Mysteries & Secrets - John F. Kennedy
Conspiracy or Lone Assassin?
The president had been warned about going to Dallas, since it was known that he had many influential adversaries in the ultraconservative city.
But John F. Kennedy brushed aside the objections. It was important that he mend his political fences in Texas and seek support from such powerful figures as Governor John Connally for his unannounced bid for reelection the next year. Upon their arrival at Dallas's Love Field, the president and his wife, Jacqueline, joined Governor and Mrs. Connally in the rear of an open car, the second vehicle in a motorcade into the city, where he was to deliver a luncheon address.
As people lining the streets cheered, Nellie Connally turned to the president and exclaimed, "You sure can't say Dallas doesn't love you." At 12:30 P.M. the motorcade slowed to make a right and then a left turn before it would pass through a triple underpass to the freeway that led to the destination. An agent in the first car said to the driver, "Five more minutes and we'll have him there." In a rear car the president's secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, remarked, "Just think - we've come through all of Dallas and there hasn't been a single demonstration." A local woman laughed; "We're not so bad," she said. A reporter in the press car, misreading the sign on the rust-colored brick building that loomed ahead, asked "What the hell is a Book Repository?" Standing between the book depository and the underpass along the motorcade route, a man named Abraham Zapruder aimed his movie camera at the presidential car. Another bystander, Charles Brend, held his five year old son aloft to wave at the president. Seeing him, Kennedy smiled and waved back.
Suddenly shots rang out. A bullet passed through the president's neck and on through Governor Connally's back, chest, right wrist, and left thigh. Kennedy clutched his throat; Connally, his lap full of blood, slumped onto his wife in their seats to the front. Hearing the governor scream, Mrs. Kennedy turned anxiously toward the president, as a second bullet tore off the top of his head.
The assassination of the 35th president of the United States on November 22, 1963, stunned the nation and the world. For much of that Friday and the next three days, millions around the globe sat transfixed before their television sets as the remaining scenes of the unimaginable tragedy were enacted.
Within minutes Lee Harvey Oswald leaves the Texas School Book Depository, where he had fired the two shots from a corner window on the sixth floor. At 1:15 P.M. Oswald shoots Dallas policeman J. D. Tippit, who had stopped him for questioning. Eyewitnesses call the police and direct them to the movie theater where Oswald had sought to hide. Arrested for killing Tippit and then accused of assassinating Kennedy, Oswald proclaims his innocence of the second charge, he is being made to take the blame for the real culprits, Oswald says.
At 12:38 P.M. Case Number 24740, a white male suffering from a gunshot wound, is admitted to Parkland Memorial Hospital, to which the presidential car had sped. A priest is called to the emergency room, but at two o'clock doctors pronounce John F. Kennedy dead. Over the objections of local authorities, Secret Service agents place the body in a coffin and transport it to Love Field. Within an hour, Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president by Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Standing at his side aboard Air Force One, the presidential airplane, is Jacqueline Kennedy in her blood spattered pink suit. That evening the presidential party arrives back in Washington, D.C., where an autopsy is performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
On Saturday, November 23, Mrs. Kennedy picks out a grave site for her husband at Arlington National Cemetery; the state funeral is scheduled for Monday. In Dallas, Oswald is questioned about the slaying for three hours.
At the request of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Oswald is to be transferred from Dallas police headquarters to the sheriff's office on Sunday. As the transfer is taking place, shortly before noon, a Dallas nightclub operator named Jack Ruby steps from a crowd of reporters covering the event and shoots Oswald, in full view of a national television audience. He acted spontaneously, Ruby confessed, out of anger over the president's death and the wish to spare Jacqueline Kennedy the agony of an Oswald trial in Dallas.
By 9 A.M. Monday morning, November 25, a quarter million mourners have passed by the catafalque holding Kennedy's body in the U.S. Capitol, Mrs. Kennedy had asked for the building to be kept open all night to accommodate the crowds. Following a funeral service at St. Matthew's Cathedral presided over by Cardinal Cushing of Boston and attended by many of the world's leaders, Kennedy is buried at Arlington. Mrs. Kennedy lights an eternal flame at his grave.
Doubt About the Official Explanation
On the very morning of his death President Kennedy made an uncanny prediction to his adviser Kenneth O'Donnell. "If anyone wants to shoot a president," he said, "it's not a very difficult job. All one has to do is get on a high building with a telescopic rifle, and there is nothing anybody can do." And this is exactly how the assassination came to be described in the report of the Warren Commission, named for its chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren. Presented to President Johnson on September 24, 1964, the report had 26 volumes of documentation. The conclusion: John F. Kennedy was killed by the fanatic loner, Lee Harvey Oswald.
But even as the Warren Commission was conducting its exhaustive investigation, doubts were being raised. Oswald had not acted alone, sorne were saying, but was merely the "hit man" of an international assassination team. Behind the killer was Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, or possibly the Soviet Union's secret police. Others claimed that it was a matter of an internal power play; agents of the FBI or CIA were responsible. And, perhaps most persistent of all, there was the tale that Kennedy had been targeted by the Mafia.
Reexamining the evidence between 1976 and 1978, a House of Representatives committee charged that the autopsy performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital the day following Kennedy's assassination had not been conducted in accordance with professional standards. One of the participating doctors complained at the time that they were not allowed to lay open the track of the two bullets through the president's body because of the objections of "a high-ranking personality," presumably a military figure. Not being able to establish the trajectory of the bullets, the autopsy could not determine the angle of the shots - that is, if they both came from the window in the Texas School Book Depository or if, possibly, one had come from another direction.
