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The Affidavit That Destroys “With Malice”

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Part 3

45 minutes after single-handedly killing Kennedy, Oswald, so the Commission assures us, started to topple into an abyss of panic and confusion, causing his mind to swirl in a vortex of beastliness. It was in this mental state that Oswald let loose a fusillade of bullets at a supposedly over-inquisitive Tippit

"Of that there is no manner of doubt---

No probable, possible shadow of doubt ---

No possible doubt whatever” (Gilbert & Sullivan, The Gondoliers)

If this seems too extreme, then consider these facts:-

All three Commissioners (Joseph Ball, David Belin and Lesley Liebeler) who questioned the 9 leading witnesses in Tippit's slaying made no pretence at impartiality.

Mr Dulles, at 71, was next to Earl Warren,73, the oldest and highest ranking Commission member, made it clear on three occasions in Commission Hearings (on the first occasion, right at the start of the Hearings ) that it was a matter of knowledge that Oswald was Tippit's murderer.(1)

Similarly Mr Joseph Ball, who as we shall see, took Mrs Markham's testimony, made a slip of the tongue which made obvious his conviction of Oswald’s guilt.(2) The same applies --- scandalously so --- to Mr Wesley Liebeler (3) and, to a lesser degree, to David Belin.(4)

One can see how, if the Commissioners had this conviction of Oswald's guilt, that it would have rubbed off on the witnesses --- as indeed it did.

Occasionally witnesses, instead of saying (words to this effect) that they saw the gunman running this way or that, and that subsequently they identified Oswald as the gunman, were allowed to refer to the gunman directly as Oswald, with the implication that Oswald's guilt was beyond doubt. See Virginia Davis (5), Guinyard; (6) )Smith (7)

So much for the official claim (made through Louis Nizer in his analysis and commentary on the Warren Report ) that the Commission was a "sincere testament of dedicated impartiality"!(8)

However if the Commission , as we have just argued had the Idée Fixe that Oswald on his own shot Tippit, there was a heavy price to pay.

Timewise the Commission was fully boxed in. To get Mrs Markham’s 1:06 in perspective, let’s see how this happened.

The Commission believed that Oswald left the Depository at “approximately 12.33, (9) immediately after he'd shot Kennedy.

The Commission realised that, since Oswald (in their minds) had shot Tippit at East Tenth Street at 1:15/16, then he couldn't have got there solely by walking.

Why? Because he couldn't have covered the distance (via a stop at Earlene Roberts) in time.

A lift was out of the question, suggestive of conspiracy.

The Commission settled for a bus driver who took on board someone he identified as “Oswald” (his identification was supported by a passenger), and then there was a taxi driver who enabled “Oswald” to complete his journey to his rooming house.

Estimates by the Secret Service and FBI put the journey time ( travelling in this way, from the TBD to roominghouse) between 27 (10) and 30 (11) minutes. Balancing one reckoning with another, and weighing in Earlene Robert's evidence, the Commission concluded that the last time Earlene Roberts would have seen Oswald would have been at 1:03.(12)

[but the Commission’s arithmetic was hair-raising: 12:33+ 0.27= 1:00. That is, a 3-minute stay at his rooming house. Note though that 12:33+0.30= 1:03 Add to this the 3-minute stat, and that means a !:06 departure.(Ouch!)]

Both the FBI and the Secret Service estimated that Oswald could have walked the 0.8miles (to East Tenth Street) in 12 minutes. (13)

So there we have it: Earlene Roberts at 1.03/ 1:06, and 404 East Street at 1:15. There wasn't a minute to spare. In this time-corseted context, Mrs. Markham's 1:06 was as welcome to the Commissioners as a cowpatch in their dining-room.

However the Commission did not flinch from this starkness. In three blunt, uncompromising statements the Commission confronted its problems;

Statement 1:

"If Oswald left his roominghouse shortly after 1 pm and walked at a brisk space he would have reached Tenth and Patton shortly after 1:15pm. Tippit's murder was recorded on police radio tape at about !:16." (14)

A red herring! It fixes attention on the time of Tippit's death 1:15, and diverts from the key issue of what time Tippit and his killer were first spotted (by Mrs Markam) on Tenth & Patton.

