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William Greer on the motorcade route


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Document 1870-10099-10491 released through the ARRB is an 8-page summary HSCA report of an interview of limo driver William Greer.

One of the interviewers, Belford V. Lawson, wrote this addendum: "I distinctly remember reacting with shock and surprise when Mr. Greer stated to both Mr. Kelly and myself that, in the case of the President’s visit to Dallas on November 22, 1963, he had no prior knowledge whatsoever of the motorcade route or of any conditions on and surrounding the route that might affect his driving. He simply entered the Presidential limousine and followed the car in front of him."

(Source: An ARRB Update, by Joseph Backes, Kennedy Assn. Chronicles, v. 2 no. 4, Winter 1996, p. 28.)

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I'm second to no one in my contempt for this jackass. He always had a stupid grin on his face. Palamara interviewed his son, who said his dad had no regrets and that he never warmed up to JFK because of his Catholicism. They should have put "Crappy Driver, Bigot" on his tombstone.

As you all know, I have been a one of the few to stand behind Agent Greer over the years. I have voiced my reasons numerous times and will add to this thread to further it.

During the previous election year, both the President and Vice President visited my city. During both visits, I was put in charge of the motorcade route. I spent several days (and nights) planning these routes prior to the advance team coming in. All I had was the approximate times of arrival and departure and the location of where the dignitaries were going. I planned three inbound and outbound routes, color coding them. A primary, secondary and emergency (hospital) route. When the advance team came in three to four days in advance of the visit, I worked with the lead SS agent for the route and drove it and met with persons with him along the way such as railroad and highway supervisors who would have an impact on them. We worked them out to the SS satisfaction. On the day prior to the dignitary arrival, the lead agent for the trip would arrive and knit pick each route and them approve them. The driver of the presidential or vice presidential limo would arrive with the dignitary and follow the lead car, which I was in as was the advance agent that I had been working with. Even in today's age of technology, that driver would not have been given the routes for security reasons and would rely on the lead car to guide them through at the time of the visit. If something would happen to the lead car, the MC escorts and the scout car also had the routes to guide them.

It is not at all surprising that Greer did not know the route and simply used his experience to work it as he went.

Al

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Thanks, Al, for your valuable input. I think, in general, a lot of the suspicion surrounding the motorcade route and SS behaior is based upon the desire that these men be superhuman and super-competent. They, as police officers everywhere, are hard-working guys doing their best.

My main problem with the SS has to do with the clean-up at Parkland. Having been exposed to SS culture, do you believe--if in his zeal to hide the President's spattered brain and blood from the press, Sam Kinney cleaned up some of mess on the back-seat, and thereby tampered with the evidence--he would later admit to this action? Do you think the SS would pretend it didn't happen, rather than admit to this screw-up? I'm trying to decide if there was anything malevolent about this clean-up. As you probably know, there was no mention of a clean-up at Parkland in any of the reports. Kinney made a point of telling the HSCA, in fact, that he prevented a clean-up from occurring. And yet an orderly reported bringing them a bucket of water. And Hugh Sidey of Time wrote of them wiping up the bloody seat. And Charles Roberts of Newsweek wrote of them wiping up the seat. And Tom Wicker of the Ney York Times later wrote of them wiping up the seat. And White House photographer Cecil Stoughon took pictures of them putting the roof back on the limousine, with a bucket of water at their feet. In recent years, ambulance driver Aubrey Rike has also confirmed that this clean-up took place. (While some have ventured that the SS merely wiped-up the area where the roof was re-attached, the witnesses all said they wiped up the seat. Roberts made a particular point of saying this occurred before they began to re-attach the roof.)

Anyhow, part of me suspects that Kinney screwed-up and covered his ass and that the SS went along with it, as they were reluctant to admit to any more mistakes. What do you think? Would police officers cover for one another in a sililar manner?

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Al, I'd appreciate it if you could also comment on Greer giving JFK's clothes to Rybka at Andrews to stash in a White House locker, instead of keeping them with the body for the autopsy.

