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Posted (edited)

Ron, I think the Carr story itself simply offers another example - and a good one with the documents - that as of Saturday morning and again on Sunday Hoover had and himself gave marching orders to "refute" or close off any lead that pointed to others than Oswald being involved in the shooting or in a conspiracy.

We have many examples of that and other examples of internal memos which expose the lengths then went to in doing that, even when the WC itself asked them to investigate things like the Odio story. That is even more egregious since we can show internal memos that directly refute the report he gave to the WC identifying the individuals in question. At this point exposing major weaknesses in the FBI investigation isn't even a question.

And in a few cases some of us have actually been able to take a lead further and open it up when the FBI had closed it. The real challenge gets to be doing the work they didn't do and in a few cases research has actually has been able to good leads further to make them more credible. 

Do I think we know all we should about the Carr story...no I don't, but I will also say we have all devoted lots of time to purported witnesses whose really sensational stories are fundamentally bogus. Jim Hicks comes to mind, I won't go into others. 

In regard to Carr it though it is possible to evaluate his story directly by testing -  recreating his observation and evaluating his  ability to see and provide the details he described that were critical to his story.  I've done it on multiple occasions and failed to verify he could see those details, you described doing it as well as I recall.  Even today someone could simply stand at the distance he described, and try to observe the detail he describes of a person in a window, open or closed, in the TSBD - given that you can get on the Sixth Floor and look out. 

If his observation at a distance could be replicated I might give more credence to his story regardless of the FBI inquiry and documents.  But when I tried to do it multiple people could not duplicate his observations and that wrapped it up for me. 

Perhaps someone else will have a different result.  But that's why I stay with a number of more solid witnesses to mysterious men in the windows - seen by witnesses close to the building - and not with Carr's story which includes connecting a specific individual from the window, to a rear exit and getting into a vehicle.

Edited by Larry Hancock
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Posted (edited)

Chris, we had a great presentation on just that by Greg Wagner at last fall's Lancer conference and of course I wrote about it when I was working on SWHT.  But it has not been my focus for many years now (same as the the back door issue itself for that matter).  Without digging back into it I would say that Carolyn Walthers and Arnold Rowland seemed credible to me and were certainly close enough to have seen what they described; they can also be proven to have been there that afternoon.

In the meantime I'd invite Greg to post here in regard to his conclusions on the Window Watchers and who his best picks are - he has looked into it much more recently than I have but its been a discussion on this forum for ages as you can see in the link below:

 

 

Edited by Larry Hancock
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On 3/22/2021 at 9:13 AM, Larry Hancock said:

Chris, we had a great presentation on just that by Greg Wagner at last fall's Lancer conference and of course I wrote about it when I was working on SWHT.  But it has not been my focus for many years now (same as the the back door issue itself for that matter).  Without digging back into it I would say that Carolyn Walthers and Arnold Rowland seemed credible to me and were certainly close enough to have seen what they described; they can also be proven to have been there that afternoon.

In the meantime I'd invite Greg to post here in regard to his conclusions on the Window Watchers and who his best picks are - he has looked into it much more recently than I have but its been a discussion on this forum for ages as you can see in the link below:

 

 

Hi Larry. Thanks for the kind words about my Lancer presentation. The work on these witnesses is very much a work in progress for me. I may have a couple more statements to add to the witness matrix soon. The latest versions of the witness matrix and the suspect description matrix can be viewed and downloaded from my Window Watchers blog post. This post is something I will add to over time. I am currently writing the next installment, which is on Howard Brennan. It has taken a while but is nearly complete and I hope to post it soon. As I am sure everyone is well aware, there is much to say about Mr Brennan. My thoughts, analysis and conclusions about the witnesses and what they mean will be developed throughout the post as I move forward with it. Finding the time lately has been difficult but I hope to get back to it in the coming weeks.

