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WILLIAM SHARP: W/M, 7479 Detonta St., Dallas

-

was arrested in the Dal-Tex building,

"without a good excuse" (time:12:45)

-Sharp had been detained

by an unknown no.

of uniformed Dallas officers

-J.R.Leavelle than took charge of Sharp and

took him to the Sheriff's office

-

what happened next to Sharp is unknown

(20H499)

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/A%20Disk/Arrests%20Suspects%20Dallas/Item%2011.pdf

Steve Thomas

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Anna Bisaro wrote this article on William Sharp:

William Shapr... had sold the mail order rifle Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly used to kill the president.

“When they held the rifle up [on the news], I about fell through the floor,” Sharp recalls of the night of Nov. 22, 1963. "An $11 rifle?"

The rifle Oswald had reportedly chosen to use and bought under an alias was a cheap Italian model, Sharp said. The 6.5 mm Carcano, a military-grade rifle, was not expensive to make and therefore, very popular among consumers.

“It was a piece of junk,” Sharp said. Knowing that the warehouse on West Madison in Chicago sold much higher quality guns, Sharp was shocked at Oswald’s choice and at his success. “If you want good optics, you don’t buy them for three dollars [an estimate].”

“The Italians, they are lovers,” Sharp said as he explained that the warehouse also sold better-quality British sniper rifles. "I just couldn't understand it," he said.

Oswald’s choice of weapon aside, there was something else to haunt him. At work the next day, Sharp relayed concerns to his boss about the gun he had seen on television.

“It’s my rifle, I put the scope on it,” Sharp told him. His boss replied, "'No No No, don't say that!'" Sharp said his boss was afraid of the consequences.

Later that day, the FBI arrived at the warehouse and confirmed Sharp's suspicions. "There were more FBI agents there than you could shake a stick at," Sharp recalls.

Klein’s Sporting Goods had an extensive and very profitable mail order business, Sharp said. The warehouse in Chicago was used as a mid-point between manufacturers and their consumers countrywide. The mail order catalog was so profitable that when the United States banned interstate firearm sales as part of the Gun Control Act in 1968, the company was sold and Sharp left to find work elsewhere.

Because he enjoyed hunting, Sharp had a lifelong interest in firearms. He had no prior experience as a gunsmith before beginning his apprenticeship at Klein's Sporting Goods at age 28, but took quickly to the job and enjoyed his work.

As the only gunsmith in the warehouse at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, Sharp’s job, at age 32, was to add components, like optics scopes, to rifles if customers requested them. Oswald's rifle had a scope put on it.

Weeks later, the Warren Commission – the team of investigators researching the death of the president – sent Sharp a copy of the receipt with the alias Oswald had used to purchase the weapon: A. Hidell.

When the FBI arrived at the warehouse on Nov. 23. Sharp said an agent asked him to demonstrate the use of the Italian rifle in the basement.

"I said, 'But I don't want to shoot that rifle," Sharp remembers. He did a demonstration at their insistence and what Sharp noticed when he shot the rifle still haunts him today.

Sharp used 6.5x52 Carcano ammunition that the warehouse sold together with the Italian rifles. That type of ammunition was not sold many places. As far as Sharp knew at the time, the Chicago warehouse was one of the only places that sold that type of ammunition, he said. If Oswald used ammunition he bought from the warehouse, Sharp demonstrated the use of the rifle for the FBI with the same ammunition Oswald would have used, he said.

Before the shot rang out in the basement of the warehouse when Sharp pulled the trigger, he heard a click and felt a delay in the response of the firearm. This is called hang fire. Hang fire occurs when there is drag in release of the bullet from a rifle after the shooter pulls the trigger.

"I don't know what he bought" for ammunition, Sharp said. However, Sharp believes if the rifle and ammunition were the same as those he had shown the FBI, Oswald’s rifle likely would have hang fired as well, he said.

A delay in the response of the rifle would make shooting at a moving object very difficult because that delay in the release of the bullet would not have been accounted for when the person aimed if the shooter was unaware that the rifle would hang fire.

Sharp said the FBI agent did not seem to notice the hang fire and later the Warren Commission did not understand the significance of his hang fire hypothesis. “Everything I said to them was Greek,” Sharp said of his phone conversation with the Warren Commission. "They were very intelligent people, but they didn't know anything about firearms."

"I was very skeptical of the hang fire of the ammunition," Sharp said. “If Oswald did do it, I would say he was just very, very lucky.”

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Chuck,

Anna Bisaro wrote this article on William Sharp:

William Shapr... had sold the mail order rifle Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly used to kill the president.

