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Oswald cap ride


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John Simkin posted somewhere a link about Dallas then and today. There was also

a map showing the way Oswalds took after the assasination. As I remember Oswald left the bus because due to traffic jam and took a cap instead, that means he must have been in a hurry. Now as you can see on the map attached, why did

he get out at Beckley/Neely and walked back to his rooming house? Why did he not order the cap to stop right in front of his room?

Edited by George Bollschweiler
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  • 10 months later...
One obvious possibilty: to stall law enforcement.

I know this thread is approaching its anniversary, but I just came across it. I think George raises a fascinating question that none of Lee Oswald's accusers have ever answered.

Mr. Gratz's answer herein, absent further explanation, sounds absurd. I suggest that Lee Oswald knew nothing about the assassination and that he absent-mindedly allowed the cabdriver to drive towards the Neely st. apartment where he used to live.

P.S. I second George's comments on another thread today where he thanks John Simkin for his heroic contribution to the forum.

Season's Greetings & Happy New Year to all.

Ray

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I suggest that Lee Oswald knew nothing about the assassination

Mrs. Robert Reid told Oswald before he left the building that the president had been shot.

When I say Lee Knew nothing about the assassination, I am referring to prior knowledge. Of course Lee knew there had been an assassination attempt. As you rightly point out , Ron, Mrs. Reid told him about the shooting, but her testimony makes it clear that she did not know if the President had been hit. Of course I learned about the shooting myself just a few minutes later, but I sincerely hope that does not make me a suspect.

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One obvious possibilty: to stall law enforcement.
It is a possibility, and it is obvious ... but seems sort of redundant, don't you think? I mean, it's not as if the cops would be hot on his trail, pulling the cab over a couple of blocks later and asking Whaley where he'd dropped off the fugitive, then having them race just a few blocks in the wrong direction ... all to what end? "Stalling" them for how long? Not very, it would seem to me.

I can imagine that he didn't tell Whaley to turn around and bring him to where he wanted to go because that would have raised the cab fare ... and when you're making $1.25 an hour, even 5¢ is a fair shake of money when you could save it just by walking about the same amount of time that it would take you to earn that nickel!

Why he would have passed it in the first place ... preoccupied with something? Counter-surveillence? Who's to say ...?

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... all to what end? "Stalling" them for how long? Not very, it would seem to me.

Trying to see things from Lee's point of view:

If Lee had an idea of what was going down, perhaps he thought that being on the run is a foolish thing, he may have wanted to get arrested.

Then the thing is to get arrested alive.

What does a movie theatre offer?

Everyone no doubt has had the experience of entering a dark movie theatre and having to allow the eyes to grow accustomed to the dark.

I imagine trained ops know this and in anticipation of entering a dark place can keep one eye closed prior to entering in order to already be prepared. Possibly Lee knew this and also knew that those coming after him did not.

Therefore someone who already is in a movie theatre has an advantage over those who follow. Lee in this case can see those coming before they can see him. He can choose his location/seat in relation to other patrons and have time to change it. He may realise that they will come looking for him with a flash light and therefore will need to get up close before being totally sure it's him. Which will mean that by then a number of witnesses will be looking at him, thus the hand of the police is stayed.

So, the 'stalling' necessary was only in the order of tens of minutes.

_________________

Another thing is the statements that Lee tried to use his gun. He saw what was coming in good time to shoot. He didn't shoot so he never meant to, never tried.

Basically it seems his actions were to thawrt those who set him up.

________________

(On his forehead/temple area is a bruise the shape of half a rifle stock. This could have been fatal.

This could also transfer residue to his face that paraffin tests may detect.?)

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_________________

He didn't shoot so he never meant to, never tried.

________________

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

John,

I think I read somewhere that Oswald did try to shoot a policeman (McDonald?) who was trying to arrest him in the theater, but the firing pin of his .38 revolver was defective so his gun didn't fire. Maybe I'm wrong.

FWIW, Thomas

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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I think I read somewhere that Oswald did try to shoot a policeman (McDonald?) who was trying to arrest him in the theater, but the firing pin of his .38 revolver was defective so his gun didn't fire. Maybe I'm wrong.

