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Tippit died at 1:00, not 1:15


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The official time of 1:15 for the shooting of J.D. Tippit is an estimation based on a reconstruction of Oswald’s movements after the assassination. The timeline is exceptionally tight. If the shooting occurred earlier, then another culprit was involved. Presented below is evidence that the true time was 1:00 - a full fifteen minutes earlier than the official time.

According to the Warren Commission, Oswald left Dealey Plaza at 12:33 and boarded a bus at 12:40. Four minutes later he got off the bus and went to the Greyhound bus station where he got a taxi cab and went to Oak Cliff. At 12:54 he got out of the cab and walked to his rooming house. At 1:00, he surprised his housekeeper, Earlene Roberts, who did not expect to see him at midday. He went into his room, got his jacket, and rushed out of the house. Through a window Roberts observed Oswald standing at a corner, apparently waiting for a bus.

Just as Oswald was getting out of the cab at 12:54, J. D. Tippit radioed his location at the intersection of Lancaster and Eighth. At this time the police dispatcher had broadcasted a description of the suspect of the assassination - slender white male, about 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches and weighing about 165 pounds, a description that fit Oswald. About twenty minutes later, at the intersection of 10th and Patton, Tippit stopped a pedestrian who supposedly fit the suspect’s description. As Tippit got out of the car, the man pulled out a handgun and shot Tippit at least four times, killing him instantly. Shortly afterwards, at 1:16 a citizen called police headquarters on Tippit’s radio, notifying them of the shooting.

If Oswald was the gunman, he had 12 minutes to walk nine-tenths of a mile to reach 10th and Patton, which is barely possible. Evidence that he had less than 12 minutes is provided by Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Craig in a 1971 autobiographical manuscript. While searching the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, Craig was among officers present when someone discovered a rifle. As they examined the rifle, news of the shooting in Oak Cliff arrived.

“… At that exact moment an unknown Dallas police officer came running up the stairs and advised Capt. Fritz that a Dallas policeman had been shot in the Oak Cliff area. I instinctively looked at my watch. The time was 1:06 p.m. A token force of uniformed officers was left to keep the sixth floor secure and Fritz, Day, Boone, Mooney, Weitzman and I left the building. …”

Given Craig’s professional experience, his 1:06 time is reliable. Nevertheless, two problems arising from his account need resolution.

Craig said that the discovery of the rifle had preceded the announcement that a policeman was shot. However, according to the official timeline, the discovery of the rifle occurred at 1:22, six minutes after the reception of the news of the shooting. If true, than it disproves Craig’s account.

The solution to the first problem is simple. There were two rifles (at least) in the Texas School Book Depository. The rifle that Craig saw was a German Mauser. Shortly after hearing that a police officer was shot, Craig left the building (along with some other officers) and returned to the sheriff’s office. At 1:22 uniformed officers who remained behind found the Mannlicher-Carcano.

The second problem concerns an apparent discrepancy in Craig’s statements. In March 1968, Penn Jones and the Los Angeles Free Press interviewed Craig. In response to a question regarding the time of Tippit’s death, he said “about 1:40.” An excerpt from the interview follows:

Craig: Tippit went to Oak Cliff, and subsequently was killed. Why he went to Oak Cliff I can't tell you; I can only make an observation. He was going to meet somebody.

Free Press: Do you know what time he was killed?

Roger Craig: It was about 1:40 —

Penn Jones: No, I think it was a little before 1:15.

Roger Craig: Was it?

Penn Jones: Yes, Bill Alexander —

Roger Craig: Oh, that's right. The broadcast was put out shortly after 1:15 on Tippit's killer, and it had not been put out yet on Oswald as the assassin of President Kennedy.

Penn Jones knew that Tippit died instantly. It was therefore correct to say that Tippit was killed “a little before 1:15.” Craig, on the other hand, understood the question as referring to what he heard and saw as he watched events unfold that day. The shooting occurred a little before 1:15, but the news of Tippit’s death does not appear in the police radio transcript until 1:32. The dispatcher was relaying an NBC News Radio report that Tippit was dead on arrival at the Methodist Hospital. This was not an official announcement. More time elapsed before someone from the hospital staff confirmed that Tippit was dead via a telephone call to the police department. The dispatcher did not pass along this announcement because at that time there was heavy radio traffic concerning the pursuit of a fugitive into the Texas Theater. Probably the news arrived at the sheriff’s office via telephone at 1:40.

