Who are these "lone" assassins? Where did they come from? How did they accomplish these incredible crimes? Why did they do it?
Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated by Jack Ruby just a couple days after President Kennedy. Sirhan Sirhan claims he was just out walking around and decided to wander into the Ambassador Hotel, but claims he doesn't remember anything about the shooting.
Lee Harvey Oswald was the man that the Warren Commission claimed acted alone to assassinate John F Kennedy on Nov 22nd, 1963. He was born in October 1939 and raised in New Orleans, LA and Fort Worth, TX. His father died shortly before he was born and his mother was very poor and not very capable of taking care of Lee and his 2 older brothers. He lacked supervision and emotional contact with his family. He was a bright student, but his grades suffered because he moved frequently and he became angry and withdrawn. Eventually he stopped attending school and Psychiatrist Dr. Hertog examined him, saying he had no mental impairment but showed signs of emotional disturbance with schizoid (withdrawn from others) features and passive-agressive tendencies.
When he was 15, he joined the Civil Air Patrol. One of his instructors was David Ferrie. Ferrie was an ex-airlines pilot who lost his job because of allegations of "improper relationships" with young men. David Ferrie was later involved with New Orleans Mafia figure Carlos Marcello, Guy Bannister and the gun-running organizations supplying the Cuban anti-communist rebels working out of New Orleans. He is also a major suspect in the conspiracy to kill JFK.
When Lee was 16, he wrote a letter to the Young Peoples Socialist League, asking for information on joining, and saying he had been studying Socialist literature for 15 months. Exactly the time he joined the Civil Air Patrol and met David Ferrie.
At 17, Oswald enlisted in the US Marine Corp in October 1956. He was trained as a radar operator. In December 1956, 2 months after joining, he scored a 212 at the firing range, qualifying as a sharpshooter. 2 1/2 years later, May 1959, he scored a 191, only qualifying as a marksman. Strange that he got worse as his career progressed. Most of his fellow Marines said he was a terrible shot.
He was first stationed at El Toro Marine Airfield in California in July 1957, then transferred to Naval Air Base Atsugi in Japan 2 months later. Incidentally, 1957 is the year that the CIA U2 Spyplane that was flown by Gary Powers was housed and flown out of Atsugi. That means a lot of CIA operatives and personnel were at the Atsugi base. In 1960, Powers plane was damaged by missiles while flying a mission over the Soviet Union. He bailed out and he and the plane were captured. Remember that Oswald was a radar operator there, one of the most secretive and highly volatile operations in the history of the CIA and US - USSR relations. This precluded the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
While Oswald was in the Marines, he was openly pro-Soviet and Marxist. His peers called him Oswaldkovich and he encouraged them. When the others went out to bars on leave, Oswald would stay behind. No one knew where he went. He taught himself rudimentary Russian. At the height of the Cold War and anti-Communist mania, Oswald ostracized himself by openly embracing these views. He seemed to welcome the scorn and hostility of others even later in life. It seemed to validate his opinion.
In October 1959, Lee made an elaborately planned trip to Russia in order to defect. He applied for permission to be discharged early so he could take care of his sick mother. She wasn't sick. He managed to save $1500, learn rudimentary Russian, submitted phony applications to foreign schools to get a student visa and got a passport. He took a ship from New Orleans to France then traveled to England. He told authorities he was touring England for a week before going to school in Switzerland. He immediately flew to Switzerland, obtained a Soviet visa, and rode by train to Moscow. In Moscow, he immediately told his "tour guide" that he wanted to defect. It took him 5 years from the time he started "studying Marxism" to reach Russia and attempt to defect. He had just turned 20. How did he know he needed student visas, passports, and that he could get to the USSR from Switzerland? He had no experience or knowledge of international relations and travel laws. He was either a genius, extremely lucky... or he had help.
At first the Soviets refused. There were several "phony defectors" in that time period and Russian authorities were very dubious of US marines who wanted to become a Soviet Citizen. Just before they were about to deport him, Oswald made a half-hearted suicide attempt in his motel room, slicing his wrists. His tour guide sympathized with him and took him to the local hospital, where doctors came to the conclusion that he cut his wrists to delay his deportation. Never-the-less, it worked and they let him stay a while longer to recover from his injuries.
Shortly after this, Lee visited the American Embassy in Moscow. There, he informed embassy official, Richard Snyder, that he would like to renounce his US citizenship. He also stated that he would be divulging information from his training as a US Marine radar operator to Soviet officials. I would think that Snyder would have him arrested and detained, BUT Snyder lets him go, calls the local Associated Press reporters, informs them about Oswald, gives them his address and sends them over. Several major articles were printed in the US about Oswald and his attempted defection.
