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Joseph McBride's 2013 COPA talk on "The Murder of Officer J. D. Tippit"

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This talk was an excellent synopsis of a complex topic. I have experienced great difficulty in describing "what happened" to friends and colleagues in this case, especially in a compressed timeframe. I too am drawn to the Tippit murder, and find it to be illuminating as to the larger mysteries surrounding JFK's murder. Your work has advanced the case in many regards, and I appreciate that it was a long journey. I am getting your book, and look forward to reading it. But suffice it to say that all of your insights resonate as valid and compelling to me: the staged aspect of the scene, Ruby's proximity (including his friends), the witness inconsistencies, the counterintuitive logistics of Oswald's path from TSBD to Texas Theatre, the use of DPD accomplices (including White and Olsen's participation), and of course Oswald's central role in the larger plot.

I have many questions that spin off of my own research into Tippit's murder. This has become for me the single most interesting aspect of the entire JFK story. I do think that resolving some lingering questions (if possible, although unlikely) would -- as hopeful researchers state -- blow the lid off of the case. I would like to at times ask your opinion on these threads (after I'm done your book). I'd like to ask three questions now, and would look forward to your reply:

  1. Are you finished with this story of Tippit, or do you think there's more fruitful work that can still be done (and you plan some follow-up) ... or do you think that you've taken it as far as one can, at this point? One of the most compelling points of your effort is how you come across, including treatment of 'evidence' and your credentials; at the risk of being solicitous, I find you and your work very credible.
  2. Conversely, I am puzzled by the only other serious work on Tippit (by Dale Meyers) which you aptly describe as the 'Warren Report' on Tippit. I am struck by how little we do know about Tippit (including pictures) and how little was devoted to him in the actual Warren investigation or the HSCA for that matter. That said, I also find Meyers (and his work) to be far too assertive as far as demeaning those who would challenge his facts and conclusions. It smacks as an offense (versus defense) and therefore I question his motives. Can you speak to why he takes this adversarial approach and continues to be a vigorous proponent of the traditional Tippit story (which of course falls apart for anyone willing to devote the time)? I understand that it’s tenuous to ascribe motives, but what are we to make of Dale Meyers?
  3. DPD's Westbrook and Hill are mighty suspicious characters who show up in all of the critical milestones of Oswald's journey and arrest, as well as the Tippit murder. Their complicity and behaviour stand out prominently to me. I'm curious if you were able to unearth anything about them, and why you wouldn't be more intereted in them as suspects.

Gene Kelly

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Gene, Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you appreciate my research. I've been studying the

case since day one and will continue to do so.

Dale Myers predictably attacked my book, and I wrote a response on the CTKA site that you

will find interesting.

I go into Westbrook and the wallet. Others may find more on Westbrook. I reported

what I found. I tried to locate Gerald Hill for an interview but could not reach him. Larry

Sneed interviewed him, and I quote that. I have a fair amount about Hill in the book.

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You're welcome Joe... when I think of all of the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary, most of the coverage and offerings were disappointing. Your work on Tippit was a pleasant surprise and a valuable addition to the body of work. So much is written that's tangential, far-fetched, third-hand or biased... yours stands out in contrast. Just based on that notion alone, it rings true.

I personally relate to your interest in Tippit and all that surrounded him...it is indeed a Rosetta Stone in deciphering the information surrounding JFK. It's a shame that his widow couldn't reveal or admit more, but I can empathize with her predicament. Something nonetheless goofy was going on in Oak Cliff -- as one researcher so aptly put it, "a game was afoot and a chess piece was being moved across the board to be sacrificed" -- but only a few were apparently privy to the plot. I remain convinced that Westbrook and Hill have (or had) knowledge and controlled the ground events and evidence. I share your strong suspicion of Olsen and White as having a hand (with Gardner) in the shooting. I also find strong similarities (in the use of police and evidence control) with RFK several years later at the Ambassador Hotel... similar modus operandi and even some of the same players. Why that hasn't moved a groundswell of public opinion and official action will be forever a disappointment and enigma.

I'll check out your synopsis of Meyers on CTKA, although I may have already read it. Meyers offers a comprehensive treatment, albeit biased and selective. I'm respectful of his right to have an opinion but puzzled by his inability (or unwillingness) to see what appears as a compelling set of facts that scream wrongdoing and exonerate Oswald. I have performed many investigations in my profession (not criminal) and one's instincts are to react to the facts, inconsistencies, coincidences and patterns of behavior. Those aspects are what draw me to the Tippit case, and what make me suspect of Meyers' work. What also sets off alarms and red flags is his vehement defense and condemnation of opposite views. I don't want to read too much into that, but its always troubling to me.

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