WHO'S WHO ON COMMISSION


My Debates
jfk jr
what kind of country
no prints on the rifle
witness list from dpd
oswald connected to anticastro group
oswald never arraigned
texas theater show times
lousy witness bad memory
marina and demorendschildt photo
Hickey lawsuit
magic bullet
HSCA Medical Interviews
PUT UP - shut up
brown and root, haliburtin
Chapter 4c
free online book
Spy Stuff
Oil Depletion Allowance
Single Bullet THEORY
Frederic Whitehurst
Hint of conspiracy
July 26-nov 22
bullet from knoll
second killing of jfk
Halliburton Questioned on $1
anna k. nelson   (ARRB)
cia lied to rfk
criminal aliases II
priscilla johnson mCmillian
truman and the cia
the differences
richard helms
cleaned and pressed
some w c exhibits
SBT BORN ON -3-13-64
preparing the body after the aut
civil rights violated
seymour hersh
E howard hunt - frank sturgis
oswsald learning russian
Dr renatus hartogs
curry's book very valuable
lt. martello
cia assassination files
JFK and the Unspeakable
timmy brennan
some slides
Vinnie itis Round.pdf
Harold Weisberg
alter testimony
Altgens Photo
11 O
Dan Rather
WHAT differences
Who can I D these rifles
Jack Ruby
doug horne
Rather Lies
Great letter sent to Prof
jfk speech
Tink Thompson
Lee Harvey Oswald
Reasonable Doubt
G. H. W.  BUSH
here are withheld doc's that we know of
  on november 29th, president issued executive order 11130  see bottom paragraph









President John F. Kennedy




For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402





Staff Members


Letter of Transmittal
Page vii
200 Maryland Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002 J. LEE RANKIN
Telephone 543-1400 General Counsel
September 24, 1964
The President
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. President:
Your Commission to investigate the assassination
of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, having completed
its assignment in accordance with Executive Order No. 11130
of November 29, 1963, herewith submits its final report.

Earl Warren
Earl Warren, Chairman
Richard B. Russell

John Sherman Cooper

Hale Boggs

Gerald R. Ford

Allen W. Dulles

Page ix

PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON, by Executive Order No. 11130 dated November 29, 1963,1 created this Commission to investigate the assassination on November 22, 1963, of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. The President directed the Commission to evaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin and to report its findings and conclusions to him.2
The subject of the Commission's inquiry was a chain of events which saddened and shocked the people of the United States and of the world. The assassination of President Kennedy and the simultaneous wounding of John B. Connally, Jr., Governor of Texas, had been followed within an hour by the slaying of Patrolman J. D. Tippit of the Dallas Police Department. In the United States and abroad, these events evoked universal demands for an explanation.
Immediately after the assassination, State and local officials in Dallas devoted their resources to the apprehension of the assassin. The U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for the protection of the President, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began an investigation at the direction of President Johnson. Within 35 minutes of the killing of Patrolman Tippit, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested by the Dallas police as a suspect in that crime. Based on evidence provided by Federal, State, and local agencies, the State of Texas arraigned Oswald within 12 hours of his arrest, charging him with the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Patrolman Tippit. On November 24, 1963, less than 18 hours after his arrest, Oswald was fatally shot in the basement of the Dallas Police Department by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner. This shooting took place in full view of a national television audience.
The events of these 2 days were witnessed with shock and disbelief by a Nation grieving the loss of its young leader. Throughout. the world, reports on these events were disseminated in massive detail. Theories and speculations mounted regarding the assassination. In many instances, the intense public demand for facts was met by partial and frequently conflicting reports from Dallas and elsewhere. After Oswald's arrest and his denial of all guilt, public attention focused both on the extent of the evidence against him and the possibility of a conspiracy, domestic or foreign. His subsequent death heightened public interest and stimulated additional suspicions and rumors.

Page x

After Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby, it was no longer possible to arrive at the complete story of the assassination through normal judicial procedures during a trial of the alleged assassin. Alternative means for instituting a complete investigation were widely discussed. Federal and State officials conferred on the possibility of initiating a extort of inquiry before a State magistrate in Texas. An investigation by the grand jury of Dallas County also was considered. As speculation about the existence of a foreign or domestic conspiracy became widespread, committees in both Houses of Congress weighed the desirability of congressional hearings to discover all the facts relating to the assassination.
By his order of November 29 establishing the Commission, President Johnson sought to avoid parallel investigations and to concentrate factfinding in a body having the broadest national mandate. As Chairman of the Commission, President Johnson selected Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States, former Governor and attorney general of the State of California. From the U.S. Senate, he chose Richard B. Russell, Democratic Senator from Georgia and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, former Governor of, and county attorney in, the State of Georgia, and John Sherman Cooper, Republican Senator from Kentucky, former county and circuit judge, State of Kentucky, and U.S. Ambassador to India. Two members of the Commission were drawn from the U.S. House of Representatives: Hale Boggs, Democratic U.S. Representative from Louisiana and majority whip, and Gerald R. Ford, Republican, U.S. Representative from Michigan and chairman of the House Republican Conference. From private life, President Johnson selected two lawyers by profession, both of whom have served in the administrations of Democratic and Republican Presidents: Allen W. Dulles, former Director of Central Intelligence, and John J. McCloy, former President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, former U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, and during World War II, the Assistant. Secretary of War.
From its first meeting on December 5, 1963, the Commission viewed the Executive order as an unequivocal Presidential mandate to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. Because of the numerous rumors and theories, the Commission concluded that the public interest in insuring that the truth was ascertained could not be met by merely accepting the reports or the analyses of Federal or State agencies. Not only were the premises and conclusions of those reports critically re-assessed, but all assertions or rumors relating to a possible conspiracy, or the complicity of others than Oswald, which have come to the attention of the Commission, were investigated.
On December 13, 1963, Congress enacted Senate Joint Resolution 137 (Public Law 88 202) 3 empowering the Commission to issue subpoenas requiring the testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence relating to any matter under its investigation. In addition, the

Page xi
resolution authorized the Commission to compel testimony from witnesses claiming the privilege against self- incrimination under the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution by providing for the grant of immunity to persons testifying under such compulsion. Immunity under these provisions was not granted to any witness during the Commission's investigation.
The Commission took steps immediately to obtain the necessary staff to fulfill its assignment. J. Lee Rankin, former Solicitor General of the United States, was sworn in as general counsel for the Commission on December 16, 1963. Additional members of the legal staff were selected during the next few weeks. The Commission has been aided by 14 assistant counsel with high professional qualifications, selected by it from widely separated parts of the United States. This staff undertook the work of the Commission with a wealth of legal and investigative experience and a total dedication to the determination of the truth. The Commission has been assisted also by highly qualified personnel from several Federal agencies, assigned to the Commission at its request. This group included lawyers from the Department of Justice, agents of the Internal Revenue Service, a senior historian from the Department of Defense, an editor from the Department of State, and secretarial and administrative staff supplied by the General Services Administration and other agencies.
In addition to the assistance afforded by Federal agencies, the Commission throughout its inquiry had the cooperation of representatives of the city of Dallas and the State of Texas. The attorney general of Texas, Waggoner Carr, aided by two distinguished lawyers of that State, Robert G. Storey of Dallas, retired dean of the Southern Methodist University Law School and former president of the Amer-jean Bar Association, and Leon Jaworski of Houston, former president of the Texas State Bar Association, has been fully informed at all times as to the in-ogress of the investigation, and has advanced such suggestions as he and his special assistants considered helpful to the accomplishment of the Commission's assignment. Attorney General Carr has promptly supplied the Commission with pertinent information possessed by Texas officials. Dallas officials, particularly those from the police department, have fully complied with all requests made by the Commission.


During December and early January the Commission received an increasing volume of reports from Federal and State investigative agencies. Of principal importance was the five volume report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitted on December 9, 1963, which summarized the results of the investigation conducted by the Bureau immediately after the assassination. After reviewing this report, the Commission requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation to furnish the underlying investigative materials relied upon in the

Page xii
summary report. The first investigative reports submitted in response to this request were delivered to the Commission on December 20, 1963. On December 18, the Secret Service submitted a detailed report on security precautions taken before President Kennedy's trip to Texas and a summary of the events of November 22, as witnessed by Secret Service agents. A few days later the Department, of State submitted a report relating to Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, and his return to the United States in 1962. On January 7 and 11~ 1964, the attorney general of Texas submitted an extensive set of investigative materials, largely Dallas police reports, on the assassination of President Kennedy and the killing of Oswald.
As these investigative reports were received, the staff began analyzing and summarizing them. The members of the legal staff, divided into teams, proceeded to organize the facts revealed by these investigations, determine the issues, sort out the unresolved problems, and recommend additional investigation by the Commission. Simultaneously, to insure that no relevant information would be overlooked, the Commission directed requests to the 10 major departments of the Federal Government, 14 of its independent agencies or commissions, and 4 congressional committees for all information relating to the assassination or the background and activities of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
After reviewing the accumulating materials, the Commission directed numerous additional requests to Federal and State investigative agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service executed the detailed requests for statements of witnesses and examinations of physical evidence with dispatch and thoroughness. All these reports were reviewed and analyzed by the Commission. Additional investigative requests, where appropriate, were handled by Internal Revenue Service, Department of State, and the military intelligence agencies with comparable skill. Investigative analyses of particular significance and sensitivity in the foreign areas were contributed by the Central Intelligence Agency. On occasion the Commission used independent experts from State and city govern-meats to supplement or verify information. During the investigation the Commission on several occasions visited the scene of the assassination and other places in the Dallas area pertinent to the inquiry.
The scope and detail of the investigative effort by the Federal and State agencies are suggested in part by statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service. Immediately after the assassination more than 80 additional FBI personnel were transferred to the Dallas office on a temporary basis to assist in the investigation. Beginning November 22, 1963, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted approximately 25,000 interviews and relater-views of persons having information of possible relevance to the investigation and by September 11, 1964, submitted over 2,300 reports totaling approximately 25,400 pages to the Commission. During the same period the Secret Service conducted approximately 1,550 interviews and submitted 800 reports totaling some 4,600 pages.


Page xiii
Because of the diligence, cooperation, and facilities of Federal investigative agencies, it was unnecessary for the Commission to employ investigators other than the members of the Commission's legal staff. The Commission recognized, however, that special measures were required whenever the facts or rumors called for an appraisal of the acts of the agencies themselves. The staff reviewed in detail the actions of several Federal agencies, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Department of State. Initially the Commission requested the agencies to furnish all their reports relating to the assassination and their relationships with Oswald or Ruby. On the basis of these reports, the Commission submitted specific questions to the agency involved. Members of the staff followed up the answers by reviewing the relevant files of each agency for additional information. In some instances, members of the Commission also reviewed the files in person. Finally, the responsible officials of these agencies were called to testify under oath. Dean Rusk, Secretary of State; C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury; John A. McCone, Director of the Central intelligence Agency; J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and James J. Rowley, Chief of the Secret Service, appeared as witnesses and testified fully regarding their agencies' participation in the matters under scrutiny by the Commission.


In addition to the information resulting from these investigations, the Commission has relied primarily on the facts disclosed by the sworn testimony of the principal witnesses to the assassination and related events. Beginning on February 3, 1964, the Commission and its staff has taken the testimony of 552 witnesses. Of this number, 94 appeared before members of the Commission; 395 were questioned by members of the Commission's legal staff; 61 supplied sworn affidavits; and 2 gave statements. 4 Under Commission procedures, all witnesses were advised that they had the right to the presence and the advice of their lawyer during the interrogation, with the corollary rights to raise objections to any questions asked, to make any clarifying statement on the record after the interrogation, and to purchase a copy of their testimony.5
Commission hearings were closed to the public unless the witness appearing before the Commission requested an open hearing. Under these procedures, testimony of one witness was taken in a public hearing on two occasions. No other witness requested a public hearing. The Commission concluded that the premature publication by it of testimony regarding the assassination or the subsequent killing of Oswald might interfere with Ruby's rights to a fair and impartial trial on the charges filed against him by the State of Texas. The Commission also recognized that testimony would be presented before it which would be inadmissible in judicial proceedings and might


Page xiv
prejudice innocent parties if made public out of context. In addition to the witnesses who appeared before the Commission, numerous others provided sworn depositions, affidavits, and statements upon which the Commission has relied. Since this testimony, as well as that taken before the Commission, could not always be taken in logical sequence, the Commission concluded that partial publication of testimony as the investigation progressed was impractical and could be misleading.


The Commission's most difficult assignments have been to uncover all the facts concerning the assassination of President Kennedy and to determine if it was in any way directed or encouraged by unknown persons at home or abroad. In this process, its objective has been to identify the person or persons responsible for both the assassination of President Kennedy and the killing of Oswald through an examination of the evidence. The task has demanded unceasing appraisal of the evidence by the individual members of the Commission in their effort to discover the whole truth.
The procedures followed by the Commission in developing and assessing evidence necessarily differed from those of a court conducting a criminal trial of a defendant present before it, since under our system there is no provision for a posthumous trial. If Oswald had lived he could have had a trial by American standards of justice where he would have been able to exercise his full rights under the law. A judge and jury would have presumed him innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He might have furnished information which could have affected the course of his trial. He could have participated in and guided his defense. There could have been an examination to determine whether he was sane under prevailing legal standards. All witnesses, including possibly the defendant, could have been subjected to searching examination under the adversary system of American trials.
The Commission has functioned neither as a court presiding over an adversary proceeding nor as a prosecutor determined to prove a case, but as a factfinding agency committed to the ascertainment of the truth. In the course of the investigation of the facts and rumors surrounding these matters, it was necessary to explore hearsay and other sources of information not admissible in a court proceeding obtained from persons who saw or heard and others in a position to observe what occurred. In fairness to the alleged assassin and his family, the Commission on February 25, 1964, requested Walter E. Craig, president of the American Bar Association, to participate in the investigation and to advise the Commission whether in his opinion the proceedings conformed to the basic principles of American justice. Mr. Craig accepted this assignment and participated fully and with out limitation. He attended Commission hearings in person or through his appointed assistants. All working papers, reports, and


Page xv
other data in Commission files were made available, and Mr. Craig and his associates were given the opportunity to cross- examine witnesses, to recall any witness heard prior to his appointment, and to suggest witnesses whose testimony they would like to have the Commission hear. This procedure was agreeable to counsel for Oswald's widow.


In this report the Commission submits the results of its investigation. Each member of the Commission has given careful consideration to the entire report and concurs in its findings and conclusions. The report consists of an initial chapter summarizing the Commission's basic findings and conclusions, followed by a detailed analysis of the facts and the issues raised by the events of November 22, 1963, and the 2 following days. Individual chapters consider the trip to Dallas, the shots from the Texas School Book Depository, the identity of the assassin, the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the possibility of a conspiracy, Oswald's background and possible motive, and arrangements for the protection of the President. In these chapters, rather than rely on cross references, the Commission on occasion has repeated certain testimony in order that the reader might have the necessary information before him while examining the conclusions of the Commission on each important issue.
With this report the Commission is submitting the complete testimony of all the witnesses who appeared before the Commission or gave sworn depositions or affidavits, the accompanying documentary exhibits, and other investigative materials which are relied upon in this report. The Commission is committing all of its reports and working papers to the National Archives, where they can be permanently preserved under the rules and regulations of the National Archives and applicable Federal law.


Page xvii

Narrative of Events 1
Conclusions 18
Recommendations 25
Planning the Texas Trip 28
Advance Preparations for the Dallas Trip 29
Preventive Intelligence Activities 29
The Luncheon Site 30
The Motorcade Route 31
Dallas Before the Visit 40
Visits to Other Texas Cities 42
Arrival at Love Field 42
Organization of the Motorcade 43
The Drive Through Dallas 46
The Assassination 48
The Time 48
Speed of the Limousine 49
In the Presidential Limousine 49
Reaction by Secret Service Agents 50
Parkland Memorial Hospital 52
The Race to the Hospital 52
Treatment of President Kennedy 53
Treatment of Governor Connally 56
Vice President Johnson at Parkland 56
Secret Service Emergency Security Arrangements 57
Removal of the Presidents Body 58
The End of the Trip 59
Swearing in of the New President 59
Return to Washington, D.C 59
The Autopsy 59
The Witness 61
Near the Depository 63
On the Fifth Floor 68
At the Triple Underpass 71
The Presidential Automobile 76


Page xviii

Expert Examination of Rifle, Cartridge Cases, and Bullet
Fragments 79
Discovery of Cartridge Cases and Rifle 79
Discovery of Bullet at Parkland Hospital 79
Description of Rifle 81
Expert Testimony 84
The Bullet Wounds 85
The President's Head Wounds 86
The President's Neck Wounds 87
The Governor's Wounds 92
The Trajectory 96
Films and Test 96
The First Bullet That Hit 97
The Subsequent Bullet That Hit 109
Number of Shots 110
The Shot That Missed 111
The First Shot 111
The Second Shot 115
The Third Shot 115
Time Span of Shots 117
Conclusion 117

Ownership and Possession of Assassination Weapon 118
Purchase of Rifle by Oswald 118
Oswald's Palmprint on Rifle Barrel 122
Fibers on Rifle 124
Photograph of Oswald With Rifle 125
Rifle Among Oswald's Possessions 128
Conclusions 129
The Rifle in the Building 129
The Curtain Rod Story 129
The Missing Rifle 130
The Long and Bulky Package 131
Location of the Bag 134
Scientific Evidence Linking Rifle and Oswald to
Paper Bag 135
Conclusion 137
Oswald at the Window 137
Palmprints and Fingerprints on Cartons and Paper Bag 140
Oswald's Presence on Sixth Floor Approximately
35 Minutes Before the Assassination 143
Eyewitness Identification of Assassin 143
Oswald's Actions in Building After Assassination 149
Conclusion 156


Page xix

The Killing of Patrolman J. D. Tippit 156
Oswald's Movements After Leaving Depository
Building 157
Description of Shooting 165
Eyewitnesses 166
Murder Weapon 171
Ownership of Revolver 172
Oswald's Jacket 175
Conclusion 176
Oswald's Arrest 176
Statements of Oswald During Detention 180
Denial of Rifle Ownership'. 180
The Revolver 181
The Aliases "Hidell" and "O. H. Lee" 181
The Curtain Rod Story 182
Actions During and After Shooting 182
Prior Attempt To Kill 183
The Attempt on the Life of Maj. Gen. Edwin A.
Walker. 183
Richard M. Nixon Incident 187
Oswald's Rifle Capability 189
The Nature of the Shots 189
Oswald's Marine Training 191
Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines 192
Accuracy of Weapon 193
Conclusion 195
Conclusion. 195
Treatment of Oswald in Custody 196
Chronology 198
Interrogation Sessions 199
Oswald's Legal Rights 200
Activity of Newsmen 201
On the Third Floor 201
Oswald and the Press 206
The Abortive Transfer 208
Possible Assistance to Jack Ruby in Entering the Basement 216
Adequacy of Security Precautions 225
News Coverage and Police Policy 231
Responsibility of News Media 240

Circumstances Surrounding the Assassination 245
Selection of Motorcade Route 245
Oswald's Presence in the Depository Building 246
Bringing Rifle Into Building 247


Page xx
Circumstances Surrounding the Assassination--Con. Page
Accomplices at the Scene of the Assassination 248
Oswald's Escape 252
Background of Lee Harvey Oswald 254
Residence in the Soviet Union 254
Associations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Community.. 280
Political Activities Upon Return to the United States. 287
Contacts With the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in
Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington,
D.C. 299
Investigation of Other Activities 312
Oswald Was Not an Agent for the U.S. Government. 325
Oswald's Finances 328
Possible Conspiracy Involving Jack Ruby 333
Ruby's Activities From November 21 to November
24, 1963 333
Ruby and Oswald Were Not Acquainted 359
Ruby's Background and Associations 365
Conclusion 374

The Early Years 377
New York City 378
Return to New Orleans and Joining the Marine Corps... 383
Interest in Marxism 388
Defection to the Soviet Union 390
Return to the United States 394
Personal Relations 400
Employment 402
Attack on General Walker 404
Political Activities 406
Interest in Cuba 412
Possible Influence of Anti-Kennedy Sentiment in Dallas.. 415
Relationship With Wife 416
The Unanswered Questions 421
Conclusion 423

The Nature of the Protective Assignment 426
Evaluation of Presidential Protection at the Time of the
Assassination of President Kennedy 428
Intelligence Functions Relating to Presidential Pro-
tection at the Time of the Dallas Trip 429
Liaison With Other Government Agencies 444
Other Protective Measures and Aspects of Secret
Service Performance 444

Page xxi
DENT---Continued Page
Recommendations 454
Assassination a Federal Crime 454
Committee of Cabinet Officers 456
Responsibilities for Presidential Protection 457
General Supervision of the Secret Service 460
Preventive Intelligence 461
Liaison With Local Law Enforcement Agencies 465
Inspection of Buildings 466
Secret Service Personnel and Facilities 466
Manpower and Technical Assistance From Other
Agencies 467
Conclusions 468

Members of Commission 475
General Counsel 476
Assistant Counsel 476
Staff Members 477
Acknowledgments 481

Resolution Governing Questioning of Witnesses by Mem-
bers of the Commission Staff 501

Before the Civil War 504
Lincoln 505
The Need for Protection Further Demonstrated 507
Development of Presidential Protection 510

TEX. 516



Page xxii Page
Firearms and Firearms Identification 547
General Principles 547
The Rifle 553
Rifle Cartridge and Cartridge Cases 555
The Rifle Bullets 557
The Revolver 558
Revolver Cartridges and Cartridge Cases 559
Revolver Bullets 559
The Struggle for the Revolver 560
The Paraffin Test 560
The Walker Bullet 562
Fingerprints and Palmprints 563
General Principles 563
Objects in the Texas School Book Depository Building 556
Questioned Documents 566
The Mail Order for the C2766 Rifle, the Related En-
velope, and the Money Order 569
Mail Order for the V510210 Revolver 570
Post Office Box Applications and Change-of-Address
Card 570
The Spurious Selective Service System Notice of
Classification and U.S. Marine Corps Certificate
of Service 571
The Hidell Notice of Classification 571
The Hidell Certificate of Service 576
The Vaccination Certificate 577
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee Card 578
The Unsigned Russian-Language Note 578
The Homemade Wrapping Paper Bag 579
Wound Ballistics Experiments 580
Purpose of the Tests 580
The Testers and Their Qualifications 580
General Testing Conditions 581
Tests on Penetration Power and Bullet Stability 581
Tests Simulating President Kennedy's Neck Wound. 582
Tests Simulating Governor Connally's Chest Wounds. 582
Tests Simulating Governor Connally's Wrist Wounds. 583
Conclusions From Simulating the Neck, Chest, and
Wrist Wounds 584
Tests Simulating President Kennedy's Head Wounds. 585
Hairs and Fibers 586
General Principles 588
Photographs 592


Page xxiii Page
The Source of the Shots 639
The Assassin 642
Oswald's Movements Between 12:33 and 1:15 p.m. 648
Murder of Tippit . 650
Oswald After His Arrest 654
Oswald in the Soviet Union 655
Oswald's Trip to Mexico City 658
Oswald and U.S.. Government Agencies 659
Conspiratorial Relationships 661
Other Rumors and Speculations 664

Early Years 669
Marines 681
Soviet Union 689
Fort Worth, Dallas, New Orleans 713
Mexico City 730
Dallas 737
NOVEMBER 22, 1963 741

Issuance of Passport in 1959 746
Oswald's Attempts To Renounce His U.S. Citizenship 747
Return and Renewal of Oswald's 1959 Passport 752
Negotiations Between Oswald and the Embassy 752
Legal Justification for the Return and Reissue of
Oswald's Passport 759
Authorization for Marina Oswald To Enter the United
States 761
Negotiations Between Oswald and the Embassy 761
Legal Justification for the Decisions Affecting Marina
Oswald 766
Oswald's Letter to Senator Tower 769
The Loan From the State Department 770
Oswald's Return to the United States and Repayment of
His Loan 773
Issuance of a Passport in June 1963 773
Visit to the Russian Embassy in Mexico City 777
Conclusion 777


Family Background 779
Childhood and Youth (1911-33) 780
Psychiatric Report 781
Placement in Foster Homes 782
Subsequent Home Life 783
Education 784
Activities 784
Temperament 785
Young Manhood (1933-43) 786
San Francisco (1933-37) 786
Occupations and Activities 786
Chicago (193743) 787
Military Activities (1943 46) 790
Postwar Chicago (1946 47) 791
Dallas (1947-63) 792
The Move to Dallas 792
The Change of Name 793
Nightclub Operations 794
Employee Relationships 796
Financial Data and Tax Problems 797
Other Business Ventures 799
Arrests and Violations 800
Police Associations 800
Underworld Ties 801
Travels 801
Character and Interests 802
Family Relationships 802
Social Relationships 803
Affection for Dogs 804
Religious Interests 804
Physical Activities and Violence 804
Generosity to Friends and the Need for Recognition. 806

Preliminary Arrangements 807
Administration of the Test 809
Interpretation of the Test 813


Chapter I Summary and Conclusions
Page 1

Summary and Conclusions

THE ASSASSINATION of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963, was a cruel and shocking act of violence directed against a man, a family, a nation, and against all mankind. A young and vigorous leader whose years of public and private life stretched before him was the Victim of the fourth Presidential assassination in the history of a country dedicated to the concepts of reasoned argument and peaceful political change. This Commission was created on November 29, 1963, in recognition of the right of people everywhere to full and truthful knowledge concerning these events. This report endeavors to fulfill that right and to appraise this tragedy by the light of reason and the standard of fairness. It has been prepared with a deep awareness of the Commission's responsibility to present to the American people an objective report of the facts relating to the assassination.
Narrative of Events
Page 1

At 11:40 a.m.., c.s.t., on Friday, November '22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy, and their party arrived at Love Field, Dallas, Tex. Behind them was the first day of a Texas trip planned 5 months before by the President, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and John B. Connally, Jr., Governor of Texas. After leaving the White House on Thursday morning, the President had flown initially to San Antonio where Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson joined the party and the President dedicated new research facilities at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Following a testimonial dinner in Houston for U.S. Representative Albert Thomas, the President flew to Fort Worth where he spent the night and spoke at a large breakfast gathering on Friday.
Planned for later that day were a motorcade through downtown Dallas, a luncheon speech at the Trade Mart, and a flight to Austin where the President would attend a reception and speak at a Democratic fundraising dinner. From Austin he would proceed to the Texas ranch of the Vice President. Evident on this trip were the

Page 2

varied roles which an American President performs--Head of State, Chief Executive, party leader, and, in this instance, prospective candidate for reelection.
The Dallas motorcade, it was hoped, would evoke a demonstration of the President's personal popularity in a city which he had lost in the 1960 election. Once it had been decided that the trip to Texas would span 2 days, those responsible for planning, primarily Governor Connally and Kenneth O'Donnell, a special assistant to the President, agreed that a motorcade through Dallas would be desirable. The Secret Service was told on November 8 that 45 minutes had been allotted to a motorcade procession from Love Field to the site of a luncheon planned by Dallas business and civic leaders in honor of the President. After considering the facilities and security problems of several buildings, the Trade Mart was chosen as the luncheon site. Given this selection, and in accordance with the customary practice of affording the greatest number of people an opportunity to see the President, the motorcade route selected was a natural one. The route was approved by the local host committee and White House representatives on November 18 and publicized in the local papers starting on November 19. This advance publicity made it clear that the motor-cede would leave Main Street and pass the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets as it proceeded to the Trade Mart by way of the Stemmons Freeway.
By midmorning of November 22, clearing skies in Dallas dispelled the threat of rain and the President greeted the crowds from his open limousine without the "bubbletop," which was at that time a plastic shield furnishing protection only against inclement weather. To the left. of the President in the rear seat was Mrs. Kennedy. In the jump seats were Governor Connally, who was in front of the President, and Mrs. Connally at the Governor's left. Agent William R. Greer of the Secret Service was driving, and Agent Roy H. Kellerman was sitting to his right.
Directly behind the Presidential limousine was an open "followup" car with eight Secret Service agents, two in the front seat, two in the rear, and two on each running board. These agents, in accordance with normal Secret Service procedures, were instructed to scan the crowds, the roofs, and windows of buildings, overpasses, and crossings for signs of trouble. Behind the "followup" car was the Vice-Presidential car carrying the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson and Senator Ralph W. Yarborough. Next were a Vice-Presidential "followup" car and several cars and buses for additional dignitaries, press representatives, and others.
The motorcade left Love Field shortly after 11:50 a.m., and proceeded through residential neighborhoods, stopping twice at the President's request to greet, well-wishers among the friendly crowds. Each time the President's car halted, Secret Service agents from the "followup" car moved forward to assume a protective stance near the President and Mrs. Kennedy. As the motorcade reached Main Street, a principal east-west artery in downtown Dallas, the welcome became

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tumultuous. At the extreme west end of Main Street the motorcade turned right on Houston Street and proceeded north for one block in order to make a left turn on Elm Street, the most direct and convenient approach to the Stemmons Freeway and the Trade Mart. As the President's car approached the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets, there loomed directly ahead on the intersection's northwest corner a seven-story, orange brick warehouse and office building, the Texas School Book Depository. Riding in the Vice President's car, Agent Rufus W. Youngblood of the Secret Service noticed that the clock atop the building indicated 12:30 p.m., the scheduled arrival time at the Trade Mart.
The President's car which had been going north made a sharp turn toward the southwest onto Elm Street. At a. speed of about 11 miles per hour, it started down the gradual descent toward a railroad overpass under which the motorcade would proceed before reaching the Stemmons Freeway. The front of the Texas School Book Depository was now on the President's right, and he waved to the crowd assembled there as he passed the building. Dealey Plaza--an open, landscaped area marking the western end of downtown Dallas stretched out to the President's left. A Secret Service agent riding in the motorcade radioed the Trade Mart that the President would arrive in 5 minutes.
Seconds later shots resounded in rapid succession. The President's hands moved to his fleck. He appeared to stiffen momentarily and lurch slightly forward in his seat. A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine. It traveled downward and exited from the front of the neck, causing a nick in the left lower portion Of the knot in the President's necktie. Before the shooting started, Governor Connally had been facing toward the crowd on the right. He started to turn toward the left and suddenly felt a blow on his back. The Governor had been hit by a bullet which entered at the extreme right side of his back at a point below his right armpit. The bullet traveled through his chest in a downward and forward direction, exited below his right nipple, passed through his right wrist which had been in his lap, and then caused a wound to his left thigh. The force of the bullet's impact appeared to spin the Governor to his right, and Mrs. Connally pulled him down into her lap. Another bullet then struck President Kennedy in the rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound. The President fell to the left into Mrs. Kennedy's lap.
Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, riding on the left running board of the "followup" car, heard a noise which sounded like a firecracker and saw the President suddenly lean forward and to the left. Hill jumped off the car and raced toward the President's limousine. In the front seat of the Vice-Presidential car, Agent Youngblood heard an explosion and noticed unusual movements in the crowd. He vaulted into the rear seat and sat on the Vice President in order to protect him. At the same time Agent Kellerman in the front seat of the Presidential limousine turned to observe the President. Seeing

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that the President was struck, Kellerman instructed the driver, "Let's get out of here; we are hit." He radioed ahead to the lead car, "Get us to the hospital immediately." Agent Greer immediately accelerated the Presidential car. As it gained speed, Agent Hill ma-aged to pull himself onto the back of the car where Mrs. Kennedy had climbed. Hill pushed her back into the rear seat and shielded the stricken President and Mrs. Kennedy as the President's car proceeded at high speed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, 4 miles away.
At Parkland, the President was immediately treated by a team of physicians who had been alerted for the President's arrival by the Dallas Police Department as the result of a radio message from the motorcade after the shooting. The doctors noted irregular breathing movements and a possible heartbeat, although they could not detect a pulsebeat. They observed the extensive wound in the President's head and a small wound approximately one-fourth inch in diameter in the lower third of his neck. In act effort to facilitate breathing, the physicians performed a tracheotomy by enlarging the throat wound and inserting a tube. Totally absorbed in the immediate task of trying to preserve the President's life, the attending doctors never turned the president over for an examination of his back. At l p.m., after all heart activity ceased and the Last Rites were administered by a priest, President Kennedy was pronounced dead. Governor Connally underwent surgery and ultimately recovered from his serious wounds.
Upon learning of the President's death, Vice President Johnson left Parkland Hospital under close guard and proceeded to the Presidential plane at Love Field. Mrs. Kennedy, accompanying her husband's body, boarded the plane shortly thereafter. At 2:38 p.m., in the central compartment of the plane, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States by Federal District Court Judge Sarah T. Hughes. The plane left immediately for Washington, D.C., arriving at Andrews AFB, Md., at 5:58 p.m., e.s.t.. The President's body was taken to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., where it was given a complete pathological examination. The autopsy disclosed the large bead wound observed at Parkland and the wound in the front of the neck which had been enlarged by the Parkland doctors when they performed the tracheotomy. Both of these wounds were described in the autopsy report as being "presumably of exit." In addition the autopsy revealed a small wound of entry in the rear of the President's skull and another wound of entry near the base of the back of the neck. The autopsy report stated the cause of death as "Gunshot wound, head" and the bullets which struck the President were described as having been fired "from a point behind and somewhat above the level of the deceased."
At the scene of the shooting, there was evident confusion at the outset concerning the point of origin of the shots. Witnesses differed in their accounts of the direction from which the sound of the shots emanated. Within a few minutes, however, attention centered on the Texas School Book Depository Building as the source of the shots. 'the building was occupied by a private corporation, the Texas School

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Book Depository Co., which distributed school textbooks of several publishers and leased space to representatives of the publishers. Most of the employees in the building worked for these publishers. The balance, including a 15-man warehousing crew, were employees of the Texas School Book Depository Co. itself.
Several eyewitnesses in front of the building reported that they saw a rifle being fired from the southeast corner window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. One eyewitness, Howard L. Brennan, had been watching the parade from a point on Elm Street directly opposite and facing the building. He promptly told a policeman that he had seen a slender man, about 5 feet 10 inches, in his early thirties, take deliberate aim from the sixth-floor corner window and fire a rifle in the direction of the President's car. Brennan thought he might be able to identify the man since he had noticed him in the window a few minutes before the motorcade made the turn onto Elm Street.. At 12 :34 p.m., the Dallas police radio mentioned the Depository Building as a possible source of the shots, and at 12 :45 p.m., the police radio broadcast a description of the suspected assassin based primarily on Brennan's observations.
When the shots were fired, a Dallas motorcycle patrolman, Marrion L. Baker, was riding in the motorcade at a point several cars behind the President. He had turned right from Main Street onto Houston Street and was about 200 feet south of Elm Street when he heard a shot. Baker, having recently returned from a week of deer hunting, was certain the shot came from a high-powered rifle. He looked up and saw pigeons scattering in the air from their perches on the Texas School Book Depository Building. He raced his motorcycle to the building, dismounted, scanned the area to the west and pushed his way through the spectators toward the entrance. There he encountered Roy Truly, the building superintendent, who offered Baker his help. They entered the building, and ran toward the two elevators in the rear. Finding that both elevators were on an upper floor, they dashed up the stairs. Not more than 2 minutes had elapsed since the
When they reached the second-floor landing on their way up to the top of the building, Patrolman Baker thought he caught a glimpse of someone through the small glass window in the door separating the hall area near the stairs from the small vestibule leading into the lunchroom. Gun in hand, he rushed to the door and saw a man about 20 feet away walking toward the other end of the lunchroom. The man was empty handed. At Baker's command, the man turned and approached him. Truly, who had started up the stairs to the third floor ahead of Baker, returned to see what had delayed the patrolman. Baker asked Truly whether he knew the man in the lunchroom. Truly replied that the man worked in the building, whereupon Baker turned from the man and proceeded, with Truly, up the stairs. The man they encountered had started working in the Texas School Book Depository Building on October 16, 1963. His fellow workers described

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him as very quiet--a "loner."His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Within about 1 minute after his encounter with Baker and Truly, Oswald was seen passing through the second-floor offices. In his hand was a full "Coke" bottle which he had purchased from a rending machine in the lunchroom. He was walking toward the front of the building where a passenger elevator and a short flight of stairs provided access to the main entrance of the building on the first floor. Approximately 7 minutes later, at about 12:40 p.m., Oswald boarded a bus at a point on Elm Street seven short blocks east of the Depository Building. The bus was traveling west toward the very building from which Oswald had come. Its route lay through the Oak Cliff section in southwest Dallas, where it would pass seven blocks east of the roominghouse in which Oswald was living, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue. On the bus was Mrs. Mary Bledsoe one of Oswald's former landladies who immediately recognized him. Oswald stayed on the bus approximately 3 or 4 minutes, during which time it proceeded only two blocks because of the traffic jam created by the motorcade and the assassination. Oswald then left the bus. A few minutes later he entered a vacant taxi four blocks away and asked the driver to take him to a point on North Beckley Avenue several blocks beyond his roominghouse. The trip required 5 or 6 minutes. At about 1 p.m. Oswald arrived at the roominghouse. The housekeeper, Mrs. Earlene Roberts, was surprised to see Oswald at midday and remarked to him that he seemed to be in quite a hurry. He made no reply. A few minutes later Oswald emerged from his room zipping up his jacket and rushed out of the house.
Approximately 14 Minutes later, and just 45 minutes after the assassination, another violent shooting occurred in Dallas. The victim was Patrolman J. D. Tippit of the Dallas police, an officer with a good record during his more than 11 years with the police force. He was shot near the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, about nine-tenths of a mile from Oswald's roominghouse. At the time of the assassination, Tippit was alone in his patrol car, the routine practice for most police patrol officers at this time of day. He had been ordered by radio at 12:45 p.m. to proceed to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of patrol car activity around the center of the city following the assassination. At 12:54 Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed and would be available for any emergency. By this time the police radio had broadcast several messages alerting the police to the suspect described by Brennan at the scene of the assassination -- slender white male, about 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches and weighing about 165 pounds.
At approximately 1:15 p.m., Tippit was driving slowly in an easterly direction on East. 10th Street in Oak Cliff. About 100 feet past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, Tippit pulled up alongside a man walking in the same direction. The man met the general description of the suspect wanted in connection with the assassination. He walked over to Tippit's car, rested his arms on the door on the right-

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hand side of the car, and apparently exchanged words with Tippit through the window. Tippit opened the door on the left. side and started to walk around the front of his car. As he reached the trout wheel on the driver's side, the man on the sidewalk drew a revolver and fired several shots in rapid succession, hitting Tippit four times and killing him instantly. An automobile repairman, Domingo Benavides, heard the shots and stopped his pickup truck on the opposite side of the street about 25 feet in front of Tippit's car. He observed the gunman start back toward Patton Avenue, removing the empty cartridge cases from the gun as he went. Benavides rushed to Tippit's side. The patrolman, apparently dead, was lying on his revolver, which was out of its holster. Benavides promptly reported the shooting to police headquarters over the radio in Tippit's car. The message was received shortly after 1:16 p.m.
As the gunman left the scene, he walked hurriedly back toward Patton Avenue and turned left, heading south. Standing on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue was Helen Markham, who had been walking south on Patton Avenue and had seen both the killer and Tippit cross the intersection in front of her as she waited on the curb for traffic to pass. She witnessed the shooting and then saw the man with a gun in his hand walk back toward the corner and cut across the lawn of the corner house as he started south on Patton Avenue.
In the corner house itself, Mrs. Barbara Jeanette Davis and her sis-ter-in-law, Mrs. Virginia Davis, heard the shots and rushed to the door in time to see the man walk rapidly across the lawn shaking a revolver as if be were emptying it of cartridge cases. Later that day each woman found a cartridge case near the home. As the gunman turned the corner he passed alongside a taxicab which was parked on Patton Avenue a few feet from 10th Street. The driver, William W. Scoggins, had seen the slaying and was now crouched behind his cab on the street side. As the gunman cut through the shrubbery on the lawn, Scoggins looked up and saw the man approximately 12 feet away. In his hand was a pistol and he muttered words which sounded to Scoggins like "poor dumb cop" or "poor damn cop."
After passing Scoggins, the gunman crossed to the West side or Patton Avenue and ran south toward Jefferson Boulevard, a main Oak Cliff thoroughfare. On the east side of Patton, between l0th Street and Jefferson Boulevard, Ted Callaway, a used car salesman, heard the shots and ran to the sidewalk. As the man with the gun rushed past, Callaway shouted "What's going on?" The man merely shrugged, ran on to Jefferson Boulevard and turned right . On the next corner was a gas station with a parking lot in the rear. The assailant ran into the lot, discarded his jacket and then continued his flight west on Jefferson.
In a shoe store a few blocks farther west on Jefferson, the manager, Johnny Calvin Brewer, heard the siren of a police car moments after the radio in his store announced the shooting of the police officer in Oak Cliff. Brewer saw a man step quickly into the entranceway of the

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store and stand there with his back toward the street. When the police car made a U-turn and headed back in the direction of the Tippit shooting, the man left and Brewer followed him. fie saw the man enter the Texas Theatre, a motion picture house about 60 feet away, without buying' a ticket. Brewer pointed this out to the cashier, Mrs. Julia Postal, who called the police. The time was shortly after 1 :40 p.m. At 1:29 p.m., the police radio had noted the similarity in the descriptions of the suspects in the Tippit shooting and the assassination. At 1:45 p.m., in response to Mrs. Postal's call, the police radio sounded the alarm: "Have information a suspect just went in the Texas Theatre on West. Jefferson." Within minutes the theater was surrounded. The house lights were then turned up. Patrolman M. N. McDonald and several other policemen approached the man, who had been pointed out to them by Brewer.
McDonald ordered the man to his feet and heard him say, "Well, it's all over now." The man drew a gun from his waist with one hand and struck the officer with the other. McDonald struck out with his right hand and grabbed the gun with his left hand. After a brief struggle McDonald and several other police officers disarmed and handcuffed the suspect and drove him to police headquarters, arriving at approximately 2 p.m.
Following the assassination, police cars had rushed to the Texas School Book Depository in response to the many radio messages reporting that the shots had been fired from the Depository Building. Inspector J. Herbert Sawyer of the Dallas Police Department arrived at the scene shortly after hearing the first of these police radio messages at 12:34 p.m. Some of the officers who had been assigned to the area of Elm and Houston Streets for the motorcade were talking to witnesses and watching the building when Sawyer arrived. Sawyer entered the building and rode a passenger elevator to the fourth floor,
which was the top floor for this elevator. He conducted a quick search, returned to the main floor and, between approximately 12:37 and 12:40 p.m., ordered that no one be permitted to leave the building.
Shortly before 1 p.m. Capt. J. Will Fritz, chief of the homicide and robbery bureau of the Dallas Police Department, arrived to take charge of the investigation. Searching the sixth floor, Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney noticed a pile of cartons in the southeast corner. He squeezed through the boxes and realized immediately that he had discovered the point from which the shots had been fired. On the floor were three empty cartridge cases. A carton had apparently been placed on the floor at; the side of the window so that a person sitting on the carton could look down Elm Street toward the overpass and scarcely be noticed from the outside. Between this carton and the half-open window were three additional cartons arranged at such an angle that a rifle resting on the top carton would be aimed directly at the motorcade as it moved away from the building. The high stack of boxes, which first attracted Mooney's attention effectively screened a person at the window from the view of anyone else on the floor.