Statement 2:

The Commission grimly acknowledged Mrs Markham's 1:06 claim, and honestly admitted that "this would have made it impossible for Oswald to have committed the killing since he would NOT have had time to arrive at the shooting scene by that time." (My emphasis) (15)

Statement 3:

In defence of its conviction, the Commission asserted:

"The shooting of Tippit has been established at approximately 1:15 or 1:16 pm on the basis of a call to police headquarters on Tippit's car radio by another witness to the assassination, Domingo Benavides." (16)

[A rewording of the irrelevancy of statement (1)]

Then the Commission went seriously off course. It tried to dismiss Mrs Markham’s 1:06, and in doing so it committed two major errors:

Error 1: The accusation itself:

"In her various statements, and in her testimony, Mrs Markham was uncertain and inconsistent in her recollections of the exact time of slaying." (17)

Simply not true. In her all her affidavits Mrs Markham said she left her house at 1 pm. Her house was about 5 minutes walk from her bus stop ( at the corner of Jefferson and Patton), and her walk to the corner of Tenth and Patton (where she waited to cross the road, and from where she saw Tippit shot) was about 2½ minutes.

Here was her timetable:

Leaves home: 1:00 pm

Time spent at washateria: 4 minutes

Walks to catch bus, but halted by traffic at corner of Tenth & Patton. Time taken: 2½ minutes (18)

Arrives at Tenth & Patton, and spots "Oswald": 1:06/7

Moreover, it wasn't only in her affidavits that Mrs Markham stuck to 1:06. According to Mark Lane , Mrs Markham repeated 1:06 in private & at radio interviews. (19)

But more of this in the next section

Error 2. The statement in Error 1 was dishonestly endnoted by the Report simply to give it greater verisimilitude, The contents of the endnote were irrelevant to the assertion


Mrs Markham appeared before the Commission twice. Her last appearance was in Dallas on the 23nd of July '64, in front of Mr Liebeler, when she was questioned about her Mark Lane phone call, but her really significant testimony --- the one that concerns us --- was in Washington before Joseph Ball on the 26th March, 1964.

Born in Stuart, Iowa in 1902, Joseph Ball had a distinguished legal career teaching Criminal law and Procedure at the University of Southern California, and he was a member of the Judicial Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; in addition, was the 'Ball' of the Californian law firm 'Ball, Hunt & Hart'

At 62, he was, by 2 years, the oldest of the Commission Counsels, and the 5th oldest of the 34 Commission members. (20)

It is interesting to note that Mr Ball was allocated more witnesses (4) than any other counsel, and no surprise that he was chosen to 'interrogate' Helen Markham on her critical Washington testimony.

The concentration of his carefully prepared questioning was on what Mrs Markham said in her three affidavits --- that is on what she actually saw --- the shooting of Tippit and the fleeing of the gunman --- and from exactly what position . (Also, of course, her later identification of Oswald, and all matters related thereto).

(There was no interest in exact times)

To this end in her critical Washington session she was asked an exact total of 346 questions: Mr Ball asked 258 questions, Mr Dulles 60, and Representative Ford 28. (21)

Nothing serious was asked about time . This applied to all the witnesses. None was asked to justify any time estimates they had given.

Ted Callaway, for example, in two affidavits (22) said he thought he heard the fatal shouts at "approximately one o'clock".

Callaway was businesslike, intelligent --- he is Myers' star witness --- always quoted by Myers with approval. So if he said "approximately one o'clock", on what did he base his estimate? On something intelligent, we can be sure. But we'll never know, because his examining Counsel, Joseph Ball --- amazingly --- never asked him.

Back to Mrs Markham

She worried the Commission in two ways. Firstly, she did not see the stopping of Tippit's police car as being orientated towards the gunman, but towards house 404, and neither the Dallas Police ---nor Joseph Ball --- could substantially budge her. (But that's a lengthy subject, requiring an article on its own.)

