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“The lights all went out,” and the elevators stopped while JFK was murdered. Shelley and Lovelady were near the bottom of the back staircase, by the electrical panel... and Vickie Adams saw them ... until everyone's story changed...


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John,

I agree that it is difficult to parse out the truth when various documents and statements seem to conflict, but might I suggest that in this case,  Romack's conflicts are fairly minor?

For example, Romack never testified that he and a DPD officer ever verbally conversed. But the FBI included that detail in their summary of his statement (with the word "allegedly.") So, we'll never know for sure what Romack actually told the FBI, but the general idea that he correctly saw a DPD officer run up Houston on the east side of the TSBD, check out the back of the TSBD briefly and then return to Elm is verified by Welcome Barnett's testimony, right? And we do all agree that FBI witness summaries included or excluded anything the FBI wanted, right?

Was Romack physically eating lunch on the docks at MKT when he heard the shots and then started towards the TSBD, or had he already finished eating his lunch and was actually in the process of walking toward the TSBD when he heard the shots?

I don't know, but I don't think it matters much. Either way, we agree that Romack was headed toward the TSBD from the NE when he saw a DPD officer run up Houston and check the back of the TSBD, within a minute or so of hearing the shots.

Could Romack even tentatively identify whether the shots he heard were fired from on high or low? Probably not, but so what? By the time of his testimony, everyone knew what the  authorities wanted to hear, and many ordinary witnesses were willing to "help out" the official version that was emerging. That doesn't make those witnesses active conspirators.

 

My earlier point was to suggest that James Worrell's DPD and FBI version of events - seeing a man who could possibly be "Oswald" run out the back of the TSBD shortly after the shooting - was exactly what the authorities wanted early on. It didn't take long though for a different version of "Oswald's" escape to emerge, and so, the (false) story put out by Worrell (and actively endorsed by the FBI - Worrell positively identified "Oswald" as the man in their version!) was quietly shelved in favor of the front door theory.

Now, I grant you that It is theoretically possible that the 39 year old, gainfully employed, in the immediate presence of fellow employees who also testified to the WC, James E. Romack was an FBI informant/disinformation plant who lied his eyes out when he claimed that no one ran out the back of the TSBD.

But you have to admit it is equally possible, and far, far more likely in my view, that 20 year old high school dropout, unemployed drifter with no particular place to be and no good explanation for how in the world he wound up on the corner of Elm and Houston at the critical time, James Worrell was a much more likely candidate to be "persuaded" to give a false early version of the "Oswald's escape" out the back of the TSBD, an early version that would soon be discarded and replaced by the current version.

Who was telling the truth - Romack or Worrell?

Well, I'll leave you with this nugget from Worrell:

He claimed to have been waiting near the corner of Elm and Houston for an "hour, an hour and a half" (arriving by bus and foot) after seeing President Kennedy and his party arrive at Love Field from Fort Worth!

Air Force One touched down at Love Field at 11:39 am!

There is no way in hell that Worrell could have been waiting for any time period whatsoever at Elm and Houston if he truly witnessed President Kennedy  depart Air Force One! 

Worrell could not even coherently explain how he arrived at the corner of Elm and Houston, nor why that corner!

No one ever demonstrated that it was even possible for anyone - let alone Worrell - to take a public bus from Love Field after seeing the president leave the plane and ride/walk to Elm and Houston in time to see the motorcade pass!

I'm sorry, John, but James Worrell is just not a credible witness. And the fact that both the DPD and the FBI wanted to endorse his story early on, before being forced to back away from it, tells me that James Worrell (not Romack) was much more susceptible to official "persuasion.'"

