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Greg Parker
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No guessing please...

I'm trying to pin down when the FBI officially took over the case.

My own memory is that it was on the pretext that Oswald's civil rights had been violated when he was murdered, but that doesn't necessarily mean they took over officially on that date.

In my searches, I have found reference to them taking over on the night of the 22nd, on the 24th, and one saying it was the 26th. Have also found one reference claiming it was because JFK's civil rights had been violated... not because of Oswald's.

Hoping someone can save me some time...

Edited by Greg Parker
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No guessing please...

I'm trying to pin down when the FBI officially took over the case.

My own memory is that it was on the pretext that Oswald's civil rights had been violated when he was murdered, but that doesn't necessarily mean they took over officially on that date.

In my searches, I have found reference to them taking over on the night of the 22nd, on the 24th, and one saying it was the 26th. Have also found one reference claiming it was because JFK's civil rights had been violated... not because of Oswald's.

Hoping someone can save me some time...

According to Vince Bugliosi:

Because of the unprecedented importance of the case, and though no official announcement had yet been made, on the evening of the assassination President Johnson asked FBI Director J Edgar Hoover to investigate the president's murder. And as we have seen, at 9:52 EST, the FBI sent a Teletype to its fifty-five field offices saying, "The Bureau is conducting an investigation to determine who is responsible for the assassination." (However. it should be noted that as early as forty-five minutes after Oswald's arrest, two FBI agents were already present during the first interrogation of Oswald.)...

....Later that day (23rd), Director Hoover sent Johnson the results of the bureau's preliminary investigation. The report detailed the evidence known to that point, and it indicated Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt.

From Reclaiming History, page 320. I don't know if the above constitutes officially.

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No guessing please...

I'm trying to pin down when the FBI officially took over the case.

My own memory is that it was on the pretext that Oswald's civil rights had been violated when he was murdered, but that doesn't necessarily mean they took over officially on that date.

In my searches, I have found reference to them taking over on the night of the 22nd, on the 24th, and one saying it was the 26th. Have also found one reference claiming it was because JFK's civil rights had been violated... not because of Oswald's.

Hoping someone can save me some time...

According to Vince Bugliosi:

Because of the unprecedented importance of the case, and though no official announcement had yet been made, on the evening of the assassination President Johnson asked FBI Director J Edgar Hoover to investigate the president's murder. And as we have seen, at 9:52 EST, the FBI sent a Teletype to its fifty-five field offices saying, "The Bureau is conducting an investigation to determine who is responsible for the assassination." (However. it should be noted that as early as forty-five minutes after Oswald's arrest, two FBI agents were already present during the first interrogation of Oswald.)...

....Later that day (23rd), Director Hoover sent Johnson the results of the bureau's preliminary investigation. The report detailed the evidence known to that point, and it indicated Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt.

From Reclaiming History, page 320. I don't know if the above constitutes officially.

Thanks Michael and anyone else who has attempted to find an answer.

In his testimony, all Hoover said was that he'd been contacted by LBJ within 24 hours and asked to take over.

There is some info in Manchester's book which helps. Seems a catch 22 was in play. The FBI could enter the case if there was a conspiracy. Of course, the only way to find a conspiracy (other than a small local one) was if the resources of a federal agency could be thrown into the breech to investigate. However, an early "loophole" seemed to get them in the door until LBJ could give Hoover the official go-ahead. This was because the FBI also had the authority to enter if a federal employee or agent had been hit - a law that Hoover himself had pushed for. And as luck would have it - an early report said a Secret Service agent had been killed.

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No guessing please...

I'm trying to pin down when the FBI officially took over the case.

My own memory is that it was on the pretext that Oswald's civil rights had been violated when he was murdered, but that doesn't necessarily mean they took over officially on that date.

In my searches, I have found reference to them taking over on the night of the 22nd, on the 24th, and one saying it was the 26th. Have also found one reference claiming it was because JFK's civil rights had been violated... not because of Oswald's.

Hoping someone can save me some time...

According to Vince Bugliosi:

Because of the unprecedented importance of the case, and though no official announcement had yet been made, on the evening of the assassination President Johnson asked FBI Director J Edgar Hoover to investigate the president's murder. And as we have seen, at 9:52 EST, the FBI sent a Teletype to its fifty-five field offices saying, "The Bureau is conducting an investigation to determine who is responsible for the assassination." (However. it should be noted that as early as forty-five minutes after Oswald's arrest, two FBI agents were already present during the first interrogation of Oswald.)...

....Later that day (23rd), Director Hoover sent Johnson the results of the bureau's preliminary investigation. The report detailed the evidence known to that point, and it indicated Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt.

From Reclaiming History, page 320. I don't know if the above constitutes officially.