This is a strange reaction to Oswald's defection. Why didn't Snyder arrest Oswald for treason? He was still a US citizen and he had some very damaging information, being a radar operator on the same base as the U2 spyplane. At the time, the Soviets didn't care about him at all. Why did Snyder call the AP reporters and have them print this embarassing and politically damaging story about a US marine wanting to defect to the USSR. Either he was totally inept at his job or he WANTED Oswald's story well-known.
Anyway, shortly after this, the Soviets change their mind and allowed him to stay and work in Russia. They set him up in a nice apartment and the KGB kept close tabs on him. He is put to work in a TV & radio factory in Minsk. At this same factory, they have a division making secret Soviet military parts, probably radar or communication equipment. Lee's job was a machinist, but I have a hard time believing they didn't pump him for information about his Marine radar experience and his knowledge of the U2 spyplane technology. At any rate, a few months later Gary Powers U2 is shot down using high altitude missiles.
January 1961, Oswald becomes bored with Soviet life and tells the US embassy that he would return to the US if all charges are dropped. In March 1961, he meets Marina, working in a pharmacy. After proposing to one Russian girl, who turns him down, he proposes to Marina. They get married in April. In February 1962 Marina gives birth to their first child, June. In May they apply for Marina's immigration to the US and in June, the US government gives them over $400 to return to the US. Another strange reaction from the US government. Oswald attempts to defect, attempts to renounce US citizenship, tells Soviet authorities vital US information... and the US government gives him money to return to the US?
The Oswalds return the the US and settle in Dallas/Fort Worth. A group of Russian emigres in Dallas befriend Marina and try to help them with clothes, food and help for the baby. George De Mohrenschildt and his wife take care of the Oswalds. George is another major suspect as he has major intelligence connections and many believe he was Oswald's "handler" for the CIA or another clandestine organization. George's brother Dimitri was a member of the OSS in Europe during WWII. He helped set up CIA backed radio stations for anti-German propaganda. Dimitri von Mohrenschildt emigrated to the US after the war and became a Russian professor at Dartmouth. He pushed for anti-communist, Cold War policies and certainly consulted for the CIA.
George DeMohrenschildt was an international oil speculator and playboy. He travelled all over the world. He worked for French Intelligence collecting info in the US for them. He admittedly participated in corporate espionage for the oil business. He worked for William F Buckley's oil company Pantepec Oil. Buckley worked for the CIA in Mexico City. He knew Jaqueline Bouvier (Jackie Kennedy) as a child and he would bounce her on his knee. During the Bay of Pigs he took a month long "walking trip" through Mexico. Early in his life he was followed and investigated by the FBI and had many, many dealings with government agents and the huge powerbrokers of the world. Later in life he admitted to a reporter that he "guided" Oswald as a "favor" to the CIA for their influence with 3rd world dictators and his lucrative "oil contracts" with them. More on him later.
DeMohrenschildt got Oswald a couple jobs. The first welding job he quit and the 2nd job at a photo-processing/publishing company he got fired for his agressive attitude and for reading Russian magazines. Some believe Lee used the equipment at the photo company to forge phony ID that was found on him when arrested.
At a party at the DeMohrenschildt's, Marina met Ruth Paine. She was trying to learn Russian and she hit it off with Marina. She was newly separated from her husband who worked for Bell helicopter. While Lee and Marina were having financial and marital problems, Ruth Paine took Marina into her home and helped her with the baby. Many also believe Ruth Paine and her husband were intelligence operatives. More on that later.
In March 1963, Oswald purchased a rifle and a revolver through mail order. It was a 6.5mm Carcano rifle with a scope and a Smith & Wesson model 10 revolver. He set up a secret post office box under the name A. Hidell and purchased them under the same name.
On April 10, Marina claimed that Lee told her he took a shot at General Edwin Walker that night. He told Marina that he buried the gun under some bushes right after the shooting. Walker was an activist who campaigned against Communists and desegregation. He had been relieved of his Army command for distributing right-wing literature to his troops. Oswald considered him a leader of fascists. The shot came from 100' away, through a window, but struck the window casing, fracturing the bullet and leaving small bullet fragments in General Walker. The picture of Walker's house above was supposedly taken by Oswald who scouted the location. Marina said that in the original picture, there was a license plate, clearly visible on the car. Why was the license plate in this bit of vital evidence removed?