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Mooney's discovery intensified the search for additional evidence on the sixth floor, and at 1:22 p.m. approximately 10 minutes after the cartridge cases were found, Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone turned his flashlight in the direction of two rows of boxes in the northwest corner near the staircase. Stuffed between the two rows was a bolt-action rifle with a telescopic sight. The rifle was not touched until it could be photographed. When Lt. J. O. Day of the police identification bureau decided that the wooden stock and the metal knob at the end of the bolt contained no prints, he held the rifle by the stock while Captain Fritz ejected a live shell by operating the bolt. Lieutenant Day promptly noted that stamped on the rifle itself was the serial number "C2766" as well as the markings "1940" "MADE ITALY" and "CAL. 6.5." The rifle was about 40 inches long and when disassembled it could fit into a handmade paper sack which after the assassination, was found in the southeast corner of the building within a few feet of the cartridge cases.
As Fritz and Day were completing their examination of this rifle on the sixth floor, Roy Truly, the building superintendent, approached with information which he felt should be brought to the attention of the police. Earlier, while the police were questioning the employees, Truly had observed that Lee Harvey Oswald, 1 of the 15 men who worked in the warehouse, was missing. After Truly provided Oswald's name, address, and general description, Fritz left for police headquarters. He arrived at headquarters shortly after 2 p.m. and asked two detectives to pick up the employee who was missing from the Texas School Book Depository. Standing nearby were the police officers who had just arrived with the man arrested in the Texas Theatre. When Fritz mentioned the name of the missing employee, he learned that the man was already in the interrogation room. The missing School Book Depository employee and the suspect who had been apprehended in the Texas Theatre were one and the same--Lee Harvey Oswald.
The suspect Fritz was about to question in connection with the assassination of the President and the murder of a policeman was born in New Orleans on October 18, 1939, 2 months after the death of his father. His mother, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, had two older children. One, John Pie, was a half-brother to Lee from an earlier marriage which had ended in divorce. The other was Robert Oswald, a full brother to Lee and 5 years older. When Lee Oswald was Mrs. Oswald placed him in an orphanage where his brother and half-brother were already living, primarily because she had to work.
In January 1944, when Lee was 4, he was taken out of the orphanage, and shortly thereafter his mother moved with him to Dallas, Tex., where the older boys joined them at the end of the school year. In May of 1945 Marguerite Oswald married her third husband, Edwin A. Ekdahl. While the two older boys attended a military boarding school, Lee lived at home and developed a warm attachment to Ekdahl, occasionally accompanying his mother and stepfather on business trips around the country. Lee started school in Benbrook, Tex., but in the fall of 1946, after a separation from Ekdahl, Marguerite Oswald

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reentered Lee in the first grade in Covington, La. In January 1917, while Lee was still in the first grade, the family moved to Fort Worth, Tex., as the result of an attempted reconciliation between Ekdahl and Lee's mother. A year and a half later, before Lee was 9, his mother was divorced from her third husband as the result of a divorce action instituted by Ekdahl. Lee's school record during the next 5 and a half years in Fort Worth was average, although generally it grew poorer each year. The comments of teachers and others who knew him at that time do not reveal any unusual personality traits or characteristics.
Another change for Lee Oswald occurred in August 1952, a few months after he completed the sixth grade. Marguerite Oswald and her 12-year-old son moved to New York City where Marguerite's oldest son, John Pie, was stationed with the Coast Guard. The ensuing year and one-half in New York was marked by Lee's refusals to attend school and by emotional and psychological problems of a seemingly serious nature. Because he had become a chronic school truant, Lee underwent psychiatric study at Youth House, an institution in New York for juveniles who have had truancy problems or difficulties with the law, and who appear to require psychiatric observation, or other types of guidance. The social worker assigned to his case described him as "seriously detached" and "withdrawn" and noted "a rather pleasant, appealing quality about this emotionally starved, affectionless youngster." Ice expressed the feeling to the social worker that his mother did not care for him and regarded him as a burden. He experienced fantasies about being all powerful and hurting people, but during his stay at Youth House he was apparently not a behavior problem. He appeared withdrawn and evasive, a boy who preferred to spend his time alone, reading and watching television. His tests indicated that he was above average in intelligence for his age group. The chief psychiatrist of Youth House diag nosed Lee's problem as a "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies." He concluded that the boy was "an emotionally, quite disturbed youngster" and recommended psychiatric treatment.
In May 1953, after having been at Youth House for 3 weeks, Lee Oswald returned to school where his attendance and grades temporarily improved. By the following fall, however, the probation officer reported that virtually every teacher complained about. the boy's behavior. His mother insisted that he did not need psychiatric assistance. Although there was apparently some improvement in Lee's behavior during the next few months, the court recommended further treatment. In January 1954, while Lee's case was still pending, Marguerite and Lee left for New Orleans, the city of Lee's birth.
Upon his return to New Orleans, Lee maintained mediocre grades but had no obvious behavior problems. Neighbors and others who knew him outside of school remembered him as a quiet, solitary and introverted boy who read a great deal and whose vocabulary made him

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quite articulate. About l month after he started the l0th grade and 11 days before his 16th birthday in October 1955, he brought to school a note purportedly written by his mother, stating that the family was moving to California. The note was written by Lee. A few days latex' he dropped out of school and almost immediately tried to join the Marine Corps. Because he was only 16, he was rejected. After leaving school Lee worked for the next 10 months at several jobs in New Orleans as an office messenger or clerk. It was during this period that he started to read communist literature. Occasionally, in conversations with others, he praised communism and expressed to his fellow employees a desire to join the Communist Party. At about this time, when he was not yet 17, he wrote to the Socialist Party of America, professing his belief in Marxism.
Another move followed in July 1956 when Lee and his mother returned to Fort Worth. He reentered high school but again dropped out after a few weeks and enlisted in the Marine Corps on October 1956, 6 days after his 17th birthday. On December 21, 1956, during boot camp in San Diego, Oswald fired a score of 212 for record with the M-1 rifle--2 points over the minimum for a rating of "sharpshooter" on a marksman/sharpshooter/expert scale. After his basic training, Oswald received training in aviation fundamentals and then in radar scanning.
Most people who knew Oswald in the Marines described him as "loner" who resented the exercise of authority by others. He spent much of his free time reading. He was court-martialed once for possessing an unregistered privately owned weapon and, on another occasion, for using provocative language to a noncommissioned officer. He was, however, generally able to comply with Marine discipline, even though his experiences in the Marine Corps did not live up to his expectations,
Oswald served 15 months overseas until November 1958, most of it in Japan. During his final year in the Marine Corps he was stationed for the most part in Santa Ana, Calif., where he showed marked interest in the Soviet Union and sometimes expressed politically radical views with dogmatic conviction. Oswald again fired the M-1 rifle for record on May 6, 1959, and this time he shot a score of 191 on a shorter course than before, only 1 point over the minimum required to be a "marksman." According to one of his fellow marines, Oswald was not particularly interested in his rifle performance, and his unit was not expected to exhibit the usual rifle proficiency. During this period he expressed strong admiration for Fidel Castro and an interest in joining the Cuban army. He tried to impress those around him as an intellectual, but his thinking appeared to some as shallow and rigid.
Oswald's Marine service terminated on September 11, 1959, when at his own request he was released from active service a few months ahead of his scheduled release. He offered as the reason for his release the ill health and economic plight of his mother. He returned to Fort Worth, remained with his mother only 3 days and left for New

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Orleans, telling his mother he planned to get work there in the shipping or import-export business. In New Orleans he booked passage on the freighter SS Marion Lykes, which sailed from New Orleans to Le Havre, France, on September 20, 1959.
Lee Harvey Oswald had presumably planned this step in his life for quite some time. In March of 1959 he had applied to the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland for admission to the Spring 1960 term. His letter of application contained many blatant falsehoods concerning his qualifications and background. A few weeks before his discharge he had applied for and obtained a passport, listing the Soviet Union as one of the countries which he planned to visit. During his service in the Marines he had saved a comparatively large sum of money, possibly as much as $1,500, which would appear to have been accomplished by considerable frugality and apparently for a specific purpose.
The purpose of the accumulated fund soon became known. On October 16, 1959, Oswald arrived in Moscow by train after crossing the border from Finland, where he had secured a visa for a 6-day stay in the Soviet Union. He immediately applied for Soviet citizenship. On the afternoon of October 21, 1959, Oswald was ordered to leave the Soviet Union by 8 p.m. that evening. That same afternoon in his hotel room Oswald, in an apparent suicide attempt, slashed his left wrist. He was hospitalized immediately. On October 31, 3 days after his release from the hospital, Oswald appeared at the American Embassy, announced that he wished to renounce his U.S. citizenship and become a Russian citizen, and handed the Embassy officer a written statement he had prepared for the occasion. When asked his reasons, Oswald replied, "I am a Marxist." Oswald never formally complied with the legal steps necessary to renounce his American citizenship. The Soviet Government did not grant. his request for citizenship, but. in January 1960 he was given permission to remain in the Soviet Union on a year to year basis. At the same time Oswald was sent to Minsk where he worked in radio factory as an unskilled laborer. In January 1961 his permission to remain in the Soviet Union was extended for another year. A few weeks later, in February 1961, he wrote to the American Embassy in Moscow expressing a desire to return to the United States.
The following month Oswald met a 19-year-old Russian girl, Marina Nikolaevna Prusakova, a pharmacist, who Had been brought up in Leningrad but was then living with an aunt and uncle in Minsk. They were married on April 30, 1961. Throughout the following year he carried on a correspondence with American and Soviet. authorities seeking approval for the departure of himself and his wife to the United States. In the course of this effort, Oswald and his wife visited the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in July of 1961. Primarily on the basis of an interview and questionnaire completed there, the Embassy concluded that Oswald had not. lost his citizenship, a decision subsequently ratified by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Upon their return to Minsk, 'Oswald and his wife filed

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with the Soviet authorities for permission to leave together. Their formal application was made in July 1961, and on December 25, 1961, Marina Oswald was advised it would be granted.
A daughter was born to the Oswalds in February 1962. In the months that followed they prepared for their return to the United States. On May 9, 1962 the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, at the request of the Department of State, agreed to waive a restriction under the law which would have prevented the issuance of a United States visa. to Oswald's Russian wife until she had left the Soviet Union. They finally left Moscow on June 1, 1962, and were assisted in meeting their travel expenses by a loan of $435.71 from the U.S. Department of State. Two weeks later they arrived in Fort Worth, Tex.
For a few weeks Oswald, his wife and child lived with Oswald's brother Robert. After a similar stay with Oswald's mother, they moved into their own apartment in early August. Oswald obtained a job on July 16 as a sheet metal worker. During this period in Fort Worth, Oswald was interviewed twice by agents of the FBI. The report of the first interview, which occurred on June 26, described him as arrogant and unwilling to discuss the reasons why he had gone to the Soviet Union. Oswald denied that he was involved in Soviet intelligence activities and promised to advise the FBI if Soviet representatives ever communicated with him. He was interviewed again on August 16, when he displayed a less belligerent attitude and once again agreed to inform the FBI of any attempt to enlist him in intelligence activities.
In early October 1962 Oswald quit his job at the sheet metal plant and moved to Dallas. While living in Forth Worth the Oswalds had been introduced to a group of Russian-speaking people in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Many of them assisted the Oswalds by providing small amounts of food, clothing, and household items. Oswald himself was disliked by almost all of this group whose help to the family was prompted primarily by sympathy for Marina Oswald and the child. Despite the fact that he had left the Soviet Union, disillusioned with its Government, Oswald seemed more firmly committed than ever to his concepts of Marxism. He showed disdain for democracy, capitalism, and American society in general. He was highly critical of the Russian-speaking group because they seemed devoted to American concepts of democracy and capitalism and were ambitious to improve themselves economically.
In February 1963 the Oswalds met Ruth Paine at a social gathering. Ruth Paine was temporarily separated from her husband and living with her two children in their home in Irving, Tex., a suburb of Dallas. because of an interest in the Russian language and sympathy for Marina Oswald, who spoke no English and had little funds, Ruth Paine befriended Marina and, during the next 2 months, visited her on several occasions.
On April 6, 1963, Oswald lost his job with a photography firm. A few days later, on April 10, he attempted to kill Maj. Gen. Edwin

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A. Walker (Resigned, U.S. Army), using a rifle which he had ordered by mail 1 month previously under an assumed name. Marina Oswald learned of her husband's act when she confronted him with a note which he had left, giving her instructions in the event he did not return. That incident, and their general economic difficulties impelled Marina Oswald to suggest that her husband leave Dallas and go to New Orleans to look for work.
Oswald left for New Orleans on April 24, 1963. Ruth Paine, who knew nothing of the Walker shooting, invited Marina Oswald and the baby to stay with her in the Paines' modest. home while Oswald sought work in New Orleans. Early in May, upon receiving word from Oswald that he had found a job, Ruth Paine drove Marina Oswald and the baby to New Orleans to rejoin Oswald.
During the stay in New Orleans, Oswald formed a fictitious New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. lie posed as secretary of this organization and represented that the president was A. J. Hidell. In reality, Hidell was a completely fictitious person created by Oswald, the organization's only member. Oswald was arrested on August 9 in connection with a scuffle which occurred while he was distributing pro-Castro leaflets. The next day, while at the police station, he was interviewed by an FBI agent after Oswald requested the police to arrange such an interview. Oswald gave the agent false information about his own background and was evasive in his replies concerning Fair Play for Cuba activities. During the next 2 weeks Oswald appeared on radio programs twice, claiming to be the spokesman for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans.
On July 19, 1963, Oswald lost his job as a greaser of coffee processing machinery. In September, after an exchange of correspondence with Marina Oswald, Ruth Paine drove to New Orleans and on September 23, transported Marina, the child, and the family belongings to Irving, Tex. Ruth Paine suggested that Marina Oswald, who was expecting her second child in October, live at the Paine house until after the baby was born. Oswald remained behind, ostensibly to find work either in Houston or some other city. Instead, he departed by bus for Mexico, arriving in Mexico City on September 27, where he promptly visited the Cuban and Russian Embassies. His stated objective was to obtain official permission to visit Cuba, on his way to the Soviet Union. The Cuban Government would not grant his visa unless the Soviet Government would also issue a visa permitting his entry into Russia. Oswald's efforts to secure these visas failed, and he left for Dallas, where he arrived on October 3, 1968.
When he saw his wife the next day, it was decided that Oswald would rent a room in Dallas and visit his family on weekends. For 1 week he rented a room from Mrs. Bledsoe, the woman who later saw him on the bus shortly after the assassination. On October 14, 1968, he rented the Beckley Avenue room and listed his name as O. H. Lee. On the same day, at the suggestion of a neighbor, Mrs. Paine phoned the Texas School Book Depository and was told that there was a job

Page 15
opening. She informed Oswald who was interviewed the following day at the Depository and started to work there on October 16, 1963.
On October 20 the Oswalds' second daughter was born. During October and November Oswald established a general pattern of weekend visits to Irving, arriving on Friday afternoon and returning to Dallas Monday morning with a fellow employee, Buell Wesley Frazier, who lived near the Paines. On Friday, November 15, Oswald remained in Dallas at the suggestion of his wife who told him that the house would be crowded because of a birthday party for Ruth Paine's daughter. On Monday, November 18, Oswald and his wife quarreled bitterly during a telephone conversation, because she learned for the first time that he was living at the roominghouse under an assumed name. On Thursday, November 21, Oswald told Frazier that he would like to drive to Irving to pick up some curtain rods for an apartment in Dallas. His wife and Mrs. Paine were quite surprised to see him since it was a Thursday night. They thought he had returned to make up after Monday's quarrel. He was conciliatory, but Marina Oswald was still angry.
Later that evening, when Mrs. Paine had finished cleaning the kitchen, she went into the garage and noticed that the light was burning. She was certain that she had not left it on, although the incident appeared unimportant at the time. In the garage were most of the Oswalds' personal possessions. The following morning Oswald left while his wife was still in bed feeding the baby. She did not see him leave the house, nor did Ruth Paine. On the dresser in their room he left his wedding ring which he had never done before. His wallet containing $170 was left intact in a dresser-drawer.
Oswald walked to Frazier's house about half a block away and placed a long bulky package, made out of wrapping paper and tape, into the rear seat of the car. He told Frazier that. the package contained curtain rods. When they reached the Depository parking lot, Oswald walked quickly ahead. Frazier followed and saw Oswald enter the Depository Building carrying the long bulky package with him.
During the morning of November 22, Marina Oswald followed President Kennedy's activities on television. She and Ruth Paine cried when they heard that the President had been shot. Ruth Paine translated the news of the shooting to Marina Oswald as it came over television, including the report that the shots were probably fired from the building where Oswald worked. When Marina Oswald heard this, she recalled the Walker episode and the fact that her husband still owned the rifle. She went quietly to the Paine's garage where the rifle had been concealed in a blanket among their other belongings. It appeared to her that the rifle was still there, although she did not actually open the blanket.
At about 3 p.m. the police arrived at the Paine house and asked Marina Oswald whether her husband owned a rifle. She said that he did and then led them into the garage and pointed to the rolled up blanket. As a police officer lifted it, the blanket hung limply over either side of his arm. The rifle was not there.

Page 16
Meanwhile, at police headquarters Captain Fritz had begun questioning Oswald. Soon after the start of the first interrogation, agents of the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service arrived and participated in the questioning. Oswald denied having anything to do with the assassination of President Kennedy or the murder of Patrolman Tippit. He claimed that he was eating lunch at the time of the assassination, and that he then spoke with his foreman for 5 to 10 minutes before going home. He denied that he owned a rifle and when confronted, in a subsequent interview, with a picture showing him holding a rifle and pistol, he claimed that his face had been superimposed on someone else's body. He refused to answer any questions about the presence in his wallet of a selective service card with his picture and the name "Alek J. Hidell."
During the questioning of Oswald on the third floor of the police department, more than 100 representatives of the press, radio, and television were crowded into the hallway through which Oswald had to pass when being taken from his cell to Captain Fritz' office for interrogation. Reporters tried to interview Oswald during these trips. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning he appeared in the hallway at least 16 times. The generally confused conditions outside and inside Captain Fritz' office increased the difficulty of police questioning. Advised by the police that he could communicate with an attorney, Oswald made several telephone calls on Saturday in an effort to procure representation of his own choice and discussed the matter with the president of the local bar association, who offered to obtain counsel Oswald declined the offer saying that he would first try to obtain counsel by himself. By Sunday morning he had not yet
engaged an attorney.
At 7:10 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was formally advised that he had been charged with the murder of Patrolman J. D. Tippit Several witnesses to the Tippit slaying and to the subsequent flight of the gunman had positively identified Oswald in police lineups. While positive firearm identification evidence was not available at the time, the revolver in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest was of a type which could have fired the shots that killed Tippit.
The formal charge against Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy was lodged shortly after 1:30 a..m., on Saturday, November 28. By 10 p.m. of the day of the assassination, the FBI had traced the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository to a mail order house in Chicago which had purchased it from a distributor in New York Approximately 6 hours later the Chicago firm advised that this rifle had been ordered in March 1968 by an A. Hidel for shipment to post office box 2915, in Dallas, Tex., box rented by Oswald. Payment for the rifle was remitted by a money order signed by A. Hidell. By 6:45 p.m. on November 23, the FBI was able to advise the Dallas police that,, as a result of handwriting analysis of the documents used to purchase the rifle, it had concluded that the rifle had been ordered by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Page 17
Throughout Friday and Saturday, the Dallas police released to the public many of the details concerning the alleged evidence against Oswald. Police officials discussed important aspects of the case, usually in the course. of impromptu and confused press conferences in the third-floor corridor. Some of the information divulged was erroneous. Efforts by the news media representatives to reconstruct the crime and promptly report details frequently led to erroneous and often conflicting reports. At the urgings of the newsmen, Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry, brought Oswald to a press conference in the police assembly room shortly after midnight of the day Oswald was arrested. The assembly room was crowded with newsmen who had come to Dallas from all over the country. They shouted questions at Oswald and flashed cameras at him. Among this group was a 52-year-old Dallas nightclub operator--Jack Ruby.
On Sunday morning, November 24, arrangements were made for Oswald's transfer from the city jail to the Dallas County jail, about 1 mile away. The news media had been informed on Saturday night that the transfer of Oswald would not take place until after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, between 2:80 and 3 a.m., anonymous telephone calls threatening Oswald's life had been received by the Dallas office of the FBI and by the office of the county sheriff. Never- the less, on Sunday morning, television, radio, and newspaper representatives crowded into the basement to record the transfer. As viewed through television cameras, Oswald would emerge from a door in front of the cameras and proceed to the transfer vehicle. To the right of the cameras was a "down" ramp from Main Street on the north. To the left was an %p" ramp leading to Commerce Street. on the south.
The armored truck in which Oswald was to be transferred arrived shortly after 11 a.m. Police officials then decided, however, that an unmarked police car would be preferable for the trip because of its greater speed and maneuverability. At approximately 11:20 a.m. Oswald emerged from the basement jail office flanked by detectives on either side and at his rear. He took a few steps toward the car and was in the glaring light of the television cameras when a man suddenly darted out from an area on the right of the cameras where newsmen had been assembled. The man was carrying a Colt..38 revolver in his right hand and, while millions watched on television, he moved quickly to within a few feet of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen. Oswald groaned with pain as he fell to the ground and quickly lost consciousness. Within 7 minutes Oswald was at Parkland Hospital where, without having regained consciousness, he was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.
The man who killed Oswald was Jack Ruby. He was instantly arrested and, minutes later, confined in a cell on the fifth floor of the Dallas police jail. Under interrogation, he denied that the killing of Oswald was in any way connected with a conspiracy involving the assassination of President Kennedy. He maintained that he had killed Oswald in a temporary fit of depression and rage over the

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President's death. Ruby was transferred the following day to the county jail without notice to the press or to police officers not directly involved in the transfer. Indicted for the murder of Oswald by the State of Texas on November 26, 1963, Ruby was found guilty on March 14, 1964, and sentenced to death. As of September 1964, his case was pending on appeal.
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This Commission was created to ascertain the facts relating to the preceding summary of events and to consider the important questions which they raised. The Commission has addressed itself to this task and has reached certain conclusions based on all the available evidence. No limitations have been placed on the Commission's inquiry; it has conducted its own investigation, and all Government agencies have fully discharged their responsibility to cooperate with the Commission in its investigation. These conclusions represent the reasoned judgment of all members of the Commission and are presented after an investigation which has satisfied the Commission that it: has ascertained the truth concerning the assassination of President Kennedy to the extent that a prolonged and thorough search makes this possible.
1. The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth floor window at the south-
east corner of the Texas School Book Depository. This determination is based upon the following:
(a) Witnesses at the scene of the assassination saw a rifle being fired from the sixth floor window of the
Depository Building, and some witnesses saw a rifle in the window immediately after the shots were fired.
(b) The nearly whole bullet found on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital and
the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the Presidential limousine were fired from the 6.5-
millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building to the exclusion of
all other weapons.
(c) The three used cartridge cases found near the window on the sixth floor at the southeast corner of
the building were fired from the same rifle which fired the above-described bullet and fragments, to the
exclusion of all other weapons.
(d) The windshield in the Presidential limousine was struck by a bullet fragment on the inside surface of
the glass, but was not penetrated.
(e) The nature of the bullet wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor Connally and the
location of the car at the time of the shots establish that the bullets were fired from above and behind the
Presidential limousine, striking the President and the Governor as follows:

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(1) President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered at the back of his neck and exited through the lower front portion of his neck, causing a wound which would not necessarily have been lethal. The President was struck a second time by a bullet which entered the right-rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound.
(2) Governor Connally was struck by a bullet which entered on the right side of his back and traveled downward through the right side of his chest, exiting below his right nipple. This bullet then passed through his right wrist and entered his left thigh where it caused a superficial wound.
(f) There is no credible evidence that the shots were fired from the Triple Underpass, ahead of the motorcade, or from any other location.

2. The weight of the evidence indicates that there were three shots fired.
3. Although it is not necessary to any essential findings of the Commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced the President's throat also caused Governor Connally's wounds. However, Governor Connally's testimony and certain other factors have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this probability but there is no question in the mind of any member of the Commission that all the shots which caused the President's and Governor Connally's wounds were fired from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.
4. The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. This conclusion is based upon the following:
(a) The Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle from which the shots were fired was owned by and in the possession of Oswald.
(b) Oswald carried this rifle into the Depository Building on the morning of November 22, 1963.
(c) Oswald, at the time of the assassination, was present at the Window from which the shots were fired.
(d) Shortly after the assassination, the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle belonging to Oswald was found partially hidden between some cartons on the sixth floor and the improvised paper bag in which Oswald brought the rifle to the Depository was found dose by the window from which the shots were fired.
(e) Based on testimony of the experts and their analysis of films of the assassination, the Commission has concluded that a rifleman of Lee Harvey Oswald's capabilities could have fired the shots from the rifle used in the assassination within the elapsed time of the shooting. The Commission has concluded further that Oswald possessed the capability with a rifle which enabled him to commit the assassination.

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(f) Oswald lied to the police after his arrest concerning important substantive matters.
(g) Oswald had attempted to kill Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker (Resigned, U.S. Army) on April 10, 1963, thereby demonstrating his disposition to take human life.
5. Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit approximately 45 minutes after the assassination. This conclusion upholds the finding that Oswald fired the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally and is supported by the following:
(a) Two eyewitnesses saw the Tippit shooting and seven eyewitnesses heard the shots and saw the gunman leave the scene with revolver in hand. These nine eyewitnesses positively identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the man they saw.
(b) The cartridge cases found at the scene of the shooting were fired from the revolver in the possession of Oswald at the time of his arrest to the exclusion of all other weapons.
(c) The revolver in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest was purchased by and belonged to Oswald.
(d) Oswald's jacket was found along the path of flight taken by the gunman as he fled from the scene of the killing.
6. Within 80 minutes of the assassination and 35 minutes of the Tippit killing Oswald resisted arrest at the theatre by attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer.
7. The Commission has reached the following conclusions concerning Oswald's interrogation and detention by the Dallas police:
(a) Except for the force required to effect his arrest, Oswald was not subjected to any physical coercion by any law enforcement officials. He was advised that he could not be compelled to give any information and that any statements made by him might be used against him in court. He was advised of his right to counsel. He was given the opportunity to obtain counsel of his own choice and was offered legal assistance by the Dallas Bar Association, which he rejected at that time.
(b) Newspaper, radio, and television reporters were allowed uninhibited access to the area through which Oswald had to pass when he was moved from his cell to the interrogation room and other sections of the building, thereby subjecting Oswald to harassment and creating chaotic conditions which were not conducive to orderly interrogation or the protection of the rights of the prisoner.
(c) The numerous statements, sometimes erroneous, made to the press by various local law enforcement officials, during this period of confusion and disorder in the police station, would have presented serious obstacles to the obtaining of a fair trial for Oswald. To the extent that the information was erroneous or misleading, it helped to create doubts, speculations, and fears in the mind of the public which might otherwise not have arisen.

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8. The Commission has reached the following conclusions concerning the killing of Oswald by Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963:
(a) Ruby entered the basement of the Dallas Police Department shortly after 11:17 a.m. and killed Lee Harvey Oswald at 11:21 a.m.
(b) Although the evidence on Ruby's means of entry is not conclusive, the weight of the evidence indicates that he walked down the ramp leading from Main Street to the basement of the police department.
(c) There is no evidence to support the rumor that Ruby may have been assisted by any members of the Dallas Police Department in the killing of Oswald.
(d) The Dallas Police Department's decision to transfer Oswald to the county jail in full public view was unsound. The arrangements made by the police department on Sunday morning, only a few hours before the attempted transfer, were inadequate. Of critical importance was the fact that news media representatives and others were not excluded from the basement even after the police were notified of threats to Oswald's life. These deficiencies contributed to the death of Lee Harvey Oswald.
9. The Commission has found no evidence that either Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby was part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy. The reasons for this conclusion are:
(a) The Commission has found no evidence that anyone assisted Oswald in planning or carrying out the assassination. In this connection it has thoroughly investigated, among other factors, the circumstances surrounding the planning of the motorcade route through Dallas, the hiring of Oswald by the Texas School Book Depository Co. on October 15, 1963, the method by which the rifle was brought into the building, the placing of cartons of books at the window, Oswald's escape from the building, and the testimony of eyewitnesses to the shooting.
(b) The Commission has found no evidence that Oswald was involved with any person or group in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, although it has thoroughly investigated, in addition to other possible leads, all facets of Oswald's associations, finances, and personal habits, particularly during the period following his return from the Soviet. Union in June 1962.
(c) The Commission has found no evidence to show that Oswald was employed, persuaded, or encouraged by any foreign government to assassinate President Kennedy or that he was an agent of any foreign government, although the Commission has reviewed the circumstances surrounding Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union, his life there from October of 1959 to June of 1962 so far as it can be reconstructed, his known contacts with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee~ and his visits to the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City during his trip to Mexico from

Page 22
September 26 to October 3, 1963, and his known contacts with the Soviet Embassy in the United States.
(d) The Commission has explored all attempts of Oswald to identify himself with various political groups, including the Communist Party, U.S.A., the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and the Socialist Workers Party, and has been unable to find any evidence that the contacts which he initiated were related to Oswald's subsequent. assassination of the President.
(e) All of the evidence before the Commission established that there was nothing to support the speculation that Oswald was an agent, employee, or informant of the FBI, the CIA, or any other governmental agency. It has thoroughly investigated Oswald's relationships prior to the assassination with all agencies of the U.S. Government. All contacts with Oswald by any of these agencies were made in the regular exercise of their different responsibilities.
(f) No direct or indirect relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby has been discovered by the Commission, nor has it been able to find any credible evidence that either knew the other, although a thorough investigation was made of the many rumors and speculations of such a relationship.
(g) The Commission has found no evidence that Jack Ruby acted with any other person in the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.
(h) After careful investigation the Commission has found no credible evidence either that Ruby and Officer Tippit, who was killed by Oswald, knew each other or that Oswald and Tippit knew each other.
Because of the difficulty of proving negatives to a certainty the possibility of others being involved with either Oswald or Ruby cannot be established categorically, but if there is any such evidence it has been beyond the reach of all the investigative agencies and resources of the United States and has not come to the attention of this Commission.
10. In its entire investigation the Commission has found no evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the U.S. Government by any Federal, State, or local official.
11. On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it concludes that, Oswald acted alone. Therefore, to determine the motives for the assassination of President Kennedy, one must look to the assassin himself. Clues to Oswald's motives can be found in his family history, his education or lack of it, his acts, his writings, and the recollections of those who had close contacts with him throughout his life. The Commission has presented with this report all of the background information bearing on motivation which it could discover. Thus, others may study Lee Oswald's life and arrive at their own conclusions as to his possible motives.
The Commission could not make any definitive determination of Oswald's motives. It has endeavored to isolate factors which contributed

Page 23
to his character and which might have influenced his decision to assassinate President Kennedy. These factors were:
(a) His deep-rooted resentment. of all authority which, was expressed in a hostility toward every society in which he lived;
(b) His inability to enter into meaningful relationships with people, and a continuous pattern of rejecting his environment favor of new surrounding;
(c) His urge to try to find a place in history and despair at times over failures in his various undertakings;
(d) His capacity for violence as evidenced by his attempt to kill General Walker;
(e) His avowed commitment to Marxism and communism, as he understood the terms and developed his own interpretation of them; this was expressed by his antagonism toward the United States, by his defection to the Soviet Union, by his failure to be reconciled with life in the United States even after his disenchantment with the Soviet Union, and by his efforts, though frustrated,
to go to Cuba.
Each of these contributed to his capacity to risk all in cruel and irresponsible actions.
12. The Commission recognizes that the varied responsibilities of the President require that he make frequent trips to all parts of the United States and abroad. Consistent with their high responsibilities Presidents can never be protected from every potential threat. The Secret Service's difficulty in meeting its protective responsibility varies with the activities and the nature of the occupant of the Office of President and his willingness to conform to plans for his safety. In ap praising the performance of the Secret Service it should be understood that it has to do its work within such limitations. Nevertheless, the
Commission believes that recommendations for improvements in Presidential protection are compelled by the facts disclosed in this investigation.
(a) The complexities of the Presidency have increased so rapidly in recent years that the Secret Service has not been able to develop or to secure adequate resources of personnel and facilities to fulfill its important assignment. This situation should be promptly remedied.
(b) The Commission has concluded that the criteria and procedures of the Secret Service designed to identify and protect against persons considered threats to the president, were not adequate prior to the assassination.
(1) The Protective Research Section of the Secret Service, which is responsible for its preventive work, lacked sufficient trained personnel and the mechanical and technical assistance needed to fulfill its responsibility.
(2) Prior to the assassination the Secret Service's criteria dealt with direct threats against the President. Although the Secret Service treated the direct threats against the President adequately, it failed to recognize the necessity of identifying

Page 24
other potential sources of danger to his security. The Secret Service did not develop adequate and specific criteria defining those persons or groups who might present a danger to the President. In effect, the Secret Service largely relied upon other Federal or State agencies to supply the information necessary for it to fulfill its preventive responsibilities, al though it did ask for information about direct threats to the President.
(c) The Commission has concluded that there was insufficient liaison and coordination of information between the Secret Service and other Federal agencies necessarily concerned with Presidential protection. Although the FBI, in the normal exercise of its responsibility, had secured considerable information about Lee Harvey Oswald, it had no official responsibility, under the Secret Service criteria existing at the time of the President's trip to Dallas, to refer to the Secret Service the information it had about Oswald. The Commission has concluded, however, that the FBI took an unduly restrictive view of its role in preventive intelligence work prior to the assassination. A more carefully coordinated treatment of the Oswald case by the FBI might well have resulted in bringing Oswald's activities to the attention of the Secret Service.
(d) The Commission has concluded that some of the advance preparations in Dallas made by the Secret Service, such as the detailed security measures taken at Love Field and the Trade Mart, were thorough and well executed. In other respects, however, the Commission has concluded that the advance preparations for the President's trip were deficient.
(1) Although the Secret Service is compelled to rely to a great extent on local law enforcement officials, its procedures at the time of the Dallas trip did not call for well-defined instructions as to the respective responsibilities of the police officials and others assisting in the protection of the President.
(2) The procedures relied upon by the Secret Service for detecting the presence of an assassin located in a building along a motorcade route were inadequate. At the time of the trip to Dallas, the Secret Service as a matter of practice did not investigate, or cause to be checked, any building located along the motorcade route to be taken by the President. The responsibility for observing windows in these buildings during the motorcade was divided between local police personnel stationed on the streets to regulate crowds and Secret Service agents riding in the motorcade. Based on its investigation the Commission has concluded that these arrangements during the trip to Dallas were clearly not sufficient.
(e) The configuration of the Presidential car and the seating arrangements of the Secret Service agents in the car did not afford

Page 25
the Secret Service agents the opportunity they should have had to be of immediate assistance to the President at the first. sign of danger.
(f) Within these limitations, however, the Commission finds that. the agents most immediately responsible for the President's safety reacted promptly at the time the shots were fired from the Texas School Book Depository Building.
Page 25

Prompted by the assassination of President Kennedy, the Secret Service has initiated a. comprehensive and critical review of its total operations. As a result of studies conducted during the past, several months, and in cooperation with this Commission, the Secret Service has prepared a planning document dated August 27, 1964, which recommends various programs considered necessary by the Service to improve its techniques and enlarge its resources. The Commission is encouraged by the efforts taken by the Secret Service since the assassination and suggests the following recommendations.
1. A committee of Cabinet members including the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, or the National Security Council, should be assigned the responsibility of reviewing and overseeing the protective activities of the Secret Service and the other Federal agencies that assist in safeguarding the President. Once given this responsibility, such a committee would insure that the maximum resources of the Federal Government are fully engaged in the task of protecting the President, and would provide guidance in defining the general nature of domestic and foreign dangers to Presidential security.
2. Suggestions have been advanced to the Commission for the transfer of all or parts of the Presidential protective responsibilities of the Secret Service to some other department or agency. The Commission believes that if there is to be any determination of whether or not to relocate these responsibilities and functions, it ought to be made by the Executive and the Congress, perhaps upon recommendations based on studies by the previously suggested committee.
3. Meanwhile, in order to improve daily supervision of the Secret Service within the Department of the Treasury, the Commission recommends that the Secretary of the Treasury appoint a special assistant with the responsibility of supervising the Secret Service. This special assistant should have sufficient stature and experience in law enforcement, intelligence, and allied fields to provide effective continuing supervision, and to keep the Secretary fully informed regarding the performance of the Secret Service. One of the initial assignments of this special assistant should be the supervision of the current effort by the Secret Service to revise and modernize its basic operating procedures.

Page 26
4. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service completely overhaul its facilities devoted to the advance detection of potential threats against the President. The Commission suggests the following measures.
(a) The Secret Service should develop as quickly as possible more useful and precise criteria defining those potential threats to the President which should be brought to its attention by other agencies. The criteria should, among other additions, provide for prompt notice to the Secret Service of all returned defectors.
(b) The Secret Service should expedite its current plans to utilize the most efficient data-processing techniques.
(c) Once the Secret Service has formulated new criteria delineating the information it desires, it should enter into agreements with each Federal agency to insure its receipt of such information.
5. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service improve the protective measures followed in the planning, and conducting of Presidential motorcades. In particular~ the Secret Service should continue its current efforts to increase the precautionary attention given to buildings along the motorcade route.
6. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service continue its recent efforts to improve and formalize its relationships with local police departments in areas to be visited by the President.
7. The Commission believes that when the new criteria and procedures are established, the Secret Service will not have sufficient personnel or adequate facilities. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service be provided with the personnel and resources which the Service and the Department of the Treasury may be able to demonstrate are needed to fulfill its important mission.
8. Even with an increase in Secret Service personnel, the protection of the President will continue to require the resources and cooperation of many Federal agencies. The Commission recommends that these agencies, specifically the FBI, continue the practice as it has developed, particularly since the assassination, of assisting the Secret Service upon request by providing personnel or other aid, and that there be a closer association and liaison between the Secret Service and all Federal agencies.
9. The Commission recommends that the President's physician always accompany him during his travels and occupy a position near the President where he can be immediately available in case of any emergency.
10. The Commission recommends to Congress that it adopt legislation which would make the assassination of the President and Vice President a Federal crime. A state of affairs where U.S. authorities have no clearly defined jurisdiction to investigate the assassination of a President is anomalous.
11. The Commission has examined the Department of State's handling of the Oswald matters and finds that it followed the law

Page 27
throughout. However, the Commission believes that the Department in accordance with its own regulations should in all cases exercise great care in the return to this country of defectors who have evidenced disloyalty or hostility to this country or who have expressed a desire to renounce their American citizenship and that when such persons are so returned, procedures should be adopted for the better dissemination of information concerning them to the intelligence agencies of the Government.
12. The Commission recommends that the representatives of the bar, law enforcement associations, and the news media work together to establish ethical standards concerning the collection and presentation of information to the public so that there will be no interference with pending criminal investigations, court proceedings, or the right of individuals to a fair trial.

Chapter II The Assassination
Page 28

The Assassination

THIS CHAPTER describes President Kennedy's trip to Dallas, from its origin through its tragic conclusion. The narrative of these events is based largely on the recollections of the participants, although in many instances documentary or other evidence has also been used by the Commission. Beginning with the advance plans and Secret Service preparations for the trip, this chapter reviews the motorcade through Dallas, the fleeting moments of the assassination, the activities at Parkland Memorial Hospital, and the return of the Presidential party to Washington. An evaluation of the procedures employed to safeguard the President, with recommendations for improving these procedures, appears in Chapter VIII of the report..
Planning the Texas Trip
Page 28

President Kennedy's visit to Texas in November 1963 had been under consideration for almost a year before it occurred. He had made only a few brief visits to the State since the 1960 Presidential campaign and in 1962 he began to consider a formal visit.1 During 1963, the reasons for making the trip became more persuasive. As a political leader, the President wished to resolve the factional controversy within the Democratic Party in Texas before the election of 1964. 2 The party itself saw an opportunity to raise funds by having the President speak at a political dinner eventually planned for Austin. 3 As Chief of State, the President always welcomed the opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the problems which concerned the American people.4 Moreover, he looked forward to the public appearances which he personally enjoyed.
The basic decision on the November trip to Texas was made at a meeting of President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, and Governor Connally on June 5, 1963, at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, Tex.6 The President had spoken earlier that day at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and had stopped in El Paso to discuss the proposed visit and other matters with the Vice President and the Governor.7 The three agreed that the President would come to Texas

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in late November 1963.8 The original plan called for the President to spend only 1 day in the State, making whirlwind visits to Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston.9 In September, the White House decided to permit further visits by the President and extended the trip to run from the afternoon of November 21 through the evening of Friday, November 22. When Governor Connally called at the White House on October 4 to discuss the details of the visit, it was agreed that the planning of events in Texas would be left largely to the Governor. At the White House, Kenneth O'Donnell, special assistant to the President, acted as coordinator for the trip.12
Everyone agreed that, if there was sufficient time, a motorcade through downtown Dallas would be the best way for the people to see their President. When the trip was planned for only 1 day, Governor Connally had opposed the motorcade because there was not enough time. The Governor stated, however, that "once we got San Antonio moved from Friday to Thursday afternoon, where that was his initial stop in Texas, then we had the time, and I withdrew my objections to a motorcade." According to O'Donnell, had a motorcade wherever we went," particularly in large cities where the purpose was to let the President be seen by as many people as possible.16 In his experience, "it would be automatic" for the Secret Service to arrange a route which would, within the time allotted, bring the President "through an area which exposes him to the greatest number of people."
Advance Preparations for the Dallas Trip
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Advance preparations for President Kennedy's visit to Dallas were primarily the responsibility of two Secret Service agents: Special Agent Winston G. Lawson, a member of the White House detail who acted as the advance agent, and Forrest V. Sorrels, special agent in charge of the Dallas office. Both agents were advised of the trip on November 4.18 Lawson received a tentative schedule of the Texas trip on November 8 from Roy H. Kellerman, assistant special agent in charge of the White House detail, who was the Secret. Service official responsible for the entire Texas journey.19 As advance agent working closely with Sorrels, Lawson had responsibility for arranging the timetable for the President's visit to Dallas and coordinating local activities with the White House staff, the organizations directly concerned with the visit, and local law enforcement officials.20 Lawson's most important responsibilities were to take preventive action against anyone in Dallas considered a threat to the President, to select the luncheon site and motorcade route, and to plan security measures for the luncheon and the motorcade.
Preventive Intelligence Activities

The Protective Research Section (PRS) of the Secret Service maintains records of people who have threatened the President or so conducted

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themselves as to be deemed a potential danger to him. On November 8, 1963, after undertaking the responsibility for advance preparations for the visit to Dallas, Agent Lawson went to the PRS offices in Washington. A check of the geographic indexes there revealed no listing for any individual deemed to be a potential danger to the President in the territory of the Secret Service regional office which includes Dallas and Fort Worth.21
To supplement the PRS files, the Secret Service depends largely on local police departments and local offices of other Federal agencies which advise it of potential threats immediately before the visit of the President to their community. Upon his arrival in Dallas on November 12 Lawson conferred with the local police and the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation about potential dangers to the President. Although there was no mention in PRS files of the demonstration in Dallas against Ambassador Adlai Stevenson on October 24, 1963, Lawson inquired about the incident and obtained through the local police photographs of some of the persons involved.22 On November 22 a Secret Service agent stood at the entrance to the Trade Mart, where the President was scheduled to speak, with copies of these photographs. Dallas detectives in the lobby of the Trade Mart and in the luncheon area also had copies of these photographs. A number of people who resembled some of those in the photographs were placed under surveillance at the Trade Mart.25
The FBI office in Dallas gave the local Secret Service representatives the name of a possibly dangerous individual in the Dallas area who was investigated. It also advised the Secret Service of the circulation on November 21 of a handbill sharply critical of President Kennedy,24 discussed in chapter VI of this report. Shortly before, the Dallas police had reported to the Secret Service that the handbill had appeared on the streets of Dallas. Neither the Dallas police nor the FBI had yet learned the source of the handbill.25 No one else was identified to the Secret Service through local inquiry as potentially dangerous, nor did PRS develop any additional information between November 12, when Lawson left Washington, and November 22. The adequacy of the intelligence system maintained by the Secret Service at the time of the assassination, including a detailed description of the available data on Lee Harvey Oswald and the reasons why his name had not been furnished to the Secret Service, is discussed in chapter VIII.

The Luncheon Site

An important purpose of the President's visit to Dallas was to speak at a luncheon given by business and civic leaders. The White House staff informed the Secret Service that the President would arrive and depart from Dallas' Love Field; that a motorcade through the downtown area of Dallas to the luncheon site should be arranged; and that following the luncheon the President would return to the airport by the most direct route. Accordingly, it was important to

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determine the luncheon site as quickly as possible, so that security could be established at the site and the motorcade route selected.
On November 4, Gerald A. Behn, agent in charge of the White House detail, asked Sorrels to examine three potential sites for the luncheon. One building, Market Hall, was unavailable for November 22. The second, the Women's Building at the State Fair Grounds, was a one-story building with few entrances and easy to make secure, but it lacked necessary food-handling facilities and had certain unattractive features, including a low ceiling with exposed conduits and beams. The third possibility, the Trade Mart, a handsome new building with all the necessary facilities, presented security problems. It had numerous entrances, several tiers of balconies surrounding the central court where the luncheon would be held, and several catwalks crossing the court at each level. On November 4, Sorrels told Behn he believed security difficulties at the Trade Mart could be overcome by special precautions. Lawson also evaluated the security hazards at the Trade Mart on November 13.28 Kenneth O'Donnell made the final decision to hold the luncheon at the Trade Mart; Behn so notified Lawson on November 14.
Once the Trade Mart had been selected, Sorrels and Lawson worked out detailed arrangements for security at the building. In addition to the preventive measures already mentioned, they provided for controlling access to the building, closing off and policing areas around it, securing the roof and insuring the presence of numerous police officers inside and around the building. Ultimately more than 200 law enforcement officers, mainly Dallas police but including 8 Secret Service agents, were deployed in and around the Trade Mart.30

The Motorcade Route

On November 8, when Lawson was briefed on the itinerary for the trip to Dallas, he was told that 45 minutes had been allotted for a motorcade procession from Love Field to the luncheon site.31 Lawson was not specifically instructed to select the parade route, but he understood that this was one of his functions.32 Even before the Trade Mart had been definitely selected, Lawson and Sorrels began to consider the best motorcade route from Love Field to the Trade Mart. On November 14, Lawson and Sorrels attended a meeting at Love Field and on their return to Dallas drove over the route which Sorrels believed best suited for the proposed motorcade.33 This route, eventually selected for the motorcade from the airport to the Trade Mart, measured 10 miles and could be driven easily within the allotted 45 minutes.34 From Love Field the route passed through a portion of suburban Dallas, through the downtown area along Main Street and then to the Trade Mart via Stemmons Freeway. For the President's return to Love Field following the luncheon, the agents selected the most direct route, which was approximately 4 miles.
After the selection of the Trade Mart as the luncheon site, Lawson and Sorrels met with Dallas Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry, Assistant

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Chief Charles Batchelor, Deputy Chief N. T. Fisher, and several other command officers to discuss details of the motorcade and possible routes. The route was further reviewed by Lawson and Sorrels with Assistant Chief Batchelor and members of the local host committee on November 15. The police officials agreed that the route recommended by Sorrels was the proper one and did not express a belief that any other route might be better.37 On November 18, Sorrels and Lawson drove over the selected route with Batchelor and other police officers, verifying that it could be traversed within 45 minutes. Representatives of the local host committee and the White House staff were advised by the Secret Service of the actual route on the afternoon of November 18.38
The route impressed the agents as a natural and desirable one. Sorrels, who had participated in Presidential protection assignments in Dallas since a visit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936,as testified that the traditional parade route in Dallas was along Main Street, since the tall buildings along the street gave more people an opportunity to participate. The route chosen from the airport to Main Street was the normal one, except where Harwood Street was selected as the means of access to Main Street in preference to a short stretch of the Central Expressway, which presented a minor safety hazard and could not accommodate spectators as conveniently as Harwood Street.41 According to Lawson, the chosen route seemed to be
the best.

It afforded us wide streets most of the way, because of the buses that were in the motorcade. It
afforded us a chance to have alternative routes if something happened on the motorcade route. It was
the type of suburban area a good part of the way where the crowds would be able to be controlled for a
great distance, and we figured that the largest crowds would be downtown, which they were, and that
the wide streets that we would use downtown would be of sufficient width to keep the public out of our

Elm Street, parallel to Main Street and one block north, was not used for the main portion of the downtown part of the motorcade because Main Street offered better vantage points for spectators.
To reach the Trade Mart from Main Street the agents decided to use the Stemmons Freeway (Route No. 77), the most direct route. The only practical way for westbound traffic on Main Street to reach the northbound lanes of the Stemmons Freeway is via Elm Street, which Route No. 77 traffic is instructed to follow in this part of the city. ( See Commission Exhibit No. 2113, p. 34.) Elm Street was to be reached from Main by turning right at Houston, going one block north and then turning left onto Elm. On this last portion of the journey, only 5 minutes from the Trade Mart, the President's motorcade would pass the Texas School Book Depository Building on the northwest corner of Houston and Elm Streets. The building overlooks Dealey Plaza,

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an attractively landscaped triangle of 3 acres. (See Commission Exhibit No. 876, p. 33.) From Houston Street, which forms the base of the triangle, three streets--Commerce, Main, and Elm--trisect the plaza, converging at the apex of the triangle to form a triple underpass beneath a multiple railroad bridge almost 500 feet from Houston Street.48 Elm Street, the northernmost of the three, after intersecting Houston curves in a southwesterly arc through the underpass and leads into an access road, which branches off to the right and is used by traffic going to the Stemmons Freeway and the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2113-2116, pp. 34-37.)
The Elm Street approach to the Stemmons Freeway is necessary in order to avoid the traffic hazards which would otherwise exist if right turns were permitted from both Main and Elm into the freeway. To create this traffic pattern, a concrete barrier between Main and Elm Streets presents an obstacle to a right turn from Main across Elm to the access road to Stemmons Freeway and the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. This concrete barrier extends far enough beyond the access road to make it impracticable for vehicles to turn right from Main directly to the access road. A sign located on this barrier instructs Main Street traffic not to make any turns.45 (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2114-2116, pp. 35-37.) In conformity with these arrangements, traffic proceeding west on Main is directed to turn right at Houston in order to reach the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, which has the same access road from Elm Street as does the Stemmons Freeway.46 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2967, p. 38.)
The planning for the motorcade also included advance preparations for security arrangements along the route. Sorrels and Lawson reviewed the route in cooperation with Assistant Chief Bachelor and other Dallas police officials who took notes on the requirements for controlling the crowds and traffic, watching the overpasses, and providing motorcycle escort.47 To control traffic, arrangements were made for the deployment of foot patrolmen and motorcycle police at various positions along the route.48 Police were assigned to each overpass on the route and instructed to keep them clear of unauthorized persons. No arrangements were made for police or building custodians to inspect buildings along the motorcade route since the Secret Service did not normally request or make such a check? Under standard procedures, the responsibility for watching the windows of buildings was shared by local police stationed along the route and Secret Service agents riding in the motorcade.51
As the date for the President's visit approached, the two Dallas newspapers carried several reports of his motorcade route. The selection of the Trade Mart as the possible site for the luncheon first appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald on November 15, 1963. The following day, the newspaper reported that the Presidential party "apparently will loop through the downtown area, probably on Main Street, en route from Dallas Love Field" on its way to the Trade

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Mart. On November 19, the Times-Herald afternoon paper detailed the precise route:

From the airport, the President's party will proceed to Mockingbird Lane to Lemmon and then to Turtle Creek, turning south to Cedar Springs.
The motorcade will then pass through downtown on Harwood and then west on Main, turning back to Elm at Houston and then out Stemmons Freeway to the Trade Mart.

