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Man in Brown Sportscoat


William Kelly
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I think this article appeared in the Third/Fourth Decade. It's a very important article - BK

The Man in the Dark Sportcoat

By William Weston

July 1996

A man in a dark sportcoat and light colored pants dashed out of the back door of the Texas School Book Depository about three minutes after the shooting. He was in his late twenties or early thirties, about five feet eight inches tall, and he had dark brown hair. As he ran south on Houston Street, his coat was flapping backward in the breeze.

Who was this man and why was he running away? Was he a conspirator escaping from the scene of the crime? Or was he just an excited office worker trying to find out what is going on? This article will compare and combine the details of what was seen and heard by eyewitnesses in order to obtain a unified picture of what was happening behind the Book Depository.

Let us first examine the matter through the eyes of James Worrell, a senior in high school, who was living with his mother and sister in Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas. [1] On November 22, he decided to skip school in order to see the President. He hitched a ride to the airport at Love Field and got there around 9:00 am. Since the President's plane was not due to arrive for another two and a half hours, Worrell spent most of his morning waiting around at the airport.

When the plane had finally landed and the President and his entourage had disembarked, the large crowds at the airport prevented Worrell from getting a good view. He began thinking of another way by which he could see the President. If he could catch a bus going into the city, he might be able to beat the crowds forming along the motorcade route. One bus was headed for Dealey Plaza, the last spot where one could see the President before his car went on the freeway. The bus would give him plenty of time to get there, for it would be taking the most direct route at normal traffic speeds, whereas the motorcade, on the other hand, would be going by an indirect route at a reduced speed in order to enhance the visibility of the President to the spectators. Worrell got on board and traveled to a location near the Book Depository. After he got off the bus, he walked over to a spot underneath the so-called "sniper's nest" and waited for the President to arrive.

At 12:30 he saw the presidential limousine as it slowly turned right on Houston Street and then left on Elm. He could not see the President very well, for he was again defeated by the presence of too many people standing in his way. When the limousine had gone 50 to 75 feet past him, he heard a shot that sounded like it came from above. He looked up and saw about six inches of a rifle projecting from either the fifth or the sixth floor window - four inches of barrel extending from two inches of stock. (The barrel of the alleged assassin's rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, extends five-and-a-half inches from the stock.) Worrell looked down the street to see where the rifle was aiming. A second shot was fired and the President slumped down into his seat. Worrell again looked up and saw a small discharge of flash and smoke as the rifle fired again. At that instant he heard people screaming and others were yelling "duck." To get out of the way, he ran for cover around the corner of the building. Just as he was rounding the corner, he heard a fourth shot. [2]

He ran on towards the rear corner of the building, where he turned right and crossed the street. When he reached the southeast corner of the intersection of Houston and Pacific, he stopped to catch his breath. (His smoking habit made him short-winded.) He had been standing at the corner for about two to three minutes, when he saw someone come bustling out of the back door. It was the man in the dark sportcoat. He was running towards the intersection of Houston and Elm, where he disappeared among the gathering by-standers. Worrell watched him as long as he could, and after he lost sight of him, he turned eastward and walked along Pacific Street. He got to his mother's office at the corner of Ross and Ervay. From there he took a bus to his school and from his school he hitchhiked back to his home in Farmers Branch.

The next morning he watched the newscasts on television. Chief Jesse Curry was making a plea to anyone who had seen the shooting to notify the police. Worrell called the police and that same day he was taken to city hall to make a statement. Three and half months later, he was in Washington testifying before the Warren Commission and his account of the mysterious man running out of the back door of the Book Depository was reported in the newspapers. One man who read this story was outraged, for he knew very well that no one came out that way.

James Romack, a truck driver for Coordinated Transportation Inc., [3] had been watching the back door from the very instant the shots were fired. He did not cease watching it until after the police had arrived to seal off the building. He was angry that some fool could get away with perpetrating such nonsense. To set the record straight, Romack contacted the authorities and told them what he saw.

On the morning of November 22, Romack had been working at the railroad yard. He had been conversing with a fellow worker named George Rackley at a spot about a 100 to 125 yards from the rear side of the Book Depository. [4] The sirens of approaching motorcycles drew their attention to the crowds gathered at the intersection of Houston and Elm. Shortly thereafter, Romack heard three rifle shots. (Rackley, curiously enough, did not hear the shooting. He was 60 years old at the time and it is possible that his hearing might have been somewhat impaired. He did however notice a large flock of pigeons that rose up from the roof of the Book Depository. [5])

The pedestrians near the Book Depository were either falling to the ground or scattering away. Conspicuous among them was the distinctive blue uniform of a policeman running along the sidewalk. He was headed towards the back area of the Book Depository. Romack told the FBI that he saw the policeman "within a minute" after the shooting. [6] When he was testifying before the Warren Commission, he used the words "just immediately after". [7] Since the meaning of the word "immediately" has a little bit of elasticity, we can thus conclude that the policeman was seen during a time period of not more than sixty seconds after the shooting.

This estimate of time is confirmed by the police officer, W. E. Barnett. [8] As he stood near the front of the Book Depository, he heard what sounded like three shots that came from up high. He looked up and scanned the roofline for a gunman. If he was up there, he might try to make a quick getaway down a fire escape. There was one fire escape on the east side of the building. Was there another one on the rear side? To find out, Barnett made a dash for the back end of the building. [9] No fire escape was on that side, but there was a back door that no one was guarding. He decided to position himself at a spot, where he could keep an eye on both the fire escape and the back door. While he stood there, two young women opened the door and came out.

Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles had been up on the fourth floor, watching the parade from one of the windows. [10] They heard gunfire as the presidential limousine disappeared behind a tree. To find out what happened, they ran down the back stairs and out the back door. Adams estimated that she and her friend were going outside about a minute after the shooting. They were stopped by a policeman who was standing nearby.

"Get back into the building," he said.

"But I work here," Adams pleaded.

"That is tough, get back."

"Well, was the President shot?"

"I don't know. Go back."

The two women agreed to obey. Yet their idea of compliance was not to return the way they came, but rather they went all the way around the west side to re-enter the building through the front entrance - talking to various people along the way, of course. Technically, they were disregarding the instructions of a police officer, and Barnett should have stopped them, but he must have had too many other things on his mind then to chase after two young ladies who were determined to satisfy their curiosity. His main worry was the front entrance. As he looked in that direction, he saw police officers and sheriff's deputies all running towards the triple underpass. No one seemed to realize that the shots came from the building itself. This put Barnett in a quandary. Should he stay where he was and hope that someone would eventually realize the importance of guarding the front door? Or should he go to the front door himself and hopefully alert someone to the need of guarding the back door? He decided in favor of the latter choice and ran back towards the front of the building.