In an FBI report, Kirk Coleman was a 14 year old neighbor of Walker. That night he was helping his father build some cabinets in his bedroom. He was standing in the outside doorway when he heard a "blast". He immediately went to the fence and looked over it to see where the sound had come from. In the adjacent church parking lot, he saw 2 cars one parked behind another. The front car had no one in it, but was running and it had it's lights on. 2 men were approaching the cars. The first man entered the running car and drove away. The second man had pushed the driver's seat forward and was leaning in doing something in the back seat. He gives a very detailed description of both men and the cars, neither of which was Oswald. Oswald doesn't drive. Some believe that he just saw some people coming out of the church and leaving. There were about 6 other cars there. But no one else was around, and why would someone leave their car running with the lights on, unless they wanted to leave in a hurry. And if they were just people coming out of the church, why didn't they go and investigate the shot that was heard by Kirk and others?
An associate of Walker, Robert Alan Surrey, saw 2 men looking in Walker's window 2 days before the shooting. They were in a dark colored,new Ford sedan with no license plate. He followed them in his car until he thought he was spotted, then came back and told Walker. Walker reported it to the police 2 days before the shooting. While these witnesses don't absolutely absolve Oswald, their direct observations throw some doubts that Oswald planned and executed the Walker attempt alone.
Many believe that Walker and his right-wing extremist organization was behind the JFK assassination and conveniently framed Oswald for it. More on him later.
Three days after the Walker incident, the de Mohrenschildt's visited the Oswald's with a present for their daughter June. While there, Jeanne de Mohrenschildt saw a rifle with a telescopic sight leaning in the closet. Apparently, Oswald went back to the scene of the crime within 3 days, dug up the weapon and brought it back home on the bus. George joked "Are you the one that took a potshot at Walker?" to Lee. He may have said "How did you miss?" according to the WC. Anyway, there was an awkward silence until George laughed. But after that de Mohrenschildt said he suspected that Lee Oswald had actually taken the shot. But why didn't he go to the police? Why didn't Jeanne go to the police? She heard and saw the same reactions. This was the last time the De Mohrenschildt's saw the Oswalds before the JFK assassination. If DeMohrenschildt said "How did you miss?" to Oswald, that is a very good indicator that he had some knowledge of Oswald's plans. Why would you "joke" about something like that?
April 24, 1963, 14 days after the Walker attempt, Lee Harvey Oswald goes back to his home town, New Orleans. May 10, he is hired by the Reily Coffee Company. His job was to oil and maintain machinery. Ruth Paine drove Marina and the kids to New Orleans to join Oswald at his apartment there.
Incidentally, a young woman named Judith Vary Baker, was hired the same day at Reily. She has a relatively new conspiracy twist in that she claims to be Oswald's working companion and lover in a CIA sanctioned covert operation to develop a biological cancer agent that could be used to kill Castro. She claims Reily Coffee was a front for their secret operation. A new and extremely detailed conspiracy story that's hard to believe. But becoming more and more plausible as she has a lot of documentation and historical records to lend credibility to her story. More than I can say for any other theory. More on her later.
Guy Banister's secretary, Delphine Roberts and his detective associate, Jack Martin, both claimed that Lee Oswald was in Banister's office several times and seemed to have a professional relationship with him. Roberts claimed that Oswald had an office upstairs and Martin claimed that Banister's friend David Ferrie knew Oswald and that they were all working together. Martin was a drunk and Roberts was a loony, commie-hating racist, so the government commissions considered them unreliable and disregarded their testimonies.
Oswald worked at the Reily Coffee Co from May 10, 1963 to July 19, 1963, when he was "fired" for not doing his job. (His supervisor never could seem to find him).
On August 5-6, 1963, Oswald entered a clothing store owned by Carlos Bringuier. Bringuier was the New Orleans leader of the Student Revolutionary Directorate, a Cuban organization that helped to overthrow the Batista regime. They opposed Castro's political alliance and most fled Cuba for the US, where they worked to gain support for another revolution deposing Castro and communism. Anyway, Oswald offered his services to the SRD as a trained Marine and left a Marine manual for Bringuier. This is completely new for Oswald, a Marxist and Castro supporter. I don't know if he was trying to infiltrate the SRD or was just trying to get some information. Perhaps he was trying to join the SRD in order to gain entry into Cuba when they tried another coup.
5 days later, Bringuier's fellow SRD members spotted Oswald passing out pro-Castro leaflets on Canal and St. Charles. Bringuier and his friends went to confront Oswald about the double cross and a minor fight broke out. They were all arrested and taken to the New Orleans Police Station. Bringuier and friends posted bail and left, while Oswald was fined $10 and released. Before Oswald left, he asked to speak with the FBI.