The preserved brain and other autopsy materials were given to Kennedy's secretary. When these were deposited with the National Archives in 1966, the brain was found to be missing. Had evidence been suppressed?
How Many Shots?
The Warren Commission had concluded that Kennedy had been hit by two bullets, both coming from above and behind him, which was consistent with the official story of Oswald as lone assassin. The conclusion was based on an analysis of the film taken by Zapruder and on drawings made by criminal pathologists.
Late in the 1970's another piece of evidence was reexamined: the tape recorder of a Dallas policeman providing a motorcycle escort for the presidential motorcade on November 22. Due to a technical defect, the recorder had been left on during the ride from Love Field. For years it had been gathering dust with the other evidence because, apart from some faint rustling, it seemed to contain no identifiable noises.
The House committee asked acoustic experts to study the tape with state of the art computer techniques. Finding noises that sounded like gunshots, the experts went to Dallas and fired guns at the assassination spot on an autumn morning in 1978. Matching new recordings to the 15 year old tape, they were able, with a probability bordering on certainty, to isolate four distinct shots. Moreover, they claimed to be able to determine from which directions the shots had come. Three had indeed been fired from the Texas School Book Depository window where Oswald stood. (Three spent cartridges were found at the window; presumably one of Oswald's shots went astray.) The fourth shot, however, had been fired at close range from in front and to the right of the presidential car. Someone else, standing on a grassy knoll overlooking the parade route, had also been aiming for the president.
The Warren Commission had ignored or chosen to discount the testimony of witnesses who reported hearing a fourth shot. Other witnesses claimed to have seen a puff of gunsmoke coming from the knoll and men with FBI identification on their cars leaving a nearby parking lot, though the FBI said that no men had been stationed there that day. Three people had tried to catch a man running from the parking lot, but he got away.
The Zapruder film shows the president's head sinking forward, presumably after the first bullet from the rear passed through his neck. But then his entire head snaps back in a reaction that would have been consistent with a fatal bullet striking from the front and blowing away half his head as it exited to the rear. Weighing all the evidence, the House committee concluded in 1979 that Kennedy "was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." Who were the conspirators? The report did not say.
Man Between Two Worlds
Despite all that has been written about him since the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald remains an enigma, a shadowy figure whose motives for the terrible crime have never been fully explained. "It is possible to believe almost anything about him," one scholar has said, "and damned near impossible to know what's true."
A school dropout at age 16, Oswald joined the U.S. Marine Corps on October 24, 1956, six days after his 17th birthday. Following training as a radar technician, he was assigned to Atsugi Air Base outside Tokyo, Japan, the base from which were launched the U-2 photoreconnaissance flights over the U.S.S.R. Oswald had few friends and spent much of his spare time reading - in particular books about Marxism - and studying Russian. Soon, a fellow Marine later testified, he was saying that "communism was the best system in the world." Before being transferred back to the United States late in 1958, Oswald had been court martialed twice, once for possessing an unauthorized private weapon and later for addressing "provoking words" to a sergeant. According to one of his officers, Oswald was "a little bit nuts on foreign affairs" and became an enthusiastic supporter of Fidel Castro, who seized power in Cuba in January 1959.
On September 11, 1959, Oswald received an early release from the Marine Corps in order to support his dependent mother. However, after giving her $100, he booked passage on a ship bound from New Orleans to Le Havre, France, and subsequently made his way across Europe to Moscow. On October 31 he appeared at the U.S. embassy there to renounce his American citizenship, saying that he was a Marxist, had applied for Soviet citizenship, and was offering the Soviets information he had acquired as a radar technician. Seven months later the Soviets shot down a U-2 aircraft. When pilot Francis Gary Powers admitted that his was a CIA photoreconnaissance mission, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev angrily broke off his summit meeting with President Eisenhower in Paris.
Oswald remained in the Soviet Union for two and a half years, acquiring a Russian wife but gradually becoming disillusioned with life in a Marxist state. On June 1, 1962, Oswald, his wife, Marina, and their infant daughter, June, were allowed to leave the Soviet Union. He had never received Soviet citizenship and denied having given secret information to the Russians. The U.S. Department of State overruled the Immigration and Naturalization Service to readmit Oswald, noting that "it was in the best interests of the United States to have Mr. Oswald depart from the Soviet Union as soon as possible." Was the ex-Marine's initial defection planned by the CIA; had the Soviets failed to rise to the bait of a double agent? Some questions were never asked in the official investigation of the assassination; others remained unanswered.
Fair Play for Cuba
After working at odd jobs in Fort Worth and Dallas, Oswald moved his family to New Orleans in the spring of 1963. But before leaving Texas, he purchased by mail a rifle with a telescopic sight. With it, according to the Warren Commission, he attempted to assassinate retired Major General Edwin A. Walker, an ultraconservative spokesman who was urging President Kennedy to send troops to oust Castro.
In New Orleans, Oswald set himself up as what the Warren Commission called "the imaginary president of the nonexistent chapter" of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization. The address he listed for the chapter, curiously enough, was a building that housed the offices of a retired FBI agent, Guy Bannister, who was said to be the coordinator of several militant anti Castro groups. Despite the fact that Oswald was twice arrested in August 1963 for run-ins with anti Castro Cuban exiles, he and Bannister appeared to be on friendly terms.
Apparently as disillusioned with his return to the United States as he had been by his attempted defection to the Soviet Union, Oswald went to Mexico City in September. There he unsuccessfully tried to get a transit visa to Cuba en route to the U.S.S.R. Returning to Dallas, Oswald went to work at the Texas School Book Depository in mid October. On Tuesday, November 19, he could have read a newspaper report of a speech in Miami in which President Kennedy "all but invited the Cuban people ...to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime and promised prompt U.S. aid if they do." The itinerary for the president's visit to Dallas that Friday was also published; the motorcade would pass directly in front of the building where Oswald worked.