FWIW, Thomas

quote]

The Warren Commission made that allegation, though he was never charged with that by the DPD while he was alive. There is no consensus on this issue yet within the research community, but I for one believe this charge, like all the other charges against Lee Oswald, is completely false.

Ray

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... all to what end? "Stalling" them for how long? Not very, it would seem to me.
Trying to see things from Lee's point of view:

If Lee had an idea of what was going down, perhaps he thought that being on the run is a foolish thing, he may have wanted to get arrested. Then the thing is to get arrested alive.

Harold Weisberg wrote in the original Whitewash: "If he wanted to get arrested, why run?" Of course, that was based on the WR conclusion that he "had" to get arrested in order to be "triumphal" or whatever their notion was.

I'd pose the same question to you: if he realized something was going down and thought that being on the run is a foolish thing, then why run? More in just a moment on that ....

What does a movie theatre offer? Everyone no doubt has had the experience of entering a dark movie theatre and having to allow the eyes to grow accustomed to the dark.

I imagine trained ops know this and in anticipation of entering a dark place can keep one eye closed prior to entering in order to already be prepared. Possibly Lee knew this and also knew that those coming after him did not.

Therefore someone who already is in a movie theatre has an advantage over those who follow. Lee in this case can see those coming before they can see him. He can choose his location/seat in relation to other patrons and have time to change it. He may realise that they will come looking for him with a flash light and therefore will need to get up close before being totally sure it's him. Which will mean that by then a number of witnesses will be looking at him, thus the hand of the police is stayed.

So, the 'stalling' necessary was only in the order of tens of minutes.

The other thing a movie theater offers at 1:00 on a Friday is a small crowd, ergo relatively few witnesses to anything anyone might want to do to you.

A movie theater, being dark, also offers "cover" for the people who might want to do something to continue to set you up (or even kill you), presuming that they did know about eyes adjusting to the dark ... which didn't matter because they turned on the lights, and guess what? The operative hiding out in the dark is now semi-blinded. Major backfire there!

Why would anyone assume that someone setting them up wouldn't be wise to the darkness issue? Why limit the search for you to being with a flashlight when they could just as easily have had the lights turned on, as they did. If this was his thought process, he clearly didn't think it through ... and it only gets worse.

After all, my these measures, wouldn't he have been better off staying right where he was in DP so he was never "on the run" in the first place and had lots of people around him, including a few dozen who knew him? What's that thing about "safety in numbers?"

You say that "the hand of the police is stayed." The "people who came looking for him" in the theater were cops, so are you saying the cops were setting him up?

I think the "stalling with the cab" issue is not answered by this since, after "stalling" law enforcement, he apparently went home first, before going to the movie.

Another thing is the statements that Lee tried to use his gun. He saw what was coming in good time to shoot. He didn't shoot so he never meant to, never tried. Basically it seems his actions were to thawrt those who set him up.

On his forehead/temple area is a bruise the shape of half a rifle stock. This could have been fatal. This could also transfer residue to his face that paraffin tests may detect.?

You realize, of course, that all of this "stalling" and "setting up" you're talking about involves "people who were trying to set him up" and law enforcement personnel, suggesting that they're one and the same. Are they?
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I think I read somewhere that Oswald did try to shoot a policeman (McDonald?) who was trying to arrest him in the theater, but the firing pin of his .38 revolver was defective so his gun didn't fire. Maybe I'm wrong.

FWIW, Thomas

The Warren Commission made that allegation, though he was never charged with that by the DPD while he was alive. There is no consensus on this issue yet within the research community, but I for one believe this charge, like all the other charges against Lee Oswald, is completely false.

Ray

I don't doubt for a moment that a "snap" of a gun was heard, and a firing pin hit the primer of a .38 shell. In fact, McDonald went back to DPD HQ and says he later identified and put his mark on that shell and the gun that he never actually saw. By the time the WC had gotten the shells, however, the "scar" on the primer had "healed" and was no longer discernable, nor were McD's initials.

This amounted to "attempted murder," and I'm surprised that more care wasn't given to preserve the evidence of this since it only made him look that much more guilty of everything. For the firing pin mark not to have been there raises doubts as to DPD's veracity in suggesting that he did try to shoot McD: it's not that he tried to but failed, it's that he apparently didn't even try!

