Jump to content
The Education Forum

The Strange Case of Lieutenant J. C. Day


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

When Lieutenant J. C. Day, the head of the Dallas police crime unit, arrived on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, he inspected the rifle suspected of being involved in the assassination of JFK. His behaviour was very strange.

(i) Day did not smell it to determine whether it emitted the odor of gunpowder.

(ii) Day found what he claimed was a palm print on the metal barrel but did not follow normal police regulations by ordering any photographs of the print.

(iii) Day lifted the print from the rifle with Scotch tape in such a way that it left no trace of either the print or the lifting of the print. According to one expert the “FBI crime lab, which had never before in tens of thousands of cases encountered an object that did not contain traces of a print’s having been lifted from it.”

(iv) Day discovered an unfired cartridge in the rifle’s firing chamber, yet failed either to have it photographed or dusted for prints.

(v) Day then walked over to the south-east corner window and seeing the large, three-foot-long paper bag in the corner, wrote on it: “Found next to sixth floor window. May have been used to carry weapon.” Why did he think this? Yet, even though he did, he failed to order the paper bag to be photographed in the place it was found.

Day’s behaviour ensured that if Lee Harvey Oswald had ever appeared in court charged with the assassination of JFK, none of this evidence would have been admissible in a court of law.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Guest Stephen Turner

Has anyone ever verified, or otherwise, Days claim that the reason more prints were not found on the carcano was because the stock and barrel were to rough to take a good print?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Stephen

Day was a person whose job was to work with and in crime scenes. He was not a novice. I have heard attempts at excusing his actions by relating that this occurred over 40 years ago. These practices would have been unacceptable on a "Jack the Ripper" crime scene investigation.

I find nearly all of his actions suspect !

Charlie Black

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
Hello Stephen

Day was a person whose job was to work with and in crime scenes. He was not a novice. I have heard attempts at excusing his actions by relating that this occurred over 40 years ago. These practices would have been unacceptable on a "Jack the Ripper" crime scene investigation.

I find nearly all of his actions suspect !

Charlie Black

Charlie. contrary to popular opinion, the Police investigation into the Whitechapel murders was, for its time highly professional, The main investigators Warren, Anderson, Dew and Abberline were almost frantic to nail the culprit but a combination of bad luck, and relatively primative resources frustrated them time and again.

As Inspector Abbeline said in 1903, "theories, we were almost lost in theories;there were so many of them."

Although a failure, every avenue was explored, and police procedures of the time upheld, unlike the debarcle in Dallas.

My original question stands; was Day correct when he claimed that the Carcano was too rough to take a good print.

ps, My book on the Whitechapel murders "The lost Girls" should be out soon..(unashamed plug) :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(v) Day then walked over to the south-east corner window and seeing the large, three-foot-long paper bag in the corner, wrote on it: “Found next to sixth floor window. May have been used to carry weapon.” Why did he think this? Yet, even though he did, he failed to order the paper bag to be photographed in the place it was found.

Not entirely correct, as per the article by Ian Griggs.

http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_...ssue/pbag1.html

Dallas Police Lieutenant J C Day and the Finding of the Bag on the Sixth Floor

The fact that there is no photograph of the paper bag in situ immediately raises suspicion as to whether or not it was found where the Warren Commission said it was found. On the face of it, this should not prove an insurmountable problem. It is surely a simple task to refer to the testimony of the police officer who first saw it. Here, however, we encounter another problem. There is no way of establishing exactly who that may have been. According to the Warren Commission Report: "At the time the bag was found, Lieutenant Day of the Dallas police wrote on it, "Found next to the sixth floor window gun fired from. May have been used to carry gun. Lt. J.C.Day"" (4).

There is nothing in that brief statement to indicate either when the bag was found or, more importantly, by whom. As is so often the case, however, there is far more information to be gained from a study of the 26 Volumes of Hearings and Exhibits than from the incomplete and often ambiguous conclusions of the final Warren Report.

