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In Oak Cliff: one shooter, one accomplice, no automatic, no Oswald

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On 10/26/2023 at 6:29 AM, Michael Kalin said:

Carrying through in this thread, Markham's description of the man in the pickup truck -- she thought "he had a hat on" and "was a policeman" -- may raise a few eyebrows at first glance. But there's a solid candidate at the scene who wore the requisite hat -- Scoggins. Attached is a photo from Jack Myers' article at Kennedys & King, "Why Officer Tippit Stopped His Killer."

The implication is Scoggins grabbed Tippit's gun and joined Benavides in his truck in pursuit of the actual killer at some point soon after the murder. This is not described in his numerous DPD/FBI/SS statements & WC testimony, but evaluation is hampered by continual references to supporting documents that do not exist. At least I can't find them. All relate to the cab company that employed Scoggins, known as either City Transportation Company of Dallas or Oak Cliff Cab Company. The latter may be a subsidiary of the former.

Missing cab company records/documents:

1. radio log
2. phone log
3. witness statement
4. trip manifest

Note: Whaley's trip manifest was furnished to the FBI. Why not Scoggins'?


It would be interesting to see if Scoggins did any more work that day.  Or was he with the cops?

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On 10/31/2023 at 12:08 PM, Donald Willis said:

It would be interesting to see if Scoggins did any more work that day.  Or was he with the cops?

The trip manifest might also clarify the time when Scoggins dropped off the passenger at 321 N. Ewing. 1PM is too late according to his tale of events that preceded the shooting, which evidence a remarkable command of details relative to the discharge. By way of comparison his various accounts of the cab chase are so fuzzy as to defy belief.

321 N. Ewing is interesting for another reason. It is the apartment building where Harry Olsen & Kay Coleman resided. Johnny Brewer lived close by at 512 N. Lancaster.

My long held suspicion is that Scoggins picked up Olsen at the apartment and drove him to the crime scene, but research has failed to produce substantiation.

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  • 1 month later...

No need to look past 11/22/63 for confusion concerning Markham's observations that day. Along with two inconsistent statements there were fainting episodes, smelling salts and a visit to the showup room after which Graves & Leavelle drove her home. Both subsequently filed reports, but you won't find in either a reference to Odum's same day FBI interview.

First her DPD affidavit taken by Detective Graves about 3PM:


At approximately 1:06PM, November 22, 1963--I was standing on the corner of E. 10th and Patton Street waiting for the traffic to go by when I saw a squad car stop in front of 404 E. 10th about 50 feet from where I was standing. I saw a young white man walk up to the squad car opposite the driver's side, lean over & put his arms on the door of the car for a few seconds, then straighten up and step back from the car two or three feet. At this point the officer got out of the squad car and started around in front of the car and just as he got even with the left front wheel this young white man shot the officer and the officer fell to the pavement. I screamed and the young man ran west on E. 10th across Patton Street and went out of sight.

This is the foundation document of Leavelle's tight case. Not much in it, but framing is facilitated by taking a bare bones approach, keeping a heavy lid on anything that might have exculpatory ramifications. Nevertheless, complications set in quickly, perhaps beginning with the FBI's bald-faced banishment of Bowley from the mise-en-scene, but this is preceded by Odum's seemingly zany FBI report:


MRS. HELEN MARKHAM, residence 328 E. 9th Street, employed as a waitress at the Eatwell Cafe, Main Street, Dallas, furnished the following information:

On the early afternoon of November 22, 1963, possibly around 1:30 p.m., she observed a marked Dallas Police Department patrol car parked in the 400 block of East 10th Street. She saw a young man walk from the sidewalk to the squad car and put his face up to the front window on the right-hand side of the car which was next to the curb and engage the officer in a brief conversation of about ten seconds. Thereafter, the officer got out the left-hand door, drivers side of the car, walked around behind the squad car and on rounding the corner of the car was shot twice in the head by the young man.

MRS. MARKHAM immediately ran out to car and was afraid that this young man might shoot her, but felt that she must go to the aid of the officer. The young man ran west on 10th Street to the corner, turned south and disappeared. 

MRS. MARKHAM stated that she is sure she can identify him and described him as a white male, about 18, black hair, red complexion, wearing black shoes, tan jacket, and dark trousers.

I don't think the exact time of Odum's interview is known, but this event is seldom discussed. It may have occurred simultaneously at DPD HQ with Graves' interview, but it would be startling that the same interview produced radically differing accounts.

The big mystery is where Odum got the idea that the murder occurred "behind the squad car." Markham was rattled that day, but she gave the correct location to Graves.

Or did she? From Donald's original comment at the top of this thread:


And for Mrs M to have thought that Scoggins was the killer, she must have--as I've already suggested--got to the Tippit scene a bit later than she testified that she did.  Late enough so that the first thing she saw, maybe, was Scoggins looking in the car window to see what he could see, then going to the street in front of the cab and picking up Tippit's pistol.

Graves knew the murder had occurred "even with the left front wheel" and dictated that location into Markham's affidavit. Odum may not have known this, instead deducing the wrong location from Markham's untidy observations relative to Scoggins (wearing a hat) or someone else who might have been taken for a policeman.

Edited by Michael Kalin
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1 hour ago, Michael Kalin said:

The big mystery is where Odum got the idea that the murder occurred "behind the squad car."

Perhaps "walked around behind the squad car" is (very) awkwardly reflecting Mrs. Markham's POV?

Incidentally, the description of the shooter's jacket as "tan" in the Odum report => NB.

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14 hours ago, Alan Ford said:

Perhaps "walked around behind the squad car" is (very) awkwardly reflecting Mrs. Markham's POV?

I suppose it could have reflected her POV, not sure about this.

The "black hair, red complexion, wearing black shoes" is more interesting, not just to me. Ball was familiar with Odum's report.


Mr. BALL. On the 22d of November, 1963, that is the day of the shooting, did you talk to an FBI agent named Odum? Do you remember?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I talked to some people, men, down at the police station.
Mr. BALL. That is right. He says that you described the man who shot Tippit as a white male, about 18, black hair, red complexion, wearing black shoes, tan jacket, and dark trousers. Do you remember that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I never said anything about his shoes because I never did look at his feet.
Mr. BALL. Did you say about 18?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I said he was young looking.
Mr. BALL. Did you give that age, 18?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, I don't believe I did.
Mr. BALL. Did you say he had black hair?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. You thought he was black-haired?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, that is what I told him. I thought he was black-haired. I remember saying that.
Mr. BALL. Red complexion?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, not red complexioned.

Not bad, getting her to recant on two attributes, but the WC struggled with her 3/2/64 phone interview with Mark Lane, much too complicated to summarize quickly. Leaving aside the much-discussed physical characteristics (short, heavy, bushy hair), this item might raise an eyebrow or two:


M: Yes. I tried to call in on the radio for help.
L: Oh, and did you call in on the radio?
M: I tried to.
L: And what happened?
M: Well, I just didn't know how. I was in hysterics and screaming. They heard me screaming and crying.
WH20_Markham_Ex_1 [p.14]

LOL -- Benavides, Markham, why not Scoggins? He probably knew how to use it.

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