Mr. SPECTER - Couldn't you get a good view of him a Love Field? 
Mr. WORRELL - No, I just saw him get off the plane and I figured that I wasn't going to see him good so I was going to get a better place to see him. 
Mr. SPECTER - How did you travel from Love Field to Elm and Houston? 
Mr. WORRELL - Bus. No, no; I just traveled so far on the bus. I went down to Elm, and took a buds from there. I went down as far as, I don't know where that bus stops, anyway, I got close to there and I walked the rest of the way. 
Mr. SPECTER - What time, to the best of your recollection, did you arrive at the intersection of Elm and Houston? 
Mr. WORRELL - Well, about 10, 10:30, 10:45, something around there. There weren't many people standing around there then. 
Mr. SPECTER - Well about how long before the Presidential motorcade came to Elm and Houston did you get there? 
Mr. WORRELL - An hour; an hour and a half. 

Mr. SPECTER - Are you sure you were at Love Field when the President arrived there? 
Mr. WORRELL - Oh yes. 

Edited by Paul Jolliffe
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26 minutes ago, Tony Krome said:

What time do you have Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles running out the back of the TSBD?

Good question. If we take the Barry Ernest/Victoria Adams 21st century version at face value, then the two young women were probably out the back within a minute of the shooting. Which, by the way, I tend to suspect is true, although as you are well aware, this remains an open question.

Perhaps I should clarify my earlier statement: I doubt that any man as described by James Worrell ran out of the back of the TSBD. I think his early story was going to be the "official" escape route, but then the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th floor stairs/lunchroom debacle forced the authorities to "revise" their timing and place for "Oswald's" departure. And so, the Worrell early version was quietly set aside.

Edited by Paul Jolliffe
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Vickie Adams seemed pretty consistent over time about how quickly she and Sandra Styles got to the back door--a minute or so.  What changed dramatically as the months went by were Shelley and Lovelady's descriptions, adding more and more time to their arrival by the freight elevators.

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35 minutes ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

Good question. If we take the Barry Ernest/Victoria Adams 21st century version at face value, then the two young women were probably out the back within a minute of the shooting. Which, by the way, I tend to suspect is true, although as you are well aware, this remains an open question.

Perhaps I should clarify my earlier statement: I doubt that any man as described by James Worrell ran out of the back of the TSBD. I think his early story was going to be the "official" escape route, but then the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th floor stairs/lunchroom debacle forced the authorities to "revise" their timing and place for "Oswald's" departure. And so, the Worrell early version was quietly set aside.

Mr. BELIN. Did you see the President's motorcade at all on that day?
Mr. RACKLEY. No, sir; I didn't
Mr. BELIN. Were you standing with anyone there?
Mr. RACKLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. With whom?
Mr. RACKLEY. With James Romack. I and him had walked out.
Mr. BELIN. You had walked out?
Mr. RACKLEY. I heard the siren; the parade was coming.

The "siren" on the Queen Mary was activated after the final shot, so the above implies that Rackley and Romack began their walk from the MKT Railroad loading dock area as they heard that, or even because they heard that.

Rackley heard no shots but he wasn't hard of hearing since he heard the siren, but Romack the hunter, who was momentarily confused about what brand of rifle he owned, said he heard the "official" 3 evenly spaced shots

Mr. ROMACK. It sounded like to me that they were evenly spaced. 

Both of these guys do not report anyone leaving the area behind the TSBD for up to 10 minutes;

Mr. BELIN. About how long did you keep your eyes fixed over there?
Mr. RACKLEY. Oh, I would say 5 minutes anyhow. Probably 10. I was looking up that way at all times.
Mr. BELIN. Five or 10 minutes, you figure?
Mr. RACKLEY. Yes
Mr. BELIN. Did you see any people leave the Texas School Book Depository by way of the rear exit?
Mr. RACKLEY. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see any people running north on Houston Street?
Mr. RACKLEY. No, sir.

These guys effectively destroy Victoria Adams, Sandra Styles, Worrell and Carr

I'm sure the WC was pleased as well as the conspirators

 

Edited by Tony Krome
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So Tony, we agree that Romack and Rackley were where they said they were, approximately 100 - 150 yards northeast of the TSBD at the time of the shooting. We agree that they both looked south toward the TSBD. We agree that they testified that they saw no one leave the back of the TSBD. We agree that Welcome Barnett ran north on Houston Street within a minute of the shots, and his actions were accurately described by Romack. We agree that Rackley did not see Barnett.

