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Jack Beers

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Hi John:

By all means, perhaps James will.......Too bad you are still having problems posting

photos....? I am continually running out of upload space, but try to work around..

Below is Bob Jackson's, Prize winning photo..and a few others leading up to such

though I know not who took them, perhaps you do..??



Edited by Bernice Moore
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For now just two more..


I have listed a Homer Venso who was a camerman for WBAP-TV.

Footage of the shooting of Oswald was nearly missed. First, the

camera had to be relocated from the inside of the basement hallway,

which would have filmed Oswald from behind. But due to objections from

Police Chief Curry as to the hallway couldn't be blocked with camera

equipment. homer was the only NBC cameraman in the basement

and with no zoom lens, upon instructions from his produce Fred

Rheinstein to use the camera as a still camera, and not to move the

camera. Prior to Oswald's entrance into the basement, Homer was able to

film an overall shot of the basement. he was then instructed again by Rheinstein

to use a close-up lens and was just able to get the picture in focus when

Oswald was shot.

There was a cameraman from New Orleans but I can't recall his name at

this time.

The same images I was able to post awhile back I can no longer post.



Could the name be a John Tankersley or a David Timmons, I believe it is....?

These below are DPD reports....Venso's name is only mentioned on the bottom

of a WC list..



Edited by Bernice Moore
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Jack Beers :Oswald's murder snapped a hair too soon

Six-tenths of a second, 2 lives forever changed

'He was a victim of timing and circumstance, and it's something he never got over'

02:25 PM CST on Tuesday, January 27, 2004

By MICHAEL GRANBERRY / The Dallas Morning News

From the moment he lunged out of the shadows and pulled the trigger on his .38-caliber Colt Cobra, Jack Ruby did more than blast his way into history.

Lee Harvey Oswald, the man suspected of killing President John F. Kennedy two days earlier, suffered a single, fatal shot from Ruby's gun.

But other men standing in the basement of the Dallas police station on Sunday morning, Nov. 24, 1963, saw their own lives change, none more so than a pair of photojournalists who captured the moment in black and white.

For Robert H. "Bob" Jackson, then a 29-year-old photographer for the Dallas Times Herald, taking a picture of Oswald's murder meant winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1964.

But for Ira Jefferson "Jack" Beers Jr., who worked for The Dallas Morning News – and who took an almost equally vivid picture – the basement events left an entirely different legacy.

Those who knew him say he never recovered from missing the Pulitzer by six-tenths of a second – the time between his photograph and Mr. Jackson's.

"I know this sounds stupid, but for years, I wouldn't even talk to people about it. It hurt a lot," says Darlene Beers Williams, 50, the second of Mr. Beers' three children, whose father died of a heart attack in 1975. He was 51.

Mr. Beers was "industrious, careful, experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated," said Tom Dillard, who in 1963 was the Morning News ' chief photographer. (Mr. Dillard was interviewed shortly before his death in late May.) "But on that day, he was a victim of timing and circumstance, and it's something he never got over."

His daughter attributes the difference in the photos to an accident of timing, a twist of fate.

"It really hurt my dad when Bob won the Pulitzer Prize," says Ms. Williams, a manager at a Garland retirement home.

Her father "always said, 'I was there. I was prepared. But I didn't get it.' "

Photography a passion

Born at Parkland Hospital in 1923, Jack Beers was an only child. Raised by a single mother, he was 7 when his parents divorced, at the height of the Great Depression. His family was poor.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and joined the Army Air Forces, where photography became a passion. Upon his discharge, he was hired by the Times Herald, where he worked for two years, then moved to the Morning News.

He was, his daughter says, a perfectionist, enslaved to details and committed to showing up for assignments an hour early. He often told his little girl, "Luck is a product of being prepared."

Through the years, he parlayed that luck into a showroom of memorable photographs – a woman in tears, lying on a stretcher, clutching her Bible; football great Kyle Rote, grinning en route to a game-winning touchdown; and a terrifying stream of hurricanes and tornadoes.

He loved crime stories, she says, and went on ride-alongs with the Dallas police. He also came to know a strange little man who often hung out at police headquarters, a strip-club operator named Jack Ruby.