Also on November 19, the Morning News reported that the President's motorcade would travel from Love Field along specified streets, then "Harwood to Main, Main to Houston, Houston to Elm, Elm under the Triple Underpass to Stemmons Freeway, and on to the Trade Mart." On November 20 a front page story reported that the streets on which the Presidential motorcade would travel included "Main and Stemmons Freeway." On the morning of the President's arrival, the Morning News noted that the motorcade would travel through downtown Dallas onto the Stemmons Freeway, and reported that "the motorcade will move slowly so that crowds can 'get a good view' of President Kennedy and his wife." 57
Dallas Before the Visit
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The President's intention to pay a visit to Texas in the fall of 1963 aroused interest throughout the State. The two Dallas newspapers provided their readers with a steady stream of information and speculation about the trip, beginning on September 13, when the Times-Herald announced in a front page article that President Kennedy was planning a brief l-day tour of four Texas cities--Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston.58 Both Dallas papers cited White House sources on September 26 as confirming the President's intention to visit Texas on November 21 and 22, with Dallas scheduled as one of the stops.
Articles, editorials, and letters to the editor in the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times-Herald after September 13 reflected the feeling in the community toward the forthcoming Presidential visit. Although there were critical editorials and letters to the editors, the news stories reflected the desire of Dallas officials to welcome the President with dignity and courtesy. An editorial in the Times-Herald of September 17 called on the people of Dallas to be "congenial hosts" even though "Dallas didn't vote for Mr. Kennedy in 1960, may not endorse him in '64." On October 3 the Dallas Morning News quoted U.S. Representative Joe Pool's hope that President Kennedy would receive a "good welcome" and would not face demonstrations like those encountered by Vice President Johnson during the 1960 campaign.61

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Increased concern about the President's visit was aroused by the incident involving the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai E. Stevenson. On the evening of October 24, 1963, after addressing a meeting in Dallas, Stevenson was jeered, jostled, and spat upon by hostile demonstrators outside the Dallas Memorial Auditorium Theater.62 The local, national, and international reaction to this incident evoked from Dallas officials and newspapers strong condemnations of the demonstrators. Mayor Earle Cabell called on the city to redeem itself during President Kennedy's visit.63 He asserted that Dallas had shed its reputation of the twenties as the "Southwest hate capital of Dixie." 64 On October 26 the press reported Chief of Police Curry's plans to call in 100 extra off-duty officers to help protect President Kennedy.65 Any thought that the President might cancel his visit to Dallas was ended when Governor Connally confirmed on November 8 that the President would come to Texas on November 21-22, and that he would visit San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin.66
During November the Dallas papers reported frequently on the plans for protecting the President, stressing the thoroughness of the preparations. They conveyed the pleas of Dallas leaders that citizens not demonstrate or create disturbances during the President's visit. On November 18 the Dallas City Council adopted a new city ordinance prohibiting interference with attendance at lawful assemblies.67 Two days before the President's arrival Chief Curry warned that the Dallas police would not permit improper conduct during the President's visit.68
Meanwhile, on November 17 the president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce referred to the city's reputation for being the friendliest town in America and asserted that citizens would "greet the President of the United States with the warmth and pride that keep the Dallas spirit famous the world over." 69 Two days later, a local Republican leader called for a "civilized nonpartisan" welcome for President Kennedy, stating that "in many respects Dallas County has isolated itself from the main stream of life in the world in this decade." 70
Another reaction to the impending visit -- hostile to the President --came to a head shortly before his arrival. On November 21 there appeared on the streets of Dallas the anonymous handbill mentioned above. It was fashioned after the "wanted" circulars issued by law enforcement agencies. Beneath two photographs of President Kennedy, one full- face and one profile, appeared the caption, "Wanted for Treason," followed by a scurrilous bill of particulars that constituted a vilification of the President.71 And on the morning of the President's arrival, there appeared in the Morning News a full , black-bordered advertisement headed "Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas," sponsored by the American Factfinding Committee, which the sponsor later testified was an ad hoc committee "formed strictly for the purpose of having a name to put in the paper." The "welcome" consisted of a series of statements and questions critical of the

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President and his administration. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1031, p. 294.)
Visits To Other Texas Cities
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The trip to Texas began with the departure of President and Mrs. Kennedy from the White House by helicopter at 10:45 a.m., e.s.t., on November 21, 1963, for Andrews AFB. They took off in the Presidential plane, Air Force One, at 11 a.m., arriving at San Antonio at 1:30 p.m., e.s.t. They were greeted by Vice President Johnson and Governor Connally, who joined the Presidential party in a motorcade through San Antonio.74 During the afternoon, President Kennedy dedicated the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB.75 Late in the afternoon he flew to Houston where he rode through the city in a motorcade, spoke at the Rice University Stadium, and attended a dinner in honor of U.S. Representative Albert Thomas.76
At Rice Stadium a very large, enthusiastic crowd greeted the President. In Houston, as elsewhere during the trip, the crowds showed much interest in Mrs. Kennedy. David F. Powers of the President's staff later stated that when the President asked for his assessment of the day's activities, Powers replied "that the crowd was about the same as the one which came to see him before but there were 100,000 extra people on hand who came to see Mrs. Kennedy." 78 Late in the evening, the Presidential party flew to Fort Worth where they spent the night at the Texas Hotel.
On the morning of November 22, President Kennedy attended a breakfast at the hotel and afterward addressed a crowd at an open parking lot.80 The President liked outdoor appearances because more people could see and hear him.81 Before leaving the hotel, the President, Mrs. Kennedy, and Kenneth O'Donnell talked about the risks inherent in Presidential public appearances. According to O'Donnell, the President commented that "if anybody really wanted to shoot the President of the United States, it was not a very difficult job--all one had to do was get a high building someday with a telescopic rifle, and there was nothing anybody could do to defend against such an attempt." Upon concluding the conversation, the President prepared to depart for Dallas.
Arrival At Love Field
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In Dallas the rain had stopped, and by midmorning a gloomy overcast sky had given way to the bright. sunshine that greeted the Presidential party when Air Force One touched down at Love Field at 11:40 a.m., e.s.t. Governor and Mrs. Connally and Senator Ralph W. Yarborough had come with the President from Fort Worth.85 Vice President Johnson's airplane, Air Force Two, had arrived at Love

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Field at approximately 11:35 a.m., and the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson were in the receiving line to greet President and Mrs. Kennedy.86
After a welcome from the Dallas reception committee, President and Mrs. Kennedy walked along a chain-link fence at the reception area greeting a large crowd of spectators that had gathered behind it.87 Secret Service agents formed a cordon to keep the press and photographers from impeding their passage and scanned the crowd for threatening movements.88 Dallas police stood at intervals along the fence and Dallas plain clothes men mixed in the crowd.89 Vice President and Mrs. Johnson followed along the fence, guarded by four members of the Vice-Presidential detail.90 Approximately 10 minutes after the arrival at Love Field, the President and Mrs. Kennedy went to the Presidential automobile to begin the motorcade.91
Organization of the Motorcade
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Secret Service arrangements for Presidential trips, which were followed in the Dallas motorcade, are designed to provide protection while permitting large numbers of people to see the President. Every effort is made to prevent unscheduled stops, although the President may, and in Dallas did, order stops in order to greet the public.93 Men the motorcade slows or stops, agents take positions between the President and the crowd.94 The order of vehicles in the Dallas motorcade was as follows:
Motorcycles.--Dallas police motorcycles preceded the pilot car.95'
The pilot car.--Manned by officers of the Dallas Police Department, this automobile preceded the main party by approximately quarter of a mile. Its function was to alert police along the route that the motorcade was approaching and to check for signs of trouble.96
Motorcycles.--Next came four to six motorcycle policemen whose main purpose was to keep the crowd back.
The lead car.--Described as a "rolling command car," this was an unmarked Dallas police car, driven by Chief of Police Curry and occupied by Secret Service Agents Sorrels and Lawson and by Dallas County Sheriff J. E. Decker. The occupants scanned the crowd and the buildings along the route. Their main function was to spot trouble in advance and to direct any necessary steps to meet the trouble. Following normal practice, the lead automobile stayed proximately four to five car lengths ahead of the President's limousine.98
The Presidential limousine.--The President's automobile was specially designed 1961 Lincoln convertible with two collapsible jump seats between the front and rear seats. (See Commission Exhibit No. 346, p. 44.) It was outfitted with a clear plastic bubbletop which was neither bulletproof nor bullet resistant.100 Because the skies had cleared in Dallas, Lawson directed that the top not be used for the day's activities. He acted on instructions he had received

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earlier from Assistant Special Agent in Charge Roy H. Kellerman, who was in Fort Worth with the President.101 Kellerman had discussed the matter with O'Donnell, whose instructions were, "If the weather is clear and it is not raining, have that bubbletop off." Elevated approximately 15 inches above the back of the front seat was a metallic frame with four handholds that riders in the car could grip while standing in the rear seat during parades.103 At the rear on each side of the automobile were small running boards, each designed to hold a Secret Service agent, with a metallic handle for the rider to grasp.104 The President had frequently stated that he did not want agents to ride on these steps during a motorcade except when necessary. He had repeated this wish only a few days before, during his visit to Tampa, Fla.105
President Kennedy rode on the right-hand side of the rear seat with Mrs. Kennedy on his left.106 Governor Connally occupied the right jump seat, Mrs. Connally the left.107 Driving the Presidential limousine was Special Agent William R. Greer of the Secret Service; on his right sat Kellerman.108 Kellerman's responsibilities included maintaining radio communications with the lead and followup cars, scanning the route, and getting out and standing near the President when the cars stopped.
Motorcycles.--Four motorcycles, two on each side, flanked the rear of the Presidential car. They provided some cover for the President, but their main purpose was to keep back the crowd.109 On previous occasions, the President had requested that, to the extent possible, these flanking motorcycles keep back from the sides of his car.110
Presidential followup car.--This vehicle, a 1955 Cadillac eight-passenger convertible especially outfitted for the Secret Service, followed closely behind the President's automobile.111 It carried eight Secret Service agents--two in the front seat, two in the rear, and two on each of the right and left running boards.112 Each agent carried a .38-caliber pistol, and a shotgun and automatic rifle were also available.113 Presidential Assistants David F. Powers and Kenneth O'Donnell sat in the right and left jump seats, respectively.114
The agents in this car, under established procedure, had instructions to watch the route for signs of trouble, scanning not only the crowds but the windows and roofs of buildings, overpasses, and crossings. They were instructed to watch particularly for thrown objects, sudden actions in the crowd, and any movements toward the Presidential car. The agents on the front of the running boards had directions to move immediately to positions just to the rear of the President and Mrs. Kennedy when the President's car slowed to a walking pace or stopped, or when the press of the crowd made it impossible for the escort motorcycles to stay in position on the car's rear flanks.' The two agents on the rear of the running boards were to advance toward the front of the President's car whenever it stopped or slowed down sufficiently for them to do so.118
Vice-Presidential car.--The Vice-Presidential automobile, a four-door Lincoln convertible obtained locally for use in the motor-

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cade, proceeded approximately two to three car lengths behind the President's followup car.119 This distance was maintained so that spectators would normally turn their gaze from the President's automobile by the time the Vice President came into view.120 Vice President Johnson sat on the right-hand side of the rear seat, Mrs. Johnson in the center, and Senator Yarborough on the left. 121 Rufus W. Youngblood, special agent in charge of the Vice President's detail, occupied the right-hand side of the front seat, and Hurchel Jacks of the Texas State Highway patrol was the driver.122
Vice-Presidential followup car.--Driven by an officer of the Dallas Police Department, this vehicle was occupied by three Secret Service agents and Clifton C. Garter, assistant to the Vice President.123 These agents performed for the Vice President the same functions that the agents in the Presidential followup car performed for the President.
Remainder of motorcade.--The remainder of the motorcade consisted of five cars for other dignitaries, including the mayor of Dallas and Texas Congressmen, telephone and Western Union vehicles, a White House communications car, three cars for press photographers, an official party bus for White House staff members and others, and two press buses. Admiral George G. Burkley, physician to the President, was in a car following those "containing the local and national representatives." 124
Police car and motorcycles. 125 --A Dallas police car and several motorcycles at the rear kept the motorcade together and prevented unauthorized vehicles from joining the motorcade.
Communications in the motorcade. 126 --A base station at a fixed location in Dallas operated a radio network which linked together the lead car, Presidential car, Presidential followup car, White House communications car, Trade Mart, Love Field, and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential airplanes. The Vice-Presidential car and Vice-Presidential followup car used portable sets with a separate frequency for their own car-to-car communication.
The Drive Through Dallas
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The motorcade left Love Field shortly after 11:50 a.m. and drove at speeds up to 25 to 30 miles an hour through thinly populated areas on the outskirts of Dallas.127 At the President's direction, his automobile stopped twice, the first time to permit him to respond to a sign asking him to shake hands.128 During this brief stop, agents in the front positions on the running boards of the Presidential followup car came forward and stood beside the President's car, looking out toward the crowd, and Special Agent Kellerman assumed his position next to the car.129 On the other occasion, the President halted the motorcade to speak to a Catholic nun and a group of small children.130
In the downtown area, large crowds of spectators gave the President a tremendous reception.131 The crowds were so dense

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Presidential limousine in Dallas motorcade.

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that Special Agent Clinton J. Hill had to leave the left front running board of the President's followup car four times to ride on the rear of the President's limousine.132 (See Commission Exhibit No. 698, p. 47.) Several times Special Agent John D. Ready came forward from the right front running board of the Presidential followup car to the right side of the President's car.133 Special Agent. Glen A. Bennett once left his place inside the followup car to help keep the crowd away from the President's car. When a teenage boy ran toward the rear of the President's ear,184 Ready left the running board to chase the boy back into the crowd. On several occasions when the Vice President's car was slowed down by the throng, Special Agent Youngblood stepped out to hold the crowd back.135
According to plan, the President's motorcade proceeded west through downtown Dallas on Main Street to the intersection of Houston Street, which marks the beginning of Dealey Plaza.136 From Main Street the motorcade turned right and went north on Houston Street, passing tall buildings on the right, and headed toward the Texas School Book Depository Building.137 The spectators were still thickly congregated in front of the buildings which lined the east side of Houston Street, but the crowd thinned abruptly along Elm Street, which curves in a southwesterly direction as it proceeds downgrade toward the Triple Underpass and the Stemmons Freeway.138
As the motorcade approached the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets, there was general gratification in the Presidential party about the enthusiastic reception. Evaluating the political overtones, Kenneth O'Donnell was especially pleased because it convinced him that the average Dallas resident was like other American citizens in respecting and admiring the President. 139 Mrs. Connally, elated by the reception, turned to President Kennedy and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you." The President replied, "That is very obvious."
The Assassination
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At 12:30 p.m., e.s.t., as the President's open limousine proceeded at approximately 11 miles per hour along Elm Street toward the Triple Underpass, shots fired from a rifle mortally wounded President Kennedy and seriously injured Governor Connally. One bullet passed through the President's neck; a subsequent bullet., which was lethal, shattered the right side of his skull. Governor Connally sustained bullet wounds in his back, the fight side of his chest, right wrist, and left thigh.

The Time

The exact time of the assassination was fixed by the testimony of four witnesses. Special Agent Rufus W. Youngblood observed that the large electric sign clock atop the Texas School Book Depository Building showed the numerals "12:30" as the Vice-Presidential automobile proceeded north on Houston Street, a few seconds before the

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shots were fired.141 Just prior to the shooting, David F. Powers, riding in the Secret Service followup car, remarked to Kenneth O'Donnell that it was 12:30 p.m., the time they were due at the Trade Mart.142 Seconds after the shooting, Roy Kellerman, riding in the front seat of the Presidential limousine, looked at his watch and said "12:30" to the driver, Special Agent Greer.143 The Dallas police radio log re-fleets that Chief of Police Curry reported the shooting of the President and issued his initial orders at 12:30 p.m.144

Speed of the Limousine

William Greet, operator of the Presidential limousine, estimated the car's speed at the time of the first shot as 12 to 15 miles per hour. 144 Other witnesses in the motorcade estimated the speed of the President's limousine from 7 to 22 miles per hour.146 A more precise determination has been made from motion pictures taken on the scene by an amateur photographer, Abraham Zapruder. Based on these films, the speed of the President's automobile is computed at an average speed of 11.2 miles per hour. The car maintained this average speed over a distance of approximately 186 feet immediately preceding the shot which struck the President in the head. While the car traveled this distance, the Zapruder camera ran 152 frames. Since the camera operates at a speed of 18.3 frames per second, it was calculated that the car required 8.3 seconds to cover the 136 feet. This represents a speed of 11.2 miles per hour.147

In the Presidential Limousine

Mrs. John F. Kennedy, on the left of the rear seat of the limousine, looked toward her left and waved to the crowds along the route. Soon after the motorcade turned onto Elm Street., she heard a sound similar to a motorcycle noise and a cry from Governor Connally, which caused her to look to her right. On turning she saw a quizzical look on her husband's face as he raised his left hand to his throat. Mrs. Kennedy then heard a second shot and saw the President's skull torn open under the impact of the bullet. As she cradled her mortally wounded husband, Mrs. Kennedy cried, "Oh, my God, they have shot my husband. I love you, Jack." 148
Governor Connally testified that he recognized the first noise as a rifle shot and the thought immediately crossed his mind that it was an assassination attempt. From his position in the right jump seat immediately in front of the President, he instinctively turned to his right because the shot appeared to come from over his right shoulder. Unable to see the President as he turned to the right, the Governor started to look back over his left shoulder, but he never completed the turn because he felt something strike him in the back.149 n his testimony before the Commission, Governor Connally was certain that he was hit by the second shot, which he stated he did not hear.150

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Mrs. Connally, too, heard a frightening noise from her right. Looking over her right shoulder, she saw that the President had both hands at his neck but she observed no blood and heard nothing. She watched as he slumped down with an empty expression on his face.151 Roy Kellerman, in the right front seat of the limousine, heard a report like a firecracker pop. Turning to his right in the direction of the noise, Kellerman heard the President say "My God, I am hit," and saw both of the President's hands move up toward his neck. As he told the driver, "Let's get out of here; we are hit," Kellerman grabbed
his microphone and radioed ahead to the lead car, "We are hit. Get us to the hospital immediately." 152
The driver, William Greer, heard a noise which he took to be a backfire from one of the motorcycles flanking the Presidential car. When he heard the same noise again, Greer glanced over his shoulder and saw Governor Connally fall. At the-sound of the second shot he realized that something was wrong, and he pressed down on the accelerator as Kellerman said, "Get out of here fast." 153 As he issued his instructions to Greet and to the lead car, Kellerman heard a "flurry of shots" Within 5 seconds of the first noise. According to Kellerman, Mrs. Kennedy then cried out: "What are they doing to you!" Looking back from the front seat, Kellerman saw Governor Connally in his wife's lap and Special Agent Clinton J. Hill lying across the trunk of the car.154
Mrs. Connally heard a second shot fired and pulled her husband down into her lap. 155 Observing his blood- covered chest as he was pulled into his wife's lap, Governor Connally believed himself mortally wounded. He cried out, "Oh, no, no, no. My God, they are going to kill us all." 156 At first Mrs. Connally thought that her husband had been killed, but then she noticed an almost imperceptible movement and knew that he was still alive. She said, "It's all right. Be still." 157 The Governor was lying with his head on his wife's lap when he heard a shot hit the President.158 At that point, both Governor and Mrs. Connally observed brain tissue splattered over the interior of the car.159 According to Governor and Mrs. Connally, it was after this shot that Kellerman issued his emergency instructions and the car accelerated. 160

Reaction by Secret Service Agents

From the left front running board of the President's followup car, Special Agent Hill was scanning the few people standing on the south side of Elm Street after the motorcade had turned off Houston Street. He estimated that the motorcade had slowed down to approximately 9 or 10 miles per hour on the turn at the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets and then proceeded at a rate of 12 to 15 miles per hour with the followup car trailing the President's automobile by approximately 5 feet. 161 Hill heard a noise, which seemed to be a firecracker, coming from his right rear. He immediately looked to his right, "and, in so doing, my eyes had to cross the Presidential limousine and I saw President Kennedy grab at himself and lurch forward and to the

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left." 162 Hill jumped from the followup car and ran to the President's automobile. At about the time he reached the President's automobile, Hill heard a second shot, approximately 5 seconds after the first, which removed a portion of the President's head.163
At the instant that Hill stepped onto the left rear step of the President's automobile and grasped the handhold, the car lurched forward, causing him to lose his footing. He ran three or four steps, regained his position and mounted the car. Between the time he originally seized the handhold and the time he mounted the car, Hill recalled:

Mrs. Kennedy had jumped up from the seat and was, it appeared to me, reaching for something coming off the fight rear bumper of the car, the right rear tail, when she noticed that I was trying to climb on the car. She turned toward me and I grabbed her and put her back in the back seat, crawled up on top of the back seat and lay there.

David Powers, who witnessed the scene from the President's followup car, stated that Mrs. Kennedy would probably have fallen off the rear end of the car and been killed if Hill had not pushed her back into the Presidential automobile.165 Mrs. Kennedy had no recollection of climbing onto the back of the car.166
Special Agent Ready, on the right front running board of the Presidential followup car, heard noises that sounded like firecrackers and ran toward the President's limousine. But he was immediately called back by Special Agent Emory P. Roberts, in charge of the followup car, who did not believe that he could reach, the President's car at the speed it was then traveling.167 Special Agent George W. Hickey, Jr., in the rear seat of the Presidential followup car, picked up and cocked an automatic rifle as he heard the last shot. At this point. the cars were speeding through the underpass and had left the scene of the shooting, but Hickey kept the automatic weapon ready as the car raced to the hospital.168 Most of the other Secret Service agents in the motorcade had drawn their sidearms.169 Roberts noticed that the Vice President's car was approximately one-half block behind the Presidential followup car at the time of the shooting and signaled for it to move in closer.170
Directing the security detail for the Vice President from the right front seat of the Vice-Presidential car, Special Agent Youngblood recalled:

As we were beginning to go down this incline, all of a sudden there was an explosive noise. I quickly observed unnatural movement of crowds, like ducking or scattering, and quick movements in the Presidential followup car. So I turned around and hit the Vice President on the shoulder and hollered, get. down, and then looked around again and saw more of this movement, and so I proceeded to go to the back seat and get on top of him. 171

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Youngblood was not positive that he was in the rear seat before the second shot, but thought it probable because of President Johnson's statement to that effect immediately after the assassination.172 President Johnson emphasized Youngblood's instantaneous reaction after the first shot:

I was startled by the sharp report or explosion, but I had no time to speculate as to its origin
because Agent Youngblood turned in a flash, immediately after the first explosion, hitting me on the
shoulder, and shouted to all of us in the back seat to get down. I was pushed down by Agent
Youngblood. Almost in the same moment in which he hit or pushed me, he vaulted over the back seat
and sat on me. I was bent over under the weight of Agent Youngblood's body, toward Mrs. Johnson
and Senator Yarborough.178

Clifton C. Carter, riding in the Vice President's followup car a short distance behind, reported that Youngblood was in the rear seat using his body to shield the Vice President before the second and third shots were fired.174
Other Secret Service agents assigned to the motorcade remained at their posts during the race to the hospital. None stayed at the scene of the shooting, and none entered the Texas School Book Depository Building at or immediately after the shooting. Secret Service procedure requires that each agent stay with the person being protected and not be diverted unless it is necessary to accomplish the protective assignment.175 Forrest V. Sorrels, special agent in charge of the Dallas office, was the first Secret Service agent to return to the scene of the assassination, approximately 20 or 25 minutes after the shots were fired.176
Parkland Memorial Hospital
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The Race to the Hospital

In the final instant of the assassination, the Presidential motorcade began a race to Parkland Memorial Hospital, approximately 4 miles from the Texas School Book Depository Building.177 On receipt of the radio message from Kellerman to the lead car that the President had been hit, Chief of Police Curry and police motorcyclists at the head of the motorcade led the way to the hospital.178 Meanwhile, Chief Curry ordered the police base station to notify Parkland Hospital that the wounded President was en route.170 The radio log of the Dallas Police Department shows that at 12:30 p.m. on November 22 Chief Curry radioed, "Go to the hospital--Parkland Hospital. Have them stand by." A moment later Curry added, "Looks like the President has been hit. Have Parkland stand by." The base station replied, "They have been notified." 180 Traveling at speeds estimated at times to be up to 70 or 80 miles per hour down the Stemmons Freeway and Harry Hines

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Boulevard, the Presidential limousine arrived at the emergency entrance of the Parkland Hospital at about 12:35 p.m.181 Arriving almost simultaneously were the President's followup car, the Vice President's automobile, and the Vice President's followup car. Admiral Burkley, the President's physician, arrived at the hospital "between 3 and 5 minutes following the arrival of the President," since the riders in his car "were not exactly aware what had happened" and the car went on to the Trade Mart first.182
When Parkland Hospital received the notification, the staff in the emergency area was alerted and trauma rooms 1 and 2 were prepared.183 These rooms were for the emergency treatment of acutely ill or injured patients.184 Although the first message mentioned an injury only to President Kennedy, two rooms were prepared.185 As the President's limousine sped toward the hospital, 12 doctors to the emergency area: surgeons, Drs. Malcolm O. Perry, Charles R. Baxter, Robert N. McClelland, Ronald C. Jones; the chief neurologist, Dr. William Kemp Clark; 4 anesthesiologists, Drs. Marion T. Jenkins, Adolph H. Giesecke, Jr., Jackie H. Hunt, Gene C. Akin; urological surgeon, Dr Paul C. Peters; an oral surgeon, Dr. Don T. Curtis; and a heart. specialist, Dr. Fouad A. Bashour.186
Upon arriving at Parkland Hospital, Lawson jumped from the lead car and rushed into the emergency entrance, where he was met by hospital staff members wheeling stretchers out to the automobile. 187 Special Agent Hill removed his suit jacket and covered the President's head and upper chest to prevent the taking of photographs.188 Governor Connally, who had lost consciousness on the ride to the hospital, regained consciousness when the limousine stopped abruptly at the emergency entrance. Despite his serious wounds, Governor Con-natty tried to get out of the way so that medical help could reach the President. Although he was reclining in his wife's arms, he lurched forward in an effort to stand upright and get out of the car, but he collapsed again. Then he experienced his first sensation of pain, which became excruciating.189 The Governor was lifted onto a stretcher and taken into trauma room 2. 190 For a moment, Mrs. Kennedy refused to release the President, whom she held in her lap, but then Kellerman, Greer, and Lawson lifted the President onto a stretcher and pushed it into trauma room 1. 191

Treatment of President Kennedy

The first physician to see the President at Parkland Hospital was Dr. Charles J. Carrico, a resident in general surgery.192 Dr. Carrico was in the emergency area, examining another patient, when he was notified that President Kennedy was en route to the hospital. 193 Approximately 2 minutes later, Dr. Carrico saw the President on his back, being wheeled into the emergency area.194 He noted that the President was blue-white or ashen in color; had slow, spasmodic, agonal respiration without any coordination; made no voluntary movements; had his eyes open with the pupils dilated without any reaction

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to light; evidenced no palpable pulse; and had a few chest sounds which were thought to be heart beats.195 On the basis of these findings, Dr. Carrico concluded that President Kennedy was still alive.196
Dr. Carrico noted two wounds: a small bullet wound in the front lower neck, and an extensive wound in the President's head where a sizable portion of the skull was missing.197 He observed shredded brain tissue and "considerable slow oozing" from the latter wound, followed by "more profuse bleeding" after some circulation was established.198 Dr. Carrico felt the President's back and determined that there was no large wound there which would be an immediate threat to life.199 Observing the serious problems presented by the head wound and inadequate respiration, Dr. Carrico directed his attention to improving the President's breathing.200 He noted contusions, hematoma to the right of the larynx, which was deviated slightly to the left, and also ragged tissue which indicated a tracheal injury.201 Dr. Carrico inserted a cuffed endotracheal tube past the injury, inflated the cuff, and connected it to a Bennett machine to assist in respiration.202
At that point, direction of the President's treatment was undertaken by Dr. Malcolm O. Perry, who arrived at trauma room 1 a few moments after the President.203 Dr. Perry noted the President's back brace as he felt for a femoral pulse, which he did not find.0204 Observing that an effective airway had to be established if treatment was to be effective, Dr. Perry performed a tracheotomy, which required 3 to 5 minutes.205 While Dr. Perry was performing the tracheotomy, Drs. Carrico and Ronald Jones made cutdowns on the President's right leg and left arm, respectively, to infuse blood and fluids into the circulatory system.206 Dr. Carrico treated the President's known ad-renal insufficiency by administering hydrocortisone.207 Dr. Robert N. McClelland entered at that point and assisted Dr. Perry with the tracheotomy.208
Dr. Fouad Bashour, chief of cardiology, Dr. M. T. Jenkins, chief of anesthesiology, and Dr. A. H. Giesecke, Jr., then joined in the effort to revive the President.0209 When Dr. Perry noted free air and blood in the President's chest cavity, he asked that chest tubes be inserted to allow for drainage of blood and air. Drs. Paul C. Peters and Charles R. Baxter initiated these procedures.210 As a result of the infusion of liquids through the cutdowns, the cardiac massage, and the airway, the doctors were able to maintain peripheral circulation as monitored at the neck (carotid) artery and at the wrist (radial) pulse. A femoral pulse was also detected in the President's leg.211 While these medical efforts were in progress, Dr. Clark noted some electrical activity on the cardiotachyscope attached to monitor the President's heart responses.212 Dr. Clark, who most closely observed the head wound, described a large, gaping wound in the right rear part of the head, with substantial damage and exposure of brain tissue, and a considerable loss of blood.213 Dr. Clark did not see any other hole or wound on the President's head. According to Dr. Clark,

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the small bullet hole on the right rear. of the President's head discovered during the subsequent autopsy "could have easily been hidden in the blood and hair"
In the absence of any neurological, muscular, or heart response, the doctors concluded that efforts to revive the President were hopeless.215 This was verified by Admiral Burkley, the President's physician, who arrived at the hospital after emergency treatment was under-way and concluded that "my direct services to him at that moment would have interfered with the action of the team which was in progress." 216 At approximately 1 p.m., after last rites were administered to the President by Father Oscar L. Huber, Dr. Clark pronounced the President dead. He made the official determination because the ultimate cause of death, the severe head injury, was within his sphere of specialization.217 The time was fixed at 1 p.m., as an approximation, since it was impossible to determine the precise moment when life left the President.218 President Kennedy could have survived the neck injury, but the head wound was fatal.219 From a medical viewpoint, President Kennedy was alive when he arrived at Parkland Hospital; the doctors observed that he had a heart beat and was making some respiratory efforts.220 But his condition was hopeless, and the extraordinary efforts of the doctors to save him could not help but to have been unavailing.
Since the Dallas doctors directed all their efforts to controlling the massive bleeding caused by the head wound, and to reconstructing an airway to his lungs, the President remained on his back throughout his medical treatment at Parkland.221 When asked why he did not turn the President over, Dr. Carrico testified as follows:

A. This man was in obvious extreme distress and any more thorough inspection would have involved several minutes--well, several--considerable time which at this juncture was not available. A thorough inspection would have involved washing and cleansing the back, and this is not practical in treating an acutely injured patient. You have to determine which things, which are immediately life threatening and cope with them, before attempting to evaluate the full extent of the injuries.
Q. Did you ever have occasion to look at the President's back A. No, sir. Before--well, in trying to treat an acutely injured patient, you have to establish an airway, adequate ventilation and you have to establish adequate circulation. Before this was accomplished the President's cardiac activity had ceased and closed cardiac massage was instituted, which made it impossible to inspect his back.
Q. Was any effort made to inspect the President's back after
he had expired
A. No, sir.
Q. And why was no effort made at that time to inspect his back
A. I suppose nobody really had the heart to do it. 222

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Moreover, the Parkland doctors took no further action after the President had expired because they concluded that. it was beyond the scope of their permissible duties.223

Treatment of Governor Connally

While one medical team tried to revive President Kennedy, a second performed a series of operations on the bullet wounds sustained by Governor Connally. 224 Governor Connally was originally seen by Dr. Carrico and Dr. Richard Dulany.225 While Dr. Carrico went on to attend the President, Dr. Dulany stayed with the Governor and was soon joined by several other doctors.226 At approximately 12: 45 p.m., Dr. Robert Shaw, chief of thoracic surgery, arrived at trauma room 2, to take charge of the care of Governor Connally, whose major wound fell within Dr. Shaw's area 'of specialization.227
Governor Connally had a large sucking wound in the front of the right chest which caused extreme pain and difficulty in breathing. Rubber tubes were inserted between the second and third ribs to reexpand the right lung, which had collapsed because of the opening in the chest wall. 228 At 1: 35 p.m., after Governor Connally had been moved to the operating room, Dr. Shaw started the first operation by cutting away the edges of the wound on the front of the Governor's chest and suturing the damaged lung and lacerated muscles.229 The elliptical wound in the Governor's back, located slightly to the left of the Governor's right armpit approximately five-eighths inch (a centimeter and a half) in its greatest diameter, was treated by cutting away the damaged skin and suturing the back muscle and skin.230 This operation was concluded at 3: 20 p.m.231
Two additional operations were performed on Governor Connally for wounds which he had not realized he had sustained until he regained consciousness the following day.232 From approximately 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. on November 22, Dr. Charles F. Gregory, chief of orthopedic surgery, operated on the wounds of Governor Connally's right
wrist, assisted by Drs. William Osborne and John Parker.233 The wound on the back of the wrist was left partially open for draining, and the wound on the palm side was enlarged, cleansed, and closed. The fracture was set., and a east was applied with some traction utilized.234 While the second operation was in progress, Dr. George T. Shires, assisted by Drs. Robert McClelland, Charles Baxter, and Ralph Don Patman, treated the gunshot wound in the left thigh.235 This punctuate missile wound, about two-fifths inch in diameter (1 centimeter) and located approximately 5 inches above the left knee, was cleansed and closed with sutures; but a small metallic fragment remained in the Governor's leg.236

Vice President Johnson at Parkland

As President Kennedy and Governor Connally were being removed from the limousine onto stretchers, a protective circle of Secret Service agents surrounded Vice President and Mrs. Johnson and escorted

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them into Parkland Hospital through the emergency entrance.237 The agents moved a nurse and patient out of a nearby room, lowered the shades, and took emergency security measures to protect the Vice President.238 Two men from the President's followup car were detailed to help protect the Vice President. An agent was stationed at the entrance to stop anyone who was not a member of the Presidential party. U.S. Representatives Henry B. Gonzalez, Jack Brooks, Homer Thornberry, and Albert Thomas joined Clifton C. Carter and the group of special agents protecting the Vice President.239 On one occasion Mrs. Johnson, accompanied by two Secret Service agents, left the room to see Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally.240
Concern that the Vice President might also be a target for assassination prompted the Secret Service agents to urge him to leave the hospital and return to Washington immediately.241 The Vice President decided to wait until he received definitive word of the President's condition.242 At approximately 1:20 p.m., Vice President Johnson was notified by O'Donnell that President Kennedy was dead.243 Special Agent Youngblood learned from Mrs. Johnson the location of her two daughters and made arrangements through Secret Service headquarters in Washington to provide them with protection immediately.244
When consulted by the Vice President, O'Donnell advised him to go to the airfield immediately and return to Washington.245 It was decided that the Vice President should return on the Presidential plane rather than on the Vice- Presidential plane because it had better communication equipment.246 The Vice President conferred with White House Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff and decided that there would be no release of the news of the President's death until the Vice President had left the hospital.247 When told that Mrs. Kennedy refused to leave without the President's body, the Vice President said that he would not leave Dallas without her.248 On the recommendation of the Secret Service agents, Vice President Johnson decided to board the Presidential airplane, Air Force One, and wait for Mrs. Kennedy and the President's body.249

Secret Service Emergency Security Arrangements

Immediately after President Kennedy's stretcher was wheeled into trauma room 1, Secret Service agents took positions at the door of the small emergency room. A nurse was asked to identify hospital personnel and to tell everyone, except necessary medical staff members, to leave the emergency room. Other Secret Service agents posted themselves in the corridors and other areas near the emergency room. Special Agent Lawson made certain that the Dallas police kept the public and press away from the immediate area of the hospital.250 Agents Kellerman and Hill telephoned the head of the White House detail, Gerald A. Behn, to advise him of the assassination. The telephone line to Washington was kept open throughout the remainder of the stay at the hospital.251

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Secret Service agents stationed at later stops on the President's itinerary of November 22 were redeployed. Men at the Trade Mart were driven to Parkland Hospital in Dallas police cars.252 The Secret Service group awaiting the President in Austin were instructed to return to Washington.253 Meanwhile, the Secret Service agents in charge of security at Love Field started to make arrangements for departure. As soon as one of the agents learned of the shooting, he asked the officer in charge of the police detail at the airport to institute strict security measures for the Presidential aircraft, the airport terminal, and the surrounding area. The police were cautioned to prevent picture taking. Secret Service agents working with police cleared the areas adjacent to the aircraft, including warehouses, other terminal buildings and the neighboring parking lots, of all people.254 The agents decided not to shift the Presidential aircraft to the far side of the airport because the original landing area was secure and a move would require new measures.255
When security arrangements at the airport were complete, the Secret Service made the necessary arrangements for the Vice President to leave the hospital. Unmarked police cars took the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson from Parkland Hospital to Love Field. Chief Curry drove one automobile occupied by Vice President Johnson, U.S. Representatives Thomas and Thornberry, and Special Agent Youngblood. In another car Mrs. Johnson was driven to the airport ac companied by Secret Service agents and Representative Brooks. Motorcade policemen who escorted the automobiles were requested by the Vice President and Agent Youngblood not to use sirens. During the drive Vice President Johnson, at Youngblood's instruction, kept below window level.256

Removal of the President's Body

While the team of doctors at Parkland Hospital tried desperately to save the life of President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy alternated between watching them and waiting outside.257 After the President was pronounced dead, O'Donnell tried to persuade Mrs. Kennedy to leave the area, but she refused. She said that she intended to stay with her husband.258 A casket was obtained and the President's body was prepared for removal.259 Before the body could be taken from the hospital, two Dallas officials informed members of the President's start that the body could not be removed from the city until an autopsy was performed. Despite the protests of these officials, the casket was wheeled out of the hospital, placed in an ambulance, and transported to the airport shortly after 2 p.m.260 At approximately 2:15 p.m. the casket was loaded, with some difficulty because of the narrow airplane door, onto the rear of the Presidential plane where seats had been removed to make room.261 Concerned that the local officials might try to prevent the plane's departure, O'Donnell asked that the pilot take off immediately. He was informed that takeoff would be delayed until Vice President Johnson was sworn in.262

The End of the Trip
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Swearing in of the New President

From the Presidential airplane, the Vice President telephoned Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who advised that Mr. Johnson take the Presidential oath of office before the plane left Dallas.263 Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes hastened to the plane to administer the oath.264 Members of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential parties filled the central compartment of the plane to witness the swearing in. At 2:38 p.m., e.s.t.., Lyndon Baines Johnson took the oath of office as the 36th President of the United States.265 Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Johnson stood at the side of the new President as he took the oath of office.266 Nine minutes later, the Presidential airplane departed for Washington, D.C.267

Return to Washington, D.C.

On the return flight, Mrs. Kennedy sat with David Powers, Kenneth O'Donnell, and Lawrence O'Brien.268 At 5:58 p.m., e.s.t., Air Force One landed at Andrews AFB, where President Kennedy had begun his last trip only 31 hours before.269 Detailed security arrangements had been made by radio from the President's plane on tile return flight.270 The public had been excluded from the base, and only Government officials and the press were permitted near the landing area. Upon arrival, President Johnson made a brief statement over television and radio. President and Mrs. Johnson were flown by helicopter to the White House, from where Mrs. Johnson was driven to her residence under Secret Service escort. The President then walked to the Executive Office Building, where he worked until 9 p.m.271

The Autopsy

Given a choice between the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and the Army's Walter Reed Hospital, Mrs. Kennedy chose the hospital in Bethesda for the autopsy because the President had served in the Navy.272 Mrs. Kennedy and the Attorney General, with three Secret Service agents, accompanied President Kennedy's body on the 45-minute automobile trip from Andrews AFB to the Hospital.273 On the 17th floor of the Hospital, Mrs. Kennedy and the Attorney General joined other members of the Kennedy family to await the conclusion of the autopsy.274 Mrs. Kennedy was guarded by Secret Service agents in quarters assigned to her in the naval hospital.275 The Secret Service established a communication system with the White House and screened all telephone calls and visitors.276
The hospital received the President's body for autopsy at approximately 7:85 p.m.277 X-rays and photographs were taken preliminarily and the pathological examination began at about 8 p.m.278 The autopsy report noted that President Kennedy was 46 years of

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age, 72½ inches tall, weighed 170 pounds, had blue eyes and reddish-brown hair. The body was muscular and well developed with no gross skeletal abnormalities except for those caused by the gunshot wounds. Under "Pathological Diagnosis" the cause of death was set forth as "Gunshot wound, head." 279 ( See app. IX. )
The autopsy examination revealed two wounds in the President's head. One wound, approximately one-fourth of an inch by five-eighths of an inch (6 by 15 millimeters), was located about an inch (2.5 centimeters) to the right and slightly above the large bony protrusion (external occipital protuberance) which juts out at the center of the lower part of the back of the skull. The second head wound measured approximately 5 inches (13 centimeters) in its greatest diameter, but it was difficult to measure accurately because multiple crisscross fractures radiated from the large defect.280 During the autopsy examination, Federal agents brought the surgeons three pieces of bone recovered from Elm Street and the Presidential automobile. When put together, these fragments accounted for approximately three-quarters of the missing portion of the skull.281 The surgeons observed, through X-ray analysis, 30 or 40 tiny dustlike fragments of metal running in a line from the wound in the rear of the President's head toward the front part of the skull, with a sizable metal fragment lying just above the right eye.282 From this head wound two small irregularly shaped fragments of metal were recovered and turned over to the FBI.283
The autopsy also disclosed a wound near the base of the back of President Kennedy's neck slightly to the right of his spine. The doctors traced the course of the bullet through the body and, as information was received from Parkland Hospital, concluded that the bullet had emerged from the front portion of the President's neck that had been cut away by the tracheotomy at Parkland. 284 The nature and characteristics of this neck wound and the two head wounds are discussed fully in the next chapter.
After the autopsy was concluded at approximately 11 p.m., the President's body was prepared for burial. This was finished at approximately 4 a.m.285 Shortly thereafter, the President's wife, family and aides left Bethesda Naval Hospital.286 The President's body was taken to the East Room of the White House where it was placed under ceremonial military guard.

Chapter III The Shots From the Texas School Book Depository
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The Shots From the Texas School
Book Depository

IN THIS chapter the Commission analyzes the evidence and sets forth its conclusions concerning the source, effect, number and timing of the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally. In that connection the Commission has evaluated (1) the testimony of eyewitnesses present at the scene of the assassination; (2) the damage to the Presidential limousine; (3) the examination by qualified experts of the rifle and cartridge cases found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository and the bullet fragments found in the Presidential limousine and at Parkland Hospital; (4) the wounds suffered by President. Kennedy and Governor Connally; (5) wound ballistics tests; (6) the examination by qualified experts of the clothing worn by President Kennedy and Governor Connally; and (7) motion- picture films and still photographs taken at the time of the assassination.
The Witnesses
Page 61

As reflected in the previous chapter, passengers in the first few cars of the motorcade had the impression that the shots came from the rear and from the right, the general direction of the Texas School Book Depository Building, although none of these passengers saw anyone fire the shots. Some spectators at Houston and Elm Streets, however, did see a rifle being fired in the direction of the President's car from the easternmost window of the sixth floor on the south side of the building. Other witnesses saw a rifle in this window immediately after the assassination. Three employees of the Depository, observing the parade from the fifth floor, heard the shots fired from the floor immediately above them. No credible evidence suggests that the shots were fired from the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass, the nearby railroad yards or any place other than the Texas School Book Depository Building.

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Page 63

Near the Depository

Eyewitnesses testified that they saw a man fire a weapon from the sixth-floor window. Howard L. Brennan, a 45- year-old steamfitter, watched the motorcade from a concrete retaining wall at the southwest corner of Elm and Houston, where he had a clear view of the south side of the Depository Building.1 (See Commission Exhibit No. 477, p. 62.) He was approximately 107 feet from the Depository entrance and 120 feet from the southeast corner window of the sixth floor.2 Brennan's presence and vantage point are corroborated by a motion picture of the motorcade taken by amateur photographer Abraham Zapruder, which shows Brennan, wearing gray khaki work clothes and a gray work helmet, seated on the retaining wall. 3 Brennan later identified himself in the Zapruder movie.4 While waiting about 7 minutes for the President to arrive, he observed the crowd on the street and the people at the windows of the Depository Building.5 He noticed a man at the southeast corner window of the sixth floor, and observed him leave the window "a couple of times." 6
Brennan watched the President's car as it turned the corner at Houston and Elm and moved down the incline toward the Triple Underpass. Soon after the President's car passed, he heard an explosion like the backfire of a motorcycle. 7 Brennan recalled:

Well, then something, just right after this explosion, made me think that it was a firecracker being thrown from the Texas Book Store. And I glanced up. And this man that I saw previous was aiming for his last shot.

* * * * * *

Well, as it appeared to me he was standing up. and resting against the left window sill, with gun shouldered to his right shoulder, holding the gun with his left hand and taking positive aim and fired his last shot. As I calculate a couple of seconds. He drew the gun back from the window as though he was drawing it back to his side and maybe paused for another second as though to assure himself that he hit his mark, and then he disappeared.8

Brennan stated that he saw 70 to 85 percent of the gun when it was fired and the body of the man from the waist up." The rifle was aimed southwesterly down Elm Street toward the underpass.10 Brennan saw the man fire one shot and he remembered hearing a total of only two shots. When questioned about the number of shots, Brennan testified:

I don't know what made me think that there was firecrackers throwed out of the Book Store unless I did hear the second shot, ,because I positively thought the first shot was a backfire, and subconsciously I must have heard a second shot, .but I do not recall it. I could not swear to it. 11

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Brennan quickly reported his observations to police officers.12 Brennan's description of the man he saw is discussed in the next chapter.
Amos Lee Euins, a 15-year-old ninth grade student, stated that he was facing the Depository as the motorcade turned the corner at Elm and Houston. He recalled:

Then I was standing here, and as the motorcade turned the corner, I was facing, looking dead at the building. And so I seen this pipe thing sticking out the window. I wasn't paying too much attention to it. Then when the first shot was fired, I started looking around, thinking it was a backfire. Everybody else started looking around. Then I looked up at the window, and he shot again.13

After witnessing the first shots, Euins hid behind a fountain bench and saw the man shoot again from the window in the southeast corner of the Depository's sixth floor.14 According to Euins, the man had one hand on the barrel and the other on the trigger. Euins believed that there were four shots.15 Immediately after the assassination, he reported his observations to Sgt. D. V. Harkness of the Dallas Police Department and also to James Underwood of station KRLD-TV of Dallas.16 Sergeant Harkness testified that Euins told him that the shots came from the last window of the floor "under the ledge" on the side of the building they were facing.17 Based on Euins' statements, Harkness radioed to headquarters at 12:36 p.m. that "I have a witness that says that it came from the fifth floor of the Texas Book Depository Store." 18 Euins accurately described the sixth floor as the floor "under the ledge." Harkness testified that the error in the radio message was due to his own "hasty count of the floors." 19
Other witnesses saw a rifle in the window after the shots were fired. Robert H. Jackson, staff photographer, Dallas Times Herald, was in a press car in the Presidential motorcade, eight or nine cars from the front. On Houston Street about halfway between Main and Elm, Jackson heard the first shot.20 As someone in the car commented that it sounded like a firecracker, Jackson heard two more shots.21 He

Then we realized or we thought that it was gunfire, and then we could not at that point see the President's car. We were still moving slowly, and after the third shot the second two shots seemed much closer together than the first shot, than they were to the first shot. Then after the last shot, I guess all of us were just looking all around and I just looked straight up ahead of me which would have been looking at the School Book Depository and I noticed two Negro men in a window straining to see directly above them, and my eyes followed right on up to the window above them and I saw the rifle or what looked like a rifle approximately half of the weapon, I guess I saw, and just as I looked

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at it, it was drawn fairly slowly back into the building, and I saw no one in the window with it. I didn't even see a form in the window.22

In the car with Jackson were James Underwood, television station KRLD-TV; Thomas Dillard, chief photographer, Dallas Morning News; Malcolm O. Couch and James Darnell, television newsreel cameramen. Dillard, Underwood, and the driver were in the. front seat, Couch and Darnell were sitting on top of the back seat of the convertible with Jackson. Dillard, Couch, and Underwood confirmed that Jackson spontaneously exclaimed that he saw a rifle in the window.23 According to Dillard, at the time the shots were fired he and his fellow passengers "had an absolutely perfect view of the School Depository from our position in the open ear." 24 Dillard immediately took two pictures of the building: one of the east two-thirds of the south side and the other of the southeast corner, particularly the fifth- and sixth-floor windows.25 These pictures show three Negro men in windows on the fifth floor and the partially open window on the sixth floor directly above them. (See Dillard Exhibits C and D, pp. 66-67.) 'Couch also saw the rifle in the window, and testified :'

And after the third shot, Bob Jackson, who was, as I recall, on my fight, yelled something like, "Look up in the window! There's the rifle!" And I remember glancing up to a window on the far right, which at the time impressed me as the sixth or seventh floor, and seeing about a foot of a rifle being--the barrel brought into the window.26

Couch testified he saw people standing in other windows on the third or fourth floor in the middle of the south side, one of them being a Negro in a white T-shirt leaning out to. look up at the windows above him.27
Mayor and Mrs. Earle Cabell rode in the motorcade immediately behind the Vice-Presidential followup car.28 Mrs. Cabell was seated in the back seat behind the driver and was facing U.S. Representative Ray Roberts on her right as the ear made the turn at Elm and Houston. In this position Mrs. Cabell "was actually facing" the seven-story Depository when the first shot rang out.29 She "jerked" her head up immediately and saw a "projection" in the first group of windows on a floor which she described both as the sixth floor and the top floor.30 According to Mrs. Cabell, the object was "rather long looking," but she was unable to determine whether it was a mechanical object or a person's arm.31 She turned away from the window to tell her husband that the noise was a shot, and "just as I got the words out * * * the second two shots rang out." 32 Mrs. Cabell did not look at the sixth-floor window when the second and third shots were fired.33

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Enlargement of photograph taken by Thomas C. Dillard on November 22, 1963

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Photograph taken by Thomas C. Dillard on November 22, 1963

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James N. Crawford and Mary Ann Mitchell, two deputy district clerks for Dallas County, watched the motorcade at the southeast corner of Elm and Houston. After the President's car turned the corner, Crawford heard a loud report which he thought was backfire coming from the direction of the Triple Underpass.34 He heard a second shot seconds later, followed quickly by a third. At the third shot, he looked up and saw a "movement" in the far east corner of the sixth floor of the Depository, the only open window on that floor.35 He told Miss Mitchell "that if those were shots they came from that window." When asked to describe the movement more exactly, he said,

* * * I would say that it was a profile, somewhat from the waist up, but it was a very quick movement. and rather indistinct and it was very light colored. * * *

* * * * * * *

When I saw it, I automatically in my mind came to the conclusion that it was a person having moved out of the window. * * * 36

He could not state whether the person was a man or a woman.37 Miss Mitchell confirmed that after the third shot Crawford told her, "Those shots came from that building." 38 She saw Crawford pointing at a window but was not sure at which window he was pointing.39

On the Fifth Floor

Three Depository employees shown in the picture taken by Dillard were on the fifth floor of the building when the shots were fired: James Jarman, Jr., age 34, a wrapper in the shipping department; Bonnie Ray Williams, age 20, a warehouseman temporarily assigned to laying a plywood floor on the sixth floor; and Harold Norman, age 26, an "order filler." Norman and Jarman decided to watch the parade during the lunch hour from the fifth-floor windows.40 From the ground floor they took the west elevator, which operates with pushbutton controls, to the fifth floor.41 Meanwhile, Williams had gone up to the sixth floor where he had been .working and ate his lunch on the south side of that floor. Since he saw no one around when he finished his lunch, he started down on the east elevator, looking for company. He left behind his paper lunch sack, chicken bones and an empty pop bottle.42 Williams went down to the fifth floor, where he joined Norman and Jarman at approximately 12:20 p.m.43
Harold Norman was in the fifth-floor window in the southeast corner, directly under the window where witnesses saw the rifle. (See Commission Exhibit No. 485, p. 69.) He could see light through the ceiling cracks between the fifth and sixth floors.44 As the motorcade went by, Norman thought that the President was saluting with his right arm,

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Positions occupied by Depository employees on fifth floor on November 22, 1963.

