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Joseph McBride, Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit (2013)


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I had a revealing interview with Edgar Lee Tippit, the father of the late officer. The elder Tippit was a lively ninety when I interviewed him. He revealed to me that after his son's death, another Dallas police officer went to J. D.'s widow, Marie, and told her he and J. D. had been sent by the police to hunt down Oswald.

In retrospect (many years later), couldn't the words "hunt down Oswald" easily be interpreted as "keep a watchful eye out for the slender white male who just shot President Kennedy"?

Knowing the evidence and the witness testimony in the Tippit murder case as I do, I feel that the latter interpretation of any "hunt down Oswald" remark that anyone might have made after 11/22/63 is almost certainly the correct explanation.

I believe another policeman or perhaps two policeman [sic] and probably a civilian as well were involved in the shooting of Tippit. I go into great detail on all this in the book and offer a wealth of evidence. I identify possible suspects in both shootings and exonerate others, including Oswald.

Therefore, Joseph, you must then believe that the TWELVE or so witnesses who positively identified Lee Harvey Oswald were either all lying or they innocently identified a perfect-looking Oswald double as the one and only gunman who killed J.D. Tippit or as the one and only man who was fleeing the scene of the shooting on foot with a gun in his hand. Correct?

Why do you disregard the two bullet shells found by the Davis girls at 10th & Patton (which they turned over to DPD Detectives Doughty and Dhority on Nov. 22)? Those shells have a clean and firm chain of custody. So even if a person wants to toss aside the "Poe shells", the Davis shells cannot be dismissed in the same manner. Those shells were marked by each DPD officer. And they were fired in Oswald's revolver "to the exclusion". And that revolver was in Oswald's hands when he was arrested while trying to kill more policemen with that same gun.

Based on the evidence, there's no possible way Oswald can be innocent. And here's why:

JFK-Archives/The Murder Of J.D. Tippit

Excerpt from above article:

"What makes Oswald's guilt in the Tippit murder EXTRA convincing (vs. "unconvincing") is the fact that there are multiple types of evidence to convict him -- including direct (eyewitness) testimony which corroborates and buttresses the physical evidence left behind by Oswald at the scene of the crime (i.e., the eyewitnesses fingered OSWALD -- and the bullet shells found at the crime scene were fired in OSWALD'S revolver -- and OSWALD himself had the murder weapon in his own hands just 35 minutes after Tippit was killed, with OSWALD himself acting like a very guilty man in the theater).

The melding together of that much eyewitness testimony, circumstantial evidence, and physical evidence (the bullet shells on Tenth Street) doesn't occur in a great number of murder cases. But in the Tippit case, it did occur. And Oswald was nice enough to KEEP THE MURDER WEAPON IN HIS POSSESSION right after the crime too, which is a huge asset when it comes to solving the murder of Officer Tippit.

The only possible way for Oswald to be innocent of Tippit's murder is if LHO's identical twin had actually shot Tippit with LEE HARVEY OSWALD'S gun, and then the identical twin (or exact look-alike) was somehow able to get Oswald himself to take possession of Revolver V510210 prior to his arrest in the Texas Theater.

And even that ridiculous scenario wouldn't really explain why Oswald, just thirty-five minutes after J.D. Tippit had been shot with LHO's Smith & Wesson revolver, was behaving like a very guilty person when the police approached him inside the Texas Theater on November 22, 1963.

Conspiracy theorists are experts at making up excuses to EXPLAIN AWAY all the evidence that exists against Lee Harvey Oswald in both the JFK and Tippit murder cases. But unless the CTers really want to believe that all of the eyewitnesses who identified Oswald were totally wrong AND that all of the physical evidence in the Tippit case was manufactured by the authorities to frame a man named Lee Oswald, then the conspiracy theorists really have nowhere to go with their persistent arguments that Oswald was innocent of killing J.D. Tippit." -- David Von Pein; January 10, 2012

Hi, David,

Thanks for your questions. I think you will find a great detail of supporting evidence and detail

in INTO THE NIGHTMARE: MY SEARCH FOR THE KILLERS OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

AND OFFICER J. D. TIPPIT that will clarify all these points for you. But briefly, here are

answers to the questions you raise.

