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The Finding of the Sniper's Nest


Alan Ford

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Friends, imagine you are with someone who has absolutely no knowledge of the case. You are patiently taking them through the basic known sequence of events.

You come to this bit:

"Okay, so several eyewitnesses tell police officers right after the shooting that they saw where the shots came from. They point up at the southeasternmost window on the sixth floor"

A little later you open Reclaiming History and let Mr. Bugliosi (or whoever wrote this bit) do the talking:

"1:06 p.m. [...] 

"On the sixth floor below, Dallas police officers and deputy sheriffs are systematically searching the entire floor—from the cleared space on the west side, where the new flooring is going down, toward the stacks of boxes that have been piled into rows on the east side.

"Deputy Luke Mooney is near the southeastern corner of the floor when he whistles loudly and hollers to his fellow officers. He’s inside the sniper’s nest [...]"

Your listener interrupts you: "Wait a second, how in the heck does it take the cops a good half an hour to discover what they already know?"

You smile knowingly and explain to them that-------------------------------

Actually, what do you explain to them?

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37 minutes ago, Alan Ford said:

Friends, imagine you are with someone who has absolutely no knowledge of the case. You are patiently taking them through the basic known sequence of events.

You come to this bit:

"Okay, so several eyewitnesses tell police officers right after the shooting that they saw where the shots came from. They point up at the southeasternmost window on the sixth floor"

A little later you open Reclaiming History and let Mr. Bugliosi (or whoever wrote this bit) do the talking:

"1:06 p.m. [...] 

"On the sixth floor below, Dallas police officers and deputy sheriffs are systematically searching the entire floor—from the cleared space on the west side, where the new flooring is going down, toward the stacks of boxes that have been piled into rows on the east side.

"Deputy Luke Mooney is near the southeastern corner of the floor when he whistles loudly and hollers to his fellow officers. He’s inside the sniper’s nest [...]"

Your listener interrupts you: "Wait a second, how in the heck does it take the cops a good half an hour to discover what they already know?"

You smile knowingly and explain to them that-------------------------------

Actually, what do you explain to them?

It's not really all that difficult. They ran into the building looking for a gunman. They didn't find a gunman. So then and only then they started combing through the boxes, looking for a crime scene. 

I would agree, however, that it could have and should have been handled better. Although those on the ground knew a sniper had been spotted on the sixth floor, there's no evidence indicating this was relayed to those searching the building. Also problematic, Mooney found the shells around 1:00, and yelled down to Fritz, but Fritz and his team either didn't hear him or ignored him, and didn't show up at the sniper's nest till 1:15. 

It's clear the boys were excited and thought they were gonna find the shooter in the building, and only got down to the business of collecting evidence after the excitement had subsided. 

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3 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

It's not really all that difficult. They ran into the building looking for a gunman. They didn't find a gunman. So then and only then they started combing through the boxes, looking for a crime scene. 

I would agree, however, that it could have and should have been handled better. Although those on the ground knew a sniper had been spotted on the sixth floor, there's no evidence indicating this was relayed to those searching the building. Also problematic, Mooney found the shells around 1:00, and yelled down to Fritz, but Fritz and his team either didn't hear him or ignored him, and didn't show up at the sniper's nest till 1:15. 

It's clear the boys were excited and thought they were gonna find the shooter in the building, and only got down to the business of collecting evidence after the excitement had subsided. 

Hmm.....  I find it quite a stretch that a good half an hour after the shooting not a single law enforcement person on the sixth floor had heard so much as a peep about that window. Are we really to believe that none of the officers on the ground had passed this information along? Or that, if it was passed along, no one thought to even check out that window? Doesn't wash IMO

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28 minutes ago, Alan Ford said:

Hmm.....  I find it quite a stretch that a good half an hour after the shooting not a single law enforcement person on the sixth floor had heard so much as a peep about that window. Are we really to believe that none of the officers on the ground had passed this information along? Or that, if it was passed along, no one thought to even check out that window? Doesn't wash IMO

I think it was Sawyer who was told about the window. He then stormed into the building, only to be taken to the top floor in the FRONT elevator by Shelley, which was the fourth floor, where they talked with some people.. I don't recall off-hand but it could be that Sawyer thought he'd visited the floor pointed out by Brennan and Euins. In any event, by the time they made it to the back elevator, where they could have went up to the sixth floor, they encountered Baker and Truly coming down from the roof, and were presumably told nobody was up there. So Sawyer came back down.That was ten minutes lost right there. 