FBI Agent John Quigley came and Oswald talked to him for over an hour. According to Quigley, Oswald was very evasive and wouldn't answer questions directly about his Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He gave a false name for his wife and said they met and married in Dallas. This is all very strange considering that Oswald requested the interview. Quigley does mention that Oswald told him he was born in New Orleans, but that he was "from" Cuba. Quigley also says that, a couple years before this incident, the Dallas FBI office asked him to go to the Office of Naval Intelligence in Algiers, LA and pull and send any info they had on Oswald. But apparently he didn't recognize Oswald's name and only realized he was under investigation when he looked up the file in the FBI office. It turns out the FBI had been tracking he and Marina's movements from the time they returned from the USSR.
Perhaps Oswald thought that telling the FBI he was from Cuba would allow him to set up a scenerio in which he could get the Cuban embassy to grant him a visa? That's the only reason I can think of that Oswald requested to talk to the FBI. He didn't tell them anything else of significance as reported by Quigley.
On August 16, Lee was back handing out leaflets, with a couple of hired hands, in front of the International Trade Mart. Incidentally, the director of the International Trade Mart was businessman, international traveler, and part-time CIA consultant Clay Shaw (The man Jim Garrison unsuccessfully prosecuted for the JFK assassination). This time, Oswald had gained some notoriety from an article from the fighting incident, and a TV crew came down to film Oswald and his cohorts pass out leaflets. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wYcylHB7Z9k
The next day, radio host William Stuckey interviewed Oswald and probed him for his background.
A couple days later, Oswald agrees to a radio debate with Carlos Bringuier and Edward Butler, head of the Information Council for the Americas. In it Oswald expresses his beliefs about Cuba and how the US should allow them to choose their own form of government without interference. Oswald is also grilled about his Russian experience and his attempt to renounce his US citizenship. He actually speaks well and holds his own under pressure. He lies about the "members" of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans as he is the only one.
During this time, Marina claimed that Lee was completely fixated on "getting to Cuba". All his activities in New Orleans (passing out pro-Castro leaflets, getting into fights with anti-Castro militants, publicly supporting Castro, starting a Fair Play for Cuba chapter, his experience in Russia) were, according to Marina, designed to get Cuba to let him in the country. Marina said that he asked her if she would help him hijack a plane to Cuba, but she said no. I would say that was desperation. Something was driving him to get to Cuba, and soon. Was it frustration with the US way of life... or was he involved in a plot with some very ruthless and dangerous people?
In late August or early Sept, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was seen in Jackson, LA. He stopped in a Barbershop and asked about a job at East Louisiana State Mental Hospital. The barber saw a woman in the front seat of the car with a bassinet in the back seat. He referred Lee to State Rep Reeves Morgan. Oswald next stopped there and Morgan talked to Lee about registering to vote and his reluctance to recommend him for a job ahead of his constituents. Morgans daughter remembered Oswald and said she saw a woman waiting in the car. A secretary at the Hospital said she found an application filled out by "Harvey Oswald". It wasn't found in a search 3 years later. Around the same time period, 4 people in Clinton, LA saw Clay Shaw driving a black car with David Ferrie and Lee Oswald. There was a Black Voter Registration drive happening in the town at the time. Oswald and Ferrie stood in line to register to vote. Judith Vary Baker claims that she was the "woman" in the car in Jackson. Baker claimed that she had helped to develop a cancer agent to kill Castro. She found out that that agent was being tested on involuntary subjects at the East Lousiana State Mental Hospital, and she and Lee probably went there to see if they could find anything about it.
On Sept 16, Lee Harvey Oswald obtained a 15 day Mexican tourist visa, from the Mexican consulate in New Orleans number 24085. The man who obtained Mexican tourist visa number 24084, the one just before Oswald, was CIA informant and business associate of Clay Shaw, William George Gaudet. More on him later.
On Sept 23, 1963, Ruth Paine drove Marina and the baby back to her house in Irving, Texas.
Sept. 25th Lee boarded a bus in Houston bound for Mexico. John and Meryl McFarland were passengers on the same bus and spoke to Oswald. He told them he was going to Cuba, but he couldn't get there from the US, so he was going to Mexico City to see if he could get to Cuba from there. He told them he was going to see Castro if he could. Pamela Mumford and Patricia Winston were young sightseeing passengers from Australia on that same bus. They said that Lee spoke to them about being from Fort Worth, being in the Marines in Japan, going to Russia, showing them his passport with a Russian stamp, and wishing that he could visit Australia. He didn't mention Marina but they noticed his gold wedding band. He had some carry-on luggage in the rack above. He also had luggage in the luggage compartment underneath. Oswald told them that he had visited Mexico City before and suggested they stay at the Hotel Cuba. Oswald had never been to Mexico as far as anybody knows.