The Warren Report relied mostly on ballistics evidence to claim that Oswald killed

Tippit, but that evidence was a mess. An FBI expert testified that the bullets

could not be linked to the shells allegedly found at the scene and entered into evidence. The chain of evidence on

three of the four bullets was seriously flawed. The shells were not in fact marked at the scene by the police, as

Detective James Leavelle admitted to me. Three

of the bullets suspiciously turned up in the dead files of the Dallas Police Department long after

the fact. Evidence suggests the bullets entered into evidence were planted. Other shells

found at the scene were not entered into evidence. Officers reported an automatic

was used; Oswald was said to have a revolver.

As for the witnesses, some (actually nine) indeed identified Oswald as the shooter or

a man fleeing from the scene. But Helen Markham, the star witness, was

hysterical and hopelessly confused. She may not have even seen

the shooting. The closest witness, Domingo Benavides, wouldn't

identify Oswald as the shooter and was not brought to view a lineup.

Benavides only identified Oswald years later on TV after his brother was shot

and killed. An extraordinary amount of violence and intimidation surrounded Tippit witnesses,

a sign of the extreme sensitivity of that part of the case, which David Belin called its "Rosetta stone."

The llneups from which some witnesses identified Oswald were tainted because

it was obvious Oswald was the designated suspect at those showings. Ten witnesses

who saw parts of the events would not identify Oswald as the shooter or the man fleeing.

Other witnesses said other men were involved in the shooting. Suspicious vehicles,

including another police car, were seen at the scene. It is likely

Oswald was not even there. I identify likely

suspects in the shooting, including one or two Dallas police officers.

I exonerate other suspects, including Oswald.

I demolish the weak case brought by the DPD against Oswald in the Tippit shooting and do so with

the help of the lead detective, Leavelle, whom I grilled

closely. He admitted many of the flaws in the case. Former

DA Henry Wade, whom I interviewed, similarly admitted to me the flaws

in the case against Oswald for allegedly shooting Kennedy. These key law enforcement men

were not able to marshal convincing evidence against Oswald

when I questioned them in close detail. Wade told the Warren

Commission that as early as November 23, he "felt like nearly it was a hopeless case" against Oswald

for shooting Kennedy. He told the commission, "I wasn't sure I was going to take a complaint." And Wade admitted to me, "I probably made a lot of mistakes."

Oswald did not try to shoot a policeman at the theater. An

FBI expert testified there was no dent on the cartridge in

the gun that supposedly had misfired.

So you are placing credence on what Oswald

correctly called "so-called evidence" that is easy

to discredit. Also, as I am sure you know, Oswald

could not have walked from his rooming house

in Oak Cliff in time to shoot Tippit. The Tippit

shooting took place at 1:09, or a minute earlier,

and Oswald was seen at his rooming house

nine-tenths of a mile away at about 1:04. The Warren

Report distorts the time of the shooting to prove its dubious case.

I conducted the first interview by a researcher with T. F. Bowley,

who said he came upon the dead officer at 1:10. Oswald could only

have been at the Tippit shooting scene if he

had been driven there, and that seems unlikely.

As for the police dispatch describing the suspect,

that was vague and could have applied

to thousands of men in Dallas. Tippit was given

more explicit instructions, not by the regular police radio, to find Oswald. This is

backed up by a variety of sources and evidence. You also

know that the police radio did contain odd instructions

singling out Tippit to be at large in Oak Cliff for a possible emergency.

I propose alternate theories of the Tippit shooting

and back them up with eyewitness and other evidence.

I also bring forward some new evidence in the Kennedy

shooting. I hope you read the book with an open mind.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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Gerald McKnight, the author of Breach of Trust, has sent me this message: "I have written a new preface to a pb copy of "Breach of Trust" (out in September) and what I focused on in this preface was material (much of it originating w/ the FBI and SS) that exonerated Oswald as the Dealey Plaza shooter. It might benefit McBride to know that the Dallas Police had Oswald as the assassin of JFK and Tippit and the assailant of Connally by 1:40 P.M. CST. If McBride would like this citation I'd be glad to send it forward. I have no argument with McBride's assertion that Tippit was "detailed" to find Oswald and kill him when, in fact, he was like Oswald, a dupe in a much bigger operation. I could add here all the business of the Dallas cops climbing all over Oswald in the Texas Theatre grappling for his revolver. A Dallas Police forensic report on the alleged Oswald revolver indicated that not a single DP cop's finger prints were lifted from the weapon."