Before he could get to the front entrance, he was stopped by a man in a construction hat, who told him that he had seen a gunman on one of the upper floors. (This was Howard Brennan.) Then a police sergeant came and ordered him to find a sign on the building by which it could be identified. He had to go out into the street to see the words near the rooftop ledge. It was the Texas School Book Depository. When he finally got to the front door, he estimated that about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes had passed since he heard the last shot. [11]

When Romack saw the back door was being guarded by the policeman, he thought that a suspect might be coming out. (Neither he nor Barnett had ever reported seeing the two women exiting the building. They probably deemed this an insignificant detail that was hardly worth mentioning.) After the policeman had abandoned the area, Romack at this point decided to take up the task of guarding the back door himself. He had already been began walking towards the building (having started when the shots were fired), and in the course of his approach, he came beside a sawhorse barrier that crossed Houston Street. It was located about 25 yards from the Book Depository and it had been set up to block the northbound traffic from going into a road construction zone. [12] This barrier, as will be seen below, is the means by which a reconciliation can be made between Romack's testimony and Worrell's.

According to a statement made to the FBI, Romack heard from somewhere behind him the sound of a car bouncing erratically over big chunks of asphalt. He turned his head and watched in utter amazement and disbelief as a shiny red, 1963 Pontiac Catalina station wagon bumped and banged laboriously over the broken-up street. It followed the curve that joined Ross to Houston and stopped at the barrier on the other side of the railroad tracks. [13] Painted on the side of the car was the name KBOX Radio News. There were two occupants sitting on the front seat. To give the newsmen a helping hand, Romack walked in front of the barrier, removed a sawhorse and set it aside and then returned to get another sawhorse and set that one aside too. In performing this task, Romack had turned his back to the Book Depository. [14] The car passed through the barrier and parked about 15 yards from the northeast corner of the building. (See map showing positions at 12:34 pm.)

Romack said that the news vehicle arrived on the scene about three minutes after the shooting. [15] His time estimate was confirmed by Sam Pate, one of the occupants in the car. He said that the car came to a stop near the Book Depository about four minutes after the shooting. [16] We can thus pinpoint its arrival between 12:33 and 12:34. The importance of this fact cannot be overemphasized, for this was also the same moment when Worrell saw the man in the dark sportcoat coming out the back door. The time span when Romack had turned his back to the building could not have been more than a couple of minutes. Yet it only takes a few seconds for someone to dash out of a building and run down the street.

What about other witnesses in the area, who had the door within their field of view? One man who said that no one came out was George Rackley. [17] He did not follow Romack in his quest to find out what was going on, but rather he stayed behind at the original location (a distance of over 100 yards from the Book Depository). Although he had not seen anyone emerge from the back door, that does not necessarily mean that he had kept his eyes glued to it the whole time. An indication that he was an easily distracted spectator is the fact that he missed seeing something that should have been obvious. He told the Warren Commission that he did not see the arrival of the KBOX news vehicle, which came as close as 25 yards to where he was standing. If his awareness of his surroundings was so limited that he failed to notice a wild feat of rugged-terrain driving only 25 yards away, then how could his testimony be used to settle a controversy involving a relatively less noticeable event over a 100 yards away? No doubt the panorama of crowds surging into the railroad yard was an awesome spectacle to Rackley, and it would be understandable if he failed to notice such peripheral circumstances as the arrival of a news vehicle or the brief appearance of a solitary figure coming out of the TSBD building.

Another witness who had the back door within his view was news reporter, Sam Pate. [18] From his vantage point inside the station wagon, he would have had an unobstructed view of the Book Depository during that crucial moment when Romack had dropped his guard. Yet Pate did not have the same awareness of the Book Depository as the source of the shots that Romack had. His main concern at that time was finding out where the action was, and at 12:33 his attention would have been riveted to the spectacle of numerous people rushing into the parking lot and railroad yard. Any latecomer to the scene would naturally assume that whoever fired the shots was not inside the building. (This consideration would also apply to the other occupant in the car, Josh Dowdell, who apparently never made a public statement about what he had seen.)

The sum total of these considerations leads us to the conclusion that there is no testimony strong enough which can refute Worrell's contention that a suspect ran out the back door.

The evident existence of this man is corroborated by the statements made by another witness named Carolyn Walther. [19] She had been standing on Houston Street in front of the County Records building. Less than a minute before she saw the motorcade, she happened to look up at the Book Depository and saw two men at a fifth floor window in the far east corner. One of them was kneeling at the lower open half of the window and he had a short gun or rifle in his hands. Standing beside him was a man wearing a brown suitcoat. His clothing could be seen through the lower half of the window, but his face was obscured by the glass of the upper half. This was the extent of her observations, for at that instant she had shifted her attention to the approaching motorcade. Going by the detail of the suitcoat, we can suppose that the man whom Walther saw was the same one that Worrell saw a little over three minutes later. It is relevant to mention here that this interval of time exactly correlates with the three minute passage of time between the firing of the shots at 12:30 to the use of an elevator by someone on the fifth floor going down to the ground floor at 12:33. [20]

Still another sighting of this man was made by an unemployed steel worker named Richard Randolph Carr. [21] Shortly after 12:00 pm, he was looking for work at the construction site of a new courthouse on Houston Street. He asked one of the workers where he could find the foreman in charge of steel construction, and he was told that he had to go up to the ninth floor. To get up to this floor, Carr had to take the stairway located on the west side of the building next to Houston Street. As he ascended the stairs, he came to the sixth floor and happened to look outside towards the old courthouse building. Visible above this edifice was the top floor of the Book Depository. A heavy-set man was looking out of a window next to the one on the far east side. He was wearing a hat, eyeglasses, and a tan sportcoat. [22] For a short time Carr gazed upon this man; then he continued his climb up the stairs.

About a minute or two later, he heard a loud noise that sounded like a firecracker. There was a slight pause and then he heard two more reports in rapid succession. He turned his eyes toward the triple underpass, which was where he thought the shots came from. In the grassy area between Elm and Main Streets, he could see several individuals falling to the ground. To find out what happened, he immediately proceeded to descend the stairs.

After he reached the ground, he again saw the man whom he had previously seen on the seventh floor of the Book Depository. He was rapidly approaching Carr at a very fast walking pace. When he got to the corner of Commerce Street, he turned left. On the next street over was a parked car, a 1961 or 1962 Nash Rambler station wagon, facing north. It had a luggage rack on top and Texas license plates. In the driver's seat was a young Negro. The heavy-set man opened the rear door and got inside. The car was last seen heading north on Record Street. [23] This momentary view of a Nash Rambler dovetails with the observation of a sheriff's deputy named Roger Craig. About fifteen minutes after the shooting, Craig saw a Nash Rambler station wagon, also driven by a dark-skinned man, going west on Elm Street. It stopped in front of the Book Depository and a man whom Craig later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald got inside. The car was last seen going under the triple underpass in a direction that would have taken it towards Oak Cliff.

In the course of this article, I have covered a great multitude of incidents that occurred within a very short period of time - about fifteen to twenty minutes long.

To show how these wide-ranging circumstances can be combined into a logical sequence, the following chronology is given below:

12:28 A man in a tan sportcoat is seen by Carr on the seventh floor of TSBD.

12:29 A man in a brown suitcoat is seen by Walther on the fifth floor. He is standing next to a gunman.

12:30 Worrell sees a gun firing at the President from a window on the fifth floor (or the sixth floor). Romack starts walking toward TSBD, keeping back door within his view.

12:31 Barnett runs to the back area of the TSBD. He encounters Adams and Styles coming out the back door.

12:32 Barnett returns to the front of TSBD.