Secondly, there was her 1:06. And there was one big difference between Mrs Markham and the other witnesses She was the only one who saw the whole episode from start to finish --- and she saw all that she claimed to see because, firstly, she was walking to her bus-stop, and, secondly, because she was anxiously scanning East Tenth street waiting to cross over.

Therefore time came into it. Mr Ball, in his multitude of questions, (most of them elucidating the answers given to previous questions, so each question generated 3 or 4 more ), was trying (with the assistance of Mr Dulles) to establish that Mrs Markham was in the right position to see what she claimed to have seen.

However a problem. Mrs Markham had to be there at the right time as well.

Therefore she had to be asked about time --- there was no way out ---Mr Ball had to establish that Mrs Markham was at the corner of Tenth & Patton just before 1:15, so that she could witness Tippit's slaying at that time.

Mr Ball was condemned to walk on eggs.. He did it brilliantly.

He started by ascertaining when she left home (it was his 20th question to her), how far she had to walk to the bus, all to establish that she was at the appropriate corner in time to witness Tippit's murder. But --- inevitably --- there was a difficult moment.

Mr Ball: You left your home to go to work at some, didn't you, that day? (23)[His 20th/258 questions]

Mrs Markham: At one

Mr Ball: One o'clock? [21st question]

Mrs Markham: I believe it was a little after 1. [Yes, it was at 1:04]

Mr Ball then asked her 9 questions about where she had to walk to in order to catch her bus. This then culminated in the following exchange:

Mr Ball: You were walking south towards Jefferson?

[Mrs Markham's bus stop was on the SW corner of Patton &Jefferson, about a block away from Tippit's slaying, 2½ minutes on foot]

Mrs Markham: Yes sir

Mr Ball: You think it was a little after 1? (31/258 question) [Her answer to this question shows that Mrs Markham has obviously been confused by the repetition. She thinks he is now asking what time she got to the corner of Tenth & Patton]

And then came the exocet missile --- accidentally unleashed, because in response to a question she wasn’t asked Mrs Markham didn't think it was " a little after 1" that she got to the corner of Tenth & Patton She probably knew within a minute what time she got to the street corner, because, as I hypothesised in my first article, worried about getting to the bus-stop in time, she looked at her watch..

But --- very threatening to the commission --- IMMEDIATELY she got there she saw “Oswald”. Even Mr Ball couldn’t deny this fact. “Oswald” may or not have shot Tippit at 1:15, but Mrs Markham spotted him “walking up 10th, away from me”(24) , and she did so AS SOON AS SHE GOT THERE. (And she got there at 1:06)

Mrs Markham: I wouldn't be afraid to bet it [ the time she saw Oswald] wasn't 6 or 7 minutes after 1 (Parenthesis mine)

This was a dramatic outburst. The worst had happened. In getting Mrs Markham to admit that she was at the right corner before 1:15, she had been too precise --- far too much before 1:15 --- with all its terrible potential..

And it needed considerable mental agility to prevent Mrs Markham from sinking the Commission by claiming that ‘1:06’ was when she saw “Oswald”.

Mr Ball was up to the task. He quickly returned to the bus-stop.

Mr Ball; You know what time you usually get your bus, don't you? [Good work, Joseph Ball. Squash the answer!]

Mrs Markham; 1:15 [Well done! Ball’s on track for a goal]

Mr Ball: So it was before 1:15?. [ He’s about to score}

Mrs Markham: Yes, it was. [it’s in the net! It’s all over --- the Commission has won!] (25)

And that was it! Brilliant! “1:06” had fell to the ground like a shot pheasant.

Mrs Markham had no alternative but to admit that 6 or 7 minutes after one o'clock was earlier than a quarter past one.

And then Mr Ball finished her off completely. In his follow-up questions he changed topic --- and sent Mrs Markham in a whirl. He asked her to name the streets she’d been walking along, and what side she had walked.. Exasperated, she exclaimed : “ Now you have got me mixed up on all my streets!” (26).

