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THE BAD BOYS OF OAK CLIFF -- PART II


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THE MARKHAM BOYS
 

Two of Mrs. Markham's children, sons William and James come to light when researching this murder.
William was interviewed by Mark Lane sometime during June-July 1964 and did what he could to destroy his mother's credibility. He told Lane that " she lied on many occasions, even to members of her immediate family". (CD 1379, pg. 4 )
Such condemnation from her own flesh and blood would seem to cast doubt on anything Mrs. Markham might say, including who she REALLY saw kill Officer Tippit.
When it came to the Markham boys, the apple apparently didn't fall far from the tree. William told Lane that "he had no first hand knowledge.....of the shooting of Dallas Police Officer Tippit.....that he had never known Tippit....and at the time of the murder he was in Norfolk, Virginia and did not return to Dallas until May 7, 1964." (ibid., pg. 4-5)

 

But on August 18, 1964, William was interviewed by the FBI on another matter and said that "around October and November 1963, he was sharing an apartment on the second floor of the Monte Leon Apartment House located at 221 Lancaster St., Dallas, Texas." ( CD 1518, pg. 80 ) 
 

The point is that he lied to Mark Lane about his whereabouts. He wasn't in Norfolk Virginia until May 1964, he was in Dallas. How much of what he told Lane was the truth and how much was a lie ? Or was it all a lie ?
Did he really have no knowledge about Tippit's murder and about knowing Tippit or was that a lie also ? 

 

Not to be outdone, the other brother James, was not only a xxxx but had a criminal record to boot. 
In 1959, at the age of 16, James Markham spent a month incarcerated at the juvenile facility at Gatesville, Texas for burglary and escape. (CD 1456, pg. 4)
In 1962, he spent 14 months at the adult correctional facility at Huntsville, Texas, again for burglary. He was paroled on August 23, 1963 and was out of jail when Tippit was murdered. ( ibid. )

jmarkham-record.png
James Markham had a reputation as a troublemaker. He was barred from the Oak Cliff Bowling Lanes, a hangout for teenagers in the area, due to his "previous misconduct." (CD 1518, pg. 84 )
Another place the young people liked to hang out was the Texas Theater. There's no evidence that James Markham was barred from there.

JAMES MARKHAM, "JERRY TOLLIVER" AND "OZZIE"
 

In August, 1964, James Markham was interviewed by the FBI in regard to his claim that he met Lee Harvey Oswald through a man he called Jerry Tolliver. Markham was in the Dallas County jail awaiting trial for burglary and having been arrested on a warrant for violating his parole.
Markham told the FBI that two weeks before the assassination, he was introduced to a "Jerry Tolliver" by an unknown person at the Oak Cliff Bowling Lanes on Jefferson Ave..  He described "Tolliver" as being 27-28 years old, 5'9" tall, 170 lbs with black thinning hair and looking like a weight-lifting type.
Three days after this introduction, Markham was on his way to the Oak Cliff Grille when a car pulled up with "Tolliver" at the wheel. Markham could not remember the make model or year of the car. Tolliver had a passenger, a man they referred to as "Ozzie" and Tolliver offered Markham a ride. They dropped Markham off at the Grille.

 

Four days after this ride, he ran into "Ozzie" at Kidd Springs Park in Oak Cliff while he was fishing. They spoke for a while and then "Ozzie" left.
He next ran into "Ozzie" at a party at his brother William's apartment two days later. He claimed that "Ozzie" was in a car in the parking lot with three other young men whom he had never met before, whose names he did not know and whom he had not seen since. They spoke for a hour and then the car with "Ozzie" left. He said "Ozzie" was not driving, but because of his intoxicated state, he could not remember who was driving.
The next day, he went to the Texas Theater to see a picture whose name he could not remember, where  he again ran into "Ozzie" and "Tolliver". They watched the movie together then walked to the Beckley Club on Jefferson and stood around drinking soda and talking. It was here that "Ozzie" started talking about killing the President. Although Markham invited them to his mother's house, they ended up splitting up on the way there with Markham going home and "Tolliver" and "Ozzie" going in another direction.

