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Hoffman's Tale

Duke Lane

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A question about the veracity of Ed Hoffman's arose in a thread entitled "Ed Hoffman's Activities and Obserations: Fact or Fiction?" elsewhere on this forum. At first, I was skeptical, and pulled no punches about saying so; then a couple of members pointed out that Ed had written a book about his experiences and suggested my reading it before passing judgment. They even arranged for me to get a copy of the book from the publisher, JFK Lancer.

I spent a lot of time reading Ed's book (actually "ghost-written" by a friend of his), and comparing it and contrasting it with other accounts written by Jim Marrs (Crossfire) and Bill Sloane (Breaking the Silence), and what bits I could find from Nigel Turner's broadcast (The Men Who Killed Kennedy). I also did additional research with WC testimony, exhibits (CEs) and unpublished documents (CDs).

Leaving aside the many variations in the stories as variously published, even Ed's own definitive account left out some important information that, had he included it, might have given his tale more credibility. Conversely, these same facts would have made his story completely impossible to have occurred the way he said it did.

The final word on Ed Hoffman's supposed whereabouts on November 22, 1963, is this: he was anywhere else but where he says he was.

The proof is in the fact that, as and after the motorcade was entering Stemmons Freeway, there was a traffic jam on the highway directly in front of Ed, and between him and Dealey Plaza. It was created by no fewer than a dozen police officers on motorcycles holding traffic at the railroad overpass beyond which Ed had parked his car.

For Ed to have been where he claimed, he would have had to have been not seen by an officer on a three-wheeler almost directly across the highway from him for 40-50 minutes, whose job was specifically to see to it that nobody was doing what Ed claims he was. Additionally, two other motorcycle officers about 200 yards from him on the same side of the highway would also have had to not see Ed.

More to the point, however, is that for Ed to have reached his car, he would have had to run by these dozen officers holding traffic, and they, too, would have had to ignore a man running and waving his arms, then running right past them, jumping into his car, and taking off - from their point of view - after the motorcade at a high rate of speed. This right after a President had been shot just a few hundred yards away, at that!

For the full story, read my article "Freeway Man," currently online as a PDF. Unfortunately, while it is heavily annotated, the links to the documents cited do not presently work in the Acrobat file. This will be corrected in a later HTML version.

I am adding a conjectural addendum to this, that being that I don't believe - based on the very same "gut feel" that had told me that the story wasn't factual in the first place - that Ed set out to tell a tall tale to the world. I believe - again, entirely without basis other than the fact that Ed seems like a nice man, if perhaps a little gullible - that he was caught in the traffic jam or was perhaps driving by the other direction, and later told his family about his having "been there.

Whatever else he might've added to the story is immaterial inasmuch as it was probably intended only for his family and friends' consumption. It is possible that it was ridicule and cajoling by his co-workers - and embarrassment at having to back down from his story - that led to his 1967 and 1977 FBI interviews, although it surprises me that a man of Ed's apparent character would carry the story so far forward, but perhaps he never expected the FBI would do anything with or about it (as they did not!). It is important to note, however, that in neither case did Ed demonstrably go to the FBI entirely of his own volition.

The same is also possibly true where a relative of his brought him to the attention of Jim Marrs at Jim's JFK class at UTA. Again, I'm guessing that Ed figured he'd be telling the story to a bunch of awe-struck youngsters without realizing that Jim would aid in its eventual worldwide publication, and Ed's inclusion among frequently-cited "witnesses." If he were to back off the story after that, he would have lost tremendous "face" with his family and friends to whom he'd been privately telling his amazing anecdote to for years with little if any harm done.

I think he'd have been better off to have somehow managed to beg off from all of it, but for whatever reason, he didn't. The data I've uncovered - if indeed it had ever been in any way hidden - demonstrates conclusively that Ed not only wasn't where he said he was and didn't do the things he's claimed to have, but moreover that he couldn't have.

There will continue to be nay-sayers and defenders of the story, but their defense will necessarily have to be limited to conjectural "what ifs" and "coulda-shoulda-woulda's" as if the fact that most of DPD did their jobs properly during the parade and afterward is itself a fiction, or that Ed could somehow have managed to evade their detection for 40-50 minutes and in the crucial period - especially for Ed's story - immediately after the shooting.

The world in 1964 was not out to prove Ed a xxxx, purposely glossing over the fact that they simply hadn't noticed him or chose to ignore his presence where he was not supposed to be allowed to be. I think it fair to also note that it is practically impossible that not one of a dozen cops noticed a man running frenziedly to his car and at least appearing - if only momentarily - to chase after the motorcade.

I don't have a particular difficulty with the fact that Ed never noticed or mentioned the cops or the traffic jam; I have a problem with imagining the cops never noticed him, especially in light of their jobs and the emergency situation that had only just arisen: cops don't go into a panic at such times, and generally become much more vigilant and protective.

All of that said, I invite any comments on "Freeway Man" as may be.

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