Edited by Pat Speer
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4 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

I think it was Sawyer who was told about the window. He then stormed into the building, only to be taken to the top floor in the FRONT elevator by Shelley, which was the fourth floor, where they talked with some people.. I don't recall off-hand but it could be that Sawyer thought he'd visited the floor pointed out by Brennan and Euins. In any event, by the time they made it to the back elevator, where they could have went up to the sixth floor, they encountered Baker and Truly coming down from the roof, and were presumably told nobody was up there. So Sawyer came back down.That was ten minutes lost right there. 

Ah yes, Insp. Sawyer...................

Sawyer-Euins.jpg

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Let's read Mr. Bugliosi's words again:

"On the sixth floor below, Dallas police officers and deputy sheriffs are systematically searching the entire floor—from the cleared space on the west side, where the new flooring is going down, toward the stacks of boxes that have been piled into rows on the east side."

Gee, I wonder which window it might have been. Let's start this side and work our way systematically east. That way we'll come to that funny stack of boxes last. Fingers crossed we find something along the way..........

Sixth-floor-from-west.jpg

Does anyone think a good half an hour passed before anyone in law enforcement thought it might be an idea to take a look just behind the stockade fence on the grassy knoll? I don't think so!

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5 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

I think it was Sawyer who was told about the window. He then stormed into the building, only to be taken to the top floor in the FRONT elevator by Shelley, which was the fourth floor, where they talked with some people.. I don't recall off-hand but it could be that Sawyer thought he'd visited the floor pointed out by Brennan and Euins. In any event, by the time they made it to the back elevator, where they could have went up to the sixth floor, they encountered Baker and Truly coming down from the roof, and were presumably told nobody was up there. So Sawyer came back down.That was ten minutes lost right there. 

I have found that just about the least reliable source of information from Dealey was Insp. Sawyer, in his testimony. 

First, he testified that he went to the depository because he heard Sheriff Decker, at 12:30, invoke "Texas School Book Depository".  Wrong--check the DPD radio logs.  

Secondly--corrected by counsel, David Belin--he says that, yes, maybe he actually started to Dealey at 12:34, when the depository was first mentioned on the DPD radio.  Wrong again, because...

Thirdly, Sawyer testified that officers at the building told him they'd heard re shooting from the fifth floor, and he took an elevator up.  But the officers in question--apparently, Sgt. Harkness and Patrolman Hill--did not radio their data until, respectively, 12:36 and 12:37, when they then went down to the depository.  But even those times would be wrong, because...

Fourthly, (and this is quoted on this thread, above), Sawyer, at 12:45, radioed that he didn't know that the suspect had been in the building.  But Sawyer's entry into the building has to be pushed out even further, to no earlier than 12:50 or so, because...

Fifthly, the "couple of officers" with whom Sawyer says he entered the building--Sgt. Hill and Patrolman Valentine (testimony, Hill (v7p45)--were only radioing, at 12:48 (DPD radio logs), that they were "en route Elm &  Houston".  So, Sawyer was, initially, at least 20 minutes off, though, he had testified that he was down & out of the TSBD by 12:37! (v6p320)

As Claviger has said (on alt.assassination.jfk), Where the hell was Sawyer for those 20 minutes?  As also reported on the current thread, he was apparently, for at least part of that time, talking to a witness who saw someone run out of the depository, out the back apparently, someone who gave him the suspect description, radioed in by Sawyer at 12:44, the description generally, wrongly obviously, attributed to witness Howard Brennan, who was forced, never at all believably, to give a height and weight estimate of a suspect seen on an upper floor of the depository.  A suspect whom he thought was standing as he shot.  