With Mrs Markham’s mind on crutches, “1:06” was dead and buried. In order to concrete over its grave, 5 months after she gave her last Warren Testimony, Mr Ball, at a public debate in Beverley Hills, California, on December 4th, ’64, referred to her as an “utter screwball” (27)

And ---just for interest --- what about T.F. Bowley and his 1:10?

Forget it! The Commission did!

Since Bowley witnessed neither the killing nor the gunman's escape, he was never asked to testify. The Commission totally ignored his affidavit. After all, why should the Commissioners want to waste their time over a man with a wonky watch!

End Notes

(1) 3H 315, 3H 321, 3H 331

Mr. BALL. Is that where you were when you saw the shooting?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. Did you move from that place from the time of the shooting until the time you saw the man on the corner?

Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.

Mr. DULLES. I wonder, Mrs. Markham, if you would repeat for me, I would like to hear it, and Congressman Ford would like to hear it, the scene that you saw where the man now known to be Oswald went up and put his arms on the door of the police car, as I understand it. ( 3H 315)

Mr. BALL. Those are all the questions I have of this witness. Do you have something additional?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Believe me, it was just like--

Mr. DULLES. I believe Mr. Ford would like to have the witness repeat what she saw the man, now known as Oswald, do after the shooting. Will you just repeat that for Congressman Ford?

Mrs. MARKHAM. After he shot the policeman--

Mr. DULLES. After he shot the policeman.(3H 321)

Mr. DULLES. Referring to your tracing of the path that the man later found to be Oswald followed, he went through the lower of these two bushes there, did he? He went right through it?

Mr. SCOGGINS. Yes, sir. You see there is an opening in there.

Mr. DULLES. But he didn't apparently take the opening, according to this, because he went right through the bushes.(3H 331)

[The point is that Scoggins was interviewed on the same day (26th March, ’04) as Mrs Markham, Mrs Barbara Jeanette Davis, and Ted Callaway. The first to be interviewed was Mrs Markham, then came Scoggins, then Mrs Markam, on a second, quick interview, and then Mrs Barbara Jeanette Davis, and, last, for that day, Ted Callaway. Note that Mrs Charlie Virginia Davis, Sam Guinyard, Domingo Benavides, and William Smith were not interviewed until a week later ( 2ndApril,’64), and Warren Reynolds not until 118 days later (22nd July, ’64).

Mr Dulles’ remark then about Oswald being “later” found to be the assassin was based on the testimony only of Mrs Markham. The words “later” is meaningless since he had NOT heard the testimony of the remaining eight of the nine witnesses!]

(2) 7H 499


Mr. BALL. The alleyway that runs along the north side of the lot?


Mr. BALL. Now, where was Oswald when he passed you going south toward Jefferson?

Mr. GUINYARD. Well, he was between the alley and the driveway coming off Patton.

(3) 7H 499; 11H 437

Mr. LIEBELER. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler [spelling] L-i-e-b-e-l-e-r. I am an attorney on the staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I have been authorized to take your testimony for the Commission pursuant to authority granted it by the President in Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and joint resolution of Congress No. 137. I think you are somewhat familiar with the proceedings of the Commission because you have already testified before the Commission in Washington; is that right?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes; but you know, I don't know nothing about the Kennedys--President Kennedy.

Mr. LIEBELER. I understand you were there when Oswald shot Officer Tippit?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes; that's right. (7H 499)

Mr. REYNOLDS. Not the direction. In the general direction, but not to the theatre.

Mr. LIEBELER. In fact, you were looking for this man who later turned out to be Oswald, in this parking lot which was some distance from the Texas Theatre at that point?


Mr. LIEBELER. And you never saw Oswald continue on down the street--on down Jefferson or go in the Texas Theatre, and you never told the police that he had gone in that direction, did you?

Mr. REYNOLDS. I told the police he was going in that direction. (11H 437)

(4) & (5) 6H 456

Mr. BELIN. What is your sister's name?

Mrs. DAVIS. Mrs. Barbara Jeanette Davis.

Mr. BELIN. Do you know what her husband's name is?

Mrs. DAVIS. Troy Lee Davis.

Mr. BELIN. Taking you back to the afternoon of November 22, do you remember anything out of the ordinary that happened on that date?