I agree with Larry that Carolyn Walther and Arnold Rowland are among the more credible witnesses. I would add Amos Euins, Robert Edwards, Ronald Fischer and Ruby Henderson to that list.

In my opinion, Brennan and Carr are the most problematic witnesses. 

As noted in this thread, there are certainly questions about Worrell and I haven't formed a thoughtful opinion on him yet other than to say I think he probably saw something approximating what he stated. I had an experience several years ago where I was questioned by police about an incident I witnessed. It was a pretty simple scenario, but I was surprised at how unsure I was about the details of what I saw and heard, the timing, what the people looked like, what they were wearing, the sequence of events, etc. I think I got most of it right but I am not confident I got it exactly right. I think about that incident a lot when reading these witness statements. You're not expecting something crazy to happen, then something explodes in front of you and almost immediately dissolves into the ether while chaos ensues all around. And you're standing there trying to piece together what you just saw and heard. That experience certainly shapes how I think about these witnesses.

Carr is really interesting and also frustrating to consider. Is it possible he was on those scaffolding stairs - well outside where the walls of the building are today, as Ron astutely pointed out - and saw something or someone in an upper floor window that caused him to think this was the same guy he saw briskly walking up Houston to Commerce a couple minutes after the shooting? And that perhaps it was only then, when the guy was closer to him, that he saw the finer details of his appearance? I don't know. If he didn't actually witness this man in the hat and the Latin-looking men getting into a Rambler outside the TSBD, where did he get that information? Could the man in the hat be the same guy in the brown suit coat Carolyn Walther described? I find Carr's testimony in Clay Shaw's trial interesting in that he states the suspicious man he saw in the TSBD window was on the fifth floor. The FBI reports state Carr saw the guy on the seventh floor. In Garrison's On the Trail of the Assassins, Big Jim states the guy Carr saw was on the sixth floor. What a mess. But the only time we hear it from Carr's mouth... fifth floor. Could Carr have seen what he claimed? That's certainly an open question and I am willing to be convinced. But if he made all this up, how did he come up with descriptions of suspects that align so closely with what other witnesses saw?

I have some basic conclusions at this point. I covered the evidence that supports them in my Lancer presentation and touched on some of this in a recent episode of the Quick Hits podcast.

  • Activity related to the assassination occurred on both the fifth and sixth floors of the TSBD
  • There was a gunman in the southeast corner window of the TSBD fifth floor, with light brown or blonde hair
  • There may have been another TSBD gunman in a window near the west end of the fifth floor
  • These guys made no attempt to conceal themselves from the throng of spectators below
  • The testimonies of Jarman, Norman and Williams are largely false. They saw much more than they stated publicly.
  • I am not confident in the accuracy of anything filtered through the FBI

I don't post on forums or Facebook groups much these days, but I usually pop in to read. Thanks to everyone who contributes here and to whoever is footing the bill. This forum, despite the occasional kindergarten bickering and garbage, is tremendous. I have learned a lot here over the years and made a few friends. You all are the best (well, most of you :)).

Cheers,

Greg

 

Edited by Greg Wagner
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So, Greg Wagner, I'm curious as to your conclusions about Jarman, Norman, and Williams. I think there is something fishy about their testimony too but not sure to what extent. In your conclusions, do you think they were on the fifth floor and saw something? Or do you suspect they weren't on the fifth floor but saw something on another floor? Just curious. I know you can see them on the fifth in some of the pictures but we all know just how questionable some of the video and photographic evidence can be in this case. Not to hijack the thread, but I'm very interested in your conclusions about these 3.

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6 hours ago, Jamey Flanagan said:

So, Greg Wagner, I'm curious as to your conclusions about Jarman, Norman, and Williams. I think there is something fishy about their testimony too but not sure to what extent. In your conclusions, do you think they were on the fifth floor and saw something? Or do you suspect they weren't on the fifth floor but saw something on another floor? Just curious. I know you can see them on the fifth in some of the pictures but we all know just how questionable some of the video and photographic evidence can be in this case. Not to hijack the thread, but I'm very interested in your conclusions about these 3.

