Jump to content
The Education Forum

Sprague Collection at the Georgetown University

Recommended Posts

In June 2018 I had the opportunity to copy the whole Sprague Collection. It took me 2 full days to do so. I see that Gary Murr and Steve Jaffe are members here. Both are mentioned in some of Sprague's correspondence. Here are just a few samples. I will start with a few that those two members sent or received from Sprague.

BOX 1 to 4,  Letter from Sprague to Gary Murr. Jan 4, 1968. 



BOX 5 to 8: Included in Sprague's monograph: Letter from Sprague to Steven J. Burton. February 14, 1968. Tramps photos / Two TSBD employees put in a car / Dillard photos.


I will post some of the most interesting stuff later.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Sprague thought that some people seen in films of Oswald passing out pamphlets in New Orleans were identified. 
18. Letter from Sprague to Bernard Fensterwald. December 17, 1969. PAGE 2. William Sharpe (arrested from Dal-Tex Bldg) / Interview with Marylyn Murret / Man in photo with Lee Oswald passing pamphlets in New Orleans is James Lawrence who worked for Bloomfield Industries in Memphis. The woman in the photos is Delores Neely who worked for the Trade Mart in New Orleans. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

18. Letter from Sprague to Bernard Fensterwald. December December 17, 1969. Paul Rothermel in Dallas did lot of research on the Tramps. 
19. PAGE 2. William Sharpe (arrested from Dal-Tex Bldg) / Interview with Marylyn Murret / Man in photo with Lee Oswald passing pamphlets in New Orleans is James Lawrence who worked for Bloomfield Industries in Memphis. The woman in the photos is Delores Neely who worked for the Trade Mart in New Orleans. https://postimg.cc/image/rki92ondz/

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I've always heard that Allen and Murray say they did not see a bullet. This is the first time that I read that they saw skull and red blood.
191. Letter from Richard Bernabel to Sprague. April 8, 1969. Topics: Murray and Allen photos showing Eddie Walthers.
192. PAGE 2: Both photographers stated emphatically that it was “skull and red blood, and no bullet”. Bernabel says he interviewed both men.
193. PAGE 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been intrigued for many years by a film seen by Sprague of a WFAA film showing a rifle in the grass on Elm Street. Sprague found what the film was. I wish he had given more details. Maybe the film still exists?
1968 letter from Sprague to Weisberg.
166. PAGE 2: Hargis VS Haygood. “I have a possible lead to the Babushka Lady and several more photos of her, including one of her face. She lives in Dallas and is 50-60 years-old”.
167. PAGE 3. “The rifle with scope turned out to be completely innocent. The film has sound and a second look at it showed it was an ABC commentator demonstrating a similar rifle and scope on the ground in Dealey Plaza later in the afternoon. ABC rushed out and bought it” / Gene Daniels photos: taken on Saturday, November 23 morning. One shows Oswald’s room and another one shows Lt. Montgomery with a bag. His watch shows 3 PM / “I’m interested in Ronnie Dugger and others King told about the rifle” * / Item 129 and 130: Sprague writes: “Track down the tape interview with Walthers and Brennan who are in front of the TSBD in Murray (12:42 PM). 
* Sprague refers to reporter Thayer Waldo’s story that he heard ladies at the DPD saying that a rifle had been found on the roof of the TSBD. King is Captain Glenn King.

Rifle in grass-Sprague on films 3.jpg

Rifle in grass-Sprague on films 4.jpg

Rifle in grass-Sprague.jpg

Sprague on films 4-Rifle in grass.jpg

Edited by Denis Morissette
Unnecessary info.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dick Sprague thought he had seen the allegedly lost/damage Craven film taken in Dealey Plaza. 
BOX 5-8
34. PAGE 6. Car next to the Cupola in Nix, Moorman, Willis 5, Hughes, Bell and Alyea. "A small strip of CBS film footage, probably taken by Tom Craven or Jim Underwood, shows the vehicle moving eastward on the Elm Street extension about one minute after the shots were fired" https://postimg.cc/image/jiqumqawn/