Thanks Michael and anyone else who has attempted to find an answer.

In his testimony, all Hoover said was that he'd been contacted by LBJ within 24 hours and asked to take over.

There is some info in Manchester's book which helps. Seems a catch 22 was in play. The FBI could enter the case if there was a conspiracy. Of course, the only way to find a conspiracy (other than a small local one) was if the resources of a federal agency could be thrown into the breech to investigate. However, an early "loophole" seemed to get them in the door until LBJ could give Hoover the official go-ahead. This was because the FBI also had the authority to enter if a federal employee or agent had been hit - a law that Hoover himself had pushed for. And as luck would have it - an early report said a Secret Service agent had been killed.

So we have the guy with the means, motive and opportunity calling in the feebies immediately (which we have long known) and the "coincidence" of a false report of a SS agent being hit. LBJ knew he could count J Edgar. (But then the interesting anomaly of the O"Neil and Silbert report. ). Add Dullas and Co. to the mix and the truth never stood a chance.

Dawn

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the interesting anomaly of the O"Neil and Silbert report. ).

Good point. I have long wondered why Hoover wanted two agents with the body who had no part in the conspiracy. Perhaps he just wanted an unbiased description of what went on. But they could have easily described something that the conspirators would not want described. In fact, they did: prior "surgery" to the head, as spontaneously stated by Humes.

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...

The FBI could enter the case if there was a conspiracy. Of course, the only way to find a conspiracy (other than a small local one) was if the resources of a federal agency could be thrown into the breech to investigate. However, an early "loophole" seemed to get them in the door until LBJ could give Hoover the official go-ahead. This was because the FBI also had the authority to enter if a federal employee or agent had been hit - a law that Hoover himself had pushed for. And as luck would have it - an early report said a Secret Service agent had been killed.

Excellent excellent point Greg.

The (seemingly bogus) report of a dead SS agent served as a mechanism to get the Hoover, best bud of LBJ and kindred spirit, to sic the FBI on the case and take charge of the cover up by telling the WC what to conclude.

Does anyone know when, or if, the report of the dead secret service agent was officially (by FBI and/or news agency) retracted?

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...

The FBI could enter the case if there was a conspiracy. Of course, the only way to find a conspiracy (other than a small local one) was if the resources of a federal agency could be thrown into the breech to investigate. However, an early "loophole" seemed to get them in the door until LBJ could give Hoover the official go-ahead. This was because the FBI also had the authority to enter if a federal employee or agent had been hit - a law that Hoover himself had pushed for. And as luck would have it - an early report said a Secret Service agent had been killed.

Excellent excellent point Greg.

The (seemingly bogus) report of a dead SS agent served as a mechanism to get the Hoover, best bud of LBJ and kindred spirit, to sic the FBI on the case and take charge of the cover up by telling the WC what to conclude.

Does anyone know when, or if, the report of the dead secret service agent was officially (by FBI and/or news agency) retracted?

Myra, I don't know the answer, but it wouldn't surprise to find out it wasn't retracted until after LBJ officially handed Hoover the authority to take over.

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In his book Breach of Trust, Gerald McKnight does an excellent job of chronicling the early days of the investigation.

McKnight writes:

Although the murder of a president was not a federal crime in 1963, the FBI moved in quickly to take over the investigation. Months after Kennedy's assassination, Hoover boasted to author William Manchester, who was writing a book on the assassination, that the FBI had seized the case without jurisdiction. With the FBI controlling the investigation, the only leads regarded as promising were those that pointed to Oswald as the lone assassin.

And on page 19:

This startling and unanticipated turn of events [Oswald's murder] had an immediate impact in Washington. On Sunday evening there were a series of short phone conversations involving Johnson, presidential aide Bill Moyers, Hoover and Katzenbach. Moyers called Johnson at 8:50pm, and they spoke for five minutes. The president immediately rang up Hoover, and after a brief conversation LBJ called Katzenbach. The president formally assigned the FBI to take over the investigation into Kennedy's assassination. Johnson wanted Hoover to move quickly on the FBI's report. He approved Hoover's idea of the report "showing the evidence conclusively tying Oswald as the assailant of President Kennedy," according to the reporting FBI official, Inspector James R Malley, "along the lines previously discussed." LBJ also wanted a second report on the Ruby killing of Oswald. LBJ's conversation with the director lasted only two minutes.

The president was in a monumental hurry. He wanted the report finished and delivered to the Justice Department by Tuesday, November 26, the day after the one LBJ had set aside as "a national day of mourning......."

.....Hoover, according to Malley's record of the conversation, noted that the Tuesday deadline "would be a burden," but he told Johnson he would do his best.