They said Oswald was sitting by an older Englishman. When they talked to the older Englishman about where to go in Mexico, he suggested that they speak to the "young man" (Oswald) sitting next to him since he had been there before. This old man was later discovered to be Albert Alexander Osborne, alias John Howard Bowen. He was, supposedly, a Baptist minister who travelled extensively from Texas to Mexico to Canada and all over the place. He claimed to run "missions" in Mexico and Texas, but was a permanent resident of Canada. Osborne returned to the US by bus on Oct 2, one day before Oswald. Osborne obtained a Canadian Passport at the Canadian Consulate in New Orleans on Oct 10, 1963. There is a theory that he ran a ring of trained assassins at these "missions" in the US and Mexico. He made sure that plenty of people knew of Lee Harvey Oswald and knew his plans. More on him later.
In Mexico City, Sept 27, 10am, the bus arrived in Mexico City. Oswald immediately applied for a visa to visit Cuba on his way to Russia. The Cuban consulate said they had to wait for the Russian visa first. Oswald applied for the Russian visa but learned that it would take months. After that he became very agitated and visited the 2 consulates several times. He kept this up for 5 days, shuttling from consulate to consulate and pleading with the KGB. He finally got into a shouting match with the Cuban consul, claiming that his support of Cuba through his activities and his pro-marxist stance should be enough to label him a "friend of Cuba". The Cubans were not biting and told him he'd have to wait. Oct. 3, 1963, Oswald left Mexico City by bus heading to Dallas.
The CIA sent these photos of "Lee Harvey Oswald" captured by a hidden camera at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. They were supposedly taken sometime in early October. Obviously this is not Lee Oswald and later the CIA said they mistakenly identified the man as Oswald. But we've never found out who he is, or why he was mistaken for Oswald.
When Oswald arrived, Silvia Duran is the secretary at the Cuban Consulate. The CIA has tapped the phones at the Cuban Embassy. A man calling himself Lee Harvey Oswald calls from her phone to the Soviet Embassy. He speaks Russian, but just barely understandable. Eusebeo Azcue saw the phony Oswald with dark blonde hair in the Embassy. In the last conversation,"Oswald" says he just spoke to the consul at the Soviet Embassy but he can't remember what his name is. The Soviet secretary says "Kostikov. He is dark?". The real Lee Oswald spoke Russian fluently. Kostikov was a Soviet official in charge of "black ops" such as sabotage and assassinations. I'm not sure if this imposter is trying to find out who Oswald spoke to or was helping Oswald get some info, but the idea that Oswald spoke to Kostikov would indicate that the Soviets might have set up the JFK assassination. BUT, Silvia Duran met the real Lee Harvey Oswald earlier and identified the real Oswald after the assassination. So why did she put this obvious imposter at her desk on the phone with the Russians and say he was Oswald? And what does "He is dark?" mean in reference to Kostikov? or Oswald?
Immediately after the assassination and the discovery of the imposter calls to the Soviet Embassy, Silvia was arrested and subjected to brutal interrogation. Silvia Duran's name and address were in Oswald's address book. Witnesses saw Duran, her husband and Oswald out at a party together. But in the 70s she testified that the Lee Harvey Oswald that was in the Cuban Embassy was not the Oswald that was arrested in Dallas. The form she filled out for Oswald had his picture on it. There was definitely a phony Oswald at the Cuban Embassy that made the call to the Soviet Embassy and Silvia Duran was somehow working with him, she also knew the real Oswald and invited him to a party while he was there, but later changed her story and said the real Oswald was not there. I don't know if she was cooperating with this imposter or if she was threatened or forced, but something was not what it seemed in Mexico City.
When Lee arrived back from Mexico, Ruth Paine's neighbor Wesley Buell Frazier told her that there was a job opening where he worked at the Schoolbook Depository in Dallas. She told Lee about it and he applied. He was hired there Oct. 16th. Oswald's supervisor, Roy Truly, said that he was a good employee. During the week Oswald stayed at a Dallas rooming house under the name O. H. Lee. Weekends he stayed with Marina at Ruth Paine's home in Irving, Texas. Oswald rode with Wesley Frazier. On Oct. 20, Marina gave birth to their 2nd daughter.
