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James R. Leavelle, Detective at Lee Harvey Oswald’s Side, Dies at 99


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 "All I wanted to be was a hero and it looks like I just messed things up."  According to Leavelle, this is what Ruby said to him as he was being transported to the county jail.  I have not read this before as a reason for Jack Ruby shooting Oswald.  Is this news to to anyone else on the forum?

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I never saw Leavelle in the almost quaint, kindly and funny story telling old grand dad light he was so often cast in his later life interviews.

I don't think Leavelle gave a rat's a$$ about Oswald's death nor felt any real guilt about his and his department's beyond belief - fist pounding outrage failure to protect Oswald in their own building nor comprehended at all the full truth devastating loss importance of this monumental failure and what it truly cost this country and our society forever.

Ruby's easy access into the Dallas PD basement the morning of 11,24,1963 and ability to get within feet of a wide open Oswald to then blow his guts out destroyed the American people's trust in their government more than any other single historical event I know of.

A mistrust so deep and strong that even today ( 3 GENERATIONS LATER! ) the majority of American's polled STILL do not believe the Warren Commission findings of a single lone gunman as their concluding explanation for JFK's murder.

Leavelle's role in Oswald's security failure that day is a shameful part of that massive government mistrust legacy imo.

Could you imagine what would happen in this day and age if a highly threatened criminal suspect ( Oswald was the most threatened suspect in America's history ) was killed in a similar situation right inside a police facility while handcuffed to his handlers and by someone who just walked into this facility unchecked and in front of world wide live press coverage?

The family of the murdered suspect would sue for millions and probably get it!

I wonder if the Dallas police department or any of it's officials ever issued any public or private apology to Marina Oswald or Robert Oswald or Oswald's mother regards their worst case scenario negligence failure to protect Lee Oswald under what should have been the most secure transfer circumstances they could possibly imagine.

Such as a night time transfer with no public announcement nor chaotic yelling, body shoving packed press crowd with blinding bright lights in the faces of Oswald's closest handlers just feet in front of them.

Whenever I think back to that living nightmare scene of Jack Ruby bounding out of the Dallas PD basement press crowd and blowing a hole in Oswald's gut and also destroying the most important part of the JFK assassination truth ( which I personally witnessed on live TV coverage as a 12 year old ) I still feel the stomach sinking shock, outrage and suspicion I felt at that moment.

And seeing Jim Leavelle in interviews always brought back those feelings and memories of that tragic loss event and the outrageous negligence which facilitated it.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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I saw Ruby shoot Oswald when it happened. I was in NYC in a small neighborhood grocery and was at the cashier. The TV was playing behind the cashier and he turned to watch Oswald leaving to be transported and I watched it with him. We both were stunned at what we witnessed.

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Ron, sorry for butting in.  My memory is not as good as it used to be, but are you speaking of the "ambulance in front of the hospital".  I was only eight when the assassination happened and the intervening 55 years have clouded my recollections and created some false memories (I think), but I SEEM to remember the hearse in front of the hospital and Jackie, Bobby, etc. going towards the entrance doors as a reporter/newscaster was making comments about the scene.  I had meant to relay this info in an earlier thread when this subject came up, but got off topic and forgot about it.  I can't be 100% certain I have not been influenced by all the material I have read, viewed and listened to over the years, but the essential memories of the video seem to have been imprinted in my brain enough that I have trouble thinking it is a combination of other peoples memories or the influence of outside information.  If that is not the event you were speaking of, I am sorry for taking the posting off topic.

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1 hour ago, Richard Price said:

Ron, sorry for butting in.  My memory is not as good as it used to be, but are you speaking of the "ambulance in front of the hospital".  I was only eight when the assassination happened and the intervening 55 years have clouded my recollections and created some false memories (I think), but I SEEM to remember the hearse in front of the hospital and Jackie, Bobby, etc. going towards the entrance doors as a reporter/newscaster was making comments about the scene.  I had meant to relay this info in an earlier thread when this subject came up, but got off topic and forgot about it.  I can't be 100% certain I have not been influenced by all the material I have read, viewed and listened to over the years, but the essential memories of the video seem to have been imprinted in my brain enough that I have trouble thinking it is a combination of other peoples memories or the influence of outside information.  If that is not the event you were speaking of, I am sorry for taking the posting off topic.

Richard, that's exactly it! I have a clear memory of the arrival of the Dallas casket in front of Bethesda on live TV. I remember Jackie and Bobby going toward the entrance just as you say. I remember the newscaster's comments, as the Dallas casket sat there unattended for several minutes.

Apparently no video of that now exists, and I was told by Gary Mack that there was no live coverage. Well, there was, and I can only assume that any video was later destroyed, to avoid questions about why the (empty) casket sat there like that, the answer being there were shenanigans going on with the body inside Bethesda. 

Thanks for your recollection. I refuse to believe that either or us has a false memory of watching that live coverage.

 

 

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Of course I remember watching the coverage on the night of November 22nd.

Who could ever forget watching Oswald being hustled back and forth in the hallways of the Dallas PD building and his questioning by the press.

And Oswald's shouted "I am just a patsy!" as he was being dragged away from the reporters.

Even at that second, I am sure that shouted claim of Oswald's "I am just a patsy" had me curious.   It just seemed like the most improbable claim by someone accused of such a historic crime.  Still does.

What I saw of Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade that whole weekend made me feel suspicious. Again, even at 12 years old ( I have an excellent entire life memory by the way) you could just feel his phoniness.

When he was told by a reporter who saw him interacting with Jack Ruby during the bustle Friday night in the police building that it appeared they knew each other very well, Wade got this strange look on his face, sticking his tongue into his cheek and looking like he was caught at something he couldn't defend.

Edited by Joe Bauer
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3 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Of course I remember watching the coverage on the night of November 22nd.

Who could ever forget watching Oswald being hustled back and forth in the hallways of the Dallas PD building and his questioning by the press.

And Oswald's shouted "I am just a patsy!" as he was being dragged away from the reporters.

Even at that second, I am sure that shouted claim of Oswald's "I am just a patsy" had me curious.   It just seemed like the most improbable claim by someone accused of such a historic crime.  Still does.

What I saw of Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade that whole weekend made me feel suspicious. Again, even at 12 years old ( I have an excellent entire life memory by the way) you could just feel his phoniness.

When he was told by a reporter who saw him interacting with Jack Ruby during the bustle Friday night in the police building that it appeared they knew each other very well, Wade got this strange look on his face, sticking his tongue into his cheek and looking like he was caught at something he couldn't defend.

So I take it you didn't see the arrival at Bethesda.

 

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I don't remember if I saw that particular scene.

Of course I remember seeing video of Air Force one having landed at Andrews Air Base with RFK helping Jackie off of this and into a waiting ambulance, and soon after LBJ delivering a short "with your help and Gods" speech into microphones, again, right there at the landing location.

What I am not sure of is if I actually saw this scene live, or later through replayed newsreel footage.

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Yes, I watched the live coverage at Andrews and LBJ asking for God's help. 

I don't know why there could be live coverage of the ambulance departure at Andrews but supposedly there couldn't be live coverage of its arrival at Bethesda. I remember Gary Mack saying something about the TV cameras were too big in those days. They weren't too big for Andrews or other places that day.

 

 

 

 

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