Lieutenant John Carl Day, head of the Dallas Police Department Crime Scene Search Section, testified before the Warren Commission at the offices of the Commission at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, 200 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, DC on 22nd April 1964. The vast majority of his examination was conducted by Assistant Counsel David W Belin but there were also occasional questions from Commissioner John J McCloy (5).

When Mr Belin began to question Lieutenant Day about the paper bag, there was considerable confusion as to which paper bag was being discussed. At first, Lieutenant Day appeared to be referring to a lunch bag - presumably the one which had been found to contain fried chicken. Mr Belin then asked him: "What other kind of sack was found?" Lieutenant Day's reply was a strange one: "A homemade sack, brown paper with 3-inch tape found right in the corner, the southeast corner of the building near where the slugs were found." (6). To me, as a former operational detective with formal training and experience in investigative techniques, this seems very much like a 'prepared' response which gives far more information than the question asks. The word 'slugs' is an obvious error and was quickly corrected by Mr McCloy who intervened to seek confirmation that Lieutenant Day meant 'hulls' (empty or spent cartridge cases).

Mr Belin next showed Lieutenant Day a photograph of the interior of the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository - that area which later became known as the 'sniper's nest' (7). Mr Belin said: "I will first ask you to state if this picture was taken before or after anything was removed from the area." Lieutenant Day dutifully replied: "The sack had been removed." No explanation was offered - and none was sought.

Who Actually Found the Paper Bag?

The simple truth is that we do not know who found the paper bag. Furthermore, there was only one person who has said that he saw the bag where the dotted outline on CE 1302 says it was. That person was Detective Robert Lee Studebaker - the man who, at the request of firstly an unidentified FBI Agent (8) and then of Warren Commission Assistant Counsel Joseph A Ball, actually drew that dotted outline (9). More of Detective Studebaker later.

I attempted to point out to Ian that there is no storage room on the 6th floor - the only storage room that I was ever able to find was the one on the 7th. The room with the shades in the window, that was never properly searched, to the best that I was able to determine. Lights had to be called for, and then the search was called off once the 'rifle' was found. The storage room was in the southeast corner of the building. Allegedly, it contained a long table, and more boxes of books. Most of the shades remained drawn.

Detective Studbaker failed to photograph any large paper bag despite the fact that it cannot have been more than a few feet away from the hulls - or perhaps it was not there. The bag became the subject of the following exchange:

MR BALL: "Now, did you at any time see any paper sack around there?"

DET STUDEBAKER: "Yes, sir."

MR BALL: "Where?"

DET STUDEBAKER: "Storage room there - in the southeast corner of the building - folded."

MR BALL: "In the southeast corner of the building?"

DET STUDEBAKER: "It was a paper - I don't know what it was."

MR BALL: "And it was folded, you say."

DET STUDEBAKER: "Yes."

Much like Alyea protesting the obvious foul play of screwing with the barricade, the hulls, the crime scene in general, and bringing the chicken bones up from the 5th floor.

http://www.jfk-online.com/alyea.html

We all looked over the barricade to see if the half open window with three boxes piled to form a shooting rest for a gunman. One box was actually on the window sill, tilted at an angle. There was a reason for this that I cover in my JFK Facts newsletter. The shooting location consists of two windows set together to form one single window. (The police photo showing the shell casings laying next to the brick wall was staged later by crime lab people who did not see the original positioning because they were not called upon the scene until after the rifle was found nearly an hour later.) . . .

Only recently I saw a picture of Lt. Day with a news still cameraman on the 6th floor. Day was shown pointing to the location where the rifle was found. This was nearly 3:30 or after. It was my understanding that Day and Studebaker had taken the prints, rifle and homemade sack back to police headquarters. I personally would like to know what they were doing back at the scene unless it was to reconstruct shots they had failed to take during the primary investigation. But this evidence had been destroyed and they were forced to create their own version. The photo I have seen of the barricade wasn't even close. I have also seen recently a police photo of the assassin's lair taken from a high angle which indicates that it was shot before the barricade box arrangement was destroyed, but it did not show the barricade itself. This has no bearing on the case other than the public has never seen the original placement. . . .

