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Looking again at the figure in the doorway


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Introduction:-

Recently I have been reading David Wrone's book "The Zapruder Film" and came to page 167 where he begins to deal with the man in the doorway and where he concludes that, that person is Oswald. I recollect on JFK forums, when this book came out, this was a hot issue where members basically concluded that this was an extremely weak and unnecessary part of this book. Like most others I was also of the opinion that it was not Oswald, but Billy Lovelady. However, just as an exercise in curiosity I went searching for the images and did a study of this concern. Having underdone some study I am now of the opinion that man in the doorway is not Billy Lovelady, and never has been so, and that the man probably is Oswald. The reasons, which will be outlined below, are because of the considerable discrepancies between Billy Lovelady and the image in the doorway and the major similarities between Oswald and the image. Below I outline my reasons for going against 40+ years of JFK research and established opinion.

Issue 1:- Comparing Oswald with the figure in the doorway.

The main evidence for Oswald are those images taken while he was in custody. However, not all images of Oswald have him wearing the shirt he was wearing when he was arrested. In the middle of this image is a close-up of the man in the doorway surrounded by the images I was able to find of Oswald wearing this shirt.

Point 1. The man in the doorway has his shirt significantly unbuttoned. You cannot see the bottom of that aspect of the shirt because there is a face in front of that part of the shirt. If you count up the shirt it appears that there are 3 buttons undone as well as the collar button: making four buttons undone. All pictures of Oswald, while in custody, show a similar gap in his shirt. Image G in this set appears to show the bottom two buttons with the upper two concealed. It appears that at no point while he was in custody did Oswald attempt to button up his shirt. Sometimes, like in image F, the gap in the shirt closes up a bit, and sometimes, like in image D, it widens a bit. However throughout all this images of Oswald in jail the length of the opening appears the same as that of the man in doorway.

Point 2. The shape of the shirt on the man in the doorway and on Oswald is astonishingly similar. For example, the man in the doorway, the left hand side of the shirt is flipped over. That is exactly what you see in image D. Wrone points out on P. 179 that this shirt was an old one. He makes the point Oswald's button holes were stretched and that was why he was not able to button up his shirt. Although Wrone does not mention it, it appears that the material is quite thin and when the support of the buttons are not there it is difficult to close the shirt up.

The second similarity is the manner the shirt surrounds the neck. In the man in the doorway it is nearly off the neck, except for the back of the neck. The shape of the neck is very easy to see. That is very similar to image G and D, particularly image D. The amount of the neck seen in image D and the man in the doorway is extraordinarily similar. Infact these two images are striking in just how similar they are. The outline of the neck is the same, the left hand side of the shirt is the same and the opening of the shirt is the same. Wrone makes the point that judging which man is the more likely to be the figure in the doorway, has little to do with facial resemblance but the shirt worn. If the shirt is wrong then so is the man and if the shirt is the same then, surely so is the man.

Issue 2: Comparing Lovelady with the figure in the doorway

Considering how important Billy Lovelady is to the guilt of Oswald, it is surprising just few pictures there are of him. David Wrone suggests that in the over exposed part of the John Martin film is a frame that shows Lovelady's shirt is buttoned up. Apparently in July 1976 Robert Groden sent Harold Weisberg a blow-up of this frame. P. 178 Whether there is such a frame is not really the issue, it would help but it is not essential. What is important is how much of Lovelady's shirt was open and how the shirt hung on the man.

Point 1. In image G is a picture of Lovelady taken by Robert Groden in 1976. In that image Lovelady only has two buttons undone. However in image E, taken in the sheriff's office on the 22nd it appears Lovelady may have three buttons undone. That said, in none of the images of him has he four buttons undone. In that respect, Lovelady is different from the man in the doorway. Image E is a very interesting image. Image A is an enlargement of it. Like Oswald he has a breast pocket to his shirt. However he has something in it that is white. Could be a hankie. Image C is an enlargement of image B And again we can see the pocket although this time the white object is not there. But the pocket does have something in it. Now if you look at the image of the man in the doorway, he does not have a bulging pocket. Therefore in that respect, again Lovelady is very different from the man in the doorway. A final point on this issue refers to images D and G. Image G, Robert Groden informs us on P. 187 TKOAP, Lovelady is wearing the shirt he wore that day, yet it does not have a breast pocket, and therefore this shirt Lovelady is wearing although similar to the one he wore on the 22nd, is not the same one.