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* * * and I can't remember what the exact time was but I know I heard a shot, and then after I heard the shot, well, it seems as though the President, you know, slumped or something, and then another shot and I believe Jarman or someone told me, he said, "I believe someone is shooting at the President," and I think I made a statement "It is someone shooting at the President, and I believe it came from up above us."
Well, I couldn't see at all during the time but I know I heard a third shot fired, and I could also hear something sounded like the shell hulls hitting the floor and the ejecting of the rifle * * * 45

Williams said that he "really did not pay any attention" to the first shot---

* * * because I did not know what was happening. The second shot, it sounded like it was right in the building, the second and third shot. And it sounded--it even shook the building, the side we were on. Cement fell on my head.
Q. You say cement fell on your head ?
A. Cement, gravel, dirt, or something, from the old building, because it shook the windows and everything. Harold was sitting next to me, and he said it came right from over our head.46

Williams testified Norman said "I can even hear the shell being ejected from the gun hitting the floor." 47
When Jarman heard the first sound, he thought that it was either a backfire--

* * * or an officer giving a salute to the President. And then at that time I didn't, you know, think too much about it. * * *

* * * * * * *

Well, after the third shot was fired, I think I got up and I run over to Harold Norman and Bonnie Ray Williams, and told them, I said, I told them that it wasn't .a backfire or anything, that somebody was shooting at the President.48

Jarman testified that Norman .said "that he thought the shots had come from above us, and I noticed that Bonnie Ray had a few debris in his head. It was sort of white stuff, or something." 49 Jarman stated that Norman said "that he was sure that the shot came from inside the building because he had been used to guns and all that, and he said it didn't sound like it was too far off anyway."50 The three men ran to the west side of the building, where they could look toward the Triple Underpass to see what had happened to the motorcade.51
After the men had gone to the window on the west side of the building, Jarman "got to thinking about all the debris on Bonnie Ray's head" and said, "That shot probably did come from upstairs, up over us."52 He testified that Norman said, "I know it did, because I could

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hear the action of the bolt, and I could hear the cartridges drop on the floor."53 After pausing for a few minutes, the three men ran downstairs. Norman and Jarman ran out of the front entrance of the building, where they saw Brennan, the construction worker who had seen the man in the window firing the gun, talking to a police officer, and they then reported their own experience.54
On March 20, 1964, preceding their appearance before the Commission, these witnesses were interviewed in Dallas. At that time members of the Commission's legal staff conducted an experiment. Norman, Williams, and Jarman placed themselves at the windows of the fifth floor as they had been on November 22. A Secret Service agent operated the bolt of a rifle directly above them at the southeast corner window of the sixth floor. At the same time, three cartridge shells were dropped to the floor at intervals of about 3 seconds. According to Norman, the noise outside was less on the day of the assassination than on the day of the test.55 He testified, "Well, I heard the same sound, the sound similar. I heard three something that he dropped on the floor and then I could hear the rifle or whatever he had up there."56 The experiment with the shells and rifle was repeated for members of the Commission on May 9, 1964, on June 7, 1964, and again' on September 6, 1964. All seven of the Commissioners clearly heard the shells drop to the floor.

At the Triple Underpass

In contrast to the testimony of the witnesses who heard and observed shots fired from the Depository, the Commission's investigation has disclosed no credible evidence that any shots were fired from anywhere else. When the shots were fired, many people near the Depository believed that the shots came from the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass or from the area to the west of the Depository.57 In the hectic moments after the assassination, many spectators ran in the general .direction of the Triple Underpass or the railroad yards northwest of the building. Some were running toward the place from which the sound of the rifle fire appeared to come, others were fleeing the scene of the shooting.58 None of these people saw anyone with a rifle, and the Commission's inquiry has yielded no evidence that shots were fired from the bridge over the Triple Underpass or from the railroad yards.
On the day of the motorcade, Patrolman J. W. Foster stood on the east side of the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass and Patrolman J. C. White stood on the west side.59 Patrolman Joe E. Murphy was standing over Elm Street on the Stemmons Freeway overpass, west of the railroad bridge farther away from the Depository.60 Two other officers were stationed on Stemmons Freeway to control traffic as the motorcade entered the Freeway.61 Under the advance preparations worked out between the Secret Service and the Dallas Police Department, the policemen were under instructions to keep "unauthorized" people away from these locations.62 When the

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motorcade reached the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets, there were no spectators on Stemmons Freeway where Patrolman Murphy was stationed.63 Patrolman Foster estimated that there were 10 or 11 people on the railroad bridge where he was assigned;64 another witness testified that there were between 14 and 18 people there as the motorcade came into view.65 Investigation has disclosed 15 persons who were on the railroad bridge at this time, including 2 police men, 2 employees of the Texas-Louisiana Freight Bureau and 11 employees of the Union Terminal Co.66 In the absence of any explicit definition of "unauthorized" persons, the policemen permitted these employees to remain on the railroad bridge to. watch the motorcade. (See chapter VIII, pp. 446-447.) At the request. of the policemen, S. M. Holland, signal supervisor for Union Terminal Co., came to the railroad bridge at about 11:45 a.m. and remained to identify those persons who were railroad employees.67 In addition, Patrolman Foster checked credentials to determine if persons seeking access to the bridge were railroad employees.68 Persons who were not railroad employees were ordered away, including one news photographer who wished only to take a picture of the motorcade.69
Another employee of the Union Terminal Co., Lee E. Bowers, Jr., was at work in a railroad tower about 14 feet above the tracks to the north of the railroad bridge and northwest of the corner of Elm and Houston, approximately 50 yards from the back of the Depository.70 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2218, p. 73.) From the tower he could view people moving in the railroad yards and at the rear of the Depository. According to Bowers, "Since approximately 10 o'clock in the morning traffic had been cut off into the area so that anyone moving around could actually be observed."71 During the 20 minutes prior to the arrival of the motorcade, Bowers noticed three automobiles which entered his immediate. area; two left without discharging any passengers and the third was apparently on its way out when last observed by Bowers.72 Bowers observed only three or four people in the general area, as well as a few bystanders on the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass.73
As the motorcade proceeded toward the Triple Underpass, the spectators were clustered together along the east concrete wall of the railroad bridge facing the oncoming procession.74 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2215, p. 75.) Patrolman Foster stood immediately behind them and could observe all of them.75 Secret Service agents in the lead car of the motorcade observed the bystanders and the police officer on the bridge.76 Special Agent Winston G. Lawson motioned through the windshield in an unsuccessful attempt to instruct Patrolman Foster to move the people away from their position directly over the path of the motorcade.77 Some distance away, on the Stemmons Freeway overpass above Elm Street, Patrolman Murphy also had the group on the railroad bridge within view.78 When he heard the shots, Foster rushed to the wall of the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass and looked toward the street.79 After the third shot, Foster ran toward the Depository and shortly thereafter informed

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Page 74

Page 75

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Inspector Herbert J. Sawyer of the Dallas Police Department that he thought the shots came from the vicinity of Elm and Houston.80
Other witnesses on the railroad bridge had varying views concerning the source and number of the shots. Austin L. Miller, employed by the Texas-Louisiana Freight Bureau, heard three shots and thought that they came from the area of the Presidential limousine itself.81 One of his coworkers, Royce G. Skelton, thought he heard four shots, but could not tell their exact source.82 Frank E. Reilly, an electrician at Union Terminal, heard three shots which seemed to come from the trees "On the north side of Elm Street at the corner up there."83 According to S. M. Holland, there were four shots which sounded as though they came from the trees on the north side of Elm Street where he saw a puff of smoke.84 Thomas 5. Murphy, a mail foreman at Union Terminal Co., heard two shots and said that they came from a spot just west of the Depository.85 In the railroad tower, Bowers heard three shots, which sounded as though they came either from the Depository Building or near the mouth of the Triple Underpass. Prior to November 22, 1963, Bowers had noted the similarity of the sounds coming from the vicinity of the Depository and those from the Triple Underpass, which he attributed to "a reverberation which takes place from either location."86
Immediately after the shots were fired, neither the policemen the spectators on the railroad bridge over the Triple Underpass saw anything suspicious on the bridge in their vicinity. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2214, p. 74.) No one saw anyone with a rifle. As he ran around through the railroad yards to the Depository, Patrolman Foster saw no suspicious activity.87 The same was true of the other bystanders, many of whom made an effort after the shooting to observe any unusual activity. Holland, for example, immediately after the shots, ran off the overpass to see if there was anyone behind the picket fence on the north side of Elm Street, but he did not see anyone among the parked cars.88 Miller did not see anyone running across the railroad tracks or on the plaza west of the Depository.89 Bowers and others saw a motorcycle officer dismount hurriedly and come running up the incline on the north side of Elm Street.90 The motorcycle officer, Clyde A. Haygood, saw no one running from the railroad yards.91
The Presidential Automobile
Page 76

After the Presidential car was returned to Washington on November 22, 19.63, Secret Service agents found two bullet fragments in the front seat. One fragment, found on the seat beside the driver, weighed 44.6 grains and consisted of the nose portion of a bullet.92 The other fragment, found along the right side of the front seat, weighed 21.0 grains and consisted of the base portion of a bullet.93 During the course of an examination on November 23, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation found three small lead particles, weighing

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between seven-tenths and nine-tenths of a grain each, on the rug underneath the left jump seat which had been occupied by Mrs. Connally.94 During this examination, the Bureau agents noted a small residue of lead on the inside surface of the laminated windshield and a very small pattern of cracks on the outer layer of the windshield immediately behind the lead residue.95 There was a minute particle of glass missing from the outside surface, but no penetration. The inside layer of glass was not broken.96 The agents also observed a dent in the strip of chrome across the top of the windshield, located to the left of the rear view mirror support.97
The lead residue on the inside of the windshield was compared under spectrographic analysis by FBI experts with the bullet fragments found on and alongside the front seat and with the fragments under the left jump seat. It was also compared with bullet fragments found at Parkland Hospital. All these bullet fragments were found to be similar in metallic composition, but it was not possible to determine whether two or more of the fragments came from the same bullet.98 It is possible for the fragments from the front seat to have been a part of the same bullet as the three fragments found near the left jump seat,99 since a whole bullet of this type weighs 160-161, grains.100 (See app. X, pp. 555-558.)
The physical characteristics of the windshield after the assassination demonstrate that the windshield was struck on the inside surface. The windshield is composed of two layers of glass with a very thin layer of plastic in the middle "which bonds them together in the form of safety glass."101 The windshield was extracted from the automobile and was examined during a Commission hearing.102 (See Commission Exhibit No. 350, p. 78.) According to Robert A. Frazier, FBI firearms expert, the fact that cracks were present on the outer layer of glass showed that the glass had been struck from the inside. He testified that the windshield
could not have been struck on the outside surface because of the manner in which the glass broke
and further because of the lead residue on the inside surface. The cracks appear in the outer layer
of the glass because the glass is bent outward at the time of impact which stretches the outer layer
of the glass to the point where these small radial or wagon spoke, wagon wheel spoke-type cracks
appear on the outer surface.103

Although there is some uncertainty whether the dent in the chrome on the windshield was present prior to the assassination,104 Frazier testified that the dent "had been caused by some projectile which struck the chrome on the inside surface."105 If it was caused by a shot during the assassination, Frazier stated that it would not have been caused by a bullet traveling at full velocity, but rather by a fragment traveling at "fairly high velocity."106 It could have been caused by either fragment found in the front seat of the limousine.107

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Page 78

Expert Examination of Rifle, Cartridge Cases, and Bullet Fragments
Page 79

On the sixth floor of the Depository Building, the Dallas police found three spent cartridges and a rifle. A nearly whole bullet was discovered on the stretcher used to carry Governor Connally at Parkland Hospital. As described in the preceding section, five bullet fragments were found in the President's limousine. The cartridge cases, the nearly whole bullet and the bullet fragments were all subjected to firearms identification analysis by qualified experts. It was the unanimous opinion of the experts that the nearly whole bullet, the two largest. bullet fragments. and the three cartridge cases were definitely fired in the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building to the exclusion of all other weapons.

Discovery of Cartridge Cases and Rifle

Shortly after the assassination, police officers arrived at the Depository Building and began a search for the assassin and evidence.108 Around 1 p.m. Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney noticed a pile of cartons in front of the window in the southeast corner of the sixth floor.109 (See Commission Exhibit No. 723, p. 80.) Searching that area he found at approximately 1:12 p.m. three empty cartridge cases on the floor near the window.110 When he was notified of Mooney's discovery, Capt. J. W. Fritz, chief of the homicide bureau of the Dallas Police Department, issued instructions that nothing be moved or touched until technicians from the police crime laboratory could take photographs and check for fingerprints.111 Mooney stood guard to see that nothing was disturbed.112 A few minutes later, Lt. J. C. Day of the Dallas Police Department arrived and took photographs of the cartridge cases before anything had been moved.113
At 1:22 p.m. Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone and Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman found a bolt-action rifle with a telescopic sight between two rows of boxes in the northwest corner near the staircase on the sixth floor.114 No one touched the weapon or otherwise disturbed the scene until Captain Fritz and Lieutenant Day arrived and the weapon was photographed as it lay on the floor.115 After Lieutenant Day determined that there were no fingerprints on the knob of the bolt and that the wooden stock was too rough to take fingerprints, he picked the rifle up by the stock and held it that way while Captain Fritz opened the bolt and ejected a live round.116 Lieutenant Day retained possession of the weapon and took it back to the police department for examination.117 Neither Boone nor Weitzman handled the rifle.118

Discovery of Bullet at Parkland Hospital

A nearly whole bullet was found on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Hospital after the assassination. After his arrival at the hospital the Governor was brought into trauma room No. 2 on a

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Shield of cartons around sixth floor southeast corner window.

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stretcher, removed from the room on that stretcher a short time later, and taken on an elevator to the second-floor operating room.119 On the second floor he was transferred from the stretcher to an operating table which was then moved into the operating room, and a hospital attendant wheeled the empty stretcher into an elevator.120 Shortly afterward, Darrell C. Tomlinson, the hospital's senior engineer, removed this stretcher from the elevator and placed it in the corridor on the ground floor, alongside another stretcher wholly unconnected with the care of Governor Connally.121 A few minutes later, he bumped one of the stretchers against the wall and a bullet rolled out.122
Although Tomlinson was not certain whether the bullet came from the Connally stretcher or the adjacent one, the Commission has concluded that the bullet came from the Governor's stretcher. That conclusion is buttressed by evidence which eliminated President Kennedy's stretcher as a source of the bullet. President Kennedy remained on the stretcher on which he was carried into the hospital while the doctors tried to save his life.123 He was never removed from the stretcher from the time he was taken into the emergency room until his body was placed in a casket in that same room.124 After the President's body was removed from that stretcher, the linen was taken off and placed in a hamper and the stretcher was pushed into trauma room No. 2, a completely different location from the site where the nearly whole bullet was found.125

Description of Rifle

The bolt-action, clip-fed rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository, described more fully in appendix X, is inscribed with various markings, including "MADE ITALY," "CAL. 6.5," "1940" and the number C2766.126 (See Commission Exhibit Nos. 1303, 541(2) and 541 (3), pp. 82-83.) These markings have been explained as follows: "MADE ITALY" refers to its origin; "CAL. 6.5" refers to the rifle's caliber; "1940" refers to the year of manufacture; and the number C2766 is the serial number. This rifle is the only one of its type bearing that serial number.127 After review of standard reference works and the markings on the rifle, it was identified by the FBI as a 6.5-millimeter model. 91/38 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.128 Experts from the FBI made an independent determination of the caliber by inserting a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter cartridge into the weapon for fit, and by making a sulfur cast of the inside of the weapon's barrel and measuring the cast with a micrometer.129 From outward appearance, the weapon would appear to be a 7.35-millimeter rifle, but its mechanism had been rebarreled with a 6.5-millimeter barrel.130 Constable Deputy Sheriff Weitzman, who only saw the rifle at a glance and did not handle it, thought the weapon looked like a 7.65 Mauser bolt- action rifle.131 (See chapter V, p. 235.)
The rifle is 40.2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds.132 The minimum length broken down is 34.8 inches, the length of the wooden stock.133

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Photograph of markings on C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

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(See Commission Exhibit No. 1304, p. 132.) Attached to the weapon is an inexpensive four-power telescopic sight, stamped "Optics Ordnance Inc./Hollywood California," and "Made in Japan."134 The weapon also bears a sling consisting of two leather straps. The sling is not a standard rifle sling but appears to be a musical instrument strap or a sling from a carrying case or camera bag.135

Expert Testimony

Four experts in the field of firearms identification analyzed the nearly whole bullet, the two largest fragments and the three cartridge cases to determine whether they had been fired from the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository. Two of these experts testified before the Commission. One was Robert A. Frazier, a special agent of the FBI assigned to the FBI Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Frazier has worked generally in the field of firearms identification for 23 years, examining firearms of various types for the purpose of identifying the caliber and other characteristics of the weapons and making comparisons of bullets and cartridge cases for the purpose of determining whether or not they were fired in a particular weapon.136 He estimated that he has made "in the neighborhood of 50,000 to 60,000" firearms comparisons and has testified in court on about 400 occasions.137 The second witness who testified on this subject was Joseph D. Nicol, superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for the State of Illinois. Nicol also has had long and substantial experience since 1941 in firearms identification, and estimated that he has made thousands of bullet and cartridge case examinations.138
In examining the bullet fragments and cartridge cases, these experts applied the general principles accepted in the field of firearms identification, which are discussed in more detail in appendix X at s 547-553. In brief, a determination that a particular bullet or cartridge case has been fired in a particular weapon is based upon a comparison of the bullet or case under examination with one or more bullets or cases known to have been fired in that weapon. When a bullet is fired in any given weapon, it is engraved with the characteristics of the weapon. In addition to the rifling characteristics of the barrel which are common to all weapons of a given make and model, every weapon bears distinctive microscopic markings on its barrel, firing pin and bolt face.139 These markings arise initially during manufacture, since the action of the manufacturing tools differs microscopically from weapon to weapon and since, in addition, the tools change microscopically while being used. As a weapon is used further distinctive markings are introduced. Under microscopic examination a qualified expert may be able to determine whether the markings on a bullet known to have been fired in a particular weapon and the markings on a suspect bullet are the same and, therefore, whether both bullets were fired in the same weapon

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to the exclusion of all other weapons. Similarly, firearms identification experts are able to compare the markings left upon the base of cartridge cases and thereby determine whether both cartridges were fired by the same weapon to the exclusion of all other weapons. According to Frazier, such an identification "is made on the presence of sufficient individual microscopic characteristics so that a very definite pattern is formed and visualized on the two surfaces."140 Under some circumstances, as where the bullet or cartridge case is seriously mutilated, there are not sufficient individual characteristics to enable the expert to make a firm identification.141
After making independent examinations, both Frazier and Nicol positively identified the nearly whole bullet from the stretcher and the two larger bullet fragments found in the Presidential limousine as having been fired in the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the Depository to the exclusion of all other weapons.142 Each of the two bullet fragments had sufficient unmutilated area to provide the basis for an identification.143 However, it was not possible to determine whether the two bullet fragments were from the same bullet or from two different bullets.144 With regard to the other bullet fragments discovered in the limousine and in the course of treating President Kennedy and Governor Connally, however, expert examination could demonstrate only that the fragments were "similar in metallic composition" to each other, to the two larger fragments and to the nearly whole bullet.145 After examination of the three cartridge cases found on the sixth floor of the Depository, Frazier and Nicol concluded that they had been fired in the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle to the exclusion of all other weapons.146 Two other experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who made independent examinations of the nearly whole bullet, bullet fragments and cartridge cases, reached the identical conclusions.147
The Bullet Wounds
Page 85

In considering the question of the source of the shots fired at President Kennedy and Governor Connally, the Commission has also evaluated the expert medical testimony of the doctors who observed the wounds during the emergency treatment at Parkland Hospital and during the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital. It paid particular attention to any wound characteristics which would be of assistance in identifying a wound as the entrance or exit point of a missile. Additional information regarding the source and nature of the injuries was obtained by expert examination of the clothes worn by the two men, particularly those worn by President Kennedy, and from the results of special wound ballistics tests conducted at the Commission's request, using the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle with ammunition of the same type as that used and found on November 22, 1963.

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The President's Head Wounds

The detailed autopsy of President Kennedy performed on the night of November 22 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital led the three examining pathologists to conclude that the smaller hole in the rear of the President's skull was the point of entry and that the large opening on the right side of his head was the wound of exit.148 The smaller hole on the back of the President's head measured one-fourth of an inch by five-eighths of an inch (6 by 15 millimeters).149 The dimensions of that wound were consistent with having been caused by a 6.5-millimeter bullet fired from behind and above which struck at a tangent or an angle causing a 15-millimeter cut. The cut reflected a larger dimension of entry than the bullet's diameter of 6.5 millimeters, since the missile, in effect, sliced along the skull for a fractional distance until it entered.150 The dimension of 6 millimeters, somewhat smaller than the diameter of a 6.5-millimeter bullet, was caused by the elastic recoil of the skull which shrinks the size of an opening after a missile passes through it.151
Lt. Col. Pierre A. Finck, Chief of the Wound Ballistics Pathology Branch of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, who has had extensive experience with bullet wounds, illustrated the characteristics which led to his conclusions about the head wound by a chart prepared by him. This chart, based on Colonel Finck's studies of more than 400 cases, depicted the effect of a perforating missile wound on the human skull.152 When a bullet enters the skull (cranial vault) at one point and exits at another, it causes a beveling or cratering effect where the diameter of the hole is smaller on the impact side than on the exit side. Based on his observations of that beveling effect on the President's skull, Colonel Finck testified: "President Kennedy was, in my opinion, shot from the rear. The bullet entered in the back of the head and went out on the right side of his skull * * * he was shot from above and behind."153
Comdr. James J. Humes, senior pathologist and director of laboratories at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, who acted as chief autopsy surgeon, concurred in Colonel Finck's analysis. He compared the beveling or coning effect to that caused by a BB shot which strikes a pane of glass, causing a round or oval defect on the side of the glass where the missile strikes and a belled-out or coned-out surface on the opposite side of the glass.154 Referring to the bullet hole on the back of President Kennedy's head, Commander Humes testified: "The wound on the inner table, however, was larger and had what in the field of wound ballistics is described as a shelving Or coning effect."155 After studying the other hole in the President's skull, Commander Humes stated: "* * * we concluded that the large defect to the upper right side of the skull, in fact, would represent a wound of exit."156 Those characteristics led Commander Humes and Comdr. J. Thornton Boswell, chief of pathology at Bethesda Naval Hospital, who assisted in the autopsy, to conclude that the bullet

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penetrated the rear of the President's head and exited through a large wound on the right side of his head.157
Ballistics experiments (discussed more fully in app. X, pp. 585-586) showed that the rifle and bullets identified above were capable of producing the President's head wound. The Wound Ballistics Branch of the U.S. Army laboratories at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., conducted an extensive series of experiments to test the effect of Western Cartridge Co. 6.5-millimeter bullets, the type found on Governor Connally's stretcher and in the Presidential limousine, fired from the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the Depository. The Edgewood Arsenal tests were performed under the immediate supervision of Alfred G. Olivier, a doctor who had spent 7 years in wounds ballistics research for the U.S. Army.158
One series of tests, performed on reconstructed inert human skulls, demonstrated that the President's head wound could have been caused by the rifle and bullets fired by the assassin from the sixth-floor window. The results of this series were illustrated by the findings on one skull which was struck at a point closely approximating the wound of entry on President Kennedy's head. That bullet blew out the right side of the reconstructed skull in a manner very similar to the head wound of the President.159 As a result of these tests, Dr. Olivier concluded that a Western Cartridge Co. 6.5 bullet fired from the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle at a distance of 90 yards would make the same type of wound as that found on the President's head. Referring to the series of tests, Dr. Olivier testified:

It disclosed that the type of head wounds that the President received could be done by this type of
bullet. This surprised me very much, because this type of stable bullet I didn't think would cause a
massive head wound, I thought it would go through making a small entrance and exit, but the bones of
the skull are enough to. deform the end of this bullet causing it to expend a lot of energy and blowing
out the side of the skull or blowing out fragments of the skull.160

After examining the fragments of the bullet which struck the reconstructed skull, Dr. Olivier stated that--

the recovered fragments were very similar to the ones recovered on the front seat and on the floor of
the car. This, to me, indicates that those fragments did come from the bullet that wounded the
President in the head.161

The President's Neck Wounds

During the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital another bullet wound was observed near the base of the back of President Kennedy's neck slightly to the right of his spine which provides further enlightenment as to the source of the shots. The hole was located approximately

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51/2 inches (14 centimeters) from the tip of the right shoulder joint and approximately the same distance below the tip of the right mastoid process, the bony point immediately behind the ear.162 The wound was approximately one-fourth by one-seventh of an inch (7 by 4 millimeters), had clean edges, was sharply delineated, and had margins similar in all respects to those of the entry wound in the skull.163 Commanders Humes and Boswell agreed with Colonel Finck's testimony that this hole..

* * * is a wound of entrance. * * * The basis for that conclusion is that this wound was relatively small with clean edges. It was not a jagged wound, and that is what we see in wound of entrance at a long range.164

The autopsy examination further disclosed that, after entering the President, the bullet passed between two large muscles, produced a contusion on the upper part of the pleural cavity (without penetrating that cavity), bruised the top portion of the right lung and ripped the windpipe (trachea) in its path through the President's neck.165 The examining surgeons concluded that the wounds were caused by the bullet rather than the tracheotomy performed at Parkland Hospital. The nature of the bruises indicated that the President's heart and lungs were functioning when the bruises were caused, whereas there was very little circulation in the President's body when incisions on the President's chest were made to insert tubes during the tracheotomy.166 No bone was struck by the bullet which passed through the President's body.167 By projecting from a point of entry on the rear of the neck and proceeding at a slight downward angle through the bruised interior portions, the doctors concluded that the bullet exited from the front portion of the President's neck that had been cut away by the tracheotomy.168
Concluding that a bullet passed through the President's neck, the doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital rejected a theory that the bullet lodged in the large muscles in the back of his neck and fell out through the point of entry when external heart massage was applied at Parkland Hospital. In the earlier stages of the autopsy, the surgeons were unable to find a path into any large muscle in the back of the neck. At that time they did not know that there had been a bullet hole in the front of the President's neck when he arrived at Parkland Hospital because the tracheotomy incision had completely eliminated that evidence.169 While the autopsy was being performed, surgeons learned that a whole bullet had been found at Parkland Hospital on a stretcher which, at that time, was thought to be the stretcher occupied by the President. This led to speculation that the bullet might have penetrated a short distance into the back of the neck and then dropped out onto the stretcher as a result of the external heart massage.170
Further exploration during the autopsy disproved that theory. The surgeons determined that the bullet had passed between two large strap muscles and bruised them without leaving any channel, since the bullet

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merely passed between them.171 Commander Humes, who believed that a tracheotomy had been performed from his observations at the autopsy, talked by telephone with Dr. Perry early on the morning of November 23, and learned that his assumption was correct and that Dr. Perry had used the missile wound in the neck as the point to make the incision.172 This confirmed the Bethesda surgeons' conclusion that the bullet had exited from the front part of the neck.
The findings of the doctors who conducted the autopsy were consistent with the observations of the doctors who treated the President. at Parkland Hospital. Dr. Charles S. Carrico, a. resident surgeon at Parkland, noted a small wound approximately one-fourth of an inch in diameter (5 to 8 millimeters) in the lower third of the neck below the Adam's apple.173 Dr. Malcolm O. Perry, who performed the tracheotomy, described the wound as approximately one-fifth of an inch in diameter (5 millimeters) and exuding blood which partially hid edges that were "neither cleancut, that is, punched out, nor were they very ragged."174 Dr. Carrico testified as follows:

Q. Based on your observations on the neck wound alone did have a sufficient basis to form an opinion as to whether it was entrance or an exit wound ?
A. No, sir; we did not. Not having completely evaluated all the wounds, traced out the course of the bullets, this wound would have been compatible with either entrance or exit wound depending upon the size, the velocity, the tissue structure and so forth.175

The same response was made by Dr. Perry to a similar query:

Q. Based on the appearance of the neck wound alone, could it have been either an entrance or an exit wound ?
A. It could have been either.176

Then each doctor was asked to take into account the other known facts, such as the autopsy findings, the approximate distance the bullet traveled and tested muzzle velocity-of the assassination weapon. With these additional factors, the doctors commented on the wound on the front of the President's neck as follows:

Dr. CARRICO. With those facts and the fact. as I understand it no other bullet was found this would be, this was, I believe, was an exit wound.177
Dr. PERRY. A full jacketed bullet without deformation passing through skin would leave a similar wound for an exit and entrance wound and with the facts which yon have made available and with these assumptions, I believe that it was an exit wound.178

Other doctors at Parkland Hospital who observed the wound prior to the tracheotomy agreed with the observations of Drs. Perry and Carrico.179 The bullet wound in the neck could be seen for only a short time, since Dr. Perry eliminated evidence of it when he performed

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the tracheotomy. He selected that spot since it was the point where such an operation was customarily performed, and it was one of the safest and easiest spots from which to reach the trachea. In addition, there was possibly an underlying wound to the muscles in the neck, the carotid artery or the jugular vein, and Dr. Perry concluded that the incision, therefore, had to be low in order to maintain respiration.180
Considerable confusion has arisen because of comments attributed to Dr. Perry concerning the nature of the neck wound. Immediately after the assassination, many people reached erroneous conclusions about the source of the shots because of Dr. Perry's observations to the press. On the afternoon of November 22, a press conference was organized at Parkland Hospital by members of the White House press staff and a hospital administrator. Newsmen with microphones and cameras were crowded into a room to hear statements by Drs. Perry and William Kemp Clark, chief neurosurgeon at Parkland, who had attended to President Kennedy's head injury. Dr. Perry described the situation as "bedlam."181 The confusion was compounded by the fact that some questions were only partially answered before other questions were asked.182
At the news conference, Dr. Perry answered a series of hypothetical questions and stated to the press that a variety of possibilities could account for the President's wounds. He stated that a single bullet could have caused the President's wounds by entering through the throat, striking the spine, and being deflected upward with the point of exit being through the head.183 This would have accounted for the two wounds he observed, the hole in the front of the neck and the large opening in the skull. At that time, Dr. Perry did not know about either the wound on the back of the President's neck or the small bullet-hole wound in the back of the head. As described in chapter II, the President was lying on his back during his entire time at Parkland. The small hole in the head was also hidden from view by the large quantity of blood which covered the President's head. Dr. Perry said his answers at the press conference were intended to convey his theory about what could have happened, based on his limited knowledge at the time, rather than his professional opinion about what did happen.184 Commenting on his answers at the press conference, Dr. Perry testified before the Commission:

I expressed it [his answers] as a matter of speculation that this was conceivable. But, again, Dr. Clark [who also answered questions at the conference] and I emphasized that we had no way of knowing.185

Dr. Perry's recollection of his comments is corroborated by some of the news stories after the press conference. The New York Herald Tribune on November 23, 1963, reported as follows:

Dr. Malcolm Perry, 34, attendant surgeon at Parkland Hospital who attended the President, said he saw two wounds--

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one below the Adam's apple, the other at the back of the head. He said he did not know if two bullets were involved. It is possible, he said, that the neck wound was the entrance and the other the exit of the missile.186

According to this report, Dr. Perry stated merely that it was "possible" that the neck wound was a wound of entrance. This conforms with his testimony before the Commission, where he stated that by themselves the characteristics of the neck wound were consistent with being either a point of entry or exit.
Wound ballistics tests.--Experiments performed by the Army Wound Ballistics experts at Edgewood Arsenal, Md. (discussed in app. X, p. 582) showed that under simulated conditions entry and exit wounds are very similar in appearance. After reviewing the path of the bullet through the President's neck, as disclosed in the autopsy report, the experts simulated the neck by using comparable material with a thickness of approximately 5½ inches (13½ to 14½ centimeters), which was the distance traversed by the bullet. Animal skin was placed on each side, and Western Cartridge Co. 6.5 bullets were fired from the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle from a distance of 180 feet.. The animal skin on the entry side showed holes which were regular and round. On the exit side two holes were only slightly elongated, indicating that the bullet had become only a little unstable at the point of exit.187 A third exit hole was round, although not quite as regular as the entry holes.188 The exit holes, especially the one most nearly round, appeared similar to the descriptions given by Drs. Perry and Carrico of the hole in the front of the President's neck.189
The autopsy disclosed that the bullet which entered the back of the President's neck hit no bony structure and proceeded in a slightly downward angle. The markings on the President's clothing indicate that the bullet moved in a slight right to left lateral direction as it passed through the President's body.190 After the examining doctors expressed the thought that a bullet would have lost very little velocity in passing through the soft tissue of the neck, wound ballistics experts conducted tests to measure the exit velocity of the bullet.191 The tests were the same as those used to create entry and exit holes, supplemented by the use of break-type screens which measured the velocity of bullets. The entrance velocity of the bullet fired from the rifle averaged 1,904 feet per second after it traveled 180 feet. The exit velocity averaged 1,772 to 1,798 feet per second, depending upon the substance through which the bullet passed. A photograph of the path of the bullet traveling through the simulated neck showed that it proceeded in a straight line and was stable.192
Examination of clothing.--The clothing worn by President Kennedy on November 22 had holes and tears which showed that a missile entered the back of his clothing in the vicinity of his lower neck and exited through the front of his shirt immediately behind his tie, nicking the knot of his tie in its forward flight.193 Although the caliber of the bullet could not be determined and some of the clothing items

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precluded a positive determination that some tears were made by a bullet, all the defects could have been caused by a 6.5-millimeter bullet entering the back of the President's lower neck and exiting in the area of the knot of his tie.194
An examination of the suit jacket worn by the President by FBI Agent Frazier revealed a roughly circular hole approximately one-fourth of an inch in diameter on the rear of the coat, 5 3/8 inches below the top of the collar and 1 3/4 inches to the right of the center back seam of the coat.195 The hole was visible on the upper rear of the coat slightly to the right of center. Traces of copper were found in the margins of the hole and the cloth fibers around the margins were pushed inward.196 Those characteristics established that the hole was caused by an entering bullet.197 Although the precise size of the bullet could not be determined from the hole, it was consistent with having been made by a 6.5- millimeter bullet.198
The shirt worn by the President contained a hole on the back side 5 3/4 inches below the top of the collar and 1 1/8 inches to the right of the middle of the back of the shirt.199 The hole on the rear of the shirt was approximately circular in shape and about one-fourth of an inch in diameter, with the fibers pressed inward.200 These factors established it as a bullet entrance hole.201 The relative position of the hole in the back of the suit jacket to the hole in the back of the shirt indicated that both were caused by the same penetrating missile.202
On the front of the shirt, examination revealed a hole seven-eighths of an inch below the collar button and a similar opening seven-eighths of an inch below the buttonhole. These two holes fell into alinement on overlapping positions when the shirt was buttoned.203 Each hole was a vertical, ragged slit approximately one-half of an inch in height, with the cloth fibers protruding outward. Although the characteristics of the slit established that the missile had exited to the front, the irregular nature of the slit precluded a positive determination that it was a bullet hole.204 However, the hole could have been caused by a round bullet although the characteristics were not sufficiently clear to enable the examining expert to render a conclusive opinion.205
When the President's clothing was removed at Parkland Hospital, his tie was cut. off by severing the loop immediately to the wearer's left of the knot, leaving the knot in its original condition.206 The tie had a nick on the left side of the knot.207 The nick was elongated horizontally, indicating that the tear was made by some object moving horizontally, but the fibers were not affected in a manner which would shed light on the direction or the nature of the missile.208

The Governor's Wounds

While riding in the right jump seat of the Presidential limousine on November 22, Governor Connally sustained wounds of the back, chest, right wrist and left thigh. Because of the small size and dean-cut edges of the wound on the Governor's back, Dr. Robert Shaw concluded that it was an entry wound.209 The bullet traversed the Governor's

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chest in a downward angle, shattering his fifth rib, and exited below the right nipple.210 The ragged edges of the 2-inch (5 centimeters) opening on the front of the chest led Dr. Shaw to conclude that it was the exit point of the bullet.211 When Governor Connally testified before the Commission 5 months after the assassination, on April 21, 1964, the Commission observed the Governor's chest wounds, as well as the injuries to his wrist and thigh and watched Dr. Shaw measure with a caliper an angle of declination of 25° from the point of entry on the back to the point of exit on the front of the Governor's chest.212
At the time of the shooting, Governor Connally was unaware that he had sustained any injuries other than his chest wounds.213 On the back of his arm, about 2 inches (5 centimeters) above the wrist .joint on the thumb side, Dr. Charles F. Gregory observed a linear perforating wound approximately one-fifth of an inch (one-half centimeter) wide and 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) long.214 During his operation on this injury, the doctor concluded that this ragged wound was the point of entry because thread and cloth had been carried into the wound to the region of the bone.215 Dr. Gregory's conclusions were also based upon the location in the Governor's wrist, as revealed by X-ray, of small fragments of metal shed by the missile upon striking the firm surface of the bone.216 Evidence of different amounts of air in the tissues of the wrist gave further indication that the bullet passed from the back to the front of the wrist.217 An examination of the palm surface of the wrist showed a wound approximately one-fifth of an inch (one-half centimeter) long and approximately three-fourths of an inch (2 centimeters) above the crease of the right wrist.218 Dr. Shaw had initially believed that the missile entered on the palm side of the Governor's wrist and exited on the back side.219 After reviewing the factors considered by Dr. Gregory, however, Dr. Shaw withdrew his earlier opinion. He deferred to the judgment of Dr. Gregory, who had more closely examined that wound during the wrist operation.220
In addition, Governor Connally suffered a puncture wound in the left thigh that was approximately two-fifths of an inch (1 centimeter) in diameter and located approximately 5 or 6 inches above the Governor's left knee.221 On the Governor's leg, very little soft-tissue damage was noted, which indicated a tangential wound or the penetration of a larger missile entering at low velocity and stopping after entering the skin.222 X-ray examination disclosed a tiny metallic fragment embedded in the Governor's leg.223 The surgeons who attended the Governor concluded that the thigh wound was not caused by the small fragment in the thigh but resulted from the impact of a larger missile.224
Examination of clothing.--The clothing worn by Governor Connally on November 22, 1963, contained holes which matched his wounds. On the back of the Governor's coat, a hole was found 1 1/8 inches from the seam where the right sleeve attached to the coat and 7 1/4 inches to the right of the midline.225 This hole was elongated in a horizontal direction approximately five-eighths of an inch in length

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and one-fourth of an inch in height.226 The front side of the Governor's coat contained a circular hole three-eighths of an inch in diameter, located 5 inches to the right of the front right edge of the coat slightly above the top button.227 A rough hole approximately five-eighths of an inch in length and three-eighths of an inch in width was found near the end of the right sleeve.228 Each of these holes could have been caused by a bullet, but a positive determination of this fact or the direction of the missile was not possible because the garment had been cleaned and pressed prior to any opportunity for a scientific examination.229
An examination of the Governor's shirt disclosed a very ragged tear five-eighths of an inch long horizontally and one-half of an inch vertically on the back of the shirt near the right sleeve 2 inches from the line where the sleeve attaches.230 Immediately to the right was another small tear, approximately three-sixteenths of an inch long.231 The two holes corresponded in position to the hole in the back of the Governor's coat.232 A very irregular tear in the form of an "H" was observed on the front side of the Governor's shirt, approximately 1 1/2 inches high, with a crossbar tear approximately 1 inch wide, located 5 inches from the right side seam and 9 inches from the top of the right sleeve.233 Because the shirt had been laundered, there were insufficient characteristics for the expert examiner to form a conclusive opinion on the direction or nature of the object causing the holes.234 The rear hole could have been caused by the entrance of a 6.5-millimeter bullet and the front hole by the exit of such a bullet.235
On the French cuff of the right sleeve of the Governor's shirt was a ragged, irregularly shaped hole located 1 1/2 inches from the end of the sleeve and 5 1/2 inches from the outside cuff-link hole.236 The characteristics after laundering did not permit positive conclusions but these holes could have been caused by a bullet passing through the Governor's right wrist from the back to the front sides.237 The Governor's trousers contained a hole approximately one-fourth of an inch in diameter in the region of the left knee.238 The roughly circular shape of the hole and the slight tearing away from the edges gave the hole the general appearance of a bullet hole but it was not possible to determine the direction of the missile which caused the hole.239
Course of bullet.--Ballistics experiments and medical findings established that the missile which passed through the Governor's wrist and penetrated his thigh had first traversed his chest. The Army Wound Ballistics experts conducted tests which proved that the Governor's wrist wound was not caused by a pristine bullet. (See app. X, pp. 582-585.) A bullet is pristine immediately on exiting from a rifle muzzle when it moves in a straight line with a spinning motion and maintains its uniform trajectory with but a minimum of nose surface striking the air through which it passes.240 When the straight line of flight of a bullet is deflected by striking some object, it starts to wobble or become irregular in flight, a condition called yaw.241 A bullet with yaw has a greater surface exposed to the striking material or air, since the target or air is struck not only by the nose of the bullet, its smallest striking surface, but also by the bullet's sides.242

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The ballistics experts learned the exact nature of the Governor's wrist wound by examining Parkland Hospital records and X-rays and conferring with Dr. Gregory. The C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the Depository was fired with bullets of the same type as the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher and the fragments found in the Presidential limousine. Shots were fired from a distance of 70 yards at comparable flesh and bone protected by material similar to the clothing worn by the Governor.243 One of the test shots wounded the comparable flesh and bone structure in virtually the same place and from the same angle as the wound inflicted on Governor Connally's wrist. An X-ray and photograph of the simulated wrist confirmed the similarity.244 The bullet which inflicted that injury during the tests had a nose which was substantially flattened from striking the material.245 The striking velocity at 70 yards of seven shots fired during the tests averaged 1,858 feet per second; the average exit velocity of five shots was 1,776 feet per second.246
The conclusion that the Governor's wrist was not struck by a pristine bullet was based upon the following: ( 1 ) greater damage was inflicted on the test material than on the Governor's wrist; 247 (2) the test material had a smaller entry wound and a larger exit wound, characteristic of a pristine bullet, while the Governor's wrist had a larger entry wound as compared with its exit wound, indicating a bullet which was tumbling;248 (3) cloth was carried into the wrist wound, which is characteristic of an irregular missile;249 (4) the partial cutting of a radial nerve and tendon leading to the Governor's thumb further suggested that the bullet which struck him was not pristine, since such a bullet would merely push aside a tendon and nerve rather than catch and tear them;250 (5) the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher probably did not pass through the wrist as a pristine bullet because its nose was not considerably flattened, as was the case with the pristine bullet which struck the simulated wrist;251 and (6) the bullet which caused the Governor's thigh injury and then fell out of the wound had a "very low velocity," whereas the pristine bullets fired during the tests possessed a very high exit velocity.252
All the evidence indicated that the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher could have caused all his wounds. The weight of the whole bullet prior to firing was approximately 160-161 grains and that of the recovered bullet was 158.6 grains.253 An X-ray of the Governor's wrist showed very minute metallic fragments, and two or three of these fragments were removed from his wrist.254 All these fragments were sufficiently small and light so that the nearly whole bullet found on the stretcher could have deposited those pieces of metal as it tumbled through his wrist.255 In their testimony, the three doctors who attended Governor Connally at Parkland Hospital expressed independently their opinion that a single bullet had passed through his chest; tumbled through his wrist with very little exit velocity, leaving small metallic fragments from the rear portion of the bullet; punctured his left thigh after the bullet had lost virtually all of its velocity; and had fallen out of the thigh wound.256

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Governor Connally himself thought it likely that all his wounds were caused by a single bullet. In his testimony before the Commission, he repositioned himself as he recalled his position on the jump seat, with his right palm on his left thigh, and said:

I * * * wound up the next day realizing I was hit in three places, and I was not conscious of having been hit but by one bullet, so I tried to reconstruct how I could have been hit in three places by the same bullet, and I merely, I know it penetrated from the back through the chest first.
I assumed that I had turned as I described a moment ago, placing my right hand on my left leg, that it hit my wrist, went out the center of the wrist, the underside, and then into my leg, but it might not have happened that way at all.257

The Governor's posture explained how a single missile through his body would cause all his wounds. His doctors at Parkland Hospital had recreated his position, also, but they placed his right arm somewhat higher than his left thigh although in the same alinement.258 The wound ballistics experts concurred in the opinion that a single bullet caused all the Governor's wounds.259
The Trajectory
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The cumulative evidence of eyewitnesses, firearms and ballistic experts and medical authorities demonstrated that the shots were fired from above and behind President Kennedy and Governor Connally, more particularly, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. In order to determine the facts with as much precision as possible and to insure that all data were consistent with the shots having been fired from the sixth floor window, the Commission requested additional investigation, including the analysis of motion picture films of the assassination and onsite tests. The facts developed through this. investigation by the FBI and Secret Service confirmed the conclusions reached by the Commission regarding the source and trajectory of the shots which hit the President and the Governor. Moreover, these facts enabled the Commission to make certain approximations regarding the locations of the Presidential limousine at the time of the shots and the relevant time intervals.