12:33 The KBOX news car arrives on the scene. Romack removes a portion of a barrier to enable it to get through. Meanwhile, a man in a dark sportcoat dashes out the back door.

12:34 The KBOX car is parked near TSBD. The man in the tan sportcoat is seen by Carr walking south on Houston Street. He gets into a Nash Rambler driven by a Negro.

12:45 Deputy Craig sees Oswald escaping in a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man.

The above chronology shows a common thread of truth ties widely disparate points of view into a unified whole. Each person on the scene corroborates the others and demonstrates the value and trustworthiness of eyewitness testimony. While it is usually true that the best evidence in a case of homicide are tangible items such as documents, photographs, bullet fragments, and autopsy specimens, in the case of the Kennedy assassination, where so much of that evidence has been grossly mishandled or falsified, the best source of information turns out to be the interconnecting memories of ordinary people.

ENDNOTES

1.2H191-201 (Worrell)

2. Worrell had estimated that about four to six seconds had elapsed during the shooting. When he was told later that all the firing came from one bolt-action rifle, he could not understand how it could have fired so rapidly.

3. 6H279-283 (Romack)

4. 6H280 (Romack)

5. 6H275 (Rackley)

6. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 2

7. 6H281 (Romack)

8. 7H539-544 (Barnett)

9. It should be noted here that Barnett was running exactly the same way along the east side of the building as Worrell. Worrell had a headstart, for he began running before the sequence of shots ended, whereas Barnett did not start until it was over. By the time Barnett was on the move, Worrell must have already been crossing the street.

10. 6H388-393 (Adams)

11. 7H543 (Barnett)

12. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 5

13. Dennis Ford, "North of Elm on Houston," The Fourth Decade, July 1995, p. 41

14. 6H281 (Romack)

15. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 2

16. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 6

17. 6H274-277 (Rackley)

18. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 6

19. 24H522 (FBI report of Carolyn Walther)

20. For more information on the circumstances inside the Book Depository, see "The Fifth Floor Sniper" in the May 1993 issue of The Third Decade.

21. Commission Document 385. Reprinted in Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas (New York: Bernard Geis, 1976), pp. 308-309

22. The time when Carr saw the man in a tan sportcoat on the seventh floor was within a minute or two of the time when Carolyn Walther saw a man in a brown suitcoat on the fifth floor. What probably happened was that the man whom Carr had seen had immediately gone down to the fifth floor where he was seen by Walther, just before the appearance of the motorcade.

23. This statement was given to the FBI on February 4, 1964. Five years later he gave a different story at the Clay Shaw trial. The Nash Rambler was not parked on Record Street, as originally stated in 1964, but rather it was parked on Houston Street next to the Texas School Book Depository, facing north. After the shooting, two or three men came out of the Book Depository and got into the Rambler. The car was last seen speeding north on Houston Street.

With some variations this story was repeated to J. Gary Shaw in 1975 (Cover-Up, by J. Gary Shaw and Larry Ray Harris, p. 13). Unfortunately for Carr's credibility, the second version contains one significant difficulty: it is impossible to see this part of Houston Street from the new courthouse building. The old courthouse would have completely blocked the view. This consideration leads us to the troubling conclusion that Carr had given a partially fictitious story at the trial. While admittedly this assessment of his testimony is serious enough to warrant a complete rejection of everything that he has said on the matter, I think that before we take this step, it is only fair to consider the severity of assassination-related persecution that he was suffering at the time of the trial, including at least two determined attempts on his life (see Cover-Up, p. 13-14). Given these circumstances, Carr's self-destruction of his own credibility becomes understandable as a matter of survival. When seen in this light, his early statements in 1964 actually gain in value - an account so important that the plotters of the assassination could not afford to leave it unsuppressed.

Edited by William Kelly
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Bill, good article from Weston.

Worrell's man to me sounds a lot like Baker's 4th floor suspect.

Baker description: "The man I saw was a white man approximately 30 years old, 5'9", 165 pounds, dark hair and wearing a light brown jacket."

Worrell description: "He was in his late twenties or early thirties, about five feet eight inches tall, and he had dark brown hair. As he ran south on Houston Street, his [dark brown] coat was flapping backward in the breeze."

Only real discrepancy is the shade of brown of the jacket - and Baker said in testimony he was concentrating on the face of the man - not his clothing.

Sam Pate had a bad weekend. Caused the distraction that allowed a possible suspect to escape, gave his spare press pass to Jack Ruby who may have used it to gain entry to the Oswald transfer, and lost his job due to "budget cuts. And things didn't get better in the new year when he was busted by the Warren Commission for airing a faked "live on-the-scene" commentary of the assassination.

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  • 2 months later...

Now that Fetzer has goated Tink Thompson back to action, I thought I would ask TT a question about one of the characters in his book Six Seconds in Dallas - Brown Sportscoat Man.

Who was he? What was he doing on the Sixth Floor of TSBD? Did he work there too? Why aren't there any pictures of him running down the street? Does he lead us anywhere worth going? - BK

I think this article appeared in the Third/Fourth Decade. It's a very important article - BK

The Man in the Dark Sportcoat

By William Weston

July 1996

A man in a dark sportcoat and light colored pants dashed out of the back door of the Texas School Book Depository about three minutes after the shooting. He was in his late twenties or early thirties, about five feet eight inches tall, and he had dark brown hair. As he ran south on Houston Street, his coat was flapping backward in the breeze.

Who was this man and why was he running away? Was he a conspirator escaping from the scene of the crime? Or was he just an excited office worker trying to find out what is going on? This article will compare and combine the details of what was seen and heard by eyewitnesses in order to obtain a unified picture of what was happening behind the Book Depository.

Let us first examine the matter through the eyes of James Worrell, a senior in high school, who was living with his mother and sister in Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas. [1] On November 22, he decided to skip school in order to see the President. He hitched a ride to the airport at Love Field and got there around 9:00 am. Since the President's plane was not due to arrive for another two and a half hours, Worrell spent most of his morning waiting around at the airport.

When the plane had finally landed and the President and his entourage had disembarked, the large crowds at the airport prevented Worrell from getting a good view. He began thinking of another way by which he could see the President. If he could catch a bus going into the city, he might be able to beat the crowds forming along the motorcade route. One bus was headed for Dealey Plaza, the last spot where one could see the President before his car went on the freeway. The bus would give him plenty of time to get there, for it would be taking the most direct route at normal traffic speeds, whereas the motorcade, on the other hand, would be going by an indirect route at a reduced speed in order to enhance the visibility of the President to the spectators. Worrell got on board and traveled to a location near the Book Depository. After he got off the bus, he walked over to a spot underneath the so-called "sniper's nest" and waited for the President to arrive.

