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Harold Russell

William Kelly

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Harold Russell

Death #18

Name: Harold Russell

Assassination Connection: Harold Russell was employed at the time of President Kennedy's assassination by Johnny Reynolds Used Car Lot, owned by Warren Reynolds and located at 500 East Jefferson Blvd., in Dallas, a few blocks from the scene of Officer J.D. Tippit's murder. Russell, Reynolds, and several other men saw someone they believed to be the murderer escaping on foot, and Penn Jones, Jr., states in Forgive My Grief, volume II, that, "neither (Reynolds Russell) seemed to think the man leaving the scene was Lee Oswald until later."

The Warren Commission however, maintains that:

Harold Russell also saw a man with a gun running south on Patton Avenue and later identified him from pictures as Oswald. (See Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, pp. 652-653.)

Date of Death: July 23, 1965

Place of Death: Sulphur, Oklahoma

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones, Jr., provides the only readily available account of

Harold Russell's death:

A few months after the assassination, Harold Russell went back to his home near Davis, Oklahoma. On July 23, 1965, Russell, 53, went out of his mind while on a party with friends. He was crying and telling his friends that he was going to be killed and that he had to be hidden. People at the party called the police.

A policeman answered the call, he hit Russell in the head with a pistol and Russell died a few hours later in a Sulphur, Oklahoma, hospital.


The analyst was unable to locate any press accounts of Harold Russell's death after an extensive search in both the Daily Oklahoman, published in Oklahoma City but statewide in scope of coverage and distribution, and theTulsa Daily World.

Given the lack of documentable fact in this case, the death of Harold Russell could warrant further investigation by the Committee. The allegations to be investigated were printed by Penn Jones in volume II of Forgive My Grief and Mr. Jones offers no documentation to support his thesis.

Two questions are raised by this case: first, did Harold Russell, in fact, initially claim that the man he saw escaping from the site of Officer Tippit's murder was not Lee Harvey Oswald?

Second, what, in fact, were the circumstances of Harold Russell's death? An investigation of the documents dealing with the death would shed light on the second question.

The first question could be pursued if Penn Jones, Jr., were to reveal the evidence that led him to conclude that Russell did not at first, identify the man leaving the scene as Oswald.

Jurisdiction: Murray County, Oklahoma

Records Available From:

Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics

3200 North Eastern

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

Thanks to John McIadams for that tidbit


Edited by William Kelly
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