To fatten his pocketbook, Mr. Beers even photographed some of Ruby's "girls," whose pictures are part of the family collection.

He scoffed at what colleag called "feature" photography, believing news was where the action was. So on the day President Kennedy came to town, he was thrilled, his daughter says, having drawn the assignment of photographing the president's arrival at Love Field.

After the assassination, he spent hours at police headquarters and on Sunday drew the assignment of photographing what was supposed to be a routine transfer of Oswald from the city jail to the county jail. As always, Mr. Beers showed up early.

On-the-job training

JFK: 40 Years Later

Photos: Then and Now

Nov. 1963 timeline of events

JFK: A Special Report

Order the DVD

Like Jack Beers, Bob Jackson was an only child born in Dallas. His birth was traumatic – he barely survived complications during delivery that killed his twin sister when she was 4 days old.

He grew up in University Park as the son of the secretary-treasurer of Dallas Federal Savings and Loan. He attended Southern Methodist University but left early to join the Army National Guard, which gave him on-the-job training in photography.

He left the service in 1959 and got a job with the Times Herald a year later. He developed a fascination with hard news, whose speed and action he likened to auto racing, a sport he followed with almost-slavish devotion.

He got to know racing pioneers Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall and reveled in owning a 1958 AC Ace Bristol, the forerunner to Mr. Shelby's famous Cobra. "There were six in all of Dallas," says Mr. Jackson, "and I had one of 'em."

"Bob was a rich kid who had never worked," says fellow photographer Andy Hanson. "His dad was a friend of [co-publisher and editor] Felix McKnight, who got John Mazziotta [the paper's chief photographer] to hire Bob."

Despite the circumstances under which he was hired, "He was pretty darn good," says Mr. Hanson, who remembers Mr. Jackson's talent for hard news as putting him at the forefront of the paper's assassination coverage.

On Nov. 22, 1963, he was riding in the motorcade, eight cars behind the president. His assignment was to photograph crowd scenes along the route and then hand his film to a Times Herald reporter waiting at the corner of Main and Houston.

Shots fired, shots missed

Heading west on Main, nearing Houston, Mr. Jackson hurled his film to Jim Featherston, a heavyset reporter who had trouble catching it and – comically – ended up having to chase it. They were both still chuckling over the fumbled film when Mr. Jackson's car veered sharply onto Houston. By this time, the president's car was cruising down Elm.

And then came the first shot.

Instinctively, Mr. Jackson says he looked to where the shot was coming from – and saw a rifle protruding from a window in the east end of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald fired three shots from a sniper's perch he had constructed in that window.

Mr. Jackson had two cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, the other a telephoto. Cursing his bad luck, he realized he had snapped his last picture just before turning onto Houston Street.

He had no time to reload. There would be no picture of the assassin. So, two days later, as he headed to the basement, he felt "like an idiot" for having missed the shot of the century.

On Sunday morning, photographers began arriving at the police station shortly before 9. They milled around for a while, sharing their stunned disbelief about the president's murder. Eventually, they were told to stake out positions in the basement and stay put until the suspect emerged.

"Beers liked to be up high," says Mr. Jackson, who positioned himself near an incline but not on it, as Mr. Beers had. Mr. Beers was, in fact, standing on a railing on top of the incline, giving him a height advantage of several feet.

To Mr. Jackson's right were Frank Johnston, a photographer for United Press International, and Mr. Beers. Standing in front of Mr. Beers but below his camera were television reporter Bob Huffaker, an unidentified Asian man and Dallas police Detective William J. "Blackie" Harrison.

Before Oswald appeared, a Times Herald reporter walked over to tell Mr. Jackson that the transfer was taking too long and that the city desk wanted him to leave the basement and head straight to Nellie Connally's press conference at Parkland Hospital. The wife of Texas Gov. John B. Connally was scheduled to appear in public for the first time since her husband was critically hurt in the shooting that killed the president.

"He came back and said, 'We can't miss that press conference – that's the most important thing,' " Mr. Jackson recalls the reporter saying.

But Mr. Jackson refused to leave.