Films and Tests

When the shots rang out the Presidential limousine was moving beyond the Texas School Book Depository Building in a southwesterly direction on Elm Street between Houston Street and the Triple Underpass.260 The general location of the car was described and marked on maps by eyewitnesses as precisely as their observations and recollections permitted.261 More exact information was provided by motion

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pictures taken by Abraham Zapruder, Orville O. Nix and Mary Muchmore, who were spectators at the scene.262 Substantial light has been shed on the assassination sequence by viewing these motion pictures, particularly the Zapruder film, which was the most complete and from which individual 35-millimeter slides were made of each motion picture frame.263
Examination of the Zapruder motion picture camera by the FBI established that 18.8 pictures or frames were taken each second, and therefore, the timing of certain events could be calculated by allowing 1/18.8 seconds for the action depicted from one frame to the next.264 The films and slides made from individual frames were viewed by Governor and Mrs. Connally, the Governor's doctors, the autopsy surgeons, and the Army wound ballistics scientists in order to apply the knowledge of each to determine the precise course of events.265 Tests of the assassin's rifle disclosed that at least 2.8 seconds were required between shots.266 In evaluating the films in the light of these timing guides, it was kept in mind that a victim of a bullet wound may not react immediately and, in some situations, according to experts, the victim may not even know where he has been hit, or when.267
On May 24, 1964, agents of the FBI and Secret Service conducted a series of tests to determine as precisely as possible what happened on November 22, 1968. Since the Presidential limousine was being remodeled and was therefore unavailable, it was simulated by using the Secret Service followup car, which is similar in design.268 Any differences were taken into account. Two Bureau agents with approximately the same physical characteristics sat in the car in the same relative positions as President Kennedy and Governor Connally had occupied. The back of the stand-in for the President was marked with chalk at the point where the bullet entered. The Governor's model had on the same coat worn by' Governor Connally when he was shot, with the hole in the back circled in chalk.269
To simulate the conditions which existed at the assassination scene on November 22, the lower part of the sixth- floor window at the southeast corner of the Depository Building was raised halfway, the cardboard boxes were repositioned, the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository was used, and mounted on that rifle was a camera which recorded the view as was seen by the assassin.270 In addition, the Zapruder, Nix, and Muchmore cameras were on hand so that photographs taken by these cameras from the same locations where they were used on November 22, 1963, could be compared with the films of that date.271 The agents ascertained that the foliage of an oak tree that came between the gunman and his target along the motorcade route on Elm Street was approximately the same as on the day of the assassination.272

The First Bullet That Hit

The position of President Kennedy's car when he was struck in the neck was determined with substantial precision from the films and

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onsite tests. The pictures or frames in the Zapruder film were marked by the agents, with the number "1" given to the first frame where the motorcycles leading the motorcade came into view on Houston Street.273 The numbers continue in sequence as Zapruder filmed the Presidential limousine as it came around the corner and proceeded down Elm. The President was in clear view of the assassin as he rode up Houston Street and for 100 feet as he proceeded down Elm Street, until he came to a point denoted as frame 166 on the Zapruder film.274 These facts were determined in the test by placing the car and men on Elm Street in the exact spot where they were when each frame of the Zapruder film was photographed. To pinpoint their locations, a man stood at Zapruder's position and directed the automobile and both models to the positions shown on each frame, after which a Bureau photographer crouched at the sixth-floor window and looked through a camera whose lens recorded the view through the telescopic sight of the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.275 (See Commission Exhibit No. 887, p. 99.) Each position was measured to determine how far President Kennedy had gone down Elm from a point, which was designated as station C, on a line drawn along the west curbline of Houston Street.276
Based on these calculations, the agents concluded that at frame 166 of the Zapruder film the President passed beneath the foliage of the large oak tree and the point of impact on the President's back disappeared from the gunman's view as seen through the telescopic lens.277 (See Commission Exhibit No. 889, p. 100.) For a fleeting instant, the President came back into view in the telescopic lens at frame 186 as he appeared in an opening among the leaves.278 (See Commission Exhibit No. 891, p. 101.) The test revealed that the next point at which the rifleman had a clear view through the telescopic sight of the point where the bullet entered the President's back was when the car emerged from behind the tree at frame 210.279 (See Commission Exhibit No. 893, p. 102.) According to FBI Agent Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, "There is no obstruction from the sixth floor window from the time they leave the tree until they disappear down toward the triple overpass."
As the President rode along Elm Street for a distance of about 140 feet, he was waving to the crowd.281 Shaneyfelt testified that the waving is seen on the Zapruder movie until around frame 205, when road sign blocked out most of the President's body from Zapruder's view through the lens of his camera. However, the assassin continued to have a clear view of the President as he proceeded down Elm.282 When President Kennedy again came fully into view in the Zapruder film at frame 225, he seemed to be reacting to his neck wound by raising his hands to his throat.283 (See Commission Exhibit No. 895, p. 103.) According to Shaneyfelt the reaction was "clearly apparent in 226 and barely apparent in 225."284 It is probable that the President. was not shot. before frame 210, since it is unlikely that the assassin would deliberately have shot at him with a view obstructed by the oak tree when he was about to have a clear opportunity. It is

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Photograph taken during reenactment showing C2766 rifle with camera attached.

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Photograph of Presidential limousine taken during motorcade.

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also doubtful that even the most proficient marksman would have hit him through the oak tree. In addition, the President's reaction is "barely apparent" in frame 225, which is 15 frames or approximately eight-tenths second after frame 210, and a shot much before 210 would assume a longer reaction time than was recalled by eyewitnesses at the scene. Thus, the evidence indicated that the President was not hit until at least frame 210 and that he was probably hit by frame 225. The possibility of variations in reaction time in addition to the obstruction of Zapruder's view by the sign precluded a more specific determination than that the President was probably shot through the neck between frames 210 and 225, which marked his position between 138.9 and 153.8 feet west of station C.285
According to Special Agent Robert. A. Frazier, who occupied the position of the assassin in the sixth-floor window during the reenactment, it is likely that the bullet which passed through the President's neck, as described previously, then struck the automobile or someone else in the automobile.286 The minute examination by the FBI inspection team, conducted in Washington between 14 and 16 hours after the assassination, revealed no damage indicating that a bullet struck any part of the interior of the Presidential limousine, with the exception of the cracking of the windshield and the dent on the windshield chrome.287 Neither of these points of damage to the car could have been caused by the bullet which exited from the President's neck at a velocity of 1,772 to 1,779 feet per second.288 If the trajectory had permitted the bullet to strike the windshield, the bullet would have penetrated it and traveled a substantial distance down the road unless it struck some other object en route.289 Had that bullet struck the metal framing, which was dented, it would have torn a hole in the chrome and penetrated the framing, both inside and outside the car.290 At that exit velocity, the bullet would have penetrated any other metal or upholstery surface of the interior of the automobile.291
The bullet that hit President Kennedy in the back and exited through his throat most likely could not have missed both the automobile and its occupants. Since it did not hit the automobile, Frazier testified that it probably struck Governor Connally.292 The relative positions of President Kennedy and Governor Connally at the time when the President was struck in the neck confirm that the same bullet probably passed through both men. Pictures taken of the President's limousine on November 22, 1963, showed that the Governor sat immediately in front of the President.293 Even though the precise distance cannot be ascertained, it is apparent that President Kennedy was somewhat to the Governor's right. The President sat on the extreme right, as noted in the films and by eyewitnesses, while the right edge of the jump seat in which the Governor sat is 6 inches from the right door.294 (See Commission Exhibit No. 697 p. 104.) The President wore a back brace which tended to make him sit up straight, and the Governor also sat erect since the jump seat gave him little leg room.295
Based on his observations during the reenactment and the position of Governor Connally shown in the Zapruder film after the car

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emerged from behind the sign, Frazier testified that Governor Connally was in a position during the span from frame 207 to frame 225 to receive a bullet which would have caused the wounds he actually suffered.296 Governor Connally viewed the film and testified that he was hit between frames 231 and 234.297 According to Frazier, between frames 235 and 240 the Governor turned sharply to his right, so that by frame 240 he was too far to the right to have received his injuries at that time.298 At some point between frames 235 and 240, therefore, is the last occasion when Governor Connally could have received his injuries, since in the frames following 240 he remained turned too far to his right.299 If Governor Connally was hit by a separate shot between frames 235 and 240 which followed the shot which hit the President's neck, it would follow that: (1) the assassin's first shot, assuming a minimum firing time of 2.3 seconds (or 42 frames), was fired between frames 193 and 198 when his view was obscured by the oak tree; (2) President Kennedy continued waving to the crowd after he was hit and did not begin to react for about 1 1/2 seconds; and (3) the first shot, although hitting no bones in the President's body, was deflected after its exit from the President's neck in such a way that it failed to hit either the automobile or any of the other occupants.
Viewed through the telescopic sight of the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle from the sixth-floor window during the test, the marks that simulated the entry wounds on the stand-ins for the President and the Governor were generally in a straight line. That alinement became obvious to the viewer through the scope as the Governor's model turned slightly to his right and assumed the position which Governor Connally had described as his position when he was struck. Viewing the stand-ins for the President and the Governor in the sight of the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle at the location depicted in frames 207 and 210, Frazier testified: "They both are in direct alinement with the telescopic sight at the window. The Governor is immediately behind the President in the field of view."300 (See Commission Exhibit No. 893, p. 102.) A surveyor then placed his sighting equipment at the precise point of entry on the back of the President's neck, assuming that the President was struck at frame 210, and measured the angle to the end of the muzzle of the rifle positioned where it was believed to have been held by the assassin.301 That angle measured 21°34'.302 From the same points of reference, the angle at frame 225 was measured at 20°11, giving an average angle of 20°52'30'' from frame 210 to frame 225.303 Allowing for a downward street grade of 309', the probable angle through the President's body was calculated at 17°43'30'', assuming that he was sitting in a vertical position.304
That angle was consistent with the trajectory of a bullet passing through the President's neck and then striking Governor Connally's back, causing the wounds which were discussed above. Shortly after that angle was ascertained, the open car and the stand-ins were taken by the agents to a nearby garage where a photograph was taken to determine through closer study whether the angle of that shot could have accounted for the wounds in the President's neck and the Governor's

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back.305 A rod was placed at an angle of 17º43'30" next to the stand-ins for the President and the Governor, who were seated in the same relative positions.306 The wounds of entry and exit on the President were approximated based on information gained from the autopsy reports and photographs.307 The hole in the back of the jacket worn by the Governor and the medical description of the wound on his back marked that entry point.308 That line of fire from the sixth floor of the Depository would have caused the bullet to exit under the Governor's right nipple just as the bullet did. Governor Connally's doctors measured an angle of declination on his body from the entry wound on his hack to the exit on the front of his chest at about 25°when he sat erect.309 That difference was explained by either a slight deflection of the bullet caused by striking the fifth rib or the Governor's leaning slightly backward at the time he was struck. In addition, the angle could not be fixed with absolute precision, since the large wound on the front of his chest precluded an exact determination of the point of exit.310
The alinement of the points of entry was only indicative and not conclusive that one bullet hit both men. The exact positions of the men could not be re-created; thus, the angle could only be approximated.311 Had President Kennedy been leaning forward or backward, the angle of declination of the shot to a perpendicular target would have varied. The angle of 17º43'30" was approximately the angle of declination reproduced in an artist's drawing.312 That drawing, made from data provided by the autopsy surgeons, could not reproduce the exact line of the bullet, since the exit wound was obliterated by the tracheotomy. Similarly, if the President or the Governor had been sitting in a different lateral position, the conclusion might have varied. Or if the Governor had not turned in exactly the way calculated, the alinement would have been destroyed.
Additional experiments by the Army Wound Ballistics Branch further suggested that the same bullet probably passed through both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. (See app. X, pp. 582-585. ) Correlation of a test simulating the Governor's chest wound with the neck and wrist experiments.' indicated that course. After reviewing the Parkland Hospital medical records and X-rays of the Governor and discussing his chest injury with the attending surgeon, the Army ballistics experts virtually duplicated the wound using the assassination weapon and animal flesh covered by cloth.313 The bullet that struck the animal flesh displayed characteristics similar to the bullet found on Governor Connally's stretcher.314 Moreover, the imprint on the velocity screen immediately behind the animal flesh showed that the bullet was tumbling after exiting from the flesh, having lost a total average of 265 feet per second.315 Taking into consideration the Governor's size, the reduction in velocity of a bullet passing through his body would be approximately 400 feet per second.316
Based upon the medical evidence on the wounds of the Governor and the President and the wound ballistics tests performed at Edgewood

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Arsenal, Drs. Olivier and Arthur J. Dziemian, chief of the Army Wound Ballistics Branch, who had spent 17 years in that area of specialization, concluded that it was probable that the same bullet passed through the President's neck and then inflicted all the wounds on the Governor.317 Referring to the President's neck wound and all the Governor's wounds, Dr. Dziemian testified: "I think the probability is very good that it is, that all the wounds were caused by one bullet."318 Both Drs. Dziemian and Olivier believed that the wound on the Governor's wrist would have been more extensive had the bullet which inflicted that injury merely passed through the Governor's chest, exiting at a velocity of approximately 1,500 feet per second.319 Thus, the Governor's wrist wound suggested that the bullet passed through the President's neck, began to yaw in the air between the President and the Governor, and then lost more velocity than 400 feet per second in passing through the Governor's chest. A bullet which was yawing on entering into the Governor's back would lose substantially more velocity in passing through his body than a pristine bullet.320 In addition, the bullet that struck the animal flesh was flattened to a greater extent than the bullet which presumably struck the Governor's rib,321 which suggests that the bullet which entered the Governor's chest had already lost velocity by passing through the President's neck. Moreover, the large wound on the Governor's back would be explained by a bullet which was yawing, although that type of wound might also be accounted for by a tangential striking.322
Dr. Frederick W. Light, Jr., the third of the wound ballistics experts, who. has been engaged in that specialty at Edgewood Arsenal since 1951, testified that the anatomical findings were insufficient for him to formulate a firm opinion as to whether the same bullet did or did not pass through the President's neck first before inflicting all the wounds on Governor Connally.323 Based on the other circumstances, such as the relative positions of the President and the Governor in the automobile, Dr. Light concluded that it was probable that the same bullet traversed the President's neck and inflicted all the wounds on Governor Connally.324

The Subsequent Bullet That Hit

After a bullet penetrated President Kennedy's neck, a subsequent shot entered the back of his head and exited through the upper right portion of his skull. The Zapruder, Nix and Muchmore films show the instant in the sequence when that bullet struck. ( See Commission Exhibit No. 902, p. 108.) That impact was evident from the explosion of the President's brain tissues from the right side of his head. The immediately preceding frame from the Zapruder film shows the President slumped to his left, clutching at his throat, with his chin close to his chest and his head tilted forward at an angle.325 Based upon information provided by the doctors who conducted the autopsy, an artist's drawing depicted the path of the bullet through the President's head, with his head being in the same approximate position.326

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By using the Zapruder, Nix and Muchmore motion pictures, the President's location at the time the bullet penetrated his head was fixed with reasonable precision. A careful analysis of the Nix and Muchmore films led to fixing the exact location of these cameramen. The point of impact of the bullet on the President's head was apparent in all of the movies. At that point in the Nix film a straight line was plotted from the camera position to a fixed point in the background and the President's location along this line was marked on a plat map.327 A similar process was followed with the Muchmore film. The President's location on the plat map was identical to that determined from the Nix film.328 The President's location, established through the Nix and Muchmore films, was confirmed by comparing his position on the Zapruder film. This location had hitherto only been approximated, since there were no landmarks in the background of the Zapruder frame for alinement purposes other than a portion of a painted line on the curb.329 Through these procedures, it was determined that President Kennedy was shot in the head when he was 230.8 feet from a point on the west curbline on Houston Street where it intersected with Elm Street.330 The President was 265.3 feet from the rifle in the sixth-floor window and at that position the approximate angle of declination was 15°21'.331
Number of Shots
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The consensus among the witnesses at the scene was that three shots were fired.332 However, some heard only two shots,333 while others testified that they heard four and perhaps as many as five or six shots.334 The difficulty of accurate perception of the sound of gunshots required careful scrutiny of all of this testimony regarding the number of shots. The firing of a bullet causes a number of noises: the muzzle blast, caused by the smashing of the hot gases which propel the bullet into the relatively stable air at the gun's muzzle; the noise of the bullet, caused by the shock wave built up ahead of the bullet's nose as it travels through the air; and the noise caused by the impact of the bullet on its target.335 Each noise can be quite sharp and may be perceived as a separate shot. The tall buildings in the area might have further distorted the sound.
The physical and other evidence examined by the Commission compels the conclusion that at least two shots were fired. As discussed previously, the nearly whole bullet discovered at Parkland Hospital and the two larger fragments found in the Presidential automobile, which were identified as coming from the assassination rifle, came from at least two separate bullets and possibly from three.336 The most convincing evidence relating to the number of shots was provided by the presence on the sixth floor of three spent cartridges which were demonstrated to have been fired by the same rifle that fired the bullets which caused the wounds. It is possible that the assassin carried an empty shell in the rifle and fired only two shots, with the witnesses hearing multiple noises made by the same shot. Soon after the three

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empty cartridges were found, officials at the scene decided that three shots were fired, and that conclusion was widely circulated by the press. The eyewitness testimony may be subconsciously colored by the extensive publicity given the conclusion that three shots were fired. Nevertheless, the preponderance of the evidence, in particular the three spent cartridges, led the Commission to conclude that there were three shots fired.
The Shot that Missed
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From the initial findings that (a) one shot passed through the President's neck and then most probably passed through the Governor's body, (b) a subsequent shot penetrated the President's head, (c) no other shot struck any part of the automobile, and (d) three shots were fired, it follows that one shot probably missed the car and its occupants. The evidence is inconclusive as to whether it was the first, second, or third shot which missed.

The First Shot

If the first shot missed, the assassin perhaps missed in an effort to fire a hurried shot before the President passed under the oak tree, or possibly he fired as the President passed under the tree and the tree obstructed his view. The bullet might have struck a portion of the tree and been completely deflected. On the other hand, the greatest cause for doubt that the first shot missed is the improbability that the same marksman who twice hit a moving target would be so inaccurate on the first and closest of his shots as to miss completely, not only the target, but the large automobile.
Some support for the contention that the first shot missed is found in the statement of Secret Service Agent Glen A. Bennett, stationed in the right rear seat of the President's followup car, who heard a sound like a firecracker as the motorcade proceeded down Elm Street. At that moment, Agent Bennett stated:

* * * I looked at the back of the President. I heard another firecracker noise and saw that shot hit the President about four inches down from the right shoulder. A second shot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the President's head.337

Substantial weight may be given Bennett's observations. Although his formal statement was dated November 23, 1963, his notes indicate that he recorded what he saw and heard at 5:30 p.m., November 1963, on the airplane en route back to Washington, prior to the autopsy, when it was not yet. known that the President had been hit in the back.338 It is possible, of course, that Bennett did not observe the hole in the President's back, which might have been there immediately after the first noise.

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Governor Connally's testimony supports the view that the first shot missed, because he stated that he heard a shot, turned slightly to his right, and, as he started to turn back toward his left, was struck by the second bullet.339 He never saw the President during the shooting sequence, and it is entirely possible that he heard the missed shot and that both men were struck by the second bullet. Mrs. Connally testified that after the first shot she turned and saw the President's hands moving toward his throat, as seen in the films at frame 225.340 However, Mrs. Connally further stated that she thought her husband was hit immediately thereafter by the second bullet.341 If the same bullet struck both the President and the Governor, it is entirely possible that she saw the President's movements at. the same time as she heard the second shot. Her testimony, therefore, does not preclude the possibility of the first shot having missed.
Other eyewitness testimony, however, supports the conclusion that the first of the shots fired hit the President. As discussed in chapter II, Special Agent Hill's testimony indicates that the President was hit by the first shot and that the head injury was caused by a second shot which followed about 5 seconds later. James W. Altgens, a photographer in Dallas for the Associated Press, had stationed himself on Elm Street opposite the Depository to take pictures of the passing motorcade. Altgens took a widely circulated photograph which showed President Kennedy reacting to the first of the two shots which hit him. (See Commission Exhibit No. 900, p. 113.) According to Altgens, he snapped the picture "almost simultaneously" with a shot which he is confident was the first one fired.342 Comparison of his photograph with the Zapruder film, however, revealed that Altgens took his picture at approximately the same moment as frame 255 of the movie, 30 to 45 frames (approximately 2 seconds) later than the point at which the President was shot in the neck.343 (See Commission Exhibit No. 901, p. 114.) Another photographer, Phillip L. Willis, snapped a picture at a time which he also asserts was simultaneous with the first shot. Analysis of his photograph revealed that it was taken at approximately frame 210 of the Zapruder film, which was the approximate time of the shot that probably hit the President and the Governor. If Willis accurately recalled that there were no previous shots, this would be strong evidence that the first shot did not miss.344
If the first shot did not miss, there must be an explanation for Governor Connally's recollection that he was not hit by it. There was, conceivably, a delayed reaction between the time the bullet struck him and the time he realized that he was hit, despite the fact that the bullet struck a glancing blow to a rib and penetrated his wrist bone. The Governor did not even know that he had been struck in the wrist or in the thigh until he regained consciousness in the hospital the next day. Moreover, he testified that he did not hear what he thought was the second shot, although he did hear a subsequent shot which coincided with the shattering of the President's head.345 One possibility, therefore, would be a sequence in which the Governor heard the first shot, did not. immediately feel the penetration of the bullet,

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then felt the delayed reaction of the impact on his back, later heard the shot which shattered the President's head, and then lost consciousness without hearing a third shot which might have occurred later.

The Second Shot

The possibility that the second shot missed is consistent with the elapsed time between the two shots that hit their mark. From the timing evidenced by the Zapruder films, there was an interval of from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds between the shot which .struck President Kennedy's neck (between frames 210 to 225) and the shot which struck his head at frame 813.346 Since a minimum of 2.3 seconds must elapse between shots, a bullet could have been fired from the rifle and missed during this interval.347 This possibility was buttressed by the testimony of witnesses who claimed that the shots were evenly spaced, since a second shot occurring within an interval of approximately 5 seconds would have to be almost exactly midway in this period. If Altgens' recollection is correct that he snapped his picture at the same moment as he heard a shot, then it is possible that he heard a second shot which missed, since a shot fired 2.3 seconds before he took his picture at frame 255 could have hit the President at about frame 213. On the other hand, a substantial majority of the witnesses stated that the shots were not evenly spaced. Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together, although some believed that it was the first and second which were bunched.348 To the extent that reliance can be placed on recollection of witnesses as to the spacing of the shots, the testimony that the shots were not evenly spaced would militate against a second shot missing. Another factor arguing against the second shot missing is that the gunman would have been shooting at very near the minimum allowable time to have fired the three shots within 4.8 to 5.6 seconds, although it was entirely possible for him to have done so. (See ch. IV, pp. 188-194.)

The Third Shot

The last possibility, of course, is that it was the third shot which missed. This conclusion conforms most easily with the probability that the assassin would most likely have missed the farthest shot, particularly since there was an acceleration of the automobile after the shot which struck the President's head. The limousine also changed direction by following the curve to the right, whereas previously it had been proceeding in almost a straight line with a rifle protruding from the sixth-floor window of the Depository Building.
One must consider, however, the testimony of the witnesses who described the head shot as the concluding event in the assassination sequence. Illustrative is the testimony of Associated Press photographer Altgens, who had an excellent vantage point near the President's car. He recalled that the shot which hit the President's head "was the last shot--that much I will say with a great degree

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of certainty."349 On the other hand, Emmett J. Hudson, the grounds-keeper of Dealey Plaza, testified that from his position on Elm Street, midway between Houston Street and the Triple Underpass, he heard a third shot after the shot which hit the President in the head.350 In addition, Mrs. Kennedy's testimony indicated that neither the first nor the second shot missed. Immediately after the first noise she turned, because of the Governor's yell, and saw her husband raise his hand to his forehead. Then the second shot struck the President's head.351
Some evidence suggested that a third shot may have entirely missed and hit the turf or street by the Triple Underpass. Royce G. Skelton, who watched the motorcade from the railroad bridge., testified that after two shots "the car came on down close to the Triple Underpass" and an additional shot "hit in the left front of the President's car on the cement."352 Skelton thought that there had been a total of four shots, either the third or fourth of which hit in the vicinity of the underpass.353 Dallas Patrolman J. W. Foster, who was also on the Triple Underpass, testified that a shot hit the turf near a manhole cover in the vicinity of the underpass.354 Examination of this area, however, disclosed no indication that a bullet struck at the locations indicated by Skelton or Foster.355
At a different location in Dealey Plaza, the evidence indicated that a bullet fragment did hit the street. James T. Tague, who got out of his car to watch the motorcade from a position between Commerce and Main Streets near the Triple Underpass, was hit on the cheek by an object during the shooting.356 Within a few minutes Tague reported this to Deputy Sheriff Eddy R. Walthers, who was examining the area to see if any bullets had struck the turf.357 Walthers immediately started to search where Tague had been standing and located a place on the south curb of Main Street where it appeared a bullet had hit the cement.358 According to Tague, "There was a mark quite obviously . that was a bullet, and it was very fresh."359 In Tague's opinion, it was the second shot which caused the mark, since he thinks he heard the third shot after he was hit in the face.360 This incident appears to have been recorded in the contemporaneous report of Dallas Patrolman L. L. Hill, who radioed in around 12:40 p.m.: "I have one guy that was possibly hit by a richochet from the bullet off the concrete."361 Scientific examination of the mark on the south curb of Main Street by FBI experts disclosed metal smears which, "were spectrographically determined to be essentially lead with a trace of antimony."362 The mark on the curb could have originated from the lead core of a bullet but the absence of copper precluded "the possibility that the mark on the curbing section was made by an unmutilated military full metal-jacketed bullet such as the bullet from Governor Connally's stretcher."363
It is true that the noise of a subsequent shot might have been drowned out by the siren on the Secret Service followup car immediately after the head shot, or the dramatic effect of the head shot might have caused so much confusion that the memory of subsequent events was blurred.

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Nevertheless, the preponderance of the eyewitness testimony that the head shot was the final shot must be weighed in any determination as to whether it was the third shot that missed. Even if it were caused by a bullet fragment, the mark on the south curb of Main Street cannot be identified conclusively with any of the three shots fired. Under the circumstances it might have come from the bullet which hit the President's head, or it might have been a product of the fragmentation of the missed shot upon hitting some other object in the area.364 Since he did not observe any of the shots striking the President, Tague's testimony that the second shot, rather than the third, caused the scratch on his cheek, does not assist in limiting the possibilities.
The wide range of possibilities and the existence of conflicting testimony, when coupled with the impossibility of scientific verification, precludes a conclusive finding by the Commission as to which shot missed.
Time Span of Shots
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Witnesses at the assassination scene said that the shots were fired within a few seconds, with the general estimate being 5 to 6 seconds.365 That approximation was most probably based on the earlier publicized reports that the first shot struck the President in the neck, the second wounded the Governor and the third shattered the President's head, with the time span from the neck to the head shots on the President being approximately 5 seconds. As previously indicated, the time span between the shot entering the back of the President's neck and the bullet which shattered his skull was 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. If the second shot missed, then 4.8 to 5.6 seconds was the total time span of the shots. If either the first or third shots missed, then a minimum of 2.3 seconds (necessary to operate the rifle) must be added to the time span of the shots which hit, giving a minimum time of 7.1 to 7.9 seconds for the three shots. If more than 2.3 seconds elapsed between a shot that missed and one that hit, then the time span would be correspondingly increased.
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Based on the evidence analyzed in this chapter, the Commission has concluded that the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth-floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository Building. Two bullets probably caused all the wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor Connally. Since the preponderance of the evidence indicated that three shots were fired, the Commission concluded that one shot probably missed the Presidential limousine and its occupants, and that the three shots were fired in a time period ranging from approximately 4.8 to in excess of 7 seconds.

Chapter IV The Assassin
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The Assassin

THE PRECEDING chapter has established that the bullets which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the southeast corner window of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building and that the weapon which fired these bullets was a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle bearing the serial number C2766. In this chapter the Commission evaluates the evidence upon which it has based its conclusion concerning the identity of the assassin. This evidence includes (1) the ownership and possession of the weapon used to commit the assassination, (2) the means by which the weapon was brought into the Depository Building, (3) the identity of the person present at the window from which the shots were fired, (4) the killing of Dallas Patrolman J. D. Tippit within 45 minutes after the assassination, (5) the resistance to arrest and the attempted shooting of another police officer by the man (Lee Harvey Oswald) subsequently accused of assassinating President Kennedy and killing Patrolman Tippit, (6) the lies told to the police by Oswald, (7) the evidence linking Oswald to the attempted killing of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker (Resigned, U.S. Army) on April 10, 1963, and (8) Oswald's capability with a rifle.
Ownership and Possession of Assassination Weapon
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Purchase of Rifle by Oswald

Shortly after the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building,1 agents of the FBI learned from retail outlets in Dallas that Crescent Firearms, Inc., of New York City, was a distributor of surplus Italian 6.5-millimeter military rifles.2 During the evening of November 22, 1963, a review of the records of Crescent Firearms revealed that the firm had shipped an Italian carbine, serial number C2766, to Klein's Sporting Goods Co., of Chicago, Ill.3 After searching their records from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the officers of Klein's discovered that a rifle bearing serial number C2766 had been shipped to one A. Hidell,

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Post Office Box 2915, Dallas, Tex., on March 20, 1963.4 (See Waldman Exhibit No. 7, p. 120.)
According to its microfilm records, Klein's received an order for a rifle on March 13, 1963, on a coupon clipped from the February 1963 issue of the American Rifleman magazine. The order coupon was signed, in handprinting, "A. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Texas." (See Commission Exhibit No. 773, p. 120.) It was sent in an envelope bearing the same name and return address in handwriting. Document examiners for the Treasury Department and the FBI testified unequivocally that the bold printing on the face of the mail-order coupon was in the handprinting of Lee Harvey Oswald and that the writing on the envelope was also his. 5 Oswald's writing on these and other documents was identified by comparing the writing and printing on the documents in question with that appearing on documents known to have been written by Oswald, such as his letters, passport application, and endorsements of checks.6 (See app. X, p. 568-569.)
In addition to the order coupon the envelope contained a. U.S. postal money order for $21.45, purchased as No. 2,202,130,462 in Dallas, Tex., on March 12, 1963.7 The canceled money order was obtained from the Post Office Department. Opposite the printed words "Pay To" were written the words "Kleins Sporting Goods," and opposite the printed word "From" were written the words "A. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915 Dallas, Texas." These words were also in the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald. 8 (See Commission Exhibit No. 788, p. 120.)
From Klein's records it was possible to trace the processing of the order after its receipt. A bank deposit made on March 13, 1963, included an item of $21.45. Klein's shipping order form shows an imprint made by the cash register which recorded the receipt of $21.45 on March 13, 1963. This price included $19.95 for the rifle and the scope, and $1.50 for postage and handling. The rifle without the scope cost only $12.78.9
According to the vice president of Klein's, William Waldman, the scope was mounted on the rifle by a gunsmith employed by Klein's, and the rifle was shipped fully assembled in accordance with customary company procedures. 10 The specific rifle shipped against the order had been received by Klein's from Crescent on February 21, 1963. It bore the manufacturer's serial number C2766. On that date, Klein's placed an internal control number VC836 on this rifle. 11 According to Klein's shipping order form, one Italian carbine 6.5 X-4 x scope, control number VC836, serial number C2766, was shipped parcel post to "A. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Texas," on March 20, 1963. 12 Information received from the Italian Armed Forces Intelligence Service has established that this particular rifle was the only rifle of its type bearing serial number C2766.13 (See app. X, p. 554.)
The post office box to which the rifle was shipped was rented to "Lee H. Oswald" from October 9, 1962, to May 14, 1963.14 Experts on handwriting identification from 'the Treasury Department and the

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FBI testified that the signature and other writing on the application for that box were in the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald,15 as was a change-of-address card dated May 12, 1963,16 by which Oswald requested that mail addressed to that box be forwarded to him in New Orleans, where he had moved on April 24.17 Since the rifle was shipped from Chicago on March 20, 1963, it was received in Dallas during the period when Oswald rented and used the box. (See Commission Exhibit No. 791, p. 120.)
It is not known whether the application for post office box 2915 listed "A. Hidell" as a person entitled to receive mail at this box. In accordance with postal regulations, the portion of the application which lists names of persons, other than the applicant, entitled to receive mail was thrown away after the box was closed on May 1963. 18 Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes of the Dallas Post Office testified, however, that when a package is received for a certain box, a notice is placed in that box regardless of whether the name on the package is listed on the application as a person entitled to receive mail through that box. The person having access to the box then takes the notice to the window and is given the package. Ordinarily, Inspector
Holmes testified, identification is not requested because it is assumed that the person with the notice is entitled to the package.19
Oswald's use of the name "Hidell" to purchase the assassination weapon was one of several instances in which he used this name as an alias. When arrested on the day of the assassination, he had in his possession a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver purchased by mail-order coupon from Seaport-Traders, Inc., a mail-order division of George Rose & Co., Los Angeles. The mail-order coupon listed the purchaser as "A. J. Hidell Age 28" with the address of post office box 2915 in Dallas. 21 Handwriting experts from the FBI and the Treasury Department testified that the writing on the mail-order form was that of Lee Harvey Oswald.22
Among other identification cards in Oswald's wallet at the time of his arrest were a Selective Service notice of classification, a Selective Service registration certificate,23 and a certificate of service in the U.S. Marine Corps,24 all three cards being in his own name. Also in his wallet at that time were a Selective Service notice of classification and a Marine certificate of service in the name of Alek James Hidell.25 On the Hidell Selective Service card there appeared a signature, "Alek J. Hidell," and the photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald.26 Experts on questioned documents from the Treasury Department and the FBI testified that the Hidell cards were counterfeit photographic reproductions made by photographing the Oswald cards, retouching the resulting negatives, and producing prints from the retouched negatives. The Hidell signature on the notice of classification was in the handwriting of Oswald. (See app. X, p. 572.)
In Oswald's personal effects found in his room at 1026 North Beckley Avenue in Dallas was a purported international certificate of vaccination signed by "Dr. A. J. Hideel," Post Office Box 30016, New

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Orleans. 28 It certified that Lee Harvey Oswald had been vaccinated for smallpox on June 8, 1963. This, too, was a forgery. The signature of "A. J. Hideel" was in the handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald. 29 There is no "Dr. Hideel" licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.30 There is no post office box 30016 in the New Orleans Post Office but Oswald had rented post office box 30061 in New Orleans on June 3, 1963, listing Marina Oswald and A. J. Hidell as additional persons entitled to receive mail in the box.32 The New Orleans postal authorities had not discarded the portion of the application listing the names of those, other than the owner of the box, entitled to receive mail through the box. Expert testimony confirmed that the writing on this application was that of Lee Harvey Oswald. 33
Hidell's name on the post office box application was part of Oswald's use of a nonexistent Hidell to serve as president of the so-called New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. (As discussed below in ch.VI, p. 292.) Marina Oswald testified that she first learned of Oswald's use of the fictitious name "Hidell" in connection with his pro-Castro activities in New Orleans.34 According to her testimony, he compelled her to write the name "Hidell" on membership cards in the space designated for the signature of the "Chapter President." 35 The name "Hidell" was stamped on some of the "Chapter's" printed literature and on the membership application blanks.36 Marina Oswald testified, "I knew there was no such organization. And I know Hidell is merely an altered Fidel, and I laughed at such foolishness." 37 Hidell was a fictitious president of an organization of which Oswald was the only member.38
When seeking employment in New Orleans, Oswald listed a "Sgt. Robt. Hidell" as a reference on one job application 39 and "George Hidell" as a reference on another.40 Both names were found to be fictitious.41 Moreover, the use of "Alek" as a first name for Hidell is a further link to Oswald because "Alek" was Oswald's nickname in Russia.42 Letters received by Marina Oswald from her husband signed "Alek" were given to the Commission.43

Oswald's Palmprint on Rifle Barrel

Based on the above evidence, the Commission concluded that Oswald purchased the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building. Additional evidence of ownership was provided in the form of palmprint identification which indicated that Oswald had possession of the rifle he had purchased.
A few minutes after the rifle was discovered on the sixth floor of the Depository Building 44 it was examined by Lt. J. C. Day of the identification bureau of the Dallas police. He lifted the rifle by the wooden stock after his examination convinced him that the wood was too rough to take fingerprints. Capt. J. W. Fritz then ejected a cartridge by operating the bolt, but only after Day viewed the knob on the bolt through a magnifying glass and found no prints.45 Day continued to examine the rifle with the magnifying glass, looking for

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possible fingerprints. He applied fingerprint powder to the side of the metal housing near the trigger, and noticed traces of two prints.46 At 11:45 p.m. on November 22, the rifle was released to the FBI and forwarded to Washington where it was examined on the morning of November 23 by Sebastian F. Latona, supervisor of the Latent Fingerprint Section of the FBI's Identification Division.47
In his testimony before the Commission, Latona stated that when he received the rifle, the area where prints were visible was protected by cellophane.48 He examined these prints, as well as photographs of them which the Dallas police had made, and concluded that:

* * * the formations, the ridge formations and characteristics, were insufficient for purposes of either effecting identification or a determination that the print was not identical with the prints of people. Accordingly, my opinion simply was that the latent prints which were there were of no value.49

Latona then processed the complete weapon but developed no identifiable prints.50 He stated that the poor quality of the wood and the metal would cause the rifle to absorb moisture from the skin, thereby making a clear print unlikely. 51
On November 22, however, before surrendering possession of the rifle to the FBI Laboratory, Lieutenant Day of the Dallas Police Department had "lifted" a palmprint from the underside of the gun barrel "near the firing end of the barrel about 3 inches under the woodstock when I took the woodstock loose." 52 "Lifting" a print involves the use of adhesive material to remove the fingerprint powder which adheres to the original print. In this way the powdered impression is actually removed from the object.53 The lifting had been so complete in this case that there was no trace of the print on the rifle itself when it was examined by Latona. Nor was there any indication that the lift had been performed. 54 Day, on the other hand, believed that sufficient traces of the print had been left on the rifle barrel, because he did not release the lifted print until November 26, when he received instructions to send "everything that we had" to the FBI.55 The print arrived in the FBI Laboratory in Washington on November 29, mounted on a card on which Lieutenant Day had written the words "off underside gun barrel near end of grip C2766." 56 The print's positive identity as having been lifted from the rifle was confirmed by FBI Laboratory tests which established that the adhesive material bearing the print also bore impressions of the same irregularities that appeared on the barrel of the rifle. 57
Latona testified that this palmprint was the right palmprint of Lee Harvey Oswald.58 At the request of the Commission, Arthur Mandella, fingerprint expert with the New York City Police Department, conducted an independent examination and also determined that this was the right palmprint of Oswald.59 Latona's findings were also confirmed by Ronald G. Wittmus, another FBI fingerprint

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expert.60 In the opinion of these experts, it was not possible to estimate the time which elapsed between the placing of the print on the rifle and the date of the lift.61
Experts testifying before the Commission agreed that palmprints are as unique as fingerprints for purposes of establishing identification.62 Oswald's palmprint on the underside of the barrel demonstrates that he handled the rifle when it was disassembled. A palmprint could not be placed on this portion of the rifle, when assembled, because the wooden foregrip covers the barrel at this point.63 The print is additional proof that the rifle was in Oswald's possession.

Fibers on Rifle

In a crevice between the butt plate of the rifle and the wooden stock was a tuft of several cotton fibers of dark blue, gray-black, and orange-yellow shades.64 On November 23, 1963, these fibers were examined by Paul M. Stombaugh, a special agent assigned to the Hair and Fiber Unit of the FBI Laboratory.65 He compared them with the fibers found in the shirt which Oswald was wearing when arrested in the Texas Theatre.66 This shirt was also composed of dark blue, gray- black and orange-yellow cotton fibers. Stombaugh testified that the colors, shades, and twist of the fibers found in the tuft on the rifle matched those in Oswald's shirt.67 (See app. X, p. 592.) Stombaugh explained in his testimony that in fiber analysis, as distinct from fingerprint or firearms identification, it is not. possible to state with scientific certainty that a particular small group of fibers come from a certain piece of clothing to the exclusion of all others because there are not enough microscopic characteristics present in fibers.68 Judgments as to probability will depend on the number and types of matches.69 He concluded, "There is no doubt in my mind that these fibers could have come from this shirt. There is no way, however, to eliminate the possibility of the fibers having come from another identical shirt." 70
Having considered the probabilities as explained in Stombaugh's testimony, the Commission has concluded that the fibers in the tuft on the rifle most probably came from the shirt worn by Oswald when he was arrested, and that. this was the same shirt which Oswald wore on the morning of the assassination. Marina Oswald testified that she thought her husband wore this shirt to work on that day. The testimony of those who saw him after the assassination was inconclusive about the color of Oswald's shirt,72 but Mary Bledsoe, a former landlady of Oswald, saw him on a bus approximately 10 minutes after the assassination and identified the shirt as being the one worn by Oswald primarily because of a distinctive hole in the shirt's right elbow. 73 Moreover, the bus transfer which he obtained as he left. the bus was still in the pocket when he was arrested.74 Although Oswald returned to his roominghouse after the assassination and when questioned by the police, claimed to have changed his shirt,75 the evidence

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indicates that he continued wearing the same shirt which he was wearing all morning and which he was still wearing when arrested.
In light of these findings the Commission evaluated the additional testimony of Stombaugh that the fibers were caught in the crevice of the rifle's butt plate "in the recent past."76 Although Stombaugh was unable to estimate the period of time the fibers were on the rifle he said that the fibers "were clean, they had good color to them, there was no grease on them and they were not fragmented. They looked as if they had just been picked up." 77 The relative freshness of the fibers is strong evidence that they were caught on the rifle on the morning of the assassination or during the preceding evening. For 10 days prior to the eve of the assassination Oswald had not been present at Ruth Paine's house in Irving, Tex.,78 where the rifle was kept. 79 Moreover, the Commission found no reliable evidence that Oswald used the rifle at any time between September 23, when it was transported from New Orleans, and November 22, the day of the assassination.80 The fact that on the morning of the assassination Oswald was wearing the shirt from which these relatively fresh fibers most probably originated, provides some evidence that they were placed on the rifle that day since there was limited, if any, opportunity for Oswald to handle the weapon during the 2 months prior to November 22.
On the other hand Stombaugh pointed out that fibers might retain their freshness if the rifle had been "put aside" after catching the fibers. The rifle used in the assassination probably had been wrapped in a blanket for about 8 weeks prior to November 22.81 Because the relative freshness of these fibers might be explained by the continuous storage of the rifle in the blanket, the Commission was unable to reach any firm conclusion as to when the fibers were caught in the rifle. The Commission was able to conclude, however, that the fibers most probably came from Oswald's shirt. This adds to the conviction of the Commission that Oswald owned and handled the weapon used in the assassination.

Photograph of Oswald With Rifle

During the period from March 2, 1963, to April 24, 1963, the Oswalds lived on Neely Street in Dallas in a rented house which had a small back yard.32 One Sunday, while his wife was hanging diapers, Oswald asked her to take a picture of him holding a rifle, a pistol and issues of two newspapers later identified as the Worker and the Militant.83 Two pictures were taken. The Commission has concluded that the rifle shown in these pictures is the same rifle which was found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building on November 22, 1963. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 133-A and 133-B, p.. 126.)
One of these pictures, Exhibit No. 133-A, shows most of the rifle's configuration.84 Special Agent Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, a photography expert with the FBI, photographed the rifle used in the assassination, attempting to duplicate the position of the rifle and the lighting in Exhibit No. 133-A.85 After comparing the rifle in the simulated

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(Enlargement of Commission Exhibit No. 133-A)

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photograph with the rifle in Exhibit No. 133-A, Shaneyfelt testified, "I found it to be the same general configuration. All appearances were the same." He found "one notch in the stock at this point that appears very faintly in the photograph." He stated, however, that while he "found no differences" between the rifles in the two photographs, he could not make a "positive identification to the exclusion of all other rifles of the same general configuration." 86
The authenticity of these pictures has been established by expert testimony which links the second picture, Commission Exhibit No. 133-B, to Oswald's Imperial Reflex camera, with which Marina Oswald testified she took the pictures.87 The negative of that picture, Commission Exhibit No. 133-B, was found among Oswald's possessions.88 Using a recognized technique of determining whether a picture was taken with a particular camera, Shaneyfelt compared this negative with a negative which he made by taking a new picture with Oswald's camera.89 He concluded that the negative of Exhibit No. 133-B was exposed in Oswald's Imperial Reflex camera to the exclusion of all other cameras. 90 He could not test Exhibit No. 133-A in the same way because the negative was never recovered. 91 Both pictures, however, have identical backgrounds and lighting and, judging from the shadows, were taken at the same angle. They are photographs of the same scene.92 Since Exhibit No. 133-B was taken with Oswald's camera, it is reasonably certain that Exhibit No. 133-A was taken by the same camera at the same time, as Marina Oswald testified. Moreover, Shaneyfelt testified that in his opinion the photographs were not composites of two different photographs and that Oswald's face had not been superimposed on another body.93
One of the photographs taken by Marina Oswald was widely published in newspapers and magazines, and in many instances the details of these pictures differed from the original, and even from each other, particularly as to the configuration of the rifle. The Commission sought to determine whether these photographs were touched prior to publication. Shaneyfelt testified that the published photographs appeared to be based on a copy of the original which the publications had each retouched differently.94 Several of the publications furnished the Commission with the prints they had used, or described by correspondence the retouching they had done. This information enabled the Commission to conclude that the published pictures were the same as the original except for retouching done by these publications, apparently for the purpose of clarifying the lines of the rifle and other details in the picture.95
The dates surrounding the taking of this picture and the purchase of the rifle reinforce the belief that the rifle in the photograph is the rifle which Oswald bought from Klein's. The rifle was shipped from Klein's in Chicago on March 20, 1963, at a time when the Oswalds were living on Neely Street.96 From an examination of one of the photographs, the Commission determined the dates of the issues of the Militant and the Worker which Oswald was holding in his hand.

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By checking the actual mailing dates of these issues and the time usually takes to effect. delivery to Dallas, it was established that the photographs must have been taken sometime after March 27.97 Marina Oswald testified that the photographs were taken on a Sunday about 2 weeks before the attempted shooting of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker on April 10, 1968.98 By Sunday, March 31, 1963, 10 days prior to the Walker attempt, Oswald had undoubtedly received the rifle shipped from Chicago on March 20, the revolver shipped from Los Angeles on the same date,99 and the two newspapers which he was holding in the picture.

Rifle Among Oswald's Possessions

Marina Oswald testified that the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building was the "fateful rifle of Lee Oswald." Moreover, it was the only rifle owned by her husband following his return from the Soviet Union in June 1962.101 It had been purchased in March 1963, and taken to New Orleans where Marina Oswald saw it in their rented apartment during the summer' of 1963.102 It appears from his wife's testimony that. Oswald may have sat on the screened-in porch at night practicing with the rifle by looking through the telescopic sight and operating the bolt.103 In September 1963, Oswald loaded their possessions into a station wagon owned by Ruth Paine, who had invited Marina Oswald and the baby to live at her home in Irving,104 Tex. Marina. Oswald has stated that the rifle was among these possessions,105 although Ruth Paine testified that she was not aware of it.106
From September 24, 1963, when Marina Oswald arrived in Irving from New Orleans, until the morning of the assassination, the rifle was, according to the evidence, stored in a green and brown blanket in the Paines' garage among the Oswalds' other possessions.107 About 1 week after the return from New Orleans, Marina Oswald was looking in the garage for parts to the baby's crib and thought that the parts might be in the blanket. When she started to open the blanket, she saw the stock of the rifle.108 Ruth and Michael Paine both noticed the rolled-up blanket in the garage during the time that Marina Oswald was living in their home.109 On several occasions, Michael Paine moved the blanket in the garage.110 He thought it contained tent poles, or possibly other camping equipment such as a folding shovel.111 When he appeared before the Commission, Michael Paine lifted the blanket with the rifle wrapped inside and testified that it appeared to be the same approximate weight and shape as the package in his garage.112
About 3 hours after the assassination, a detective and deputy sheriff saw the blanket-roll, tied with a string, lying on the floor of the Paines' garage. Each man testified that he thought he could detect the outline of a rifle in the blanket, even though the blanket was empty.113 Paul M. Stombaugh, of the FBI Laboratory, examined the blanket and discovered a bulge approximately 10 inches long midway in the blanket. This bulge was apparently caused by a hard protruding

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object which had stretched the blanket's fibers. It could have been caused by the telescopic sight of the rifle which was approximately 11 inches long.114 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1304 p. 132.)


