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New witness, 85 yrs. old, discloses seeing new shooter


Douglas Caddy
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... She said that she was parked behind the TSBD - and saw a man who was built similarly to Oswald come running from the back of the building carrying a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight. I believe she said it was a "buff-colored" Plymouth that he got into - which had been there waiting. It was being driven by a husky, darker-complected man who had bushy eyebrows and a hat - and had given her an unfriendly, disapproving stare. She said that prior to the man with the rifle exiting the building, a policeman (whom she thought may have been Tippit) had apparently approached the driver of the Plymouth - and had indicated that he should move his car. The driver did not respond immediately and the car continued to sit there for awhile longer. The host of the show asked if she would be willing to take a lie detector test, to which she agreed - and they were going to arrange for that to happen.
I was listening to the radio show when the new witness called in. It is my recollection that she said the police officer, whom she claimed was Tippit, told the driver to move the car, which he reluctantly did. So when the shooter exited the building running soon thereafter he was perplexed for a moment as the car was not where it should have been but was instead in a nearby location where it could not be seen.

The shooter, holding the rifle, then started running at a gallop with his jacket blowing in the wind towards a nearby tunnel under a road and the police officer immediately pursued him in his vehicle. That was the last that was seen by the new witness. She did say that she later learned that the driver of the car that was forced to move was named "Elrod." ...

Thanks Mr. Caddy. It could work with Worrell's account. It's hard to imagine that you would run with a weapon in your hands of course, and not be seen by anyone else. Sam Pate could then have arrived after the fact and seen Worrell. I forget - Couch? Had the cops chasing someone.

... Very curious. Too bad the woman's identity is unknown - could at least show her a photo of John Elrod, Malcolm Wallace and a few other folks.

Edit - anyone know if Elrod wore his hair long? The kind of car he was driving when he was arrested?

Edit #2 - this is itching. A buff colored Plymouth could match the description of the car parked in Lee Vida Whatley's space that morning. How does she know it was a Plymouth? What kind of car was she driving? Where exactly was she parked, and why would she be sitting in her car while the motorcade was passing? If she saw him run towards a tunnel under a road - is this the triple underpass? Could this then be the same man as seen by Jean Hill? How could the cops have given chase in a vehicle? Does the man running get into the Plymouth or keep running? How did she manage to learn the driver's name afterwards? What color was the running man's jacket? A dark grey sportscoat?

Was there another cop that resembled Tippit? What on earth would make her think Tippit was there?

Too many unknown variables here to work with - it's a shame we can't get more info.

To quote the eminent researcher David Perry regarding Elrod:

Over the last few years there has been a rash of what I call John F. Kennedy assassination "groupies." The assembly includes the likes of Ricky White, Chauncey Holt and Jim Files. All have come forward claiming they have something valuable to contribute to assassination lore. Of course, these people required a publicist. Someone that could "investigate" the story in such fashion that it is half way believable, at least to those with little knowledge of events.

The above story seems to fall into that category.

A key question among those above is "How did she manage to learn the driver's name afterwards?" How indeed! If there's no credible way that she could have accomplished that, then the whole story falls apart.

Lee, you noted:

Shortly after the assassination of the President, ELROD, who had been about two and one half miles from the scene of the assassination at Lem[m]on and Oaklawn Streets in Dallas, was arrested by the Dallas Police Department and placed in the City Jail. His arrest had nothing to do with the assassination of the President.
... which is apparently not quite accurate, whatever the source. According to the Dallas City Archives' Police "Arrest Report on Investigative Prisoner" for John Franklin Elrod dated 11/22/63 at 2:45 p.m.:

This man was arrested on railroad tracks a few minutes after [a] radio call was dispatched that [a] man was walking along railroad carrying a rifle.
This man was not carrying a rifle at the time of his arrest
. This suspect is unemployed, states he has been in Dallas for two weeks. Lost his job last week at El Fenix [Restaurant], states he has been arrested for theft and D.W.I.
[emphasis added]

Perhaps the end result of his arrest "had nothing to do with the assassination of the President," but clearly his initial arrest did, or was at least a "definite maybe" at that point in time.

The arresting officer is listed as C.M. Barnhart, who was a motorcycle officer. His own broadcast of detaining a "drunk" ("... arrested for theft and D.W.I.?") is at 1:08 on Channel 1; he is unit #261. He had first stopped the man and asked for a description of the shooter, which dispatch radioed back was "... a white male, thirty, slender build, five feet ten, a hundred and sixty-five pounds, armed with a .30 caliber rifle." Barnhart said that he had "a white male that fits that description in size. He's drunk" at the dead end of Laws Street, which is near the west end of the railroad yard.