Photo finish

Flanked by two detectives, Oswald entered the basement at 11:21. They appeared to be heading to an unmarked car that was still backing into place, its bumper actually touching Mr. Jackson's left knee.

Less than a minute before Oswald appeared, Ruby had entered the basement and positioned himself behind and to the left of Detective Harrison.

In a letter written to Ruby's attorney in 1967, Mr. Beers describes what happened next:

"Out of the corner of my right eye, I saw a sudden movement ... My first impression was, it was a photographer out of position or with a very short lens trying to improve his position, then the curse, 'You son of a bitch,' punctuated by the shot. The curse was in such an unnatural and excited voice, before it concluded I knew someone had gone berserk and was attacking Oswald."

The sudden movement provoked Mr. Jackson, six-tenths of a second later, to snap the shutter.

"The reason Beers shot too soon, in comparison to me," says Mr. Jackson, "is that he saw it easier and quicker than I did. Ruby was more in his vision. I had a better position because I wasn't distracted by Ruby as much. I was still looking at Oswald's face, and I knew I was going to shoot before whoever that was blocked my view."

Mr. Jackson was using a Nikon S3 with a wide-angle 35 mm lens. Mr. Beers was using a Mamiyaflex camera with a 65 mm lens.

More than anything, Mr. Jackson says, timing was paramount: 1963 technology required the use of strobe lights, which took up to five seconds to recycle each time the shutter snapped. Motor-driven cameras, which advance the frames rapidly, existed in 1963, says Mr. Jackson, but no one in the basement was using one. Amid the bedlam, Mr. Jackson had no idea what he had.

The basement events had left him sickened, adding to the horror of the president being murdered in Mr. Jackson's hometown. "But I had a job to do," he says. And so did his crosstown rival.

As soon as he could, Mr. Beers returned to the News' darkroom. Seeing the negative for the first time, Mr. Beers' supervisor was ecstatic.

"My God!" Mr. Dillard said. "You've just won us the Pulitzer Prize!"

But Mr. Jackson's darkroom discovery was even more dramatic.

Felix McKnight, co-publisher and editor of the Times Herald, says Mr. Jackson's negative was overwhelming. "I had been a Pulitzer juror three times," says Mr. McKnight, now 91. He shouted to the troops: "We've got a winner here! We're gonna win one!"

When The News began hitting porches at dawn the next day, Mr. Beers' photograph ate up most of the front page.

It was and is a great picture, showing Ruby emerging from the shadows with gun fully extended. But the look on Oswald's face – sullen, indifferent, even bored – and that of the officers leading him in handcuffs indicates none of them has even seen Ruby, much less sensed the impending chaos.

"Seeing Jack's picture made me a little sad," says Mr. McKnight, who had once worked at The News and supervised Mr. Beers. "Jack was a fine young man and a very good photographer, and I knew that would be a bitter defeat. It was like losing a horse race by a nose. I understood the pangs of his disappointment, and it was damn narrow."

But in the Times Herald newsroom, no one else felt even a twinge of sadness. News columnist Blackie Sherrod, who in 1963 was lead sports columnist and sports editor at the Times Herald, was helping out the city desk in the assassination's aftermath. It was Mr. Sherrod who made the decision to run Mr. Jackson's photograph the full eight columns.

Taken six-tenths of a second later, Mr. Jackson's is similar to Mr. Beers' but with a far more arresting image: It shows Ruby aiming the gun at Oswald, whose body has just been invaded by the bullet, as smoke rings rise from his abdomen to his eyes. As Oswald grimaces in pain, the police detectives' faces are etched in sheer terror.

Now a 61-year-old photographer for the Washington Post, Frank Johnston reflects on his own moment in the basement by trumpeting Mr. Jackson's photograph as a classic for the ages. More than any other image, he says, it captures the shock and horror of Dallas' darkest weekend.

"The facial expressions, the body language of everyone in that photograph is just incredible," says Mr. Johnston. "I looked at that photograph the first time and was startled by it, it had so much impact."

Mystery unraveled

Nearly 40 years later, the impact is still being felt, with the how and why of what happened in the basement still being examined. Why did Mr. Beers shoot first? Was Mr. Jackson responding only to Mr. Beers' flash, as Morning News rivals still insist? Videotape and news footage from six other cameras have unraveled the mystery.