At 12:30 he saw the presidential limousine as it slowly turned right on Houston Street and then left on Elm. He could not see the President very well, for he was again defeated by the presence of too many people standing in his way. When the limousine had gone 50 to 75 feet past him, he heard a shot that sounded like it came from above. He looked up and saw about six inches of a rifle projecting from either the fifth or the sixth floor window - four inches of barrel extending from two inches of stock. (The barrel of the alleged assassin's rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, extends five-and-a-half inches from the stock.) Worrell looked down the street to see where the rifle was aiming. A second shot was fired and the President slumped down into his seat. Worrell again looked up and saw a small discharge of flash and smoke as the rifle fired again. At that instant he heard people screaming and others were yelling "duck." To get out of the way, he ran for cover around the corner of the building. Just as he was rounding the corner, he heard a fourth shot. [2]

He ran on towards the rear corner of the building, where he turned right and crossed the street. When he reached the southeast corner of the intersection of Houston and Pacific, he stopped to catch his breath. (His smoking habit made him short-winded.) He had been standing at the corner for about two to three minutes, when he saw someone come bustling out of the back door. It was the man in the dark sportcoat. He was running towards the intersection of Houston and Elm, where he disappeared among the gathering by-standers. Worrell watched him as long as he could, and after he lost sight of him, he turned eastward and walked along Pacific Street. He got to his mother's office at the corner of Ross and Ervay. From there he took a bus to his school and from his school he hitchhiked back to his home in Farmers Branch.

The next morning he watched the newscasts on television. Chief Jesse Curry was making a plea to anyone who had seen the shooting to notify the police. Worrell called the police and that same day he was taken to city hall to make a statement. Three and half months later, he was in Washington testifying before the Warren Commission and his account of the mysterious man running out of the back door of the Book Depository was reported in the newspapers. One man who read this story was outraged, for he knew very well that no one came out that way.

James Romack, a truck driver for Coordinated Transportation Inc., [3] had been watching the back door from the very instant the shots were fired. He did not cease watching it until after the police had arrived to seal off the building. He was angry that some fool could get away with perpetrating such nonsense. To set the record straight, Romack contacted the authorities and told them what he saw.

On the morning of November 22, Romack had been working at the railroad yard. He had been conversing with a fellow worker named George Rackley at a spot about a 100 to 125 yards from the rear side of the Book Depository. [4] The sirens of approaching motorcycles drew their attention to the crowds gathered at the intersection of Houston and Elm. Shortly thereafter, Romack heard three rifle shots. (Rackley, curiously enough, did not hear the shooting. He was 60 years old at the time and it is possible that his hearing might have been somewhat impaired. He did however notice a large flock of pigeons that rose up from the roof of the Book Depository. [5])

The pedestrians near the Book Depository were either falling to the ground or scattering away. Conspicuous among them was the distinctive blue uniform of a policeman running along the sidewalk. He was headed towards the back area of the Book Depository. Romack told the FBI that he saw the policeman "within a minute" after the shooting. [6] When he was testifying before the Warren Commission, he used the words "just immediately after". [7] Since the meaning of the word "immediately" has a little bit of elasticity, we can thus conclude that the policeman was seen during a time period of not more than sixty seconds after the shooting.

This estimate of time is confirmed by the police officer, W. E. Barnett. [8] As he stood near the front of the Book Depository, he heard what sounded like three shots that came from up high. He looked up and scanned the roofline for a gunman. If he was up there, he might try to make a quick getaway down a fire escape. There was one fire escape on the east side of the building. Was there another one on the rear side? To find out, Barnett made a dash for the back end of the building. [9] No fire escape was on that side, but there was a back door that no one was guarding. He decided to position himself at a spot, where he could keep an eye on both the fire escape and the back door. While he stood there, two young women opened the door and came out.

Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles had been up on the fourth floor, watching the parade from one of the windows. [10] They heard gunfire as the presidential limousine disappeared behind a tree. To find out what happened, they ran down the back stairs and out the back door. Adams estimated that she and her friend were going outside about a minute after the shooting. They were stopped by a policeman who was standing nearby.

"Get back into the building," he said.

"But I work here," Adams pleaded.

"That is tough, get back."

"Well, was the President shot?"

"I don't know. Go back."

The two women agreed to obey. Yet their idea of compliance was not to return the way they came, but rather they went all the way around the west side to re-enter the building through the front entrance - talking to various people along the way, of course. Technically, they were disregarding the instructions of a police officer, and Barnett should have stopped them, but he must have had too many other things on his mind then to chase after two young ladies who were determined to satisfy their curiosity. His main worry was the front entrance. As he looked in that direction, he saw police officers and sheriff's deputies all running towards the triple underpass. No one seemed to realize that the shots came from the building itself. This put Barnett in a quandary. Should he stay where he was and hope that someone would eventually realize the importance of guarding the front door? Or should he go to the front door himself and hopefully alert someone to the need of guarding the back door? He decided in favor of the latter choice and ran back towards the front of the building.

Before he could get to the front entrance, he was stopped by a man in a construction hat, who told him that he had seen a gunman on one of the upper floors. (This was Howard Brennan.) Then a police sergeant came and ordered him to find a sign on the building by which it could be identified. He had to go out into the street to see the words near the rooftop ledge. It was the Texas School Book Depository. When he finally got to the front door, he estimated that about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes had passed since he heard the last shot. [11]

When Romack saw the back door was being guarded by the policeman, he thought that a suspect might be coming out. (Neither he nor Barnett had ever reported seeing the two women exiting the building. They probably deemed this an insignificant detail that was hardly worth mentioning.) After the policeman had abandoned the area, Romack at this point decided to take up the task of guarding the back door himself. He had already been began walking towards the building (having started when the shots were fired), and in the course of his approach, he came beside a sawhorse barrier that crossed Houston Street. It was located about 25 yards from the Book Depository and it had been set up to block the northbound traffic from going into a road construction zone. [12] This barrier, as will be seen below, is the means by which a reconciliation can be made between Romack's testimony and Worrell's.

According to a statement made to the FBI, Romack heard from somewhere behind him the sound of a car bouncing erratically over big chunks of asphalt. He turned his head and watched in utter amazement and disbelief as a shiny red, 1963 Pontiac Catalina station wagon bumped and banged laboriously over the broken-up street. It followed the curve that joined Ross to Houston and stopped at the barrier on the other side of the railroad tracks. [13] Painted on the side of the car was the name KBOX Radio News. There were two occupants sitting on the front seat. To give the newsmen a helping hand, Romack walked in front of the barrier, removed a sawhorse and set it aside and then returned to get another sawhorse and set that one aside too. In performing this task, Romack had turned his back to the Book Depository. [14] The car passed through the barrier and parked about 15 yards from the northeast corner of the building. (See map showing positions at 12:34 pm.)

Romack said that the news vehicle arrived on the scene about three minutes after the shooting. [15] His time estimate was confirmed by Sam Pate, one of the occupants in the car. He said that the car came to a stop near the Book Depository about four minutes after the shooting. [16] We can thus pinpoint its arrival between 12:33 and 12:34. The importance of this fact cannot be overemphasized, for this was also the same moment when Worrell saw the man in the dark sportcoat coming out the back door. The time span when Romack had turned his back to the building could not have been more than a couple of minutes. Yet it only takes a few seconds for someone to dash out of a building and run down the street.

