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What did Fritz and Decker talk about?

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At approximately 1:22 on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, the police found a rifle on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

Shortly after that, TSBD Superintendant, Roy Truly and DPD Deputy Chief, Charles Lumpkin approached DPD Homicide and Robbery Bureau Captain, Will Fritz and told him that there was an employee missing from the TSBD and that he lived in Irving, TX.

Will Fritz dropped everything and went tearing after this man.



Mr. BALL. Another witness has testified that the rifle was found at 1:22 p.m., does that about accord with your figures or your memory?
Mr. FRITZ. Let's see, I might have that here. I don't think I have that time.

Mr. FRITZ. After he told me about this man almost, I left immediately after he told me that.
Mr. BALL. You left almost immediately after he told you that?

Mr. FRITZ. Almost after he told me that man, I felt it important to hold that man.
Mr. BALL. Did you give descriptions to Sims and Boyd?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I told them to drive me to city hall and see if the man had a criminal record and we picked up two other officers and
my intentions were to go to the house at Irving.


Fritz was hot to trot. He was going to lead this chase himself. He was going to get this man, and was headed off to Irving to do it. As he was heading down the stairs, Fritz was also informed that a fellow police officer had been shot in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.


When he got to the bottom of the stairs, a curious little incident occurred. Fritz was informed that Dallas County Sheriff, Bill Decker wanted to talk to him.

Detectives Richard Sims and Elmer Boyd had been with Fritz all morning. He diverted from his plan to go to Irving right then, and he took Sims and Boyd over to Deckers's office just down the street from the TSBD.

Fritz went in to talk to Decker, but he did so alone. Sims and Boyd stayed out in the hall.


While they were in Decker's office, the three policemen learned that a man had been arrested for the shooting of Officer Tippit.


I don't know what Decker told Fritz, but from that moment on, everything changed. Fritz abandoned his plan to go to Irving and sent other officers instead.




Mr. SIMS. Captain Fritz went over and talked to Sheriff Decker. He sent word he wanted to talk to Captain Fritz, so we talked to the sheriff and then we went to the city hall.
Mr. BALL. Where was Decker when he said he wanted to talk to Fritz?
Mr. SIMS. Well, I didn't go inside the sheriff's office--I stayed out in the corridor there.
Mr. BALL. The sheriff's office is just a half a block from the Texas School Depository Building?




Mr. BALL. And what did you do then?
Mr. BOYD. We started to go over there and when we got downstairs, like I said, someone told Captain Fritz that Sheriff Decker wanted to see him a minute before he left, and Ave went in there and while we were in there we learned that the man that had shot Officer Tippit, we thought was the man, was on his way up to our office and Captain Fritz wanted to go by there and we carried him there.
Mr. BALL. You were in Decker's office when you heard that a man had been arrested for the murder of Tippit?
Mr. BOYD. Yes; we heard about Tippit getting shot when we were up on the sixth floor.
Mr. BALL. Then, Fritz told you to go to Irving, didn't he?

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir; we started to Irving.
Mr. BALL. Where were you when you heard the man had been arrested, the suspect for the murder of Tippit?
Mr. BOYD. Well, I think we was still in the Texas Book Depository when we heard about him being arrested over there.
Mr. BALL. Did you go to Decker's office with Fritz?
Mr. BOYD. Yes sir.
Mr. BALL. And then you went with Fritz up to your office?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. And did Fritz send somebody else out to Irving, or do you remember?
Mr. BOYD. I think later on, I believe, he sent someone else out there.

Mr. BALL. Now, you instructed some other officers to go to Irving, didn't you?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I did.

Police Officers Adamcik (7H202), Rose (7H227) and Stovall (7H186) are unanimous in saying that Captain Fritz dispatched them to Irving at 2:30 PM. They are also unanimous in saying that when they arrived at this address, they had to wait for 35-40 minutes for the Deputy Sheriffs to arrive since Irving was outside their jurisdiction.