Kennedy Versus the Mafia
If Oswald was acting for either the Soviet secret police or for Fidel Castro, why was an escape route after the assassination denied him? Or was the visitor to Mexico a look alike, sent by the real conspirators to link Oswald falsely to Cuba and the Soviet Union? This is a theory of the most recent advocates of a conspiracy to kill the president. The conspirators? The Mafia.
Both JFK and his brother Robert F. Kennedy were highly visible opponents of organized crime in the United States. In 1957 Senator Kennedy had sat on the Senate Rackets Committee that exposed the mob. As chief counsel to the committee, Robert Kennedy led interrogations that left witnesses squirming in their chairs. When his brother appointed him attorney general in 1961, Robert Kennedy launched a Justice Department war against crime. One of his targets was Carlos Marcello, Mafia boss of New Orleans, who was deported to Guatemala.
Secretly returning to the United States, Marcello plotted revenge. "You know what they say in Sicily," he said to a friend in August 1962; "if you want to kill a dog, you don't cut off the tail, you cut off the head." The way to immobilize Robert Kennedy was to eliminate his brother, the president. "Kennedy's not going to make it to the  election," a Florida mobster told an FBI informer that same month; "he's going to be hit." By the spring of 1963 an associate of Marcello's was saying that there was a price on the president's head.
The Mafia had another reason for opposition to Kennedy: he was not acting quickly enough to rid Cuba of Fidel Castro. Upon seizing power, Castro had thrown out the Mafia, which was making profits estimated at more than $110 million annually from drugs, gambling, and prostitution in Havana. The mobsters desperately wanted that lucrative business back and were dismayed when Kennedy failed to give adequate support to the aborted Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. The Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 had ended when the Soviets backed down; yet the American triumph had not weakened Castro. Despite his tough talk in Miami, the president showed little support for anti-Castro exiles in the United States and had discouraged independent raids on Cuba.
Proponents of a Mafia conspiracy have attempted to establish links between the mob and both Oswald and Jack Ruby. They fail to explain why professional gangsters would have turned to such an unlikely assassin as Oswald or such an improbable hit man as Ruby. Oswald had help, the American writer Steve Rivele claimed late in 1988, as the 25th anniversary of the assassination was bringing renewed interest in the tragedy. Rivele named three Corsicans hired by the New Orleans Mafia for the job. Unfortunately for Rivele's credibility, all three had apparently ironclad alibis for November 22, 1963: one was recovering from an eye operation, the second was serving in the French navy, the third was in a Marseilles prison.
Was Kennedy the Target?
Yet another theory was advanced at the time of the 25th anniversary: Oswald had been aiming at Governor John Connally. As a result of his defection to Russia, Oswald's honorable discharge from the Marine Corps was downgraded to "undesirable" only a notch above dishonorable. Realizing that this could block employment when he returned to the United States, Oswald wrote to Connally, then secretary of the Navy, from the Soviet Union asking for a reversal of the action. He was politely brushed off. In her third and final appearance before the Warren Commission, Marina Oswald expressed an opinion that the president was not her husband's target, saying that "he perhaps was shooting at Governor Connally ...on account of his discharge from the Marines."
By the time that Mrs. Oswald volunteered this information the Warren Commission had apparently already reached its own conclusions and did not include her testimony in its report.
In a New York Times/CBS poll taken shortly before the 25th anniversary of the assassination, 66 percent of Americans queried believed in a conspiracy; 61 percent said that there had been "official cover up to keep the public from learning the truth about the assassination." Yet, 46 percent of those polled felt that it was then too late to establish the truth; 59 percent opposed further investigations.
"It does not seem likely that these mysteries will ever be solved," remarked Representative Louis Stokes, who had headed the House committee a decade earlier. "I think it's more likely than not that we'll never know."
"Gettin' A Kick Out Of Truth"
About Dealey Plaza
by Mike Regan
Photo (Available on request) by Thomas Dillard shows black men on floor beneath the one from where Oswald supposedly fired. In the procession, Dillard was in camera car number three as he took the picture (left) only three seconds after the shooting, about ten seconds after the first shot. In this one picture one can see which windows were open and which were closed at that time. The photo was then enhanced and severely cropped by the Warren Commission and all that survived is depicted within the right photo. The negative, along with enhancement portions leading to the west side of the building simply vanished.
SOLUTION TO THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY
The enclosed pages of material examines specific facts of which have been overlooked during the course of these past thirty eight years which eliminate, quite clearly, any possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
This material also presents the extreme probability of events that actually did occur that afternoon in Dealey Plaza. Primarily based on Warren Commission testimony, including statements made by the actual assassin, the examination presents a summary of minor events, beginning on the Wednesday afternoon of November 20th, 1963 and concluding with the catastrophic event of the firing of the three shots by James Jarman, Jr. from the assassin's lair of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at 12:30 P.M. on Friday, November 22nd, 1963.
POINTS OF FACT WITH REGARD TO THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY WHICH INDICATE THAT IT WAS NOT LEE HARVEY OSWALD WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER THAT AFTERNOON IN DEALEY PLAZA
Point #1 - Eye-witness, Amos Euins, put special emphasis on the fact that the assassin had a "white spot" on the back of his head as he sighted down the rifle barrel. Judging a position indicating that the back of the man's head could have been visible to a person on the street below, as the third shot was sighted and fired, strongly suggests that the assassin was left-handed. Eye-witness, Arnold Rowland, testified before the Warren Commission that just prior to the assassination he saw a man standing in the far left window (south-west corner) of the Texas School Book Depository's sixth floor. The man, according to Rowland, held what he thought to be a high-powered rifle in a military port-arms position. The barrel is pointed over the man's right shoulder, as he faced Rowland, toward the nearest wall (west). Further indication that the gunman was left-handed.