What about other witnesses in the area, who had the door within their field of view? One man who said that no one came out was George Rackley. [17] He did not follow Romack in his quest to find out what was going on, but rather he stayed behind at the original location (a distance of over 100 yards from the Book Depository). Although he had not seen anyone emerge from the back door, that does not necessarily mean that he had kept his eyes glued to it the whole time. An indication that he was an easily distracted spectator is the fact that he missed seeing something that should have been obvious. He told the Warren Commission that he did not see the arrival of the KBOX news vehicle, which came as close as 25 yards to where he was standing. If his awareness of his surroundings was so limited that he failed to notice a wild feat of rugged-terrain driving only 25 yards away, then how could his testimony be used to settle a controversy involving a relatively less noticeable event over a 100 yards away? No doubt the panorama of crowds surging into the railroad yard was an awesome spectacle to Rackley, and it would be understandable if he failed to notice such peripheral circumstances as the arrival of a news vehicle or the brief appearance of a solitary figure coming out of the TSBD building.

Another witness who had the back door within his view was news reporter, Sam Pate. [18] From his vantage point inside the station wagon, he would have had an unobstructed view of the Book Depository during that crucial moment when Romack had dropped his guard. Yet Pate did not have the same awareness of the Book Depository as the source of the shots that Romack had. His main concern at that time was finding out where the action was, and at 12:33 his attention would have been riveted to the spectacle of numerous people rushing into the parking lot and railroad yard. Any latecomer to the scene would naturally assume that whoever fired the shots was not inside the building. (This consideration would also apply to the other occupant in the car, Josh Dowdell, who apparently never made a public statement about what he had seen.)

The sum total of these considerations leads us to the conclusion that there is no testimony strong enough which can refute Worrell's contention that a suspect ran out the back door.

The evident existence of this man is corroborated by the statements made by another witness named Carolyn Walther. [19] She had been standing on Houston Street in front of the County Records building. Less than a minute before she saw the motorcade, she happened to look up at the Book Depository and saw two men at a fifth floor window in the far east corner. One of them was kneeling at the lower open half of the window and he had a short gun or rifle in his hands. Standing beside him was a man wearing a brown suitcoat. His clothing could be seen through the lower half of the window, but his face was obscured by the glass of the upper half. This was the extent of her observations, for at that instant she had shifted her attention to the approaching motorcade. Going by the detail of the suitcoat, we can suppose that the man whom Walther saw was the same one that Worrell saw a little over three minutes later. It is relevant to mention here that this interval of time exactly correlates with the three minute passage of time between the firing of the shots at 12:30 to the use of an elevator by someone on the fifth floor going down to the ground floor at 12:33. [20]

Still another sighting of this man was made by an unemployed steel worker named Richard Randolph Carr. [21] Shortly after 12:00 pm, he was looking for work at the construction site of a new courthouse on Houston Street. He asked one of the workers where he could find the foreman in charge of steel construction, and he was told that he had to go up to the ninth floor. To get up to this floor, Carr had to take the stairway located on the west side of the building next to Houston Street. As he ascended the stairs, he came to the sixth floor and happened to look outside towards the old courthouse building. Visible above this edifice was the top floor of the Book Depository. A heavy-set man was looking out of a window next to the one on the far east side. He was wearing a hat, eyeglasses, and a tan sportcoat. [22] For a short time Carr gazed upon this man; then he continued his climb up the stairs.

About a minute or two later, he heard a loud noise that sounded like a firecracker. There was a slight pause and then he heard two more reports in rapid succession. He turned his eyes toward the triple underpass, which was where he thought the shots came from. In the grassy area between Elm and Main Streets, he could see several individuals falling to the ground. To find out what happened, he immediately proceeded to descend the stairs.

After he reached the ground, he again saw the man whom he had previously seen on the seventh floor of the Book Depository. He was rapidly approaching Carr at a very fast walking pace. When he got to the corner of Commerce Street, he turned left. On the next street over was a parked car, a 1961 or 1962 Nash Rambler station wagon, facing north. It had a luggage rack on top and Texas license plates. In the driver's seat was a young Negro. The heavy-set man opened the rear door and got inside. The car was last seen heading north on Record Street. [23] This momentary view of a Nash Rambler dovetails with the observation of a sheriff's deputy named Roger Craig. About fifteen minutes after the shooting, Craig saw a Nash Rambler station wagon, also driven by a dark-skinned man, going west on Elm Street. It stopped in front of the Book Depository and a man whom Craig later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald got inside. The car was last seen going under the triple underpass in a direction that would have taken it towards Oak Cliff.

In the course of this article, I have covered a great multitude of incidents that occurred within a very short period of time - about fifteen to twenty minutes long.

To show how these wide-ranging circumstances can be combined into a logical sequence, the following chronology is given below:

12:28 A man in a tan sportcoat is seen by Carr on the seventh floor of TSBD.

12:29 A man in a brown suitcoat is seen by Walther on the fifth floor. He is standing next to a gunman.

12:30 Worrell sees a gun firing at the President from a window on the fifth floor (or the sixth floor). Romack starts walking toward TSBD, keeping back door within his view.

12:31 Barnett runs to the back area of the TSBD. He encounters Adams and Styles coming out the back door.

12:32 Barnett returns to the front of TSBD.

12:33 The KBOX news car arrives on the scene. Romack removes a portion of a barrier to enable it to get through. Meanwhile, a man in a dark sportcoat dashes out the back door.

12:34 The KBOX car is parked near TSBD. The man in the tan sportcoat is seen by Carr walking south on Houston Street. He gets into a Nash Rambler driven by a Negro.

12:45 Deputy Craig sees Oswald escaping in a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-skinned man.

The above chronology shows a common thread of truth ties widely disparate points of view into a unified whole. Each person on the scene corroborates the others and demonstrates the value and trustworthiness of eyewitness testimony. While it is usually true that the best evidence in a case of homicide are tangible items such as documents, photographs, bullet fragments, and autopsy specimens, in the case of the Kennedy assassination, where so much of that evidence has been grossly mishandled or falsified, the best source of information turns out to be the interconnecting memories of ordinary people.

ENDNOTES

1.2H191-201 (Worrell)

2. Worrell had estimated that about four to six seconds had elapsed during the shooting. When he was told later that all the firing came from one bolt-action rifle, he could not understand how it could have fired so rapidly.

3. 6H279-283 (Romack)

4. 6H280 (Romack)

5. 6H275 (Rackley)

6. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 2

7. 6H281 (Romack)

8. 7H539-544 (Barnett)

9. It should be noted here that Barnett was running exactly the same way along the east side of the building as Worrell. Worrell had a headstart, for he began running before the sequence of shots ended, whereas Barnett did not start until it was over. By the time Barnett was on the move, Worrell must have already been crossing the street.

10. 6H388-393 (Adams)

11. 7H543 (Barnett)

12. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 5

13. Dennis Ford, "North of Elm on Houston," The Fourth Decade, July 1995, p. 41

14. 6H281 (Romack)

15. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 2

16. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 6

17. 6H274-277 (Rackley)

18. FBI report, March 13, 1964, p. 6

19. 24H522 (FBI report of Carolyn Walther)

20. For more information on the circumstances inside the Book Depository, see "The Fifth Floor Sniper" in the May 1993 issue of The Third Decade.

21. Commission Document 385. Reprinted in Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas (New York: Bernard Geis, 1976), pp. 308-309

22. The time when Carr saw the man in a tan sportcoat on the seventh floor was within a minute or two of the time when Carolyn Walther saw a man in a brown suitcoat on the fifth floor. What probably happened was that the man whom Carr had seen had immediately gone down to the fifth floor where he was seen by Walther, just before the appearance of the motorcade.