Early November, FBI agent James Hosty visited Ruth Paine's house to check on Marina Oswald. She was always under suspicion as a Russian agent. They were much more worried about her than about her husband the Marine defector, strangely enough. Lee took exception to it and visited the Dallas FBI office. Hosty wasn't there, so Oswald left a note that, according to the receptionist, threatened to blow up the FBI and Dallas Police if they didn't leave them alone. Jame Hosty said the note read " "If you have anything you want to learn about me, come talk to me directly. If you don't cease bothering my wife, I will take the appropriate action and report this to the proper authorities." Hosty said his boss, Gordon Shanklin, ordered him to destroy the note after the assassination. Why would Shanklin order the note destroyed? It served to further incriminate Oswald. Why is the recollection of the receptionist so different from Hosty?
On Nov. 21st, a Thursday, Oswald asked Frazier if he could get a ride back to Irving so he could pick up some curtain rods for his apartment. Frazier broke the usual routine and brought Lee back on a Thursday night. Lee left $170 and his wedding ring for Marina and returned to Dallas with Frazier and the "curtain rods" that were wrapped up in brown paper.
On Nov 22nd, Depository co-worker Charles Givens tells the Dallas Police that he saw Oswald reading a newspaper in the 1st floor Domino room (minority lunchroom) at 11:50am and nothing else. Oswald's boss William Shelley also saw Lee on the 1st floor around 11:45 or 11:50 am. Janitor Eddie Piper saw Lee on the 1st floor at 12pm. Co-worker Bonnie Ray William said he ate his lunch on the 6th floor and was there until 12:10pm and he seemed to be alone. When giving his deposition for the Warren Commission a year later, Givens changes his story and says that Oswald was on the 6th floor at 11:55am with a clipboard in his hand and told Givens to send the elevator back up. Why didn't Warren Commission question Givens about his conflicting statement to the Dallas Police, the FBI and themselves?
Around 12:30pm, Nov 22, while traveling in a motorcade through Dallas, John F Kennedy is shot in the neck and head and killed, Governor Connally is shot in the upper chest, the right wrist and the left thigh and seriously injured. More on their injuries, evidence and investigation later.
Just after the shooting, Motorcycle escort Police Officer Marrion Baker thought the shots came from the School Book Depository and he rushes into the building with gun drawn. Building supervisor Roy Truly joins him. 1 1/2 - 2 mins after the shots are fired, Baker encounters Oswald in the 2nd floor hallway just going into the snackroom next to the office. Baker points his gun at him and asks Truly if he works there. Truly says that he works there and Baker lets him go. Baker and Truly go on to search the building. Clerical Supervisor, Mrs. Robert Reid, as she is returning to her office, sees Oswald calmly walking in the office with a Coke in his hand. She told him that the President was shot, and he mumbled something she couldn't hear. Oswald slips out of the building. Later when most of the employees are rounded up, Truly reports that Oswald seems to be the only one missing. If Oswald did the shooting, why did he take the time to buy a Coke after his encounter with Officer Baker and casually wander through the office?
At 12:40 Oswald boards a city bus, but he gets a transfer and gets off a couple blocks later, probably due to the stand-still traffic. He grabs a taxi to his rooming house and gets there about 1pm. He goes into his room and emerges quickly with a another jacket that he is zipping up. As you'll notice, he has curtain rods in his room. His landlord Earlene Roberts sees a police cruiser pull up in front of the house and hears them honk twice. She last sees him standing at the Northbound Beckley Ave bus stop.
A description of Oswald was sent over Police radio at 12:45pm. A man fitting the description is walking near 10th and Patterson. Officer JD Tippit pulls over to talk to him. At 1:15pm Tippit exits his patrolcar and the man shoots him with a .38 revolver, hitting him with 4 shots, 3 in the chest and 1 in the head. Then the killer emptied his cartridge cases at the scene before walking away.
Witnesses: Domingo Benavides, Helen Markham, Barbara and Virginia Davis, William Scoggins, Acquilla Clemons, Warren Reynolds, Sam Guinyard, Ted Calloway
Benavides was driving his Chevy pickup when he heard the shot, pulled over to the curb and then heard 2 more shots. He saw Tippit stagger and fall. Then the shooter, 5'10", brown slightly curly hair, beige zipper jacket, dark pants walked away. He took the spent cartridges out of his gun, threw them away and reloaded while he walked. Benavides saw that Tippit was dead from the headshot and he reported the shooting on the police radio. There were several people at the scene already and Benavides took a pencil and an empty cigarette pack and collected two of the shells that the shooter had thrown away. He gave these to police when they arrived. Couldn't identify him in a line-up.
Sam Guinyard and Ted Callaway were working in a used car lot a block away and came running. Ted Callaway heard 5 shots and yelled at the gunman as he was jogging off and got a good look at him. Sam heard 3 shots and saw the gunman. Both identified Oswald in a 4 man police line-up.
