Do your homework.


Tom Alyea, "Facts and Photos"

 From Connie Kritzberg's Secrets from the Sixth Floor Window, pp. 39-46

         I was the first newsman into the building and the only newsman
to accompany the search team as they went from floor to floor searching
for the person who fired the shots. At this time, we did not know the
president had been hit. I rushed in with a group of plain clothesmen and
a few uniformed officers. . . .

         I [followed] the search team that was on its way to the rear
elevator, to start the floor by floor search. We searched every floor,
all the way to the roof. The gunman could have still been in the
building. Finding nothing, they started back down. After approximately
18 minutes, they were joined by Captain Fritz, who had first gone to
Parkland Hospital .

         The barricade on the sixth floor ran parallel to the windows,
extending in an "L" shape that ended against the front wall between the
first and second twin windows. The height of the stack of boxes was a
minimum of 5 ft. I looked over the barricade and saw three shell casings
laying on the floor in front of the second window in the two window
casement. They were scattered in an area that could be covered by a
bushel basket.
They were located about half way between the inside of
the barricade. I set my lens focus at the estimated distance from the
camera to the floor and held the camera over the top of the barricade
and filmed them before anybody went into the enclosure
. I could not
position my eye to the camera's view finder to get the shot. After
filming the casings with my wide angle lens, from a height of 5 ft., I
asked Captain Fritz, who was standing at my side, if I could go behind
the barricade and get a close-up shot of the casings. He told me that it
would be better if I got my shots from outside the barricade. He then
rounded the pile of boxes and entered the enclosure. This was the first
time anybody walked between the barricade and the windows.

        Fritz then walked to the casings, picked them up and held them
in his hand over the top of the boxes for me to get a close-up shot of
the evidence. I filmed about eight seconds of a close-up shot of the
shell casings in Captain Fritz's hand. I stopped filming, and thanked
him. I do not recall if he placed them in his pocket or returned them
back to the floor, because I was preoccupied with recording other views
of the crime scene. I have been asked many times if I thought it was
peculiar that the Captain of Homicide picked up evidence with his hands
Actually, that was the first thought that came to me when he did it, but
I rationalized that he was the homicide expert and no prints could be
taken from spent shell casings. Therefore, any photograph of shell
casings taken after this, is staged and not correct.
It is highly
doubtful that the shell casings that appear in Dallas police photos of
the crime scene are the same casings that were found originally.
originals by this time were probably in a plastic bag at police
headquarters. Why? Probably this was a missing link in the report the
police department had to send to the FBI and they had to stage it and
the barricade box placement to complete their report and photo records.

         The position of the barricade, while difficult to follow for
one who was not there, is important because of the difference in
photographs seen today.

         There are four different box positions.

         1) There was one box in the barricade stack that was
considerably higher than the others. This box is the one that can be
seen in the photos taken from outside the window by Tom Dillard, because
it was high enough to catch the sunlight and still be seen from the
ground below. It is not to be confused with the second box set at an
angle in the window sill, that was used as a brace for the assassin's rifle.

         2) A portion of this box can also be seen in these same photos
taken by Tom Dillard. It shows up in the lower right hand corner of the

         3) Two boxes were stacked on the floor, inside the window, to
give arm support to the assassin. The top box was one of the two boxes
from which the crime lab lifted palm prints.

         4) The fourth box of importance was on the floor behind the
sniper location. Officers also lifted palm prints from this box. It is
suspected that the sniper sat on this box while he waited for the
motorcade to pass.

         The positioning of boxes 2 , 3, and 4 were recorded by the
police crime lab. They are the only boxes involved in the crime scene.

         The actual positioning of the barricade was never photographed
by the police. It s actual positioning is only on my movie footage,
which was taken before the police started dismantling the arrangement.

NOTE;   Where's that film Wally???

        We all looked over the barricade to see if the half open window
with three boxes piled to form a shooting rest for a gunman. One box was
actually on the window sill, tilted at an angle. There was a reason for
this that I cover in my JFK Facts newsletter. The shooting location
consists of two windows set together to form one single window. (The
police photo showing the shell casings laying next to the brick wall was
staged later by crime lab people who did not see the original
positioning because they were not called upon the scene until after the
rifle was found nearly an hour later.) . . .