Having reviewed the evidence that (1) Lee Harvey Oswald purchased the rifle used in the assassination, (2) Oswald's palmprint was on the rifle in a position which shows that he had handled it while it was disassembled, (3) fibers found on the rifle most probably came from the shirt Oswald was wearing on the day of the assassination, (4) a photograph taken in the yard of Oswald's apartment showed him holding this rifle, and (5) the rifle was kept among Oswald's possessions from the time of its purchase until the day of the assassination, the Commission concluded that the rifle used to assassinate President Kennedy and wound Governor Connally was owned and possessed by Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Rifle in the Building
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The Commission has evaluated the evidence tending to show how Lee Harvey Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, serial number C2766, was brought into the Depository Building, where it was found on the sixth floor shortly after the assassination. In this connection the Commission considered (1) the circumstances surrounding Oswald's return to Irving, Tex., on Thursday, November 21, 1963, (2) the disappearance of the rifle from its normal place of storage, (3) Oswald's arrival at the Depository Building on November 22, carrying a long and bulky brown paper package, (4) the presence of a long handmade brown paper bag near the point from which the shots were fired, and (5) the palmprint, fiber, and paper analyses linking Oswald and the assassination weapon to this bag.

The Curtain Rod Story

During October and November of 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald lived in a roominghouse in Dallas while his wife and children lived in Irving, at the home of Ruth Paine,113 approximately 15 miles from Oswald's place of work at the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald traveled between Dallas and Irving on weekends in a car driven by a neighbor of the Paines, Buell Wesley Frazier, who also worked at the Depository.116 Oswald generally would go to Irving on Friday afternoon and return to Dallas Monday morning. According to the testimony of Frazier, Marina Oswald, and Ruth Paine, it appears that Oswald never returned to Irving in midweek prior to November 21, 1963, except on Monday, October 21, when he visited his wife in the hospital after the birth of their second child.117
During the morning of November 21, Oswald asked Frazier whether he could ride home with him that afternoon. Frazier, surprised, asked

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him why he was going to Irving on Thursday night rather than Friday. Oswald replied, "I'm going home to get some curtain rods * * * [to] put in an apartment." 118 The two men left work at 4: 40 p.m. and drove to Irving. There was little conversation between them on the way home.119 Mrs. Linnie Mac Randle, Frazier's sister, commented to her brother about Oswald's unusual midweek return to Irving. Frazier told her that Oswald had come home to get curtain rods,120
It would appear, however, that obtaining curtain rods was not the purpose of Oswald's trip to Irving on November 21. Mrs. A. C. Johnson, his landlady, testified that Oswald's room at 1026 North Beckley Avenue had curtains and curtain rods,121 and that Oswald had never discussed the subject with her.122 In the Paines' garage, along with many other objects of a household character, there were two flat lightweight curtain rods belonging to Ruth Paine but they were still there on Friday afternoon after Oswald's arrest.123 Oswald never asked Mrs. Paine about the use of curtain rods,124 and Marina. Oswald testified that Oswald did not say anything about curtain rods on the day before the assassination.125 No curtain rods were known to have been discovered in the Depository Building after the assassination.126 In deciding whether Oswald carried a rifle to work in a long paper bag on November 22, the Commission gave weight to the fact that Oswald gave a false reason for returning home on November 21, and one which provided an excuse for the carrying of a bulky package the following morning.

The Missing Rifle

Before dinner on November 21, Oswald played on the lawn of the Paines' home with his daughter June.127 After dinner Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald were busy cleaning house and preparing their children for bed.128 Between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. they were occupied with the children in the bedrooms located at the extreme east end of the house.129 On the west end of the house is the attached garage, which can be reached from the kitchen or from the outside.130 In the garage were the personal belongings of the Oswald family including, as the evidence has shown., the rifle wrapped in the old brown and green blanket.131
At approximately 9 p.m., after the children had been put to bed, Mrs. Paine, according to her testimony before the Commission, "went out to the garage to paint some children's blocks, and worked in the garage for half an hour or so. I noticed when I went out that the light was on." 132 Mrs. Paine was certain that she had not left the light on in the garage after dinner.138 According to Mrs. Paine, Oswald had gone to bed by 9 p.m.; 134 Marina Oswald testified that it was between 9 and 10 p.m.135 Neither Marina Oswald nor Ruth Paine saw Oswald in the garage.136 The period between 8 and 9 p.m., however, provided ample opportunity for Oswald to prepare the rifle for his departure the next. morning. Only if disassembled could

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the rifle fit into the paper bag found near the window 137 from which the shots were fired. A firearms expert with the FBI assembled the rifle in 6 minutes using a 10-cent coin as a tool, and he could disassemble it more rapidly.138 While the rifle may have already been disassembled when Oswald arrived home on Thursday, he had ample time that evening to disassemble the rifle and insert it into the paper bag.
On the day of the assassination, Marina Oswald was watching television when she learned of the shooting. A short time later Mrs. Paine told her that someone had shot the President "from the building in which Lee is working." Marina Oswald testified that at that time "My heart dropped. I then went to the garage to see whether the rifle was there and I saw that the blanket was still there and I said 'Thank God.'" She did not unroll the blanket. She saw that it was in its usual position and it appeared to her to have something inside.139
Soon afterward, at about 3 p.m., police officers arrived and searched the house. Mrs. Paine pointed out that most of the Oswalds' possessions were in the garage.140 With Ruth Paine acting as an interpreter, Detective Rose asked Marina whether her husband had a rifle. Mrs. Paine, who had no knowledge of the rifle, first said "No," but when the question was translated, Marina Oswald replied "Yes." 141 She pointed to the blanket which was on the floor very close to where Ruth Paine was standing. Mrs. Paine testified:

As she [Marina] told me about it I stepped onto the blanket roll. * * * And she indicated to me that she had peered into this roll and saw a portion of what she took to be a gun she knew her husband to have, a rifle. And I then translated this to the officers that she knew that her husband had a gun that he had stored in here. * * * I then stepped off of it and the officer picked it up in the middle and it bent so. * * * 142

Mrs. Paine had the actual blanket before her as she testified and she indicated that the blanket. hung limp in the officer's hand.143 Marina Oswald testified that this was her first knowledge that the rifle was not in its accustomed place.144

The Long and Bulky Package

On the morning of November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald left the Paine house in Irving at approximately 7:15 a.m., while Marina Oswald was still in bed.145 Neither she nor Mrs. Paine saw him leave the house.146 About half-a- block away from the Paine house was the residence of Mrs. Linnie Mac Randle, the sister of the man with whom Oswald drove to work--Buell Wesley Frazier. Mrs. Randle stated that on the morning of November 22, while her brother was eating breakfast, she looked out the breakfast-room window and saw Oswald cross the street and walk toward the driveway where her brother parked his car near the carport. He carried a "heavy brown bag." 147 Oswald

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C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and paper bag found on the sixth floor of the Texas
School Book Depository.

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gripped the bag in his right hand near the top. "It tapered like this as he hugged it. in his hand. It was * * * more bulky toward the bottom" than toward the top.148 She then opened the kitchen door and saw Oswald open the right rear door of her brother's car and place the package in the back of the car.149 Mrs. Randle estimated that the package was approximately 28 inches long and about 8 inches wide.150 She thought. that its color was similar to that of the bag found on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository after the assassination.151
Frazier met Oswald at. the kitchen door and together they walked to the car.152 After entering the car, Frazier glanced over his shoulder and noticed a brown paper package on the back seat. He asked, "What's the package, Lee?" Oswald replied, "curtain rods."153 Frazier told the Commission "* * * the main reason he was going over there that Thursday afternoon when he was to bring back some curtain rods, so I didn't think any more about it when he told me that."154 Frazier estimated that the bag was 2 feet long "give and take a few inches," and about 5 or 6 inches wide.155 As they sat in the car, Frazier asked Oswald where his lunch was, and Oswald replied that he was going to buy his lunch that day.156 Frazier testified that Oswald carried no lunch bag that day. "When he rode with me, I say he always brought lunch except that one day on November 22 he didn't bring his lunch that day." 157
Frazier parked the car in the company parking lot about 2 blocks north of the Depository Building. Oswald left the car first, picked up the brown paper bag, and proceeded toward the building ahead of Frazier. Frazier walked behind and as they crossed the railroad tracks he watched the switching of the cars. Frazier recalled that one end of the package was under Oswald's armpit and the lower part was held with his right hand so that it was carried straight and parallel to his body. When Oswald entered the rear door of the Depository Building, he was about 50 feet ahead of Frazier. It was the first time that Oswald had not walked with Frazier from the parking lot to the building entrance.158 When Frazier entered the building, he did not see Oswald.159 One employee, Jack Dougherty, believed that he saw Oswald coming to work, but he does not remember that Oswald had anything in his hands as he entered the door.160 No other employee has been found who saw Oswald enter that morning.161
In deciding whether Oswald carried the assassination weapon in the bag which Frazier and Mrs. Randle saw, the Commission has carefully considered the testimony of these two witnesses with regard to the length of the bag. Frazier and Mrs. Randle testified that the bag which Oswald was carrying was approximately 27 or 28 inches long,162 whereas the wooden stock of the rifle, which is its largest component, measured 34.8 inches.163 The bag found on the sixth floor was 88 inches long.164 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1304, p. 132.) When Frazier appeared before the Commission and was asked to demonstrate how Oswald carried the package, he said, "Like I said, I remember that I didn't look at the package very much ***

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but when I did look at it he did have his hands on the package like that," 165 and at this point Frazier placed the upper part of the package under his armpit and attempted to cup his right hand beneath the bottom of the bag. The disassembled rifle was too long to be carried in this manner. Similarly, when the butt of the rifle was placed in Frazier's hand, it extended above his shoulder to ear level. 1 Moreover, in an interview on December 1, 1963, with agents of the FBI, Frazier had marked the point on the back seat of his car which he believed was where the bag reached when it was laid on the seat with one edge against the door. The distance between the point on the seat and the door was 27 inches.167
Mrs. Randle said, when shown the paper bag, that the bag she saw Oswald carrying "wasn't that long, I mean it was folded down at the top as I told you. It definitely wasn't that long." 168 And she folded the bag to length of about 28½ inches. Frazier doubted whether the bag that Oswald carried was as wide as the bag found on the sixth floor,169 although Mrs. Randle testified that the width was approximately the same.170
The Commission has weighed the visual recollection of Frazier and Mrs. Randle against the evidence here presented that the bag Oswald carried contained the assassination weapon and has concluded that Frazier and Randle are mistaken as to the length of the bag. Mrs. Randle saw the bag fleetingly and her first remembrance is that it was held in Oswald's right hand "and it almost touched the ground as he carried it." 171 Frazier's view of the bag was from the rear. He continually advised that he was not paying close attention.172 For example, he said,

* * * I didn't pay too much attention the way he was walking because I was walking along there looking at the railroad cars and watching the men on the diesel switch them cars and I didn't pay too much attention on how he carried the package at all.173

Frazier could easily have been mistaken when he slated that Oswald held the bottom of the bag cupped in his hand with the upper end tucked into his armpit.

Location of Bag

A handmade bag of wrapping paper and tape 174 was found in the southeast corner of the sixth floor alongside the window from which the shots were fired.175 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2707, p. 142.) It was not a standard type bag which could be. obtained in a store and it was presumably made for a particular purpose. It was the appropriate size to contain, in disassembled form, Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, serial No. CS2766, which was also found on the sixth floor.176 Three cartons had been placed at the window apparently to act as a gun rest and a fourth carton was placed behind those at the window.177 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1301,

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p. 138.) A person seated on the fourth carton could assemble the rifle without being seen from the rest of the sixth floor because the cartons stacked around the southeast corner would shield him.178 (See Commission Exhibit No. 723, p. 80.) The presence of the bag in this corner is cogent evidence that it was used as the container for the rifle. At the time the bag was found, Lieutenant Day of the Dallas police wrote on it, "Found next to the sixth floor window gun fired from. May have been used to carry gun. Lt. J. C. Day." 179

Scientific Evidence Linking Rifle and Oswald to Paper Bag

Oswald's fingerprint and palmprint found on bag.--Using a standard chemical method involving silver nitrates 180 the FBI Laboratory developed a latent palmprint and latent fingerprint on the bag. (See app. X, p. 565.) .Sebastian F. Latona, supervisor of the FBI's Latent Fingerprint Section, identified these prints as the left index fingerprint and right palmprint of Lee Harvey Oswald.181 The portion of the palm which was identified was the heel of the right palm, i.e., the area near the wrist, on the little finger side.182 These prints were examined independently by Ronald G. Wittmus of the FBI,183 and by Arthur Mandella, a fingerprint expert with the New York City Police Department. 184 Both concluded that the prints were the right palm and left index finger of Lee Oswald. No other identifiable prints were found on the bag.185
Oswald's palmprint on the bottom of the paper bag indicated, of course, that he had handled the bag. Furthermore, it was consistent with the bag having contained a heavy or bulky object when he handled it since a light object is usually held by the fingers.186 The palmprint was found on the closed end of the bag. It was from Oswald's right hand, in which he carried the long package as he walked from Frazier's car to the building.187
Materials used to make bag.--On the day of the assassination, the Dallas police obtained a sample of wrapping paper and tape from the shipping room of the Depository and forwarded it to the FBI Laboratory in Washington.188 James C. Cadigan, a questioned-documents expert with the Bureau, compared the samples with the paper and tape in the actual bag. He testified, "In all of the observations and physical tests that I made I found * * * the bag * * * and the paper sample * * * were the same." 189
Among other tests, the paper and tape were submitted to fiber analysis and spectrographic examination.190 In addition the tape was compared to determine whether the sample tape and the tape on the bag had been taken from the tape dispensing machine at the Depository. When asked to explain the similarity of characteristics, Cadigan stated: 191

Well, briefly, it would be the thickness of both the paper and the tape, the color under various lighting conditions of both the paper and the tape, the width of the tape, the knurled markings

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on the surface of the fiber, the texture of the fiber, the letting pattern * * *
* * * * * * *
I found that the paper sack found on the sixth floor * * * and the sample * * * had the same observable characteristics both under the microscope and all the visual tests that I could conduct.
* * * * * * *

The papers I also found were similar in fiber composition, therefore, in addition to the visual characteristics, microscopic and UV [ultra violet] characteristics.

Mr. Cadigan concluded that the paper and tape from the bag were identical in all respects to the sample paper and tape taken from the Texas School Book Depository shipping room on November 22, 1963.192
On December l, 1963, a replica bag was made from materials found on that date in the shipping room. This was done as an investigatory aid since the original bag had been discolored during various laboratory examinations and could not be used for valid identification by witnesses.193 Cadigan found that the paper used to make this replica sack had different characteristics from the paper in the original bag.194 The science of paper analysis enabled him to distinguish between different rolls of paper even though they were produced by the same manufacturer.125
Since the Depository normally used approximately one roll of paper every 3 working days,196 it was not surprising that the replica sack made on December 1, 1963, had different characteristics from both the actual bag and the sample taken on November 22. On the other hand, since two rolls could be made from the same batch of paper, one cannot estimate when, prior to November 22, Oswald made the paper bag. However, the complete identity of characteristics between the paper and tape in the bag found on the sixth floor and the paper and tape found in the shipping room of the Depository on November 22 enabled the Commission to conclude that the bag was made from these materials. The Depository shipping department was on the first floor to. which Oswald had access in the normal performance of his duties filling orders.197
Fibers in paper bag matched fibers in blanket.--When Paul M. Stombaugh of the FBI Laboratory examined the paper bag, he found, on the inside, a single brown delustered viscose fiber and several light green cotton fibers.198 'The blanket in which the rifle was stored was composed of brown and green cotton, viscose and woolen fibers.199
The single brown viscose fiber found in the bag matched some of the brown viscose fibers from the blanket in all observable characteristics.200 The green cotton fibers found in the paper bag matched 'some of the green cotton fibers in the blanket "in all observable microscopic

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characteristics." 201 Despite these matches, however, Stombaugh was unable to render on opinion that the fibers which he found in the bag had probably come from the blanket, because other types of fibers present in the blanket were not found in the bag. He concluded:

All I would say here is that it is possible that these fibers could have come from this blanket., because this blanket is composed of brown and green woolen fibers, brown and green delustered viscose fibers, and brown and green cotton fibers. * * * We found no brown cotton fibers, no green viscose fibers, and no woolen fibers.
So if I found all of these then I would have been able to say these fibers probably had come from this blanket. But since I found so few, then I would say the possibility exists, these fibers could have come from this blanket.202

Stombaugh confirmed that the rifle could have picked up fibers from the blanket and transferred them to the paper bag.203 In light of the other evidence linking Lee Harvey Oswald, the blanket, and the rifle to the paper bag found on the sixth floor, the Commission considered Stombaugh's testimony of probative value in deciding whether Oswald' carried the rifle into the building in the paper bag.


The preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald (1) told the curtain rod story to Frazier to explain both the return to Irving on a Thursday and the obvious bulk of the package which he intended to bring to work the next day; (2) took paper and tape from the wrapping bench of the Depository and fashioned a bag large enough to carry the disassembled rifle; (3) removed the rifle from the blanket in the Paines' garage on Thursday evening; (4) carried the rifle into the Depository Building, concealed in the bag; and, (5) left the bag alongside the window from which the shots were fired.
Oswald At Window
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Lee Harvey Oswald was hired on October 15, 1963, by the Texas School Book Depository as an "order filler." 204 He worked principally on the first and sixth floors of the building, gathering books listed on orders and delivering them to the shipping room on the first floor.205 He had ready access to the sixth floor, 208 from the southeast corner window of which the shots were fired. 207 The Commission evaluated the physical evidence found near the window after the assassination and the testimony of eyewitnesses in deciding whether Lee Harvey Oswald was present at this window at the time of the assassination.

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Palmprints and Fingerprints on Cartons and Paper Bag

Below the southeast corner window on the sixth floor was a large carton of books measuring approximately 18 by 12 by 14 inches which had been moved from a stack along the south wall.208 Atop this carton was a small carton marked "Rolling Readers," measuring approximately 13 by 9 by 8 inches.209 In front of this small carton and resting partially on the windowsill was another small "Rolling Readers" carton.210 These two small cartons had been moved from a stack about three aisles away. 211 The boxes in the window appeared to have been arranged as a convenient gun rest.212 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1301, p. 138.) Behind these boxes was another carton placed on the floor on which a man sitting could look southwesterly down Elm Street over the top of the "Rolling Readers" cartons.213 Next to these cartons was the handmade paper bag, previously discussed, on which appeared the print of the left index finger and right palm of Lee Harvey Oswald.214 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1302, p. 139.)
The cartons were forwarded to the FBI in Washington. Sebastian F. Latona, supervisor of the Latent Fingerprint Section, testified that 20 identifiable fingerprints and 8 palmprints were developed on these cartons.205 The carton on the windowsill and the large carton below the window contained no prints which could be identified as being those of Lee Harvey Oswald.216 The other "Rolling Readers" carton, however, contained a palmprint and a fingerprint which were identified by Latona as being the left palmprint and right index fingerprint of Lee Harvey Oswald.217 (See app. X, p. 566.)
The Commission has considered the possibility that the cartons might have been moved in connection with the work that was being performed on the sixth floor on November 22. Depository employees were laying a new floor at the west end and transferring books from the west to the east end of the building.218 The "Rolling Readers" cartons, however, had not been moved by the floor layers and had apparently been taken to the window from their regular position for some particular purpose.219 The "Rolling Readers" boxes contained, instead of books, light blocks used as reading aids.220 They could be easily adjusted and were still solid enough to serve as a gun rest.
The box on the floor, behind the three near the window, had been one of these moved by the floor layers from the west wall to near the east side of the building in preparation for the laying of the floor.221 During the afternoon of November 22, Lieutenant Day of the Dallas police dusted this carton with powder and developed a palmprint on the top edge of the carton on the side nearest the window.222 The position of this palmprint on the carton was parallel with the long axis of the box, and at right angles with the short axis; the bottom of the palm rested on the box.223 Someone sitting on the box facing the window would have his palm in this position if he placed his hand alongside his right hip. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1302, p. 139.) This print

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which had been cut out of the box was also forwarded to the FBI and Latona identified it as Oswald's right palmprint.224 In Latona's opinion "not too long" a time had elapsed between the time that the print was placed on the carton and the time that it had been developed by the Dallas police.225 Although Bureau experiments had shown that 24 hours was a likely maximum time, Latona stated that he could only testify with certainty that the print was less than 3 days old.226
The print, therefore, .could have been placed on the carton at any time within this period. The freshness of this print could be estimated only because the Dallas police developed it through the use of powder. Since cartons absorb perspiration, powder can successfully develop a print on such material 227 only within a limited time. When the FBI in Washington received the cartons, the remaining prints, including Oswald's on the Rolling Readers carton, were developed by chemical processes. The freshness of prints developed in this manner 228 cannot be estimated, so no conclusions can be drawn as to whether these remaining prints preceded or followed the print developed in Dallas by powder. Most of the prints were found to have been placed on the cartons by an FBI clerk and a Dallas police officer after the cartons had been processed with powder by the Dallas Police.229 (See ch. VI, p. 249; .app. X, p. 566.)
In his independent investigation, Arthur Mandella of the New York City Police Department reached the same conclusion as Latona that the prints found on the cartons were those of Lee Harvey Oswald.229 In addition, Mandella was of the opinion that the print taken from the carton on the floor was probably made within a day or a day and a half of the examination on November 22.230 Moreover, another expert with the FBI, Ronald G. Wittmus, conducted a separate examination and also agreed with Latona that the prints were Oswald's.231
In evaluating the significance of these fingerprint and palmprint identifications, the Commission considered the possibility that Oswald handled these cartons as part of his normal duties. Since other identifiable prints were developed on the cartons, the Commission requested that they be compared with the prints of the 12 warehouse employs who, like Oswald, might have handled the cartons. They were also compared with the prints of those law enforcement officials who might have handled the cartons. The results of this investigation are fully discussed in chapter VI, page 249. Although a. person could handle a carton and not leave identifiable prints, none of these employees except Oswald left identifiable prints on the cartons.232 This finding, in addition to the freshness of one of the prints and the presence of Oswald's prints on two of the four cartons and the paper bag led the Commission to attach some probative value to the fingerprint and palmprint identifications in reaching the conclusion that Oswald was at the window from which the shots were fired, although the prints do not establish the exact time he was there.

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Oswald's Presence on Sixth Floor Approximately 35 Minutes Before
the Assassination

Additional testimony linking Oswald with the point from which the shots were fired was provided by the testimony of Charles Givens, who was the last known employee to see Oswald inside the building prior to the assassination. During the morning of November 22, Givens was working with the floor-laying crew in the southwest section of the sixth floor.233 At about. 11:45 a.m. the. floor-laying crew used both elevators to come down from the sixth floor. The employees raced the elevators to the first floor.234 Givens saw Oswald standing at the gate on the fifth floor as the elevator went by.235 Givens testified that after reaching the first floor, "I discovered I left my cigarettes in my jacket pocket upstairs, and I took the elevator back upstairs to get my jacket with my cigarettes in it." 236 He saw Oswald, a clipboard in hand, walking from the southeast corner of the sixth floor toward the elevator.237 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2707, p. 142.) Givens said to Oswald, "Boy are you going downstairs? * * * It's near lunch time." Oswald said, "No, sir. When you get downstairs, close the gate to the elevator." 238 Oswald was referring to the west elevator which operates by pushbutton and only with the gate closed.239 Givens said, "Okay," and rode down in the east elevator. When he reached the first floor, the west elevator--the one with the gate was not there. Givens thought this was about 11:55 a.m.240 None of the Depository employees is known to have seen Oswald again until after the shooting.241
The significance of Givens' observation that Oswald was carrying his clipboard became apparent on December 2, 1963, when an employee, Frankie Kaiser, found a clipboard hidden by book cartons in the northwest corner of the sixth floor at the west wall a few feet from where the rifle had been found.242 This clipboard had been made by Kaiser and had his name on it.243 Kaiser identified it as the clipboard which Oswald had appropriated from him when Oswald came to work at the Depository.244 Three invoices on this clipboard, each dated November 22, were for Scott-Foresman books, located on the first and sixth floors.245 Oswald had not filled any of the three orders.246

Eyewitness Identification of Assassin

Howard L. Brennan was an eyewitness to the shooting. As indicated previously the Commission considered his testimony as probative in reaching the conclusion that the shots came from the sixth floor, southeast corner window of the Depository Building.247 (See ch. III, pp. 61-68.) Brennan also testified that Lee Harvey Oswald, whom he viewed in a police lineup on the night. of the assassination, was the man he saw fire the shots from the sixth-floor window of the Depository Building.248 When the shots were fired, Brennan was in an excellent position to observe anyone in the window. He was sitting

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on a concrete wall on the southwest corner of Elm and Houston Streets, looking north at the Depository Building which was directly in front of him.249 The window was approximately 120 feet away.250 (See Commission Exhibit No. 477, p. 62.)
In the 6- to 8-minute period before the motorcade arrived,251 Brennan saw a man leave and return to the window "a couple of times." 253 After hearing the first shot, which he thought was a motorcycle backfire, Brennan glanced up at the window. He testified that "this man I saw previously was aiming for his last shot * * * as it appeared to me he was standing up and resting against the left window sill * * *252
Brennan saw the man fire the last shot and disappear from the window. Within minutes of the assassination, Brennan described the man to the police.254 This description most probably led to the radio alert sent to police cars at approximately 12:45 p.m., which described the suspect as white, slender, weighing about 165 pounds, about 5'10" tall, and in his early thirties.255 In his sworn statement to the police later that day, Brennan described the man in similar terms, except that he gave the weight as between 165 and 175 pounds and the height was omitted.256 In his testimony before the Commission, Brennan described the person he saw as "* * * a man in his early thirties, fair complexion, slender, but neat, neat slender, possible 5 foot 10 * * * 160 to 170 pounds." 257 Oswald was 5'9'' slender and 24 years old. When arrested, he gave his weight as 140 pounds.258 On other occasions he gave weights of both 140 and 150 pounds.259 The New Orleans police records of his arrest in August of 1963 show a weight of 136 pounds.260 The autopsy report indicated an estimated weight of 150 pounds.261
Brennan's description should also be compared with the eyewitness description broadcast over the Dallas police radio at 1:22 p.m. of the man who shot Patrolman J. D. Tippit. The suspect was described as "a white male about 30, 5'8", black hair, slender. * * *" 262 At 1:29 p.m. the police radio reported that the description of the suspect in the Tippit shooting was similar to the description which had been given by Brennan in connection with the assassination.263 Approximately 7 or 8 minutes later the police radio reported that "an eyeball witness" described the suspect in the Tippit shooting as "a white male, 27, 5'11", 165 pounds, black wavy hair." 264 As will be discussed fully below, the Commission has concluded that this suspect was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Although Brennan testified that the man in the window was standing when he fired the shots,265 most probably he was either sitting or kneeling. The half-open window,266 the arrangement of the boxes,267 and the angle of the shots virtually preclude a standing position.268 It is understandable, however, for Brennan to have believed that the man with the rifle was standing. A photograph of the building taken seconds after the assassination shows three employees looking out of the fifth-floor window directly below the window from which the shots were fired. Brennan testified that they were standing,269 which is their apparent position in the photograph.270

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(See Dillard Exhibits Nos. C and D, pp. 66-67.) But the testimony of these employees,271 together with photographs subsequently taken of them at the scene of the assassination,272 establishes that they were either squatting or kneeling. (See Commission Exhibit No. 485, p. 69.) Since the window ledges in the Depository Building are lower than in most buildings,273 a person squatting or kneeling exposes more of his body than would normally be the case. From the street, this creates the impression that the person is standing. Brennan could have seen enough of the body of a kneeling or squatting person to estimate his height.
Shortly after the assassination Brennan noticed two of these employees leaving the building and immediately identified them as having been in the fifth-floor windows.274 When the three employees appeared before the Commission, Brennan identified the two whom he saw leave the building.275 The two men, Harold Norman and James Jarman, Jr., each confirmed that when they came out of the building, they saw and heard Brennan describing what he had seen.276 Norman stated, "* * * I remember him talking and I believe I remember seeing him saying that he saw us when we first went up to the fifth-floor window, he saw us then." 277 Jarman heard Brennan "talking to this officer about that he had heard these shots and he had seen the barrel of the gun sticking out the window, and he said that the shots came from inside the building." 278
During the evening of November 22, Brennan identified Oswald as the person in the lineup who bore the closest resemblance to the man in the window but he said he was unable to make a positive identification.279 Prior to the lineup, Brennan had seen Oswald's picture on television and he told the Commission that whether this affected his identification "is something I do not know." 238 In an interview with FBI agents on December 17, 1963, Brennan stated that he was sure that the person firing the rifle was Oswald.281 In another interview with FBI agents on January 7, 1964, Brennan appeared to revert to his earlier inability to make a positive identification,282 but, in his testimony before the Commission, Brennan stated that his remarks of January 7 were intended by him merely as an accurate report of what he said on November 22.283
Brennan told the Commission that he could have made a positive identification in the lineup on November 22 but did not do so because he felt that the assassination was "a Communist activity, and I felt like there hadn't been more than one eyewitness, and if it got to be a known fact that I was an eyewitness, my family or I, either one, might not be safe." 284 When specifically asked before the Commission whether or not he could positively identify the man he saw in the sixth-floor window as the same man he saw in the police station, Brennan stated, "I could at that time--I could, with all sincerity, identify him as being the same man." 285
Although the record indicates that Brennan was an accurate observer, he declined to make a positive identification of Oswald when he first saw him in the police lineup.286 The Commission, therefore,

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does not base its conclusion concerning the identity of the assassin on Brennan's subsequent certain identification of Lee Harvey Oswald as the man he saw fire the rifle. Immediately after the assassination, however, Brennan described to the police the man he saw in the window and then identified Oswald as the person who most nearly resembled the man he saw. The Commission is satisfied that, at the least, Brennan saw a man in the window who closely resembled Lee Harvey Oswald, and that Brennan believes the man he saw was in fact Lee Harvey Oswald.
Two other witnesses were able to offer partial descriptions of a man they saw in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor approximately 1 minute before the assassination, although neither witness saw the shots being fired.287 Ronald Fischer and Robert Edwards were standing on the curb at the southwest corner of Elm and Houston Streets,288 the same corner where Brennan was sitting on a concrete wall. 289 Fischer testified that about 10 or 15 seconds before the motorcade turned onto Houston Street from Main Street, Edwards said, "Look at that guy there in that window." 290
Fischer looked up and watched the man in the window for 10 or 15 seconds and then started watching the motorcade, which came into view on Houston Street.291 He said that the man held his attention until the motorcade came because the man:

* * * appeared uncomfortable for one, and secondly, he wasn't watching * * * he didn't look like he was watching for the parade. He looked like he was looking down toward the Trinity River and the Triple Underpass down at the end- -toward the end of Elm Street. And * * * all the time I watched him, he never moved his head, he never--he never moved anything. Just was there transfixed.292

Fischer placed the man in the easternmost window on the south side of the Depository Building on either the fifth or the sixth floor.293 He said that he could see the man from the middle of his chest to the top of his head, and that as he was facing the window the man was in the lower right-hand portion of the window and "seemed to be sitting a little forward." 294 The man was dressed in a light-colored, open-neck shirt which could have been either a sports shirt or a T-shirt, and he had brown hair, a slender face and neck with light complexion, and looked to be 22 or 24 years old.295 The person in the window was a white man and "looked to me like he was looking straight at the Triple Underpass" down Elm Street.296 Boxes and cases were stacked behind him.287
Approximately 1 week after the assassination, according to Fisher, policemen showed him a picture of Oswald.298 In his testimony he said, "I told them that that could have been the man. * * * That that could have been the man that I Saw in the window in the School Book Depository Building, but that I was not sure." 299 Fischer described the man's hair as some shade of brown--"it wasn't dark

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and it wasn't light." 300 On November 22, Fischer had apparently described the man as "light-headed." 301 Fischer explained that he did not mean by the earlier statement. that the man was blond, but rather that his hair was not black.302
Robert Edwards said that, while looking at the south side of the Depository Building shortly before the motorcade, he saw nothing of importance "except maybe one individual who was up there in the corner room of the sixth floor which was crowded in among boxes." 303 He said that this was a white man about average in size, "possibly thin," and that he thought the man had light-brown hair.304 Fischer and Edwards did not see the man clearly enough or long enough to identify him. Their testimony is of probative value, however, because their limited description is consistent with that of the man who has been found by the Commission, based on other evidence, to have fired the shots from the window.
Another person who saw the assassin as the shots were fired was Amos L. Euins, age 15, who was one of the first. witnesses to alert the police to the Depository as the source of the shots, as has been discussed in chapter III.305 Euins, who was on the southwest corner of Elm and Houston Streets 306 testified that he could not describe the man he saw in the window. According to Euins, however, as the man lowered his head in order to aim the rifle down Elm Street, he appeared to have a white bald spot, on his head.307 Shortly after the assassination, Euins signed an affidavit describing the man as "white," 308 but a radio reporter testified that Euins described the man to him as "colored." 309 In his Commission testimony, Euins stated that he could not ascertain the man's race and that the statement in the affidavit was intended to refer only to the white spot on the man's head and not to his race.310 A Secret Service agent who spoke to Euins approximately 20 to 30 minutes after the assassination confirmed that Euins could neither describe the man in the window nor indicate his race.311 Accordingly, Euins' testimony is considered probative as to the source of the shots but is inconclusive as to the identity of the man in the window.
In evaluating the evidence that Oswald was at the southeast corner window of the sixth floor at the time of the shooting, the Commission has considered the allegation that Oswald was photographed standing in front of the building when the shots were fired. The picture which gave rise to these allegations was taken by Associated Press Photographer James W. Altgens, who was standing on the south side of Elm Street between the Triple Underpass and the Depository Building.312 As the motorcade started its descent down Elm Street., Altgens snapped a picture of the Presidential limousine with the entrance to the Depository Building in the background.313 Just before snapping the picture Altgens heard a noise which sounded like the popping of a firecracker. Investigation has established that Altgens' picture was taken approximately 2 seconds after the firing of the shot which entered the back of the President's neck.314

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In the background of this picture were several employees watching the parade from the steps of the Depository Building. One of these employees was alleged to resemble Lee Harvey Oswald. 315 The Commission has determined that the employee was in fact Billy Lovelady, who identified himself in the picture.316 Standing alongside him were Buell Wesley Frazier 317 and William Shelley,318 who also identified Lovelady. The Commission is satisfied that Oswald does not appear in this photograph. (See Commission Exhibit. No. 900, p. 113.)

Oswald's Actions in Building After Assassination

In considering whether Oswald was at the southeast corner window at the time the shots were fired, the Commission has reviewed the testimony of witnesses who saw Oswald in the building within minutes after the assassination. The Commission has found that Oswald's movements, as described by these witnesses, are consistent with his having been at the window at 12:30 p.m.
The encounter in the lunchroom.--The first person to see Oswald after the assassination was Patrolman M. L. Baker of the Dallas Police Department. Baker was riding a two-wheeled motorcycle behind the last press car of the motorcade.319 As he turned the corner from Main onto Houston .at a speed of about 5 to 10 miles per hour,320 a strong wind blowing from the north almost unseated him.321 At about this time he heard the first shot.322 Having recently Heard the sounds of rifles while on a hunting trip, Baker recognized the shots as that of a high-powered rifle; "it sounded high and I immediately kind of looked up, and I had a feeling that it came from the building, either right in front of me [the Depository Building] or of the one across to the right of it." 323 He saw pigeons flutter upward. He was not certain, "but I am pretty sure they came from the building right on the northwest corner." 324 He heard two more shots spaced "pretty well even to me." 325 After the third shot, he "revved that motorcycle up," drove to the northwest corner of Elm and Houston, and parked approximately 10 feet from the traffic signal.326 As he was parking he noted that people were "falling, and they were rolling around down there * * * grabbing their children" and rushing about.327 A woman screamed, "Oh, they have shot that man, they have shot that man." 328 Baker "had it in mind that the shots came from the top of this building here," so he ran straight to the entrance of the Depository Building.329
Baker testified that he entered the lobby of the building and "spoke out and asked where the stairs or elevator was * * * and this man, ,Mr. Truly, spoke up and says, it seems to me like he says, 'I am a building manager. Follow me, officer, and I will show you.' "330 Baker and building superintendent Roy Truly went through a second set of doors 331 and stopped at a swinging door where Baker bumped into Truly's back.332 They went through the swinging door and continued at "a good trot" to the northwest corner of the floor where Truly hoped to find one of the two freight elevators.

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(See Commission Exhibit No. 1061, p. 148.) Neither elevator was there.333 Truly pushed the button for the west elevator which operates automatically if the gate is closed.334 He shouted twice, "Turn loose the elevator."335 When the elevator failed to come, Baker said, "let's take the stairs," and he followed Truly up the stairway, which is to the west of the elevator.336
The stairway is located in the northwest corner of the Depository Building. The stairs from one floor to the next are "L-shaped," with both legs of the "L" approximately the same length. Because the stairway itself is enclosed, neither Baker nor Truly could see anything on the second-floor hallway until they reached the landing at the top of the stairs.337 On the second-floor landing there is a small open area with a door at the east end. This door leads into a small vestibule, and another door leads from the vestibule into the second-floor lunchroom.338 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1118, p. 150. ) The lunchroom door is usually open, but the first door is kept shut by a closing mechanism on the door.339 This vestibule door is solid except for a small glass window in the upper part of the door.340 As Baker reached the second floor, he was about 20 feet from the vestibule door.341 He intended to continue around to his left toward the stairway going up but through the window in the door he caught a fleeting glimpse of a man walking in the vestibule toward the lunchroom.342
Since the vestibule door is only a few feet from the lunchroom door,343 the man must. have entered the vestibule only a second or two before Baker arrived at the top of the stairwell. Yet he must have entered the vestibule door before Truly reached the top of the stairwell, since Truly did not see him.344 If the man had passed from the vestibule into the lunchroom, Baker could not have seen him. Baker

He [Truly] had already started around the bend to come to the next elevator going up, I was coming out this one on the second floor, and I don't know, I was kind of sweeping this area as I come up, I was looking from right to left and as I got. to this door here I caught a glimpse of this man, just, you know, a sudden glimpse * * * and it looked to me like he was going away from me.***
I can't say whether he had gone on through that door [the lunchroom door] or not. All I did was catch a glance at him, and evidently he was--this door might have been, you know, closing and almost shut at that time.345

With his revolver drawn, Baker opened the vestibule door and ran into the vestibule. He saw a man walking away from him in the lunchroom. Baker stopped at the door of the lunchroom and commanded, "Come here."346 The man turned and walked back toward Baker.347 He had been proceeding toward the rear of the lunchroom.348 Along a side wall of the lunchroom was a soft drink rending machine,349 but at that time the man had nothing in his hands.350

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Meanwhile, Truly had run up several steps toward the third floor. Missing Baker, he came back to find the officer in the doorway to the lunchroom "facing Lee Harvey Oswald.351 Baker turned to Truly and said, "Do you know this man, does he work here?"352 Truly replied, "Yes."353 Baker stated later that the man did not seem to be out of breath; he seemed calm. "He never did say a word or nothing. In fact, he didn't change his expression one bit." 352 Truly said of Oswald: "He didn't seem to be excited or overly afraid or anything. He might have been a bit startled, like I might have. been if somebody confronted me. But I cannot recall any change in expression of any kind on his face." 355 Truly thought that the officer's gun at that time appeared to be almost touching the middle portion of Oswald's body. Truly also noted at this time that Oswald's hands were empty. 356
In an effort to determine whether Oswald could have descended to the lunchroom from the sixth floor by the time Baker and Truly arrived, Commission counsel asked Baker and Truly to repeat their movements from the time of the shot until Baker came upon Oswald in the lunchroom. Baker placed himself on a motorcycle about 200 feet from the corner of Elm and Houston Streets where he said he heard the shots.357 Truly stood in front of the building. 358 At a given signal, they reenacted the event. Baker's movements were timed with a stopwatch. On the first test, the elapsed time between the simulated first shot and Baker's arrival on the second-floor stair landing was 1 minute and 30 seconds. The second test run required 1 minute and 15 seconds. 359
A test was also conducted to determine the time required to walk from the southeast corner of the sixth floor to the second-floor lunchroom by stairway. Special Agent John Howlett of the Secret Service carried a rifle from the southeast corner of the sixth floor along the east aisle to the northeast corner. He placed the rifle on the floor near the site where Oswald's rifle was actually found after the shooting. Then Howlett walked down the stairway to the second-floor landing and entered the lunchroom. The first test, run at normal walking pace, required 1 minute, 18 seconds; 360 the second test, at a "fast walk" took 1 minute, 14 seconds. 361 The second test. followed immediately after the first. The only interval was the time necessary to ride in the elevator from the second to the sixth floor and walk back to the southeast corner. Howlett was not short winded at the end of either test run. 362
The minimum time required by Baker to park his motorcycle and reach the second-floor lunchroom was within 3 seconds of the time needed to walk from the southeast corner of the sixth floor down the stairway to the lunchroom. The time actually required for Baker and Truly to reach the second floor on November 22 was probably longer than in the test runs. For example, Baker required 15 seconds after the simulated shot to ride his motorcycle 180 to 200 feet, park it, and run 45 feet to the building. 363 No allowance was made for the special conditions which existed on the day of the assassination--possible delayed reaction to the shot, jostling with the crowd of people on

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the steps and scanning the area along Elm Street and the parkway.364 Baker said, "We simulated the shots and by the time we got there, we did everything that I did that day, and this would be the minimum, because I am sure that I, you know, it took me a little longer." 365 On the basis of this time test, therefore, the Commission concluded that Oswald could have fired the shots and still have been present in the second-floor lunchroom when seen by Baker and Truly.
That Oswald descended by stairway from the sixth floor to the second-floor lunchroom is consistent with the movements of the two elevators, which would have provided the other possible means of descent. When Truly, accompanied by Baker, ran to the rear of the first floor, he was certain that both elevators, which occupy the same shaft, 366 were on the fifth floor. 367 Baker, not realizing that there were two elevators, thought that only one elevator was in the shaft and that it was two or three floors above the second floor. 368 In the few seconds which elapsed while Baker and Truly ran from the. first to the second floor, neither of these slow elevators could have descended from the fifth to the second floor. Furthermore, no elevator was at the second floor when they arrived there. 369 Truly and Baker continued up the stairs after the encounter with Oswald in the lunchroom. There was no elevator on the third or fourth floor. The east elevator was on the fifth floor when they arrived; the west elevator was not. They took the east elevator to the seventh floor and ran up a stairway to the roof where they searched for several minutes. 370
Jack Dougherty, an employee working on the fifth floor, testified that he took the west elevator to the first floor after hearing a noise which sounded like a backfire. 370 Eddie Piper, the janitor, told Dougherty that the President had been shot, 372 but in his testimony Piper did not mention either seeing or talking with Dougherty during these moments of excitement. 373 Both Dougherty and Piper were confused witnesses. They had no exact memory of the events of that afternoon. Truly was probably correct in stating that the west elevator was on the fifth floor when he looked up the elevator shaft from the first floor. The west elevator was not on the fifth floor when Baker and Truly reached that floor, probably because Jack Dougherty took it to the first floor while Baker and Truly were running up the stairs or in the lunchroom with Oswald. Neither elevator could have been used by Oswald as a means of descent.
Oswald's use of the stairway is consistent with the testimony of other employees in the building. Three employees-- James Jarman, Jr., Harold Norman, and Bonnie Ray Williams--were watching the parade from the fifth floor, directly below the window from which the shots were fired. They rushed to the west windows after the shots were fired and remained there until after they saw Patrolman Baker's white helmet on the fifth floor moving toward the elevator. 374 While they were at the west windows their view of the stairwell was completely blocked by shelves and boxes. 375 This is the period during which Oswald would have descended the stairs. In all likelihood Dougherty took the elevator down from the fifth floor after Jarman,

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Norman, and Williams ran to the west windows and were deciding what to do. None of these three men saw Dougherty, probably because of the anxiety of the moment and because of the books which may have blocked the view. 376 Neither Jarman, Norman, Williams, or Dougherty saw Oswald. 377
Victoria Adams, who worked on the fourth floor of the Depository Building, claimed that within about 1 minute following the shots she ran from a window on the south side of the fourth floor, 378 down the rear stairs to the first floor, where she encountered two Depository employees--William Shelley and Billy Lovelady. 379 If her estimate of time is correct, she reached the bottom of the stairs before Truly and Baker started up, and she must have run down the stairs ahead of Oswald and would probably have seen or heard him. Actually she noticed no one on the back stairs. If she descended from the fourth to the first floor as fast as she claimed in her testimony, she would have seen Baker or Truly on the first floor or on the stairs, unless they were already in the second-floor lunchroom talking to Oswald. When she reached the first floor, she actually saw Shelley and Lovelady slightly east of the east elevator.
Shelley and Lovelady, however, have testified that they were watching the parade from the top step of the building entrance when Gloria Calverly, who works in the Depository Building, ran up and said that the President had been shot. 380 Lovelady and Shelley moved out into the street. 381 About this time Shelley saw Truly and Patrolman Baker go into the building Shelley and Lovelady, at a fast walk or trot, turned west into the railroad yards and then to the west side of the Depository Building. They reentered the building by the rear door several minutes after Baker and Truly rushed through the front entrance? 382 On entering, Lovelady saw a girl on the first floor who he believes was Victoria Adams. 384 If Miss Adams accurately recalled meeting Shelley and Lovelady when she reached the bottom of the stairs, then her estimate of the time when she descended from the fourth floor is incorrect, and she actually came down the stairs several minutes after Oswald and after Truly and Baker as well.
Oswald's departure from building.--Within a minute after Baker and Truly left Oswald in the lunchroom, Mrs. R. A. Reid, clerical supervisor for the Texas School Book Depository, saw him walk through the clerical office on the second floor toward the door leading to the front stairway. Mrs. Reid had watched the parade from the sidewalk in front of the building with Truly and Mr. O. V. Campbell, vice president of the Depository. 385 She testified that she heard three shots which she thought came from the building. 386 She ran inside and up the front stairs into the large open office reserved for clerical employees. As she approached her desk, she saw Oswald. 387 He was walking into the office from the back hallway, carrying a full bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand, 388 presumably purchased after the encounter with Baker and Truly. As Oswald passed Mrs. Reid she said, ''Oh, the President has been shot, but maybe they didn't hit him." 389 Oswald mumbled something and walked by. 390 She paid

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no more attention to him. The only exit from the office in the direction Oswald was moving was through the door to the front stairway. 391 (See Commission Exhibit 1118, p. 150.) Mrs. Reid testified that when she saw Oswald, he was wearing a T-shirt and no jacket. 392 When he left home that morning, Marina Oswald, who was still in bed, suggested that he wear a jacket. 393 A blue jacket, later identified by Marina Oswald as her husband's, 394 was subsequently found in the building, 395 apparently left behind by Oswald.
Mrs. Reid believes that she returned to her desk from the street about 2 minutes after the shooting. 396 Reconstructing her movements, Mrs. Reid ran the distance three times and was timed in 2 minutes by stopwatch. 397 The reconstruction was the minimum time. 398 Accordingly, she probably met Oswald at about 12:32, approximately 30-45 seconds after Oswald's lunchroom encounter with Baker and Truly. After leaving Mrs. Reid in the front office, Oswald could have gone down the stairs and out the front door by 12:33 p.m.399--3 minutes after the shooting. At that time the building had not yet been sealed off by the police.
While it was difficult to determine exactly when the police sealed off the building, the earliest estimates would still have permitted Oswald to leave the building by 12:33. One of the police officers assigned to the corner of Elm and Houston Streets for the Presidential motorcade, W. E. Barnett, testified that immediately after the shots he went to the rear of the building to check the fire escape. He then returned to the corner of Elm and Houston where he met a sergeant who instructed him to find out the name of the building. Barnett ran to the building, noted its name, and then returned to the corner. 400 There he was met by a construction worker--in all likelihood Howard Brennan, who was wearing his work helmet. 401 This worker told Barnett that the shots had been fired from a window in the Depository Building, where upon Barnett. posted himself at the front door to make certain that no one left the building. The sergeant did the same thing at the rear of the building. 402 Barnett estimated that approximately 3 minutes elapsed between the time he heard the last of the shots and the time he started guarding the front door. According to Barnett, ''there were people going in and out" during this period. 403
Sgt. D. V. Harkness of the Dallas police said that to his knowledge the building was not sealed off at 12:36 p.m. when he called in on police radio that a witness (Amos Euins) had seen shots fired from a window of the building. 404 At that time, Inspector Herbert V. Sawyer's car was parked in front of the building. 405 Harkness did not know whether or not two officers with Sawyer were guarding the doors. 406 At 12:34 p.m. Sawyer heard a call over the police radio that the shots had come from the Depository Building. 407 He then entered the building and took the front passenger elevator as far as it would go--the fourth floor. 408 After inspecting this floor, Sawyer returned to the street about 3 minutes after he entered the building. 409 After he returned to the street he directed Sergeant Harkness to station two patrolmen at the front door and not let anyone in or out;

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he also directed that the back door be sealed off. 410 This was no earlier than 12:37 p.m. 411 and may have been later. Special Agent Forrest V. Sorrels of the Secret Service, who had been in the motorcade, testified that after driving to Parkland Hospital, he returned to the Depository Building about 20 minutes after the shooting, found no police officers at the rear door and was able to enter through this door without identifying himself.412
Although Oswald probably left the building at about 12:33 p.m., his absence was not noticed until at least. one-half hour later. Truly, who had returned with Patrolman Baker from the roof, saw the police questioning the warehouse employees. Approximately 15 men worked in the warehouse 413 and Truly noticed that Oswald was not among those being questioned. 414 Satisfying himself that Oswald was missing, Truly obtained Oswald's address, phone number, and description from his employment application card. The address listed was for the Paine home in Irving. Truly gave this information to Captain Fritz who was on the sixth floor at the time. 415 Truly estimated that he gave this information to Fritz about 15 or 20 minutes after the shots,416 but it was probably no earlier than 1:22 p.m., the time when the rifle was found. Fritz believed that he learned of Oswald's absence after the rifle was found.417 The fact that Truly found Fritz in the northwest corner of the floor, near the point where the rifle was found, supports Fritz' recollection.