The arrest report - or news reports about it - is one way that the new "witness" could have learned Elrod's name, but of course, Elrod wasn't driving a car when he was arrested, so clearly - and at best - she got her subjects mixed up: if Elrod was either of the two men she'd claimed to have seen, he would have to have been the man supposedly carrying a rifle, not the driver of the car. That being the case, she is either confused or full of it.

Personally, I think that calling into a radio show anonymously with claims that seem to "tie everything together" (i.e., Tippit at the assassination scene chasing "cohort" John Elrod, whom nobody has ever claimed was a shooter anyway, in a car nobody ever said he was driving anyway) tends toward the latter explanation.

It seems like, at the least, she needs a better publicist!

Consider also that there was only one block in which she - or "Elrod" - could have been parked on Houston Street before construction began: where could she have possibly been parked - and, as you'd asked, why would she be parked on a side street sitting in her car when the motorcade went by anyway, or more markedly, why she'd be sitting there after the shooting calmly enough to notice and remember all these details - that cops would supposedly order "Elrod" to move, but not her?

Aren't there photos showing vehicles that were parked on Houston Street?

Other aspects between the Pate and Worrell stories: Pate could not have arrived at TSBD any sooner than four minutes after the shooting at the very soonest, based on his whereabouts, what he'd seen, and the driving time it takes to get from where he was to TSBD. Worrell claimed to have taken off running even before the last shot had been fired, and never claimed to have dallied any four or five minutes. Ergo ...?

Finally, don't forget the testimony of James Romack, who said he'd been watching the back of the TSBD and saw nobody come out, with or without a rifle. It's been speculated that someone could've come out of the building while he was moving the construction barricade for Pate, but we know about what time that was - 12:34-12:36 - and that it didn't take long, so an awful lot of stuff had to transpire in a very limited time span, and the only brief time span when Romack wasn't watching the doors.

That there may be "too many unknown variables here to work with," the ones that are known seem to render the rest of them completely moot. There may be "unknown variables," but they're not necessarily - and seem unlikely to be - related.

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... She said that she was parked behind the TSBD - and saw a man who was built similarly to Oswald come running from the back of the building carrying a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight. I believe she said it was a "buff-colored" Plymouth that he got into - which had been there waiting. It was being driven by a husky, darker-complected man who had bushy eyebrows and a hat - and had given her an unfriendly, disapproving stare. She said that prior to the man with the rifle exiting the building, a policeman (whom she thought may have been Tippit) had apparently approached the driver of the Plymouth - and had indicated that he should move his car. The driver did not respond immediately and the car continued to sit there for awhile longer. The host of the show asked if she would be willing to take a lie detector test, to which she agreed - and they were going to arrange for that to happen.
I was listening to the radio show when the new witness called in. It is my recollection that she said the police officer, whom she claimed was Tippit, told the driver to move the car, which he reluctantly did. So when the shooter exited the building running soon thereafter he was perplexed for a moment as the car was not where it should have been but was instead in a nearby location where it could not be seen.

The shooter, holding the rifle, then started running at a gallop with his jacket blowing in the wind towards a nearby tunnel under a road and the police officer immediately pursued him in his vehicle. That was the last that was seen by the new witness. She did say that she later learned that the driver of the car that was forced to move was named "Elrod." ...

Thanks Mr. Caddy. It could work with Worrell's account. It's hard to imagine that you would run with a weapon in your hands of course, and not be seen by anyone else. Sam Pate could then have arrived after the fact and seen Worrell. I forget - Couch? Had the cops chasing someone.

... Very curious. Too bad the woman's identity is unknown - could at least show her a photo of John Elrod, Malcolm Wallace and a few other folks.

Edit - anyone know if Elrod wore his hair long? The kind of car he was driving when he was arrested?

Edit #2 - this is itching. A buff colored Plymouth could match the description of the car parked in Lee Vida Whatley's space that morning. How does she know it was a Plymouth? What kind of car was she driving? Where exactly was she parked, and why would she be sitting in her car while the motorcade was passing? If she saw him run towards a tunnel under a road - is this the triple underpass? Could this then be the same man as seen by Jean Hill? How could the cops have given chase in a vehicle? Does the man running get into the Plymouth or keep running? How did she manage to learn the driver's name afterwards? What color was the running man's jacket? A dark grey sportscoat?