In his after-action report filed with Chief Curry https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth190145/m1/1/?q=Rose

Guy Rose wrote that after the Deputies showed up, they arrived at the front door at 3:30PM.

When Bill Decker arrived for his testimony to the Warren Commission, he was carrying his case file against the man who shot President Kennedy.

Sheriff Decker's file on the assassination, given to the Warren Commission list the assailant's name as "Harvey Lee Oswald"

(12H51) (CE 5323) Deposition of Sheriff Decker dark brown heavy folder with a label on the outside: Harvey Lee Oswald.

At 2:40 PM, W.E. Potts, B.L. Senkel and Lt. E.L. Cunningham were dispatched to 1026 N. Beckley. Potts wrote in his after-action report https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338564/m1/1/?q=Potts

that after he finished taking some affidavits, Fritz dispatched them to the Beckely St address at 2:40 and they arrived at Beckley at 3:00PM.

Detective B.L. Senkel also said in his after action report (Dallas Police Archives Box 3, Folder# 12, Item#1) that they arrived at 1026 N. Beckley at 3:00PM.

Walter E. Potts, Billy L. Senkel and Fay M. Turner were Detectives in Will Fritz's Homicide Bureau.

Lt. Elmo L. Cunningham was a lieutenant in the Forgery Bureau. Both Bureaus were part of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Batchelor's Exhibit 5002 (19H)


According to Will Fritz, someone, whose name he could not remember gave him Oswald's Beckley address before he began interrogating Oswald:
WC testimony of Will Fritz (4H207)

Mr. FRITZ. When I started to talk to this prisoner or maybe just before I started to talk to him, some officer told me outside of my office that he had a room on Beckley, I don't know who that officer was, I think we can find out, I have since I have talked to you this morning I have talked to Lieutenant Baker and he says I know maybe who that officer was, but I am not sure yet.


Potts and Senkel were dispatched to Beckley, but when they got there, they were asking for a man named Harvey Lee Oswald.

WC testimony of Earlene Roberts April 8, 1964



Mr. BALL. Do you remember the day the President was shot?
Mrs. ROBERTS. Yes; I remember it---who would forget that?
Mr. BALL. And the police officers came out there?
Mrs. ROBERTS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember what they said?
Well, it was Will Fritz' men---it was plainclothesmen and I was at the back doing something and Mr. Johnson answered the door and they identified themselves and then he called me.
Mr. BALL. What did they say?
Mrs. ROBERTS. Well, they asked him if there was a
Harvey Lee Oswald there.
Mr. BALL. What did he say?
Mrs. ROBERTS. And he says, "I don't know, I'll have to call the housekeeper," and he called me and I went and got the books and I said, "No; there's no one here by that name," and they tried to make me remember and I couldn't, and Mrs. Johnson come in in the meantime and there wasn't nobody there by that name, and Mrs. Johnson said, "Mrs. Roberts, don't you have him?" And, I said, "No; we don't, for here is my book and there is nobody there by that name." We checked it back a year.
Mr. BALL. And you didn't have that name you didn't ever know his name was Lee Oswald?
Mrs. ROBERTS. No---he registered as O. H. Lee and they were asking for
Harvey Lee Oswald.


The men of the Homicide and Robbery Bureau in Dalls were noted in the City for wearing those white Stetsons. You've seen pictures of them escorting Oswald around City Hall and also on the morning of the 24th when Oswald was shot.

Earlene Roberts was astute enough to know that she was dealing with Will Fritz's men.


Did Fritz make up the story about an officer telling him out in the hall before he went in to interview Oswald the first time that Oswald lived on Beckley? Did he get the name Harvey Lee Oswald and that he lived on Beckley from Decker when he stopped in to see Decker on his way back from the TSBD?


Mr. FRITZ. He was at the station when we got there, you know.
Mr. BALL. He was?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; so then I talked to him and I asked him where his room was on Beckley.


Steve Thomas



Edited by Steve Thomas
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