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Authenticity of Will Fritz's Interrogation Notes


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I am involved in a discussion with Tom Scully at jfkfacts.org regarding the handwritten notes by Capt. Will Fritz of the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald. As many of you may or may not know, Fritz died in 1984 without ever revealing the existence of these notes. They first surfaced in the 1990's and were delivered, by an anonymous donor, to the ARRB where, along with the interrogation notes of the FBI's SA James Hosty, they were heralded as a major find. Later, Fritz's notes ended up at the National Archives.

Tom has taken the stand that these notes are possibly fake and, therefore, of no consequence to the case. I have tried in vain to find out if these notes were authenticated by the ARRB or by NARA; to no avail. It only makes sense Fritz's handwriting would be authenticated as his, or every crackpot and prankster across the USA would be coming up with new "evidence" daily.

Anyone know of if and when Fritz's notes were authenticated as being in his writing?

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So now it needs to be proven that the notes are real, instead of Scully proving they are fake.

The burden is on him not on you or anyone else.

The last two weeks I have seen some serious filthy denials at JFKFacts that make David Irving look like a boy scout.

http://www.jfk-info.com/arrb1120.htm

Edited by Bart Kamp
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I am involved in a discussion with Tom Scully at jfkfacts.org regarding the handwritten notes by Capt. Will Fritz of the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald. .... Tom has taken the stand that these notes are possibly fake and, therefore, of no consequence to the case. I have tried in vain to find out if these notes were authenticated by the ARRB or by NARA; to no avail. It only makes sense Fritz's handwriting would be authenticated as his, or every crackpot and prankster across the USA would be coming up with new "evidence" daily. Anyone know of if and when Fritz's notes were authenticated as being in his writing?

FWIW:

Handwriting comparisons are possible of Captain J.W. Fritz' handwriting.

Here are the Fritz notes, discovered decades after the assassination:

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz1-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz2-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz3-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz4-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz5-5.jpg

---------------------------------

Documents signed by J.W. Fritz:

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/05/0500-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/04/0497-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/04/0494-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/02/0273-001.gif

Edited by David Von Pein
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So now it needs to be proven that the notes are real, instead of Scully proving they are fake.

The burden is on him not on you or anyone else.

The last two weeks I have seen some serious filthy denials at JFKFacts that make David Irving look like a boy scout.

http://www.jfk-info.com/arrb1120.htm

Yes, the last little while, we seem to have brought out the true nature of the beast at jfkfacts.org.

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I am involved in a discussion with Tom Scully at jfkfacts.org regarding the handwritten notes by Capt. Will Fritz of the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald. .... Tom has taken the stand that these notes are possibly fake and, therefore, of no consequence to the case. I have tried in vain to find out if these notes were authenticated by the ARRB or by NARA; to no avail. It only makes sense Fritz's handwriting would be authenticated as his, or every crackpot and prankster across the USA would be coming up with new "evidence" daily. Anyone know of if and when Fritz's notes were authenticated as being in his writing?

FWIW:

Handwriting comparisons are possible of Captain J.W. Fritz' handwriting.

Here are the Fritz notes, discovered decades after the assassination:

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz1-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz2-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz3-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz4-5.jpg

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz5-5.jpg

---------------------------------

Documents signed by J.W. Fritz:

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/05/0500-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/04/0497-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/04/0494-002.gif

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/02/0273-001.gif

Thanks for that, Dave. I really appreciate this effort on your part.

I am far from being a handwriting expert but, the forward slope of his writing and the way he makes his capital "T's" and "F's" looks very much the same in everything.

Seriously, though, is there no record from NARA or the ARRB of these handwritten notes from Fritz, donated by an anonymous donor thirty some years after the assassination and a decade after Fritz passed away, being professionally examined for authenticity before being enshrined in the National Archives?

If it was that easy, I'm sure McAdams would have anonymously "donated" a handwritten confession from Lee Harvey Oswald years ago. :)

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I am far from being a handwriting expert but, the forward slope of his writing and the way he makes his capital "T's" and "F's" looks very much the same in everything.

Yes, the F's stood out to me too. However, the capital S's aren't the same at all in the two examples below. The top link is said to be written "by J.W. Fritz", according to the Dallas Municipal Archives site. But I'm wondering if Fritz might have just signed it instead of writing every word in the report. I do not know....

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/02/0273-001.gif

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz4-5.jpg

Seriously, though, is there no record from NARA or the ARRB of these handwritten notes from Fritz, donated by an anonymous donor thirty some years after the assassination and a decade after Fritz passed away, being professionally examined for authenticity before being enshrined in the National Archives?

I have no idea. But it's a very good question.

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FWIW, I remember some (including Robert) pushing that these notes were notes Fritz made on the reports of others, to help assist him when writing his own report. This actually makes a lot of sense, IMO.

