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Three tramps and Harkness


Steve Thomas
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In FBI Admin Folder F7, pp 120 and 121, there is a memo to Mr. Jenkins from J.J. McDermott dated 9/12/1974.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=120

In this memo, McDermott talks about an album of photographs furnished the Director by Don Donahue, Special Assistant to Senator Henry Jackson of Washington. The album of photos had been supplied by Michael Canfield.

McDermott goes on to say that one of the photographs, photograph# 4 shows a police officer with three "bums" who were arrested behind the TSBD shortly after the President was shot.

Freelance writer, Sam Jaffe identified the police officer as David Harkness. Jaffe claimed to have talked to Harkness "last week" and Harkness stated he recalled finding the bums behind the Depository about ten minutes after Kennedy was shot."

This photo is obviously not any of the photos showing the three tramps being led through Dealey Plaza by officers, Bass, Vaughn and Wise around 2:00 in the afternoon.

Has anyone ever seen the photo being described?

Steve Thomas

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This story seems pretty well impossible to sort out. All that seems clear is that a photograph exists or existed showing one cop with some detained tramps. Why is this photo now "lost"? Where is the photo album that is referred to?

Was the cop Harkness as claimed in the memo? Possibly, but the Jaffe in the memo said that "Harkness (phonetic)" was now (in 1974) living in Louisiana. According to the Harkness interview in Larry Sneed's No More Silence, Harkness retired from the DPD in 1973 and joined the probation department, from which he retired in 1991 and now (in 1998) lives with his wife Ellie in Dallas. I.e, he never left Dallas.

Harkness was one of the officers who took tramps from a train or trains. This may be what is meant in the memo by "behind the TSBD," and Harkess may have been photographed with some tramps. But in none of his testimony (WC, HSCA, FBI) did Harkness say that he himself escorted any tramps to the sheriff's office as stated in the memo. He refers to Bass and Wise doing so.

Moreover, the Michael Canfield in the memo must surely be the same Michael Canfield who coauthored Coup D'etat in Dallas, in which Canfield, who mentions a private taped interview of Harkness, makes no mention of Harkness photographed with tramps or taking any tramps to the sheriff's office.

Yet Harkness seems to contradict his own testimony in his Sneed interview, in which he says, "There were several (tramps) taken off (the train) and sent to the sheriff's office, but I don't remember how many. I don't recall all the officers that were there, but I took six or eight down there myself." "Down there" presumably meaning the sheriff's office. Why did Harkness finally remember doing this in 1998? Or, after all those years, did he just think that he did?

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Ron,

This story seems pretty well impossible to sort out.

I know what you mean.

Denis Morissette mounted several documents relating to the three tramps, including an HSCA interview and a 1992 FBI interview with Harkness.

http://www.geocities.com/denismorissette/Documents.html

In those, he only speaks of remembering Billy Bass and Marvin Wise being invloved.

However, the tramps taken off the train by Bass and Wise were taken off a train about a half a mile to the south of the TSBD at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon.

In this 1974 memo I referred to above, Harkness talks about taking the bums off the train "behind the TSBD appriximately ten minutes after the President was shot.

I myself believe that the three tramps were arrested twice that day. I would just like to verify through photographic evidence, that the tramps Harkness arrested behind the TSBD were the same people.

One page of that series of 1974 memos talks about photographs never published before.

Steve Thomas

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Even the existing Tramps photographs don't make a whole lot of sense either. In the one where they are walking alongside the TSBD (the one with the alleged Lansdale figure), Bass is bringing up the rear, and at quite some distance.

When they are crossing Elm and then Houston, Bass is now way out front.

This is D.V. Harkness below.

James

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James,

Even the existing Tramps photographs don't make a whole lot of sense either. In the one where they are walking alongside the TSBD (the one with the alleged Lansdale figure), Bass is bringing up the rear, and at quite some distance.

When they are crossing Elm and then Houston, Bass is now way out front.

Cops?

What cops?

*grin*

Steve Thomas

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