Jump to content
The Education Forum

Target Practice in Dealey Plaza


Gary Buell
 Share

Recommended Posts

From Mafia Kingfish by John Davis (paperback Signet Books edition, 1989)

That same morning [Wednesday, November 20, 1963], in the center of Dallas, two police officers on routine patrol entered Dealey Plaza, through which the presidential motorcade would pass on Friday, and noticed several men standing behind a wooden fence on a grassy knoll overlooking the plaza. The men were engaged in mock target practice, aiming rifles over the fence, in the direction of the plaza. The two police officers immediately made for the fence, but buy the time they got there the riflemen had disappeared, having departed in a car that had been parked nearby. The two patrol officers did not give much thought to the incident at the time, but after the assassination of the President two days later, they reported the incident to the FBI, which issued a report of it on November 26. For reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained, the substance of the report was never mentioned in the FBI’s investigation of the assassination and the report itself disappeared until 1978, when it finaly resurfaced as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

I have been unable to track down this November 26 FBI report. However, confirmation of it comes from historian Michael Kurtz in his book Crime of the Century where on page 218 of the second revised edition he says:

Two days before the assassination, two Dallas police officers were making their

usual rounds on patrol. As they entered Dealey Plaza, they observed several men

engaged in target practice with a rifle. The men were situated behind the wooden

fence on the Grass Knoll. By the time the policemen reached the area the men had

vanished, apparently leaving in a car parked nearby.

Kurtz cites an FBI report, 26 Nov 1963, from Federal Bureau of Investigation. Papers on the Assassination of President Kennedy. 15 vols., 3847pp. Linus A. Sims Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA

As I said, I have not seen the Nov 26 FBI report so if anyone has this I would appreciate a copy. I do have a copy of an FBI teletype dated November 27, 1963 which reads in part as follows:

TO: DIRECTOR, FBI AND SAC, DALLAS

FROM: SAC, SAN ANTONIO (89-67)

(1p)

ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY

RE. OSWALD. EVIDENCE

….

ON NOVEMBER TWENTY LAST, THE DALLAS POLICE SIGHTED TWO UNKNOWN MEN SIGHTING IN A RIFLE NEAR SCENE OF WHERE PRESIDENT ASSASSINATIED. RIGLE BEING SIGHTED IN AT TWO SILHOUETTES TARGET OLD MODEL CAR SEEN IN VICINITY OF MEN. POLICE CIRCLED TO CONTACT MEN AND THEY DISAPPEARED

END

Also I have a copy of a military intelligence report (from Larry Hancock's CD, as I recall):

112TH INTELLIGENCE CORPS GROUP

SPOT REPORT (REGION II)

DATE SENT: 22 Nov 63

TIME RECEIVED: 2235 hrs

FROM : Region II

SPOT REPORT NUMBER: 419

SUBJECT: Lee Harvey OSWALD

REFERENCE TO PREVIOUS REPORTS: 418

5. TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 2000

to 22000 hrs, 22 Nov 63

6. PERSONNEL, ORGANIZATION, OR INSTALLATION INVOLVED:

SUBJECT and Dallas Police

7. SUMMARY: The following related to S/As West and

Lanyon, Region II by Capt Dowdy, Dallas Police.

….

The Police have interviewed a witness who has stated that a man fitting SUBJECT in the immediate vicinity of the place where President Kennedy was killed. These men were observed sighting in a rifle at two silhouette targets. When the police arrived on the scene they realized they were in the direct line of sight so attempted to approach the men by circling around to their rear. When the two officers arrived at the spot where the men were last observed with the rifle. The description of the car fits the description of the car that SUBJECT was driving. Witness there was a man sitting in the car. (this info has not been released to the public)

12. TIME AND DATE INFORMATION RECEIVED BY REPORTING AGENCY: 2225 HDRS, 22 Nov 63

13. COMMENT BY REPORTING AGENCY:

Region II agents were cautioned that most of the above info was not public knowledge.

I thought it was interesting that the description of the car fit the description of the car that the SUBJECT was driving, given that the subject was Lee Harvey Oswald, who was not known to drive. One would think that a report of this nature would have been thoroughly investigated by the Dallas Police, the FBI and the Warren Commission but of course this was not the case, as this would have represented evidence of conspiracy and that was the last thing they wanted to find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gary,

I tried to make sense of this a couple of years ago. I don't think the reported incident occurred in Dealey Plaza. It apparently occurred at Continental Street (Avenue), which is north of DP and meets Stemmons not far from the then Cabana Hotel.

As you know, the two extant docs you cite make no mention of DP, the knoll, or fence. They simply refer to "near scene" or "immediate vicinity" of the assassination. I think the 11/26/63 FBI doc referred to is probably the 11/27 doc. The fact that Davis and Kurtz both cite the wrong date, and other similarities in their accounts including the specific references to DP, the fence, etc., makes me believe that they were working from an embellished account, with Davis possibly using Kurtz or vice versa as his source.

Denis Morissette posted a doc a couple of years ago on Lancer, which he said was from "the James Powell documents." The thread no longer exists, but here's the text of the doc:

Name: BOYD, EARL E. (LT. COL.)

Address: Region II, Army Intelligence Corp., 912 Rio Grande Bldg., Dallas, TX

Telephone:

Source: CD 205, p. 90; CD 206 (19-20); JFK Collection List, pg. 1 (AMKW 39)

Comment: Lt. Col., Region II, Army Intelligence Corp. James W. Powell turned over Kodachrome transparency to him (Powell show TSBD 30 seconds after shots were fired). Advised Deputy Chief N.T. Fisher that personnel of his organization had heard that two men had been observed sighting in a rifle on Continental Street Wednesday night, Nov. 20, 1963.

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...