Was there another cop that resembled Tippit? What on earth would make her think Tippit was there?

Too many unknown variables here to work with - it's a shame we can't get more info.

To quote the eminent researcher David Perry regarding Elrod:

Over the last few years there has been a rash of what I call John F. Kennedy assassination "groupies." The assembly includes the likes of Ricky White, Chauncey Holt and Jim Files. All have come forward claiming they have something valuable to contribute to assassination lore. Of course, these people required a publicist. Someone that could "investigate" the story in such fashion that it is half way believable, at least to those with little knowledge of events.

The above story seems to fall into that category.

A key question among those above is "How did she manage to learn the driver's name afterwards?" How indeed! If there's no credible way that she could have accomplished that, then the whole story falls apart.

Lee, you noted:

Shortly after the assassination of the President, ELROD, who had been about two and one half miles from the scene of the assassination at Lem[m]on and Oaklawn Streets in Dallas, was arrested by the Dallas Police Department and placed in the City Jail. His arrest had nothing to do with the assassination of the President.
... which is apparently not quite accurate, whatever the source. According to the Dallas City Archives' Police "Arrest Report on Investigative Prisoner" for John Franklin Elrod dated 11/22/63 at 2:45 p.m.:

This man was arrested on railroad tracks a few minutes after [a] radio call was dispatched that [a] man was walking along railroad carrying a rifle.
This man was not carrying a rifle at the time of his arrest
. This suspect is unemployed, states he has been in Dallas for two weeks. Lost his job last week at El Fenix [Restaurant], states he has been arrested for theft and D.W.I.
[emphasis added]

Perhaps the end result of his arrest "had nothing to do with the assassination of the President," but clearly his initial arrest did, or was at least a "definite maybe" at that point in time.

The arresting officer is listed as C.M. Barnhart, who was a motorcycle officer. His own broadcast of detaining a "drunk" ("... arrested for theft and D.W.I.?") is at 1:08 on Channel 1; he is unit #261. He had first stopped the man and asked for a description of the shooter, which dispatch radioed back was "... a white male, thirty, slender build, five feet ten, a hundred and sixty-five pounds, armed with a .30 caliber rifle." Barnhart said that he had "a white male that fits that description in size. He's drunk" at the dead end of Laws Street, which is near the west end of the railroad yard.

The arrest report - or news reports about it - is one way that the new "witness" could have learned Elrod's name, but of course, Elrod wasn't driving a car when he was arrested, so clearly - and at best - she got her subjects mixed up: if Elrod was either of the two men she'd claimed to have seen, he would have to have been the man supposedly carrying a rifle, not the driver of the car. That being the case, she is either confused or full of it.

Personally, I think that calling into a radio show anonymously with claims that seem to "tie everything together" (i.e., Tippit at the assassination scene chasing "cohort" John Elrod, whom nobody has ever claimed was a shooter anyway, in a car nobody ever said he was driving anyway) tends toward the latter explanation.

It seems like, at the least, she needs a better publicist!

Consider also that there was only one block in which she - or "Elrod" - could have been parked on Houston Street before construction began: where could she have possibly been parked - and, as you'd asked, why would she be parked on a side street sitting in her car when the motorcade went by anyway, or more markedly, why she'd be sitting there after the shooting calmly enough to notice and remember all these details - that cops would supposedly order "Elrod" to move, but not her?

Aren't there photos showing vehicles that were parked on Houston Street?

Other aspects between the Pate and Worrell stories: Pate could not have arrived at TSBD any sooner than four minutes after the shooting at the very soonest, based on his whereabouts, what he'd seen, and the driving time it takes to get from where he was to TSBD. Worrell claimed to have taken off running even before the last shot had been fired, and never claimed to have dallied any four or five minutes. Ergo ...?

Finally, don't forget the testimony of James Romack, who said he'd been watching the back of the TSBD and saw nobody come out, with or without a rifle. It's been speculated that someone could've come out of the building while he was moving the construction barricade for Pate, but we know about what time that was - 12:34-12:36 - and that it didn't take long, so an awful lot of stuff had to transpire in a very limited time span, and the only brief time span when Romack wasn't watching the doors.

That there may be "too many unknown variables here to work with," the ones that are known seem to render the rest of them completely moot. There may be "unknown variables," but they're not necessarily - and seem unlikely to be - related.

Hey Duke.