Mr. McKnight, I admire and recommend BREACH OF TRUST. Oswald's identity supposedly was not known by the Dallas

Police until they arrested him, but he allegedly carried two pieces of identification, one with an alias, so

they were not sure of his identity until he was taken to the station. A suspect was reported

at the theater at 1:46; the arrest occurred at 1:52. Tippit was searching for Oswald

as early as 12:45 and probably before that. The police probably knew who Oswald

was and had been surveilling him and perhaps even using him as an informant. But this was unofficial and not admitted. Tippit probably was duped to some extent but was

also involved in the plot against Oswald and perhaps the plot against Kennedy as well.

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[...]

[...]

[...]

[...]

[...]

The Warren Report relied mostly on ballistics evidence to claim that Oswald killed Tippit, but that evidence was a mess. An FBI expert testified that the bullets could not be linked to the shells allegedly found at the scene and entered into evidence. The chain of evidence on three of the four bullets was seriously flawed. The shells were not in fact marked at the scene by the police, as Detective James Leavelle admitted to me. Three

of the bullets suspiciously turned up in the dead files of the Dallas Police Department long after the fact. Evidence suggests the bullets entered into evidence were planted. ther shells found at the scene were not entered into evidence. Officers reported an automatic was used; Oswald was said to have a revolver.

As for the witnesses, some (actually nine) indeed identified Oswald as the shooter or a man fleeing from the scene. But Helen Markham, the star witness, was hysterical and hopelessly confused. She may not have even seen the shooting. The closest witness, Domingo Benavides, wouldn't identify Oswald as the shooter and was not brought to view a lineup. Benavides only identified Oswald years later on TV after his brother was shot and killed. An extraordinary amount of violence and intimidation surrounded Tippit witnesses, a sign of the extreme sensitivity of that part of the case, which David Belin called its "Rosetta Stone." The llneups from which some witnesses identified Oswald were tainted because it was obvious Oswald was the designated suspect at those showings. Ten witnesses who saw parts of the events would not identify Oswald as the shooter or the man fleeing. Other witnesses said other men were involved in the shooting. Suspicious vehicles, including another police car, were seen at the scene. It is likely Oswald was not even there. I identify likely suspects in the shooting, including one or two Dallas police officers. I exonerate other suspects, including Oswald. I demolish the weak case brought by the DPD against Oswald in the Tippit shooting and do so with the help of the lead detective, Leavelle, whom I grilled closely. He admitted many of the flaws in the case. Former DA Henry Wade, whom I interviewed, similarly admitted to me the flaws in the case against Oswald for allegedly shooting Kennedy. These key law enforcement men were not able to marshal convincing evidence against Oswald when I questioned them in close detail. Wade told the Warren Commission that as early as November 23, he "felt like nearly it was a hopeless case" against Oswald for shooting Kennedy. He told the commission, "I wasn't sure I was going to take a complaint." And Wade admitted to me, "I probably made a lot of mistakes."

Oswald did not try to shoot a policeman at the theater. An FBI expert testified there was no dent on the cartridge in the gun that supposedly had misfired.

[...] Oswald could not have walked from his rooming house in Oak Cliff in time to shoot Tippit. The Tippit shooting took place at 1:09, or a minute earlier,and Oswald was seen at his rooming house nine-tenths of a mile away at about 1:04. The Warren Report distorts the time of the shooting to prove its dubious case. I conducted the first interview by a researcher with T. F. Bowley, who said he came upon the dead officer at 1:10. Oswald could only have been at the Tippit shooting scene if he had been driven there, and that seems unlikely. As for the police dispatch describing the suspect, that was vague and could have applied to thousands of men in Dallas. Tippit was given more explicit instructions, not by the regular police radio, to find Oswald. This is backed up by a variety of sources and evidence. [...T]he police radio did contain odd instructions singling out Tippit to be at large in Oak Cliff for a possible emergency.shooting. [...]

[emphasis added by T. Graves]

Dear Mr. McBride,

Looks like you've written a very interesting book to say the least.

Thank you for entertaining our questions.

I have two questions for you.

1) Who saw another police car at the scene? That's fascinating and I ask this question just to save myself a couple of hours (or days) of time "researching" it. LOL I'd rather spend the time "researching" whether Oswald's revolver misfired or if McDonald prevented it from firing by sticking the web of his hand between the hammer and the cartridge....