NOTE;   Isn't that called "Tampering with evidence"???

         Only recently I saw a picture of Lt. Day with a news still
cameraman on the 6th floor. Day was shown pointing to the location where
the rifle was found. This was nearly 3:30 or after. It was my
understanding that Day and Studebaker had taken the prints, rifle and
homemade sack back to police headquarters. I personally would like to
know what they were doing back at the scene unless it was to reconstruct
shots they had failed to take during the primary investigation. But this
evidence had been destroyed and they were forced to create their own
version. The photo I have seen of the barricade wasn't even close. I
have also seen recently a police photo of the assassin's lair taken from
a high angle which indicates that it was shot before the barricade box
arrangement was destroyed, but it did not show the barricade itself.
This has no bearing on the case other than the public has never seen the
original placement. . . .

         Police officers who claim they were on the 6th floor when the
assassin's window was found have reported that they saw chicken bones at
or near the site. One officer reported that he saw chicken bones on the
floor near the location. Another said he saw chicken bones on the
barricade boxes, while another reported that he saw chicken bones on the
box which was laying across the window sill. Some of these officers have
given testimony as to the location of the shell casings. Their testimony
differs and none of it is true. I have no idea why they are clinging to
these statements. They must have a reason. Perhaps it is because they
put it in a report and they must stick to it.

         One officer stated that he found the assassin's location at the
6th floor window. He went on to say that as he and his fellow officers
were leaving the building, he passed Captain Fritz coming in. He said he
stopped briefly to tell Captain Fritz that he had found the assassin's
lair at the 6th floor window. This seems highly unlikely because Captain
Fritz joined us on the 5th floor and aided in the search. The chances
are great that this, or these officers heard the report, that stemmed
from WFAA-TV's incorrect announcement that the chicken bones were found
on the 6th floor. This officer or officers perhaps used this information
to formulate their presence at the scene. There were no chicken bones
found on the 6th floor. We covered every inch of it and I filmed
everything that could possibly be suspected as evidence. There
definitely were no chicken bones were no chicken bones on or near the
barricade or boxes at the window. I shot close-up shots of the entire
area. The most outstanding puzzle as to why these officers are sticking
to this story is the fact they claim to have found the sniper's
location, then left the building, as they said to join the investigators
at the Tippit shooting location. I have never seen a report that
indicates they attempted to use any telephone in the building in an
attempt to notify other investigators. They just left the scene to check
another assignment, and by chance ran into Capt. Fritz coming in the
front door. They claim to have placed a detective at the location but
they did not relay their finding to any other officer before they left
the building. I presume that the alleged detective they allegedly left
at the scene was instructed to stand there until someone else stumbled
upon the scene, or they found time to report it after investigating the
Tippit scene. Sorry, it doesn't wash.

         I do however know that Officer Mooney was present when the
rifle was found because I took film of him at the scene. He is shown
talking to another detective, but this was nearly an hour after the
sniper's location was found at the window. I have no idea when he
arrived. We ended up with more men than when we started. As they joined
us during the search the latecomers would bring us the latest news of
the president's condition. When Captain Fritz arrived 18 minutes after
we started, he brought news that both Governor Connally and the
president had been hit but by the time he left, the seriousness of their
wounds was unknown. Fritz left the hospital almost immediately when he
was notified that a search was underway in the Texas School Book
Depository for the sniper. We in the search team had no phones, radios
or TV sets. As I recall, we learned that the president was dead about
the time we found the rifle. I don't know who brought us this word.
Several officers arrived while we were waiting for Lt. Day. One of them
was Roger Craig, who is responsible for giving much misinformation to
the press. None of us were prepared to hear that the president's wound
was a fatal one. We thought perhaps it was a minor thing or possibly a
flesh wound. It was a stunning shock, and our attitude [towards] the
rifle had suddenly changed. We stared at the small portion of the butt
as it lay under the overhang boxes while we waited for Lt. Day to arrive
and recover the weapon that killed our president. . . .