23. This statement was given to the FBI on February 4, 1964. Five years later he gave a different story at the Clay Shaw trial. The Nash Rambler was not parked on Record Street, as originally stated in 1964, but rather it was parked on Houston Street next to the Texas School Book Depository, facing north. After the shooting, two or three men came out of the Book Depository and got into the Rambler. The car was last seen speeding north on Houston Street.

With some variations this story was repeated to J. Gary Shaw in 1975 (Cover-Up, by J. Gary Shaw and Larry Ray Harris, p. 13). Unfortunately for Carr's credibility, the second version contains one significant difficulty: it is impossible to see this part of Houston Street from the new courthouse building. The old courthouse would have completely blocked the view. This consideration leads us to the troubling conclusion that Carr had given a partially fictitious story at the trial. While admittedly this assessment of his testimony is serious enough to warrant a complete rejection of everything that he has said on the matter, I think that before we take this step, it is only fair to consider the severity of assassination-related persecution that he was suffering at the time of the trial, including at least two determined attempts on his life (see Cover-Up, p. 13-14). Given these circumstances, Carr's self-destruction of his own credibility becomes understandable as a matter of survival. When seen in this light, his early statements in 1964 actually gain in value - an account so important that the plotters of the assassination could not afford to leave it unsuppressed.

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 2 months later...
I think this article appeared in the Third/Fourth Decade. It's a very important article - BK

Not really. The major difficulty is that it's neither very critically thought through nor very accurate, which is unfortunately a hallmark. I'll explain:

... Let us first examine the matter through the eyes of James Worrell, a senior in high school, who was living with his mother and sister in Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas. On November 22, he decided to skip school ....

This fails to note, first, that Worrell was a 20 years old and that he was not a "high school senior," but someone who in his testimony admitted that he'd dropped out of school in October. He was BS-ing his mother and sister about being in school, and tried unsuccessfully to BS the Warren Commission, too.

... the large crowds at the airport prevented Worrell from getting a good view.

Once again, not so. He was in the wrong place to get a good view. IF he was even at the airport.

He began thinking of another way by which he could see the President. If he could catch a bus going into the city, he might be able to beat the crowds forming along the motorcade route. One bus was headed for Dealey Plaza, the last spot where one could see the President before his car went on the freeway. The bus would give him plenty of time to get there....

IF Worrell was at Love Field, and IF he took a bus downtown, and IF he was anywhere near the TSBD, he could only have gotten there by the hair of his chinny-chin-chin. While I've left dangling the possibility (in "Imaginary Witness," an article published in Walt Brown's DPQ second quarter of 2007, which may also be posted here on the forum) that he might've made it there, that's only true if everything worked absolutely in his favor.

Weston's "plenty of time" would only have been true if there was a bus leaving Love Field immediately after JFK's arrival. There wasn't; the next one wasn't scheduled to leave until after 12:00, and would not have arrived in normal traffic conditions downtown until after the assassination had taken place, and with no time for Worrell to have walked there.

The only bus that would've taken Worrell downtown close enough to the TSBD to have walked there with any time to spare was the one scheduled to depart Love before AF1 landed ... or if the bus driver decided to wait around to see the landing (if not the President himself) and blame his tardiness on traffic or security when leaving Love. There's no evidence or even suggestion that such a thing happened other than Worrell's claiming to have done it.

At 12:30 he saw the presidential limousine as it slowly turned right on Houston Street and then left on Elm. He could not see the President very well, for he was again defeated by the presence of too many people standing in his way.

Well, if that were so, it would've been his own fault because he chose to stand right up against the building rather than on the street. Danny Arce, who worked in the TSBD, was a short guy who had a problem seeing as well, but he managed to walk across the Elm Street extension to the main curb and watched from there. What would Worrell's problem have been?

[continued next post]

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... Worrell again looked up and saw a small discharge of flash and smoke as the rifle fired again. At that instant he heard people screaming and others were yelling "duck." To get out of the way, he ran for cover around the corner of the building. Just as he was rounding the corner, he heard a fourth shot.

Imagine that: he sees a rifle firing in a direction that was not downward, toward him, and he had to "get out of the way?" Of what? 180° ricochets? The larger problem, tho', is that he's not seen in any of the films or photos taken of the front of the TSBD. If he was really where he said he'd been when he supposedly was there, he'd have been captured somewhere.

He ran on towards the rear corner of the building, where he turned right and crossed the street. When he reached the southeast corner of the intersection of Houston and Pacific, he stopped to catch his breath. (His smoking habit made him short-winded.) He had been standing at the corner for about two to three minutes, when he saw someone come bustling out of the back door.

"Smoking habit made him short-winded?!?" Sure, he said that, but hey, folks, I'm 50 years old, have had a quadruple bypass, and have smoked since I was 18 years old - older than Worrell and smoking longer than Worrell even was old at the time - and I can sprint that distance - and have sprinted that very same distance - without having to stop for three minutes to "catch my breath!"

... James Romack, a truck driver for Coordinated Transportation Inc., had been watching the back door from the very instant the shots were fired. ... [He saw] the distinctive blue uniform of a policeman running along the sidewalk. He was headed towards the back area of the Book Depository ... not more than sixty seconds after the shooting.

This estimate of time is confirmed by the police officer, W. E. Barnett. ... [Romack] had already began walking towards the building (having started when the shots were fired), and in the course of his approach, he came beside a sawhorse barrier that crossed Houston Street. ... This barrier, as will be seen below, is the means by which a reconciliation can be made between Romack's testimony and Worrell's.

... Romack said that the news vehicle arrived on the scene about three minutes after the shooting. [15] His time estimate was confirmed by Sam Pate, one of the occupants in the car. He said that the car came to a stop near the Book Depository about four minutes after the shooting.

When the shots were fired, Sam and his partner were on Stemmons Freeway awaiting the passing of the motorcade. They remained there until after the limousine and its immediate entourage had passed, and then drove through city streets - and through the torn up construction area - to get to TSBD. In normal traffic today, it takes more than three minutes to do; going over torn up roads presumably takes a little longer. In any case, how can a person who didn't hear the shots know how long afterward he'd arrived? It was purely an estimate on Sam's part because he didn't know when the shots were fired! "Confirmed" the time? Hardly.

Another witness who had the back door within his view was news reporter, Sam Pate. From his vantage point inside the station wagon, he would have had an unobstructed view of the Book Depository during that crucial moment when Romack had dropped his guard. ... at 12:33 his attention would have been riveted to the spectacle of numerous people rushing into the parking lot and railroad yard.

Really? He'd have seen what was taking place at the southwest corner of the building when he was at the northeast corner? In that case, it would've saved him quite some time if he'd just flown over to the TSBD from the highway instead of rushing through city streets and construction areas! Sam could only see what was visible down Houston Street toward Dealey Plaza, and nothing at all once the building blocked his view westward.

Sam, incidentally, claims he saw someone running diagonally across Houston Street at about the time he got there, doing the same thing Worrell claims to have done, but three minutes or so later.

The sum total of these considerations leads us to the conclusion that there is no testimony strong enough which can refute Worrell's contention that a suspect ran out the back door.