Two of the three expended rifle shells were found against the wall, immediately below the south-west window from which the shots were fired, thus indicating that as the hulls were ejected from the rifle they struct the left-handed assassin's chest and dropped to the floor parallel to his body. If the gunman had been right-handed, the hulls would have ejected with a clear path off to the right. The third expended shell, more that likely the last to be fired, was found some distance off to the right. This suggests that the assassin had unshouldered the weapon, stood, and ejected the final round as he left the scene.
Point #2 - Dallas police officer, M.N.McDonald, testified that Lee Harvey Oswald punched him with his left fist during the fracus at the movie theator and grabbed for a pistol in his belt with his right hand. In addition, the published photograph of Oswald taken by his wife, Marina, in the back yard of their New Orlean's home indicates a pistol, holstered, attached to Oswald's right hip. Other photos show that Oswald parted his hair on the left and wore his wristwatch on his left wrist. Lee Harvey Oswald was right-handed.
Point #3 - Though it is a proven fact that five of the Depository's employees moved the boxes into position and which formed a shield in front of the south-east corner window of the building's sixth floor, not a single one of their finger prints was found on these boxes when analyzed by the FBI. The suggestion is strong that special care was taken by at least some of these employees to eliminate detection of the fact that they had handled the boxes.
Point #4 - These five employees, including one named Bonnie Ray Williams, had spent the morning of November 22nd, 1963 placing a new plywood floor on the sixth floor of the TSBD. The "white debris" which became such a point of concern, bordering close to paranoia, for Williams and two other employees, James Jarman, Jr. and Harold Norman (not associated with the floor construction), during testimony before the Commission in which they unanimously stated had fallen on their hair from the fifth floor ceiling and caused by the cartridge shell explosions taking place on the floor above was, in actuality, bits of white plaster which had accumulated in their hair from the ceiling of the sixth floor as the new plywood was being hammered into place.
Though Jarman and Norman were not members of the construction crew, it has been testified by Norman, himself, that he made regular visits to the sixth floor for the purpose of "shooting the breeze". According to Williams testimony, however, Norman did more that simply "shoot the breeze". Norman would "help us move stock around". Based on Warren Commission testimony, it is not possible to place James Jarman, Jr. on the sixth floor during the morning prior to the assassination but the events that would occur, just after the crew would break for lunch will suggest strongly that he was present on the floor. At least for a period of time long enough for "white debris" to accumulate in his hair.
Point #5 - James Jarman Jr., though consistantly mentioned by various reports, including the Warren Commission's, as having been on the fifth floor with Norman and Williams at the time of the assassination, and even referred to when the Dillard photograph is discussed (he is NOT in the picture, though it was snapped by Tom Dillard within seconds of the shooting), in extreme probability, committed the assassination. The added fact that he was employed at the Texas School Book Depository as a wrapper and regularly utilized paper and tape, exact in make-up, as the paper and tape used to package the murder weapon indicates, again quite strongly, that it was he who prepared and provided the make-shift bag for Oswald when Oswald returned home on the evening of November 21st, 1963. Probably under the pretext that Jarman would purchase the weapon on the following day. It being known that Oswald, after being taken into custody had $13.87 on his person and shortly before had spent $1.00 on a cab ride and about .40c in loose change for a bus ticket and a coca-cola, presents the strong possibility that Jarman actually did purchase the assassination weapon from Oswald on the morning of the 22nd far an agreed upon price of $15.00. Oswald's own frame of mind at this point in time was likely to be that he was glad at the opportunity to rid himself of a weapon, and evidence, which easily tied him into his own attempt to take the life of General Walker some months earlier.
Point #6 - The "white spot" seen on the back of the head of the assassin by eye-witness, Amos Euins, was, in reality, the bits of white plaster in the hair of James Jarman, Jr. Jarman's paranoia before the Warren Commission when testifying about the plaster was simply due to the fact that he had forgotten to bruse the powder from his hair before pulling the trigger.
Point #7 - The appearance, two weeks after the assassination, of a hand made paper bag, similar to the one used to package the murder weapon, at the dead-letter office of the Post Office near Dallas suggests that one of the conspirators attempted to guide investigators toward the appropriate direction. Perhaps in fear for his own life. *NOTE* The assassination was most likely the result of circumstances which existed in Dallas on the afternoon Of November 22nd,1963 including the following;
Point #8 - The arrival, of course, of the presidential motorcade to the front of the Texas Schoolbook Depository on Elm Street (Jarman had read the papers and testified to his previous knowledge of this fact). The presence of a high powered rifle in the hands of a minimum of three employees of the TSBD on the morning of the assassination. The existence of a combined group mentality of a six year old child ("I dare ya'!!", "Oh Yeah!?", "Yeah!!", "OK, Watch Me!!")
Point #9 - The presence of a man fully capable (Jarman's eight years military experience, alone, indicates familiarity with weapons. His testified use of the word "action" when describing the metalic sounds he heard from the weapon, in addition, suggests his capability. It is a word commonly used among rifle enthusiasts), of sighting down the barrel of a Mannlicher-Carcano, pulling the trigger three times and ending the life of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Sadily, the series of small events that would lead up to the catastrofic event which would take place in Dealey Plaza began on Wednesday afternoon, November 20th, 1963. Warren Caster, an assistant manager for Southwestern Publishing Company, with offices at the Depositroy's 411 Elm Street address had purchased two rifles during the noon break. A Remington, single shot, .22 caliber rifle, to be given his son for Christmas and a .30odd.06 sporterized Mauser, intended for his own use in hunting.