Jamey, I'm certainly no Gregg much less Larry by any stretch.  However Jarman, Norman and Williams have been discussed on the forum in back threads if you look.  One thing they brought out for me is the fact they were all poor Black men in Dallas in 1963.  They were still refused services in some places, schools were still segregated in spite of the law.  And they wanted nothing to do with the all white, KKK dominated DPD.  They feared it, for good reason.

They said Yes Sir to whatever they were told to say or told not to say by the Police, or the FBI,  And, if the FBI was running the investigation, taking statements... they were cooperating witnesses under duress, for the official story.

As an aside.  In about 1964-65 at about 8-9 years old I remember going to Leonard's Department Store in down town Fort Worth, the place to go for "everything", from baked goods to tires to farm implements.  They had the only subway in the southwest, from a parking lot by the Trinity river to their basement.  Getting off and going up the escalator to the first floor I wanted a drink of water from a fountain.  Mother said no, that ones not for us?  Why?  It's for the negros.  There were none in my school or our neighborhood.  I wasn't raised to hate Blacks, I was confused.

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About the only thing I could add is that I have no doubt we do not know all of what those three men actually saw, nor herd, nor what they suspected.  Which I personally feel included having seen Lee Oswald down stairs just as he described.....

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Yes, Ron, I agree, it was a VERY different time! Although I wouldn't be born until 1978 I've always had a passion for history and I've ALWAYS thought myself that these men were told exactly what to say or what the FBI or DPD or the Warren Comission wanted to hear. I know as well that reading about or hearing from grandparents how things were back then isn't the same as seeing and hearing it with your own two eyes. In an older thread about Charles Givens I had posted something I ran across on the Mary Ferrell website. I can't remember exactly who had said it, I think it was a reporter from a local newspaper maybe, but there was a quote supposedly referring to Givens about him actually seeing Oswald shooting from the Window. You know, it actually surprises me that none of these men were coerced into saying just that, that they had seen Oswald shooting from the sixth floor. Like you said Ron, given the climate these men probably would have said anything the authorities wanted them to say. I was hoping as the years passed by and as things got better for African Americans, even in the south, that either one of these men on their death bed or one of their relatives would come forward with a story of what they really saw or heard that day. It just goes to show that even though over 50 years have passed there is still fear of repercussions should they talk.

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16 hours ago, Jamey Flanagan said:

So, Greg Wagner, I'm curious as to your conclusions about Jarman, Norman, and Williams. I think there is something fishy about their testimony too but not sure to what extent. In your conclusions, do you think they were on the fifth floor and saw something? Or do you suspect they weren't on the fifth floor but saw something on another floor? Just curious. I know you can see them on the fifth in some of the pictures but we all know just how questionable some of the video and photographic evidence can be in this case. Not to hijack the thread, but I'm very interested in your conclusions about these 3.

Hi Jamey. I do think it's likely Jarman, Norman and Williams were on the fifth floor at the time of the shooting. But based on a number of witness observations it's clear there were also suspects on the fifth floor just prior to and during the shooting, with at least one and possibly two men firing. The statements of Jarman, Norman and Williams all have several major problems and as Ron mentioned, there are a few good threads on that. I have a couple working theories on how this could have went down, but nothing definitive. Nothing I can really support. Just questions and ideas at this point.