By measuring the time between flashes of the strobes, Gary Mack, curator of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, has undertaken a frame-by-frame analysis that shows Mr. Johnston of UPI taking the first picture. In his, Oswald is being escorted by police, with Ruby not yet in the frame. Nine-tenths of a second later, Mr. Beers took his picture, followed by Mr. Jackson, six-tenths of a second after that.

"The footage shows that Bob and everyone else appear to be reacting only to Ruby's movement," says Mr. Mack. "Had he reacted to Beers' flash, [Mr. Jackson] would have taken his picture even later. At the same time, he isn't reacting to gunfire either. He's reacting only to movement, as everyone else was."

Mr. Johnston remembers that, right after the shooting, "Bob said, 'I didn't get it – I think I got blocked.' " But later that day, he called Mr. Jackson, who had just gotten out of the darkroom.

"When he told me he had it, I said, 'Bob, that's fantastic!' I was happy for him. I'm still happy for him," says Mr. Johnston. "My gosh, it's an elbow away sometimes. I felt really good for him. And don't let anyone tell you Bob wasn't a good shooter. He was a very good shooter."

Never quite the same

From that moment on, Mr. Beers "never had as much confidence in himself," says his daughter, who describes him as "feeling let down. Not by anybody in particular. More by fate, I guess. He always felt like, 'Why have I had to struggle so hard to finally get the picture and then not get it?' "

Eamon Kennedy, who worked at the Times Herald in 1963, remembers Mr. Beers as being "bitterly disappointed ... that he didn't get more recognition. But Bob's is clearly the better picture. Things like that happen in our business, and you've got to deal with them."

Mr. Jackson, he says, picked a "perfect" position, "and you have to give him credit for that."

But News rivals insist otherwise, saying Mr. Jackson's was 99 percent blessing, Mr. Beers' 99 percent curse.

"Just dumb-ass luck," says Joe Laird, a retired News photographer.

The newspaper war was so intense in those days that "if Beers' picture had come out crappy and Jackson's had hit page one, our editors would have cut their wrists in the city room," says Mr. Laird. "They wouldn't have ever survived that. Obviously, Jackson's is judged to be better by all standards, and that was a shame, because we didn't strike out."

Felix McKnight agrees. Had he been a Pulitzer juror, "I would have been tempted to give a double award," he says. "Both are once-in-a-lifetime photographs."

But Mr. Beers never felt redeemed. He died with a "depression that went untreated," says Ms. Williams, who lost her mother, Mr. Beers' widow, in late 2000.

And why was he depressed? "In my mind," she says, "it's all due to that picture."

The once-eager competitor became a man with "no drive," she says. Instead of photography being the passion it always was, it quickly became "just a job." A tendency toward heart problems grew worse by the year.

"He wanted to hunt and fish a lot more than he wanted to do his job," she says, "and it was never that way before."

Mr. Laird puts it more bluntly: "Jack somehow felt that God had cheated him."

Whatever the cause, in the years after that November, "He always had a little inferiority complex," says Mr. Laird. "He lived high. He ate the wrong things, and he chain-smoked."

Clint Grant, another former co-worker, says Mr. Beers' temper got worse. Mr. Jackson's picture was sought after by "Life, Saturday Evening Post, all the big magazines. And he made an awful lot of money."

"Poor old Jack just had to sit back and take it, never fully comprehending, I suppose, that it was merely the difference in six-tenths of a second, and there was nothing he could do about it."

Mr. Beers "deserves more credit than was ever given to him for a picture many forgot long ago," says Shelly Katz, former contributing photographer to Time magazine. "Jack Beers was this great craftsman who took his job so seriously. This was his way of life. He truly was a photojournalist."

Proof's in the Pulitzer

But Mr. Jackson's is the name on the Pulitzer, "and regardless of what anyone says about Bob being lucky, the fact of the matter is, he deserves the credit," says Mr. Katz. "He made the shot, period, and you can't take it away from him. The proof is in the picture."