Thank you for your reply.

However, this raises a couple of questions...

I became aware of the William Sharp, who was a gunsmith for Kleins Sporting Goods, but was he the William Sharp, residing on Detonta St. in Dallas?

And if so, was he in the Dal-Tex Building on November 22nd?

If he's the same person, doesn't this seem a little hinky to you?

There also was a William Sharp of Dallas, who was involved in the oil and gas industry, but it seems mostly in Louisiana,

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=90716087

which might make sense if he was in Dallas visiting the Dallas Uranium and Oil Company, which had offices in the Dal-Tex Building; but if was visiting there, why does Leavelle's after-action report say he was there "for no good reason"? (DPD Archives, Box 5, Folder# 5, Item# 30)

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/15/1518-001.gif

(BTW, I think the address on Detonta St. is 3439 as per Leavelle's Report, but a Google Map search fails to find either a 3439 or a 7439 Detonta. It doesn't pull up any street named Detonta).

Was there any connection ever established between the William Sharp who was arrested in the Dal-Tex building and either Jim Braden or Larry Florer?

Thanks,

Steve Thomas

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Richard,

Steve, I'm not sure, but this could be linked to Leavelle's Texas accent. There is a 3439 "Daytona Dr" in Garland, TX.

Thank you, but the Detonta address comes from Leavelle's own written report, not a verbal one.

This could be the result of a transcriber's error by the stenographer who typed the report, I don't know.

I'm just surprised that no Dallas researcher seems to have followed up on this, or there doesn't seem to be a story by somebody who says, "Hi, my name is X Sharp and my father, William Sharp once told me a story about having been picked up by the Dallas Police on November 22nd..."

I think I may be getting a little closer. There is in fact a 3439 Detonte St. in Dallas

http://www.geographic.org/streetview/view.php?place=Detonte%20St,%20Dallas,%20tx,%20USA

https://www.google.com/maps/place/3439+Detonte+St,+Dallas,+TX+75223/@32.7818877,-96.7534247,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x864ea26daff71383:0x1420015f1ab17052!8m2!3d32.7818832!4d-96.7359099

That area is all residences.

Steve Thomas

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  • 2 months later...

WILLIAM SHARP: W/M, 7479 Detonta St., Dallas

-

was arrested in the Dal-Tex building,

"without a good excuse" (time:12:45)

-Sharp had been detained

by an unknown no.

of uniformed Dallas officers

-J.R.Leavelle than took charge of Sharp and

took him to the Sheriff's office

-

what happened next to Sharp is unknown

(20H499)

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/A%20Disk/Arrests%20Suspects%20Dallas/Item%2011.pdf

Steve Thomas

Sorry. This was a miscue.

His name was actually Sharper. There is an FBI interview of Sharper by William de Brueys taken on January 22, 1964. He was an elevator operator in the Dal-Tex Building, and may be the man who pointed out Larry Florer to the police. (Florer was actually the man who was in the Dal-Tex Building "without a good excuse".)

You can find Sharper's interview in CD 385 p.16 here: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10786#relPageId=21&tab=page

Steve Thomas

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Hi Steve,

According the Sharper’s statement, shortly after the shooting, a white male entered the Dal-Tex building by the freight entrance and asked to use the phone. Sharper took the man to the third floor and brought him back down about seven minutes later. Sharper described the man as “30 to 35, attired in a light colored overcoat and a light colored felt hat.”

This doesn’t sound like a description of Larry Florer. The youtube video below is apparently of Florer being taken in for questioning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWl4dFch6uk

In the video, Larry Florer is pointing out and talking to another young man. I can’t help wondering who he is.

Tom

Edited by Tom Hume
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Hi Steve,

According the Sharper’s statement, shortly after the shooting, a white male entered the Dal-Tex building by the freight entrance and asked to use the phone. Sharper took the man to the third floor and brought him back down about seven minutes later. Sharper described the man as “30 to 35, attired in a light colored overcoat and a light colored felt hat.”

This doesn’t sound like a description of Larry Florer. The youtube video below is apparently of Florer being taken in for questioning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWl4dFch6uk

In the video, Larry Florer is pointing out and talking to another young man. I can’t help wondering who he is.

Tom

Tom,

Thanks. I realized my mistake almost as soon as I hit the send button.

It has also been mentioned that it was Jim Braden who Sharper pointed out to the police. I don't know how Braden was dressed.

See Mary Ferrell's database entry for Braden here:

https://www.maryferrell.org/php/marysdb.php?id=1388

Steve Thomas

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