Many witnesses saw "black guys" in those windows just after the shots. Some witnesses also described Mexican or Latin-looking men up there in different windows prior to the shooting. I think it's an open question as to how many men with dark skin were up there and which ones were the guys seen in windows at different times. I certainly can't tell who the men are in the Dillard photo. Maybe they are indeed Jarman and Williams (I don't see anyone in the alleged Norman window). Maybe not. But there was a lot more happening on the fifth floor than just a few employees watching the motorcade. Jack Dougherty also claimed to have been on the fifth floor at the time of the shots. Like Jarman, Norman and Williams, he stated he saw no one. Not even those three guys. And they never saw him. And although multiple witnesses saw other men and at least one gunman fire from the fifth floor, no one up there saw anything suspicious. Sounds legit 🙄

Three black warehouse workers in Texas in the 1960's. As Ron mentioned, it would have been a simple matter to control these guys through intimidation. A sad state of affairs in this country, but true. I've never been able to track down anyone who knew those guys, but I imagine seeing whatever went down on the fifth floor during the assassination must have been difficult to carry through the rest of their lives. It's hard to believe they would not at least have hinted at things to those close to them. 

 

Edited by Greg Wagner
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3 hours ago, Jamey Flanagan said:

You know, it actually surprises me that none of these men were coerced into saying just that, that they had seen Oswald shooting from the sixth floor.

But they did state they heard gunfire from directly above, and debris falling from above (mortar dust, or something like it), and one of them said he heard the bolt being worked on a rile and shell casings hitting the floor above them.

The testimony of Jarman, Norman and Williams basically accomplished two things. It pointed to a shooter in the sixth floor "Oswald window" and it precluded the possibility of any assassination-related activity occurring on the fifth floor. How predictably convenient.

Edited by Greg Wagner
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On 3/10/2021 at 9:52 AM, Ron Bulman said:

 

high_res  

Ron, check this photo out. From TSBD street level we can see Carr's scaffolding. If you imagine the camera position moving east towards Houston, a gap should appear beside the turret of the old courthouse which would allow Carr to see Houston street on the east side of the TSBD. 

 

high_res

 

And from high up the TSBD;

high_res

 

Edited by Tony Krome
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On 3/25/2021 at 5:59 PM, Tony Krome said:

Ron, check this photo out. From TSBD street level we can see Carr's scaffolding. If you imagine the camera position moving east towards Houston, a gap should appear beside the turret of the old courthouse which would allow Carr to see Houston street on the east side of the TSBD. 

 

high_res

 

And from high up the TSBD;

high_res

 

That picture 199 initially made me think again, no way he could have seen anything.  It seems to be taken from almost directly below the "snipers nest".  

But, when you go to the 6th floor TSBD picture and take into account the construction scaffolding and stairs on front of the courts building at the time, it does seem Possible the 5th-6th-7th floors could be seen from each perspective.

Details are another question.  The Rambler on Houston is another separate discussion.  

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On 3/24/2021 at 6:40 AM, Greg Wagner said:

Many witnesses saw "black guys" in those windows just after the shots. Some witnesses also described Mexican or Latin-looking men up there in different windows prior to the shooting. I think it's an open question as to how many men with dark skin were up there and which ones were the guys seen in windows at different times. I certainly can't tell who the men are in the Dillard photo. Maybe they are indeed Jarman and Williams (I don't see anyone in the alleged Norman window). Maybe not. But there was a lot more happening on the fifth floor than just a few employees watching the motorcade. Jack Dougherty also claimed to have been on the fifth floor at the time of the shots. Like Jarman, Norman and Williams, he stated he saw no one. Not even those three guys. And they never saw him. And although multiple witnesses saw other men and at least one gunman fire from the fifth floor, no one up there saw anything suspicious. Sounds legit 🙄

Greg,

FWIW, Mary Hollies and Alice Foster claimed, in later testimony, that they were on the fifth floor rather than the fourth floor.  Mary Hollies said she saw and heard Bonnie Ray Williams bring the elevator down and leave the gate open to keep it there on the 5th floor at about 12:15.  She also said she saw Oswald go up prior to that with a large paper package.  When asked Oswald said it was fishing rods.  When asked to send the elevator back down he ignored them.