Fingerprint and palmprint evidence establishes that Oswald handled two of the four cartons next to the window and also handled a paper bag which was found near the cartons. Oswald was seen in the vicinity of the southeast corner of the sixth floor approximately 35 minutes before the assassination and no one could be found who saw Oswald anywhere else in the building until after the shooting. An eyewitness to the shooting immediately provided a description of the man in the window which was similar to Oswald's actual appearance. This witness identified Oswald in a lineup as the man most nearly resembling the man he saw and later identified Oswald as the man he observed. Oswald's known actions in the building immediately after the assassination are consistent with his having been at the southeast corner window of the sixth floor at 12:30 p.m. On the basis of these findings the Commission has concluded that. Oswald, at the time of the assassination, was present at the window from which the shots were fired.
The Killing of Patrolman J. D. Tippit
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After leaving the Depository Building at. approximately 12:33 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald proceeded to his roominghouse by bus and taxi. He arrived at approximately 1 p.m. and left a few minutes later. At

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about 1:16 p.m., a Dallas police officer, J. D. Tippit, was shot less than 1 mile from Oswald's roominghouse. In deciding whether Oswald killed Patrolman Tippit the Commission considered the following: (1) positive identification of the killer by two eyewitnesses who saw the shooting and seven eyewitnesses who heard the shots and saw the gunman flee the scene with the revolver in his hand, (2) testimony of firearms identification experts establishing the identity of the murder weapon, (3) evidence establishing the ownership of the murder weapon, (4) evidence establishing the ownership of a zipper jacket found along the path of flight taken by the gunman from the scene of the shooting to the place of arrest.

Oswald's Movements After Leaving Depository Building

The bus ride.--According to the reconstruction of time and events which the Commission found most credible, Lee Harvey Oswald left the building approximately 3 minutes after the assassination. probably walked east on Elm Street for seven blocks to the corner of Elm and Murphy where he boarded a bus which was heading back in the direction of the Depository Building, on its way to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. (See Commission Exhibit 1119-A, p. 158.)
When Oswald was apprehended, a bus transfer marked for the Lakewood-Marsalis route was found in his shirt pocket. 476 The transfer was dated "Fri. Nov. 22, '63" and was punched in two places by the busdriver. On the basis of this punchmark, which was distinctive to each Dallas driver, the transfer was conclusively identified as having been issued by Cecil J. McWatters, a busdriver for the Dallas Transit Co. 419 On the basis of the date and time on the transfer, McWatters was able to testify that the transfer had been issued by him on a trip which passed a check point at St. Paul and Elm Streets at 12:36 p.m., November 22, 1963. 420
McWatters was sure that he left the checkpoint on time and he estimated that it took him 3 to 4 minutes to drive three blocks west from the checkpoint to Field Street, which he reached at about 12:40 p.m. 421 McWatters' recollection is that he issued this transfer to a man who entered his bus just beyond Field Street~ where a man beat. on the front door of the bus, boarded it and paid his fare. 422 About two blocks later, a woman asked to get off to make a 1 o'clock train at Union Station and requested a transfer which she might use if she got through the traffic.

* * * So I gave her a transfer and opened the door and she was going out the gentleman I had picked up about two blocks [back] asked for a transfer and got off at the same place in the middle of the block where the lady did.
* * * It was the intersection near Lamar Street, it was near Poydras and Lamar Street. 423

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The man was on the bus approximately 4 minutes.424
At about 6:30 p.m. on the day of the assassination, McWatters viewed four men in a police lineup. He picked Oswald from the lineup as the man who had boarded the bus at the "lower end of town on Elm around Houston," and who, during the ride south on Marsalis, had an argument with a woman passenger.425 In his Commission testimony, McWatters said he had been in error and that a teenager named Milton Jones was the passenger he had in mind.425 In a later interview, Jones confirmed that he had exchanged words with a woman passenger on the bus during the ride south on Marsalis.427 McWatters also remembered that a man received a transfer at Lamar and Elm Streets and that a man in the lineup. was about the size of this man.428 However, McWatters' recollection alone was too vague to be a basis for placing Oswald on the bus.
Riding on the bus was an elderly woman, Mary Bledsoe, who confirmed the mute evidence of the transfer. Oswald had rented a room from Mrs. Bledsoe about 6 weeks before, on October 7,429 but she had asked him to leave at the end of a week. Mrs. Bledsoe told him "I am not going to rent to you any more." 430 She testified, "I didn't like his attitude. * * * There was just something about him I didn't like or want him. * * * Just didn't want him around me." 481 On November 22, Mrs. Bledsoe came downtown to watch the Presidential motorcade. She boarded the Marsalis bus at St. Paul and Elm Streets to return home.432 She testified further:
And, after we got past Akard, at Murphy--I figured it out. Let's see. I don't know for sure. Oswald got on. He looks like a maniac. His sleeve was out here. * * * His shirt was undone.
* * * * * * *
Was a hole in it, hole, and he was dirty, and I didn't look at him. I didn't want to know I even seen him * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * he looked so bad in his face, and his face was so distorted.
* * * * * * *
* * * Hole in his sleeve right here.433

As Mrs. Bledsoe said these words, she pointed to her fight elbow.434 When Oswald was arrested in the Texas Theatre, he was wearing a brown sport shirt with a hole in the right sleeve at the elbow.435 Mrs. Bledsoe identified the shirt as the one Oswald was wearing and she stated she was certain that it was Oswald who boarded the bus.436 Mrs. Bledsoe recalled that Oswald sat halfway to the rear of the bus which moved slowly and intermittently as traffic became heavy.437 She heard a passing motorist tell the driver that the President

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had been shot.438 People on the bus began talking about it. As the bus neared Lamar Street, Oswald left the bus and disappeared into the crowd.439
The Marsalis bus which Oswald boarded traveled a route west on Elm, south on Houston, and southwest across the Houston viaduct to service the Oak Cliff area along Marsalis.440 A Beckley bus which also served the Oak Cliff area, followed the same route as the Marsalis bus through downtown Dallas, except that it continued west on Elm, across Houston in front of the Depository Building, past the Triple Underpass into west Dallas, and south on Beckley.441 Marsalis Street is seven blocks from Beckley.442 Oswald lived at 1026 North Beckley.443 He could not reach his roominghouse on the Marsalis bus, but the Beckley bus stopped across the street.444 According to McWatters, the Beckley bus was behind the Marsalis bus, but he did not actually see it.445 Both buses stopped within one block of the Depository Building. Instead of waiting there, Oswald apparently went as far away as he could and boarded the first Oak Cliff bus which came along rather than wait for one which stopped across the street from his roominghouse.
In a reconstruction of this bus trip, agents of the Secret Service and the FBI walked the seven blocks from the front entrance of the Depository Building to Murphy and Elm three times, averaging 6.5 minutes for the three trips.446 A bus moving through heavy traffic on Elm from Murphy to Lamar was timed at. 4 minutes.447 If Oswald left the Depository Building at 12:33 p.m., walked seven blocks directly to Murphy and Elm, and boarded a bus almost immediately, he would have boarded the bus at approximately 12:40 p.m. and left it at approximately 12:44 p.m. (See Commission Exhibit No.1119-A, p. 158.)
Roger D. Craig, a deputy sheriff of Dallas County, claimed that about 15 minutes after the assassination he saw a man, whom he later identified as Oswald,448 coming from the direction of the Depository Building' and running down the hill north of Elm Street toward a light-colored Rambler station wagon, which was moving slowly along Elm toward the underpass:449 The station wagon stopped to pick up the man and then drove off.450 Craig testified that later in the- afternoon he saw Oswald in the police interrogation room and told Captain Fritz that Oswald was the man he saw.451 Craig also claimed that when Fritz pointed out to Oswald that Craig had identified him, Oswald rose from his chair, looked directly at Fritz, and said, "Everybody will know who I am now." 452
The Commission could not accept important elements of Craig's testimony. Captain Fritz stated that a deputy sheriff whom he could not identify did ask to see him that afternoon and told him a similar story to Craig's.453 Fritz did not bring him into his office to identify Oswald but turned him over to Lieutenant Baker for questioning. If Craig saw Oswald that afternoon, he saw him through the glass windows of the office. And neither Captain Fritz nor any other officer can remember that Oswald dramatically arose from his chair and said,

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"Everybody will know who I am now." '454 If Oswald had made such a statement, Captain Fritz and others present would probably have remembered it. Craig may have seen a person enter a white Rambler station wagon 15 or 20 minutes after the shooting and travel west on Elm Street, but the Commission concluded that this man was not Lee Harvey Oswald, because of the overwhelming evidence that Oswald was far away from the building by that time.
The taxicab ride.--William Whaley, a taxicab driver, told his employer on Saturday morning, November 23, that he recognized Oswald from a newspaper photograph as a man whom he had driven to the Oak Cliff area the day before.455 Notified of Whaley's statement, the police brought him to the police station that afternoon. He was taken to the lineup room where, according to Whaley, five young teenagers, all handcuffed together, were displayed with Oswald.456 He testified that Oswald looked older than the other boys.457 The police asked him whether he could pick out his passenger from the lineup. Whaley picked Oswald. He said,

* * * you could have picked him out without identifying him by just listening to him because he was bawling out the policeman, telling them it wasn't right to put him in line with these teenagers and all of that and they asked me which one and I told them. It was him all right, the same man.

* * * * * * *

He showed no respect for the policemen, he told them what he thought about them. They knew what. they were doing and they were trying to railroad him and he wanted his lawyer.458

Whaley believes that Oswald's conduct did not aid him in his identification "because I knew he was the right one as soon as I saw him." 459
Whaley's memory of the lineup is inaccurate. There were four men altogether, not six men, in the lineup with Oswald.460 Whaley said that Oswald was the man under No. 2.461 Actually Oswald was under No. 3. Only two of the men in the lineup with Oswald were teenagers: John T. Horn, aged 18, was No. 1; David Knapp, aged 18, was No. 2; Lee Oswald was No. 3; and Daniel Lujan, aged 26, was No. 4. 462
When he first testified before the Commission, Whaley displayed a trip manifest 463 which showed a 12 o'clock trip from Travis Hotel to the Continental bus station, unloaded at 12:15 p.m., a 12:15 p.m. pickup at Continental to Greyhound, unloaded at 12:30 p.m., and a pickup from Greyhound (bus station) at 12:30 p.m., unloaded at 500 North Beckley at 12:45 p.m. Whaley testified that he did not keep an accurate time record of his trips but recorded them by the quarter hour, and that sometimes he made his entry right after a trip while at other times he waited to record three or four trips.464 As he unloaded his Continental bus station passenger in front of Greyhound,

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he started to get out to buy a package of cigarettes.465 He saw a man walking south on Lamar from Commerce. The man was dressed in faded blue color khaki work clothes, a brown shirt, and some kind of work jacket that almost matched his pants.466 The man asked, "May I have the cab?", and got into the front seat.467 Whaley described the ensuing events as follows:

And about that time an old lady, I think she was an old lady, I don't remember nothing but her sticking her head down past him in the door and said, "Driver, will you call me a cab down here ?"
She had seen him get this cab and she wanted one, too, and he opened the door a little bit like he was going to get out and he said, "I will let you have this one," and she says, "No, the driver can call me one."

* * * * *

* * * I asked him where he wanted to go. And he said, "500 North Beckley."
Well, I started up, I started to that address, and the police cars, the sirens was going, running crisscrossing everywhere, just a big uproar in that end of town and I said, "What the hell. I wonder what the hell is the uproar ?"
And he never said anything. So I figured he was one of these people that don't like to talk so I never said any more to him.
But when I got pretty close to 500 block at Neches and North Beckley which is the 500 block, he said, "This will do fine," and I pulled over to the curb right. there. He gave me a dollar bill, the trip was 95 cents. He gave me a dollar bill and didn't say anything, just got out and closed the door and walked around the front of the cab over to the other side of the street [east side of the street]. Of course, the traffic was moving through there and I put it in gear and moved on, that is the last I saw of him.468

Whaley was somewhat imprecise as to where he unloaded his passenger. He marked what, he thought was the intersection of Neches and Beckley on a map of Dallas with a large "X." 469 He said, "Yes, sir; that is right, because that is the 500 block of North Beckley." However, Neches and Beckley do not intersect. Neches is within one-half block of the roominghouse at 1026 North Beckley where Oswald was living. The 500 block of North Beckley is five blocks south of the roominghouse.471
After a review of these inconsistencies in his testimony before the Commission, Whaley was interviewed again in Dallas. The route of the taxicab was retraced under the direction of Whaley.472 He directed the driver of the car to a point 20 feet north of the northwest corner of the intersection of Beckley and Neely, the point at. which he said his passenger alighted.473 This was the 700 block of North

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Beckley.474 The elapsed time of the reconstructed run from the Greyhound Bus Station to Neely and Beckley was 5 minutes and 30 seconds by stopwatch.475 The walk from Beckley and Neely to 1026 North Beckley was timed by Commission counsel at 5 minutes and 45 seconds.476
Whaley testified that Oswald was wearing either the gray zippered jacket or the heavy blue jacket.477 He was in error, however. Oswald could not possibly have been wearing the blue jacket during the trip with Whaley, since it was found in the "domino" room of the Depository late in November. 478 Moreover, Mrs. Bledsoe saw Oswald in the bus without a jacket and wearing a shirt with a hole at the elbow.479 On the other hand, Whaley identified Commission Exhibit No. 150 (the shirt taken from Oswald upon arrest) as the shirt his passenger was wearing.480 He also stated he saw a silver identification bracelet on his passenger's left wrist.481 Oswald was wearing such a bracelet when he was arrested.482 On November 22, Oswald told Captain Fritz that he rode a bus to a stop near his home and then walked to his roominghouse.483 When queried the following morning concerning a bus transfer found in his .possession at the time of his arrest, he admitted receiving it.484 And when interrogated about a cab ride, Oswald also admitted that he left the slow-moving bus and took a cab to his roominghouse.485
The Greyhound Bus Station at Lamar and Jackson Streets, where Oswald entered Whaley's cab, is three to four short blocks south of Lamar and Elm.486 If Oswald left the bus at 12:44 p.m. and walked directly to the terminal, he would have entered the cab at 12:47 or 12:48 p.m. If the cab ride was approximately 6 minutes, as was the reconstructed ride, he would have reached his destination at approximately 12:54 p.m. If he was discharged at Neely and Beckley and walked directly to his roominghouse, he would have arrived there about 12:59 to 1 p.m. From the 500 block of North Beckley, the walk would be a few minutes longer, but in either event he would have been in the roominghouse at about 1 p.m. This is the approximate time he entered the roominghouse, according to Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper there.487 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1119-A, p. 158.)
Arrival and departure from roominghouse.---Earlene Roberts, housekeeper for Mrs. A. C. Johnson at 1026 North Beckley, knew Lee Harvey Oswald under the alias of O. II. Lee. She first saw him the day he rented a room at that address on October 14, 1963.488 signed his name as O. II. Lee on the roominghouse register.489
Mrs. Roberts testified that on Thursday, November 21, Oswald did not come home. On Friday, November 22, about 1 p.m., he entered the house in unusual haste. She recalled that it was subsequent to the time the President had been shot. After a friend had called and told her, "President Kennedy has been shot," she turned on the television. When Oswald came in she said, "Oh, you are in a hurry," but Oswald did not respond. He hurried to his room and stayed no longer than 3 or 4 minutes. Oswald had entered the house in his shirt sleeves,

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but when he left, he was zipping up a jacket. Mrs. Roberts saw him a few seconds later standing near the bus stop in front of the house on the east side of Beckley.490
Oswald was next seen about nine-tenths of a mile away at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, moments before the Tippit shooting. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1119-A, p. 158.) If Oswald left. his roominghouse shortly after 1 p.m. and walked at a brisk pace, he would have reached 10th and Patton shortly after 1:15 p.m.491 Tippit's murder was recorded on the police radio tape at about 1:16 p.m.492

Description of Shooting

Patrolman J. D. Tippit joined the Dallas Police Department in July 1952.493 He was described by Chief Curry as having the reputation of being "a very free, dedicated officer." 494 Tippit patroled district No. 78 in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas during daylight hours. tic drove a police car' painted distinctive colors with No. 10 prominently displayed on each side. Tippit rode alone, as only one man was normally assigned to a patrol car in residential areas during daylight shifts.495
At about 12:44 p.m. on November 22, the radio dispatcher on channel 1 ordered all downtown patrol squads to report to Elm and Houston, code 3 (emergency).496 At 12:45 p.m. the dispatcher ordered No. 78 (Tippit.) to "move into central Oak Cliff area."497 At 12:54 p.m., Tippit reported that he was in the central Oak Cliff area at Lancaster and Eighth. The dispatcher ordered Tippit to be: "* * * at large for any emergency that comes in." 498 According to Chief Curry, Tippit. was free to patrol the central Oak Cliff area.499 Tippit must have heard the description of the suspect wanted for the President's shooting; it was broadcast over channel 1 at 12:45 p.m., again at 12:48 p.m., and again at 12:55 p.m.500 The suspect was described as a "white male, approximately 30, slender build, height 5 foot 10 inches, weight 165 pounds." 501 A similar description was given on channel 2 at 12:45 p.m.502
At approximately 1:15 p.m., Tippit, who was cruising east on 10th Street, passed the intersection of 10th and Patton, about eight blocks from where he had reported at 12:54 p.m. About 100 feet past the intersection Tippit stopped a man walking east along the south side of Patton. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1968, p. 164.) The man's general description was similar to the one broadcast over the police radio. Tippit stopped the man and called him to his car. He approached the car and apparently exchanged words with Tippit through the right front or vent window. Tippit got out and started to walk around the front of the car As Tippit reached the left front wheel the man pulled out a revolver and fired several shots. Four bullets hit Tippit and killed him instantly. The gunman started back toward Patton Avenue, ejecting the empty cartridge cases before reloading with fresh bullets.

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At least 12 persons saw the man with the revolver in the vicinity of the Tippit crime scene at or immediately after the shooting. By the evening of November 22, five of them had identified Lee Harvey Oswald in police lineups as the man they saw. A sixth did so the next day. Three others subsequently identified Oswald from a photograph. Two witnesses testified that Oswald resembled the man they had seen. One witness felt he was too distant from the gunman to make a positive identification. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1968, p. 164.)
A taxi driver, William Scoggins, was eating lunch in his cab which was parked on Patton facing the southeast corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue a few feet to the north. 503 A police car moving east on 10th at about 10 or 12 miles an hour passed in front of his cab. About 100 feet from the comer the police car pulled up alongside a man on the sidewalk. This man, dressed in a light-colored jacket, approached the car. Scoggins lost sight of him behind some shrubbery on the southeast corner lot, but he saw the policeman leave the car, heard three or four shots, and then saw the policeman fall. Scoggins hurriedly left his seat and hid behind the cab as the man came back toward the corner with gun in hand. The man cut. across the yard through some bushes, passed within 12 feet of Scoggins, and ran south on Patton. Scoggins saw him and heard him mutter either "Poor damn cop" or "Poor dumb cop." 504 The next day Scoggins viewed a lineup of four persons and identified Oswald as the man whom he had seen the day before at 10th and Patton.505 In his testimony before the Commission, Scoggins stated that he thought he had seen a picture of Oswald in the newspapers prior to the lineup identification on Saturday. He had not seen Oswald on television and had not been shown any photographs of Oswald by the police.506
Another witness, Domingo Benavides, was driving a pickup truck west on 10th Street. As he crossed the intersection a block east of 10th and Patton, he saw a policeman standing by the left door of the police car parked along the south side of 10th. Benavides saw a man standing at the right side of the parked police car. He then heard three shots and saw the policeman fall to the ground. By this time the pickup truck was across the street and about 25 feet from the police car. Benavides stopped and waited in the truck until the gunman ran to the corner. He saw him empty the gun and throw the shells into some bushes on the southeast corner lot.507 It was Benavides, using Tippit's car radio, who first reported the killing of Patrolman Tippit at about 1:16 p.m.: "We've had a shooting out here." 508 He found two empty shells in the bushes and gave them to Patrolman J. M. Poe who arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting.509 Benavides never saw Oswald after the arrest. When questioned by police officers on the evening of November 22, Benavides told them that he did not think that he could identify the man who fired the shots. As a result, they did not take him to the police station.

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He testified that the picture of Oswald which he saw later on television bore a resemblance to the man who shot Officer Tippit. 510
Just prior to the shooting, Mrs. Helen Markham, a waitress in downtown Dallas, was about to cross 10th Street at Patton. As she waited on the northwest corner of the intersection for traffic to pass,511 she noticed a young man as be was "almost ready to get up on the curb" 512 at the southeast corner of the intersection, approximately 50 feet away. The man continued along 10th Street. Mrs. Markham saw a police ear slowly approach the man from the rear and stop alongside of him. She saw the man come to the right window of the police ear. As he talked, he leaned on the ledge of the right window with his arms. The man appeared to step back as the policeman "calmly opened the ear door" and very slowly got out and walked toward the front of the ear. The man pulled a gun. Mrs. Markham heard three shots and saw the policeman fall to the ground near the left front wheel. She raised her hands to her eyes as the man started to walk back toward Patton.513 She peered through her fingers, lowered her hands, and saw the man doing something with his gun. "He was just fooling with it. I didn't know what he was doing. I was afraid he was fixing to kill me." 514 The man "in kind of a little trot" headed down Patton toward Jefferson Boulevard, a block away. Mrs. Markham then ran to Officer Tippit's side and saw him lying in a pool of blood? 515
Helen Markham was screaming as she leaned over the body.516 A few minutes later she described the gunman to a policeman?517 Her description and that of other eyewitnesses led to the police broadcast at 1:22 p.m. describing the slayer as "about 30, 5'8", black hair, slender." 518 At about 4:30 p.m., Mrs. Markham, who had been greatly upset by her experience, was able to view a lineup of four men handcuffed together at the police station. 519 .She identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the man who shot the policeman.520 Detective L. C. Graves, who had been with Mrs. Markham before the lineup testified that she was "quite hysterical" and was "crying and upset." 521 He said that Mrs. Markham started crying when Oswald walked into the lineup room. 522 In testimony before the Commission, Mrs. Markham confirmed her positive identification of Lee Harvey Oswald as the man she saw kill Officer Tippit. 523
In evaluating Mrs. Markham's identification of Oswald, the Commission considered certain allegations that Mrs. Markham described the man who killed Patrolman Tippit as "short, a little on the heavy side," and having "somewhat bushy" hair.523 The Commission reviewed the transcript of a phone conversation in which Mrs. Markham is alleged to have provided such a description.525 A review of the complete transcript has satisfied the Commission that Mrs. Markham strongly reaffirmed her positive identification of Oswald and denied having described the killer as short, stocky and having bushy hair. She stated that the man weighed about 150 pounds.526 Although she used the words "a little bit bushy" to describe the gunman's hair, the transcript establishes that she was referring to the uncombed

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state of his hair, a description fully supported by a photograph of Oswald taken at the time of his arrest. (See Pizzo Exhibit No. 453-C, p. 177.) Although in the phone conversation she described the man as "short," 527 on November 22, within minutes of the shooting and before the lineup, Mrs. Markham described the man to the police as 5'8" tall. 528
During her testimony Mrs. Markham initially denied that she ever had the above phone conversation.529 She has subsequently admitted the existence of the conversation and offered an explanation for her denial.530 Addressing itself solely to the probative value of Mrs. Markham's contemporaneous description of the gunman and her positive identification of Oswald at a police lineup, the Commission considers her testimony reliable. However, even in the absence of Mrs. Markham's testimony, there is ample evidence to identify Oswald as the killer of Tippit.
Two young women, Barbara Jeanette Davis and Virginia Davis, were in an apartment of a multiple-unit house on the southeast corner of 10th and Patton when they heard the sound of gunfire and the screams of Helen Markham. They ran to the door in time to see a man with a revolver cut across their lawn and disappear around a corner of the house onto Patton.531 Barbara Jeanette Davis assumed that he was emptying his gun as "he had it open and was shaking it." 532 She immediately called the police. Later in the day each woman found an empty shell on the ground near the house. These two shells were delivered to the police.533
On the evening of November 22, Barbara Jeanette and Virginia Davis viewed a group of four men in a lineup and each one picked Oswald as the man who crossed their lawn while emptying his pistol.534 Barbara Jeanette Davis testified that no one had shown her a picture of Oswald before the identification and that she had not seen him on television. She was not sure whether she had seen his picture in a newspaper on the afternoon or evening of November 22 prior to the lineup.535 Her reaction when she saw Oswald in the lineup was that "I was pretty sure it was the same man I saw. When they made him turn sideways, I was positive that was the one I seen." 536 Similarly, Virginia Davis had not been shown pictures of anyone prior to the lineup and had not seen either television or the newspapers during the afternoon.537' She identified Oswald, who was the No. 2 man in the lineup,538 as the man she saw running with the gun: she testified, "I would say that was him for sure." 539 Barbara Jeanette Davis and Virginia Davis were sitting alongside each other when they made their positive identifications of Oswald.540 Each woman whispered Oswald's number to the detective. Each testified that she was the first to make the identification.541
William Arthur Smith was about a block east of 10th and Patton when he heard shots. He looked west on 10th and saw a man running to the west and a policeman falling to the ground. Smith failed to make himself known to the police on November 22. Several days later he reported what he had seen and was questioned by FBI

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agents.542 Smith subsequently told a Commission staff member that he saw Oswald on television the night of the murder and thought that Oswald was the man he had seen running away from the shooting.543 On television Oswald's hair looked blond, whereas Smith remembered that the man who ran away had hair that was brown or brownish black. Later, the FBI showed Smith a picture of Oswald. In the picture the hair was brown.544 According to his testimony, Smith told the FBI, "It looked more like him than it did on television." He stated further that from "What I saw of him" the man looked like the man in the picture.545
Two other important eyewitnesses to Oswald's flight were Ted Callaway, manager of a used-car lot on the northeast corner of Patton Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, and Sam Guinyard, a porter at the lot. They heard the sound of shots to the north of their lot.546 Callaway heard five shots, and Guinyard three. Both ran to the sidewalk on the east side of Patton at a point about a half a block south of 10th. They saw a man coming south on Patton with a revolver held high in his right hand. According to Callaway, the man crossed to the west side of Patton.547 From across the street Callaway yelled, "Hey, man, what the hell is going on?" He slowed down, halted, said something, and then kept on going to the corner, turned right, and continued west on Jefferson.548 Guinyard claimed that the man ran down the east side of Patton and passed within 10 feet of him before crossing to the other side.549 Guinyard and Callaway ran to 10th and Patton and found Tippit lying in the street beside his car.550 Apparently he had reached for his gun; it lay beneath him outside of the holster. Callaway picked up the gun.551 He and Scoggins attempted to chase down the gunman in Scoggin's taxicab,552 but he had disappeared. Early in the evening of November 22, Guinyard and Callaway viewed the same lineup of four men from which Mrs. Markham had earlier made her identification of Lee Harvey Oswald. Both men picked Oswald as the man who had run south on Patton with a gun in his hand.553 Callaway told the Commission: "So they brought four men in. i stepped to the back of 'the room, so I could kind of see him from the same distance which I had seen him before. And when he came out I knew him." 554 Guinyard said, "I told them that was him right there. I pointed him out right there." 555 Both Callaway and Guinyard testified that they had not been shown any pictures by the police before the lineup.556
The Dallas Police Department furnished the Commission with pictures of the men who appeared in the lineups with Oswald,557 and the Commission has inquired into general lineup procedures used by the Dallas police as well as the specific procedures in the lineups involving Oswald.558 The Commission is satisfied that the lineups were conducted fairly.
As Oswald ran south on Patton Avenue toward Jefferson Boulevard he was moving in the direction of a used-car lot located on the southeast corner of this intersection.559 Four men--Warren Reynolds,560

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Harold Russell 561 Pat Patterson 562 and L. J. Lewis 563--were on the lot at the time, and they saw a white male with a revolver in his hands running south on Patton. When the man reached Jefferson, he turned right and headed west. Reynolds and Patterson decided to follow him. When he reached a gasoline service station one block away he turned north and walked toward a parking area in the rear of the station. Neither Reynolds nor Patterson saw the man after he turned off Jefferson at the service station. 56 These four witnesses were interviewed by FBI agents 2 months after the shooting. Russell and Patterson were shown a picture of Oswald and they stated that Oswald was the man they saw on November 22, 1963. Russell confirmed this statement in a sworn affidavit for the Commission.565 Patterson, when asked later to confirm his identification by affidavit said he did not recall having been shown the photograph. He was then shown two photographs of Oswald and he advised that Oswald was "unquestionably" the man he saw.566 Reynolds did not make a positive identification when interviewed by the FBI, but he subsequently testified before a Commission staff member and, when shown two photographs of Oswald, stated that they were photographs of the man he saw.567 L.J. Lewis said in an interview that because of the distance from which he observed the gunman he would hesitate to state whether the man was identical with Oswald. 568

Murder Weapon

When Oswald was arrested, he had in his possession a Smith & Wesson .38 Special caliber revolver, serial number V510210. (See Commission Exhibit No. 143, p. 170). Two of the arresting officers placed their initials on the weapon and a third inscribed his name. All three identified Exhibit No. 143 as the revolver taken from Oswald when he was arrested.569 Four cartridge eases were found in the shrubbery on the corner of 10th and Patton by three of the eyewitnesses--Domingo Benavides, Barbara Jeanette Davis, and Virginia Davis.570 It was the unanimous and unequivocal testimony of expert witnesses before the Commission that these used cartridge cases were fired from the revolver in Oswald's possession to the exclusion of all other weapons. (See app. X, p. 559.)
Cortlandt Cunningham, of the Firearms Identification Unit of the FBI Laboratory, testified that. he compared the four empty cartridge cases found near the scene of the shooting with a test cartridge fired from the weapon in Oswald's possession when he was arrested. Cunningham declared that this weapon fired the four cartridges to the exclusion of all other weapons. Identification was effected through breech face marks and firing pin marks.571 Robert A. Frazier and Charles Killion, other FBI firearms experts, independently examined the four cartridge cases and arrived at the same conclusion as Cunningham. 572 At the request of the Commission, Joseph D. Nicol, superintendent. of the Illinois Bureau of Criminal Identification Investigation, also examined the four cartridge eases found near the site of the homicide and compared them with the test cartridge cases

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fired from the Smith & Wesson revolver taken from Oswald. He concluded that all of these cartridges were fired from the same weapon.573
Cunningham compared four lead bullets recovered from the body of Patrolman Tippit with test bullets fired from Oswald's revolver 574 He explained that the bullets were slightly smaller than the barrel of the pistol which had fired them. This caused the bullets to have an erratic passage through the barrel and impressed upon the lead of the bullets inconsistent individual characteristics which made identification impossible. Consecutive bullets fired from the revolver by the FBI experts could not be identified as having been fired from that revolver.575 (See app. X, p. 559.) Cunningham testified that all of the bullets were mutilated, one being useless for comparison purposes. All four bullets were fired from a weapon with five lands and grooves and a right. twist 576 which were the rifling characteristics of the revolver taken from Oswald. He concluded, however, that he could not say whether the four bullets were fired from the revolver in Oswald's possession.577 "The only thing I can testify is they could have on the basis of the rifling characteristics--they could have been." 578
Nicol differed with the FBI experts on one bullet taken from Tippit's body. He declared that this bullet 579 was fired from the same weapon that fired the test bullets to the exclusion of all other weapons. But he agreed that because the other three bullets were mutilated, he could not determine if they had been fired from the same weapon as the test bullets.580
The examination and testimony of the experts enabled the Commission to conclude that five shots may have been fired, even though only four bullets were recovered. Three of the bullets recovered from Tippit's body were manufactured by Winchester-Western, and the fourth bullet by Remington-Peters, but only two of the four discarded cartridge eases found on the lawn at 10th Street and Patton Avenue were of Winchester-Western manufacture.581 Therefore, one cartridge case of this type was not recovered. And though only one bullet of Remington-Peters manufacture was recovered, two empty cartridge cases of that make were retrieved. Therefore, either one bullet of Remington-Peters manufacture is missing or one used Remington-Peters cartridge case, which may have been in the revolver before the shooting, was discarded along with the others as Oswald left the scene. If a bullet is missing, five were fired. This corresponds with the observation and memory of Ted Callaway,582 and possibly Warren Reynolds, but not with the other eyewitnesses who claim to have heard from two to four shots.

Ownership of Revolver

By checking certain importers and dealers after the assassination of President Kennedy and slaying of Officer Tippit, agents of the FBI determined that George Rose & Co. of Los Angeles was a major distributor

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of this type of revolver.583 Records of Seaport Traders, Inc., a mail-order division of George Rose & Co., disclosed that on January 3, 1963, the company received from Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods, Ltd., Montreal, a shipment of 99 guns in one case. Among these guns was a .38 Special caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, serial No. V510210, the only revolver made by Smith & Wesson with this serial number.584 When first manufactured, it had a 5-inch barrel. George Rose & Co. had the barrel shortened by a gunsmith to inches.585
Sometime after January 27, 1963, Seaport Traders, Inc., received through the mail a mail-order coupon for one ".38 St. W. 2" Bbl.," cost $29.95. Ten dollars in cash was enclosed. The order was signed in ink by "A. J. Hidell, aged 28." 588 (See Commission Exhibit No. 790, p. 173.) The date of the order was January 27 (no year shown), and the return address was Post Office Box 2915, Dallas, Tex. Also on the order form was an order, written in ink, for one box of ammunition and one holster, but a line was drawn through these items. The mail-order form had a line for the name of a witness to attest that the person ordering the gun was a U.S. citizen and had not been convicted of a felony. The name written in this space was D. F. Drittal.587
Heinz W. Michaelis, office manager of both George Rose & Co., Inc., and Seaport Traders, Inc., identified records of Seaport Traders, Inc., which showed that a ".38 S and W Special two-inch Commando, serial number V510210" was shipped on March 20, 1963, to A. J. Hidell, Post Office Box 2915, Dallas, Tex. The invoice was prepared on March 13, 1963; the revolver was actually shipped on March 20 by Railway Express. The balance due on the purchase was $19.95. Michaelis furnished the shipping copy of the invoice, and the Railway Express Agency shipping documents, showing that $19.95, plus $1.27 shipping charge, had been collected from the consignee, Hidell.588 (See Michaelis Exhibits Nos. 2, 4, 5, p. 173.)
Handwriting experts, Alwyn Cole of the Treasury Department and James C. Cadigan of the FBI, testified before the Commission that the writing on the coupon was Oswald's. The signature of the witness, D. F. Drittal, who attested that the fictitious Hidell was an American citizen and had not been convicted of a felony, was also in Oswald's handwriting.589 Marina Oswald gave as her opinion that the mail-order coupon was in Oswald's handwriting. 590 When shown the revolver, she stated that she recognized it as the one owned by her husband.591 She also testified that this appeared to be the revolver seen in Oswald's belt in the picture she took in late March or early April 1963 when the family was living on Neely Street in Dallas? Police found an empty revolver holster when they searched Oswald's room on Beckley Avenue after his arrest.593 Marina Oswald testified that this was the holster which contained the revolver in the photographs taken on Neely Street.594

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Oswald's Jacket

Approximately 15 minutes before the shooting of Tippit, Oswald was seen leaving his roominghouse.595 He was wearing a zipper jacket which he had not been wearing moments before when he had arrived home.596 When Oswald was arrested, he did not have a jacket.597 Shortly after Tippit was slain, policemen found a light-colored zipper jacket along the route taken by the killer as he attempted to escape.598 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1968, p. 164.)
At 1:22 p.m. the Dallas police radio described the man wanted for the murder of Tippit as "a white male about thirty, five foot eight inches, black hair, slender, wearing a white jacket, white shirt and dark slacks." 599 According to Patrolman Poe this description came from Mrs. Markham and Mrs. Barbara Jeanette Davis.600 Mrs. Markham told Poe that the man was a "white male, about 25, about five feet eight, brown hair, medium," and wearing a "white jacket." Mrs. Davis gave Poe the same general description: a "white male in his early twenties, around five foot seven inches or eight inches, about 145 pounds," and wearing a white jacket.
As has been discussed previously, two witnesses, Warren Reynolds and B. M. Patterson, saw the gunman run toward the rear of a gasoline service station on Jefferson Boulevard. Mrs. Mary Brock, the wife of a mechanic who worked at the station, was there at the time and she saw a white male, 5 feet, 10 inches * * * wearing light clothing * * * a light-colored jacket" walk past her at a fast pace with his hands in his pocket. She last saw him in the parking lot directly behind the service station. When interviewed by FBI agents on January 91, 1964, she identified a picture of Oswald as being the same person she saw on November 22. She confirmed this interview by a sworn affidavit.601
At 1:24 p.m., the police radio reported, "The suspect last seen running west on Jefferson from 400 East Jefferson." 602 Police Capt. W. R. Westbrook and several other officers concentrated their search along Jefferson Boulevard.603 Westbrook walked through the parking lot behind the service station 604 and found a light-colored jacket lying under the rear of one of the cars.605 Westbrook identified Commission Exhibit No. 162 as the light-colored jacket which he discovered underneath the automobile.606
This jacket belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald. Marina Oswald stated that her husband owned only two jackets, one blue and the other gray.607 The blue jacket was found in the Texas School Book Depository 608 and was identified by Marina Oswald as her husband's.609 Marina Oswald also identified Commission Exhibit No. 162, the jacket found by Captain Westbrook, as her husband's second jacket.610
The eyewitnesses vary in their identification of the jacket. Mrs. Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper at Oswald's roominghouse and the last person known to have seen him before he reached 10th Street and Patton Avenue, said that she may have seen the gray zipper jacket but

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she was not certain. It seemed to her that the jacket Oswald wore was darker than Commission Exhibit No. 162.611 Ted Callaway, who saw the gunman moments after the shooting, testified that Commission Exhibit No. 162 looked like the jacket he was wearing but "I thought it had a little more tan to it." 612 Two other witnesses, Sam Guinyard and William Arthur Smith, testified that Commission Exhibit No. 162 was the jacket worn by the man they saw on November 22. Mrs. Markham and Barbara Davis thought that the jacket worn by the slayer of Tippit was darker than the jacket found by Westbrook.613 Scoggins thought it was lighter.614
There is no doubt., however, that Oswald was seen leaving his roominghouse at about 1 p.m. wearing a zipper jacket, that the man who killed Tippit was wearing a light-colored jacket, that he was seen running along Jefferson Boulevard, that a jacket was found under a car in a lot adjoining Jefferson Boulevard, that the jacket belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald, and that when he was arrested at approximately 1:50 p.m., he was in shirt sleeves. These facts warrant the finding that Lee Harvey Oswald disposed of his jacket as he fled from the scene of the Tippit killing.


The foregoing evidence establishes that (1) two eyewitnesses who heard the shots and saw the shooting of Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit and seven eyewitnesses who saw the flight of the gunman with revolver in hand positively identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the man they saw fire the shots or flee from the scene, (2) the cartridge cases found near the scene of the shooting were fired from the revolver in the possession of Oswald at the time of his arrest, to the exclusion of all other weapons, (3) the revolver in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest was purchased by and belonged to Oswald, and (4) Oswald's jacket was found along the path of flight taken by the gunman as he fled from the scene of the killing. On the basis of this evidence the Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit.
Oswald Arrest
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The Texas Theatre is on the north side of Jefferson Boulevard, approximately eight blocks from the scene of the Tippit shooting and six blocks from where several witnesses last saw Oswald running west .on Jefferson Boulevard.615 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1968, p. 164.) Shortly after the Tippit murder, police sirens sounded along Jefferson Boulevard. One of the persons who heard the sirens was Johnny Calvin Brewer, manager of Hardy's Shoestore, a few doors east of the Texas Theatre. Brewer knew from radio broadcasts that the President had been shot and that a patrolman had also been shot in Oak Cliff.616 When he heard police sirens, he "looked up and

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saw the man enter the lobby," a recessed area extending about 15 feet between the sidewalk and the front door of his store.617 A police car made a U-turn, and as the sirens grew rainier, the man in the lobby "looked over his shoulder and turned around and walked up West Jefferson towards the theatre." 618 The man wore a T-shirt beneath his outer shirt and he had no jacket.619 Brewer said, "He just looked funny to me. * * * His hair was sort of messed up and looked like he had been running, and he looked scared, and he looked funny." 620
Mrs. Julia Postal, selling tickets at the box office of the Texas Theatre, heard police sirens and then saw a man as he "ducked into" the outer lobby space of the theatre near the ticket office. 620 Attracted by the sound of the sirens, Mrs. Postal stepped out of the box office and walked to the curb.622 Shortly thereafter, Johnny Brewer, who had come from the nearby shoestore, asked Mrs. Postal whether the fellow that had ducked in had bought a ticket.623 She said, "No; by golly, he didn't," and turned around, but the man was nowhere in sight.624 Brewer told Mrs. Postal that he had seen the man ducking into his place of business and that he had followed him to the theatre.625 She sent Brewer into the theatre to find the man and check the exits, told him about the assassination, and said "I don't know if this is the man they want. * * * but he is running from them for some reason." 626 She then called the police.627
At 1:45 p.m., the police radio stated, "Have information a suspect just went in the Texas Theatre on West Jefferson." 628 Patrol cars bearing at least 15 officers converged on the Texas Theatre.629 Patrolman M. N. McDonald, with Patrolmen R. Hawkins, T. A. Hutson, and C. T. Walker, entered the theatre from the rear.630 Other policemen entered the front door and searched the balcony.631 Detective Paul L. Bentley rushed to the balcony and told the projectionist to turn up the house lights.632 Brewer met McDonald and the other policemen at the alley exit door, stepped out onto the stage with them 633 and pointed out the man who had come into the theatre without paying. 634 The man was Oswald. He was sitting alone in the rear of the main floor of the theatre near the right center aisle.635 About six or seven people were seated on the theatre's main floor and an equal number in the balcony.636
McDonald first searched two men in the center of the main floor, about 10 rows from the front.637 He walked out of the row up the right center aisle.638 When he reached the row where the suspect was sitting, McDonald stopped abruptly and told the man to get on his feet. 639 Oswald rose from his seat, bringing up both hands.640 As McDonald started to search Oswald's waist for a gun, he heard him say, "Well, it's all over now." 641 Oswald then struck McDonald between the eyes with his left fist.; with his right hand he drew a gun from his waist.642 McDonald struck back with his right hand and grabbed the gun with his left hand.643 They both fell into the seats.644 Three other officers, moving toward the scuffle, grabbed Oswald from the front, rear and side.645 As McDonald fell into the seat with his left

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hand on the gun, he felt something graze across his hand and heard what sounded like the snap of the hammer.646 McDonald felt the pistol scratch his cheek as he wrenched it away from Oswald.647 Detective Bob K. Carroll, who was standing beside McDonald, seized the gum from him.648
The other officers who helped subdue Oswald corroborated McDonald in his testimony except that they did not hear Oswald say, "It's all over now." Deputy Sheriff Eddy R. Walthers recalled such a remark but he did not reach the scene of the struggle until Oswald had been knocked to the floor by McDonald and the others.649 Some of the officers saw Oswald strike McDonald with his fist.650 Most of them heard a click which they assumed to be a click of the hammer of the revolver.651 Testimony of a firearms expert before the Commission established that the hammer of the revolver never touched the shell in the chamber.652 Although the witnesses did not hear the sound of a misfire, they might have heard a snapping noise resulting from the police officer grabbing the cylinder of the revolver and pulling it away from Oswald while he was attempting to pull the trigger.653 (See app. X, p. 560.)
Two patrons of the theatre and John Brewer testified regarding the arrest of Oswald, as did the various police officers who participated in the fight. George Jefferson Applin, Jr., confirmed that Oswald fought with four or five officers before he was handcuffed.654 He added that one officer grabbed the muzzle of a shotgun, drew back, and hit Oswald with the butt end of the gun in the back.655 No other theatre patron or officer has testified that Oswald was hit by a gun. Nor did Oswald ever complain that he was hit with a gun, or injured in the back. Deputy Sheriff Walthers brought a shotgun into the theatre but laid it on some seats before helping subdue Oswald.656 Officer Ray Hawkins said that there was no one near Oswald who had a shotgun and he saw no one strike Oswald in the back with a rifle butt or the butt of a gun.657
John Gibson, another patron in the theatre, saw an officer grab Oswald, and he claims that he heard the click of a gun misfiring.658 He saw no shotgun in the possession of any policeman near Oswald.659 Johnny Brewer testified he saw Oswald pull the revolver and the officers struggle with him to take it away but that once he was subdued, no officer struck him.660 He further stated that while fists were flying he heard one of the officers say "Kill the President, will you." 661 It is unlikely that any of the police officers referred to Oswald as a suspect in the assassination. While the police radio had noted the similarity in description of the two suspects, the arresting officers were pursuing Oswald for the murder of Tippit.662 As Oswald, handcuffed, was led from the theatre, he was, according to McDonald, "cursing a little bit and hollering police brutality." 663 At 1:51 p.m., police car 2 reported by radio that it was on the way to headquarters with tile suspect.664
Captain Fritz returned to police headquarters from the Texas School Book Depository at 2:15 after a brief stop at the sheriff's

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office.665 When he entered the homicide and robbery bureau office, he saw two detectives standing there with Sgt. Gerald L. Hill, who had driven from the theatre with Oswald.666 Hill testified that Fritz told the detective to get a search warrant, go to an address on Fifth Street in Irving, and pick up a man named Lee Oswald. When Hill asked why Oswald was wanted, Fritz replied, "Well, he was employed down at the Book Depository and he had not been present for a roll call of the employees." 667 Hill said, "Captain, we will save you a trip * * * there he sits." 668
Statements of Oswlad During Detention
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Oswald was questioned intermittently for approximately 12 hours between 2:30 p.m., on November 22, and 11 a.m., on November 24. Throughout this interrogation he denied that- he had anything to do either with the assassination of President Kennedy or the murder of Patrolman Tippit. Captain Fritz of the homicide and robbery bureau did most of the questioning, but he kept no notes and there were no stenographic or 'tape recordings. Representatives of other law enforcement agencies were also present, including the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. They occasionally participated in the questioning. The reports prepared by those present at these interviews are set forth in appendix XI. A full discussion of Oswald's detention and interrogation is presented in chapter V of this report.
During the evening of November 22, the Dallas Police Department performed paraffin tests on Oswald's hands and right cheek in an apparent effort to determine, by means of a scientific test, whether Oswald had recently fired a weapon. The results were positive for the hands and negative for the right cheek.669 Expert testimony before the Commission was to the effect that the paraffin test was unreliable 670 in determining whether or not a person has fired a rifle or revolver.671 The Commission has, therefore, placed no reliance on the paraffin tests administered by the Dallas police. (See app.. X, pp. 561-562.)
Oswald provided little information during his questioning. Frequently, however, he was confronted with evidence which he could not explain, and he resorted to statements which are known to be lies.672 While Oswald's untrue statements during interrogation were not considered items of positive proof by the Commission, they had probative value in deciding the weight to be given to his denials that he assassinated President Kennedy and killed Patrolman Tippit. Since independent evidence revealed that Oswald repeatedly and blatantly lied to the police, the Commission gave little weight to his denials of guilt.