I think we tend to agree that Adams and Styles probably exited the rear of the TSBD very soon after the shots. Neither man saw the girls exit, but then, I am not aware of any witness who did see Adams and Styles outside as they exited the back of the TSBD. Are you?

The whole point of this discussion is whether James Worrell was credible in his description of the man he claimed to have seen, or whether James Romack and George Rackley were more credible in their denial that anyone fitting the description given by Worrell left out the back.

If Worrell really did what he said he did after the shots, then he would have had to pass directly in front of Rackley and Romack, yet they did not see him!

Nor he did not see them!

Why do I suspect Worrell?

Because it would have been the simplest matter in the world for the Warren Commission attorneys to ask Rackley and Romack about James Worrell, but they did not.

It would have been the simplest matter in the world for the Warren Commission attorneys to ask Worrell about Rackley and Romack. But they did not.

Why not?

Well, whose story was more likely to fall apart under any kind of questioning at all - the two adult working men (one of whom was able to correctly describe Welcome Barnett's actions), or the 20 year old dropout drifter who had no coherent explanation for why he was there, how he got there, when he got there,  one whose own timeline is demonstrably false?

Worrell himself gave a hint that there was more to the story at the end of this interview: note his cryptic ending phrase "I saw everything that happened, and that's about all I'm about to say" (accompanied with a dismissive wave of the hand).

Tony, we don't know what happened behind the TSBD. We do know the FBI really wanted this kid to say that he saw "Oswald" run out the back. Trying to construct a coherent narrative based in part on the testimony of this very simple, very young (and almost certainly not very intelligent) witness would seem a dicey proposition. 

 

Edited by Paul Jolliffe
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Just one more question or two.  Did Rackley or Romack see anyone enter the building from the rear or north face?  Did Barnett say anything about anyone entering the building?  Did Worrell say anything about anyone entering the building? 

List of witnesses who knew something about what happened at the rear of the TSBD and on North Houston.

1.  Welcome Barnett

2. James Worrell

3.  Richard Carr

4.  Sandra Styles

5.  Vickie Adams

6.  James Romack

7.  George Rackley

8.  Sam Pate

The thing about George Rackley and James Romack is they did not sign their WC statements.  The bold, honest, and upright interrogators of the WC could have had them saying anything without challenge.

Billy Lovelady initially said he entered the building after his walk down into the railroad yards at the rear of the building the north face.  Bill Shelley who was with Lovelady said he reentered the building from the west face doors.  Billy Lovelady corrected his testimony after some confusion by Mr. Ball to say the same as Shelley.

 

Edited by John Butler
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4 hours ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

Tony, we don't know what happened behind the TSBD. We do know the FBI really wanted this kid to say that he saw "Oswald" run out the back. Trying to construct a coherent narrative based in part on the testimony of this very simple, very young (and almost certainly not very intelligent) witness would seem a dicey proposition. 

Romack mentions Sam Pate

Duke Lane (a member here) wrote this months after meeting with Sam Pate;

Sam Pate, who arrived behind the TSBD within just a couple of minutes of the shooting, noticed a young man cross Houston St diagonally from the TSBD side to the other, heading toward Pacific, which is what Worrell said that he'd done.

BTW, if you believe the FBI wanted Worrell to say it was Oswald, isn't Frazier saying exactly that?

Frazier "The closest I got to him when he was walking up the... along the side the Texas School Book Depository coming from the dock area"

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29 minutes ago, Tony Krome said:

Romack mentions Sam Pate

Duke Lane (a member here) wrote this months after meeting with Sam Pate;

Sam Pate, who arrived behind the TSBD within just a couple of minutes of the shooting, noticed a young man cross Houston St diagonally from the TSBD side to the other, heading toward Pacific, which is what Worrell said that he'd done.

BTW, if you believe the FBI wanted Worrell to say it was Oswald, isn't Frazier saying exactly that?

