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Who wrote the Reports on Officer's Duties?


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Some years back, while browsing through the Dallas JFK archives, i realized that there were no handwritten, signed, and dated copies of the numerous "Reports on Officer's Duties" subsequently published by the Warren Commission. These reports, as published, moreover, were all typed-up. It seems clear then that at the very least someone took all the handwritten reports written by the Dallas Police and typed them up, correcting them for spelling errors. When one reads these reports, for that matter, there is a consistency of tone and style that suggests these reports were actually written by one man, some time after the shooting itself. From what I can gather, the first appearance of these reports is in CD81, which was not provided the Warren Commission until 1-7-64. It seems clear to me, then, that someone within the Dallas PD cleaned up and re-wrote all the original reports over the month of December 1963, and that the original reports were then destroyed.

I believe this person was T.L. Baker. Baker's own report was quite long, so he was clearly a bit of a wordsmith. When testifying before the Warren Commission, moreover, he was asked if he edited CD81-b, in which these reports were first provided the commission. His answer was quite interesting, IMO. He said "Something like that."

In any event, I've been looking for some sort of corroboration that these reports were in fact written by Baker, or anyone else, and have struck out. Does anyone remember this being discussed elsewhere, and anyone's reaching a similar conclusion? Or even someone's shooting it down?

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Pat,

Some years back, while browsing through the Dallas JFK archives, i realized that there were no handwritten, signed, and dated copies of the numerous "Reports on Officer's Duties" subsequently published by the Warren Commission. These reports, as published, moreover, were all typed-up. It seems clear then that at the very least someone took all the handwritten reports written by the Dallas Police and typed them up, correcting them for spelling errors. When one reads these reports, for that matter, there is a consistency of tone and style that suggests these reports were actually written by one man, some time after the shooting itself. From what I can gather, the first appearance of these reports is in CD81, which was not provided the Warren Commission until 1-7-64. It seems clear to me, then, that someone within the Dallas PD cleaned up and re-wrote all the original reports over the month of December 1963, and that the original reports were then destroyed.

I believe this person was T.L. Baker. Baker's own report was quite long, so he was clearly a bit of a wordsmith. When testifying before the Warren Commission, moreover, he was asked if he edited CD81-b, in which these reports were first provided the commission. His answer was quite interesting, IMO. He said "Something like that."

In any event, I've been looking for some sort of corroboration that these reports were in fact written by Baker, or anyone else, and have struck out. Does anyone remember this being discussed elsewhere, and anyone's reaching a similar conclusion? Or even someone's shooting it down?

Shortly after Ruby shot Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police headquarters, a small group Dallas Police Lieutenants were commissioned by Curry to find out, among other things, how Ruby got into the basement. This Committee was headed by Lieutenant Paul McCaghren. Jack Revill was also part of that group. They were also tasked to find out if Ruby and Oswald knew each other. This Committee lasted for about a month, or a month and a half and all their work was turned over to Curry. Unlike the Warren Commission, they worked in veritable secrecy, but you will find, I believe, that much of the Warren Commission's work was predicated on the work that this small group of DPD officers did. I also believe that all of these reports that you see filed with Curry in the DPD Archives came about as a result of that Committee's work.

You can find reference to this internal working committee here:
http://jfkassassination.net/russ/jfkinfo/mccaghr.htm

You'll notice that most of these Reports are dated in the first week of December or so.

One of the clues, I think, is that these reports are all addressed to Chief Curry, some by way of an intermediary like Jack Revill or Captain Gannaway, and some addressed to Curry directly.

How many ordinary patrolmen address their Report of Duties directly to the Chief of Police? Normally I think they would address their written Report to their Supervisor like a Sergeant, Lieutenant or Captain. For example, in his December 3rd Report to Curry, Paul Bentley wrote that after turning Oswald's ID over to Lt. Baker, he then went to his Supervisor, Captain Westbrook to make a report of Oswald's arrest. (I don't know if Bentley's Report to Westbrook was written or verbal, but if it was written it would be interesting to read.)

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/06/0638-002.gif

One thing I have looked for is whether they were done on the same typewriter or not. Are they single spaced or double spaced?

As far as the similar appearance in tone and style, I'm sure that that the DPD officers received some kind of training in how to write up Reports. I think that's what you see reflected here.

Steve Thomas

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Pat,

Shortly after Ruby shot Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police headquarters, a small group Dallas Police Lieutenants were commissioned by Curry to find out, among other things, how Ruby got into the basement. This Committee was headed by Lieutenant Paul McCaghren. Jack Revill was also part of that group. They were also tasked to find out if Ruby and Oswald knew each other. This Committee lasted for about a month, or a month and a half and all their work was turned over to Curry. Unlike the Warren Commission, they worked in veritable secrecy, but you will find, I believe, that much of the Warren Commission's work was predicated on the work that this small group of DPD officers did. I also believe that all of these reports that you see filed with Curry in the DPD Archives came about as a result of that Committee's work.

You can find reference to this internal working committee here:

http://jfkassassination.net/russ/jfkinfo/mccaghr.htm

You'll notice that most of these Reports are dated in the first week of December or so.