Police officers who claim they were on the 6th floor when the assassin's window was found have reported that they saw chicken bones at or near the site. One officer reported that he saw chicken bones on the floor near the location. Another said he saw chicken bones on the barricade boxes, while another reported that he saw chicken bones on the box which was laying across the window sill. Some of these officers have given testimony as to the location of the shell casings. Their testimony differs and none of it is true. I have no idea why they are clinging to these statements. They must have a reason. Perhaps it is because they put it in a report and they must stick to it.

One officer stated that he found the assassin's location at the 6th floor window. He went on to say that as he and his fellow officers were leaving the building, he passed Captain Fritz coming in. He said he stopped briefly to tell Captain Fritz that he had found the assassin's lair at the 6th floor window. This seems highly unlikely because Captain Fritz joined us on the 5th floor and aided in the search. The chances are great that this, or these officers heard the report, that stemmed from WFAA-TV's incorrect announcement that the chicken bones were found on the 6th floor. This officer or officers perhaps used this information to formulate their presence at the scene.

There were no chicken bones found on the 6th floor. We covered every inch of it and I filmed everything that could possibly be suspected as evidence. There definitely were no chicken bones were no chicken bones on or near the barricade or boxes at the window. I shot close-up shots of the entire area. The most outstanding puzzle as to why these officers are sticking to this story is the fact they claim to have found the sniper's location, then left the building, as they said to join the investigators at the Tippit shooting location. I have never seen a report that indicates they attempted to use any telephone in the building in an attempt to notify other investigators. They just left the scene to check another assignment, and by chance ran into Capt. Fritz coming in the front door. They claim to have placed a detective at the location but they did not relay their finding to any other officer before they left the building. I presume that the alleged detective they allegedly left at the scene was instructed to stand there until someone else stumbled upon the scene, or they found time to report it after investigating the Tippit scene. Sorry, it doesn't wash.

Bottomline - the Police in Dallas in 1963 were about as qualified for their positions as kindergartners, or, they were intentionally destroying the chain of evidence and mucking things up the best that they could. It may be a little of both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Lieutenant J. C. Day, the head of the Dallas police crime unit, arrived on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, he inspected the rifle suspected of being involved in the assassination of JFK. His behaviour was very strange.

[...]

(v) Day then walked over to the south-east corner window and seeing the large, three-foot-long paper bag in the corner, wrote on it: “Found next to sixth floor window. May have been used to carry weapon.” Why did he think this? [...]

____________________________________

John,

I don't want to sound like an apologist for Lt. Day or any of the other possible bad guys, but since you ask the question, I feel obligated to say that maybe it was a logical conclusion for him to think that the bag "may have been used to carry the weapon" simply because it was about the length of the broken-down rifle and didn't look as if it was made to carry anything else in the general vicinity?

--Thomas

____________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

I don't want to sound like an apologist for Lt. Day or any of the other possible bad guys, but since you ask the question, I feel obligated to say that maybe it was a logical conclusion for him to think that the bag "may have been used to carry the weapon" simply because it was about the length of the broken-down rifle and didn't look as if it was made to carry anything else in the general vicinity?

--Thomas

____________________________________

If the bag was in fact discovered by Studebaker, on the 7th floor, in the southeast corner, in the 'storage room,' then it would explain why no photo was taken of the bag having been found on the 6th floor, along with the hulls and the 'snipers' nest. However, that does not satisfactorily address whether or not the bag may have been used to conceal a rifle - just not the MC 'throw-away.'

Mr. BALL. That was your habit, carrying your lunch?

Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. And that day, on November 22d, how did you carry your lunch from home to work?

Mr. WILLIAMS. I carried my lunch from home to work in a brown paper bag. I believe it was size No. 6 or maybe 8--paper bag.

I think I believe that you think you believe that you weren't coached, even though I think I believe that you were.

There is a long list that could be made concerning what would have been made inadmissable in a court of law. There are broken chains of evidence anywhere you care to look - however, I think it's interesting how the 6th floor became the focus, and the only focus at that. If we consider that Studebaker really did find the bag in the storage room, then it ends up being 'found' on the 6th, along with the chicken bones, which Alyea has being discovered on the 5th. Now three floors have been compromised, and made to look as if only one floor is significant. In hindsight, Day's 'behavior' may have contributed to making certain evidence inadmissable in a court of law, had Oswald gone to trial - however, I'm not inclined to believe that this was ever the point.