I suppose it can be argued that a couple of SS agents innocently wanted to clean up the mess in the limo at Parkland, but Greer diverting the clothes while on his way to Bethesda and the autopsy, and Rybka doing the diverting for him, doesn't look so innocent to me.

Ron

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Pat, help me understand why you're so hung up on the Parkland wipe down. Are you concerned that they wiped away blood spray patterns? That bullet fragments were accidentally removed or suppressed?

I think that the point being made is that the limo was a crime scene, and should have been treated as such. In fact, the body and the limo should have remained in Dallas per state law (there was no federal law covering the killing of a president at the time). If proper procedure had been followed all along, there may not have been a need for this forum.

JWK

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You're absolutely right...the crime scene wasn't ONLY at Houston and Elm; the limo was a ROLLING crime scene as well. As such, any cleanup could be construed as tampering with physical evidence.

But on the other hand, if the SS was figuring that the limo would need to be used to take folks back to Love Field--which later was found to be unnecessary--then the cleanup could be understandable, if not wholly justifiable, and quite innocent enough.

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All of you bring up an excellent point here and one that is not looked at generally in the proper light when those immediatley look at the errors of the SS as being conspiratorial. IMHO, they were errors on their part and nothing more. SS agents are not typical LE officers who work crimes against persons such as agg assaults and homicides and they would not see this as a crime scene. The protection detail focused on protection and their investigative specialties did not go beyond investigating backgrounds of persons suspicious in nature. The failure to protect the rolling crime scene (which is exactly what the limo was) should have fallen on the Dallas Police and the FBI. However, the SS is extremely protective of their property as they are of their dignitaries they protect and I could see how this all went down and still could today. It is no different than the SS getting into an almost shootout with local authorities over the body of the fallen president. Their orders were to take it back to DC and that is exactly what they were going to do, at any cost.

As far as lying under oath to protect their screw-up with cleaning the limo, this was was major screw-up to them in their hind-sight and I can see how they would have attempted hiding this and the photos and leftover lack of evidence caught them in their lie.

This also brings to mind an even bigger screw-up by those who should have known better and that was the DPD and local SO who opened up Dealey Plaza after the incident and did not treat it as a crime scene. This is basic crime scene preservation 101 and even the patrol officers should have recognized this fact immediately. They were simply caught up in the attrocity and failed to due their basic job, IMO. Instead of closing it down, they all ran to the locations of perceived shot origins and allowed the crime scene to be trampled by pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as allowing witnesses within the crime scene to leave.

Al

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'Al Carrier' wrote:

[...]

SS agents are not typical LE officers who work crimes against persons such as agg assaults and homicides and they would not see this as a crime scene. The protection detail focused on protection and their investigative specialties did not go beyond investigating backgrounds of persons suspicious in nature.

[...]

Al

***********

Hmm? Perhaps you can confirm the following: in 1963 most WH/Presidential Detail SS agents came from 'their' rank and file, that being; basic field grunts who do investigative work and undertstand "evidence, particularly evidence concerning counterfiting of US paper money". Is that correct?

Thanks

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Thanks, Al, for your valuable input. I think, in general, a lot of the suspicion surrounding the motorcade route and SS behaior is based upon the desire that these men be superhuman and super-competent. They, as police officers everywhere, are hard-working guys doing their best.

My main problem with the SS has to do with the clean-up at Parkland. Having been exposed to SS culture, do you believe--if in his zeal to hide the President's spattered brain and blood from the press, Sam Kinney cleaned up some of mess on the back-seat, and thereby tampered with the evidence--he would later admit to this action? Do you think the SS would pretend it didn't happen, rather than admit to this screw-up? I'm trying to decide if there was anything malevolent about this clean-up. As you probably know, there was no mention of a clean-up at Parkland in any of the reports. Kinney made a point of telling the HSCA, in fact, that he prevented a clean-up from occurring. And yet an orderly reported bringing them a bucket of water. And Hugh Sidey of Time wrote of them wiping up the bloody seat. And Charles Roberts of Newsweek wrote of them wiping up the seat. And Tom Wicker of the Ney York Times later wrote of them wiping up the seat. And White House photographer Cecil Stoughon took pictures of them putting the roof back on the limousine, with a bucket of water at their feet. In recent years, ambulance driver Aubrey Rike has also confirmed that this clean-up took place. (While some have ventured that the SS merely wiped-up the area where the roof was re-attached, the witnesses all said they wiped up the seat. Roberts made a particular point of saying this occurred before they began to re-attach the roof.)