Since Craig’s 1:06 time is accurate, the shooting occurred some minutes before. Evidence that the true time of the shooting was 1:00 is provided by Shirley Martin, a researcher who went to Dallas in February 1964 and contacted a number of witnesses. The following is an excerpt from a letter written to Joachim Joesten concerning an interview of Hugh Aynesworth, Dallas Morning News reporter.

“… It has intrigued me that Aynesworth was so convinced in his conversation with me that Tippit had been killed around 1 p.m. Aynesworth is extraordinarily proud of the fact that he is the only reporter in the United States to have been at all four major scenes (the assassination, the Tippit killing immediately after, the arrest of Oswald in the Texas Theater, and the murder of Oswald in the police basement). When I praised Mr. Aynesworth for this and suggested that perhaps he should have been considered for the Pulitzer Prize (rather than Mr. [Merriman] Smith whom Mr. Aynesworth claims does not deserve the prize as another Dallas reporter did all his, Smith’s, writing for him), Mr. Aynesworth modestly admitted to an oversight on the part of the committee, but continued to speak at great length over his four unique experiences. When I asked Mr. Aynesworth how and when he first heard about Tippit, he replied: “I was standing near the Texas Book Building, all the other reporters had gone to Parkland (Hospital), but I felt a story was breaking near the building, when I heard a squad radio blast out that a policeman had been shot in Oak Cliff. This was around one o’clock. I ran to the car and went with it to Patton and Tenth. I had a hunch that the policeman’s murder was tied in with the assassination. I got to the Tenth Street area about 1:05, no later than 1:10 p.m. …” [1]

Years later, Aynesworth gave author Larry Sneed additional details. [2] He was at the police command post at the corner of Houston and Elm with Inspector Herbert Sawyer, Sgt. Calvin Owens, Sgt. Gerald Hill, Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander, and news reporter Jim Ewell. As Gerald Hill urged Sawyer to get the crime lab over to the Texas School Book Depository, the police radio traffic was interrupted: “This is a citizen. A policeman’s been shot! He’s hurt pretty bad, I think!” The citizen then gave the location.

If Tippit was shot at precisely 1:00 p.m. and Aynesworth heard the unknown citizen’s call twoto three minutes later, then Craig’s time of 1:06 represents the time that it took for a messenger from the command post on the street to reach the search party on the sixth floor.

The unknown citizen’s call at 1:02 or 1:03 does not appear in the transcript of police radio messages. On the audio recording at precisely 1:02 there is 30 seconds of noise, indicating an erasure. About a minute later, at 1:03, the dispatcher attempted to reach Tippit and got no response.

After receiving the call, Hill, Alexander, and Owens promptly left for Oak Cliff. Aynesworth went with WFAA-TV newsmen Ron Reiland and Vic Robertson in the Channel 8 cruiser. Reiland drove the cruiser recklessly, making a lot of fast moves to pass other cars and barreling through intersections as fast as he could go, using an illegal flashing light accessory to warn other drivers. These details show how the three newsmen managed to reach the scene of the crime between 1:05 and 1:10. Aynesworth statement to Martin agrees with that of T.F. Bowley who arrived at the scene at about the same time. He noted the time as 1:10 on his watch.

Callaway and Guinyard in their affidavits said that Tippit was killed at 1:00. Virginia Davis said Tippit was killed at 1:30, which is impossible unless she was thinking of the NBC News Radio announcement. Helen Markham said the shooting occurred at 1:06, six minutes beyond the time proposed here. It is possible she may have guessed at the time based on her usual routine of leaving her apartment at 1:04. If due to the stress of the day, she left the apartment earlier than usual without looking at the clock, she may have gotten to the intersection by 1:00.