We've run through some of this before [i have anyway] - there are multiple reasons why it is quite possible that the 5th floor and the 7th were used during the assassination, and that the 6th was a manufactured piece of nonsense. Maybe we should seek to put it all together in one place.

Perhaps Michael L. Kurtz needs to consider a bit of a bigger picture.

- lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps Michael L. Kurtz needs to consider a bit of a bigger picture.

- lee

When Day said "storage room" he was almost undoubtedly speaking of the 6th floor itself. The entire 6th floor was a "storage room." Was there a "storage room" in the southeast corner of the 7th floor? There is a tendency among CTs, myself included, to pore over every word of testimony as if 1) the witnesses were Shakespeare, and 2) the transcripts of their testimony are precise. Neither is true. On several occasions, I have compared HSCA testimony to transcripts. The transcripts are not precise. Just as importantly, there is a lot of mumbling and hesitation in the testimony, reflecting that the witnesses were unsure of their choice of words.

Edited by Pat Speer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps Michael L. Kurtz needs to consider a bit of a bigger picture.

- lee

When Day said "storage room" he was almost undoubtedly speaking of the 6th floor itself. The entire 6th floor was a "storage room." Was there a "storage room" in the southeast corner of the 7th floor? There is a tendency among CTs, myself included, to pore over every word of testimony as if 1) the witnesses were Shakespeare, and 2) the transcripts of their testimony are precise. Neither is true. On several occasions, I have compared HSCA testimony to transcripts. The transcripts are not precise. Just as importantly, there is a lot of mumbling and hesitation in the testimony, reflecting that the witnesses were unsure of their choice of words.

? To me a 'storage room' will always be a 'storage room.' Yes - southeast corner. 4 walls and a door. Day didn't say storage room - Studebaker did. Perhaps if Studebaker is still alive we could ask him - anyone know if Studebaker is still with us?

- lee

Edited by Lee Forman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/the_critics/g...nst_Oswald.html

Griffith takes a whack at the same problem. 'It was either a number 6 or a number 8 bag that I brought my lunch in that day' - get the hell out of here.

In fact, although the paper bag was allegedly found in the sniper's nest, incredibly, the Dallas police "failed" to take a crime-scene photograph of the bag lying in the nest! The bag does not appear in any of the pictures that were taken of the sniper's nest that afternoon. Some WC apologists have suggested that Lt. Day and Detective Studebaker, the two policemen who took snapshots of the nest, didn't photograph the bag because they didn't notice it. This is surely a farfetched explanation. The bag, which the Commission said measured 38" x 8" and was allegedly shaped "like a gun case," would have been in plain view and could not possibly have been "missed" or "overlooked." Since Day and Studebaker "noticed" the three spent shells lying on the floor, it strains the imagination to think they would not have noticed the 38" x 8" bag lying in the same small area. (Rusty Livingston, a former Dallas Police Crime Lab detective, says the bag was about 42 inches long. In a photo of the bag, which was taken long after it was "discovered," the bag is seen to measure 38 inches in length, although there appears to be a four-inch flap folded over on the left edge of the bag.) The bag, say some WC supporters, was folded and thus was not easy to spot. But three of the policemen who saw a bag in the nest gave no indication that it was folded; they said it was a small bag and that a partially eaten chicken leg was lying beside it. One police officer specifically described the bag he saw as a small manufactured bag, such as the kind found in a grocery store's produce department. Another policeman described it as an ordinary lunch bag.