Sixthly, Sawyer testified, with song and dance, that he did not get higher than the fourth floor of the building.  Highly unlikely, as another member of his search party, Valentine, later noted that he was "assigned to the fifth floor." (v25p914)

Seven, should you ask why Sawyer twisted himself into a pretzel to avoid saying that he got as high as the fifth floor, we go to his testimony re his 1:11 radio transmission, "We have found empty rifle hulls on the fifth floor." (v6p322) That's why.  

But wait--Eight:  Even that correct-sounding quote from Sawyer is wrong.  From "Pictures of the Pain (p523):   "On the third [sic] floor of this book company down here, we found empty rifle hulls."  (from Trask's transcription of an audio tape of the DPD radio logs.  See also the FBI transcription of the radio logs for that "3rd floor".)  (CE 1974p176)  Sawyer was testifying, falsely, in concert with Sgt. G.D. Henslee's transcription of the logs (Sawyer Exhibit B p400): "We have found empty rifle hulls on the fifth floor..."  The DPD apparently approved this invocation of the fifth floor rather than the third--because, as everyone knows, the fifth was often confused with the sixth, from the outside of the building.  So "fifth" could be brushed off as a harmless confusion of floors.  But "third", not so much.  Certainly, "third" could not be interpreted as "sixth", from any point of view or angle.  Although it could be interpreted as "third floor from the top", or... "fifth".  Well, it could...  Certainly, again, it's hard to believe that Sawyer could miscount the upper floors starting from the top.  ("Can you count to three?")  And if Sawyer, as has been shown, did not enter the depository until about 12:50, and achieved at least the fifth floor (if not also the sixth) in his search, then he just might have been there, in person, when the hulls were found.  And that "we" in "we found empty rifle hulls", then, is not just meaning "we the police", but "we" meaning himself and officers, such as Hill, Valentine, and Deputy Luke Mooney (who testified that the find was made just before one o'clock).  Or why would Sawyer testify, falsely, re: both the times and the floor numbers?

As I began this here, Sawyer's testimony is not to be trusted.  

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1 hour ago, Donald Willis said:

I have found that just about the least reliable source of information from Dealey was Insp. Sawyer, in his testimony. 

First, he testified that he went to the depository because he heard Sheriff Decker, at 12:30, invoke "Texas School Book Depository".  Wrong--check the DPD radio logs.  

Secondly--corrected by counsel, David Belin--he says that, yes, maybe he actually started to Dealey at 12:34, when the depository was first mentioned on the DPD radio.  Wrong again, because...

Thirdly, Sawyer testified that officers at the building told him they'd heard re shooting from the fifth floor, and he took an elevator up.  But the officers in question--apparently, Sgt. Harkness and Patrolman Hill--did not radio their data until, respectively, 12:36 and 12:37, when they then went down to the depository.  But even those times would be wrong, because...

Fourthly, (and this is quoted on this thread, above), Sawyer, at 12:45, radioed that he didn't know that the suspect had been in the building.  But Sawyer's entry into the building has to be pushed out even further, to no earlier than 12:50 or so, because...

Fifthly, the "couple of officers" with whom Sawyer says he entered the building--Sgt. Hill and Patrolman Valentine (testimony, Hill (v7p45)--were only radioing, at 12:48 (DPD radio logs), that they were "en route Elm &  Houston".  So, Sawyer was, initially, at least 20 minutes off, though, he had testified that he was down & out of the TSBD by 12:37! (v6p320)

As Claviger has said (on alt.assassination.jfk), Where the hell was Sawyer for those 20 minutes?  As also reported on the current thread, he was apparently, for at least part of that time, talking to a witness who saw someone run out of the depository, out the back apparently, someone who gave him the suspect description, radioed in by Sawyer at 12:44, the description generally, wrongly obviously, attributed to witness Howard Brennan, who was forced, never at all believably, to give a height and weight estimate of a suspect seen on an upper floor of the depository.  A suspect whom he thought was standing as he shot.  

Sixthly, Sawyer testified, with song and dance, that he did not get higher than the fourth floor of the building.  Highly unlikely, as another member of his search party, Valentine, later noted that he was "assigned to the fifth floor." (v25p914)

Seven, should you ask why Sawyer twisted himself into a pretzel to avoid saying that he got as high as the fifth floor, we go to his testimony re his 1:11 radio transmission, "We have found empty rifle hulls on the fifth floor." (v6p322) That's why.  