....On Tuesday, the day after Kennedy's funeral, Hoover fired off a memo to the General Investigative Division saying, "Wrap up investigation; seems to me we have the basic facts now." Hoover wanted the report on Oswald and Ruby "completed here at Seat of Government" by November 29, a week after the assassination, even though he knew the agency's case against Oswald was full of loose ends....

....Before the weekend was over FBIHQ dispatched Inspector James R Malley of General Investigative Division along with forty-nine agents and forty support personnel to Dallas. Malley was Hoover's point man on the ground to supervise the rush job on the FBI report LBJ needed to put the public mind at ease. The lone assassin explanation was the quickest and surest way to calm the waters and dissipate all the rumors and conjectures of conspiracy and possible foreign policy implications. With Oswald's death, immediate political considerations brushed aside any chance for a good-faith investigation into the true reality of the Kennedy assassination.
Edited by Michael Hogan
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In his book Breach of Trust, Gerald McKnight does an excellent job of chronicling the early days of the investigation.

McKnight writes:

Although the murder of a president was not a federal crime in 1963, the FBI moved in quickly to take over the investigation. Months after Kennedy's assassination, Hoover boasted to author William Manchester, who was writing a book on the assassination, that the FBI had seized the case without jurisdiction. With the FBI controlling the investigation, the only leads regarded as promising were those that pointed to Oswald as the lone assassin.

And on page 19:

This startling and unanticipated turn of events [Oswald's murder] had an immediate impact in Washington. On Sunday evening there were a series of short phone conversations involving Johnson, presidential aide Bill Moyers, Hoover and Katzenbach. Moyers called Johnson at 8:50pm, and they spoke for five minutes. The president immediately rang up Hoover, and after a brief conversation LBJ called Katzenbach. The president formally assigned the FBI to take over the investigation into Kennedy's assassination. Johnson wanted Hoover to move quickly on the FBI's report. He approved Hoover's idea of the report "showing the evidence conclusively tying Oswald as the assailant of President Kennedy," according to the reporting FBI official, Inspector James R Malley, "along the lines previously discussed." LBJ also wanted a second report on the Ruby killing of Oswald. LBJ's conversation with the director lasted only two minutes.

The president was in a monumental hurry. He wanted the report finished and delivered to the Justice Department by Tuesday, November 26, the day after the one LBJ had set aside as "a national day of mourning......."

.....Hoover, according to Malley's record of the conversation, noted that the Tuesday deadline "would be a burden," but he told Johnson he would do his best.

....On Tuesday, the day after Kennedy's funeral, Hoover fired off a memo to the General Investigative Division saying, "Wrap up investigation; seems to me we have the basic facts now." Hoover wanted the report on Oswald and Ruby "completed here at Seat of Government" by November 29, a week after the assassination, even though he knew the agency's case against Oswald was full of loose ends....

....Before the weekend was over FBIHQ dispatched Inspector James R Malley of General Investigative Division along with forty-nine agents and forty support personnel to Dallas. Malley was Hoover's point man on the ground to supervise the rush job on the FBI report LBJ needed to put the public mind at ease. The lone assassin explanation was the quickest and surest way to calm the waters and dissipate all the rumors and conjectures of conspiracy and possible foreign policy implications. With Oswald's death, immediate political considerations brushed aside any chance for a good-faith investigation into the true reality of the Kennedy assassination.

Thanks Mike, very helpful.

Then of course the infamous Katzenbach memo was Nov 25.

It was plain spoken:

http://www.jfklancer.com/Katzenbach.html

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I received the following email from Gary Mack. Below that is my reply.

Greg,

When I looked into the "dead agent" story years ago, I recall finding that the original reports came from the news media. A logical guess is that some witness probably thought Clint Hill, sprawled on the trunk of the limo, had been shot. Once that story got on the wires, and it did early that afternoon, it went around the world within moments.

Gary Mack

Gary, I agree completely that someone witnessing Clint Hill sprawled on the trunk and thinking he'd been shot, then telling someone in the media, is a logical guess.

But I'm not sure it stands up to scrutiny.

1. Early reports also mention Hill being sprawled out on the trunk in an effort to protect the passengers.

2. Any witness seeing Hill and reporting it to the media would surely have given those extra details - that is - that he was shot after diving onto the trunk and any reporter worth his salt would have followed up any initial brief story by going to Parkland after getting further details on the agent on who the agent on the trunk was.

3. Some of the reports specified the agent was killed a considerable distance from DP.

4. Any witness in your scenario would not know if the agent (Hill) was killed, or only wounded - yet the story is very specific on that one point.

I have now located several same day newspaper reports of it. The story is very brief and does not cite any source - nearly every other report that weekend does cite one, even if it is in vague terms such as "witness", "police officer", "co-worker" etc. My impression is that someone whispered into the ear of a reporter something they themselves only claimed to have been told about. This would leave open the possibility that there never was any witness reporting it, and the whole story was fabricated.