The Davis sisters were asleep when they heard 2 shots. They looked out their door and saw a man walking through their yard, shaking bullet cartridges out of his gun. He smiled at them. They called the police and went out to the crime scene. After a little while they both came back and picked up the 2 bullet cartridges that were discarded on their lawn and turned them over to police. Both identified Oswald in a 4 man line-up.
William Scoggins was a cab driver who was eating his lunch in his parked cab when the shooting happened. He heard 3 or 4 shots, jumped out of his cab and hid behind it while the shooter walked by. Later he identified Oswald in a 4 man line-up.
Helen Markham is a different story. She claimed to see the shooter fire 3 shots into Tippit. Then she claims that she tried to save Tippit and he tried to speak to her. The others said he was dead before he hit the pavement. She was very confused when testifying about the line-up and kept saying she didn't recognize anyone, until the questioner reminded her of her identification. Her obvious embellishment and faulty memory made her a bad witness, but there were enough others who identified Oswald as the shooter that her testimony is not needed.
Acquilla Clemons is found and interviewed by Mark Lane in the movie Rush to Judgement. She was working in a house just down the street when Tippit was shot. When she heard the shots, she ran out the door and looked down the street. She says that the shooter was kind of short and chunky. Oswald wasn't very chunky, but it possibly could've looked that way with his jacket. He waved to a tall, thin man on the other side of the street, indicating for him to go. She says she didn't say anything to anybody. Then a man with a gun showed up at her house and told her she might get hurt if she says anything. Why didn't she report this to the police?
The witness with the most bizarre story is Warren Reynolds. He was working at another used car lot down the street when he heard the shots that killed Tippit. He saw a man with a handgun walking quickly down the street. He attempted to follow him for a little while. A TV crew showed up later and interviewed him. A friend of his called a radio station and told them what he'd done. No law officer interviewed him until late January. He told the FBI that he thought the man was Oswald but couldn't positively identify him. 2 days later, he is shot in the head by a man hiding in the basement of his car lot office. He uses a 22 rifle and is seen running away. He is 5'4", 135lbs with brown skin. Reynolds miraculously survives. The police suspect Darrell Wayne Garner, who was in the car lot the day before trying to sell a car without the title. He became upset when Reynolds brother wouldn't buy the car. He is known as a ruffian and troublemaker. Garner was given an alibi by Nancy J Mooney, alias Betty MacDonald who said he was with her during the time of the shooting. Betty MacDonald was, supposedly, a stripper at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club. About 3 weeks after he got out of the hospital, someone attempted to abduct his 10 year old daughter. He also seemed to have some connection with General Edwin Walker who recommended that the WC takes Reynolds statement.
While it's a heck of a coincidence, I'm not convinced that the Reynolds shooting had anything to do with his witness of the Tippit killer. Also, the man who shot Reynolds was probably not Mafia or CIA, they wouldn't use a 22 rifle to shoot someone in a basement, and they'd make sure the job was done. Although with the attempted murder and the attempted abduction of a daughter, it sure seems as if someone was trying to intimidate this man. But I can't find any original sources or documentation that Nancy J Mooney was a stripper at Ruby's club. She was found hanged in her cell after she was arrested for fighting, but I never found any evidence or statements by her indicating that she knew something about Ruby, Oswald or anyone.
The overwhelming eyewitness evidence is very conclusive that Oswald killed Tippit. He was positively identified by at least 6 people in police line-ups. Helen Markham lied about her role in the aftermath, but she still identified Oswald. Reynolds never said it wasn't Oswald, he just said he wasn't absolutely sure in his first FBI interview. Acquilla Clemons said that the shooter waved at another tall man across the street indicating for him to leave and he did. She was about a block away by her own testimony, and it still could have been Oswald. Anyway, I think Oswald killed Tippit, unless I'm missing something. If anyone has any more info on Nancy Mooney or the man that Oswald waved away across the street, let me know. It's also pretty amazing that Oswald took 4 shots and hit him 3 in the midsection and 1 in the head. That's pretty accurate shooting for a spontaneous street shooting. The witnesses said Tippit barely got his gun out of his holster. You'd think that if Tippit was hit with one shot, then he would lurch, dive or fall, to make it difficult for the shooter. But 3 in the chest and 1 in the head. That seems like a professional assassin or hitman. Also, why was Clemons threatened to keep quiet? It could be that she saw him wave to someone who didn't want to be recognized. It could be that he was waving a fly from his face.
There are some theories involving Tippit and/or Officer Roscoe White and I will briefly go over these later.