Point 2. How the shirt hangs on Lovelady is very different to how the shirt hangs on the man in the doorway. The collar of the shirt surround his neck whereas the shirt worn by the man in the doorway does not. Even with three buttons undone, like in image E and A, the collar of the shirt hangs next to his neck whereas in the image of the man in the doorway much of the collar is off the neck. In images B and F, which are taken outside the TSBD on the 22nd, the collar still hugs the neck.

In none of the pictures of Lovelady, taken that day or later, is his shirt open as much as the figure in the doorway or does Lovelady's shirt hand as loosely as that image.

Issue 3:- Comparing the shirts with the figure in the doorway

Omitting for the moment that this shirt is not exactly the one Lovelady wore on the 22nd, one thing that is striking about this shirt is its stark pattern. Although it may not be the exactly the same shirt, images A and E in Image 2 demonstrate that its pattern is similar enough to considered the same pattern as Lovelady wore on the 22nd.

Point 1. Granted that the image in the doorway is an extremely small part of Altgen's picture, and granted that this picture was taken some distance away from the subject, what is striking is that this very strong pattern cannot be detected. We should be seeing very strong vertical and horizontal stripes and blocks of colour. Now I have read on forums people argue that if you look at the image you can see patterns. And I have read people argue that what we are seeing is this pattern as shown in the Groden picture of Lovelady.

But!!

If you look at the Oswald shirt there are blocks of orange and brown in both horizontal and vertical shapes. Also the orange colours are generally horizontal in nature and the shapes that are seen on the man in the doorway are more horizontal in nature and are the lighter shades on the shirt. And that is what we see on the Oswald shirt.

I would say there is much more in common in Oswald's shirt to the man in the doorway than there is in Lovelady's shirt. Indeed I would go further. Lovelady's shirt simply is not the same kind of pattern that we see on this shirt.

Issue 4:- Comparing where Lovelady stood with the figure in the doorway

In 1971 Bob Jackson persuaded Billy Lovelady to wear the shirt he wore on the 22nd and stand where he stood that day. Again note that how he wears his shirt is nothing like the man in the doorway.

Point 1. We need to examine picture 3 to see how the man was standing. He is bent forward by quite a bit. And to stop himself from falling he grips the side of the building. This is highlighted by the letter A. In image 2 + 3 you cannot see the hand because there is a person in front who is blocking our line of sight.

Now in image 1 Lovelady suggests that he is standing on the step labelled B. If that was the step, then he should be at position B2 leaning forward and griping point A to stabilise himself. However looking at the B1 position and the proximity of the A point to that step it is possible the figure might have been on the C step at position C2. What is certain is that the figure could not have been standing on the step labelled D. It would be too far to lean.

Maybe Lovelady was just positioning himself on the step rather than giving a true account of how he was standing. Because certainly how his is standing is nothing like the figure in the doorway.

One thing about the Bob Jackson picture is that we get an idea of the height of Billy Lovelady and to my eye he appears to be taller than Oswald. Although I can't do it, it should be possible to pin point where the head comes to on the building. With better copies of the Altgen's picture, it should be possible to determine what step the figure is standing on. And in doing that it should be possible to determine the height of the figure. If that can be done, then when measured I predict you will find the height to be 5'9": the height of Oswald as stated in his autopsy. If it can be determined what Lovelady's height is indeed taller than Oswald, I also predict that you will not be able to fit that measurement into that of the figure in the doorway.

As pointed out in the beginning, I am certain it is not Billy Lovelady in that doorway, even though 40+ years of research have informed us it is. I believe it may well be Lee Harvey Oswald and that makes sense of a number of issues. For example, it explains why Sandra Styles and Victoria Adams did not see Oswald going down the stairs to the lunchroom, because he did not go down the stairs: he went up the stairs.

James Gordon.

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Great minds think alike. I've been re-reading Harold Weisberg's Whitewash series, and he calls attention to what he dubs "The Lovelady Caper" (Whitewash II, pp 185-94); he also reproduced (inside back cover) the February 29, 1964, photos taken of Lovelady by the FBI and sent to the WC by Hoover on March 9, which are not included in those you've posted above. These show Lovelady in the "red and white vertical striped shirt" that he told the FBI he'd been wearing on November 22, which he also described in May 1964 to Jones Harris of the New York Herald-Tribune as being "a red-and-white striped sport shirt buttoned near the neck" (WWII, p 190).