Mrs. DAVIS. Well, the boy that was known as Lee Harvey Oswald shot J. D. Tippit.

Mr. BELIN. Well, now, did you see him shoot J. D. Tippit? (6H 456)

(6) 7H 396

Mr. BALL. And did something else happen that day that you remember?

Mr. GUINYARD. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. What?

Mr. GUINYARD. Well, this was when Oswald shot the policeman. (7H 396)

(7) 7H 84

Mr. BALL And what? You looked down that way?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. What did you see?


Page 84

Mr. SMITH. Saw Oswald running and policeman falling.

Mr. BALL. Did you see his face, or just his back?

Mr. SMITH. Saw the side of him, the side and back of him when he was running.(7H 84)

[in an impartial enquiry, witnesses have to be reminded that the authenticity of identification is something that only Commission can decide upon. This stricture applies to all the previous examples]

(8) Doubleday edition (1964) of Warren Report, page xlv

(9) (WR 156) While it was difficult to determine exactly when the police sealed off the building, the earliest estimates would still have permitted Oswald to leave the building by 12:33. One of the police officers assigned to the corner of Elm and Houston Streets for the Presidential motorcade, W. E. Barnett, testified that immediately after the shots he went to the rear of the building to check the fire escape. He then returned to the corner of Elm and Houston where he met a sergeant who instructed him to find out the name of the building. Barnett ran to the building, noted its name, and then returned to the corner.

Although Oswald probably left the building at about 12:33 p.m.,……


(WR 157) After leaving the Depository Building at. approximately 12:33 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald proceeded to his roominghouse by bus and taxi. He arrived at approximately 1 p.m. and left a few minutes later. At

about 1:16 p.m., a Dallas police officer, J. D. Tippit, was shot less than 1 mile from Oswald's roominghouse.

.(10) CD 87, National Archives Quoted and reproduced in Myers’ “With Malice”, p 514.

(11) CD 5/p 123. Myers (ibid) p 573

(12) CE 1119A., p 158. (See WR p 165)

(13) As (10) & (11) above

(14) (WR 165)

Oswald was next seen about nine-tenths of a mile away at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, moments before the Tippit shooting. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1119-A, p. 158.) If Oswald left. his roominghouse shortly after 1 p.m. and walked at a brisk pace, he would have reached 10th and Patton shortly after 1:15 p.m.491 Tippit's murder was recorded on the police radio tape at about 1:16 p.m.492

End notes 491 CE119A; 492 C£1974,p52/3

(15), (16), (17)

WR 651

Speculation.--Mrs. Helen Markham, a witness to the slaying of Tippit, put the time at just after 1:06 p.m. This would have made it impossible for Oswald to have committed the killing since he would not have had time to arrive at the shooting scene by that time.

Commission finding.--The shooting of Tippit has been established at approximately 1:15 or 1:16 p.m. on the basis of a call to police headquarters on Tippit's car radio by another witness to the assassination, Domingo Benavides. In her various statements and in her testimony, Mrs. Markham was uncertain and inconsistent in her recollection of the exact time of the slaying.56

(18) Myers (ibid) p 59/60

(19) Rush to Judgment ps 187/8

(21) My counting

(22) CD 87 and CE 2003 page 15 of Exhibit at 24H, 204)

(23) 3H 306; (24) 3H, 307; (25) 3H, 306 (26) 3h, 306; (27) Rush to Judgement, ps 190 and 441

Mr. BALL. You left your home to go to work at some time, didn't you, that day?

Mrs. MARKHAM. At one.

Mr. BALL. One o'clock?

Mrs. MARKHAM. I believe it was a little after 1.

Mr. BALL. Where did you intend to catch the bus?

Mrs. MARKHAM. On Patton and Jefferson.

Mr. BALL. Patton and Jefferson is about a block south of Patton and 10th Street, isn't it?

Mrs. MARKHAM. I think so.

Mr. BALL. Well, where is your home from Patton and Jefferson?

Mrs. MARKHAM. I had came--I come one block, I had come one block from my home.