Bill Drenas in his article on the Tippit shooting introduces two incidents indicating that the time was not 1:00, but more towards 1:15. Louis Cortinas, an eighteen-year-old clerk who worked at the Top Ten Record Shop, said that Tippit entered the shop and tried to make a call, got no answer, and left in a hurry. Drenas suggests the reason why the dispatcher got no response to his 1:03 call to Tippit was because Tippit was inside the record shop. Cortinas said, “Maybe 10, no more than 10 minutes Tippit had left, when I heard he had been shot on the radio.” The first report of a policeman being shot in Oak Cliff was on radio station KLIF at 1:33 P.M. If Cortinas was correct, than the time of the shooting was 1:23. Obviously, he was inaccurate in his time estimate. This does not mean that his story was untrue. Tippit indeed entered the shop and tried to make a call but it was sometime between 12:30 and 12:54.

Another incident concerns James A. Andrews, an employee of American National Life Insurance, who worked briefly with Roscoe White. According to Andrews, he was driving west on Tenth Street about eight or nine blocks west of Patton “a little after 1:00.” Tippit was also traveling west on Tenth. He caught up to Andrews, passed him, and stopped Andrews by cutting in front and parking his squad car at an angle to the curb. Tippit jumped out of his car, ran back to Andrews’ car, and looked in the space between the front seat and the back seat. Without saying a word he went back to the patrol car and drove off quickly. Andrews knew it was Tippit because he saw his nameplate. Andrews never explained why Tippit stopped him.

Andrews may have seen Tippit just before he was shot, but his “a little after 1:00” statement does not have the weight to overturn the statements of such time-conscious professionals as Aynesworth and Craig. More likely, Andrews saw Tippit “a little before 1:00.”

A 1:00 shooting time solves the apparent contradictions among witnesses at the scene regarding who made the first call to police headquarters. Domingo Benavides, a used car lot mechanic, said that the call was made by his employer, Ted Callaway.

“. . .when Ted Callaway got around there, he opened the car door and picked up the phone and called in and told them there was an officer that had been killed. But the officer on the other side of the radio told him to hang up the phone to keep the lines clear, or something of that sort. …”

According to Callaway:

“… I saw a squad car, and by that time there was four or five people that had gathered, a couple of cars had stopped. Then I saw he had been shot in the head. So the first thing I did, I ran over to the squad car. I didn’t know whether anybody reported it or not. So I got on the police radio and called them, and told them a man had been shot, told them the location, I thought the officer was dead. They said we know about it [from a telephone call?], and to stay off the air, so I went back. …”

Since about five or six minutes had passed since Callaway made the first call, and no police had arrived (although the three newsmen had arrived), Benavides decided to try the radio.

“… I mashed the button and told them that an officer had been shot, and I didn’t get an answer, so I said it again, and this guy asked me whereabouts all of a sudden, and I said, on Tenth Street. I couldn’t remember where it was at the time. So I looked up and I seen this number and I said 410 East Tenth Street . . . I put the radio back. I mean, the microphone back up, and this other guy was standing there, so I got up out of the car, and I don’t know, I wasn’t sure if he heard me, and the other guy sat down in the car . . . I don’t know what he said to the officer or the phone, but the officer told him to keep the line clear. …”

The “other guy” was T. F. Bowley. Benavides was the one who reached the dispatcher at 1:16. Since Benavides seemed to be mishandling the microphone, Bowley was the next to try. He reached the dispatcher at 1:18.

The ambulance came about a minute later. Bowley and Callaway helped the attendants put the body in the ambulance. Immediately afterwards Callaway took Tippit’s gun and embarked on a hunt for the suspect with cab driver William Scoggins. Just as the two vigilantes were leaving in Scoggins’ cab, and before even the ambulance had a chance to get underway, the police arrived. Officer Kenneth Croy came first in his own vehicle. He was followed by H. W. Summers and Roy Walker.

1. Joachim Joesten, The Garrison Inquiry (Hills and Lacy, Limited: London, 1967), pp. 102-103. The letter was written on October 29, 1964.