There is likewise none to support it ... not even Worrell's own that he was even in or near Dealey Plaza!

The next morning [Worrell] watched the newscasts on television. Chief Jesse Curry was making a plea to anyone who had seen the shooting to notify the police. Worrell called the police and that same day he was taken to city hall to make a statement.

Sounds great, but isn't quite true, but Weston would have no way to know that. Worrell didn't want to make a statement, and didn't call the police. Truth is, his mother made him, and called the Farmers Branch police, who took him to Dallas. Worrell had no choice but to accede to his mother's wishes, otherwise he'd have had to tell her that he'd concocted the whole story and maybe even that he'd quit school more than a month before (at 20, the school would not have had to notify his parents), the latter being something that he actually never did!

... Brown Sportscoat Man. Who was he? What was he doing on the Sixth Floor of TSBD? Did he work there too? Why aren't there any pictures of him running down the street? Does he lead us anywhere worth going?

Same reason there are no pictures of Worrell standing in front of the TSBD: he wasn't there!

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Initially, Bill, I'm saying that Worrell's description of someone wearing any such thing should not be construed as corroboration of someone's existence or actions or observations. Worrell wasn't there.

Secondly, in response to your comments above, you will have to un-confuse me with respect to a man in a brown suit jacket "getting into a Rambler," and Lee Oswald "getting into a Rambler." If you are referring to Carr's description of same (on the Houston Street side), then you would seem to be getting onto shaky ground inasmuch as there was no direct line of sight - supposedly - from Carr's position to Elm & Houston. I say "supposedly" because I haven't personally verified it, although I've been told it's true.

Nevertheless, Carr's sighting of such an occurrence cannot be corroborated by someone who couldn't have seen it. Recall also that Worrell supposedly watched this guy "until he couldn't see him anymore" (or words to that effect), which pretty much precludes him from being someone who got into the Rambler less than 100 feet from Worrell ... unless maybe his smoking made him blind, too. (He was, after all, quite myopic!)

If you're referring to the Roger Craig "getting into a Rambler" thing - which is most often identified with it being Oswald - I'm not certain where the "brown sports coat" thing comes from.

As an attorney, I'm sure that you realize that you can't - or at least shouldn't - rely on one questionable witness's testimony to buttress another questionable witness's testimony. "I was drunk when I saw that happen;" "I was drunk and passed out, and I saw it too," ergo it must've happened because two drunks saw and remembered it?

After it appeared in the newspapers?

If Worrell wasn't where he said he was, he cannot possibly substantiate Carr's statements, and if Carr couldn't see the place in question, Worrell's testimony - however truthful or not - cannot prove Carr right in spite of that fact. That's akin to people who get all the facts wrong, but who nevertheless arrive at the right conclusion. Try prosecuting that in court! ("We convicted him for all the wrong reasons ... which only goes to show that he must've been guilty! And anyway, the important thing is, he's locked up!")

Third, specifically what "half a dozen people" saw this supposed person in the/an upper floor window(s) of the TSBD? Euins? Rowland? Baker? Mooney? Outside of Carr and Worrell, who else saw - or claimed to have seen - such a person dressed in such a way doing such things?

Please name them and we can examine this further.

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Well I don't know how accurate the rest of the article is , but the account of Richard Randolph Carr in Weston's article is all wrong. The Nash Rambler was parked on Houston next to TSBD, not at Commerce. The driver was not a negro but a dark complected man, Spanish or Cuban. The man in the sportscoat and the heavy rimmed glasses did NOT get into the stationwagon. My bet is on the the driver being Morales and the man in the sportscoat Richard Cain.

Compare with Carr's exact words:

BY MR. GARRISON:

Q: You can say what you said.

A: I thought he was a Secret Agent man or an FBI man.

Q: What did the man in the window look like?

A: He had on a hat, a felt hat, a light hat, he had on heavy-rimmed glasses, dark, the glasses were heavy-rimmed, and heavy ear pieces on his glasses.

Q: Go ahead.

A: He had on a tie, he had on a light shirt, a tan sport coat.

************

Q: Would you tell us what you observed.

A: Should I point it out, sir?

Q: Yes.

A: At this point right here, at this School Book Depository there was a Rambler Station Wagon there with a rack on the back, built on the top of this.

Q: Which way was the station wagon facing?

A: It was parked on the wrong side of the street, next to the School Book Depository heading north.

Q: North being the top of the photomap, north is the top as you have indicated?

A: North is the top, and it was headed in this direction towards the railroad tracks, and immediately after the shooting there was three men that emerged from behind the School Book Depository, there was a Latin, I can't say whether he was Spanish, Cuban, but he was real dark-complected, stepped out and opened the door, there was two men entered that station wagon, and the Latin drove it north on Houston. The car was in motion before the rear door was closed, and this one man got in the front, and then he slid in from the -- from the driver's side over, and the Latin got back and they proceeded north and it was moving before the rear door was closed, and the other man that I described to you being in this window which would have been one, two, the third window over here came across the street, he came down, coming towards the construction site on Houston Street, to Commerce, in a very big hurry, he came to Commerce Street and he turned toward town on Commerce Street and every once in a while he would look over his shoulder as if he was being followed.

Q: Now, Mr. Carr, did you have occasion to give this information to any law enforcement agencies?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Did anyone tell you not to say anything about this?

A: Yes.

MR. DYMOND: I object to what anyone told him, Your Honor, on the grounds it's hearsay.

THE COURT: A moment ago you asked Mrs. Parker if anybody threatened her. Is it your question, Mr. Garrison, whether or not Mr. Carr was threatened by someone? Is your question to the witness a question of whether or not anyone threatened Mr. Carr?

MR. GARRISON: I will rephrase it.

BY MR. GARRISON:

Q: Did anyone threaten you?

MR. DYMOND: At this time we object to the Court's suggesting questions to Counsel for the State. The suggested question is completely different from the question previously propounded by the State. This is not the function of a Trial Judge in any trail.

MR. GARRISON: May it please the Court, I will phrase my own questions on this.

BY MR. GARRISON:

Q: Mr. Carr, did you talk to any FBI agents about this incident?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Did they tell you to forget about it?

MR. DYMOND: I object to that as hearsay.

BY MR. GARRISON:

Q: Were you threatened in any way --

THE COURT: I sustain the objection. You cannot tell us the words used by someone who spoke to you because of hearsay; however, you can state that you had conversations with them and what did you do as a result of the conversation, I will permit that.

BY MR. GARRISON:

Q: As the result of the conversations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, what did you do?

A: I done as I was instructed, I shut my mouth.

Q: Were you called to testify before the Warren Commission?

A: No, sir.

***************

Q: All right. Now, when you saw the Presidential vehicle accelerate, did that attract your attention?

A: No, sir, not so much as I turned and looked back, as I told you before, I saw these people come out from behind the School Book Depository and I am going to try to make this clear to you so where you can understand it, from where I was at I could not tell whether they came out this side entrance here, there is a side entrance to the School Book Depository, or whether they came from behind it, but they came either from the side entrance or they came from behind it, and got into this station wagon.

****************

Q: And what was going on around the Presidential vehicle and in the motorcade, right?