But wait--Eight:  Even that correct-sounding quote from Sawyer is wrong.  From "Pictures of the Pain (p523):   "On the third [sic] floor of this book company down here, we found empty rifle hulls."  (from Trask's transcription of an audio tape of the DPD radio logs.  See also the FBI transcription of the radio logs for that "3rd floor".)  (CE 1974p176)  Sawyer was testifying, falsely, in concert with Sgt. G.D. Henslee's transcription of the logs (Sawyer Exhibit B p400): "We have found empty rifle hulls on the fifth floor..."  The DPD apparently approved this invocation of the fifth floor rather than the third--because, as everyone knows, the fifth was often confused with the sixth, from the outside of the building.  So "fifth" could be brushed off as a harmless confusion of floors.  But "third", not so much.  Certainly, "third" could not be interpreted as "sixth", from any point of view or angle.  Although it could be interpreted as "third floor from the top", or... "fifth".  Well, it could...  Certainly, again, it's hard to believe that Sawyer could miscount the upper floors starting from the top.  ("Can you count to three?")  And if Sawyer, as has been shown, did not enter the depository until about 12:50, and achieved at least the fifth floor (if not also the sixth) in his search, then he just might have been there, in person, when the hulls were found.  And that "we" in "we found empty rifle hulls", then, is not just meaning "we the police", but "we" meaning himself and officers, such as Hill, Valentine, and Deputy Luke Mooney (who testified that the find was made just before one o'clock).  Or why would Sawyer testify, falsely, re: both the times and the floor numbers?

As I began this here, Sawyer's testimony is not to be trusted.  

Sawyer said he ran into the building and quickly came back out. He never named the officers who ran in with him. He was spotted furthermore by Baker as he came down from the roof. This was well before Hill and Valentine arrived on the scene. 

I don't understand why people are so gung ho to dismantle every bit of evidence, and call everyone a xxxx, when the "official" evidence suggests someone other than Oswald fired the fatal shots, and has always suggested as much.

It's like the WC said the earth was flat when the evidence said it was a sphere, and the CT community responded not by saying "Look again, it's a sphere" but by saying "Well all the evidence must be fake then!" 

The WC was a  magic show. The vast majority of witnesses told the truth. The vast majority of evidence was real. The spin-doctors (aka WC lawyers) just twisted it all into a pretzel, and sold it at the state fair. 

Edited by Pat Speer
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1 hour ago, Pat Speer said:

I don't understand why people are so gung ho to dismantle every bit of evidence, and call everyone a xxxx

All due respect, Mr. Speer, this is the kind of strawman argument Warren Gullibles routinely throw at you when you undertake your (often brilliant) micro-suspicioning of official evidence.

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37 minutes ago, Alan Ford said:

All due respect, Mr. Speer, this is the kind of strawman argument Warren Gullibles routinely throw at you when you undertake your (often brilliant) micro-suspicioning of official evidence.

Yes, I have a bias. I tend to accept witnesses when their statements ring true. 

In the case of Sawyer, he was one of the first cops on the scene, and yet his statements don't preclude that someone walked out of the building before he got there or after he went upstairs. 

I suppose I'm just a better criminal than most researchers, as I know what kind of lies work best. IF Sawyer said he got there in less than a minute, blocked off all the entrances and exits--including the western loading dock--within another minute or two, and then went straight up to the sniper's nest and verified the crime scene, he might deservedly arouse our suspicion. But he coughed up a sloppy story about going to the wrong floor, and forgetting the names of the people he spoke to, etc. This was the murder of a President. The one thing a cop doesn't want to do--especially a Dallas cop--is admit he was overwhelmed and not up to the challenge. And yet he basically admitted as much. It's like a teenager admitting he crapped his pants while watching a scary movie. It's not something someone wants others to know about. Sawyer could have made out that he was super-brave and on the ball. That he did not suggests his truthfulness.  

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3 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

Sawyer said he ran into the building and quickly came back out. He never named the officers who ran in with him. He was spotted furthermore by Baker as he came down from the roof. This was well before Hill and Valentine arrived on the scene. 