2. Larry Sneed, No More Silence, An Oral History of the Assassination of President Kennedy (Three Forks Press: Dallas, TX, 1998), pp. 292-293.

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The official time of 1:15 for the shooting of J.D. Tippit is an estimation based on a reconstruction of Oswald’s movements after the assassination. The timeline is exceptionally tight. If the shooting occurred earlier, then another culprit was involved. Presented below is evidence that the true time was 1:00 - a full fifteen minutes earlier than the official time.

His death certificate gives Tippit's time of death, after being picked up and delivered by

ambulance to the hospital, as having been pronounced at : 1:15 P.M.

I think the document speaks for itself.

Chuck

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According to the Warren Commission, at 1:15 Tippit is driving slowly in an Easterly direction on East 10th St. in Oak Cliff.

It is alleged that his body is collected by an ambulance from Dudley Hughes Funeral Home at 1:19.

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  • 1 month later...
The official time of 1:15 for the shooting of J.D. Tippit is an estimation based on a reconstruction of Oswald’s movements after the assassination. The timeline is exceptionally tight. If the shooting occurred earlier, then another culprit was involved. Presented below is evidence that the true time was 1:00 - a full fifteen minutes earlier than the official time.
His death certificate gives Tippit's time of death, after being picked up and delivered by ambulance to the hospital, as having been pronounced at : 1:15 P.M. I think the document speaks for itself.

Chuck

According to the Warren Commission, at 1:15 Tippit is driving slowly in an Easterly direction on East 10th St. in Oak Cliff. It is alleged that his body is collected by an ambulance from Dudley Hughes Funeral Home at 1:19.
Clearl as mud. You see, they drove the ambulance backward so they could get there earlier ....

Another factor not documented by anyone is the haste in which everyone acted, with the singular exception of the one man who actually looked at his watch, who had been caught in a strange time warp. If the shooting took place at zero minutes, zero seconds (00:00), then:

00:05 - the shooter turned away

00:08 - gunman opens cylinder

00:10 - Davis girl reaches doorway and

00:11 - Benavides opens truck door

00:12 - gunman shakes shells loose

00:15 - Davis calls to sister-in-law who while

00:15 - Benavides starts to cross street after ensuring gunman's not too far away

00:16 - Davis #2 rushes immediately to the door as

00:17 - gunman grins at girls and

00:18 - Benavides looks momentarily at dead cop as

00:19 - gunman reaches corner and

00:20 - Benavides reaches car door while

-05:00 - TF Bowley stops car and looks at watch (1:10 p.m.)
after
Tippit is lying in street and

00:25 - gunman rounds corner past Davises' house

-04:00 - TF Bowley reaches patrol car and

-03:50 - examines officer briefly to see that he's dead and

-03:45 - notices that

00:30 - Benavides gets in car and

00:35 - gunman runs across Patton on his way to Jefferson while

01:00 - Benavides gives up on fumbling with radio and exits car and

-03:00 - Bowley enters car and reaches for mike, fumbles with it for four minutes and

01:15 - Radio transmission begins as

01:20 - gunman turns onto Jefferson Blvd.

Benavides was a bit shy about admitting how he'd been sitting on Bowley's lap as if Bowley wasn't there, and it took Bowley more than a week to get over having Donnie on his lap by which time he'd forgotten that detail and did not mention it in his affidavit. That happens when you'rrrrrrrrrrrre mmmmmmmooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvingggggggggggggggggggg ssssssssslllllllllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww lllllllllliiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkke tttthhhhhhaaaaaaaaaattttt. (Ref: Star Trek #183)

With no strain noted in the voice on the radio and that all of the above events having occured as fast or faster than estimated, it is then possible to conclude that it was Donnie Benavides who made the transmission within a minute of the shooting.

Something else to consider: if you can manage to get ten people to stand near you at any given time (try this, it is a real experiment!!), ask each of them to "mark" the time on their watches and to tell you what it read at the moment you said "now."

If, in the age of quartz and satellite-coordinated watches, any of them differ by more than 30 seconds from yours, ask them when the last time they set their watch to a standardized (atomic) clock or time-of-day service was.