As far as verifying the writing before accepting the bona fides of the notes, I doubt this was done. The ARRB was quite sloppy, in my opinion. Doug Horne, for example, interviewed Joe O'Donnell regarding his purported contacts with Robert Knudsen, and Knudsen's purportedly showing him some autopsy photos. Yet Horne failed to establish O'Donnell even knew Knudsen, or even that photographers for the US Information Agency would be likely to have contact with a White House photographer like Knudsen. This proved quite embarrassing in light of O'Donnell's family's subsequent claim he 'd been suffering from dementia when he spoke to Horne, and that he'd had an obsession regarding the Kennedy family, whereby he claimed he'd taken numerous famous photos of the family actually taken by others.

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Yes, I recall that, Pat. Since that time, though, I have had a chance to think this matter over, and there is something very odd about these notes, if they are indeed written by Fritz.

If they were written several days after the interrogation, why do they look like the kind of hasty shorthand someone would use in a situation where he really did not have time to write and follow the interrogation at the same time? It must be remembered that Fritz never made these notes public in his lifetime, and they should be viewed from that perspective.

With that in mind, here are several possible scenarios. Feel free to add to them, if you feel I have missed something.

1) Fritz actually did take notes during the investigation, contrary to his WC testimony, but never revealed them to anyone. The possible reasons for not revealing them are:

i) he felt they were nobody's business but his own

ii) he deeply regretted writing things such as "out in front with Bill Shelley" and thought it best to keep his notes private

2) Several days after the interrogation, with the presence of the FBI in the investigation, Fritz may have realized how unprofessional it was to conduct an interrogation without a tape recorder or stenographer present, and wrote his notes in such a way that, should someone demand to see these notes, it would appear he had written them during the interrogation. As no one seems to have requested these notes, he may have elected not to release them for reasons i) and ii) above.

I believe Fritz testifying that he wrote notes several days after the interrogation is an expression of his confidence he would no longer be in trouble for not recording the interrogation.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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So now it needs to be proven that the notes are real, instead of Scully proving they are fake.

The burden is on him not on you or anyone else.

The last two weeks I have seen some serious filthy denials at JFKFacts that make David Irving look like a boy scout.

http://www.jfk-info.com/arrb1120.htm

Bart

My biggest problem with Tom Scully is attempting to decipher his cryptic posts. Sometimes I just sit back and ask, "What in the name of all that is holy are you rambling on about, boy!?"

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Yes, I recall that, Pat. Since that time, though, I have had a chance to think this matter over, and there is something very odd about these notes, if they are indeed written by Fritz.

If they were written several days after the interrogation, why do they look like the kind of hasty shorthand someone would use in a situation where he really did not have time to write and follow the interrogation at the same time? It must be remembered that Fritz never made these notes public in his lifetime, and they should be viewed from that perspective.

With that in mind, here are several possible scenarios. Feel free to add to them, if you feel I have missed something.

1) Fritz actually did take notes during the investigation, contrary to his WC testimony, but never revealed them to anyone. The possible reasons for not revealing them are:

i) he felt they were nobody's business but his own

ii) he deeply regretted writing things such as "out in front with Bill Shelley" and thought it best to keep his notes private

2) Several days after the interrogation, with the presence of the FBI in the investigation, Fritz may have realized how unprofessional it was to conduct an interrogation without a tape recorder or stenographer present, and wrote his notes in such a way that, should someone demand to see these notes, it would appear he had written them during the interrogation. As no one seems to have requested these notes, he may have elected not to release them for reasons i) and ii) above.

I believe Fritz testifying that he wrote notes several days after the interrogation is an expression of his confidence he would no longer be in trouble for not recording the interrogation.

I'm not sure where I read this--perhaps in his WC testimony, perhaps in an account written by his fellow detectives--but it is my recollection that Fritz never took notes, and that he had a long long reputation as a master interrogator, whereby he would chat with someone, then chat with them again, and then chat with them again, and then suddenly pounce on them with "But the first time we spoke you said such and such, and now your story has changed to such and such " and get a confession.

Another bit that might be helpful is that in Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live, a History Channel program put out for the 50th anniversary, in what was otherwise an Oswald-did-it program, Randy Roberts, an historian with whom I wasn't previously familiar, claimed Fritz said Oswald was the coolest person he'd ever interviewed, and that he'd felt sure from this that Oswald had had some sort of training. I remember thinking I should try to find out where Roberts got this, but never got around to it.

The thought occurs that Roberts got this from an extended interview with Fritz, in which Fritz discussed his interviews with Oswald in greater detail than in his WC testimony.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I also found the original announcement of the ARRB's acquisition of the notes in an old Forum post by Jim Root. It turns out that the ARRB had assumed these notes were notes made a few days later by Fitz while writing his report. As stated, this makes a lot of sense to me. I can't imagine a top detective cramming notes on multiple interviews onto a few small pieces of paper. I mean, why not at the very least give each interview its own piece of paper?