Of course, it didn't matter because he didn't live to see trial, and they already had two murders to try him for, even posthumously (oops: impossible to "try" him after death, but certainly he was "convicted" while residing below ground level). "Attempted murder" was a throw-away, used instead to show propensity to violence.

What surprises me even more is that he or Nick McDonald walked out of that theater alive.

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... all to what end? "Stalling" them for how long? Not very, it would seem to me.
Trying to see things from Lee's point of view:

If Lee had an idea of what was going down, perhaps he thought that being on the run is a foolish thing, he may have wanted to get arrested. Then the thing is to get arrested alive.

Harold Weisberg wrote in the original Whitewash: "If he wanted to get arrested, why run?" Of course, that was based on the WR conclusion that he "had" to get arrested in order to be "triumphal" or whatever their notion was.

I'd pose the same question to you: if he realized something was going down and thought that being on the run is a foolish thing, then why run? More in just a moment on that ....

What does a movie theatre offer? Everyone no doubt has had the experience of entering a dark movie theatre and having to allow the eyes to grow accustomed to the dark.

I imagine trained ops know this and in anticipation of entering a dark place can keep one eye closed prior to entering in order to already be prepared. Possibly Lee knew this and also knew that those coming after him did not.

Therefore someone who already is in a movie theatre has an advantage over those who follow. Lee in this case can see those coming before they can see him. He can choose his location/seat in relation to other patrons and have time to change it. He may realise that they will come looking for him with a flash light and therefore will need to get up close before being totally sure it's him. Which will mean that by then a number of witnesses will be looking at him, thus the hand of the police is stayed.

So, the 'stalling' necessary was only in the order of tens of minutes.

The other thing a movie theater offers at 1:00 on a Friday is a small crowd, ergo relatively few witnesses to anything anyone might want to do to you.

A movie theater, being dark, also offers "cover" for the people who might want to do something to continue to set you up (or even kill you), presuming that they did know about eyes adjusting to the dark ... which didn't matter because they turned on the lights, and guess what? The operative hiding out in the dark is now semi-blinded. Major backfire there!

Why would anyone assume that someone setting them up wouldn't be wise to the darkness issue? Why limit the search for you to being with a flashlight when they could just as easily have had the lights turned on, as they did. If this was his thought process, he clearly didn't think it through ... and it only gets worse.

After all, my these measures, wouldn't he have been better off staying right where he was in DP so he was never "on the run" in the first place and had lots of people around him, including a few dozen who knew him? What's that thing about "safety in numbers?"

You say that "the hand of the police is stayed." The "people who came looking for him" in the theater were cops, so are you saying the cops were setting him up?

I think the "stalling with the cab" issue is not answered by this since, after "stalling" law enforcement, he apparently went home first, before going to the movie.

Another thing is the statements that Lee tried to use his gun. He saw what was coming in good time to shoot. He didn't shoot so he never meant to, never tried. Basically it seems his actions were to thawrt those who set him up.

On his forehead/temple area is a bruise the shape of half a rifle stock. This could have been fatal. This could also transfer residue to his face that paraffin tests may detect.?

You realize, of course, that all of this "stalling" and "setting up" you're talking about involves "people who were trying to set him up" and law enforcement personnel, suggesting that they're one and the same. Are they?

Excellent answaers all around Duke, thank you for dispelling yet another set of 'urban myths'. I appreciate the thoughtful attention to each point.

It's quite remarkable how uninformed one is simply through the information that comes from media input. My comments were simply based on what I (someone who is not particularly interested in this issue) have been fed for years.

I'm not entirely sure of writing off certain elements of/connected with the DPD but that's another issue.

EDIT:: As what I wrote hinges entirely on the notion of a dark theatre, I've been puzzling about where I got that from.

MY first thought was that it may have been from the movie JFK.

I find it hard to believe that Oliver would get such a thing wrong. So I suspect that it is a 'view' gained from some sloppily put together documentary seen at some time in the past, and as it gels with other theatre associations it then becomes a 'fact'.