Interestingly, the photo you provided of Lovelady at DPD(?) on November 22 shows him wearing a shirt completely dissimilar to the one he described and was photographed by the FBI wearing. While much ado can be made over the distinctions between the shirt on the doorway figure and the February 29 Lovelady shirt, there is much less distinction between the shirt he was wearing in the photo at DPD and that of the doorway figure. Indeed, the same pattern can be discerned in the Altgens photo once you've seen it, and it bears as much or more resemblance to the Lovelady DPD photo as to Oswald's shirt: the latter definitely looks more like the doorway shirt than the February 29 shirt does, but the distinction definitely breaks down when compared with the Lovelady DPD shirt.

As to the comparison you'd made of the shirts in Altgens and your photo "G" in the Lovelady set, one point that's noteworthy is that manufacturers of decent-quality patterned shirts typically make the pockets blend into the body of the shirt so that when there's nothing in the pocket and it's lying flat against the shirt, it is almost indiscernable. While the "G" shirt does not seem to have a pocket, I can't tell from the size of the photo if there are any lines - either stitching or breaks between the top of the pocket and the shirt above it - that show - or don't - on a larger, clear copy.

It almost appears as if the top of the pocket can be seen in a break in the narrow white stripe second to Billy's left from the buttons, and a seam possibly in the second blue stripe to the right of the first buttoned button and the first narrow white stripe to his left from the buttons. If you have a larger, clearer copy of the image and can send it to me by email, I'd appreciate it. Ditto any others you can send.

As to you noting that, at DPD, Lovelady seemed to have something white in the pocket, but that the doorway figure does not, consider that in that era, many people - a much higher percentage than today - smoked, and most men did (and still do) carry their smokes in the breast pocket of their shirts.

It's my guess - which I'll see if I can't verify - that Billy smoked and that's what was in his pocket at DPD. That he didn't have them in his pocket at work suggests not necessarily that he's not the man in the doorway, but only that he didn't need to have the cigs with him at work when they were only maybe a few hundred feed away, versus being at DPD where he couldn't just duck aside and grab one from his pack.

Finally, regarding a difference in how the shirt(s) hang on the bodies wearing them, remember that the Groden photo was taken 13 years after Altgens'. In 1963, he was 26 years old; in '76, he was approaching 40. People's physiques tend to change, sometimes pretty significantly, as they get older. In sum, machts nichts.

What I find to be particularly interesting in all of this, however, is that Billy was photographed by the FBI on 2/29/64 wearing the shirt he was supposedly wearing on 11/22/63, just a little over 3 months earlier, which matches his "red-and-white striped" description. Yet, in the set above, it appears that he knew he was wearing a shirt different than the striped one that the FBI photographed him in, and that the former appears to be the same or similar to the one in the DPD photo, what he was (unequivocally?) wearing on 11/22/63. If he knew otherwise, why did he pose in a different shirt for the FBI?

Weisberg wasn't convinced that the figure was Lovelady or that it wasn't Oswald. Neither was I until seeing the DPD photo, and will only say now that it sure looks like it might've been Billy.

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In my slide lectures in the 70s, I made all the points that James Gordon makes

using the same photos and research

My opinion was then and is now that the doorway man LOOKS A LOT MORE

LIKE OSWALD THAN LOVELADY.

At that time, images had not surfaced found by Groden in the Martin film showing

the BALD BEARDED Lovelady in a red and blue plaid shirt. I have never been

able to accept the plaid shirt man as the doorway man.

In all of my slide shows, I stated my conclusion that evidence was INCONCLUSIVE

as to whether the doorway man was Oswald or Lovelady. I am still of that opinion.

Given only two choices...LHO or BNL...it appears to be LHO.

But that does not cover all possibilities.

I believe the plot scenario was rife with multiple Oswalds, mysterious tramps,

men with umbrellas, etc.

I suggest that a scenario possibility exists wherein an Oswald look-alike was

in the doorway. I suggest that some other Altgens photos are suspect, so why

not this one?; tampering is a possibility. I suggest that Armstrong's research

regarding Harvey and Lee may be pertinent...therefore it could be Lee OR Harvey

in the doorway.

My current opinion. Doorway man was NOT Lovelady. It may have been one

of the two Oswalds...or maybe a person unknown to us.

Jack

Edited by Jack White
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Well, door guy sure looks like Lovelady to me: shirt, face, everything.