ARRB ACQUIRES DALLAS POLICE HOMICIDE CHIEF'S
HANDWRITTEN NOTES ON OSWALD INTERROGATION
The Assassination Records Review Board, an independent federal agency overseeing the identification, review, and release of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, announced today that it has acquired original handwritten notes on the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald taken by the late Dallas Police Captain who was in charge of questioning the alleged presidential assassin. This is the second time that the Board has obtained previously unavailable Oswald interrogation notes made by a law enforcement official.

Dallas Police Captain J. W. "Will" Fritz, who headed the homicide and robbery bureau, was the primary interrogator of Oswald while he was in police custody from the afternoon of November 22 until the morning of November 24,1963 when Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas police station. The Board recently acquired the notes along with other papers and photographs found after Captain Fritz's death in 1984. The materials had been in the possession of the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, until they were voluntarily turned over to the Board last month.

"Captain Fritz's original notes on the Oswald interrogations add depth to the primary record of what went on during the hours following the shooting of the President while Oswald was in custody," said Dr. Henry F. Graff, a member of the Review Board. "The notes are important because a stenographer was not present and no audio recording was made during the interrogation sessions."

Fritz told the Warren Commission in 1964 that he took no notes during the Oswald interrogations, but indicated that he later typed a report based on "rough notes" that were made "several days later." These notes are believed to be the ones acquired by the Review Board. They chronicle all of the key points of the Oswald interrogation, including his denials that he shot President Kennedy or owned a rifle, that he said nothing against the President and claimed that a photo of him holding a rifle was a forgery, with his head was superimposed on someone else's body. The notes end abruptly, showing the time of the last interrogation session on Sunday morning, November 24 as "10-11:15." Oswald was shot by Ruby a few minutes later.

The Fritz notes are only the second set of original handwritten notes taken on the Oswald interrogations that have surfaced in the 34 years since the assassination. Earlier this year, the Review Board announced the acquisition of handwritten notes taken during the Oswald interrogation by former FBI agent James P. Hosty, Jr.

The Fritz notes and other materials acquired by the Review Board have been transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration for inclusion in the JFK Collection, which is housed at the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland. These materials are now available to researchers.

Copies of Fritz's handwritten notes on the Oswald interrogation sessions and a transcription of the notes are available from the Assassination Records Review Board, 600 E Street, NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20530; telephone number: (202) 724-0088.

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With that kind of fanfare, someone must have been very confident these notes were actually written by Fritz.

How does a person check something like this out? Can we simply phone NARA and gently suggest these enshrined notes are fake, and let them tell us how they determined they were genuine?

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I'm connecting the dots here, but if you believe in the viability of Prayer Man - and with the quality of the work that's been put into it - as well as what Gilbride has put together in his writings (who was out in front moments after the shooting and so on) - then somehow or some way the Fritz notes match up with that's been documented to date (PM, who was out there, etc.).


Maybe Fritz was known to be a great interrogator...who knows? As mentioned above, maybe he wanted to keep the notes private and they were revealed after his death. But based on PM and the documentation of who was doing what out there, someone got it right about Oswald being "out with Bill Shelley in front."


Think about what's happened here. Oswald is supposedly up on the 6th floor killing Kennedy. So what are the odds of him making a fantastical guess of him being with Shelley in front when the shots rang out when he was questioned by Fritz? Plus, go to Gilbride's page above about who saw whom moments afterward, and now PM and at least in my mind, you have pretty strong corroboration of LHO's whereabouts at 12:30 PM.

Edited by Michael Walton
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I am far from being a handwriting expert but, the forward slope of his writing and the way he makes his capital "T's" and "F's" looks very much the same in everything.

Yes, the F's stood out to me too. However, the capital S's aren't the same at all in the two examples below. The top link is said to be written "by J.W. Fritz", according to the Dallas Municipal Archives site. But I'm wondering if Fritz might have just signed it instead of writing every word in the report. I do not know....

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/02/0273-001.gif

http://www.jfklancer.com/docs.maps/fritz4-5.jpg

It pains me to say this, but the Rs in Fritz signature are way different than those in the notes.

I wonder if some people write certain letters in their signature different than usual.

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So now it needs to be proven that the notes are real, instead of Scully proving they are fake.

The burden is on him not on you or anyone else.

The last two weeks I have seen some serious filthy denials at JFKFacts that make David Irving look like a boy scout.

http://www.jfk-info.com/arrb1120.htm

Bart

My biggest problem with Tom Scully is attempting to decipher his cryptic posts. Sometimes I just sit back and ask, "What in the name of all that is holy are you rambling on about, boy!?"

They are called data dumps Bob.

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