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Altgens photo of Oswald


Shanet Clark
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Tim, John, Lee, Wim, et al...

In the book "The Torch is Passed" (1964) there is a large, good resolution photo by James Altgens showing the moment of ambush. There on the steps of the Texas Bookstore Depository is a man closely resembling the late Lee Harvey Oswald. I noticed this years ago. More recently I read where the fabric and missing button on the individual matched Oswald's attire that day. If Oswald worked there, it stands to reason he would have been out front watching the Presidential Motorcade, and this would be consistent with him being in the second floor lunchroom ninety seconds after the shooting. Could someone attach the photo and a good close-up for more discussion, maybe Lee Forman could do this? I lost my copy of "The Torch Is Passed" Commemorative volume, but it was a huge seller and the picture was reasonably clear. What have people said about this picture of Oswald?

Shanet

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James

Lovelady resembles the guy in the photo, but so does Oswald. Who is Lovelady,

Why the mugshot? Is this a double? What else has been said on this? Is this the consensus over time, Lovelady is the man in the photo?

Shanet

Shanet,

I think you will find that the man in the doorway of the TSBD is Billy Lovelady.

James

Billy Loveday worked at the Texas School Book Depository. The Warren Commission claimed that the man in the photograph was not Oswald because he was on the 6th Floor at the time. On the day of the assassination Lovejoy claims he was wearing a “red and white vertical stripped shirt”. Whereas the man in the photo appears to be wearing what Oswald had on (light T-shirt with a dark heavy-textured shirt over it). Several witnesses claim that Loveday was sitting down at the time of the shooting.

Loveday told the Warren Commission that “The shots came from right there around that concrete little deal on that knoll.”

Interesting footnote. Loveday died of a heart attack in January, 1979, during the HSCA hearings. Was he due to be interviewed by the HSCA?

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Is this the consensus over time, Lovelady is the man in the photo?

Shanet

Yes - Lovelady had on a red plaid shirt - the white squares with black borders can be seen in a good Altgens 6 print. Also in the Hughes film - his red shirt can be seen in the doorway of the TSBD. Oswald is seen with a brown grainy looking shirt design.

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Thanks---this is interesting. I think the lesson here is not to cling to things that support your angle, it is more important to get all the facts, many of which will be paradoxical or counter-intuitive---in a word more rich and complex-- than what you started with...but, damn, he sure looked like Oswald......

Shanet

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James

Lovelady resembles the guy in the photo, but so does Oswald. Who is Lovelady,

Why the mugshot? Is this a double? What else has been said on this? Is this the consensus over time, Lovelady is the man in the photo?

Shanet

Billy Lovelady worked at the Texas School Book Depository. The Warren Commission claimed that the man in the photograph was not Oswald because he was on the 6th Floor at the time. On the day of the assassination Lovelady claims he was wearing a “red and white vertical stripped shirt”. Whereas the man in the photo appears to be wearing what Oswald had on (light T-shirt with a dark heavy-textured shirt over it). Several witnesses claim that Loveday was sitting down at the time of the shooting.

Lovelady told the Warren Commission that “The shots came from right there around that concrete little deal on that knoll.”

Interesting footnote. Lovelady died of a heart attack in January, 1979, during the HSCA hearings. Was he due to be interviewed by the HSCA?

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I have being doing some research into the Lovelady case. I have put what I have found here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKlovelady.htm

His evidence to the Warren Commission was extremely important. For example, here is one extract from his testimony:

Joseph Ball: You ate your lunch on the steps?

Billy Lovelady: Yes, sir.

Joseph Ball: Who was with you?

Billy Lovelady: Bill Shelley and Sarah Stanton....

Joseph Ball: Were you there when the President's motorcade went by?

Billy Lovelady: Right.

Joseph Ball: Did you hear anything?

Billy Lovelady: Yes, sir: sure did.

Joseph Ball: What did you hear?

Billy Lovelady: I thought it was firecrackers or somebody celebrating the arrival of the President. It didn't occur to me at first what had happened until this Gloria came running up to us and told us the President had been shot.

Joseph Ball: Who was this girl?

Billy Lovelady: Gloria Calvary...

Joseph Ball: Where was the direction of the sound?

Billy Lovelady: Right there around that concrete little deal on that knoll.

Joseph Ball: That's where it sounded to you?

Billy Lovelady: Yes, sir; to my right. I was standing as you are going down the steps, I was standing on the right, sounded like it was in that area.

Joseph Ball: From the underpass area?

Billy Lovelady: Between the underpass and the building right on the knoll.

Afterwards, Lovelady and his friends ran towards the Grassy Knoll but they went sent back by the police in that area.

According to a memo written by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the Warren Commission after Lovelady had been interviewed and photographed in 1964 by FBI agents, Lovelady was reported to have been wearing a short-sleeved red and white, vertically striped shirt. The FBI claimed that he had been photographed in the clothes that he wore on the day of the assassination.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations looked into this issue:

A widely publicized photograph taken by Associated Press photographer James W. Altgens within a few seconds after President Kennedy was first shot shows a spectator who bears a strong physical resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald standing at the west end of the Texas School Book Depository entranceway. Altgens has stated that he took the picture of the presidential limousine, with the Texas School Book Depository entranceway in the background, just after he heard a noise "which sounded like the popping of a firecracker."

Warren Commission critics have charged that there was insufficient basis for this conclusion, and have faulted the Commission for presenting " no supporting visual evidence by which one can appraise the resemblance between Lovelady and the man in the doorway, or Lovelady and Oswald, although nothing less hangs on the accurate identification of the doorway man than Oswald's possible total innocence of the assassination".

This issue has also persisted because of reported discrepancies in connection with the clothing worn by the Altgens figure and Billy Lovelady on November 22, 1963. In media prints of the Altgens photograph, the man appears to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt similar to the one in which Oswald was arrested.

The HSCA went on to argue: Lovelady later explained that when he was interviewed and photographed by the FBI, he had not been told to wear the same shirt he had worn on the day of the assassination and that, in fact, he had been wearing a long-sleeved, plaid shirt when he was standing in the Texas School Book Depository doorway.

Lovelady did not appear to be asked about the shirt he was wearing on the day of the assassination by the Warren Commission. According to Michael Benson, Lovelady said he was wearing a red and white stripped shirt. However, the HSCA claimed he was wearing a plaid shirt. Unfortunately, Lovelady was not able to confirm this as he died just before the publication of the HSCA report. He died of a heart-attack aged 42 in January, 1979.

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