I would like to challenge your notions of shooting from the 5th and 6th floor with witnesses from the 4th floor.  These witnesses had their windows open and were about 40 ft. from the Sniper's Nest and less to the 5th floor.  They would have heard shots from above.  Particularly if these shots were from high power rifles.  40 feet is less then the distance across most American homes.  I know it is baffling what these witness said in comparison to others.   

Witness Statements:

1.     Harold Norman- 11-26-63 FBI statement Norman said he heard a shot as the vehicle turned onto Elm St. Didn't say where the shot came from.

2.     Bonnie Ray Williams- Sheriff’s Office on 11-22-63- first said he heard shot when the presidential limo turned onto Houston.  Later, he changed that to a turn onto Elm St. and then later changed that.  An unreliable witness.

 

3.     James “Junior” Jarman- Warren Hearing on March 24, 1964- At first, Jarman said much the same as Williams and Norman.  He later changed his testimony at the WC to hearing shots from low and to the left.  That is shooting from Houston Street.  This could be from the Dal-Tex.

 

4.     Mary Hollies- 2-18-64 statement to Detective Potts said she heard 3 shots as the motorcade turned into the intersection.  She noticed smoke on a little hill over to the west.  Heard shots from there.  Mary Hollies and Alice Foster are placed with 5th floor witnesses due to Mary’s 6th Floor Museum interview in January, 2011.  This later statement contradicts her earlier statements in 1963 and 1964.

 

5.     Betty Alice Foster-3-19-64 FBI statement- She heard something like fireworks after the President’s car turned down Elm St.

 

6.      Elsie Dorman- 11-23-63 FBI report, 3-20-64 FBI report.  She thought shots came from the Court Records Building on Houston St.  She became excited and quit filming at the time the President was on Houston Street at the Court Records Building.

 

7.     Sandra Styles- In a statement made to the FBI on 3-19-64 she said she heard shots but, did not know where they came from and offered no other relevant information.  However, in a video published in October, 2017 she said as the presidential vehicle turned into the intersection she heard 3 shots.  Her statements agreed with Vickie Adams.   Reference:  Jobert Jefford Paulson video, Oct. 17, 2017- The Case of the Lady Who Did Not See the Assassin.

 

8.     Vickie Adams- 11-24-63- She said when the president’s vehicle entered the intersection of Elm and Houston she heard 3 shots.  She could not see the shooting since it happened while the presidential limousine was under trees.  And, that would be in front of the TSBD.  Shots came from the west.

 

9.     Dorothy Garner- 3-20-64 FBI report- When the shots occurred the presidential vehicle was out of sight, obscured by trees.  This would be in front of the TSBD.  Shots came from the west.

 

10. Yola Hopson- 12-1-63- FBI report- She heard two or more sounds / firecrackers when the presidential limousine was obscured by trees.  This would be in front of the TSBD.  Shots came from the west.

 

11. Steven Wilson- 3-25-64- FBI statement- He said he heard 3 shots while the president was obscured by trees.  This would be in front of the TSBD.  Shots came from the west.

Sorry, but there is always something that will contradict your assumptions on just about anything in the events of the Kennedy Assassination.

 

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On 3/27/2021 at 2:19 PM, John Butler said:

Greg,

FWIW, Mary Hollies and Alice Foster claimed, in later testimony, that they were on the fifth floor rather than the fourth floor.  Mary Hollies said she saw and heard Bonnie Ray Williams bring the elevator down and leave the gate open to keep it there on the 5th floor at about 12:15.  She also said she saw Oswald go up prior to that with a large paper package.  When asked Oswald said it was fishing rods.  When asked to send the elevator back down he ignored them.

I would like to challenge your notions of shooting from the 5th and 6th floor with witnesses from the 4th floor.

 

Hi John. That's really interesting. I was not aware of claims by Hollies and Foster after their March 1964 statements to the FBI, which have them on the fourth floor and don't mention those fascinating bits about Williams and Oswald. Do you know where I can find these later claims?