         We finished combing the 6th floor, looking for the assassin or
any other evidence. Finding nothing more at this time Captain Fritz
ordered all of us to the elevator and we started searching the 7th floor
and from there we went to the roof.

         Nothing in the way of evidence was found so we retraced our
search back down, floor by floor. Shortly after we arrived back on the
6th floor, Deputy Eugene Boone located the assassin's rifle almost
completely hidden by some overhanging boxes near the stairwell. I filmed
it as it was found. In my shot, the figure of Captain Fritz is standing
within the enclosure next to the rifle. He knew then that the
possibility of a fire fight with the sniper had greatly diminished. He
dispatched one of his men to go down and call for the crime lab. About
fifteen minutes later, Lt. Day and Studebaker arrived. Still pictures
were taken of the positioning of the rifle, then Lt. Day slid it out
from its hiding place and held it up for all of us to see. The world has
seen my shot of this many times. Lt. Day immediately turned toward the
window behind him and started dusting the weapon for fingerprints. Day
was still within the enclosure formed by the surrounding boxes. I filmed
him lifting prints from the rifle. He lifted them off with scotch tape
and placed them on little white cards. When he had finished, he handed
the rifle to Captain Fritz. Fritz pulled the bolt back and a live round
ejected and landed on the boxes below. Fritz put the cartridge in his
pocket. I did not see Fritz pick up anything other than the live round.
. . .

         I filmed Captain Fritz talking with associates in this
dismantled area [the "sniper's nest"], along with Studebaker, who was
dusting the Dr. Pepper bottle which had been brought up to him from the
5th floor. This is all recorded on my film. I never learned if prints
were lifted from the pop bottle. I'm not sure if anybody ever asked.

         I took the film from my camera, placed it back into its metal
can, wrapped the tape around it, and tossed it to our News Editor, A. J.
L'Hoste, who was waiting outside with the other newsmen who were not
allowed in the building. A. J. raced it to the television station which
was about three blocks away. About fifteen minutes later the world saw
the murder weapon, where it was found and pictures of the crime lab
people dusting it for fingerprints, and the shell casings that once
housed those bullets. They also saw how the assassin prepared for his
ambush and the view he had of the killing zone.


     Addendum #1

     A correspondent asked Tom Alyea about the accuracy of the above
material and forwarded Alyea's response:

         Thanks for sending me the material from Connie Kritzberg's
"Secrets from The Sixth Floor." I never read the book. Many years ago
she interviewed me about what I saw during the search. I gave her some
pictures to use in her story. This is the first time I have seen the
story. I regret to say that there are some inaccuracies, which is to be
expected in an interview. You must remember that she was not on the
sixth floor. She was at her desk in the city room at the Dallas Times
Herald newspaper. It is disjointed and out of sequence, which makes it
difficult to follow. This is often the case when the interviewer asks
the questions and was not at the scene. Connie is a friend of mine, and
a good reporter, but I did not see the final draft before it went to
press. There is always the possibility that I failed to make my answers
clear, and she derived a different meaning. Please remember that these
short statements contained little detail and circumstances behind the

         I shall make a few corrections that I feel are necessary to
maintain accuracy:


         The average height of the barricade (Barricade #1) was four and
a half feet. I don't know how high this would be in the Metric scale.

         My shot of the shell casings in Capt. Fritz's hand was between
three and four seconds.

         (Important correction:) Take out the sentence that starts with,
"It is highly doubtful…"

