimony) -- "...a gun was held on me."

 

Excellent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You guys forgot to finish the relevant part of Brewer's 1964 testimony!  He didn't go out into the alley, he wasn't taken into the alley and a squad car by police.  Let's see exactly what he did do.  I'll put in boldface the part you forgot:

Mr. BREWER - I heard a noise outside, and I opened the door, and the alley, I guess it was filled with police cars and policemen were on the fire exits and stacked around the alley, and they grabbed me, a couple of them and held and searched me and asked me what I was doing there, and I told them that there was a guy in the theatre that I was suspicious of, and he asked me if he was still there.
And I said, yes, I just seen him. And he asked me if I would point him out.
And I and two or three other officers walked out on the stage and I pointed him out, and there were officers coming in from the front of the show, I guess, coming toward that way, and officers going from the back.

Then, of course, Brewer went on for a lengthy discussion of "Lee Harvey Oswald's" arrest, which he says he witnessed in its entirety from inside the theater.  You guys forgot to mention that.

Edited by Jim Hargrove

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Jim H.,

The portion of Johnny Brewer's testimony you just highlighted doesn't eliminate the possibility that Brewer could have been very briefly pulled out into the alley by the police officers who grabbed him. I don't know if they did pull him out in the alley or not, but we do know that Brewer did open the back door (next to the alley), and a gun was held on Brewer and he was grabbed by the cops.

And even if Brewer wasn't actually physically in the alley, it's possible that a witness who was in that alley could have still gotten a view of the cops grabbing Brewer at gunpoint just inside the back door of the Texas Theater.

 

Edited by David Von Pein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably an innocent man who for some reasons attracted police’s attention. At the wrong place at the wrong time. The same happened to a friend of mine after a shooting in a mall. Because he looked like one of the suspects he was handcuffed and put in a police car just in case. That’s good police practice. Nobody at DPD bothered writing a detailed report with the name of this second arrest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Von Pein said:

And even if Brewer wasn't actually physically in the alley, it's possible that a witness who was in that alley could have still gotten a view of the cops grabbing Brewer at gunpoint just inside the back door of the Texas Theater.

 

But Bernard Haire said the look-alike was taken to a police car.  He wasn't just inside the back door of the theatre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Denis Morissette said:

Probably an innocent man who for some reasons attracted police’s attention. At the wrong place at the wrong time. The same happened to a friend of mine after a shooting in a mall. Because he looked like one of the suspects he was handcuffed and put in a police car just in case. That’s good police practice. Nobody at DPD bothered writing a detailed report with the name of this second arrest. 

Sure, an innocent man who looked exactly like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Paul Bacon said:

Sure, an innocent man who looked exactly like Lee Harvey Oswald.

My friend just happened to look like a suspect! You don’t think it’s strange??? 🤣 Michael Paine looked like Lee. Bill Lovelady looked like Lee. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Denis Morissette said:

My friend just happened to look like a suspect! You don’t think it’s strange??? 🤣 Michael Paine looked like Lee. Bill Lovelady looked like Lee. 

And so did someone who was roaming around Dallas for a couple of months pretending to be LHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I do.  Definitely with the plotters.  There's too much credible research that indicates it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top 9 problems with Johnny Brewer I know of:

1. Brewer's first statement was made on 12/6/63, two weeks after the assassination, not the same day or the day after, which would have been preferable for an important witness. 

2. Brewer claimed to have SEEN, not heard, Police vehicles passing by a location where they almost certainly were not present.

3. Brewer claimed to have heard a description of the suspect on the radio BEFORE he saw the suspect, even though evidently no such description was circulating public airwaves at this time. 

4. Brewer claimed to SEE the suspect enter the Texas Theater without buying a ticket, yet he also claimed to have asked the clerk if the suspect bought a ticket. 

5. As summarized on harveyandlee.net:  A very close friend of Jack Ruby's, Tommy Rowe, worked at Hardy's Shoe Store with Brewer. In 1964 Rowe told friends, relatives, and JFK researchers that it was he, NOT Brewer, who pointed out (HARVEY) Oswald to the police in the dark of the Texas Theater. Rowe was so close to Jack Ruby that Rowe moved into Ruby's apartment when Ruby went to jail for killing HARVEY Oswald. (Click here to see Midlothian Mirror editorial about Tommy Rowe.)  (Click here for a 3/1/68 Los Angeles Free Press interview with Penn Jones and Roger Craig also discussing Tommy Rowe.) Unfortunately, Tommy Rowe was never interviewed by the DPD or FBI or WC or HSCA. It is worth repeating that in 1967 the New Orleans District Attorney's office interviewed Tommy Rowe, who lived in Apt. 206 at 223 S. Ewing (the same apartment occupied by Jack Ruby in 1963). Mr. Rowe said that he told shoe store manager Johnny Brewer that he saw a man wear­ing a brown shirt enter the Texas Theater on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. If Rowe's statement is true then Johnny Brewer never saw the man in the brown shirt in front of his store, enter the theater, nor did he point out (HARVEY) to the police.

6. When interviewed by Ian Griggs, Brewer claimed that two acquaintances were also present in the shoe store, who he would not identify besides to say they were employees of IBM. 