 

After the assassination, he recognized Lee Harvey Oswald as the man referred to as "Ozzie".
 

So why did it take him almost a year to report this ?
 

Because the whole story was a lie. The timeline, beginning two weeks before the assassination, was within the time Oswald had rented a room at 1026 North Beckley. The housekeeper there, Mrs. Earlene Roberts, testified that when Oswald came home from work, he never left his room. ( 6 H 437 )
And his weekends were spent in Irving with his kids.

 

The FBI searched for "Tolliver". Their search involved the water department, gas & electric, credit bureaus and even the selective service bureau without success. They asked Mrs. Markham, William Markham and the folks at the Oak Cliff Bowling Alley.
 

No one ever heard of Jerry Tolliver.
 

They got three hits from the Texas Department of Public Safety, when they searched the driver database. Two of those lived too far from Dallas to be THE Tolliver and the third did not match the description they got from Markham.
 

Based on the evidence we can assume that "Tolliver" and "Ozzie" were fictitious names. James Markham at the time was in deep trouble and heading back to prison. I believe that he was trying to make a "deal" and using real encounters with people he knew and just substituting their names with "Tolliver" and "Ozzie" in an attempt to stay out of prison.
One person described James Markham as "one who is not beyond fabricating a story in order to benefit himself for some unknown ulterior motive." ( CD 1518, pg. 84 )

 

And there were two more young criminals who hung out with James Markham and who I suspect could have been candidates for "Tolliver" and "Ozzie".

ALIAS SMITH AND BURT
 

Two more troubled youth come up in this research as "witnesses", William Arthur Smith and Jimmy Earl Burt. Like Mrs. Markham, these guys give different accounts of what happened that day, where they were, how they got to the scene and what they did after the shooting.
 

First, William Smith. The FBI interviewed Smith on December 12, 1963 at his brother in-law's house. He told them that he was in the area of the shooting to visit a friend, Jimmy Burt, who was living at 505 East 10th St. He said he wasn't sure if Burt saw the shooting because he got to Burt's house before Burt did.
In fact, during his testimony Smith made no mention of Burt's presence or anything Burt claimed to have done.

tippit-smith.jpg
 
Smith further stated that he "immediately went up to talk to Mrs. Markham, a neighbor of his". Yet Mrs. Markham, for all her versions of the shooting, makes no mention of this neighbor "talking" to her.

In his Warren Commission testimony, Smith was asked if he ran up to Mrs. Markham to talk to her. His response was, "No sir, she talks to me " ( 7 H 84 )

Smith told the Commission that  he did not pursue the shooter. (ibid.)

Smith also testified that he was there for about 45 minutes. ( ibid.)

And that he never told police what he saw because he was on two years probation for auto theft and he was afraid that being a witness to a policeman's murder might get him in trouble. ( ????? )

And that he had a conversation with about the shooting with none other than James Markham. ( ibid.)
 

Jimmy Burt was no less suspicious in his version of events. He told the FBI that he and his friend William Smith were sitting in his brother Billy Burt's house located at the corner of 9th and Denver Sts. in Dallas. They heard the shots, jumped in his 1952 two-tone blue ford and drove down to 10th St. Where they saw the Officer lying in the street.

tippit_burt.jpg
 
Burt said that he parked his car in front of the police car on the same side of the street facing west (front end-to front end). 
But there is a problem with this part of his story. Dallas Police Sgt. Pete Barnes took the photos of the Tippit murder scene. He testified that he arrived around 1:40 and started taking photos within 5 or 10 mins. of his arrival. ( 7 H 273 )
Smith testified that they were there 45 minutes. If Tippit was killed at 1:15, they should have been there until 2pm.

Yet Burt's car is not in the crime scene photographs.

no-burt-car.jpg
 
Kinda reminds me of the brown paper gunsack.