If any differ by more than one minute, ask them when the last time that their watch stopped was, and if it was because they hadn't wound it.

If nobody has a wind-up watch and any time is different by more than 90 seconds, consider what it must have been like when people did have to wind their watches, when watches actually stopped as often as once a month or more frequently, and when they couldn't set their watch by the clock in the corner of their computer screen even if they don't ping an atomic clock once a week. When the word "ping" didn't even exist and a computer had vacuum tubes that filled a very cold room.

Then ask yourself it if makes one good gosh-darn what anyone's "professional qualifications" were when determining how "reliable" they were when they told someone what time it was. They were only as reliable as their watches ... which probably weren't all that terribly accurate!

Someday, I'll have to post why the time on Bowley's watch doesn't mean much either....

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Duke,

01:20 - gunman turns onto Jefferson Blvd.

What do you make of the "six or seven witnesses" who claimed that Oswald ran up the alley, and not Jefferson?

Depending on the time and the location of the officer and witnesses, some people saw a suspect running down Jefferson. and some people saw a suspect running down the alley between 10th and Jefferson. Is it possible that they were witnessing two different individuals?

You can follow the progress of the suspect as he heads west on Jefferson from Patton St. up until about 1:32PM, and then everything seems to change.

1:19PM

The Dispatcher tell Unit 85 (Patrolman R.W. Walker)

Suspect running west on Jefferson from the location.

85: 10-4.

and more of the same...

On November 22nd, patrolman J.M. Poe arrived at work to patrol his normal patrol region of the western part of the downtown area. (WC vol. VII, pp. 66+). When the call came over the radio that the President had been shot, he reported to the scene of the crime. While he was guarding the building with his partner, L.E. Jez, a call came over the radio that Officer Tippit had been shot. He responded to 10th and Patton, where he wound up interviewing Helen Markham.

Later in the day, he reported to Chief Curry what he had done that day. (Dallas Police Archives, Box 7 Folder # 5, Item # 8).

In his official report, Poe wrote that:

"We were met by a white female who identified herself as being Helen Marsalle, 328 E. 9th St., who stated she witnessed the shooting of the officer... "There were approximately six to eight witnesses, all telling officers that the subject was running west in the alley between tenth and Jefferson Streets"

Later in the day, Poe filed a Supplementary Offense report (Box 7, Folder # 2, Item # 37). Here he wrote:

"We were met by a white woman who identified herself as being Helen Marsille of 329 E. 9th Street who stated that she witnessed the shooting of the officer... 6 or 7 witnesses said that the suspect was running east in the alley that was between Tenth and Jefferson".

Steve Thomas

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Duke,
01:20 - gunman turns onto Jefferson Blvd.
What do you make of the "six or seven witnesses" who claimed that Oswald ran up the alley, and not Jefferson? Depending on the time and the location of the officer and witnesses, some people saw a suspect running down Jefferson. and some people saw a suspect running down the alley between 10th and Jefferson. Is it possible that they were witnessing two different individuals? You can follow the progress of the suspect as he heads west on Jefferson from Patton St. up until about 1:32PM, and then everything seems to change.

1:19PM

The Dispatcher tell Unit 85 (Patrolman R.W. Walker)

Suspect running west on Jefferson from the location.

85: 10-4.

and more of the same...

On November 22nd, patrolman J.M. Poe arrived at work to patrol his normal patrol region of the western part of the downtown area. (WC vol. VII, pp. 66+). When the call came over the radio that the President had been shot, he reported to the scene of the crime. While he was guarding the building with his partner, L.E. Jez, a call came over the radio that Officer Tippit had been shot. He responded to 10th and Patton, where he wound up interviewing Helen Markham.

Later in the day, he reported to Chief Curry what he had done that day. (Dallas Police Archives, Box 7 Folder # 5, Item # 8). In his official report, Poe wrote that:

"We were met by a white female who identified herself as being Helen Marsalle, 328 E. 9th St., who stated she witnessed the shooting of the officer... "There were approximately six to eight witnesses, all telling officers that the subject was running west in the alley between tenth and Jefferson Streets"

Later in the day, Poe filed a Supplementary Offense report (Box 7, Folder # 2, Item # 37). Here he wrote:

"We were met by a white woman who identified herself as being Helen Marsille of 329 E. 9th Street who stated that she witnessed the shooting of the officer... 6 or 7 witnesses said that the suspect was running east in the alley that was between Tenth and Jefferson".