The other explanation offered by WC apologists to explain the "failure" to photograph the bag is that the bag was "accidentally" removed from the nest before it could be photographed. However, the police officer who supposedly removed the bag prematurely indicated that no evidence was removed until AFTER Day and Studebaker "took pictures and everything" (7 H 97). As one studies the WC testimony about the bag, one is struck by the utter confusion and contradiction in the accounts. The accounts differ markedly about where the bag was located, who found it, what it looked like, whether or not it was folded, whether or not it was even a "bag" at all, when it was removed from the sniper's nest, and who handled it. It should be mentioned that for some reason the bag did not leave the TSBD until three hours after it was supposedly discovered. The small paper bag seen in the sniper's nest probably had nothing to do with the long bag that was later presented as evidence by the Dallas police. Many researchers believe that the police and/or federal agents made the long bag partly with paper that Oswald had previously handled in an effort to strengthen the case against him. This would explain why only two of Oswald's prints were found on the bag (more should have been found), why the bag was devoid of gun oil even though the Carcano was well oiled when discovered, and why the bag did not leave the Depository for three hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Answered my question. I made an attempt to call RL Studebaker - since his name and number appeared to be listed. Mr. Studebaker is deceased - he died in 1994. From the rest of his testimony and from his drawing, it appears that he is pointing out that the bag was discovered in the corner on the 6th floor. This fails to resolve his comment about the 'storage room' for me personally, and why it would not have appeared in any of the photos taken that afternoon in the position where it was alleged originally discovered.

I still feel that it is more likely that the bag was discovered on the 7th floor, in the 'storage room,' just as Studebaker indicated. These guys were professionals - you don't simply move a piece of evidence - especially if it is lying next to 3 spent hulls - without first documenting the scene. It's odd that Studebaker would have allowed himself to be caught in this trap - unless of course, it was foisted upon him later. Of course, if we can believe Tom Alyea, and I am inclined to do so, then the arrangement of boxes as indicated in this 'official' exhibit is bogus as well.

- lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jerry McLeer adds more:

jfkresearch.freehomepage.com/studebakerF.jpg

This corresponds to the testimony of the first law enforcement on the scene. Sheriff Luke Mooney, who discovered the sniper's nest, told the Warren Commission:

Mr. BALL. Did you see a paper bag at any other window?

Mr. MOONEY. No, sir; I didn't.

Sgt. Gerald Hill, the first DPD officer to arrive:

Mr. HILL. The only specifics we discussed were this. You were asking Officer Hicks if either one recalled seeing a sack, supposedly one that had been made by the suspect, in which he could have possibly carried the weapon into the Depository, and I at that time told you about the small sack that appeared to be a lunchsack, and that that was the only sack that I saw, and that I left the Book Depository prior to the finding of the gun.

Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig:

Mr. BELIN. Was there any long sack laying in the floor there that you remember seeing, or not?

Mr. CRAIG. No; I don't remember seeing any.

Detective Boyd, who arrived with Captain Fritz before Day and Studebaker:

Mr. BALL. Did you see any brown wrapping paper near the window where the hulls were found, near the windows alongside which the hulls were found?

Mr. BOYD. I don't believe I did.

Lacking an actual photograph of the bag in the sniper's nest, the Warren Commission placed in evidence a photo of the sniper's nest with the outline of the bag drawn in!!! (Studebaker Exhibit F)

...

On December 4, 1963, a postal worker noticed a parcel addressed to Lee Oswald in the dead-letter section of the Irving Post Office. According to an FBI report (CD 205), the package was addressed to Oswald at 601 W. Nassaus Street in Dallas, a non-existent address. The package contained a "brown paper bag made of fairly heavy brown paper which bag was open at both ends," which was approximately 18" in length.

Jerry McLeer / March 15, 2000

I wonder if Gerald Hill says anywhere on which floor he saw the small sack? I also noted that Ball has Mooney apparently saying something about having seen chicken bones on top of one of the book boxes - Studebaker nixed that.

Perhaps there was a similar type of arrangement on the 7th floor - to what we see on the 6th.

- lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On December 4, 1963, a postal worker noticed a parcel addressed to Lee Oswald in the dead-letter section of the Irving Post Office. According to an FBI report (CD 205), the package was addressed to Oswald at 601 W. Nassaus Street in Dallas, a non-existent address. The package contained a "brown paper bag made of fairly heavy brown paper which bag was open at both ends," which was approximately 18" in length.

Nassaus Window Fashions New Jersey?

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...