I do see a pattern in door guy's shirt, plaid not stripes (which doesn't jibe with what he told the FBI he was wearing).

The face has a long chin, unlike Oswald, and a higher forehead with a different hairline than Oswald.

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The Altgens image appears to be edited. The unnatural slant, from the shoulder down past the elbow, looks like a very bad editing job, IMO. I have to ask...where is his shoulder?

Unless the man who appears to be standing behind him was in front of him...it makes no sense to me.

Edited by Chuck Robbins
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While I haven't had a chance to read this entire thread, I have a simple question.

Did Oswald change his shirt while he was in his room after the assassination and before he was arrested at the theater?

Thanks,

BK

That is the official story. See Harvey&Lee.

Jack

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Well, door guy sure looks like Lovelady to me: shirt, face, everything.

I do see a pattern in door guy's shirt, plaid not stripes (which doesn't jibe with what he told the FBI he was wearing).

The face has a long chin, unlike Oswald, and a higher forehead with a different hairline than Oswald.

______________________________

Myra,

I agree with you. It's Lovelady.

--Thomas

______________________________

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I find myself agreeing with Myra again. In the Lovelady batch of photos, the man in the DPD office looks identical to the man in the doorway. By looking at the DPD photo of Lovelady, and comparing it to the shirt Lovelady claimed, years later, he was wearing that day, I believe they are the same. Look at the stripes down the sleeve. The vertical white stripes are accompanied by vertical black stripes. I believe this was the same shirt Lovelady was wearing on Nov. 22, 1963.

My question is, did Lovelady ever identify himself in that doorway picture?

Kathy

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I find myself agreeing with Myra again. In the Lovelady batch of photos, the man in the DPD office looks identical to the man in the doorway. By looking at the DPD photo of Lovelady, and comparing it to the shirt Lovelady claimed, years later, he was wearing that day, I believe they are the same. Look at the stripes down the sleeve. The vertical white stripes are accompanied by vertical black stripes. I believe this was the same shirt Lovelady was wearing on Nov. 22, 1963.

My question is, did Lovelady ever identify himself in that doorway picture?

Kathy

Yes.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/lovelady.htm

Mr. BALL - I have got a picture here, Commission Exhibit 369. Are you on that picture?

Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL - Take a pen or pencil and mark an arrow where you are.

Mr. LOVELADY - Where I thought the shots are?

Mr. BALL - No; you in the picture.

Mr. LOVELADY - Oh, here (indicating).

Mr. BALL - Draw an arrow down to that; do it in the dark. You got an arrow in the dark and one in the white pointing toward you. Where were you when the picture was taken?

Mr. LOVELADY - Right there at the entrance of the building standing on the the step, would be here (indicating).

Mr. BALL - You were standing on which step?

Mr. LOVELADY - It would be your top level.

Mr. BALL - The top step you were standing there?

Mr. LOVELADY - Right

Kathy Beckett

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JFK Vs. CIA: The Central Intelligence Agency's Assassination of the President by Michael Calder.

This above book argues that it is Oswald in the Doorway. In a review of this book, Michael B. Green, wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/JFK-Vs-CIA-Intellige...n/dp/0966074904

"Calder dismisses the possibility that Oswald might have been a shooter because, he proclaims, the famous photo by James Altgens taken just when JFK clutched his throat, shows Oswald standing in front of the Texas State Book Depository, not in its sixth floor "sniper's nest." That Oswald is the man in Altgens' photo is a major point to which Calder devotes four pages of detailed argument (pp.23-26). The Warren Commission concluded that the man in the photo was Oswald look-alike co-worker Billy Lovelady. [What else would they conclude?] Calder cites the testimony of four co-workers of Lovelady and Oswald who were standing outside the Depository in the shadows behind the disputed "Oswald" figure to the effect that Lovelady was with them, hence in the shadows, hence not the man in the photo. Calder ignores that one eyewitness has Lovelady standing, another sitting, and Calder completely ignores the fact that eyewitness testimony is inexact and often is in error. Calder ignores that this testimony collectively locates Lovelady in the general area of the "Oswald" figure, so that a reasonable question is whether or not Lovelady was a little in front of them in the light while they remained unseen in the shadows. But Calder argues that such points need not even be considered since Lovelady was wearing a red striped shirt that day, whereas the man in the photo has on a plaid shirt over a white t-shirt."

I say it was Lovelady in the Doorway photo.