A: No, sir, I was watching that man at that time, and I watched him until I could see him no longer, but that man acted as if he was in a hurry and someone was following him, and I would know that man if I ever saw him again.

Q: And right before the three successive shots you saw a bullet hit in the middle of Dealey Plaza, is that correct?

A: Repeat that, please.

Q: Right before hearing the three successive shots you saw a bullet hit in the middle of Dealey Plaza, right?

A: No, sir, upon hearing the three successive shots, sir, I saw one, one of those three hit in Dealey Plaza in the grass.

******************

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Well I don't know how accurate the rest of the article is , but the account of Richard Randolph Carr in Weston's article is all wrong. The Nash Rambler was parked on Houston next to TSBD, not at Commerce. ...

Thanks for making my point, Wim.

Weston's account is not Carr's story, but James Richard "Dicky" Worrell Jr.'s, which supposedly "corroborates" Carr's, since both "saw" the man in the brown sport coat.

The trouble is that, for supposedly seeing the same man, he did two very distinctly different things: in Carr's account, he got into a Rambler parked on Houston beside the TSBD, which main building (not counting the former loading docks or current museum store section) is just 100 feet long.

Worrell's story is that the man "was running towards the intersection of Houston and Elm, where he disappeared among the gathering by-standers. Worrell watched him as long as he could, and ... lost sight of him." So what did the guy do: go around Dealey Plaza and then come back out of the TSBD and get into this Rambler so both Carr and Worrell could have "seen the same man do different things?"

One has the man getting into a car within 100 feet of coming out of the building, before the Elm & Houston intersection, the other has him running past the TSBD building and the intersection and disappearing into the crowd.

You simply cannot have it both ways! One, the other, or both of them are fabricating.

Romack said that he didn't see anybody coming out of the TSBD, and he'd been watching. Weston speculates that the man could have come out when Romack had his back turned to move the barricade, a period in which he says Worrell was watching and did see the man come out and take off running. If that's so - that Romack simply missed him - Carr has him going half-a-block and getting into a car (that nobody else saw), while Worrell has him running at least a block, on foot, and disappearing.

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Well, there's Carr, Carolyn Walther, Johnny Powell, Robert Ron? Fisher, Ruby Henderson, Arnold Rowland, Robert Edwin Edwards....

I agree there's discrepencies in what the suspect did on the street and what became of him, I just want to establish the fact that he exists.

Earl Golz interviewed some prisoners from the County Jail across the street who had a clear view from their prison cell.

What did they have to say?

Although I don't know if it contains the interviews with the prisoners, Golz wrote a story "Witnesses Overlooked" that was published on Dec. 19, 1978.

There is also mention of two moving images being detected in the Sixth Floor window in the Bronson film, though I don't know if this has been reviewed closely.

I'd like to find out what the prisoners saw from their vantage point.

BK

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Well, there's Carr, Carolyn Walther, Johnny Powell, Robert Ron? Fisher, Ruby Henderson, Arnold Rowland, Robert Edwin Edwards....

Will run through each of these, but as some are not quoted in public sources - i.e., investigative records, etc. - it may take a while.

Of those close at hand, Ronald Fischer said he saw a man in the "sniper's nest" window (not his words), about whom he said:

"... And he had--he had on an open-neck shirt, but it-uh--could have been a sport shirt or a T-shirt. It was light in color; probably white, I couldn't tell whether it had long sleeves or whether it was a short-sleeved shirt, but it was open-neck and light in color."

This doesn't sound like the same man, does it?

Robert Edwards was downtown to watch the parade with Fischer, and he described the man upstairs as wearing a "light colored shirt, short sleeve and open neck," no mention of a jacket.

Arnold Rowland said:

"He had on a light shirt, a very light-colored shirt, white or a light blue or a color such as that. This was open at the collar. I think it was unbuttoned about halfway, and then he had a regular T-shirt, a polo shirt under this, at least this is what it appeared to be. He had on dark slacks or blue jeans, I couldn't tell from that I didn't see but a small portion."

Sounds a bit (a lot?) like Fischer and Edwards' guy, but not like "sportscoat man." This guy was standing at "port arms," according to Rowland.

Ruby Henderson said she'd seen two men, one wearing a white shirt, the other wearing a dark shirt, that the man in the white shirt had dark hair and complexion, and might have been a Mexican or a Negro; the other man in the dark shirt was taller than the other. Those were the best descriptions she said she was able to give.

Carolyn Walther reported seeing a man in a brown suit "and a very dark [something: red?] shirt" leaning out a third floor window at about the middle of the third floor. I don't know what the deal is on this - no photos immediately on hand - but at this point, I'd have to say that the location - an office - leaves this guy out of the running for being "sportcoat man."

Later, she saw a man leaning out of the southeast window of "either the fourth or fifth floor" holding a rifle in his hands, the rifle pointing downward. He was wearing a white shirt and had either blond or light brown hair. She had also seen him a little earlier and thought "there are guards everywhere." She also saw a second man behind and to the left of the first whom she said was "apparently wearing a brown suit coat," although she said that she could only see the right side of him from about his waist to his shoulders.

For whatever it may be worth - which may be absolutely nothing - both Walther and Henderson worked in the Dal-Tex building; their employer(s) are not noted. They were interviewed respectively on the 5th and 6th of December.

Johnny Powell, an inmate in Dallas jail overlooking Dealey Plaza at time of the assassination, was mentioned 472 in Brown, People v. Lee Harvey Oswald; 412 in Davis, Mafia Kingfish; 94 in Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins; 195 in Groden and Livingstone, High Treason; 206 in Groden, The Killing of a President; 222 in Kurtz, Crime of the Century; 229 in Posner, Case Closed; 171 in Sample, Men on the Sixth Floor; and 74-75 in Summers, Conspiracy (aka Not in Your Lifetime).

Since PvLHO and OTTOTA are works of fiction (as some would say, so was Case Closed), whatever is there can't be entirely credited. Of the others, I don't have all of them and can't look up those citation; perhaps someone can be kind enough to look up TKOAP and MOTSF for me? And the others, too, if possible?

I agree there's discrepencies in what the suspect did on the street and what became of him, I just want to establish the fact that he exists.

I am by no means discounting that any of these men above were seen or that their descriptions were necessarily inaccurate, but there doesn't seem to be a direct link to any such man (singular! where did the other one go?) on Houston Street by two men who couldn't have seen him. I would have to say at this point that there is no evidence of such a man being on Houston Street except, again, from the testimony of two men who couldn't have seen him. That man did not exist ... or at least, what "evidence" we have of his existence certainly doesn't prove it.

I will point out, though, that there is yet more testimony of two men coming down from the floors above the second within about two minutes of the shooting, and say also that while only one man saw them - and he is in every other wise a reliable witness - one of the women who worked in TSBD (on the 4th floor, as I recall, name starts with "S" ...?) corroborates the time.

Does anyone know of anyone in law enforcement other than Officer Baker who was on the upper floors of the TSBD before Luke Mooney got there?

But again, bottom line: there may have been and probably was someone in a dark suit or sport jacket upstairs during the shooting, but if he was the man described as being on Houston Street by two men who couldn't have seen him, there is no proof of his existence there and thus no reason to concern ourselves with him. That man doesn't exist.

Edited by Duke Lane
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