I have also located a 1977 newspaper article which quotes from a Hoover memo written on the afternoon of the assassination detailing his phone call to Secret Service chief, James J Rowley. Hoover says in one part of the memo "I mentioned that one of the Secret Service agents reportedly had been killed, and he (Rowley) stated he did not know this."

I forgot to add in my reply to Gary that though I don't have an exact time Hoover phoned Rowley... other information in the memo indicates it was very early in the afternoon (for instance, he talks about how winchester shells were found and the shooter had been on the 4th floor).

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I forgot to add in my reply to Gary that though I don't have an exact time Hoover phoned Rowley... other information in the memo indicates it was very early in the afternoon (for instance, he talks about how winchester shells were found and the shooter had been on the 4th floor).

According to author Donald Gibson, Shanklin phoned Hoover with the above information at 2:17pmEST.

http://books.google.com/books?id=7n_sF3PSv...;hl=en#PPA39,M1

Edited by Michael Hogan
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I forgot to add in my reply to Gary that though I don't have an exact time Hoover phoned Rowley... other information in the memo indicates it was very early in the afternoon (for instance, he talks about how winchester shells were found and the shooter had been on the 4th floor).

According to author Donald Gibson, Shanklin phoned Hoover with the above information at 2:17pmEST.

http://books.google.com/books?id=7n_sF3PSv...;hl=en#PPA39,M1

Thanks Mike.

The stand-out thing for me is that the report was vague about exactly who and exactly where. The two areas which are specific were (1) that is a Secret Service agent and (2) that the agent had been killed. Those two pieces of info were all that was needed to bring in the FBI. Making the other details vague would help keep the rumor alive.

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...

The stand-out thing for me is that the report was vague about exactly who and exactly where. The two areas which are specific were (1) that is a Secret Service agent and (2) that the agent had been killed. Those two pieces of info were all that was needed to bring in the FBI. Making the other details vague would help keep the rumor alive.

This hypothesis makes so much sense Greg.

And if it's true, then it seems like Hoover might have been in on the plot (accessory) rather than just in on the cover-up (accessory after the fact), what with the rationale for FBI takeover being premeditated, presumably at the highest levels of the "Seat of Government."

(Incidentally, I find it beyond bizarre that a dead SS agent is a federal employee, justifying FBI intervention, but a president isn't.)

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The stand-out thing for me is that the report was vague about exactly who and exactly where. The two areas which are specific were (1) that is a Secret Service agent and (2) that the agent had been killed. Those two pieces of info were all that was needed to bring in the FBI. Making the other details vague would help keep the rumor alive.

This hypothesis makes so much sense Greg.

And if it's true, then it seems like Hoover might have been in on the plot (accessory) rather than just in on the cover-up (accessory after the fact), what with the rationale for FBI takeover being premeditated, presumably at the highest levels of the "Seat of Government."

(Incidentally, I find it beyond bizarre that a dead SS agent is a federal employee, justifying FBI intervention, but a president isn't.)

Myra, Hoover was a real hoot. Manchester claimed that Edna, after the assassination, just assumed that a similar law was in place regarding the president.

The problem with that is that Manchester also spelled out how every Secret Service chief since 1902 had urged Congress to pass a law specific to presidential assassinations, but all had failed.

How could anyone believe Hoover was unaware of all those failed efforts by his Secret Service counterpart? He would have reveled in it, given he himself had succeeded in getting exactly that law for his own men and their ilk.

He knew - had to know - that there was no Federal law covering the president.

--------------

Gary Mack has sent this reply to what I previously posted:

Greg,

The earliest report I know of came from KRLD's Eddie Barker broadcasting live from the Trade Mart around 1pm. He mentioned that an SS agent had been killed but did not include his source. What's important is that he could only have been repeating something told to him by KRLD personnel. Where did they get it? Hence my belief that the story originated with someone in Dealey Plaza misinterpreting what he had either seen or heard from another witness. It is just one of many erroneous "facts" such as LBJ having a heart attack and a cop being shot in the Texas Theatre. Such things happen all the time in the news business when covering breaking stories. Reporters pass them along as "unconfirmed reports," but not everyone mentions that qualifier.

Gary

Thanks Gary.

Stories that can't be traced to point of origin are always going to be cause for speculation. I remain unconvinced that this was innocent, but admit, it could well have been.

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Stories that can't be traced to point of origin are always going to be cause for speculation. I remain unconvinced that this was innocent

I think many people also doubt that this false rumour started innocently. The false rumor of a dead Secret Service agent is discussed on this thread

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...c=9658&st=0

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