Jump to content
The Education Forum

The left turn onto Houston/Elm Street


Recommended Posts

Some lines for a brainstorming…

The turn onto Houston/Elm was always described as a Sharp Turn very difficult to negotiate for a car of the size of that of the President. Even if,… Tina Towner film shows a turn apparently without problem.

My question is the following:

How the two Press Buses have negotiated the Houston/Elm turn without no reported problems??? <_<

Bond and Towner photos showing that the buses kept their position in the motorcade without special increase of the time between them and the other vehicles.

However, the buses were very much longer than the Presidential Limo and have two not-directional wheels axles behind (this increasing the turning radius.)

:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marcel Dehaeseleer Posted Today, 09:10 AM

  Some lines for a brainstorming…

The turn onto Houston/Elm was always described as a Sharp Turn very difficult to negotiate for a car of the size of that of the President. Even if,… Tina Towner film shows a turn apparently without problem.

My question is the following:

How the two Press Buses have negotiated the Houston/Elm turn without no reported problems??? 

Bond and Towner photos showing that the buses kept their position in the motorcade without special increase of the time between them and the other vehicles.

However, the buses were very much longer than the Presidential Limo and have two not-directional wheels axles behind (this increasing the turning radius.)

Marcel,

I think the difficulty of these turns has been exaggerated by many. The real issue is, how much did the limo have to slow down in order to make both the right hand and left hand turns from Commerce, to Houston and then Elm. The SS have a recommended (required?) minimum speed for Presidential motorcades, and these turns caused the limo to slow down and become an optimum target for snipers. Also soon after the turns, the limo slowed down again and that's when.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The turn onto Houston/Elm was always described as a Sharp Turn very difficult to negotiate for a car of the size of that of the President. Even if,… Tina Towner film shows a turn apparently without problem.

Marcel,

Towner turn on Elm.

- lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I checked Greer's WC testimony to see what he might have said about the difficultyof the turn. He says nothing about it being difficult, but it's interesting what he does say:

Mr. GREER. . . . When I made the turn into Elm Street, I was watching the overpass expressway--the overpass, or what was ahead of me. I always look at any--where I go underneath anything, I always watch above, so if there is anyone up there that I can move so that I won't go over the top of anyone, if they are unidentified to me, unless it is a policeman or something like that. We try to avoid going under them. . . .

Mr. SPECTER. At that time, did you make a conscious effort to observe what was present, if anything, on that overpass?

Mr. GREER. Yes, sir. I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there, and I didn't see anything that I was afraid of on the overpass.

Mr. SPECTER. Did you see anything at all on the overpass?

Mr. GREER. Not that I can now remember.

I'm tempted to say Greer is lying, since of course there were about a dozen people standing over Elm on the overpass. But I suppose it's possible, given the curve in Elm, that Greer couldn't see the Elm segment of the overpass from the corner of Houston. Maybe someone else knows.

But what kind of statement is this: "I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there." It sounds almost like he's saying, "I was making sure that any shooter there could not be seen."

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I checked Greer's WC testimony to see what he might have said about the difficultyof the turn. He says nothing about it being difficult, but it's interesting what he does say:

Mr. GREER. . . . When I made the turn into Elm Street, I was watching the overpass expressway--the overpass, or what was ahead of me. I always look at any--where I go underneath anything, I always watch above, so if there is anyone up there that I can move so that I won't go over the top of anyone, if they are unidentified to me, unless it is a policeman or something like that. We try to avoid going under them. . . .

Mr. SPECTER. At that time, did you make a conscious effort to observe what was present, if anything, on that overpass?

Mr. GREER. Yes, sir. I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there, and I didn't see anything that I was afraid of on the overpass.

Mr. SPECTER. Did you see anything at all on the overpass?

Mr. GREER. Not that I can now remember.

I'm tempted to say Greer is lying, since of course there were about a dozen people standing over Elm on the overpass. But I suppose it's possible, given the curve in Elm, that Greer couldn't see the Elm segment of the overpass from the corner of Houston. Maybe someone else knows.

But what kind of statement is this: "I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there." It sounds almost like he's saying, "I was making sure that any shooter there could not be seen."

Ron

Nicely spotted, Ron. It appears that he has simply omitted the word "suspicious" from that sentence. Ironically, this is the very word which best describes Mr. Greer's performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I checked Greer's WC testimony to see what he might have said about the difficultyof the turn. He says nothing about it being difficult, but it's interesting what he does say:

Mr. GREER. . . . When I made the turn into Elm Street, I was watching the overpass expressway--the overpass, or what was ahead of me. I always look at any--where I go underneath anything, I always watch above, so if there is anyone up there that I can move so that I won't go over the top of anyone, if they are unidentified to me, unless it is a policeman or something like that. We try to avoid going under them. . . .