Burt said the man ran south on Patton Ave. and he ran up to the intersection of 10th and Patton just in time to see the man turn into the alley between 10th and Jefferson running west.
 
He said that he and Smith "returned to the site of the shooting", implying that Smith was with him.

 

In February 1968, Burt gave an interview with Al Chapman at which time he gave a different version of what happened. This time he said he and Smith were at 505 East 10th and saw the shooting from there and "ran down" the street.
 

Burt told Chapman that he had known Tippit for 3 or 4 years, something he never told the FBI.
 

This time, he told Chapman that he and Smith both ran down Patton to the alley and saw the killer heading west. In this version, he tells Chapman that someone said the shooter was at the library on Jefferson so they followed the crowd down there.

CONCLUSION
 

I understand that other alternatives to the Oswald-did-it scenario have been presented in the past. One such alternative has Tippit in an affair with a married woman and her husband doing the killing.
I don't buy it because even if the affair was true, the husband couldn't have possibly known where Tippit would be.
He would have had to have known that Tippit was outside his patrol sector and that he had been dispatched to that area at the last minute.

 

And there's no evidence of that.
 

I believe that the killer was from the neighborhood. I believe that Helen Markham recognized him and that the proof that he was still at large after Oswald's arrest was the attempted murder of Warren Reynolds.
Witnesses may differ in the details they observe. Some may have seen the gun and can describe it, others the shooter's clothing and some the way he walks or talks.
But these guys' basic stories are so different, it's hard to determine what they saw or did. 
The evidence indicates that these people were pathological XXXXX and thus their credibility is nil.

 

Where did they start from ?
How did they get there ?
Did Burt run up to the intersection of Patton Ave. and 10th St. or did he run down Patton Ave. to the alley ?
How could William Smith run up to Mrs. Markham and be running south on Patton Ave. with Jimmy Burt at the same time ?
Why didn't Smith mention being together with Burt when the FBI interviewed him ?
Why isn't Burt's car in the crime scene photographs if they were there for 45 minutes as Smith testified ?

 

Did one of them pull the trigger and the other one happen onto the scene and told "the killer to just go" like Mrs. Clemons said ?
Could the "man with the gun" have simply taken the gun and the jacket from the killer and told him to get going", then run south on Patton Ave to the alley and throw both under that '55 Oldsmobile in the parking lot behind the gas station ?

 

All of the witnesses who saw the "man with the gun" after the shooting gave NO description of him, other than to say he was a white man.
Could one of these guys have killed Tippit or have seen the killer and knew him ?

 

And where was James Markham when Tippit was killed ?
 

What was it that Mrs. Markham didn't want to see so badly that she brought her hands up to cover her eyes ?
Both of these guys described the killer as 5'7" or 5'8", James Markham was 5'9".
If James Markham was caught in possession of a handgun, it would have been a violation of his parole and sent him back to prison.

 

The same goes for Smith. He was on probation and getting caught with a firearm would have been a violation of his probation.
 

Burt was AWOL from Fort Hood. He was looking at a year in the brig if apprehended with a firearm.
 

Could this have been the motive for killing J.D. Tippit ?
 

The final shot to Tippit's right temple tells me that he knew his killer. With witnesses close by, the killer could not take the chance that Tippit would utter his name before he died.
 

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any record that Tippit had arrested any of these individuals prior. I've laid the groundwork and I'm hoping some future researcher will take this football and run with it. We may find Tippit's killer if we can connect any of these guys with a prior arrest by him.

In his interview with Al Chapman, Jimmy Burt admitted knowing Tippit for 3 or 4 years.
Too bad Chapman didn't ask him how he knew Tippit.

 

But if these guys weren't involved in the murder, I believe they knew who was. Their changing stories and their criminal records make them less than credible witnesses.
In my opinion, they should be considered "persons of interest ".