Steve Thomas

Well, first off, Ms Helen Marsille seems to have lived at the same address as (or possibly across the street from?) Ms Helen Markham, so my first question would be: is this simply a misspelling? Unless a city directory or something shows a "Marsille" on that block, I'd have to guess that it is. After all, what's the likelihood that two Helen "M's" lived in the same building or across from each other and witnessed the shooting, too?!? Not being a statistician, my guess is that there'd be several zeroes between that decimal point and the '1' at the end!

We do know that Poe was at 10th and Patton with Helen Markham (and a cigarette cellophane containing ".38 automatic rather than pistol" shells!) as opposed to wandering around the neighborhood as, say, Jerry Hill was. If he went poking around, it's news to me ... or maybe I've just forgotten, but I don't think he did.

That said, Poe's witnesses - however many there were - probably were at the same location if he heard anything that they said, directly to him, among themselves, or otherwise. Without an identification of who these "six to eight" or "six or seven" people are, it's hard to qualify their statements beyond general observation.

... And that general observation is that enough people saw him go at least to Patton & Jefferson and thence west to prove that the shooter didn't take the alley from Patton to points west ... although it is clearly possible that he went in the alley AFTER he went behind Bellew's Texaco at Jefferson & Crawford (although I have different hypothesis entirely).

If those witnesses saw him in that portion of the alley, west of Crawford, then it would be interesting to know who they were. They were not the Brocks at the Texaco, who didn't say that they had any customers in the shop at the time, and it wasn't anybody in the Abundant Life Tabernacle, at least not per Jerry Hill, the only one who made even a perfunctory "search" of the place (and given its size, it's pretty amazing it didn't attract more than just his attention! See this tour for a photo).

Otherwise ...? Yes, it is possible that they may have witnessed two different men in the alleyway ... which goes several blocks east of Patton, and two or three blocks west, all the while being "between Jefferson and Tenth," so where they saw him east or west of Patton matters, too.

... Which is the long-winded version of saying "I don't have an opinion" I guess!!

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Duke,

Well, first off, Ms Helen Marsille seems to have lived at the same address as (or possibly across the street from?) Ms Helen Markham, so my first question would be: is this simply a misspelling?

That said, Poe's witnesses - however many there were - probably were at the same location if he heard anything that they said, directly to him, among themselves, or otherwise. Without an identification of who these "six to eight" or "six or seven" people are, it's hard to qualify their statements beyond general observation.

... And that general observation is that enough people saw him go at least to Patton & Jefferson and thence west to prove that the shooter didn't take the alley from Patton to points west ... although it is clearly possible that he went in the alley AFTER he went behind Bellew's Texaco at Jefferson & Crawford (although I have different hypothesis entirely).

Otherwise ...? Yes, it is possible that they may have witnessed two different men in the alleyway ... which goes several blocks east of Patton, and two or three blocks west, all the while being "between Jefferson and Tenth," so where they saw him east or west of Patton matters, too.

In his orginal report, and in his supplementary report, Poe spells her name two different ways. I guess he had a hard time spelling.

For the longest time I had trouble with the Texaco station, because in Robert and Mary Brock's FBI interview, the address is given as 600 Jefferson, which would be two blocks EAST of Patton.

CD 385 pp. 92 and 93

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...86&relPageId=97

(Remember in Poe's Supplementary Report, he has LHO running in the alley heading east), but I just looked at Roger Ballew's FBI interview on page 91 (yes, they spell it Ballew) and they give the address as 300 Jefferson.

It's funny - the same FBI agent, on the same day (January 22nd). I guess he was tired.

If you follow the dispatch tapes, they have the suspect heading up Jefferson until 1:32 PM. At 1:32, he is now reported running up the alley.

Steve Thomas

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