For a while, Bob Jackson got to revel in his newfound celebrity. But after his picture was published, he found himself being judged by a harsher standard. Every picture he took was measured against journalism's ultimate prize.

"I try not to let it bother me," he says with a shrug.

He left the Times Herald for The Denver Post in 1968 but returned a year later. He was divorced in 1972 and soon became a full-time society photographer. He moved to Colorado in 1980 and continues to work 10 hours a week for The Gazette in Colorado Springs.

Smooth, socially graceful and looking younger than his 68 years, he lives with his second wife in a mountain hideaway in Manitou Springs, Colo., in the shadow of Pike's Peak. Snow-capped hills are as close as the window, as are the deer feasting on the lawn. His fascination with cars has continued. In addition to the Ace, he has owned three Jaguars, five Porsches and a Lotus.

In his living room, he can peer over one shoulder and see a blow-up of Oswald's murder, then go to the basement and see one more – plus a parody of his prize-winning picture, orchestrated by Times Herald staffers when he left the paper in 1974.

He estimates having made "tens of thousands of dollars" off the reprint rights, which the Times Herald gave him almost immediately. He charges publications anywhere from $250 to $2,500 to print the picture, processed from the original negative. He has a deal with the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, which charges $1,500 for individual numbered prints. Mr. Jackson notes that No. 7 was bought by rock star Elton John.

There's even a doctored Internet version, which shows Ruby playing an electric guitar, Oswald holding a microphone and the police detective cuffed to his wrist playing a keyboard. Mr. Jackson and the graphic artist who designed it "share the profits, and that's been going on four to five years," says Mr. Jackson, $3,000 richer from that version.

He's unaware of any bad feelings that linger in the Beers family.

"I feel pretty bad if that's true," he says.

He came to Dallas in February for the opening night of a new exhibit at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

His photograph, along with 122 other Pulitzer Prize-winning images, is on display through November.

"I was looking forward to meeting the daughter at the exhibit opening," he says. "But she never showed."

Ms. Williams had been invited. In the end, she says, she had to say no.

"I saw Mr. Jackson on the news," says Ms. Williams, as the tears start to fall, "and I just lost it. All I could think about was Dad, how hard he worked ... what might have been. I wish it could have been the two of 'em side by side, sharing the glory together.

"But that's the history of a picture. And only one usually counts."



Edited by Bernice Moore
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Neither of these names are familar to me. Thank you for posting the documents!

Could you please tell me how to post images?

Thanks again.



I am chuckling John, as of all the people to ask..I have never had a lesson on a pc... :tomatoes ....I am self taught, through years of trial and a

zillion errors......and asking many people who tried to help...but let us have a go....

Sometimes, the simple words work best, to clarify......

I open reply, then it goes through an initalizing upload, a thingie goes around......when finished.....I hit the browse , see below on the right, it then brings up my desktop, I then click my photos folder....and it opens....

I then go into whichever folder, say Limo, for instance, in my photos ,click and it opens , then find the particular photo I am looking for.....in JPEG......keeping in mind I only have a 1000 limit.....some I have had to make smaller, some larger in the paint program......smaller, so as to not use up the amount of upload space too quickly.....hopefully....

I click the photo I want, .....I then click open below on the right , next to where it says file name..... then it shows the name you have given to your photo, such as woods _jack beers, for instance......in the browse area on right, below...on the reply page.....then HIT the green upload, if you forget to it will tell you, when you go to post, then when ready and you have your message and all completed, click post, pray ,and watch the upload go round and round.......do not click twice, or you get a double post.......many...

Now sometimes it times out....... :) and you must start all over again......BUT first go back to the thread and make sure it has not posted it........and if so, it may have lost the photos..?.....If so, then open your reply to complete edit, and upload your photos again, and this time, hope they take....sometimes this does happen, with the F program, never ask me the why, I have no idea.......... :blink:

When you have used up your 1000 space or very close to it, for uploading photos....oh BTW.......it tells you how much space you have left , on the right under the green upload, mine now says, 15.68k....which means to upload anything further, I must delete some........so......