Mr. BALL. You were walking, were you?

Mrs. MARKHAM. I came from 9th to the corner of 10th Street.

Mr. BALL. And you were walking toward Jefferson?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. Tenth Street runs the same direction as Jefferson, doesn't it?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. It runs in a generally east and west direction?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. And Patton runs north and south?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir; up and down this way.

Mr. BALL. When you came to the corner of Patton and 10th Street--first of all, what side of the street were you walking on?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Now you have got me mixed up on all my streets. I was on the opposite of where this man was.

Mr. BALL. Well, you were walking along the street--

Mrs. MARKHAM. On the street.

Mr. BALL. On Patton, you were going toward Jefferson?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. And you were on the right- or left-hand side of the street as you were walking south?

Mrs. MARKHAM. That would be on the left.

Mr. BALL. Your right.

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, it would be right.

Mr. BALL. Right-hand side, wouldn't it? When you came to the corner did you have to stop before you crossed 10th Street?

Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, I did.

Mr. BALL. Why?


Page 307

(24) 3H,307; (25) & (26) 3H,306; (27) Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, ps 190 and 441

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I cannot recall the exact source, but there was either testimony or documentation before the WC that no telephone company records were made or kept of local phone calls, only long distance ones. So a call from the Davis house or anywhere in the Dallas area to the Dallas Police would not have been registered.
... If Gary is correct then there is NO EVIDENCE anywhere in the record to contradict Markham's 1.06 time estimate, and NO EVIDENCE to contradict Bowley's affidavit which says the murderer had already left the scene by 1.10.

There is something - I can't recall where - that shows that the Dudley Moore Funeral Home had time-stamped a call from DPD to respond to the Tippit scene at something like 1:18, although I don't know if there is anything corresponding in DPD records that states either when they received the call or when they relayed it to Moore.

That is not directly contradictory evidence, however, since there is no contradiction that Tippit's body was still present when either or both Benavides and/or Bowley made the radio call(s). The only thing that it partially breaks down is the information later and independently gotten from the Wrights as to their actions upon hearing the shots: while Mr Wright went down the street to the murder scene, Mrs Wright called for an ambulance.

The question that the Moore time stamp doesn't and can't answer is not "what time was Tippit shot," but "how long did it take Mrs Wright to contact the police, and them to react?" It seems that she had some confusion of how to reach either the police or the ambulance, and ended up calling the operator, telling her(?) to call the police, that someone (a police officer?) had been shot.

We don't know how long her confusion lasted, how long it took her to call the operator - or to get through to the operator since phone lines were so busy that phone operators (like Mrs Bowley) had to remain on duty for several hours after their regular quitting time - nor whether Mrs Wright was "patched through" to the police, or if the operator relayed it to the police ... and if the latter, what questions she(?) asked Mrs W, how long that took, what procedures she(?) had to go through, if any, before it was relayed, etc.

Given the apparent volume of phone traffic, etc., is it reasonable to suggest that it could have taken Mrs W five minutes to get through to either the operator and/or the police, who likewise most likely had phones ringing off the hook? (I wonder if there's a record of "crank" calls DPD had received or those just mistakenly reporting that they'd seen someone suspicious, etc.?)

I think you'll find that then and now, no phone companies, other than cell phone providers, track local calls. There would be billions of calls every month if phone companies did that.

In those days, and now, calls from Dallas to Fort Worth were long distance and that's why there's a record of Ruby calling his backer, Ralph Paul, and Little Lynn calling Ruby from her apartment in Fort Worth. Long distance records are kept only to charge an additional fee for the service.

... Looking down the opposite end of the telescope, as far as I know there is no record of the time the Dallas Police received the Davis phone call, although here you would expect that the Police SHOULD have routinely time-stamped the receipt of such a call.

... But one must ask: from 12:30 until about, say, 2:30, was anything "routine?" And again, the question of heavy call volume at DPD related (and unrelated) to the assassination ... did they take the time to do "routine" things?