On a counter just outside supervisor Roy
Truly's office, Caster proudly displayed
the two rifles to fellow employees .
According to Caster's testimony, present
were, "Mr. Shelly was there ---and Mr. Roy
Truly". Additionaly, "There were workers
there at the time, but I'm not sure how
many. I could'nt even tell you their
names. I don't know the TSBD workers there
in the shipping department". Also present,
however, was Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald
mentioned the incident to Dallas Police
after his arrest.
As Caster displayed the rifles, Oswald,
probably in an attempt to relate to fellow
employees (along with ridding himself of
incriminating evidence), mentioned to one
of the shipping department employees
present that he, too, owned a rifle and
that it might be for sale. This employee,
in extreme likelyhood, was James Jarman,
Jr., the shipping department's wrapper.
Jarman's probable suggestion to Oswald was
that he bring the rifle in the following
That he would be interested toward the
purchase of the weapon. When Oswald
appeared the following day without the
rifle, he indicated to Jarman that he
lacked the carrying case necessary to
transport the rifle. Jarman, quick to
oblige because of a sincere interest in
the weapon, walked to his wrapping
station, un-rolled a long sheet of
wrapping paper and, utilizing tape at the
same table, constructed the paper bag. He
then gave it to Oswald. Oswald folded the
hand made sack (FBI analysis would later
uncover eight fold indentations on the
paper) to a size suitable to either hip
pocket or toward placing the bag into his
belt and went on his way. Having returned
home that evening with fellow worker,
Buell Wesley Frazier, Oswald would package
the Mannlicher- Carcano and return the
following morning, again with Frazier, and
complete the sale with Jarman.
Oswald's frame of mind at this point was
that he was glad to be rid of the rifle.
It is even possible to conclude that he
was attempting to pull his life together.
Fearful of losing his wife and family
because of his eratic and demented
behaviour of the previous months
(including his attempt to shoot General
Walker, of which Marina was aware), he
responded to his wife's complaints about
hand washing the laundry by leaving all
his cash, $170.00, on the dresser before
leaving for work on Friday, the 22nd.
As the motorcade approached Dealey Plaza
that afternoon, Oswald sat in the first
floor lunch room in a semi-state of bliss.
After spending some six months living with
fear that, at any day, police detectives
could show up at his door, handcuffs at
the ready, and haul him off for the
attempted murder of General Walker, he was
now free of the single piece of evidence
that would convict him. The Mannlicher-
Oswald's state of bliss, however, would
soon be shattered. Having just left the
first floor lunch room to purchase a cola
from a vending machine in a lounge on the
second floor, he would be confronted by
Dallas Police officer Marrion L Baker. In
all reality, Oswald had'nt even known as
he was being challenged by Officer Baker
that shots had been fired at the motorcade
and would not know until a moment later.
Mrs. Reid, a secretary for the TSBD, would
comment to a confused Oswald as they
passed each other and just after Oswald
had left the lounge, "Oh, the President
has been shot, but maybe they did'nt hit
him!". Upon learning this, something
bordering on phychotic probably snapped
within Oswald. Common sense had told him,
especially since an armed police officer
had rushed into the Depository, that the
Mannlicher-Carcano he had sold to Jarman
only hours earlier was involved in the
shooting. All hope was lost. From this
point on, Oswald was running from the
furries and would culminate, some forty
minutes later, with his fatal shooting of
Officer Tippit on a residential street in
the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.
Just when and where James Jarman, Jr.
acquired the Mannlicher-Carcano from
Oswald is difficult to determine, but in
light of the surprisingly candid elements
of testimony by Jarman, the exchange may
have taken place in the morning hours of
the 22nd on the first floor. When asked by
Warren Commission attorney, Joseph A.
Ball, when he had met with Oswald on that
day, Jarman replied, "I had him correct an
order. I don't know what time it was".
When pressed by Ball, Jarman said, "It was
around, it was between 8 and 9 I would
say". Concerning a second meeting he had
with Oswald that morning Jarman
replied, "It was between 9:30 and 10:00
o'clock, I believe". Responding to Joseph
Ball's question as to where this meeting
took place Jarman said, "In between two
rows of bins. On the first floor". It is
between these same two rows of bins, near
the front windows, that Jarman will eat
his lunch, alone, just before noon. He
will be shortly joined at this same
location by Charles Douglas Givens (a
member of the floor construction crew) and
Harold Norman. What is quite possible is
that the rifle had been concealed within
this same general area for much of the
morning hours. Together, they will leave
the building, stand for awhile out in
front and begin to walk toward the
intersection of Elm and Huston Streets.
Here, they separate. According to the
Depository's Supervisory, Roy S. Truly, "I
noticed them there on the corner and
starting across the street, but whether
they completed it, I don't know". Given's
did, however, complete the trek across the
intersection, continue east up Elm to
eventually join with James and Edward
Shields to observe the motorcade from the
intersection of Main and Records streets.
As for Jarman and Norman they will,
according to Jarman's own testimony, turn
left on Huston, head north along the side
of the Book Depository and disappear back
into the building through a rear entrance.