Frazier "The closest I got to him when he was walking up the... along the side the Texas School Book Depository coming from the dock area"

Yes, Pate saw Worrell. But notice that Pate's timing (he saw Worrell cross Houston a couple of minutes after the shooting) does not fit with Worrell's story - he claimed he was scared because of the shots and took off running up Houston immediately!

I don't know who was right - Worrell or Pate. But they can't be both right. 

We know the FBI quoted Worrell as saying that he could identify "Oswald" as the man he saw, and at that moment, that was what the FBI wanted  - "Oswald" escaped out the back of the TSBD. 

Again, we all agree, Worrell did not see "Oswald" did not run out the back of the TSBD. Did he actually see anyone run out?

Well, I believe he was the kind of kid who could have been "persuaded" to say about anything that would generally fit the narrative and to shut up about anything that didn't fit. His filmed interview that I posted earlier seems to confirm exactly that.

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5 hours ago, John Butler said:

Just one more question or two.  Did Rackley or Romack see anyone enter the building from the rear or north face?  Did Barnett say anything about anyone entering the building?  Did Worrell say anything about anyone entering the building? 

List of witnesses who knew something about what happened at the rear of the TSBD and on North Houston.

1.  Welcome Barnett

2. James Worrell

3.  Richard Carr

4.  Sandra Styles

5.  Vickie Adams

6.  James Romack

7.  George Rackley

The thing about George Rackley and James Romack is they did not sign their WC statements.  The bold, honest, and upright interrogators of the WC could have had them saying anything without challenge.

Billy Lovelady initially said he entered the building after his walk down into the railroad yards at the rear of the building the north face.  Bill Shelley who was with Lovelady said he reentered the building from the west face doors.  Billy Lovelady corrected his testimony after some confusion by Mr. Ball to say the same as Shelley.

 

John, 

I have found no statements from any witness who described anyone entering the back of the TSBD within the first 3 minutes (or so) of the shots. Rackley and Romack claimed that they didn't see anyone enter until about five minutes after the shooting. Of course, all time estimations are subject to second guessing. As far as I know, neither Barnett nor Worrell claimed to have seen anyone enter the back at any time after the shooting. 

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6 hours ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

I don't know who was right - Worrell or Pate. But they can't be both right. 

I've been looking at both the HSCA & FBI interviews of Sam Pate

Pate said he pulled up alongside the TSBD approx 4 minutes after the shots. Pate said to HSCA that 5 minutes after shots, he saw a white male running from the TSBD front entrance. He said to FBI that 5 to 10 minutes AFTER he pulled up at the TSBD, he saw a white male running north on Houston.

It appears he saw someone running north, but it's looking like 5 to 10+ minutes after the shots. He also did not recognise Worrell when shown his photo.

I'm thinking if Worrell's account is accurate, he ran up Houston and crossed the road as he said ... immediately, and before Barnett. 

 

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So, Sam Pate has nothing to do with what the witnesses saw or heard directly after the shooting:

1.  Welcome Barnett

2. James Worrell

3.  Richard Carr

4.  Sandra Styles

5.  Vickie Adams

6.  James Romack

7.  George Rackley

What he saw happened after the assassination at 4, 5 or 5 to 10 minutes later.  That doesn't make him irrelevant but his testimony is for about 5 minutes after the assassination and can't be compared to the other witnesses.

William Weston in A Man In A Dark Sports Coat has a discussion of Romack.  He says:

The pedestrians near the TSBD were either falling to the ground or scattering. Conspicuous among them was the distinctive blue uniform of a policeman running along the sidewalk. He was headed towards the back area of the building. Romack told the FBI that he saw the policeman "within a minute" after the shooting.6 When he testified before the WC, he used the words "just immediately after."7 Since the meaning of the word "immediately" has some elasticity, we can thus conclude that the policeman was seen during a time period of not more than 60 seconds after the shooting.

“im·me·di·ate·ly (i md" it l"), adv.