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There is something - I can't recall where - that shows that the Dudley Moore [try HUGHES - Moore was a comedian] Funeral Home had time-stamped a call from DPD to respond to the Tippit scene at something like 1:18, although I don't know if there is anything corresponding in DPD records that states either when they received the call or when they relayed it to Moore.

Myers discusses this at page 101 of With Malice and the time-stamp by Hughes was indeed 1.18. The call to Hughes was relayed by "the Dallas police", no name or other ID, and no indication of the time the DPD received the call.

On page 90 of WM Myers says that one DELVIS TAYLOR, working for the DPD, took the phone call from LJ Lewis (made from the Reynolds car dealership on Jefferson) and wrote a call sheet which he dropped in a conveyor belt that went to dispatcher, Murray Jackson. As incredible as it may seem, there is no indication that Taylor time-stamped the call sheet. If that call sheet ever surfaced in the record, then Myers for one did not come across it.

It would be interesting to know more about this DELVIS TAYLOR character. If Ian Griggs is reading this (Ian is working on a complete encyclopaedia of all DPD personnel) perhaps he could tell us something about this person.

An earlier thread on this forum discusses the case of MARGIE BARNES, "a secretary in the communications center of the Dallas Police Department Radio Patrol Division" who was not at work that day because she received an unexpected invitation to JFK's Trade Mart luncheon. According to the LA Free Press, Barnes's job included receiving emergency calls, and presumably that would include time-stamping the call sheets. It may be that this DELVIS TAYLOR was the stand-in for Ms. Barnes. Some observers think that Ms. Barnes's absence from work that day may have been the result of something more than coincidence, but I don't know what to make of it. Here is the link:


... But one must ask: from 12:30 until about, say, 2:30, was anything "routine?" And again, the question of heavy call volume at DPD related (and unrelated) to the assassination ... did they take the time to do "routine" things?
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There is something - I can't recall where - that shows that the Dudley Moore Funeral Home ...

try HUGHES - Moore was a comedian

Duh-heeee! :blink:

It's tough to be perfect when you're as humbled as I!

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You've done a great job in showing the WC's "anti-Holmesian" nature, that is, opposite of Sherlock Holmes' maxim that "once the impossible has been excluded, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." It began with the "fact" that it was Oswald who shot Tippit, and eliminated the facts that it deemed "impossible" to have been true based on the conclusion, and decided that the "truth" was what remained of the facts that supported the conclusion, no matter how "improbable" it might seem.

Rather than reasoning that "if Tippit was shot at 1:06, Oswald could not have walked or run there and killed him, so someone else must have," it instead concluded "since Oswald shot Tippit, he could not have gotten there before 1:15, so the 1:06 time must be wrong." Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, after all, and Helen Markham was "an utter screwball," the apotheosis of the theorem.

Some thoughts about Markham and her schedule:

If you've discovered CD630c, then you've also found CD630h, which latter indicates that a bus arrived at Jefferson/Patton (J/P) at 1:12, and another was scheduled each 10 minutes thereafter. In 630c, Markham is quoted as saying her bus arrived "about 1:15," which means that, in her mind, the next one is due at 1:25.

If today's schedules are in any way reflective of those 45 years ago, there are - and maybe were - three choices of busses to take to 1404 Main, where Markham worked and needed to be at by 2:00 (I do know that more than one route picked up passengers at that location in 1963, but haven't researched them thoroughly).

Today, one route takes 17 minutes from J/P to near Markham's work, has no transfers required, and requires a .28 mile walk from the closest bus stop to the restaurant (1:14 to 1:31 on the bus, an average 5.7-minute walk after, arrive 1:36/37). Another bus leaves later, also has no transfers, takes only 14 minutes, and has a .09-mile walk (1:27 to 1:42, plus about two minutes, 1:44). A third comes at about the same time as the previous, takes 18 minutes, has one transfer, and leaves a .12-mile walk (1:27 to 1:46, plus 2½ minutes, 1:48/49).