 

Yes, one cop will stick up for another one.  Sawyer also did not name the officers who said "fifth floor" and supposedly sent him upstairs as early as 12:34.  But, as I noted, they wouldn't have been in front of the building before about 12:37, so that was strike two as far as his "early" entrance into the building.  Strike three was admitting to the dispatcher, at 12:45, that he hadn't heard about any shooting from the depository.  And Baker would have been downstairs by that time, according to his testimony (v3p262).  Why would Sawyer go into the building if he had no idea that there had been shooting from there?  The timing was right--for both Sawyer and Hill--circa 12:50 for the Grand Entrance (finally!):  Hill & Valentine radioed at 12:48 they were on their way; the dispatcher had just informed Sawyer about shooting from the building... Kismet.

 

3 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

I don't understand why people are so gung ho to dismantle every bit of evidence, and call everyone a xxxx, when the "official" evidence suggests someone other than Oswald fired the fatal shots, and has always suggested as much.

It's like the WC said the earth was flat when the evidence said it was a sphere, and the CT community responded not by saying "Look again, it's a sphere" but by saying "Well all the evidence must be fake then!" 

The WC was a  magic show. The vast majority of witnesses told the truth. The vast majority of evidence was real. The spin-doctors (aka WC lawyers) just twisted it all into a pretzel, and sold it at the state fair. 

 

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9 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

I suppose I'm just a better criminal than most researchers, as I know what kind of lies work best. IF Sawyer said he got there in less than a minute, blocked off all the entrances and exits--including the western loading dock--within another minute or two, and then went straight up to the sniper's nest and verified the crime scene, he might deservedly arouse our suspicion. But he coughed up a sloppy story about going to the wrong floor, and forgetting the names of the people he spoke to, etc. This was the murder of a President. The one thing a cop doesn't want to do--especially a Dallas cop--is admit he was overwhelmed and not up to the challenge. And yet he basically admitted as much. It's like a teenager admitting he crapped his pants while watching a scary movie. It's not something someone wants others to know about. Sawyer could have made out that he was super-brave and on the ball. That he did not suggests his truthfulness.  

Does this suggest his truthfulness before the Warren Commission?

Sawyer-description-source.jpg

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8 hours ago, Donald Willis said:

Strike three was admitting to the dispatcher, at 12:45, that he hadn't heard about any shooting from the depository. 

Mr. Willis, I'm not sure that's the necessary import of his words:

Sawyer-building.jpg

If he's just been told of a man seen running from the TSBD carrying a rifle, he may wish to be careful not to assume that this man was the actual gunman. He could, for example, have been handed the weapon by the gunman (who may still be in the building). The weapon could even have been dropped out of a high window down to him. ("[R]un[ning] from the TSBD building" could mean running away from, not exiting at a run).

I don't think Insp. Sawyer's words indicate doubt as to the building itself as the source of the shots.

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6 hours ago, Alan Ford said:

Mr. Willis, I'm not sure that's the necessary import of his words:

Sawyer-building.jpg

If he's just been told of a man seen running from the TSBD carrying a rifle, he may wish to be careful not to assume that this man was the actual gunman. He could, for example, have been handed the weapon by the gunman (who may still be in the building). The weapon could even have been dropped out of a high window down to him. ("[R]un[ning] from the TSBD building" could mean running away from, not exiting at a run).

I don't think Insp. Sawyer's words indicate doubt as to the building itself as the source of the shots.

And yet Sawyer does not mention a possible source for his 12:44 suspect description, and about 5 minutes after the dispatcher informs him that they have reports of shooting from the 5th or 4th floor, Sawyer enters the building with Hill & Valentine, in search of the 4th & 5th floors.  Cause and effect.  Supposedly, about 12:38, he heard from two officers re the 5th floor, but a little later he had to be told that, rather than vice versa.  Again, supposedly, he heard from Brennan re the 5th or 6th floor, but we know now--from the resurfaced FBI dispatches--that the suspect description did not come from Brennan, but from an unknown witness outside the building, which would account for the absence of floor designations in the description.  Take away the latter from Brennan, and there's no DPD radio connection between Sawyer and Brennan.

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