First I would go to my controls , see on the right hand side at the top......when you have or have not opened reply.....click controls, now on the left hand side, down you will see attachments, click that, it then shows you all your attachments on the right that you have posted........so you choose which to delete, click them, and delete, and now you have more space left, to upload a new photo........but don't forget to hit refresh, then........

Go back to your reply, then type your message and upload you photos , docs whatever.......and pray again..... :huh:

Now, John if I could learn, and I did the hard way.....you sure can, anyone can......

I hope this is not a double dutch to you, as it was too me, and I have hopefully, made it clear enough, in housewife language, and not as mud..

Try it and then try again..... it works......patience is the virtue, .....scream...... :blink:

And Jimmer, stop laughing..I see you below..... :ph34r:

Best of luck........ ;)


Edited by Bernice Moore
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Here is KLRD-TV.......The book is a collaborative account by Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer,

George Phenix and Wes Wise, all employed at the time by KRLD Radio (AM

and FM) and Television.

Perhaps one of those names....??

Video of Jack Ruby Shooting Oswald

By Bob Huffaker

A while back, News 8 Austin interviewed my buddy and co-author George Phenix and posted his recollections online, along with George's film of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. George captured the murder on 16mm film while I stood at his side and broadcast the shooting live for CBS in the basement of Dallas police headquarters. Earlier I had given George a boost so that he could hang his sound mike directly above where the transfer--and ultimately the shooting--would take place.

Our engineer Jim English was behind our live CBS camera, and Phenix was shooting sound-on-film with a big Auricon camera mounted on a unipod that he had to control in the melee that broke out when Ruby lunged and fired. When CBS later replayed George's film in slow motion, they were creating something akin to today's "instant replays," though George had rushed to our newsroom to develop the film before KRLD-TV and CBS could re-run it.

Click here for the inteview and Phenix's archival film footage.

In our book When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, George wrote about what it was like as he filmed that piece of history:

"Oswald was coming down the hall flanked by big Texas lawmen. It was happening fast. I had Oswald centered in my viewfinder when ka-bam. We were essentially in a cement box and when Ruby's gun went off, it was really loud. My reflexes won over my news judgment and my head jerked up from the viewfinder. The camera lurched on that blasted unipod. Later, I think someone timed it and I regained control in five seconds. But it seemed like an eternity. At one point, I saw a lawman hurdle over a car to get into the fray. The fight was to keep Ruby from squeezing off another round. And the cops won by sheer force of numbers. Lots of brave men jumped into that pile."

The man who hurdled a police car was Sergeant Patrick T. Dean, in charge of basement security that day. He and other officers risked their lives to disarm Ruby.

George Phenix's film and Jim English's live KRLD-TV camera made broadcast history that day.

May 27, 2005 in Bob Huffaker, Books, George Phenix, JFK Assassination, Journalism, News, Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


It appears the last two I posted of Ruby shooting LHO...are from this film..

The link to the article and scroll below to the "watch the video"......hit play.......also in slow motion.....and interview...also....


Here they are below a couple of years ago, and from the front cover ....


Edited by Bernice Moore
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George Phenix's film and Jim English's live KRLD-TV camera made broadcast history that day.



Bernice: Thank you for posting the video of Jack Ruby committing the first murder on live TV. I gather this is the video broadcast on CBS that day.

I believe ABC and NBC also filmed the murder. Does anyone know of a link to those videos?

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Bernice: Thank you for posting the video of Jack Ruby committing the first murder on live TV. I gather this is the video broadcast on CBS that day.

I believe ABC and NBC also filmed the murder. Does anyone know of a link to those videos?

Thanks to Gary Mack for the following Email:

Two video cameras, four film cameras, and three radio tape recorders caught the Oswald shooting:


Homer Venso/WBAP/NBC

Jim English/KRLD/CBS


Front left - Izzy Bleckman/UPI/ABC

Front right - George Phenix/KRLD

Left side - Steven Alexander/KTAL-TV, Shreveport, LA/NBC

Behind - Jim Davidson/AIE Studios, Houston/ABC


KLIF, WFAA and WNEW (New York)


Gary advises that all six films are currently available for viewing at the Sixth Floor Museum

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Steven Alexanders rather interesting fairly comprehensive account of the basement from 7.30 till 11.30

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