         My statement was that after Capt. Fritz held the casing over
the barricade for me to film, he turned to examine the shooting support
boxes on the windowsill. I couldn't see the captain put the casings in
his coat pocket because his coat pocket was below the top of the
barricade. He did not return them to the floor and he did not have them
in his hand when he was examining the shooting support boxes. Over
thirty minutes later, after the rifle was discovered and the crime lab
arrived, Capt. Fritz reached into his pocket and handed the casings to
Det. Studebaker to include in the photographs he would take of the
sniper's nest crime scene. We stayed at the rifle site to watch Lt. Day
dust the rifle. You have seen my footage of this. Studebaker never saw
the original placement of the casings so he tossed them on the floor and
photographed them. Det. Studebaker was alone at this site until after
Lt. Day left the building with the rifle. We in the search team went to
the sniper's site. Studebaker had already photographed the casings on
the floor and was busy dusting the pop bottle when we arrived. The
casings were no longer on the floor. I never saw them again. The
barricade had been completely dismantled and the boxes from the West
side of the barricade had been removed and placed in various locations
around the site. We did not realize at the time that Studebaker had not
recorded on film the original placement of the boxes in the barricade.
He also had removed the shooting support boxes on the window ledge and
stacked them one on top of the other on the floor inside. He took a
picture of this reconstructed arrangement. This is the view researchers
have of the shooting support boxes that were originally on the brick
window ledge. The corner of the outside box was positioned over the
lower window channel that tilted the box at an angle.

         (Important correction)…Take out the sentence that starts with,
"I have also seen recently…"

         This high angle photograph was taken after the crime lab
returned to the sixth floor three days later 'Monday, November,
twenty-five. Capt. Fritz had seen the photographs and had directed the
crime lab to correct the shots of the window boxes and the casings on
the floor. He had seen the original placement and ordered the crime lab
to correct it. Neither Lt. Day nor Det. Studebaker had seen the original
placement, so they procured my film from the TV station to get it right.
The high angle shot (shots) were made to show the original placement.
Their reconstruction was close, but not exact. However, they did not
bring the casings with them so they did not make the correction of the
original placement of the shell casings.

         (Important correction) Take out the sentence that starts with
:" I do however know that Officer Mooney…"

         Mooney was a Sheriff's Deputy, not a police officer. He did not
arrive on the sixth floor until after the rifle was found and the search
was over.

         (Important correction) Take out the sentence that starts with,
"He dispatched one of his men…"

         Capt. Fritz did this after the shooting site was discovered,
with the instructions to have the crime lab men wait on the first floor
when they arrived. We were still looking for an armed gunman. We had
only found his shooting location. After the rifle was found, Capt. Fritz
sent one of his detectives down in the elevator to bring up the crime
lab, because it was obvious that the sniper had escaped and the threat
of a firefight was unlikely. The crime lab is never called to a scene
that has not been secured. I hope you researcher friends will realize
this when the read the police testimonies where they place Lt. Day at
the shooting site crime scene while we in the search team were still
searching for an armed sniper on the same floor. They had a noble reason
for giving this false testimony. They wanted to protect their boss,
Capt. Fritz from possible censure for picking up the casings before the
crime lab arrived and processed them. The easiest way was to place Lt.
Day at the scene before Capt. Fritz arrived. All this is detailed in my

     Addendum #2

         From: Dale Myers (dmyers@rust.net)
         Subject: Re: Tom Alyea on the sixth floor evidence
         Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy.jfk
         Date: 1999/07/04

         As we all know, time alters recollections. Case in point:
compare Tom Alyea's more recent statements (posted by Dave Reitzes) with
his statement from December 19, 1963:

         ------------------------------[quote on]