Something to guard against for sure. And more particularly, guard against saying something that's not true? NO, I don't think so.

To say/write something publicly AND to have that corrected by those more knowledgable in those particular issues is the thing of importance, it helps all who may be of a similar mistaken view point. To say something untrue (which happens a lot on this (and if this is the same as on other forums) forum) and to have it not corrected by those who may know better is highly questionable, not of the 'faulter' but of the person who might have known better. So once again , thank's Duke.

Further edit:: I missed the two previous posts:: Holmes said that Oswald had stated that he meant to shoot. Whatever the case may have been, I think the butt stamp on his temple and the notion of trnasferring gun residue (unintentionally) is worth considering for those who argue that there is evidence that Lee did fire a gun that day.

Edited by John Dolva
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John Simkin posted somewhere a link about Dallas then and today. There was also

a map showing the way Oswalds took after the assasination. As I remember Oswald left the bus because due to traffic jam and took a cap instead, that means he must have been in a hurry. Now as you can see on the map attached, why did

he get out at Beckley/Neely and walked back to his rooming house? Why did he not order the cap to stop right in front of his room?

George, the answer to your question of above is simply Tradecraft.

As all good spys know, especially one that is thoroughly trained in what Alan Dulles called the "crafts" of intelligence, practicing tradecraft is something that's just done.

Those who attended the classes in psychological warfare at the home of Paul Linebarger, had to get to the residence via various means of transport (bus, cab, walk) and routes (through department stores and up and down elevators) in order to loose anyone tailing them.

When one must be sure and is suspicous that someone is following, especially on an important assignment, mission or in the course of an operation, it is a trained tradecraft to walk in one direction and then suddenly turn around and go in the other direction.

Now you might say that it was just absencemindedness that allowed him to ride in the cab passed his rooming house and walk five blocks back to it, but Oswald uses this standard tradecraft technique three times within less than an hour.

He leaves the TSBD and walks blocks away from the building, and then gets on a bus going back in the other direction, leaves the bus and takes a cab past his rooming house and walks back, and then while walking down 10th street, as Posner so distinctly points out - gets Tippits attention by suddednly reversing direction.

I don't think it was an accident, it was simply good, or possibly sloppy tradecraft.

I don't know about the shooting part. Speculation is easy.

BK

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Excellent answers all around Duke, thank you for dispelling yet another set of 'urban myths'. I appreciate the thoughtful attention to each point.
I'm not sure I've actually done that, but merely pointed out what I think are reasonable explanations. I could be 180° off the mark.
It's quite remarkable how uninformed one is simply through the information that comes from media input. My comments were simply based on what I (someone who is not particularly interested in this issue) have been fed for years.

I'm not entirely sure of writing off certain elements of/connected with the DPD but that's another issue.

EDIT:: As what I wrote hinges entirely on the notion of a dark theatre, I've been puzzling about where I got that from.

MY first thought was that it may have been from the movie JFK.

I find it hard to believe that Oliver would get such a thing wrong. So I suspect that it is a 'view' gained from some sloppily put together documentary seen at some time in the past, and as it gels with other theatre associations it then becomes a 'fact'.

Something to guard against for sure. And more particularly, guard against saying something that's not true? NO, I don't think so.

To say/write something publicly AND to have that corrected by those more knowledgable in those particular issues is the thing of importance, it helps all who may be of a similar mistaken view point. To say something untrue (which happens a lot on this (and if this is the same as on other forums) forum) and to have it not corrected by those who may know better is highly questionable, not of the 'faulter' but of the person who might have known better. So once again , thanks Duke.

Further edit:: I missed the two previous posts:: Holmes said that Oswald had stated that he meant to shoot. Whatever the case may have been, I think the butt stamp on his temple and the notion of trnasferring gun residue (unintentionally) is worth considering for those who argue that there is evidence that Lee did fire a gun that day.

I take your point fully about how some things become "fact." One of the things that can't be taken as "fact" is what anybody said that Lee Oswald said while he was in custody, including Harry Holmes. Maybe he did, but maybe he didn't, but only Holmes knows (knew) for sure. Ditto Fritz and the guys in the car between the theater and the jail.