If the Manlicher-Carcano had not been on
the sixth floor at this point, the weapon
was most likely retrieved from between the
two rows of bins on the first floor by
Jarman and Norman and carried, via the
west rear frieght elevator, and on up to
the sixth floor assassin's lair. Having
already surveyed Dealy Plaza and satisfied
themselves that most of the Depository's
employees, especially the supervisors,
were in front of the building anxiously
awaiting the arrival of the motorcade,
Jarman's and Norman's movements about the
building were done quite freely. They
would even take a moment to insure that
Oswald was out of the way. Oswald, sitting
in the first floor lunch room eating a
cheese sandwich and a piece of fruit at
the time, would later mention the
encounter to the Dallas Police.
Now on the sixth floor, Jarman will
familiarize himself further with the
weapon by dry-loading rounds into the
chamber (FBI later concluded that at least
one shell had markings indicating that it
had been loaded and reloaded within the
chamber a number of times) and moving from
window to window to determine the clearest
shot. Soon, he will be standing, with
rifle in a military port arms position, at
the south-west corner window. Observing
from the street below is Arnold Rowland.
About Norman's movements as Jarman peers
from the south-west window, Rowland will
later testify to Warren Commission counsel
member, Representative Gerald R. Ford
that, "At the time I saw the man in the
other window, I saw the man hanging out
the window first. It was a colored man, I
think". Questioned further by Ford, who
wanted Rowland to be more clear about the
man hanging from the window, Rowland
responded, "The east, south-east corner".
Harold Norman was making a final survey to
insure that their activities on the sixth
floor went on un-disturbed.
Bonnie Ray Williams, quite possibly an
unwilling participant also enters into the
conspiracy at this point. Where and when
is difficult to determine, but he could
very well have stumbled accidently onto
the scene when he went up to the sixth
floor to meet with Danny Arce and Billy
Lovelady, two fellow members of the floor
laying crew he had pre-arranged to meet
for the purpose of viewing the motorcade.
Without informing Williams, however, Arce
and Lovelady had joined most of the
Depository's employees outside the
building and when Williams arrived on the
floor, lunch in hand, he found himself
alone. The time was about noon. When
counsel member Joseph Ball, asked him how
long he stayed on the floor, Williams
replied, "I was there from 5, 10,maybe 12
Upon hearing window movement on the floor
immediately below him, Williams will
descend to the fifth floor in the east
elevator to find Jarman and Norman near
the south-east corner. Up to this moment,
it is easy to conclude that Williams had
no prior knowledge to the events that were
about to take place on the sixth floor
but, whether he wanted to or not, he now
became a part. Otherwise he would not have
backed up Jarman's testimony that he
(Jarman) had been on the fifth floor with
Norman and himself (Williams) at the time
of the shooting.
Since the bulk of testified time elements
place William's on the sixth floor before
Jarman and Norman, it is highly likely
that these two prime players in the
conspiracy, after becoming aware of
William's presence on the sixth floor,
created a rouse that would draw William's
away from the sixth floor assassin's lair.
Both Jarman and Norman testified that
before leaving the first floor aboard the
west elevator, they had "peered up the
elevator shaft" and observed that the east
elevator was on the sixth floor.
At the very least, they knew that someone
was up there. The rouse they would use
simply amounted to making their presence
known by sliding windows just below where
Williams was sitting. It worked, and
William's joined then on the fifth floor.
Events would now escalate to a near
frenzy. With adenaline flowing, Jarman and
Norman will ascend to the sixth floor
assassin's lair. Considering that Williams
had been on the same floor from noon
to "5, 10, maybe 12 minutes", Jarman and
Norman had more than fifteen minutes to
complete final preparations for the
assassination. As the motorcade made it's
turn onto Huston from Main Street, Jarman
was probably already in place as Norman
descended back down to rejoin William's on
the fifth floor. Most likely, if Williams
was unaware of the plot, to keep him
occupied as Jarman completed his task on
the floor above. What would follow next
can best be explained in Jarman's own
As Warren Commission counsel, Joseph
Ball,questioned Jarman about the three
shots, Jarman would dismiss the first shot
as, "A back-fire or an officer giving a
salute to the President".
It is Jarman's referral to the second
shot, though which would set a wheel
turning in the mind of another counsel
member. As Jarman replied, with reference
to this shot, "And then the second shot
was fired, and that is when the people
started falling on the ground and the
motorcade car jumped forward ---",
Representative Gerald R. Ford would
listen, allow that single statement to
sink in and sit in silence as a full five
pages of testimony would continue to be
recorded. About fifteen minutes. In Ford's
mind, he knew that something was amiss.
Having been privy to a film of the
presidentail limousine taken by Abraham
Zapruder as the assassination took place,
a film that had not been made public and
would not for many years, Ford knew that
the car did not "Jump forward", as Jarman
had indicated, after the second shot.
Agent William Greer would not accelerate
the car until after agent Clint Hill,
having just leaped from the follow-up car
to assist Mrs. Kennedy (who was attempting
to retrieve a portion of her husband's
skull) back into the rear seat after the
third shot, had a secure hand hold on the
rear-left portion of the automobile. It
was then, and only then, that the car, and
to use the words of agent Roy
Kellerman, "Just literally jumped out of
the god-damned road!!".
As Representative Ford continued to sit in
silence, a suspician that may have begun
to formulate is that a target may give the
illusion of "Jumping forward" to an
assassin peering through a scope. The car
did not jump forward. The rifle and
assassin, because of recoil, had jerked
backwards. Ford's suspicion was probably
confirmed minutes later after hearing
Jarman's response to another question by
council member, John J. McCloy. McCloy had
asked, "Did you see the President actually
hit by the bullets?".
Jarman's reply was, "No sir, I could'nt
say that I actually saw him hit, but after
the second shot, I presumed that he was,
because I had my eye on his car from the
time it came down Huston until the time it
started toward the freeway".