 

Then there's the testimony of William Smith that he talked about the Tippit murder with James Markham. 
The Commission never asked any questions about that conversation.
Not one.

When a man's guilt is determined by the President of the United States ( " you have your man, the investigation's over " ) there is no justice.
 

On July 24, 1964 the Dallas Police came to Helen Markham's house to arrest James on a burglary charge. James Markham went into the bathroom and closed the door. The police report stated that they heard a noise, rushed into the bathroom and found that James had jumped out the second floor window and was lying on the concrete driveway, 20 feet below.
He was rushed to Parkland Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. While they were at the house, Mrs. Markham gave police all sorts of items that she said James had stolen. ( CD 1379, pg. 5 )

 

And yet, she knew the items were stolen and never reported it to police.
 

I mention this only because if she wouldn't turn her son in for stealing, I doubt she would have turned him in if she saw him murder someone. More than likely she would have reluctantly "fingered" someone she never saw before rather than see one of  her sons go to the electric chair.
When he recovered, James Markham would later claim that a Dallas Police officer pushed him out the window.

 

Because he could have died from that fall, one has to wonder if this was an attempt at "payback" for the Tippit killing.
 

Edited by Gil Jesus
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Interesting Gil. 

Strong points of locals theory:

--Jimmy Burt's car is placed at the scene of the crime within ca. 0-4 minutes of the Tippit killing (Jimmy Burt orig. FBI statement; Frank Wright), or at the time of the Tippit killing itself (woman witness on 10th St. hearsay). (Since Frank Wright, high quality witness, saw Jimmy Burt's car drive off quickly, within a small number of minutes or seconds after Tippit was shot, this would be well before Barnes arrived around 1:40 and photos taken at that time. The "45 minutes" of William Smith cannot refer to the length of time Jimmy Burt's car was there.)

-- Jimmy Burt's car's unusual way of being stopped on the same side as the Tippit cruiser, south side of 10th, but facing in the wrong direction (Frank Wright; Jimmy Burt), and the 10th St. woman witness's positioning of the Jimmy Burt car stopped on the east of Tippit's car (not west as Frank Wright thought) suggests the possibility that Jimmy Burt car could be what prompted Tippit's stop in the first place. Witnesses however said the shooter was a person already on foot. Was Jimmy Burt connected to the shooter, someone he knew?   

Weaker points:

-- not clear why either Jimmy Burt, William Smith, or James Markham et al of the neighborhood would impulsively kill a police officer simply for being stopped and questioned. If evasion of arrest was the issue, would not simply running away instead of talking through the window to Tippit have been simpler, not to mention more rational, than the utter seriousness of killing a police officer dead in broad daylight with people around? Looks more like Tippit went into an ambush and it was a professional hit, an execution. But with Jimmy Burt's car and Jimmy Burt there, and the possible reason for the stop, the obvious question is whether Jimmy Burt had something to do with it. Questions, questions...

-- although coincidence in the timing is remotely possible, it is a stretch to most people to consider the Tippit killing, with the killer seen running in the direction of where several blocks in that same direction the most person of interest in the JFK assassination was arrested minutes later, at a location far from the scene of the JFK assassination--to be unrelated to the JFK assassination which occurred less than sixty minutes earlier. 

(Note Gil, the Acquila Clemons witness account is a total red herring here, she was not describing what she saw on 10th Street at Tippit's cruiser but rather from a vantage point standing at the northwest corner of 10th and Patton looking at the fleeing gunman running south on Patton, describing an interaction she saw between Callaway and the gunman. Callaway shouting loudly across the street, "Hey man, what's GOING ON?" Acquila saw this and described seeing and hearing a tall man, who was Callaway, saying to the killer, "GO ON!" She was hearing Callaway when Callaway shouted "hey man, what's GOING ON?". But that was on Patton, not 10th, nothing to do with the location of Tippit on 10th. See my opening one on the Acquila Clemons thread.)  

 

Edited by Greg Doudna
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