1.   without lapse of time; without delay; instantly; at once: Please telephone him immediately.

2.   with no object or space intervening.”

“af·ter (afÆtÃr, äfÆ-), prep.

1.   behind in place or position; following behind: men lining up one after the other.

2.   later in time than; in succession to; at the close of: Tell me after supper. Day after day he came to work late.”

 

I use these Random House Dictionary definitions to help clear up misunderstandings with others on what the words "after" and "immediately" mean.  So, the words used by Weston and others really are misleading with their usage of "after" or "immediately".  

 

The double use of after and immediately leaves absolutely no distance between an event and what occurred next.  This notion is important when looking at the 50 witnesses who said something different then the main story of the events in Dealey Plaza.

William Weston more than likely made a mistake associating Welcome Barnett with Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles.

"Victoria Adams and Sandra Styles had been on the fourth floor, watching the parade from one of the windows.10 They heard gunfire as JFK's car disappeared behind a tree. To learn what happened, they ran down the back stairs and went out the back door. Adams estimated that she and her friend were going outside about a minute after the shooting. They were stopped by a policeman. "Get back into the building," he said.

"But I work here," Adams pleaded.

"That is tough, get back."

"Well, was the president shot?"

"I don't know. Go back."

The two women obeyed, yet they complied not by returning the way they came, but rather by going all the way around the west side to reenter the TSBD through the front entrance--talking to people along the way. Technically, they were disregarding the instructions of a police officer, and Barnett should have stopped them, but he must have had too many other things on his mind than to chase two young ladies determined to satisfy their curiosity. His main worry was the front entrance. As he looked in that direction, he saw police officers and sheriff's deputies all running towards the Triple Underpass. No one seemed to realize that shots came from the building itself, putting Barnett in a quandary. Should he stay in place and hope that another officer would do likewise at the front door? Or should he, Barnett, go to the front door and alert someone to take his vacated back door spot? He decided on the latter and ran toward the front of the building.

Vickie Adams said something different.  She was in the railroad yards and not close to Welcome Barnett who was 20 feet from the NE corner of the TSBD.

She said:

vickie-adams-meets-officer-at-tracks.jpg

It is interesting that Shelley and Lovelady say nothing when Adams says the President has been shot.  It appears they already knew.  Gloria Calvert had told them.  Adams says this is within a minute of the shooting.  It contradicts the story of Shelley and Lovelady immediately going toward the Grassy Knoll.  But, this has been discussed before.  Basically, Lovelady says in his Sheriff Office statement of 11-22-63 that he and Shelley went back into the building.  Later that day he said to the FBI that he and Shelley "immediately after" the shooting chased the presidential limousine until it sped away.  Then they went back into the building.  The time element is important here.  Did their chase of the limo last not that long and they returned to the TSBD to be met by Vickie Adams within a minute of the assassination?

In his WC testimony Lovelady says:

Mr. Lovelady. Well, I asked who told her. She said he had been shot so

we asked her was she for certain or just had she seen the shot hit him or —

she said yes, she had been right close to it to see and she had saw the blood and

knew he had been hit but didn’t know how serious it was and so the crowd had

started towards the railroad tracks back, you know, behind our building there

and we run towards that little, old island and kind of down there in that little

street. We went as far as the first tracks and everybody was hollering and

crying and policemen started running out that way and we said we better get

back into the building, so we went back into the west entrance on the back dock

had that low ramp and went into the back dock back inside the building.

 

They went as far as the first tracks.  They should have seen Victoria Adams there.  Say Adams was there within 1 to 2 minutes.  That might be the same time frame as Shelley and Lovelady who first talked to Gloria Calvert.  Lovelady said he was there for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. 

Here is something strange and alien to their story:

Mr. Ball. You heard the shots. And how long after that was it before Gloria

Calvary came up?

 

Mr. Lovelady. Oh, approximately 3 minutes, I would say.

 

Mr. Ball. Three minutes is a long time.

 

Mr. Lovelady. Yes, it’s — I say approximately; I can’t say because I don’t

have a watch ; it could.

