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The two Secret Service agents on the Grassy Knoll

Chris Bristow

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Did the SS ever make an attempt to identify those two agents? The explanation for their presence is that a call went out to off duty agents of many agencies to provide extra security that day. So there was no official SS presence on the ground in Dealey Plaza just unnamed volunteers. The SS could have determined which of their agents was there simply by asking all of them so why do we not have witness statements from these two. First hand accounts of the assassination and closest to the knoll. Two people claim to be SS you would think the agency would want to verify who they were.

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When the Army Intelligence Officer, Powell gave his testimony to the WC he was asked if he could have displayed any credentials to the police back there. That's how the WC tried to skirt around that question anyway. I seemed to remember that he wasn't positive that he had.

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The ARRB investigated the activities of the 112th at great length; its Dallas detachment was not activated in any sort of security mode and interviews with its personnel determined that other than Powell, who was on leave, none were in the area. Unfortunately all the dialog about the MI group takes attention from the people with fake credentials who were behind there, acting in a tactical team effort just as Chris describes...and creating a diversion. Powell was never behind the fence, he was on Houston, went to the corner, spoke to Brennan, and then went inside the building. Unfortunately the HSCA interviewed the 112th officer who was acting as G2 rather than the officer they should have who was in charge of operations - and Jones just confused them more.

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Did the SS ever make an attempt to identify those two agents? The SS could have determined which of their agents was there simply by asking all of them so why do we not have witness statements from these two.

Warren Commission Exhibits 767 and 768 are Winston Lawson's Preliminary and Final Survey Reports for the Dallas trip. These are in Volume XVII of the WC Hearings and Exhibits. They list the Dallas Post Assignments for the various Secret Service Agents. see:


In his WC testimony, Lawson said that there were 28 SS Agents assigned to the Dallas motorcade.

Mr. LAWSON. Detectives, 40; department of public safety uniformed, 40; rangers, 5; plainclothes, 16; Dallas County Sheriff Department, 14; fire department, 26; the White House detail agents, 20; agents from the Vice President's detail, 4; agents from the Dallas office, 4.
Mr. STERN. So there were 28 Secret Service agents involved?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.


The one person who I would have thought would be in the best position to look at where people were, would be SS Inspector Thomas Kelley, but I can't find where he was asked about possible Agents on the knoll either in his WC or HSCA testimony.

He told the WC that:

Mr. KELLEY. As an inspector, I am part of the chief's headquarters staff. I conduct office inspections of our field and protective installations, and report on their actions to the chief.


He told the HSCA that:

Inspector KELLEY. The chiefs office directed me to proceed to Dallas, Tex., to assist Mr. Sorrels, the agent in charge of the Dallas office, to assist him in finding out what had happened at Dallas, what were the events surrounding the assassination, and to coordinate any investigation that might be conducted by the Secret Service concerning the assassination.
Mr. MATTHEWS. And you arrived in Dallas, Tex., that evening?
Inspector KELLEY. That evening.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Upon your arrival, did you understand that your responsibility was to conduct a criminal conspiracy investigation?
Inspector KELLEY. No. Actually, at that time it was to find out exactly what happened and what the role of the Secret Service had been in that tragedy there.


You can find a Secret Service Duty Roster for the Texas Trip done by Vince Palamara here:


Of the SS Agents who were supposed to be there, I think you can find reports from just about all of them concerning their whereabouts and activities. There are only three that I know of that are missing.

In a February 15, 1999 article entitled “Conspiracy Beliefs (and Denials) In High Places”, author Vince Palamara quotes an article by reporter Earl Golz in the August 27, 1978 issue of the Dallas Morning News. In his article, Golz wrote that one Dallas Secret Service Agent named Elmer Moore did not submit a report, that he was in San Francisco and did not return to Dallas to join the investigation until a week later. Vince Palamara then went on to say that two other agents did not submit a written report: James H. “Mike” Howard and Charles Kunkel. Palamara wrote, “For his part, Howard claimed in a lecture in February 1999 that he was at the Hotel Texas cleaning up when the shooting occurred and that Kunkel was in Washington, D.C on an unspecified investigation at the time. Howard and Kunkel's whereabouts remain unverified.”

Palamara, Vince. “Conspiracy Beliefs (and Denials) In High Places.” 2/15/99, As cited in the Kennedy Assassination Homepage, 1995-2002 by John McAdams, http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/beliefs.htm

Of the Secret Service Agents who weren't specifically assigned to Dallas, I don't know if every agent in the Service was polled to determine their whereabouts on November 22nd

If you're interested, I'd invite you to read an essay I did one time called "Secret Service, On the Knoll and Beyond" here:


Steve Thomas

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See my first book, chapter 7. Yes- Mike Howard and the late Charlie Kunkel (deceased 1992) are the two most "eligible" agents. However, Elmer Moore, an agent I am (also) suspicious of [relax- I am actually only suspicious of a handful; no agency plot], was one of two agents who convinced/ coaxed the Parkland doctors to change their opinions to conform with the Bethesda autopsy report (there are more reasons I am wary of Moore- see chapter 12). His whereabouts are not truly verified, either.

ALSO- countless White House Detail agents (either on other stops of the Texas trip or not ostensibly there at all) and/or field agents from close by (or even far away) are not verified, either. The bottom line- the agency said all the agents IN THE MOTORCADE were accounted for...that leaves a whole lot more that were not.

We can rule out Lem Johns as the "agent" of unknown repute in the plaza- not only did he adamantly deny it to me, he is on record on the DVD about his life denying it, as well. He said he never got near the knoll- he was on Elm Street for mere moments until he hitched a ride in a press car. I think people got tangled up in the quote in Trask's book. That was either memory merge or a fib...or it was someone who SAID he was Lem Johns, as the real Lem Johns never got near the knoll.

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