Anyhow, part of me suspects that Kinney screwed-up and covered his ass and that the SS went along with it, as they were reluctant to admit to any more mistakes. What do you think? Would police officers cover for one another in a sililar manner?

Rational thought could get one placed out on the limb where I currently sit!

One can not apply the logic of today's crime scene investigation work to ANY crime of 11/22/63.

Not to mention the virtual chaos which surrounded the shooting of JFK and the inexperience of many US Treasury Agents in what should or should not have been done.

and that the SS went along with it, as they were reluctant to admit to any more mistakes.

Can also be applied to the rationale as to why those in charge have never presented the facts related to the US Secret Service assassination re-enactment and survey work of December 2, 3, & 4th (Survey Plat 12/5/63) in which the SS clearly identified the position of JFK at the impact of the third shot, which went unanswered by any response other than Clint Hill's response of jumping off the follow up car and running to catch the "braking" Presidential Limo.

SO:

1. Up late at night with some consuming alcoholic beverages.

2. Complete failure to react (except for Clint Hill) through almost 10 seconds of elapsed shooting time in which three shots were fired, with three achieved hits to JFK.

3. Absolutely no reaction during the almost 6-second delay between the first and second shot sequence.

4. Braking of the limousine to an almost complete stop during the shooting sequence, thus allowing for even a third shot hit to the head of JFK.

5. Destruction of crime scene evidence in cleaning of the Presidential Limousine.

Welcome to the "Blackmail" club!

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'Al Carrier' wrote:

[...]

SS agents are not typical LE officers who work crimes against persons such as agg assaults and homicides and they would not see this as a crime scene. The protection detail focused on protection and their investigative specialties did not go beyond investigating backgrounds of persons suspicious in nature.

[...]

Al

***********

Hmm? Perhaps you can confirm the following: in 1963 most WH/Presidential Detail SS agents came from 'their' rank and file, that being; basic field grunts who do investigative work and undertstand "evidence, particularly evidence concerning counterfiting of US paper money". Is that correct?

Thanks

David,

That is correct by the most part. Many agents came from either the military or civilian LE and some had basic training in crime scene preservation and evidence collection. However, their focus as dignitary protection agents of the secret service was just that and under the stress of a major incident such as this, they would focus on their responsibilites. In any dignitary visit whether it was 1963 or 2006, the SS would have one agent assigned to head up each duty, such as motorcade, sight security, airport detail, intelligence. In a briefing the day prior to the visit, these agents would meet with local LE and military and give an overall briefing of the planned events. This being after they spent some time with the locals who were put in charge of the respected areas of responsibility. The intel agent would pass around data sheets on persons of concern that details their background and photos. They would then break into groups of responsibility and go over the final details of each so that those can focus on their mission of the following day. Again, these are the advance agents and not those who are travelling with the dignitary who are hands on with the dignitary, including the driver of the limo and the follow-up unit.

In regards with your posting on investigative backgrounds within the SS, agents generally start out in counterfeiting prior to going into dignitary protection and that is their specialty as far as LE investigative training.

In the SS Dignitary Protection Course I took some years back, we were informed that when an agent performed poorly, they would be reprimanded internally by being assigned bad duty, at the time, the worst duty was to be assigned to Lady Bird's detail where they had to drive and provide security for this little lady when she went shopping and to the beauty parlor. While off-topic, thought all would enjoy their tribulations of inner politics.

Al

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