         "...I ran on upstairs with the Secret Service men. Then other
units came in - the Riot Squad. I thought I was going to film a gun
fight. They ran to the 4th floor and I went with them. Some of the other
units went to the top of the building. They were conducting a systematic
search. It boiled down to the sixth floor. After awhile it was obvious
that the assassin was not in the building. They looked for the gun. I
filmed 400 ft. of film
of the Secret Service men looking for the
assassin, climbing over boxes, over the rafters, and the actual finding
of the gun. At the time it was suspected that the assassin had stayed
quite a time there. There was a stack with a stack of chicken bones on
it. There was a Dr. Pepper bottle which they dusted for fingerprints.
The fingerprints were not Oswald's. You know how he piled the boxes up?
The gun was found across the length of the room from where he fired. It
was stashed between boxes. I had difficulty in filming. They did not
want me closeto the window or to the gun. I asked permission to go to
the window to film. A Secret Service man said, 'You are close enough.' I
asked the Secret Service man to take pictures of the stashed gun. I set
the camera but he wiggled the camera.
I got a picture of them taking the
gun from the hiding place and dusting it for fingerprints. After this
the Crime Lab man, Captain Will Fritz - and I have footage of this -
pulled the bolt back and a live round came out. They dusted the gun for
fingerprints. This was my third camera. They wouldn't let me out of the
building and they wouldn't let anyone else in. I never saw my film on
the air because I had to get the film to someone outside. This was the
first film from there. We had Mal Couch's film of the crowd but not of
the President being hit. [How did you get the film out?] There's a story
for you. I actually handed it out through the door but it had been
publicized over the air and established everywhere that I had thrown it
out of the building through a window. I hesitate to tell you the real
story. I started to throw it out of the building but being so close and
knowing that we had the other film, I wanted our station to be the first
to show a film of the assassination. A A.J. L'Hoste was under the
window. I yelled out to him. In actuality I tossed the film out the
front door to Ron Reiland who had gotten back from covering the
apprehension of Oswald at the Texas Theater. This was another ABC
exclusive. There were 2 policemen at the Depository door. They were not
sure that I should get things outside. Ron was outside and I was inside.
One of the policemen there called a Lieutenant and while they were
calling him, I threw the film out....."

         ------------------------------[quote off]


I asked Tom Alyea>


Tom; I have written the answer to your 400ft....
Tom Alyea 9:38am Aug 30
Tom; I have written the answer to your 400ft. question; I'll send it to you when I get back home. I gotta go to Pryor OK today. Corddially, Tom Alyea (ALL'yea)
Tom Rossley. “What ever happened to the 400...
Tom Alyea 5:55pm Sep 2

Tom Rossley. “What ever happened to the 400 feet of film I took of the TSBD Search?”

Good question. Nobody has ever asked me this before.

I had filmed the search to the roof on 200 ft. of film. I took several shot from this location. The shots I took of the Sniper’s Nest were recorded on the second reel. Capt. Fritz decided to have a conference with the Search Team about a continued search for the “ Sniper” by searching the floors again, back down. The suggestion was submitted about obtaining some Flashlights to aid us in seeing into the dark areas. The nearest source was at the Sheriff’s Office a block away. Two men were dispatched to The Sheriff’s Office to obtain them, and Capt. Fritz said he and the group would wait on the roof until they returned. I thought this would be a good time for me to get my footage to one of our reporters waiting outside. I took the elevator down with the officers. They had badges, and were allowed to exit the building, but I stepped to the porch and gave my footage to WFAA-TV reporter Art Sinclair, who raced this first 200 ft. to the newsroom. The world saw the sniper’s nest for the first time. It was all silent film, with no copy attached. I turned and went back onto the building with no challenge from the guards. I rejoined Capt Fritz and the search group again on the roof. Capt Fritz became impatient waiting on the flashlights and led us to the 7th floor and 6th to start our downward search. Within a few minutes the flashlights arrived and were distributed to some of the officers. Within minutes, one of the officers spotted about four inches of the end of the rifle stock. The officer was on the North side of a small circular enclosure of book cartons, but the Rifle was hidden on the inside. The Rifle could be seen only by looking over the North side, over the overhanging boxes. I took a shot of the officer who found the Rifle as he singled to Capt. Fritz. When Fritz saw it, he stopped the search and directed one of the officers to go below and call the Crime Lab. It took Lt. Day and Officer Studebaker from 12 to 15 minutes to arrive. During this wait, we were informed that the President was dead. Finally the two Crime Lab men stepped from the elevator, just 20 ft. from where we had gathered at the Rifle Site. I had filmed the partial vision of the Rifle within seconds after it was found. I still have this footage. I also filmed the questionable activities of Lt. Day and Studebaker in their efforts to record this evidence. I still have this footage. When Lt. Day started dusting the Rifle, Capt. Fritz reached into the pocket and retrieved the three shell casing he had taken from the Sniper’s Nest and handed them to Studebaker, with the instruction to include them in his photos he would be taking of the Shooting Site at the Southeast window, while Lt. Day dusted the Rifle where it was found. We all watched Lt. Day dust the Rifle as I filmed it. I still have photos of this. Studebaker was alone at the Shooting Site. He had not seen the original location of the casings, so he tossed them on the floor, and this is the photo that is recorded for history.