Minutes after the Tippit shooting, Oswald is seen by Johnny Brewer, ducking into his shoe store alcove, and then running on. Brewer thinks he looks like he's trying to hide and seems suspicious, so he watches him through the window as Oswald slips into the nearby Texas Theater without stopping at the ticket window. At 1:40pm Brewer alerts the ticket clerk at the Theater, and she called the police. When the police arrive at the Texas theater, the lights are brought up and Brewer points out Oswald. When the police approach Oswald, he acts as if he's giving up, then he suddenly pulls out his gun, points it at Officer Nick McDonald and pulls the trigger. McDonald said that he managed to grab the gun and get his thumb under the firing hammer before Oswald pulled the trigger. He said Oswald hit him and he hit back, disarming him. As they led him out of the theater, he struggled and yelled that he was being subjected to police brutality.
Oswald was brought into the Dallas Police Station at 2pm. There he was questioned by Detective Jim Leavelle about the Tippit shooting. Captain JW Fritz had been given the name of Lee Oswald as the only Book Depository employee who wasn't accounted for. When Fritz learned who was being held, he took over the interrogation. Oswald was questioned by Fritz, FBI agent James Hosty, and Postal Inspector Harry Holmes. Lee asked to contact John Abt, a lawyer who represented the Communist Party, USA. He and Ruth Paine called Abt, but he was on a trip. Oswald turned down many other offers of legal representation. Oswald denied everything. He even denied knowing where the phony IDs came from. He just said he went home, grabbed his handgun, and went to the movies. Police brought in the rifle so Marina could make an ID. She said it looked like the gun Lee had, but she wouldn't know one gun from another. Of course they brought in the witnesses to Tippit and did several line-ups. Reporters clog the hallways. Several statements by Oswald are captured during press conferences and transfers.
At one point, Oswald says "I'm just a Patsy!" That single statement struck a chord with many people. Oswald was definitely going to take the fall for the assassination. I think it's clear that he was somehow involved in the assassination. But I don't think he was alone in planning and executing this event.
During the capture and incarceration of Oswald at the Dallas PD, another man hangs out in the halls and at the press conferences, melting into the throng of reporters. Jack Ruby.
Ruby is obviously watching Oswald and studying the situation the whole time. He stands in the halls and in the press rooms with reporters. He was so tight with the police that the reporters all thought he was a detective.
On Sunday, Nov 24, Dallas Police are taking Oswald to the County jail. He is brought to the basement and incredible security precautions are taken to make sure they get him there. Jack Ruby parks his car outside the Police station, leaves $900 and the ignition keys in the trunk, and shuts the trunk keys and his wallet in the glove compartment. The doors are left unlocked and his beloved dog is left in the car. Ruby says he just walks down the ramp, but the policeman guarding the ramp swore that no one came down that ramp. Anyway, somehow Ruby ends up standing with a group of reporters at the bottom of the ramp where Oswald is going to be put into a car that would take him to
County. Captain Fritz clears a path for Oswald to get into the waiting car, but just before Oswald reaches it, Ruby lunges out of the crowd and fires a shot right into the midsection of Oswald. Officer Jim Levelle (right of Oswald) says he knew Ruby, but never expected that. He tried to pull Oswald out of the way but didn't have time to react. They wrestle Ruby to the ground, disarm him and take him into custody. They load Oswald into an ambulance and rush him to Parkland Hospital. There he never regains consciousness and dies. There are numerous theories about Jack Ruby, and I will go into depth on him next.
I want you to watch this recorded scene several times. You can see that Ruby jumped out of the crowd and fired before anyone had time to react. But pay special attention to Captain Fritz on the left. He enters just before Oswald and helps to clear a path for Oswald to get to the vehicle. It still boggles my mind that he didn't react to the gunshot. A pistol shot rings out just to his left... and he doesn't flinch or jerk or react. He just slowly turns to watch what enfolds. That's either some seriously slow reaction time or ... he knew the shot was coming.
Lee Harvey Oswald was definitely involved in the Kennedy Assassination. Oswald was the shooter in the Officer Tippit murder. The evidence also indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the only shooter in the JFK assassination, and that he likely had co-conspirators in the attempt on General Edwin Walker. There is also evidence that he associated with anti-communist activists and CIA splinter groups in New Orleans and Dallas supporting the Cuban rebels while posing as a Castro supporter. His defection to Russia may have been a "dangle", an intelligence operative posing as a communist sympathizer in order to entice the USSR to recruit him as a double agent. The acoustic and visual evidence presented to the HRCA committe in the 1970s led them to believe it was a conspiracy, but they don't know who or how. Later I will go over all the major conspiracy theories and examine the known evidence. First I will examine Jack Ruby and his assassination of Oswald.