2) Do you think that Butch Burroughs was mistaken when he said that Oswald entered the Texas Theater no later than 1:07?

Thank you,

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Thomas,

The other police car at the scene was reported by witnesses Doris

Holan and Sam Guinyard. Witness Virginia Davis seemed to suggest

that other policemen were present immediately after the shooting. I

study and analyze in detail in the book the very complex pattern of witness reports.

Butch Burroughs probably was correct about Oswald being in

the theater earlier than the official story has it. The exact time

he arrived is not entirely certain. Burroughs said he entered

at about 1 p.m. or minutes after. But Earlene Roberts said

Oswald was at the rooming house until about 1:04. So Burroughs

may have been off by some minutes. The official record

shows that a suspect was reported in the theater at 1:46. It's

always been a question where Oswald was between 1:04

and 1:46. Burroughs seems a credible witness.

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So, per some conspiracy theorists, Oswald enters the theater prior to 1:10 PM CST. He then decides to leave the theater a little while later and loiter for a few seconds in Johnny Brewer's storefront. And then Oswald goes BACK INTO the same theater he just exited.

That seems highly unlikely...doesn't it?

Edited by David Von Pein
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Guest Robert Morrow

So, per some conspiracy theorists, Oswald enters the theater prior to 1:10 PM CST. He then decides to leave the theater a little while later and loiter for a few seconds in Johnny Brewer's storefront. And then Oswald goes BACK INTO the same theater he just exited.

That seems highly unlikely...doesn't it?

Helen Markham says she saw Oswald shoot Officer Tippit at 1:06 PM on 11/22/63. The Warren Report, with absolutely no evidence to support it's conclusion says Tippit was shot at 1:15 PM. Afterall, Helen was walking to meet her 1:12 bus to go to her waitressing job. Oswald's boarding house lady saw him come in at 1PM and then the last she saw he was waiting for a westbound bus at 1:02 or 1:03 PM.

Is it 9/10ths or one full mile that is the distance between Oswald boarding home on North Beckley and the Tippit murder scene at 10th and Patton?

Everyone has their own definition of crazy.

Edited by Pat Speer
changed Von Pein's post to match his edit
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Robert M.,

What does your last post have to do with Oswald entering the Texas Theater TWICE on 11/22/63?

(Or am I supposed to believe there were TWO different "Oswalds" entering the theater that day?)

Edited by David Von Pein
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Guest Robert Morrow

Robert M.,

What does your last post have to do with Oswald entering the Texas Theater TWICE on 11/22/63?

(Or am I supposed to believe there were TWO different "Oswalds" entering the theater that day?)

It doesn't. Just that the whole idea of Oswald shooting Tippit when he wasn't even there is pretty "crazy" to me. As is the idea of there being two Oswalds.

Those are just my opinions, though.

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Not to be a pain, but how were you able to demonstrate this? Through a timeline? Through previously unknown eyewitness evidence? Both?

Pat, It's not a pain to be asked good questions. Other researchers and journalists have speculated from December 1963 that Tippit may have been tracking down Oswald. I studied the frantic actions of Tippit as reported by Earl Golz, Greg Lowrey, and other researchers. Tippit clearly gave signs of hunting for a man.

I had a revealing interview with Edgar Lee Tippit, the father of the late officer. The elder Tippit was a lively ninety when I interviewed him. He revealed to me that after his son's death, another Dallas police officer went to J. D.'s widow, Marie, and told her he and J. D. had been sent by the police to hunt down Oswald. Whether this was to capture him or kill him is not certain, but the evidence indicates that the latter is a strong possibility. This was at a time when Oswald's identity was not officially known to the DPD, although there is evidence indicating they knew about him and had fingered him as the patsy.

The other officer told Marie that he had not made it to the scene of the shooting because he became involved in an auto accident. This story had never been reported before, and Edgar Lee Tippit had

never been interviewed.

I found evidence that there was an auto accident near the time and place of the Tippit shooting. I studied the police dispatch tapes, FBI reports, HSCA interviews, and other documents to ascertain the movements of other officers around Oak Cliff. I had the first interview by a researcher with Tippit witness T. F. Bowley. Other policemen were behaving suspiciously in Oak Cliff besides Tippit. I believe another policeman or perhaps two policeman and probably a civilian as well were involved in the shooting of Tippit. I go into great detail on all this in the book and offer a wealth of evidence. I identify possible suspects in both shootings and exonerate others, including Oswald. Edgar Lee Tippit also provided me with other important information about his son, who in other books has been a mostly shadowy figure. I also had candid interviews with, among other people,

Tippit's mistress Johnnie Maxie Witherspoon, his rightwing employer Austin Cook, and Detective James Leavelle, who headed the "investigation" of the Tippit killing.

