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Callaway assumes Oswald wore brown shirt

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Ted Callaway, witness to Tippit's murder, is an example of how unreliable eyewitness testimony often is. He was shown exhibit 150 of the Warren Commission, which is the brown long-sleeve shirt that Oswald was allegedly wearing at the time. Callaway responded that he did not see this shirt--that he only a t-shirt under a jacket; but he immediately added that the brown shirt was open. The statements in bold are contradictory.

Mr. BALL. I show you a shirt, 150. Does it look anything like the shirt he had on under the jacket?

Mr. CALLAWAY. Sir, when I saw him he didn't have--I couldn't see this shirt. I saw--he had it open. That shirt was open, and I could see his white T-shirt underneath.

Mr. BALL. He had a white T-shirt underneath?

Mr. CALLAWAY. Yes. That is the shirt he had on in the lineup that night.


Callaway's thought process, influenced by outside information, can easily be described as follows:

These respectable, honest government people just showed me a shirt owned by Oswald; therefore Oswald was wearing that shirt and it must have been open so wide under the jacket that I was unable to see it.

Obviously, Callaway had no evidence to state that the killer was wearing an open shirt, since he did not see the shirt at all. It did not occur to him that the killer was wearing nothing but a jacket and a white t-shirt.

Only one witness (out of what, 8 or 9?) Has claimed to have seen a brown shirt (correct me if I'm wrong). His name is Sam Guinard. Wasn't Guinard standing very close to Callaway?

Edited by Andric Perez
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