In his testimony to the HSCA, Jack Revill identified the members of this internal investigation. They were:

Captain REVILL. "This particular committee was comprised of In* spector Herbert Sawyer, Captain Westbrook, Capt. O.A. Jones, myself, a Lt. Paul McCaghren, Lt. Frank Cornwall, Lt. Cecil Wallace, and initially a detective, one of my subordinates in the intelligence unit, H.M. Hart, and as I said, it was our function to investigate the shooting of Mr. Oswald by Mr. Ruby."

One of the things that struck me is that none of these guys were from the Homicide and Robbery Bureau (which was headed by Fritz). They were drawn from places like the Burglary and Theft or Forgery Bureaus, or from Criminal Intelligence. Here you have a murder of someone in the Dallas Police basement, but you don't assign the investigation of how that happened to the Homicide Bureau.

I don't think that Curry and Fritz liked each other, and I don't think Curry trusted Fritz all that much.

Steve Thomas

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Thanks, Steve. I saw some of those Ruby-related reports, which only added to my curiosity. As you noted, those reports were dated. None of the reports regarding Kennedy's death were dated, outside Lt. Day's own report, which was dated 1-8-64. This means the DPD had over a month to put together and edit their reports to try to put out a coherent story...and still failed to do so.

Some of them list the date for which the report was written, but none of them, to my recollection, bear a signature and date indicating the date the report was written.

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box3.htm

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Pat,

Some years back, while browsing through the Dallas JFK archives, i realized that there were no handwritten, signed, and dated copies of the numerous "Reports on Officer's Duties" subsequently published by the Warren Commission. These reports, as published, moreover, were all typed-up. It seems clear then that at the very least someone took all the handwritten reports written by the Dallas Police and typed them up, correcting them for spelling errors. When one reads these reports, for that matter, there is a consistency of tone and style that suggests these reports were actually written by one man, some time after the shooting itself.

I'm sorry.

You were right, and I was wrong.

If you look at Box 3 of those files as you referenced, and again at Box 5, Folder 5, http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box5.htm

it seems readily apparent that these Reports were done on the same typewriter, by the same person, in the same manner.

I have no idea who that person was.

Steve Thomas

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Pat,

Pat,

Some years back, while browsing through the Dallas JFK archives, i realized that there were no handwritten, signed, and dated copies of the numerous "Reports on Officer's Duties" subsequently published by the Warren Commission. These reports, as published, moreover, were all typed-up. It seems clear then that at the very least someone took all the handwritten reports written by the Dallas Police and typed them up, correcting them for spelling errors. When one reads these reports, for that matter, there is a consistency of tone and style that suggests these reports were actually written by one man, some time after the shooting itself.

I'm sorry.

You were right, and I was wrong.

If you look at Box 3 of those files as you referenced, and again at Box 5, Folder 5, http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box5.htm

it seems readily apparent that these Reports were done on the same typewriter, by the same person, in the same manner.

I have no idea who that person was.

You might be interested in the WC testimony of Reserve Officer Kenneth Croy.

You can find a copy here.

http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/croy.htm

Look especially on pp. 198 and 199.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, this statement which we have marked, a letter which we have marked Exhibit 5052, which is a copy of a letter that you prepared for Chief Curry, dated November 26, 1963, was that prepared down in the police department, or was that prepared at one of your business offices?

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1136#relPageId=408&tab=page

Mr. CROY. That was prepared at the Dallas Police Academy.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where is that located?
Mr. CROY. On Shorecrest back of the northwest substation.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was that prepared by hand?
Mr. CROY. Yes, it was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you responsible for getting the typing done?
Mr. CROY. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who did you turn that report over to?
Mr. CROY. Captain Solomon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Then was it his responsibility to get the typing done?
Mr. CROY. I don't know. I just turned it in. What he did with it, I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did it eventually come back to you?
Mr. CROY. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The typed copy never came back to you?
Mr. CROY. No.

Captain Solomon was Croy's Supervisor.

The Reports were typed up by a stenographer.

Now, in Croy's case anyway, I don't think the DPD's establishment was happy with his initial statement, and they made him come back and do another one. (Personally, I think they wanted to prove that Ruby was already in the basememt).

Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, Mr. Croy, why didn't you mention in this report, dated November 26, your seeing this man you believe to be Ruby?
Mr. CROY. Why didn't I mention that in there?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. CROY. Because at that time Captain Solomon told me that there would be another report made and I would have to go downtown to the city hall before a stenographer, and he told me just to leave that out for the time being, and put this in this other affidavit that you have, that this right here was just basically to find out where we were in the city hall.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Then when you prepared this other statement on December 1, who called you and how did you come to go before Notary Public A. L. Curtis?
Mr. CROY. He is a lieutenant. After I signed it, I took it there to be notarized by him.

Mr. CROY. What it was, the stenographer took it, and then she typed it up. Then the next day I went back down there and they re-read it to me and went over and over and over and over the same thing over and over again. And then I took it into Lieutenant Curtis and signed it and had it notarized.

Steve Thomas

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