As to a "butt stamp" on his face, while I've never examined it closely enough to conjecture yea or nay, some thoughts to consider: one, that virtually everybody involved in his arrest said that nobody hit him; two, that no officer in the theater saw anyone who had a shotgun or rifle in the theater to hit him with; and three - and most importantly - that no gun is going to "transfer blowback" to anyone's face unless that weapon had been fired very recently and nobody's hand or cheek was covering the butt so that a significant enough amount of gasses and particles could land on it to be transferred to someone else.

Not to say any of the above is impossible, but at least insofar as the blowback is concerned it seems unlikely enough as not to be seriously considered, and certainly not as a deliberate act. Possible, tho'? Could be.

If it was a butt-stamp, well, all I can say is that Oswald wouldn't have been the first prisoner to fall down the stairs or be hurt during a sudden stop in traffic or even shot while escaping, in Dallas or anywhere else. He was, after all, a suspected cop-killer.

George, the answer to your question of above is simply Tradecraft.

As all good spys know, especially one that is thoroughly trained in what Alan Dulles called the "crafts" of intelligence, practicing tradecraft is something that's just done.

Those who attended the classes in psychological warfare at the home of Paul Linebarger, had to get to the residence via various means of transport (bus, cab, walk) and routes (through department stores and up and down elevators) in order to loose anyone tailing them.

When one must be sure and is suspicous that someone is following, especially on an important assignment, mission or in the course of an operation, it is a trained tradecraft to walk in one direction and then suddenly turn around and go in the other direction.

Now you might say that it was just absencemindedness that allowed him to ride in the cab passed his rooming house and walk five blocks back to it, but Oswald uses this standard tradecraft technique three times within less than an hour.

He leaves the TSBD and walks blocks away from the building, and then gets on a bus going back in the other direction, leaves the bus and takes a cab past his rooming house and walks back, and then while walking down 10th street, as Posner so distinctly points out - gets Tippits attention by suddednly reversing direction.

I don't think it was an accident, it was simply good, or possibly sloppy tradecraft.

I don't know about the shooting part. Speculation is easy.

BK

Hmmm ... now I know why you don't think the Tippit murder is any reason to call a grand jury: we already know who the culprit is!! ;)

I don't know why someone "practicing tradecraft" would want to get a cop's attention simply to kill him (unless, of course, he wanted other cops swarming all over the place around him!), but even still you forgot the last couple:

1) Looking into the reflections of the glass in the shoestore's outdoor lobby; and

2) Changing seats in the theater ... tho' I'd actually put this more in the genre of getting a cop's attention just to kill him and get more cops on your back. Like the other patrons wouldn't notice him, even in a "dark" theater?

Of course, it could also be "tradecraft" to kill a cop to get their attention focused on someone else, I suppose. But that doesn't make sense ....

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Duke,

I don't doubt for a moment that a "snap" of a gun was heard, and a firing pin hit the primer of a .38 shell. In fact, McDonald went back to DPD HQ and says he later identified and put his mark on that shell and the gun that he never actually saw. By the time the WC had gotten the shells, however, the "scar" on the primer had "healed" and was no longer discernable, nor were McD's initials.

This amounted to "attempted murder," and I'm surprised that more care wasn't given to preserve the evidence of this since it only made him look that much more guilty of everything. For the firing pin mark not to have been there raises doubts as to DPD's veracity in suggesting that he did try to shoot McD: it's not that he tried to but failed, it's that he apparently didn't even try!

What surprises me even more is that he or Nick McDonald walked out of that theater alive.

Here's a 2003 piece I wrote in the Lancer Forum called, "The Snap That Never Was."

I have always taken it on faith that during his arrest at the Texas Theater, Lee Harvey Oswald took out his gun and attempted to shoot arresting Officer M.N. McDonald. This is based on accounts of an audible "snap" that was heard. Later, we read accounts that the only reason Oswald's attempted murder of McDonald didn't succeed because of a bent primer or a "misfire"

I would like to contend that perhaps the "snap" that was heard was either the sound of something else, or was accidently caused by the officers seeing the gun and immediately reacting to take it away from Oswald and that Oswald did not attempt to shoot Officer McDonald.