It doesn't make a great deal of sense - granted. However, I think there is clearly something fishy going on here with Elrod and his stories - I thought it was Lonnie Ray Right - however, he doesn't match the description - does he? I will have to look over the arrest stuff again - I remember we ran through some of it - I think some was in that suspicious vehicle thread. Wait...got it - Steve Thomas is raising the same issue.

There are some pieces to the puzzle missing. Is the Falcon the same that was seen with Mathers plates and the LHO lookalike? Is it Vaganov in his very unique looking T-bird? Is something missing from the dictabelt? None of this makes any sense - however, who would call in a man seen running along the RR tracks with a rifle and be satisfied that the man found had no rifle? That's not logical. It's almost like Elrod played breakdown man and ran for it - was pursued, ditches the rifle, and then Lonnie steps in to play the tramp as cover-up. I love the description on his jacket. He's also NOT the only one possibly pretending to be drunk that was arrested that day - 'Larry Florer' used this same sham - very effective and I may use it myself one day - apparently it doesn't matter what time of day this particular technique is used - any dumb cop will fall for it. Wasn't there also some other account of another drunk tramp being arrested closer to the trains - I could be wrong on that - I couldn't find anything right away - thought maybe I read it on AJ Weberman's site. Okay - this one is going to bother me for awhile. I hope that this 85 year old lady caller can shed some additional light - like how she found out the name of the driver, for starters, but also to address the big disconnect in her account - which has the shooter with the rifle both getting into the car, and also running off into the distance.

Any ideas? I think this may actually be something significant - perhaps the role of the tramps in mud time is finally becoming clear - I know I never could figure out the Frost poem. Perhaps we have an answer to the Oswald beer and peanut brittle mystery. Alcohol on the breath to help out with an act in the event of being snagged.

Based on the timing of the dispatches, I believe the person being described below is Lonnie Ray Wright:

At 1:12 # 243 calls in on Channel 2. #243 is Patrolman B. L. Apple

“I’m down here with this three wheeler at the dead-end of Laurels (sic) and he has got black hair. He is 42 years old and got a light colored jacket on and he is pretty drunk but he has been walking down these railroad tracks. Do you want me to take him up there or what do you want me to do with him?"

Along the lines of suspicious vehicles, I have always found these exchanges intriguing:

According to CE 1974 at 23H885, at approximately 2:20PM, Unit 474A (which is only identified as the Special Services Bureau) is dispatched to pick up a "subject on this overpass, carrying a rifle; railroad tracks, Cobb Stadium." 474A was asked if he could see the subject. 474A said no, but that they would go over and get him.

At 2:23, Unit 22 (Patrolman L.L. Hill) was dispatched to go out to Cobb Stadium on the railroad track overpass and meet 474A at the railroad tracks. "There is a white male carrying a rifle" (23H886)

At 2:26, unit 562 (a wrecker) radioed in and said that he was at Cobb stadium "for that suspect's car" (23H887). The Dispatcher told the wrecker to wait there, that 474A will "be back in a minute".

At 2:27, Unit 52(unknown) radioed in and asked if the T.C. Cobb Stadium was on the Hines Blvd overpass, the railroad overpass, or the freeway overpass and asked which direction the suspect was walking. The Dispatcher's response was garbled, but said he didn't know about the direction. (23H887)

At 2:28 Patrolman Hill reported that he was with the wrecker at Cobb Stadium and Unit 474A was ordered to go there. (23H887)

474A radios in and says, "The car that we want picked up is on the parking lot if front of the Merchandise Mart just north of Cobb Stadium."

22 asks if it is a 1964 Falcon. 474A says, "No. It is a red panel truck with writing on the side... license plate 3E9087. (23H888)

The time on Elrod's Arrest Record is given as 2:45 pm.

As early as 2:03 PM, Unit 474A was calling for a wrecker. "We need a wrecker on the parking lot just west of Cobb's stadium for suspect's car." (23H881)

At 2:26, unit 562 (a wrecker) radioed in and said that he was at Cobb stadium "for that suspect's car" (23H887). The Dispatcher told the wrecker to wait there, that 474A will "be back in a minute".

What suspect was that? At 2:03 unit 474A is looking to pick up a "suspect's" car, but 474A wasn't dispatched to pick up the suspect walking on the railroad tracks until 2:20 PM. (23H885)

There follows as series of transmissions from 474A looking for Deputy Chief M.W. Stevenson and Lieutenant C.C. Wallace.

Steve Thomas

Edited by Lee Forman
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