You're right about there being plenty of testimony to contradict the witnesses who observed suspicious activity in the windows of the TSBD and my conclusions about the fifth floor. There's no question about that. Though I can't take anything Jarman, Norman and Williams said seriously. As I'm sure you know, their statements are an absolute train wreck. It goes beyond simply not being credible to the point of comedy. Nevertheless, I agree with your point.

Trying to untangle, align and make sense of all the eyewitness and earwitness testimony from Dealey Plaza is an impossible exercise. It simply doesn't align and it can't all be true, as you pointed out. So rather than try to crack the uncrackable nut, I am focusing on a subset of the witnesses. The people who are on record as having seen suspicious activity in upper floor windows of the TSBD around the time of the assassination. There are plenty of challenges even within that small group. My first step was simply to determine the list of witnesses. How many people are on record as having observed something suspicious in those windows? So far, I have identified seventeen. The next step was to collect and organize each witness' various statements. This is largely complete but I still find new records from time to time and I have a couple in my files that I still need to add. I am now engaged in analyzing the sum of what each witness stated (and what has been attributed to them by law enforcement, an important distinction) and will post that analysis and my conclusions on my blog. There are problems and contradictions within this subset of witnesses and even within some individual witnesses' own collection of statements. Brennan and Carr, in spades. To a lesser degree, Euins and Rowland. Although with Euins and Rowland I suspect this may be due to law enforcement agencies not documenting the accounts accurately rather than the witnesses contradicting themselves. Amos Euins essentially tells us this in his HSCA interview.

Almost every aspect of this case is full of contradictions. My goal is to identify the eyewitnesses to suspicious activity in the TSBD windows and try to make sense of that collective record. I don't have any illusions about being able to reconcile all the contradictions that exist among all those on record across Dealey Plaza. This is not to lessen your point, but simply to state that I have intentionally kept my focus limited to this set of witnesses. Heeding the advice of the great Dr. Leo Marvin, baby steps.

Regarding my conclusions, they are indeed mine. They are not unassailable, and I do not wish to present them as fact. But I believe I will be able to support them as being the most logical conclusions to be drawn from the collection of eyewitnesses to those windows. Finding the time to write it up and post it is another matter, but I am working on it.

There has been much discussion about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Rightly so, as it’s proven to be imperfect. I submit “imperfect” is a more apt description than the oft employed “unreliable.” But perhaps that is splitting hairs. Is there any data on the reliability of earwitness testimony? Has it proven to be more accurate than eyewitness testimony? Less accurate? About the same? We have so much of it in this case that this seems like a relevant question. Regarding witnesses who heard shots originating from the west (knolls, fence, overpass, etc), I have no doubt they are correct. I think shots originated both from in front of Kennedy and behind. 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Challenging assumptions is kind of what we do, right? Perhaps I will learn something along the way that will change my mind. That would mean progress and a better understanding of what really happened. For now, I think there was much afoot on the fifth floor.

Baby Steps.png

Edited by Greg Wagner
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Thanks Greg,

Many people don't trust Mary Hollies as a witness then and later.  Where that info came from was:

Mary Hollies: The girl in the window

For a number of years the Sixth Floor Museum has conducted an oral history project that interviews individuals and lets them explain how the JFK assassination affected their lives. In January 2011 the museum posted a conversation with Mary Hollies. Ms. Hollies was a young French Canadian that travelled from Montreal and landed a job in the Texas School Book Depository as an underpaid, inventory stock clerk with the Scott Foresman Company in June, 1963.

Hope that helps.  My own conclusions are that there was no shooting from the Sniper's Nest or the fifth floor.  Possible exception could be shooting from the west end of the building which a witness or witnesses saw a man with a rifle.

She claimed she was on the fifth floor with Alice Foster, a friend or fellow worker.  That makes Jack Daughtery, Bonnie Ray Williams, Harold Norman, and Jr. Jarman.   There was other people there according to witnesses on the street.  Kind of crowded for an assassination.

 

Edited by John Butler
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