 

Mr. Ball. Had people started to run?

 

 

339

 

 

Mr. Lovelady. Well, I couldn’t say because she came up to us and we was

talking to her, wasn’t looking that direction at that time, but when we came

off the steps — see, that entrance, you have a blind side when you go down the

steps.

 

Mr. Ball. Right after you talked to Gloria, did you leave the steps and go

toward the tracks?

 

Mr. Lovelady. Yes.

 

Mr. Ball. Did you run or walk?

 

Mr. Lovelady. Medium trotting or fast walk.

 

Mr. Ball. A fast walk?

 

Mr. Lovelady. Yes.

This reads as if Lovelady goofed and is making it up as he goes along with the story that the WC interrogator wanted.

 

They then ran to the railroad tracks.  How long did that take?  Well, the Couch/Darnell film shows that that it at least 30 seconds after the shooting when they begin their run to the railroad yards.  Lovelady is actually denying here that he saw Adams inside the building within 1 minute of the shooting.  He is also denying that he entered the back of the TSBD (north face).  Not seeing Adams and Styles there in the railroad yards might imply that Lovelady and Shelley were not there.  Lovelady said he was there for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  So, he could have seen Adams there. 

The policeman who stopped Adams and Lovelady may have been one of the Smith officers.  Both said they went to the Grassy Knoll and railroad yards after the shooting.  What Lovelady describes here probably happened 1 to 2 minutes after the shooting.

Later on Vickie Adams says she didn't talk to Shelley and Lovelady as she left the building.  Once again it is a question of who do you believe.

And, that is prime Dealey Plaza witness statements and descriptions of events.    

 

Edited by John Butler
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Interesting to note that it was possible that Hoover could have provided the WC with information from Romack and Rackley before Worrell testified;

Friday March 6th 1964

Dallas Times Herald publishes article claiming James Richard Worrell had witnessed unknown man running from the back door of the TSBD and would testify before the Warren Commission.

Friday March 6th 1964 - 9pm

James Elbert Romack contacts the Dallas FBI at 9pm on a Friday night. (Not the DPD)

Saturday March 7th 1964

James Elbert Romack provides information to the Dallas FBI

Monday March 9th 1964

James Elbert Romack is interviewed by the Dallas FBI

George W Rackley Sr is interviewed by the Dallas FBI

Tuesday March 10th 1964

Samuel Mack Pate is interviewed by the Dallas FBI

Tuesday March 10th 1964

Hoover writes to Rankin (Warren Commission) regarding the intended testimony by Worrell in that he (Hoover) will forward statements by Romack, Rackley and Pate to Rankin once they are received.

Tuesday March 10th 1964

James Richard Worrell, Jr., testified on Tuesday, March 10, 1964 before the Warren Commission in its offices located at 200 Maryland Avenue NE at Washington DC

Friday March 13th 1964

Dallas FBI forwards the interviews of Romack, Rackley and Pate to Hoover

Wednesday March 18th 1964

Hoover forwards interviews of Romack, Rackley and Pate to Rankin (Warren Commission)

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22 hours ago, John Butler said:

Basically, Lovelady says in his Sheriff Office statement of 11-22-63 that he and Shelley went back into the building.  Later that day he said to the FBI that he and Shelley "immediately after" the shooting chased the presidential limousine until it sped away.  Then they went back into the building.  The time element is important here.  Did their chase of the limo last not that long and they returned to the TSBD to be met by Vickie Adams within a minute of the assassination?

John,

Is there an FBI document issued in 1963 indicating that Lovelady said on 11/22/63 that he and Shelley “chased” the presidential limousine immediately after the shooting?  I’m not aware of one and would appreciate it if you would point me to anything indicating the existence of something along those lines.

The whole point of John A’s write-up is that the stories of Shelley and Lovelady changed dramatically over time, in each case making it appear that they took longer to go back into the building after the shots rang out.  That is the subject of this thread and the Escape from the 6h Floor write-up.

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