Kathy

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JFK Vs. CIA: The Central Intelligence Agency's Assassination of the President by Michael Calder.

This above book argues that it is Oswald in the Doorway. In a review of this book, Michael B. Green, wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/JFK-Vs-CIA-Intellige...n/dp/0966074904

"Calder dismisses the possibility that Oswald might have been a shooter because, he proclaims, the famous photo by James Altgens taken just when JFK clutched his throat, shows Oswald standing in front of the Texas State Book Depository, not in its sixth floor "sniper's nest." That Oswald is the man in Altgens' photo is a major point to which Calder devotes four pages of detailed argument (pp.23-26). The Warren Commission concluded that the man in the photo was Oswald look-alike co-worker Billy Lovelady. [What else would they conclude?] Calder cites the testimony of four co-workers of Lovelady and Oswald who were standing outside the Depository in the shadows behind the disputed "Oswald" figure to the effect that Lovelady was with them, hence in the shadows, hence not the man in the photo. Calder ignores that one eyewitness has Lovelady standing, another sitting, and Calder completely ignores the fact that eyewitness testimony is inexact and often is in error. Calder ignores that this testimony collectively locates Lovelady in the general area of the "Oswald" figure, so that a reasonable question is whether or not Lovelady was a little in front of them in the light while they remained unseen in the shadows. But Calder argues that such points need not even be considered since Lovelady was wearing a red striped shirt that day, whereas the man in the photo has on a plaid shirt over a white t-shirt."

I say it was Lovelady in the Doorway photo.

Kathy

Myra, Kathy, Kathleen, Myra, Thomas, Jack

Until I went to look at the pictures I also believed it was Lovelady.

The problem for me, and it is why I feel it was Lovelady and not Oswald is the shirt. This was the point that Wrone made. I felt it to be very logical and persuasive. His point was, it the shirt matches then so does the man. If the shirt does not match, then it is not the man.

Now on the Oswald batch of images is picture D which is so like the figure, except for the width of the opening. The main matches are:-

1. The length of the opening. Four buttons are undone.

2. The left hand side of the shirt is flipped over.

3. The collar is off the neck in the same way it is with the figure.

4. The fabric and pattern of the shirt, as ahown in image 3 is much more like the shirt of the figure.

Now, for me the problem is this.

There is not one picture of Lovelady where all of these points also included. Yes there are pictures with his shirt open. Indeed there are picturues where Lovelady wears the shirt he says he wore that day, but NOT ONE of them has four buttons open. In those pictures when Lovelady is demonstrating how he wore the shirt, he only has two buttons open.

There is no picture of Lovelady, where he is shown wearing the shirt, with the left side is flipped over, as we see in the figure.

There is no picture of Lovelady, where his shirt lies so far off his neck, like it does with the figure.

The fabric and pattern of his shirt is very different from the faric of the shirt worn by the figure.

These are trhe reasons why I becomming convinced it is Lovelady and not Oswald, even though I am bucking 40+ years of established JFK research and thinking. I agree it is an extremely, and maybe even an over simplyfiied point, but I think Wrone has a point: match the shirt and you match the man. And for the Lovelady shirt does not match which is, for me, the sole reason I am convinced it is not Lovelady.

Now the point raised by Kathy is also troubling me. If the image is not Lovelady, as I belive it is not, then why is he saying he was there. If he was not there and he knows he was never there why is he saying he was there? I accept the point Kathy makes which is that before the Commission Lovelady accepts that it was him. However, if I am right and Lovelady was never standing there, who got to him and how did they get him to admit that he was there.

These are the questions that are bothering me and they are why I posted on this issue.

James.

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The Altgens image appears to be edited. The unnatural slant, from the shoulder down past the elbow, looks like a very bad editing job, IMO. I have to ask...where is his shoulder?

Unless the man who appears to be standing behind him was in front of him...it makes no sense to me.

His shoulder does look odd. Or his lack of shoulder I should say.

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I agree with James; I've always felt the figure in the doorway was probably Oswald. I also agree with Jack, that even if it isn't Oswald, it probably isn't Lovelady. Thanks, Duke, for citing Weisberg's work on this. I was greatly influenced by his arguments and research, and it seemed that he made a pretty compelling case that the figure couldn't have been Lovelady. I don't think researchers should automatically accept that this is a closed case, and that the figure in the doorway has been definitively established as Lovelady. There is still a lot of room for doubt, imho.

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