I say this for the following three reasons:

1)

Here are the accounts of the arresting officers filed with Police Chief Curry on Decembers 2 - 5, 1963.

They can be found in the DAllas Police Archives, Box 2, Folder# 7

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box2.htm

E.L. Cunningham: "When I reached the seating area on the main floor, several officers were in the process of disarming and handcuffing the suspect. ...I did not see anything that indicated that any more force was used than was absolutely necessary to effect the arrest".

Paul Bentley: "Just as I entered the lower floor, I saw Patrolman McDonald fighting with this suspect. I saw this suspect pull a pistol from his shirt, so I went to Patrolman McDonald's aid immediately"

Bob Carroll: "When I arrived at the lower floor, Lee Harvey Oswald was resisting vigorously"...At this time I observed a pistol with the muzzle pointed in my direction. I grabbed the pistol and stuck it in my belt..."

Ray Hawkins: "The subject stood up and as Officer McDonald started to search him, he struck Officer McDonald in the face. The subject and Offcier McDonald began to fight and both fell down in the seats. Officer Walker and I ran toward the subject and grabbed him by his left arm. The subject had reached in his belt for a gun and Officer McDoanld was holding his right hand with the gun in it".

T.A. Hutson: "As I entered the row of seats behind the suspect he jumped up and hit Officer McDonald in the face with his fist, Officer McDonald was in the seat next to the one in which the suspect was originally sitting, and the suspect was up out of his seat struggling with Officer McDonald. I reached over the back of the seats and placed my right arm around the suspect's neck and pulled him up on back of the seat. Officer C.T. WAlker came up and was struggling with the suspect's left hand, and as Officer McDonald struggled with with the suspect's right hand, he moved it to his waist and drew a pistol and as Officer McDonald tried to disarm the suspect, I heard the pistol snap".

K.E. Lyon: "Enroute to the City Hall, Oswald refused to answer all questions. and he kept repeating, "Why am I being arrested? I know I was carrying a gun, but why else am I being arrested"?

M.N. McDonald: "When I got within a foot of him, I told the suspect to get to his feet. He stood up immediately, bringing his hands up about shoulder high and saying, "Well it's over now". I was reaching for his waist and he struck me on the nose with his left hand. With his right hand, he reached for his waist and both our hands were on a pistol that was stuck in his belt under his shirt. We both fell into the seats struggling for the pistol. ... I managed to get my right hadn on the pistol over the suspect's hand. I could feel his hand on the trigger. I then got a secure grip on the butt of the pistol. I jerked the pistol and as it was clearing the suspect's clothing and grip I heard the snap of the hammer and the pistol crossed over my left cheek, causing a four inch scratch".

As you can see from reading these reports, at no time in the first 10 to 12 days following the assassination, did any of the arresting officers on the scene claim that Oswald tried to shoot M.N. McDonald. If the pistol did go off and cause a "snap" of the hammer falling into place, it was because McDonald jerked it out of Oswald's pants.

2)

When questioned by Captain Fritz on the afternoon of November 22nd, Fritz did not accuse Oswald of trying to shoot Officer McDonald.

Fritz (4H214)

Mr. FRITZ. He told me he went over and caught a bus and rode the bus to North Beckley near where he lived and went by home and changed clothes and got his pistol and went to the show. I asked him why he took his pistol and he said, "Well, you know about a pistol; I just carried it." Let's see if I asked him anything else right that minute. That is just about it.

Mr. BALL. Did you ask him if he killed Tippit?

Mr. FRITZ. Sir?

Mr. BALL. Did you ask him if he shot Tippit?

Mr. FRITZ. Oh, yes.

Mr. BALL. What did he say.

Mr. FRITZ. He denied it---that he did not. The only thing he said he had done wrong, "The only law I violated was in the show; I hit the officer in the show; he hit me in the eye and I guess I deserved it." He said, "That is the only law I violated." He said, "That is the only thing I have done wrong."

3)

If Oswald had attempted to shoot Officer McDonald, why were no charges of attempted murder filed as they were in the case of Governor Connally?

I believe that the account of Oswald trying to shoot McDonald was invented after the fact.

Steve Thomas

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