I was not able to cover both activities. Footage containing the finding of the Rifle, Photographing it, Dusting it, Fritz ejecting round #4, Fritz and Ly. Day examining the dusted rifle, etc, consumed most of my 3rd reel. Fritz handed the Rifle back to Lt. Day and told him to take it directly to his office at Police Headquarters. When Capt. Fritz and a few officers decided to leave, Capt. Fritz was waiting for the elevator, just a few feet from the Rifle Crime Scene. When the elevator arrived, Mgr. Truly stepped out and give Fritz the information about Oswald not returning from lunch and could be a suspect. Unknown to researchers, Fritz did not go directly to his office. The two detectives accompanying Fritz reported that the Captain ordered his driver to go the Sheriff’s Office. The officers reported that Fritz talked to Sheriff Bill Decker for about 15 minutes before he got back into the car and resumed his trip back to Police Headquarters. The officers stated that they stayed in the car during the time Fritz visited with the Sheriff. They did not relate the content of the conversation.

NOTE: Lt. Day never saw the Snipers Nest until he returned with Studebaker about 3:30 to shoot more photos and look for additional evidence. But when he arrived on the 6th floor, he found he was surrounded by the press who had been escorted to the 6th floor by the police to record the crime scenes. I have photos of him aiding the press in the location of the Rifle Crime Scene. However in his testimony he reported that the Press had entered the 6th floor Saturday and disrupted much of the evidence. The Press was soon asked to leave. This was the only time the Press was in the building. To my knowledge, the 6th floor was empty Saturday and Sunday.

After Lt. Day left with the Rifle, I filmed several scenes of activity by the Police, including Studebaker dusting the Dr. Pepper bottle. Shortly after 2:30, I left the floor to get my footage to the station and televised. I had no police badge and wasn’t allowed to leave.
I taped reel #3 and #4 together, and was able to toss it to News Editor, A. J. L’Hoste who was standing near the door. He raced it to the News Room where it was processed and a few minutes later it was shown to the world. The Rifle was seen for the first time, plus scenes of Lt. Day dusting it where it was found. However, years later, when I had an opportunity to watch a re-run of these news shots, I didn’t see much of the activity that was involved in processing the bits of information regarding this important find.

I was still in the building when my footage was televised. I had no idea what was used in WFAA-TV’s televised news report. It was weeks later that I learned how little of my footage was used. I have learned since, many more disturbing facts. I have listed them in my Report, but they are too lengthy to list here.

To answer your question, let me list the following facts:
1). I don’t know for certain, who edited my film that was televised while I was still in the TSBD. Some of the footage was used in the make-up of a News Reel, and televised. The same reel was sent to ABC in New York. It is my understanding that the FBI acquired a copy of the same small bit of News Footage that hit the air.

2). Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963 I was concerned about the discarded film on the editing room floor. I checked it, and found much of my footage had been discarded along with footage from other newsmen. I asked the News Director to save it; he said we didn’t have time. I located some empty reels and searched the 4-inch pile of footage. When I found a strip of film I had shot, I spun it onto an empty reel, and crammed it in my pocket. I didn’t have time to locate all of my discarded footage before the custodian returned and filled the trash container with the remaining footage from the floor. I grabbed my camera and recorded it. It can be seen in my report. The footage I have is a collection of filmstrips I salvaged from the Editing Room floor.

3). Many key scenes went out the door in a trash barrel, such as the long film strip of the Sniper’s Nest, the Shooting Support boxes, the Casings on the floor, and Capt. Fritz holding the three casings in his hand. I have wondered these many years if this was deliberate, or an accident or bad editing; but it does not interest the modern researcher, nor do the many other facts that are unknown.

Best regards, Tom Alyea
Conversation History
Tom Rossley
Tom Rossley 2:47pm Aug 25
Wht ever happened to the 400 feet of film you took on 11/22/63? ? ?

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