Mr. SPECTER. At that time, did you make a conscious effort to observe what was present, if anything, on that overpass?

Mr. GREER. Yes, sir. I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there, and I didn't see anything that I was afraid of on the overpass.

Mr. SPECTER. Did you see anything at all on the overpass?

Mr. GREER. Not that I can now remember.

I'm tempted to say Greer is lying, since of course there were about a dozen people standing over Elm on the overpass. But I suppose it's possible, given the curve in Elm, that Greer couldn't see the Elm segment of the overpass from the corner of Houston. Maybe someone else knows.

But what kind of statement is this: "I was making sure that I could not see anyone that might be standing there." It sounds almost like he's saying, "I was making sure that any shooter there could not be seen."

Ron

Ron and all,

In the attached overhead view of DP, you will note how Elm immediately begins curving back inward from Houston. Since both Houston and Elm were 3 plus lane streets, the limo would be required to stay centrally located within the lanes, thus keeping the crowds back and reaction time increased from immediacy of threat. This is what makes it a tricky turn. The limo must go out beyond the normal pivoy point and then cut sharply in to maintain a central path. Considering the length of the limo, the speed would be reduced considerably for the manuever and to accomodate turining into a blind roadway due to the obstruction of view from the crowds along the edge of the street at the pronounced corner.

Many still fail to understand that it is impossible for any route to not slow the limo for turns. Generally when this is done, the crowds are held back some twenty to forty feet and the corners of the intersections are cleared. It is the immediacy of the near threat that is the concern for the slow manuever and the restrictions that would be placed on immediate pullout when into a turn.

Greer would have seen the portion of the top of the underpass over Elm before that portion over Main or Commerce, due to the angle of approach and the crowds alongside on the left, which would have obstructed his vision. Also keep in mind that Greer had been driving a considerable stretch on Main where the crowds were heavy and he had to drive to the left side of the roadway to distance the president from the crowds on the right. Often times the wedge formation motorcycle on his side would be forced out and he would have to drive with his door open to create his own wedge for space and to keep the crowds back from Jackie. That is also why Hill was on the limo so often on Main. It is understandable that Greer would subconsciously note the presence of LE on the overpass and then focus his attention to the left front on the subjects standing along Elm.

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gentlemen,

Thanks for your answers !

More than the "left turn" problem, there is a possibility that Greer had the pre-knowledge of the assassination and took part voluntarily in the completion of this one.

At least, it would seem than he voluntarily slowed down the Limo when he realized that the shooters had not fatally hit the target!

That's why he turned the head twice toward JFK and only accelerated after the fatal head shot!

As an old well trained SS Agent (55).

How Greer can have remained so passive whereas he heard …

- The shouts of the passengers.

- The blast of rifle shots

- The bullets impacts (the crack in the windshield and the dent in the chrome strip).

Even if the weight of the Limo (three tons) is taken in consideration, these impacts must have been perceived by Greer (those occurring in front of him).

Or…

Greer realised that they were in the middle of a kill zone made of converging shots and there… he hesitated, unfortunately, during a few too long seconds.

(Sorry for the grammar, my written English is really very bad). :ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What happen to the plan to just drive straight down Main?? :ph34r:

How the route came about is discussed in HSCA v. 11.

Two sites for the luncheon were considered. The Secret Service preferred the Women's Building for security reasons. Had that site been chosen, the motorcade would have gone east through Dealey Plaza, at a steady clip down Main Street, instead of west. But Connally insisted that the luncheon be at the Trade Mart and got his way. The decision on the site was made on November 15.

Dallas SAIC Forrest Sorrels, as he told the WC, then chose the Main-Houston-Elm turn through the plaza because it was the most direct route to the Trade Mart. He did this due to the size and cumbersomeness of the motorcade and the raised divider separating Elm from the expressway ramp.

An alternate route to the Trade Mart was available, straight down Main Street to Industrial Boulevard. But Assistant Police Chief George L. Lumpkin told the SS that the neighborhood around Industrial Boulevard was "filled with winos and broken pavement," plus JFK wanted exposure and there would be no crowds on Industrial Boulevard. So the SS chose to violate its own security guidelines with the slow turn onto Elm in order to avoid being greeted along Industrial Boulevard by no one but winos.

It's interesting that it was not known until a week before 11/22 that the motorcade would be going west, with the necessary turn onto Elm, instead of east through Dealey Plaza. Assuming that considerable time went into the planning, the conspirators would have needed a contingency plan for JFK going east through the plaza at steady speed, with Jackie between him and the TSBD, instead of west. That would mean that the shooters had to be prepared to base their triangulation of fire on the south side of the plaza instead of the north side. And that would mean having a designated patsy, other than Oswald, on the south side of the plaza.

Unfortunately for Oswald, the choice of the Trade Mart sealed his doom.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...