Again, any suspicion that Ford had that
Jarman was describing events as viewed
through a high-powered scope were
confirmed at this point as he heard Jarman
use the word "eye", not in the plural
sense, but in the singular sense. After
hearing Jarman respond to McCloy"s
question, "You saw him crumble, you saw
him fall, did you?", by saying, "I saw him
lean his head", Representative Ford had
He interrupted with a question concerning
the statement Jarman had made much
earlier. The following exchange took place
between Gerald Ford and James Jarman, Jr.
Representative Ford: "You actually saw the car lurch forward did you?"
James Jarman: "Yes sir"
Representative Ford: "That is a distinct impression?"
James Jarman: "Yes"
Representative Ford: "And you followed it as it turned from Main onto Huston and followed it as it turned from Huston onto Elm?"
James Jarman: "Right, sir".
Representative Ford: "Had your eye on the car all the time?"
James Jarman: "Yes, sir"
Representative Ford: "Where did you think the sound of the first shot come from? Do you have a distinct impression of that?"
James Jarman: "Well, it sounded at first it had come from below. That is what I thought."
Representative Ford:"As you looked out the window and you were looking at the President's car?"
James Jarman: "Yes, sir"
Representative Ford: "Did you have a distinct impression as to whether the sound came from your left or came from your right?"
James Jarman: "I am sure it came from the left."
Representative Ford: "But your first reaction, that it was from below?"
James Jarman: "Yes, sir."
Representative Ford: "When the second shot came, do you have any different recollection?"
James Jarman: "Well, they all sounded just about the same."
Representative Ford: "You distinctly recall three shots?"
James Jarman: "Yes, sir."
Representative Ford: "And at what point did you get up from where you were on your knees in the window?"
James Jarman: "When the motorcar picked up speed."
Representative Ford: "Was this after you thought was the third shot?"
James Jarman: "The third shot; yes."
Representative Ford: "Have you ever been in trouble with the police or did you ever have any disciplinary troubles in the army?"
James Jarman: "No, sir."
We can only speculate as to just where
Representative Ford's questioning would
have eventually led if fellow councel,
Joseph Ball, had not interrupted at this
point to lead Jarman into a completely
different line of questioning that would
concern the style of clothes worn by Lee
Harvey Oswald on the day of the
assassination. Obviously, Ford was quite
suspicious of this 34 year old shipping
department employee. Speaking in terms of
boxing it can be said that Ford had Jarman
on the ropes just before Joseph Ball's
untimely interruption. Further, it is
plausable to conclude, that if
Representative Gerald R. Ford had been
allowed free reign, he may have ended his
questioning, in his own time, with, "Mr.
Jarman, did you shoot President John
Fitzgerald Kennedy?". James Jarman, Jr.,
considering the amazing level of candor
possessed by this assassin, would have
answered simply, "Yes, sir".
To the reader- I felt it necessary, in
order to provide a steady flow while
describing escalating major events
unfolding within and outside the
Depository, to speculate with regard to
minor events. For this, I apologize.
Hopefully, simple tesimony, time frames
and fact will out-weigh all.
Two final notes
1st -Though not mentioned in the above
scenario of the events which unfolded that
afternoon in Dallas, a journalist and
Assistant News Director of Dallas's KRLD
Television & Radio, James R. Underwood,
was riding with fellow journalists in a
limousine which had just turned off Main
Street onto Huston Street as the salvo of
shots rang out. Jumping from the limo and
running to the front of the Depository, he
met briefly with Amos Euins, an African
American teenager. Amos Euins, who later
turned out to be the only viable witness
who actually watched the assassin aim and
fire the rifle, responded to the
journalist's question as to whether the
gunman was white or black, Euins
responded, "It was a colored man". I said
(Underwood), "Are you sure?". Euins
responded, "Yes, sir".
2nd - Last, but definately not least, the
stenographer, an unnamed and unsung hero
of the Warren Commission, is worthy of
mention. If someone, whether it be council
or witness, paused in speech with the same
audible sound we all utter from time to
time, she would record the word "Uh".
Movements not pertaining to testimony she
would record between a pair of
parenthisis. Seconds after Representative
Gerald R. Ford was interrupted in his
questioning of James Jarman, Jr., he was
approached by someone, whispered too, and
than left the room. Returning shortly
(also recorded by our hero), he returned
to his seat and sat silently for quite a
length of time.
The question no longer is who shot
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The
Warren Commission Report, in reality, was
a glamourized version of J. Edgar Hoover's
FBI Report to President Johnson and the
Commission, simply put, was a
collaboration of both men. The burning
question now appears to be, "Who, within
the upper echelon, knew the actual
Warren Commission Testimony
Roy S. Truly - Depository Superintendant Vol.#7-Pg.380, 591
Warren Caster - Employee Vol.#7-Pg,386
Arnold Rowland - Eyewitness Vol.#2-Pg.165
Amos Lee Euins - Eyewitness Vol.#2-Pg.201
Bonnie Williams - Possible Co-Conspirator Vol.#3-161
Harold Norman - Co-Conspirator Vol.#3-Pg.186
James Jarman, Jr. - Assassin Vol.#3-Pg.198
James R. Underwood - Witness Vol.#6-Pg.167, 170
Stenographer - GOD BLESS HER
I've enclosed (below) a copy of Jarman's
signed affidavit to the Dallas Police on
Nov. 23rd, 1963. Hopefully, you will pick
up on his strong insinuation, "before" he
was aware of photographic evidence being
in play, that he watched the motorcade
AFFIDAVIT IN ANY FACT THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF DALLAS
BEFORE ME, Patsy Collins, a Notary Public
in and for said County, State of Texas, on
this day personally appeared James Earl
Jarman, Jr., c/m 33, 3942 Atlanta Street,
Dallas, Texas HA8-1837 who, after being by
me duly sworn, on oath deposes and says:
I work for the Texas School Book
Depository, 411 Elm Street, as a Checker
on the first floor for Mr. Roy S. Truly.