It has been quite a while since I've regularly ridden city busses (high school), but I remember that missing a bus could in some cases cause a "domino effect" that could cause you to be much later to your final destination than the, say, ten minutes it took for the next bus to come. I had to transfer busses downtown; the two busses I took coincided at the downtown stop about five minutes apart. If each bus ride was 20 minutes, then I left at 8:00, got downtown at 8:20, boarded the next bus at 8:25, arrived at my destination at 8:45, to be in my first class at 9:00.

If I missed the first bus, though, and if the one I transferred to didn't keep the same schedule (e.g., my first bus came every 10 minutes, but the other one came only every 20 or 30 minutes), then instead of a five-minute wait to transfer, I could have 15 to 25. Thus I'd get on the first at 8:10, arrive downtown at 8:30, would not board the next bus until 8:45 (on a 20-minute schedule; 8:55 on a 30-minute schedule), and not arrive at my destination until 9:05 (or 9:15).

Thus, by being two minutes late for my 8:00 bus, I was 15 minutes late for the start of my first class ... and I still had to walk a couple of blocks and get to my locker to get my books first.

When this happens the first time, the regular bus learns quickly to always be early for the bus for, even while they're not supposed to leave early, they sometimes do, and being wrong about the time can cost you dearly.

Not knowing for certain, Mrs Markham could well have had the same dilemma, that by missing her 1:12 bus, the 1:22 bus might've had a transfer, might've been running behind and gotten there after the bus she wanted to transfer to and the next could've required a longer walk ... there are all sorts of variables, but the point is that missing her 1:12 bus could've caused her to be later to work than just the 10 minutes' wait to the next one.

Even if she arrived downtown at 1:30 and had a five- or six-minute walk ahead of her, she was not asked about her routine at or before work other than that she "started" at 2:00. Does that mean she had to be walking in the door at two, or ready to be taking orders from customers? Did she have to get an apron, put her hair up, wash her hands, stow her purse somewhere, get a "bank" to work from, order-pads (we know she had to change her shoes!) ... did she smoke and want a cigarette before starting, maybe a cup of coffee usually?

All of these things figure into what time she wanted to arrive at work and why, even if she didn't have to be there by that time. Sure, the next bus might've gotten her in the door by 2:00, but could she have done all she had to do in preparation to actually start working? What about when the bus got held up by traffic and was late?

It likewise doesn't matter what time she thought the bus left, 1:12 or "about 1:15," what mattered is that she knew what time she had to leave her apartment in order to meet it, to have a couple of minutes or more leeway.

I don't think that someone needs to have a "punctuality anxiety" to want to be able to get to work on time and maybe do a couple of other things at one's leisure before starting.

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  • 2 years later...

Gary Mack follow-up:

I think you'll find that then and now, no phone companies, other than cell phone providers, track local calls. There would be billions of calls every month if phone companies did that.

In those days, and now, calls from Dallas to Fort Worth were long distance and that's why there's a record of Ruby calling his backer, Ralph Paul, and Little Lynn calling Ruby from her apartment in Fort Worth.

Long distance records are kept only to charge an additional fee for the service.

Thank you Gary. That is most helpful.

Looking down the opposite end of the telescope, as far as I know there is no record of the time the Dallas Police received the Davis phone call, although here you would expect that the Police SHOULD have routinely time-stamped the receipt of such a call.

Has anyone ever bothered to check and see if Dale Myers assertions re Oswald, the Smith & Wesson ie US Mail,

were accurate?

Some of the sources he cited in attempting to depunk Newcomb/Adams assertions that Oswald was possibly investigating weapons purchases

via mail order for the Dodd Committee and the issue of signing for the package were

Murder From Within, Fred T. Newcomb and Perry Adams, 1974

Unpublished Manuscript;

U.S. Congress, Senate, Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile

Delinquency of the Senate Judiciary, Hearings to Study the Interstate

Traffic in Mail-Order Firearms, 88th Congress, 2nd Session, 1963, Pt. 14:

S1448-11, Pt.15: S1561-1

7H375,7H376 Michaelis Exhibits

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Research Center,

Dallas White Pages, 1964 [Note: Archivist Gary Mack notes that the

REA* Express phone number was RI2-5431 and the post office number was


*Railway Express Agency

The whole text can be found here.


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