202. "I've found the Craven and Underwood TV footage under Bernie Birnbaum's nose at CBS in New York. I also found Alyea and more Couch at the ABC library in New York” https://postimg.cc/image/kl115a1fr/
205. Letter from Sprague to Neil Waldman of CBS News Film Library. September 27, 1967. "The film I have in mind is the one Mr. Rogers showed me. It was taken by Tom Craven of CBS and probably also by Jim Underwood of KRLD. It is number 178, 876 in can numbers 23163 & 4."https://postimg.cc/image/6fv832ffb/
BOX 1-4
17. PAGE 3. Craven film shows a car on Elm Street.https://postimg.cc/image/xdp54v587/
214. Letter from Sprague to Peter Noyes. July 15, 1969. CBS’ interest in the case. “CBS has some of the most valuable evidence of the JFK assassination. I refer to the TV footage taken by Underwood, Cravens and Sanderson in Dealey Plaza immediately after the shots were fired” Wes Wise found a few feet of this footage for me, but much more was exposed and is probably now in the “Bernie Birnbown” archives in New Jersey.”https://postimg.cc/image/87o6y43yv/
215. PAGE 2: Sprague mentions a man wrestling with 2 cops filmed by Sanderson. A rifle appears sticking up behind the man and the cops.https://postimg.cc/image/xqgjb52yf/
216. Letter from Sprague to Peter Noyes. July 29, 1969. Bradley. Sprague says that Tom Cravens’ film shows scenes in Dealey Plaza, but it’s not available. https://postimg.cc/image/i4z7r6jaf/

Link to post
Share on other sites

The real last one for tonight. Too intriguing! 
174. Letter from Sprague to Leon Davidson. November 10, 1967. "Two girls standing on the curb near there told the Sheriff that they saw a man standing near them fire a pistol at the president". 
210. Letter from Sprague to Paul Hoch. September 27, 1967. PAGE 2. Willis 5: "Two girls (possibly the ones in Willis 5) in hysterics told the police in the presence of Garland Slack that a man standing near them had fired a pistol at the president." 
232. . Letter from Sprague to Dr. Milton Helpern. July 20, 1967. PAGE 2. "Two girls standing on the north sidewalk said a man near them fired a revolver at the president"

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Sprague Collection at Georgetown University in Washington. I made a list of the items raised in the collection. For these, I wrote: 76. Notes on conversations in Dallas in 1967. Dinner with the Gewertz family.
77. PAGE 2. Author Jim Burke recounts his interview with Robert Oswald.
78. PAGE 3. Use of the DCA film by producer of “Four Days in November” / Robert Oswald told Burke that he had gone hunting with Lee many times, including a period of a few weeks before the assassination. He added Lee was a lousy shot, and did not use the “Assassin’s rifle”.
79. PAGE 4.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Letter from Fred Newcomb to Sprague. July 28, 1970. Click on "See More" to see the link to the 4 pages.
7. Letter from Fred Newcomb to Sprague. July 28, 1970. Newcomb made several claims about the Wiegman film: 1. Wiegman film shows no one in the 6th floor window. "Shows this clearly on good quality film" 2. Shows SS agent Ready jumping off Queen Mary. 
8. PAGE 2. TITLE: "12:30 PM November 22 - Motorcade / John Hoefan, NBC/SS Lem Johns / Six Shots". John Hoefan (NBC sound technician in the first press car) tells about his experience in Dealey Plaza during the shooting. He tells about SS agent Lem Johns and David Wiegman. / Tom O'Brian tells about a color 16-mm film taken of the assassination. This could be the Wiegman film. 
9. PAGE 3. Diagram of the cars of the motorcade on Elm Street.
10. PAGE 4. Continuation of PAGE 3.


Link to post
Share on other sites

56. 1967 phone conversation with Johnny Martin. Martin saw Oswald in a taxi. “Took pictures, but they did not take”. He called the attention of a policeman to the curb shot.
57. PAGE 2. Sprague’s analysis of the Martin film that shows smoke in same position as in the Moorman picture.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Denis: I'm replying to your inquiry though I have not had time to review all these examples of correspondence and evidence. While I recall talking to Sprague by phone and writing a memo or two about our communications to Garrison, I did not keep any of that correspondence (that I know of at this time). I'm still working on my book and digging through old papers. I've seen my name associated with Sprague relative to some references in the National Archives. I am planning to go back there to review the Garrison files later this year. If I find anything, I'll be sure to let you know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...