7. As summarized by Gokay Hasan Yusuf on KennedysAndKing.com: When Ian Griggs interviewed Johnny Brewer in 1996, Brewer told him that he heard Oswald shout out "It's all over"; or words to that effect (Griggs, No Case to Answer, page 64). But when Brewer testified before the Warren Commission, Brewer merely claimed that he heard some hollering, and that he couldn't make out exactly what Oswald said (WC Volume VII, page 6)

8. ibid: When Johnny Brewer testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that he observed a gun in Oswald's hand aimed "up in the air" (WC Volume VII, page 6). During his interview with Ian Griggs in 1996, he now claimed that Oswald was trying to shoot McDonald in the head (Griggs, No Case to Answer, page 64). Yet, none of the other witnesses and the arresting Officers, let alone Nick McDonald, claimed that this is what they had seen during the scuffle. Moreover, Brewer's claim is directly contradicted by Charles Walker, who stated that the gun was pointed about waist high.

9. ibid: When Johnny Calvin Brewer, the shoe store manager who allegedly witnessed Oswald duck into the Theater without paying, testified before the Warren Commission on April 2, 1964, he claimed that he heard someone holler "He's got a gun" (ibid, page 6). Brewer explained that before he heard this, he had seen a gun "...come up and - in Oswald's hand, a gun up in the air" (ibid). But as discussed in part 1 of this writer's review of With Malice, this was most certainly a lie (see under the subheading VI: Closing in). Aside from Hill and Brewer, this writer knows of no other officer (or witness) who claimed that they heard someone yell out that Oswald had a gun. This writer is also unaware of any officer/witness who took credit for yelling out that Oswald had a gun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Micah Mileto said:

Top 9 problems with Johnny Brewer I know of:

1. Brewer's first statement was made on 12/6/63, two weeks after the assassination, not the same day or the day after, which would have been preferable for an important witness. 

2. Brewer claimed to have SEEN, not heard, Police vehicles passing by a location where they almost certainly were not present.

3. Brewer claimed to have heard a description of the suspect on the radio BEFORE he saw the suspect, even though evidently no such description was circulating public airwaves at this time. 

4. Brewer claimed to SEE the suspect enter the Texas Theater without buying a ticket, yet he also claimed to have asked the clerk if the suspect bought a ticket. 

5. As summarized on harveyandlee.net:  A very close friend of Jack Ruby's, Tommy Rowe, worked at Hardy's Shoe Store with Brewer. In 1964 Rowe told friends, relatives, and JFK researchers that it was he, NOT Brewer, who pointed out (HARVEY) Oswald to the police in the dark of the Texas Theater. Rowe was so close to Jack Ruby that Rowe moved into Ruby's apartment when Ruby went to jail for killing HARVEY Oswald. (Click here to see Midlothian Mirror editorial about Tommy Rowe.)  (Click here for a 3/1/68 Los Angeles Free Press interview with Penn Jones and Roger Craig also discussing Tommy Rowe.) Unfortunately, Tommy Rowe was never interviewed by the DPD or FBI or WC or HSCA. It is worth repeating that in 1967 the New Orleans District Attorney's office interviewed Tommy Rowe, who lived in Apt. 206 at 223 S. Ewing (the same apartment occupied by Jack Ruby in 1963). Mr. Rowe said that he told shoe store manager Johnny Brewer that he saw a man wear­ing a brown shirt enter the Texas Theater on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. If Rowe's statement is true then Johnny Brewer never saw the man in the brown shirt in front of his store, enter the theater, nor did he point out (HARVEY) to the police.

6. When interviewed by Ian Griggs, Brewer claimed that two acquaintances were also present in the shoe store, who he would not identify besides to say they were employees of IBM. 

7. As summarized by Gokay Hasan Yusuf on KennedysAndKing.com: When Ian Griggs interviewed Johnny Brewer in 1996, Brewer told him that he heard Oswald shout out "It's all over"; or words to that effect (Griggs, No Case to Answer, page 64). But when Brewer testified before the Warren Commission, Brewer merely claimed that he heard some hollering, and that he couldn't make out exactly what Oswald said (WC Volume VII, page 6)

8. ibid: When Johnny Brewer testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that he observed a gun in Oswald's hand aimed "up in the air" (WC Volume VII, page 6). During his interview with Ian Griggs in 1996, he now claimed that Oswald was trying to shoot McDonald in the head (Griggs, No Case to Answer, page 64). Yet, none of the other witnesses and the arresting Officers, let alone Nick McDonald, claimed that this is what they had seen during the scuffle. Moreover, Brewer's claim is directly contradicted by Charles Walker, who stated that the gun was pointed about waist high.

9. ibid: When Johnny Calvin Brewer, the shoe store manager who allegedly witnessed Oswald duck into the Theater without paying, testified before the Warren Commission on April 2, 1964, he claimed that he heard someone holler "He's got a gun" (ibid, page 6). Brewer explained that before he heard this, he had seen a gun "...come up and - in Oswald's hand, a gun up in the air" (ibid). But as discussed in part 1 of this writer's review of With Malice, this was most certainly a lie (see under the subheading VI: Closing in). Aside from Hill and Brewer, this writer knows of no other officer (or witness) who claimed that they heard someone yell out that Oswald had a gun. This writer is also unaware of any officer/witness who took credit for yelling out that Oswald had a gun.

How does all this matter?  All that matters is that we know for a fact that Oswald was arrested in the Texas Theater. And Tommy Rowe moving in Ruby's apartment? No source. Just Penn Jones saying so, which is not very impressive. I've been a security guard only for 2 months, but I can now tell by experience that people see things that never happened. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...