There is much new material in the book, partly because I worked on it for more than thirty years.

Hi, Joe, Congradulations on your new book, and I'm interested in your book on baseball lingo, because I wrote a simlar book on golf history and terminology, "Birth of the Birdie."

I'm also interested in your research on the Tippit murder, and wonder if you got to talk to Mike Robinson or Frank Martin's son, both of whom seem to have stumbled onto some Tippit murder witnesses at Dallas Police HQ. Did you talk to these guys?

JFKCountercoup2: The Hardy Boys in Dallas

Also curious about Wes Wise and the Carl Mather story, and if you checked into any of that?

Thanks,

Bill Kelly

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Not to be a pain, but how were you able to demonstrate this? Through a timeline? Through previously unknown eyewitness evidence? Both?

Pat, It's not a pain to be asked good questions. Other researchers and journalists have speculated from December 1963 that Tippit may have been tracking down Oswald. I studied the frantic actions of Tippit as reported by Earl Golz, Greg Lowrey, and other researchers. Tippit clearly gave signs of hunting for a man.

I had a revealing interview with Edgar Lee Tippit, the father of the late officer. The elder Tippit was a lively ninety when I interviewed him. He revealed to me that after his son's death, another Dallas police officer went to J. D.'s widow, Marie, and told her he and J. D. had been sent by the police to hunt down Oswald. Whether this was to capture him or kill him is not certain, but the evidence indicates that the latter is a strong possibility. This was at a time when Oswald's identity was not officially known to the DPD, although there is evidence indicating they knew about him and had fingered him as the patsy.

The other officer told Marie that he had not made it to the scene of the shooting because he became involved in an auto accident. This story had never been reported before, and Edgar Lee Tippit had

never been interviewed.

I found evidence that there was an auto accident near the time and place of the Tippit shooting. I studied the police dispatch tapes, FBI reports, HSCA interviews, and other documents to ascertain the movements of other officers around Oak Cliff. I had the first interview by a researcher with Tippit witness T. F. Bowley. Other policemen were behaving suspiciously in Oak Cliff besides Tippit. I believe another policeman or perhaps two policeman and probably a civilian as well were involved in the shooting of Tippit. I go into great detail on all this in the book and offer a wealth of evidence. I identify possible suspects in both shootings and exonerate others, including Oswald. Edgar Lee Tippit also provided me with other important information about his son, who in other books has been a mostly shadowy figure. I also had candid interviews with, among other people,

Tippit's mistress Johnnie Maxie Witherspoon, his rightwing employer Austin Cook, and Detective James Leavelle, who headed the "investigation" of the Tippit killing.

There is much new material in the book, partly because I worked on it for more than thirty years.

Hi, Joe, Congradulations on your new book, and I'm interested in your book on baseball lingo, because I wrote a simlar book on golf history and terminology, "Birth of the Birdie."

I'm also interested in your research on the Tippit murder, and wonder if you got to talk to Mike Robinson or Frank Martin's son, both of whom seem to have stumbled onto some Tippit murder witnesses at Dallas Police HQ. Did you talk to these guys?

JFKCountercoup2: The Hardy Boys in Dallas

Also curious about Wes Wise and the Carl Mather story, and if you checked into any of that?

Thanks,

Bill Kelly

Hi, Bill,

I've appreciated your posts on this site. Thanks for asking too about my

first book, HIGH AND INSIDE: AN A-TO-Z GUIDE TO THE LANGUAGE OF BASEBALL,

which I started writing in May 1963. It's a sentimental favorite of mine because

I was a kid when I started writing it. That's fascinating that you wrote

a similar one on golf. I will check it out. I used to be a golf caddie so have

some interest in that sport, even though I was a terrible golfer.

I didn't include that story about the men's room in INTO THE NIGHTMARE because it seems dubious

to me for a number of reasons, including the hypnosis element.

I do have a section in INTO THE NIGHTMARE on the important Carl Mather story.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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