On Friday, November 22, 1963, I got to
work at 8:05 a.m. The first time I saw Lee
Oswald on Friday, November 22, 1963 was
about 8:15 a.m. He was filling orders on
the first floor. A little after 9:00 a.m.
Lee Oswald asked me what all the people
were doing standing on the street. I told
him that the President was supposed to
come this way sometime this morning. He
asked me, "Which way do you think he is
coming?". I told him that the President
would probably come down Main Street and
turn on Houston and then go down Elm
Street. He said, "Yes, I see". I only
talked with him for about three or four
minutes. The last time I saw Lee Oswald on
Friday, November 22, 1963 was between
11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon when he was
taking the elevator upstairs to go get
some boxes. At about 11:45 a.m. all of the
employees who were working on the 6th
floor came downstairs and we were all out
on the street at about 12:00 o'clock noon.
These employees were: Bill Shelley,
Charles Givens, Billy Lovelady, Bonnie Ray
(last name not known) and a Spanish boy
(his name I cannot remember). To my
knowledge Lee Oswald was not with us while
we were watching the parade.
/s/ James Earl Jarman, Jr.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN BEFORE ME THIS 23rd
DAY OF November A.D. 1963
/s/ Patsy Collins
Notary Public, Dallas County, Texas
Shots From The West...???
With hope of dispelling, at least within
the thoughts of some of you, many of the
theories with regard to frontal shots
(storm drains, grassy knolls, pickett
fences, etc...), I've enclosed an
excellant article by Jerry Organ. It's a
bit lengthy, so I'll post it in a follow-
There also appears to be a major level of
research concentration on the autopsy and
it's results. In consideration of the
simple fact that numerous doctors and
nurses were attempting to save a man's
life, hopes for any evidence (after their
heroic efforts) even remotely viable to
the puzzle should be regarded as minimal.
With special regard to the throat wound.
Insertion of the tracheotomy tube shortly
after the arrival of President Kennedy
vertually insured the complete
obliteration of that evidence and to take
serious any of the speculation (which I
believe is at about 50/50
concerning "exit" or "entrance") offered
by these hospital personel, with extreme
limitations in ballistic science, is a
With the above in mind, my own thought is
that research concentration should be
guided toward existing "physical" evidence
within the TSBD. With a bit of emphasis on
the construction of the assassin's lair.
Concerning these boxes, it is already an
established "Fact" that they were placed
during the course of the morning work
hours by members of the floor-laying crew,
an obvious "Prep" to assist the intention
of an assassin. Not just a few minutes
before the shooting.
What's left to debate is who, and how
many, within the construction crew were
involved in this prep and toward whom was
the assist intended. There has been some
suggestion that some sort of stranger,
perhaps a member of a yet to be
identified "Black Ops" performing for yet
another unknown group of high level
conspirators. Yet, with the exception of
Danny Arce's guidance of an elderly man to
a first floor toilet as the parade was
getting under way (Observed leaving
moments later after completing his call to
nature.), no employee of the TSBD, and I
mean nobody, ever testified about seeing
any kind of "stranger" in the building
Trying to keep this as objective as
possible, the debate is whether the
assassin fired the three shots, swiftly
fled down the entire length of the east
wall, turned left, and continued the
entire length of the north wall (A
diagonal run was impossible.), properly
placed the rifle in an upright position
near the N/W stairwell, not tossed, mind
you, in a mad scramble to allude potential
captors, and concluded his dash down four
flights of stairs to be observed, in a
cool, calm and collective manner, some
ninety seconds (give or take thirty) later
by a Dallas motocycle police officer.
Or as to whether the assassin did all of
the above up until after placement of the
rifle. And in this scenario, simply
boarded an elevator or dashed down a
single flight of stairs to join up with
buddies (Norman & Williams) at the S/E
corner of the fifth floor. But not before
Tom Dillard, having just turned onto
Huston from Main Street, had snapped the
photograph of that same corner. A
photographic image which would "EXCLUDE"
evidence of his "testified" 5th floor
presence at the time of the shooting.
So now you're left with a process of
elimination. Dump one of these guys in
your mind and you've hit on the culprit.
Would any member of the crew risk facing
accessory charges to the assassination of
a world leader to satisfy the whim of some
fellow they had been working with for a
grand total of 38 days (Actually, it rings
up to about 26 when weekends are
omitted.)..?? By prepping up
his "lair"..?? And have you ever lifted a
box of books..!!?
Other than ridding himself of evidence
linking him to his shot at General Walker
the previous April, Oswald does'nt fit
into the assassination scenario in any
way, shape or form. He truly was what he
declared to the national media. A "Patsy".
Jarman, on the other hand, had a well
established working relationship with two
members of the floor-laying crew. Both
Harold Norman and Charles (Slim) Givens.
These are the fellows who represent
the "only" conspiracy which existed that
day in Dallas. Bonnie Ray Williams
probably represents the most fascinating
witness. He, like Oswald, was a young and
fairly new employee at the Texas School
Book Depository, caught within the same
escalation of events that were out of
their control. And could, if he's still
kicking around, provide the ultimate
closure. If relieved of whatever fear may
exist, and prodded by appropriate
authorities in law enforcement.
Submitted on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 04:27:07 (CDT)