Denial of Rifle Ownership

From the outset, Oswald denied owning a rifle. On November 23, Fritz confronted Oswald with the evidence that he had purchased a rifle under the fictitious name of "Hidell." Oswald said that this

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was not true. Oswald denied that he had a rifle wrapped up in a blanket in the Paine garage. Oswald also denied owning a rifle and said that since leaving the Marine Corps he had fired only a small bore .22 rifle.673 On the afternoon of November 23, Officers H. M. Moore, R. S. Stovall, and G. F. Rose obtained a search warrant and examined Oswald's effects in the Paine garage. They discovered two photographs, each showing Oswald with a rifle and a pistol.674 These photographs were shown to Oswald on the evening of November 23 and again on the morning of the 24th. According to Fritz, Oswald sneered, saying that they were fake photographs, that he had been photographed a number of times the day before by the police, that they had superimposed upon the photographs a rifle and a revolver.675 He told Fritz a number of times that the smaller photograph was either made from the larger, or the larger photograph was made from the smaller and that at the proper time he would show that the pictures were fakes. Fritz told him that the two small photographs were found in the Paine garage. At that point., Oswald refused to answer any further questions.676 As previously indicated, Marina Oswald testified that she took the two pictures with her husband's Imperial Reflex camera when they lived on Neely Street. Her testimony was fully supported by a photography expert who testified that in his opinion the pictures were not composites.677

The Revolver

At the first interrogation, Oswald claimed that his only crime was carrying a gun and resisting arrest. When Captain Fritz asked him why he carried the revolver, he answered, "Well, you know about a pistol. I just carried it." 678 He falsely alleged that he bought the revolver in Fort Worth,679 when in fact he purchased it from a mail-order house in Los Angeles.680

The Aliases "Hidell" and "O. H. Lee"

The arresting officers found a forged selective service card with a picture of Oswald and the name "Alek J. Hidell" in Oswald's billfold.681 On November 22 and 23, Oswald refused to tell Fritz why this card was in his possession,682 or to answer any questions concerning the card.683 On Sunday morning, November 24, Oswald denied that he knew A. J. Hidell. Captain Fritz produced the selective service card bearing the name "Alek J. Hidell." Oswald became angry and said, "Now, I've told you all I'm going to tell you about that card in my billfolds--you have the card yourself and you know as much about it as I do." 684 At. the last interrogation on November Oswald admitted to Postal Inspector Holmes that he had rented post office box 2915, Dallas, but denied that he had received a package in this box addressed to Hidell. He also denied that he had received the rifle through this box.685 Holmes reminded Oswald that A. J.

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Hidell was listed on post office box 30061, New Orleans, as one entitled to receive mail. Oswald replied, "I don't know anything about that."686
When asked why he lived at his roominghouse under the name O. H. Lee, Oswald responded that the landlady simply made a mistake, because he told her that his name was Lee, meaning his first name.687 An examination of the roominghouse register revealed that Oswald actually signed the name O. H. Lee.688

The Curtain Rod Story

In concluding that Oswald was carrying a rifle in the paper bag on the morning of November 22, 1963, the Commission found that Oswald lied when he told Frazier that he was returning to Irving to obtain curtain rods. When asked about the curtain rod story, Oswald lied again. He denied that he had ever told Frazier that he wanted a ride to Irving to get curtain rods for an apartment.689 He explained that a party for the Paine children had been planned for the weekend and he preferred not to be in the Paine house at that time; therefore, he made his weekly visit on Thursday night.690 Actually, the party for one of the Paine's children was the preceding weekend, when Marina Oswald suggested that Oswald remain in Dallas.691 When told that Frazier and Mrs. Randle had seen him carrying a long heavy package, Oswald replied, "Well, they was mistaken. That must have been some other time he picked me up." 692 In one interview, he told Fritz that the only sack he carried to work that day was a lunch sack which he kept on his lap during the ride from Irving to Dallas.693 Frazier testified before the Commission that Oswald carried no lunch sack that day.694

Actions During and After Shooting

During the first interrogation on November 22, Fritz asked Oswald to account for himself at the time the President was shot. Oswald told him that he ate lunch in the first-floor lunchroom and then went to the second floor for a Coke which he brought downstairs. He acknowledged the encounter with the police officer on the second floor. Oswald told Fritz that after lunch he went outside, talked with Foreman Bill Shelley for 5 or 10 minutes and then left for home. He said that he left work because Bill Shelley said that there would be no more work done that. day in the building.695 Shelley denied seeing Oswald after 12 noon or at any time after the shooting.696 The next day, Oswald' added to his story. He stated that at. the time the President was shot he was having lunch with "Junior" but he did not give Junior's last name.697 The only employee at the Depository Building named "Junior" was James Jarman, Jr. Jarman testified that he ate his lunch on the first floor around 5 minutes to 12, and that he neither ate lunch with nor saw Oswald.698 Jarman did talk to Oswald that morning:

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* * * he asked me what were the people gathering around on the corner for and I told him that the
President was supposed to pass that morning, and he asked me did I know which way he was coming,
and I told him, yes, he probably come down Main and turn on Houston and then back again on Elm.
Then he said, "Oh, I see," and that was all.699
Prior Attempt to Kill
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The Attempt on the Life of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker

At approximately 9 p.m., on April 10, 1963, in Dallas, Tex., Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker, an active and controversial figure on the American political scene since his resignation from the U.S. Army in 1961, narrowly escaped death when a rifle bullet fired from .outside his home passed near his head as he was seated at his desk.700 There were no eyewitnesses, although a 14-year-old boy in a neighboring house claimed that immediately after the shooting he saw two men, in separate cars, drive out of a church parking lot adjacent to Walker's home.701 A friend of Walker's testified that two nights before the shooting he saw "two men around the house peeking in windows." 702 General Walker gave this information to the police before the shooting, but it did not help solve the crime. Although the bullet was recovered from Walker's house (see app. X, p. 562), in the absence of a weapon it was of little investigatory value. General Walker hired two investigators to determine whether a former employee might have been involved in the shooting.708 Their results were negative. Until December 3, 1963, the Walker shooting remained unsolved.
The Commission evaluated the following evidence in considering whether Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shot which almost killed General Walker: (1) A note which Oswald left for his wife on the evening of the shooting, photographs found among Oswald's possessions after the assassination of President Kennedy, (3) firearm identification of the bullet found in Walker's home, and (4) admissions and other statements made to Marina Oswald by Oswald concerning the shooting.
Note left by Oswald.--On December 2, 1963, Mrs. Ruth Paine turned over to the police some of the Oswalds' belongings, including a Russian volume entitled "Book of Useful Advice." 704, In this book was an undated note written in Russian.. In translation, the note read as follows:

1. This is the key to the mailbox which is located in the main post office in the city on Ervay
Street. This is the same street where the drugstore, in which you always waited is located. You
will find the mailbox in the post office which is located 4 blocks from the drugstore on that street. I
paid for the box last month so don't worry about it.

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2. Send the information as to what has happened to me to the Embassy and include newspaper clippings (should there be anything about me in the newspapers). I believe that the Embassy will come quickly to your assistance on learning everything.
3. I paid the house rent on the 2d so don't worry about it.
4. Recently I also paid for water and gas.
5. The money from work will possibly be coming. The money will be sent to our post office box. Go to the bank and cash the check.
6. You can either throw out or give my clothing, etc. away. Do not keep these. However, I prefer that you hold on to my personal papers (military, civil, etc.).
7. Certain of my documents are in the small blue valise.
8. The address book can be found on my table in the study should need same.
9. We have friends here. The Red Cross also will help you.
(Red Cross in English). [sic]
10. I left you as much money as I could, $60 on the second of the month. You and the baby [apparently] can live for another 2 months using $10 per week.
11. If I am alive and taken prisoner, the city jail is located at the end of the bridge through which we always passed on going to the city (right in the beginning of the city after crossing the bridge).705

James C. Cadigan, FBI handwriting expert, testified that this note was written by Lee Harvey Oswald.706
Prior to the Walker shooting on April 10, Oswald had been attending typing classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. He had quit these classes at least a week before the shooting, which occurred on a Wednesday night.707 According to Marina Oswald's testimony, on the night of the Walker shooting, her husband left their apartment on Neely Street shortly after dinner. She thought he was attending a class or was on his own business." 708 When he failed to return by 10 or 10:30 p.m., Marina Oswald went to his room and discovered the note. She testified: "When he came back I asked him what had happened. He was very pale. I don't remember the exact time, but it was very late. And he told me not to ask him any questions. He only told me he had shot at General Walker." 709 Oswald told his wife that he did not know whether he had hit Walker; according to Marina Oswald when he learned on the radio and in the newspapers the next. day that he had missed, he said that he "was very sorry that he had not hit him." 710 Marina Oswald's testimony was fully supported by the note itself which appeared to be the work of a man expecting to be killed, or imprisoned, or to disappear. The last paragraph directed her to the jail and the other paragraphs instructed her on the disposal of Oswald's personal effects and the management of her affairs if he should not return.
It is clear that the note was written while the Oswalds were living in Dallas before they moved to New Orleans in the spring of 1963.

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The references to house rent and payments for water and gas indicated that the note was written when they were living in a rented apartment; therefore it could not have been written while Marina Oswald was living with the Paines. Moreover, the reference in paragraph 3 to paying "the house rent on the 2d" would be consistent with the period when the Oswalds were living on Neely Street since the apartment was rented on March 3, 1963. Oswald had paid the first month's rent in advance on March 2, 1963, and the second month's rent was paid on either April 2 or April 3.711 The main post office "on Ervay Street" refers to the post office where Oswald rented box 2915 from October 9, 1962, to May 14, 1963.712 Another statement which limits the time when it could have been written is the reference "you and the baby," which would indicate that it was probably written before the birth of Oswald's second child on October 20, 1963.
Oswald had apparently mistaken the county jail for the city jail. From Neely Street the Oswalds would have traveled downtown on the Beckley bus, across the Commerce Street viaduct and into downtown Dallas through the Triple Underpass.713 Either the viaduct or the underpass might have been the "bridge" mentioned in the last paragraph of the note. The county jail is at the corner of Houston and Main Streets "right in the beginning of the city" after one travels through the underpass.
Photographs.--In her testimony before the Commission in February 1964, Marina Oswald stated that when Oswald returned home on the night of the Walker shooting, he told her that he had been planning the attempt for 2 months. He showed her a notebook 3 days later containing photographs of General Walker's home and a map of the area where the house was located.714 Although Oswald destroyed the notebook,715 three photographs found among Oswald's possessions after the assassination were identified by Marina Oswald as photographs of General Walker's house.716 Two of these photographs were taken from the rear of Walker's house.717 The Commission confirmed, by comparison with other photographs, that these were, indeed, photographs of the rear of Walker's house.718 An examination of the window at the rear of the house, the wall through which the bullet passed, and the fence behind the house indicated that the bullet was fired from a position near the point where one of the photographs was taken.719
The third photograph identified by Marina Oswald depicts the entrance to General Walker's driveway from a back alley.720 Also seen in the picture is the fence on which Walker's assailant apparently rested the rifle.721 An examination of certain construction work appearing in the background of this photograph revealed that the picture was taken between March 8 and 12, 1963, and most probably on either March 9 or March 10.722 Oswald purchased the money order for the rifle on March 12, the rifle was shipped on March 20,728 and the shooting occurred on April 10. A photography expert with the FBI was able to determine that, this picture was taken with the Imperial Reflex camera owned by Lee Harvey Oswald.724 (See app. X, p. 596.)

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A fourth photograph, showing a stretch of railroad tracks, was also identified by Marina Oswald as having been taken by her husband, presumably in connection with the Walker shooting.725 Investigation determined that this photograph was taken approximately seven-tenths of a mile from Walker's house.726 Another photograph of railroad tracks found among Oswald's possessions was not identified by his wife, but investigation revealed that it was taken from a point slightly less than half a mile from General Walker's house.727 Marina Oswald stated that- when she asked her husband what be had done with the rifle, he replied that he had buried it in the ground or hidden it in some bushes and that he also mentioned a railroad track in this connection. She testified that several days later Oswald recovered his rifle and brought it back to their apartment.728
Firearms identification.--In the room beyond the one in which General Walker was sitting on the night of the shooting the Dallas police recovered a badly mutilated bullet which had come to rest on a stack of paper.729 The Dallas City-County Investigation Laboratory tried to determine the type of weapon which fired the bullet. The oral report was negative because of the battered condition of the bullet.730 On November 30, 1963, the FBI requested the bullet. for ballistics examination; the Dallas Police Department forwarded it on December 2, 1963.731
Robert A. Frazier, an FBI ballistics identification expert, testified that he was "unable to reach a conclusion" as to whether or not the bullet recovered from Walker's house had been fired from the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. He concluded that "the general rifling characteristics of the rifle * * * are of the same type as those found on the bullet * * * and, further, on this basis * * * the bullet could have been fired from the rifle on the basis of its land and groove impressions." 732 Frazier testified further that the FBI 'avoids the category of "probable" identification. Unless the missile or cartridge case can be identified as coming from a particular weapon to the exclusion of all others, the FBI refuses to draw any conclusion as to probability.733 Frazier testified, however, that he found no microscopic characteristics or other evidence which would indicate that the bullet was not. fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle owned by Lee Harvey Oswald. It was a 6.5-millimeter bullet and, according to Frazier, "relatively few" types of rifles could produce the characteristics found on the bullet.734
Joseph D. Nicol, superintendent of the Illinois Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, conducted an independent examination of this bullet and concluded "that there is a fair probability" that the bullet was fired from the rifle used in the assassination of President Kennedy.735 In explaining the difference between his policy and that of the FBI on the matter of probable identification, Nicol said:

I am aware of their position. This is not, I am sure, arrived at without careful consideration. However, to say that because one does not find sufficient marks for identification that it is a negative,

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I think is going overboard in the other direction. And for purposes of probative value, for whatever it might be worth, in the absence of very definite negative evidence, I think it is permissible to say that in an exhibit such as 573 there is enough on it to say that it could have come, and even perhaps a little stronger, to say that it probably came from this, without going so far as to say to the exclusion of all other guns. This I could not do. 736

Although the Commission recognizes that neither expert was able to state that the bullet which missed General Walker was fired from Oswald's rifle to the exclusion of all others, this testimony was considered probative when combined with the other testimony linking Oswald to the shooting.
Additional corroborative evidence.--The admissions made to Marina Oswald by her husband are an important element in the evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shot at General Walker. As shown above, the note and the photographs of Walker's house and of the nearby railroad tracks provide important corroboration for her account of the incident. Other details described by Marina Oswald coincide with facts developed independently of her statements. She testified that her husband had postponed his attempt to kill Walker until that Wednesday because he had heard that there was to be a gathering at the church next door to Walker's house on that evening. He indicated that he wanted more people in the vicinity at the time of the attempt so that his arrival and departure would not attract great attention.737 An official of this church told FBI agents that services are held every Wednesday at the church except during the month of August.738 Marina Oswald also testified that her husband had used a bus to return home.739 A study of the bus routes indicates that Oswald could have taken any one of several different buses to Walker's house or to a point near the railroad tracks where he may have concealed the rifle.740 It would have been possible for him to take different routes in approaching and leaving the scene of the shooting.
Conclusion.--Based on (1) the contents of the note which Oswald left for his wife on April 10, 1963, (2) the photographs found among Oswald's possessions, (3) the testimony of firearms identification experts, and (4) the testimony of Marina Oswald, the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to take the life of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker (Resigned, U.S. Army) on April 10, 1963. The finding that Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to murder a public figure in April 1963 was considered of probative value in this investigation, although the Commission's conclusion concerning the identity of the assassin was based on evidence independent of the finding that Oswald attempted to kill General Walker.

Richard M. Nixon Incident

Another alleged threat by Oswald against a public figure involved former Vice President Richard M. Nixon. In January 1964, Marina Oswald and her business manager, James Martin, told Robert Oswald,

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Lee Harvey Oswald's brother, that Oswald had once threatened to shoot former Vice President Richard M. Nixon.741 When Marina Oswald testified before the Commission on February 3-6, 1964, she had failed to mention the incident when she was asked whether Oswald had ever expressed any hostility toward any official of the United States.742 The Commission first learned of this incident when Robert Oswald related it to FBI agents on February 19, 1964,743 and to the Commission on February 21.744
Marina Oswald appeared before the Commission again on June 11, 1964, and testified that a few days before her husband's departure from Dallas to New Orleans on April 24, 1963, he finished reading a morning newspaper "* * * and put on a good suit. I saw that he took a pistol. I asked him where he was going, and why he was getting dressed. He answered 'Nixon is coming. I want to go and have a look.' " He also said that he would use the pistol if the opportunity arose.745 She reminded him that after the Walker shooting he had promised never to repeat such an act. Marina Oswald related the events which followed:

I called him into the bathroom and I closed the door and I wanted to prevent him and then I started to cry. -And I told him that he shouldn't do this, and that he had promised me.

* * * * * *

I remember that I held him. We actually struggled for several minutes and then he quieted down.746

She stated that it was not physical force which kept him from leaving the house. "I couldn't keep him from going out if he really wanted to." 747 After further questioning she stated that she might have been confused about shutting him in the bathroom, but that "there is no doubt that he got dressed and got a gun."
Oswald's revolver was shipped from Los Angeles on March 20, 1968, 749 and he left for New Orleans on April 24, 1968. 750 No edition of either Dallas newspaper during the period January 1, 1963, to May 15, 1968, mentioned any proposed visit by Mr. Nixon to Dallas.751 Mr. Nixon advised the Commission that the only time he was in Dallas in 1963 was on November 20-21, 19'63.752 An investigation failed to reveal any invitation extended to Mr. Nixon during the period when Oswald's threat reportedly occurred.753 The Commission has concluded, therefore, that regardless of what Oswald may have said to his wife he was not actually planning to shoot Mr. Nixon at that time in Dallas.
On April 23, 1963, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was in Dallas for a visit which had 'been publicized in the Dallas newspapers throughout April.754 The Commission asked Marina Oswald whether she might have misunderstood the object of her husband's threat. She stated, "there is no question that in this incident it was a question of Mr. Nixon." 755 When asked later whether it might have been

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Mr. Johnson, she said, "Yes, no. I am getting a little confused with so many questions. I was absolutely convinced it was Nixon and now after all these questions I wonder if I am right in my mind? 756 She stated further that Oswald had only mentioned Nixon's name once during the incident.757 Marina Oswald might have misunderstood her husband. Mr. Johnson was the then Vice President and his visit took place on April 23d. 758 This was 1 day before Oswald left for New Orleans and Marina. appeared certain that the Nixon incident "wasn't the day before. Perhaps 3 days before." 759
Marina Oswald speculated that. the incident may have been unrelated to an actual threat. She said,

* * * It might have been that he was just. trying to test me. He was the kind of person who could try and wound somebody in that way. Possibly he didn't want to go out at all but was just doing this all as a sort of joke, not really as a joke but rather to simply wound me, to make me feel bad.760

In the absence of other evidence that Oswald actually intended to shoot someone at this time, the Commission concluded that the incident, as described by Marina Oswald, was of no probative value in the Commission's decision concerning the identity of the assassin of President. Kennedy.
Oswald's Rifle Capability
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In deciding whether Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally, the Commission considered whether Oswald, using his own rifle, possessed the capability to hit his target with two out of three shots under the conditions described in chapter Ill. The Commission evaluated (1) the nature of the shots, (2) Oswald's Marine training in marksmanship, (8) his experience and practice after leaving the Marine Corps, and (4) the accuracy of the weapon and the quality of the ammunition.

The Nature of the Shots

For a rifleman situated on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building the shots were at a slow- moving target proceeding on a downgrade in virtually a straight line with the alinement of the assassin's rifle, at a range of 177 to 266 feet.761 An aerial photograph of Dealey Plaza shows that. Elm Street runs at an angle so that the President would have been moving in an almost straight line away from the assassin's rifle.762 (See Commission Exhibit No. $76, p. 33.) In addition, the 3° downward slope of Elm Street was of assistance in eliminating at least some of the adjustment which is ordinarily required when a marksman must raise his rifle as a target moves farther away.763
Four marksmanship experts testified before the Commission. Maj. Eugene D. Anderson, assistant head of the Marksmanship Branch of

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the U.S. Marine Corps, testified that the shots which struck the President in the neck and in the head were "not * * * particularly difficult." 764 Robert A. Frazier, FBI expert. in firearms identification and training, said:

From my own experience in shooting over the years, when you shoot at 175 feet or 260 feet, which is less than 100 yards, with a telescopic sight, you should not have any difficulty in hitting your target.

* * * * * * *

I mean it requires no training at all to shoot a weapon with a telescopic sight once you know that you must put the crosshairs on the target and that is all that is necessary.765

Ronald Simmons, chief of the U.S. Army Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory, said: "Well, in order to achieve three hits, it would not be required that a man be an exceptional shot. A proficient man with this weapon, yes." 766
The effect of a four-power telescopic sight on the difficulty of these shots was considered in detail by M. Sgt. James A. Zahm, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marksmanship Training Unit in the Weapons Training Battalion of the Marine Corps School at Quantico, Va.767 Referring to a rifle with a four-power telescope, Sergeant Zahm said:

* * * this is the ideal type of weapon for moving targets * * * 768

* * * * * *

* * * Using the scope, rapidly working a bolt and using the scope to relocate your target quickly and at the same time when you locate that target you identify it and the crosshairs are in close relationship to the point you want to shoot at, it just takes a minor move in aiming to bring the crosshairs to bear, and then it is a quick squeeze.769

* * * * * *

I consider it a real advantage, particularly at the range of 100 yards, in identifying your target. It. allows you to see your target clearly, and it is still of a minimum amount of power that it doesn't exaggerate your own body movements. It just is an aid in seeing in the fact that you only have the one element, the crosshair, in relation to the target as opposed to iron sights with aligning the sights and then aligning them on the target.770

Characterizing the four-power scope as "a real aid, an extreme aid" in rapid fire shooting, Sergeant Zahm expressed the opinion that the shot which struck President Kennedy in the neck at 176.9 to 190.8 feet was "very easy" and the shot which struck the President in the

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head at a distance of 265.3 feet was "an easy shot." 771 After viewing photographs depicting the alinement of Elm Street in relation to the Texas School Book Depository Building, Zahm stated further:

This is a definite advantage to the shooter, the vehicle moving directly away from him and the downgrade of the street, and he being in an elevated position made an almost stationary target while he was aiming in, very little movement if any.772

Oswald's Marine Training

In accordance with standard Marine procedures, Oswald received extensive training in marksmanship.773 During the first week of an intensive 8-week training period he received instruction in sighting, aiming, and manipulation of the trigger.774 He went through a series of exercises called dry firing where he assumed all positions which would later be used in the qualification course.775 After familiarization with live ammunition in the .22 rifle and .22 pistol, Oswald, like all Marine recruits, received training on the rifle range at distances up to 500 yards, firing 50 rounds each day for five days.776
Following that training, Oswald was tested in December of 1956, and obtained a score of 212, which was 2 points above the minimum for qualifications as a "sharpshooter" in a scale of marksman--sharp-shooter--expert.777 In May of 1959, on another range, Oswald scored 191, which was 1 point over the minimum for ranking as a "marksman." 778 The Marine Corps records maintained on Oswald further show that he had fired and was familiar with the Browning Automatic rifle, .45 caliber pistol, and 12-gage riot gun.779
Based on the general Marine Corps ratings, Lt. Col. A. G. Folsom, Jr., head, Records Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, evaluated the sharpshooter qualification as a "fairly good shot." and a low marksman rating as a "rather poor shot."
When asked to explain the different scores achieved by Oswald on the two occasions when he fired for record, Major Anderson said:

* * * when he fired that [212] he had just completed a very intensive preliminary training period. He had the services of an experienced highly trained coach. He had high motivation. He had presumably a good to excellent rifle and good ammunition. We have nothing here to show under what conditions the B course was fired. It might well have been a bad day for firing the rifle--windy, rainy, dark. There is little probability that he had a good, expert coach, and he probably didn't have as high a motivation because he was no longer in recruit training and under the care of the drill instructor. There is some possibility that the rifle he was firing might not have been as good a rifle as the rifle that he was firing in his A course firing, because [he] may well have carried this rifle for quite some time, and it got banged around in normal usage. 781

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Major Anderson concluded:

I would say that as compared to other Marines receiving the same type of training, that Oswald was a good shot, somewhat better than or equal to--better than the average let us say. As compared to a civilian who had not received this intensive training, he would be considered as a good to excellent shot.782

When Sergeant Zahm was asked whether Oswald's Marine Corps training would have made it easier to operate a rifle with a four-power scope, he replied:

Based on that training, his basic knowledge in sight manipulation and trigger squeeze and what not, I would say that he would be capable of sighting that rifle in well, firing it, with 10 rounds.783

After reviewing Oswald's marksmanship scores, Sergeant Zahm concluded:

I would say in the Marine Corps he is a good shot, slightly above average, and as compared to the average male of his age throughout the civilian, throughout the United States, that he is an excellent shot.784

Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines

During one of his leaves from the Marines, Oswald hunted with his brother Robert, using a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle belonging either to Robert or Robert's in-laws.785 After he left the Marines and before departing for Russia, Oswald, his brother, and a third companion went hunting for squirrels and rabbits.786 On that occasion Oswald again used a bolt-action .22 caliber rifle; and according to Robert, Lee Oswald exhibited an average amount of proficiency with that weapon.787 While in Russia, Oswald obtained a hunting license, joined a hunting club and went hunting about six times, as discussed more fully in chapter VI.788 Soon after Oswald returned from the Soviet Union he again went hunting with his brother, Robert, and used a borrowed .22 caliber bolt-action rifle.789 After Oswald purchased the Mannlicher- Carcano rifle, he told his wife that he practiced with it.790 Marina Oswald testified that on one occasion she saw him take the rifle, concealed in a raincoat, from the house on Neely Street. Oswald told her he was going to practice with it. 791 According to George De Mohrenschildt, Oswald said that he went target shooting with that rifle.792
Marina Oswald testified that in New Orleans in May of 1963, she observed Oswald sitting with the rifle on their screened porch at night, sighting with the telescopic lens and operating the bolt.798 Examination of the cartridge cases found on the sixth floor of the Depository

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Building established that they had been previously loaded and ejected from the assassination rifle, which would indicate that Oswald practiced operating the bolt.794

Accuracy of Weapon

It will be recalled from the discussion in chapter III that the assassin in all probability hit two out of the three shots during the maximum time span of 4.8 to 5.6 seconds if the second shot missed, or, if either the first or third shots missed, the assassin fired the three shots during a minimum time span of 7.1 to 7.9 seconds.795 A series of tests were performed to determine whether the weapon and ammunition used in the assassination were capable of firing the shots which were fired by the assassin on November 22, 1968. The ammunition used by the assassin was manufactured by Western Cartridge Co. of East Alton, III. In tests with the Mannlicher-Carcano C2766 rifle, over 100 rounds of this ammunition were fired by the FBI and the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the U.S. Army. There were no misfires.796
In an effort to test the rifle under conditions which simulated those which prevailed during the assassination, the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory had expert riflemen fire the assassination weapon from a tower at three silhouette targets at distances of 175, 240, and 265 feet. The target at 265 feet was placed to the right of the 240-foot target which was in turn placed to the right of the closest silhouette.797 Using the assassination rifle mounted with the telescopic sight, three marksmen, rated as master by the National Rifle Association, each fired two series of three shots. In the first series the firers required time spans of 4.6, 6.75, and 8.25 seconds respectively. On the second series they required 5.15, 6.45, and 7 seconds. None of the marksmen had any practice with the assassination weapon except for exercising the bolt for 2 or 3 minutes on a dry run. They had not even pulled the trigger because of concern about breaking the firing pin.798
The marksmen took as much time as they wanted for the first target and all hit the target.799 For the first four attempts, the firers missed the second shot. by several inches. 800 The angle from the first. to the second shot was greater than from the second to the third shot and required a movement in the basic firing position of the marksmen.801 This angle was used in the test because the majority of the eyewitnesses to the assassination stated that there was a shorter interval between shots two and three than between shots one and two.802 As has been shown in chapter III, if the three shots were fired within a period of from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds, the shots would have been evenly spaced and the assassin would not have incurred so sharp an angular movement.803
Five of the six shots hit the third target where the angle of movement. of the weapon was small.804 On the basis of these results, Simmons testified that in his opinion the probability of hitting the targets at the relatively short range at which they were hit was very high.805

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Considering the various probabilities which may have prevailed during the actual assassination, the highest level of firing performance which would have been required of the assassin and the C2766 rifle would have been to fire three times and hit the target twice within a span of 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. In fact, one of the firers in the rapid fire test in firing his two series of three shots, hit the target twice within a span of 4.6 and 5.15 seconds. The others would have been able to reduce their times if they had been given the opportunity to become familiar with the movement of the bolt and the trigger pull.806 Simmons testified that familiarity with the bolt could be achieved in dry practice and, as has been indicated above, Oswald engaged in such practice.807 If the assassin missed either the first or third shot, he had a total of between 4.8 and 5.6 seconds between the two shots which hit and a total minimum time period of from 7.1 to 7.9 seconds for all three shots. All three of the firers in these tests were able to fire the rounds within the time period which would have been available to the assassin under those conditions.
Three FBI firearms experts tested the rifle in order to determine the speed with which it could be fired. The purpose of this experiment was not to test the rifle under conditions which prevailed at the time of the assassination but to determine the maximum speed at which it could be fired. The three FBI experts each fired three shots from the weapon at 15 yards in 6, 7, and 9 seconds, and one of these agents, Robert A. Frazier, fired two series of three shots at 25 yards in 4.6 and 4.8 seconds.808 At 15 yards each man's shots landed within the size of a dime.809 The shots fired by Frazier at the range of 25 yards landed within an area of 2 inches and 5 inches respectively.810 Frazier later fired four groups of three shots at a distance of 100 yards in 5.9, 6.2, 5.6, and 6.5 seconds. Each series of three shots landed within areas ranging in diameter from 3 to 5 inches.811 Although all of the shots were a few inches high and to the right of the target., this was because of a defect in the scope which was recognized by the FBI agents and which they could have compensated for if they were aiming to hit a bull's-eye.812 They were instead firing to determine how rapidly the weapon could be fired and the area within which three shots could be placed. Frazier testified that while he could not tell when the defect occurred, but that a person familiar with the weapon could compensate for it.813 Moreover, the defect was one which would have assisted the assassin aiming at a target which was moving away. Frazier said, "The fact that the crosshairs are set high would actually compensate for any lead which had to be taken. So that if you aimed with this weapon as it actually was received at the laboratory, it would not be necessary to take any lead whatsoever in order to hit the intended object. The scope would accomplish the lead for you." Frazier added that the scope would cause a slight miss to the right. It should be noted, however, that the President's car was curving slightly to the right when the third shot was fired.
Based on these tests the experts agreed that the assassination rifle was an accurate weapon. Simmons described it as "quite accurate,"

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in fact, as accurate as current. military rifles.814 Frazier testified that the rifle was accurate, that it had less recoil than the average military rifle and that one would not have to be an expert marksman to have accomplished the assassination with the weapon which was used.815


The various tests showed that the Mannlicher-Carcano was an accurate rifle and that the use of a four-power scope was a substantial aid to rapid, accurate firing. Oswald's Marine training in marksmanship, his other rifle experience and his established familiarity with this particular weapon show that he possessed ample capability to commit the assassination. Based on the known facts of the assassination, the Marine marksmanship experts, Major Anderson and Sergeant Zahm, concurred in the opinion that Oswald had the capability to fire three shots, with two hits, within 4.8 and 5.6 seconds.816 Concerning the shots which struck the President in the back of the neck, Sergeant Zahm testified: "With the equipment he [Oswald] had and with his ability I consider it a very easy shot." 817 Having fired this slot the assassin was then required to hit the target one more time within a space of from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. On the basis of Oswald's training and the accuracy of the weapon as established by the tests, the Commission concluded that Oswald was capable of accomplishing this second hit even if there was an intervening shot which missed. The probability of hitting the President a second time would have been markedly increased if, in fact, he had missed either the first or third shots thereby leaving a time span of 4.8 to 5.6' seconds between the two shots which struck their mark. The Commission agrees with the testimony of Marine marksmanship expert Zahm that it was easy shot" to hit some part of the President's body, and that the range where the rifleman would be expected to hit would include the President's head.818
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On the basis of the evidence reviewed in this chapter, the Commission has found that Lee Harvey Oswald (1) owned and possessed the rifle used to kill President Kennedy and wound Governor Connally, (2) brought this rifle into the Depository Building on the morning of the assassination, (3) was present, at the time of the assassination, at the window from which the shots were fired (4) killed Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit in an apparent attempt to escape, (5) resisted arrest by drawing a fully loaded pistol and attempting to shoot. another police officer, (6) lied to the police after his arrest concerning important substantive matters, (7) attempted, in April 1963, to kill Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker, and (8) possessed the capability with a rifle which would have enabled him to commit the assassination. On the basis of these findings the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy.

Chapter V Detention and Death of Oswald
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Detention and Death of Oswald

LEE HARVEY OSWALD spent almost all of the last 48 hours of his life in the Police and Courts Building, a gray stone structure in downtown Dallas that housed the headquarters of the Dallas Police Department and the city jail. Following his arrest early Friday afternoon, Oswald was brought immediately to this building and remained there until Sunday morning, November 24, when he was scheduled to be transferred to the county jail. At 11:21 that morning, in full view of millions of people watching on television, Oswald was fatally wounded by Jack Ruby, who emerged suddenly from the crowd of newsmen and policemen witnessing the transfer and fired a single shot at Oswald.
Whether the killing of Oswald was part of a conspiracy involving the assassination of President Kennedy is considered in chapter VI. Aside from that question, the occurrences within the Police and Courts Building between November 22 and 24 raise other important issues concerning the conduct of law enforcement officials, the responsibilities of the press, the rights of accused persons, and the administration of criminal justice in the United States. The Commission has therefore deemed it necessary to determine the facts concerning Oswald's detention and death and to evaluate the actions and responsibilities of the police and press involved in these events.
Treatment of Oswald in Custody
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The focal center of the Police and Courts Building during Oswald's detention was the third floor, which housed the main offices of the Dallas Police Department. The public elevators on this floor opened into a lobby midpoint of a corridor that extended along the length of the floor for about 140 feet. At one end of this 7-foot-wide corridor were the offices occupied by Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry and his immediate subordinates; at the other end was a small pressroom that could accommodate only a handful of reporters. Along this corridor were other police offices, including those of the major detective bureaus. Between the pressroom and the lobby was the complex of offices

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belonging to the homicide and robbery bureau, headed by Capt. J. Will Fritz.1 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2175, p. 197.)


The policemen who seized Oswald at the Texas Theatre arrived with him at the police department building at about 9 p.m. and brought him immediately to the third floor offices of the homicide and robbery bureau to await the arrival of Captain Fritz from the Texas School Book Depository. After about 15 or 20 minutes Oswald was ushered into the office of Captain Fritz for the first of several interrogation sessions.2 At 4:05 p.m. he was taken to the basement assembly room for his first lineup.3 While waiting outside the lineup room, Oswald was searched, and five cartridges and other items were removed from his pockets.4 After the lineup, at about 4 :20, Oswald was returned to Captain Fritz' office for further questioning.5 Two hours later, at 6:20 p.m., Oswald was taken downstairs for a second lineup and returned to Captain Fritz' office within 15 minutes for additional interrogation.6 Shortly after 7 p.m., Captain Fritz signed a complaint charging Oswald with the murder of Patrolman Tippit. Oswald was formally .arraigned, i.e., advised of the charges, at 7:10 p.m., before Justice of the Peace David L. Johnston, who came to Captain office for the occasion.7
After a third lineup at about 7:40 p.m., Oswald was returned to Fritz' office.8 About. an hour later, after further questioning, Oswald's fingerprints and palmprints were taken and a paraffin test (see app. XI) administered in Fritz' office, after which the questioning resumed.9 At 11:26 p.m. Fritz signed the complaint charging Oswald with the murder of President Kennedy. 10 Shortly after midnight, detectives took Oswald to the basement assembly room for an appearance of several minutes before members of the press.11 At about 12 :20 a.m. Oswald was delivered to the jailer who placed him in a maximum security cell on the fifth floor. 12 His cell was the center one in a block of three cells that were separated from the remainder of the jail area. The cells on either side of Oswald were empty and a guard was nearby whenever Oswald was present.13 Shortly after 1 :30 a.m. Oswald was brought to the identification bureau on the fourth floor and arraigned before Justice of the Peace Johnston, this time for the murder President Kennedy.14
Questioning resumed in Fritz' office on Saturday morning at about 10:25 a.m., and the session lasted nearly an hour and 10 minutes.15 Oswald was then returned to his cell for an hour, and at 12:35 p.m. he was brought back to Fritz' office for an additional half-hour of questioning.16 From 1:10 to 1:30 p.m., Oswald's wife and mother visited him in the fourth floor visiting area;17 at 1:40 p.m. he tempted to call an attorney in New York. 18 He appeared in another lineup at, 2 :15 p.m.19 At 2:45 p.m., with Oswald's consent, a member of the identification bureau obtained fingernail scrapings and specimens of hair from him.20 He returned to the fourth floor at 3:30

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p.m. for a 10-minute visit with his brother, Robert. 21 Between 4 and 4:30 p.m., Oswald made two telephone calls to Mrs. Ruth Paine 22 at her home in Irving; at about 5:30 p.m. he was visited by the president of the Dallas Bar Association 23 with whom he spoke for about 5 minutes. From 6 to 7:15 p.m. Oswald was interrogated once again in Captain Fritz' office and then returned to his cell. 24 At 8 p.m. he called the Paine residence again and asked to speak to his wife, but Mrs. Paine told him that his wife was no longer there.25
Oswald was signed out of jail at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 24, and taken to Captain Fritz' office for a final round of questioning.26 The transfer party left Fritz' office at about 11:15 a.m.;27 at 11:21 a.m. Oswald was shot.28 He was declared dead at Parkland Hospital at 1:07 p.m.29

Interrogation Sessions

During the period between 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and 11:15 a.m. Sunday morning, Oswald was interrogated for a total of approximately 12 hours.30 Though subject to intermittent questioning for more than 7 hours on Friday, Oswald was given 8 to 9 hours to rest that night. On Saturday he was questioned for a total of only 3 hours during three interrogation sessions, and on Sunday he was questioned for less than 2 hours. 31 (These interrogations are discussed in ch. IV.)
Captain Fritz' office, within which the interrogations took place, was a small room, 14 feet by 9 and a half feet in size. 32 In addition to the policemen guarding the prisoner, those present usually included Dallas detectives, investigators from the FBI and the Secret Service, and occasionally other officials, 'particularly a post office inspector and the U.S. marshal. (See statements in app. XI.) As many as seven or eight people crowded into the small office.33 In all, more than 25 different persons participated in or were present at some time during interrogations. Captain Fritz, who conducted most of the interrogations, was frequently called from the room. He said, "I don't believe there was any time when I went through a very long period without having to step to the door, or step outside, to get a report from some pair of officers, or to give them additional assignments." 34 In his absence, others present would occasionally question Oswald.35
The interrogators differ on whether the confusion prevailing in the main third floor corridor penetrated Fritz' office and affected the atmosphere within.36 Oswald's processions through the third floor corridor, described more fully below, tended, in Fritz' opinion, to keep Oswald upset, and the remarks and questions of newsmen sometimes caused him to become annoyed. Despite the confusion that frequently prevailed, Oswald remained calm most of the time during the interrogations.37 According to Captain Fritz:

You know I didn't have trouble with him. If we would just talk to him quietly like we are talking right now, we talked all right until I asked him a question that meant something, every

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time I asked him a question that meant something, that would produce evidence he immediately told
me he wouldn't tell me about it and he seemed to anticipate what I was going to ask. 38

Special Agent James W. Bookhout, who represented the FBI at most of the interrogations, stated, "I think generally you might say any-time that you asked a question that would be pertinent to the investigation, that would be the type of question he would refuse to discuss." 39
The number of people in the interrogation room and the tumultuous atmosphere throughout the third floor made it difficult for the interrogators to gain Oswald's confidence and to encourage him to be truthful. As Chief Curry has recognized in his testimony, "we were violating every principle of interrogation * * * it was just against all principles of good interrogation practice." 40

Oswald's Legal Rights

All available evidence indicates that Oswald was not subjected to any physical hardship during the interrogation sessions or at any other time while he was in custody. He was fed and allowed to rest. When he protested on Friday against being handcuffed from behind, the cuffs were removed and he was handcuffed in front. 41 Although he made remarks to newsmen about desiring a shower and demanding his "civil rights," Oswald did not complain about his treatment to any of the numerous police officers and other persons who had much to do with him during the 2 days of his detention.42 As described in chapter IV, Oswald received a. slight cut over his right eye and a bruise under his left eye during the scuffle in the Texas Theatre with the arresting officers, three of whom were injured .and required medical treatment. These marks were visible to all who saw him during the 2 days of his detention and to millions of television viewers.43
Before the first questioning session on Friday afternoon, Fritz warned Oswald that he was not compelled to make any statement and that statements he did make could be used against him.44 About 5 hours later, he was arraigned for the Tippit murder and within an additional 6 and a half hours he was arraigned for the murder of President Kennedy. On each occasion the justice of the peace advised Oswald of his right to obtain counsel and the right to remain silent.45
Throughout the period of detention, however, Oswald was not represented by counsel. At the Friday midnight press conference in the basement assembly room, he made the following remarks:

Oswald. Well, I was questioned by Judge-------[Johnston]. However, I protested at that time that I
was not allowed legal representation during that very short and sweet hearing. I really don't know what
the situation is about. Nobody has told me anything except that I am accused of, of, murdering a policeman.
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I know nothing more than that and I do request someone to come forward to give me legal assistance.
Q. Did you kill the President ?
A. No. I have not been charged with that. In fact nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question.

Q. Mr. Oswald, how did you hurt your eye ?
A. A policeman hit me.46

At this time Oswald had been arraigned only for the murder of Patrolman Tippit, but questioning by Captain Fritz and others had been substantially concerned with Oswald's connection with the assassination.47
On Friday evening, representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union visited the police department to determine whether Oswald was being deprived of counsel. They were assured by police officials and Justice of the Peace Johnston that Oswald had been informed of his rights and was being allowed to seek a lawyer.48 On Saturday Oswald attempted several times to reach John Abt, a New York lawyer, by telephone, but with no success. 49 In the afternoon, he called Ruth Paine and asked her to try to reach Abt for him, but she too failed. 50 Later in the afternoon, H. Louis Nichols, president of the Dallas Bar Association, visited Oswald in his cell and asked him whether he wanted the association to obtain a lawyer for him. Oswald declined the offer, stating a first preference for Abt and a second preference for a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union.51 As late as Sunday morning, according to Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes, Oswald said that he preferred to get his own lawyer.52
Activity of Newsmen
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Within an hour of Oswald's arrival at the police department on November 22, it became known to newsmen that he was a possible suspect in the slaying of President Kennedy as well as in the murder of Patrolman Tippit. At least as early as 3:26 p.m. a television report carried this information. Reporters and cameramen flooded into the building and congregated in the corridor of the third floor, joining those few who had been present when Oswald first arrived. 53

On the Third Floor

Felix McKnight, editor of the Dallas Times-Herald, who handled press arrangements for the President's visit, estimated that within 24 hours of the assassination more than 800 representatives of news media were in Dallas, including correspondents from foreign newspapers and press associations.54 District Attorney Henry M. Wade

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thought that the crowd in the third floor hallway itself may have numbered as many as 300.55 Most estimates, including those based on examination of video tapes, place upwards of 100 newsmen and cameramen in the third floor corridor of the police department by the evening of November 22.55 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2633, p. 203.)
In the words of an FBI agent who was present, the conditions at the police station were "not too much unlike Grand Central Station at rush hour, maybe like the Yankee Stadium during the World Series games.
* * *" 57 In the lobby of the third floor, television cameramen set up two large cameras and floodlights in strategic positions that gave them a sweep of the corridor in either direction. Technicians stretched their television cables into and out of offices, running some of them out of the windows of a deputy chief's office and down the side of the building. Men with newsreel cameras, still cameras, and microphones, more mobile than the .television cameramen, moved back and forth seeking information and opportunities for interviews. Newsmen wandered into the offices of .other bureaus located on the third floor, sat on desks, and used police telephones; indeed, one reporter admits hiding a telephone behind a desk so that he would have exclusive access to it if something developed.58
By the time Chief Curry returned to the building in the middle of the afternoon from Love Field where he had escorted President Johnson from Parkland Hospital, he found that "there was just pandemonium on the third floor." 59 The news representatives, he testified:

* * * were jammed into the north hall of the third floor, which are the offices of the criminal investigation division. The television trucks, there were several of them around the city hall. I went into my administrative offices, I saw cables coming through the administrative assistant office and through the deputy chief of traffic through his office, and running through the hall they had a live TV set up on the third floor, and it was a bedlam of confusion.60

According to Special Agent Winston G. Lawson of the Secret Service:

At least by 6 or 7 o'clock * * * [the reporters and cameramen] were quite in evidence up and down the corridors, cameras on the tripods, the sound equipment, people with still cameras, motion picture-type hand cameras, all kinds of people with tape recorders, and they were trying to interview people, anybody that belonged in police headquarters that might know anything about Oswald * * * .61
The corridor became so jammed that policemen and newsmen had to push and shove if they wanted to get through, stepping over cables,

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Scene in third floor corridor.

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wires, and tripods.62 The crowd in the hallway was so dense that District Attorney Wade found it a "strain to get the door open" to get. into the homicide office.63 According to Lawson, "You had to literally fight your way through the people to get up and down the corridor." 64 A witness who was escorted into the homicide offices on Saturday afternoon related that he

tried to get by the reporters, stepping over television cables and you couldn't hardly get by, they would grab you and wanted to know what you were doing down here, even with the detectives one in front and one behind you.65

The television cameras continued to record the scene on the third floor as some of the newsmen kept. vigil through the night.66
Such police efforts as there were to control the newsmen were unavailing. Capt. Glen D. King, administrative assistant to Chief Curry, witnessed efforts to clear an aisle through the hallway, but related that "this was a constant battle because of the number of newsmen who were there. They would move back into the aisleway that had been cleared. They interfered with the movement of people who had to be there." 67 According to one detective, "they would be asked to stand back and stay back but it wouldn't do much good, and they would push forward and you had to hold them off physically." The detective recalled that on one occasion when he was escorting a witness through the corridor he "stopped * * * and looked down and there was a joker had a camera stuck between * * * [his] legs taking pictures. * * * "68 Forrest V. Sorrels of the Secret Service had the impression that the "press and the television people just * * * took over." 69
Police control over the access of other than newsmen to the third floor was of limited but increasing effectiveness after Oswald's arrival at the police department. Initially no steps. were taken to exclude unauthorized persons from the third floor corridor, but late Friday afternoon Assistant Chief Charles Batchelor stationed guards at the elevators and the stairway to prevent the admission of such persons. He also directed the records room in the basement to issue passes, after verification by the bureaus involved, to people who had legitimate business on the third floor.70 Throughout the 3 days of Oswald's detention, the police were obliged to continue normal business in all five bureaus located along the third floor hallway. Thus many persons--relatives of prisoners, complainants, witnesses 71 --had occasion to visit police offices on the third floor on business unrelated to the investigation of the assassination.
Newsmen seeking admission to the third floor were required to identify themselves by their personal press cards; however, the department did not follow its usual procedure of checking the authenticity of press credentials.72 Captain King felt that this would have been impossible in light of "the atmosphere that existed over there, the tremendous pressures that existed, the fact that telephones were ringing constantly,

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Oswald being moved through third floor corridor.

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that there were droves of people in there * * * the fact that the method by which you positively identify someone * * * it's not easy." 73
Police officers on the third floor testified that they carefully checked all persons for credentials, and most newsmen indicated that after Batchelor imposed security they were required to identify themselves by their press cards.74 Special Agent Sorrels of the Secret Service stated that he was requested to present credentials on some of his visits to the third floor.75 However, other newsmen apparently went unchallenged during the entire period before Oswald was killed, al though some of them were wearing press badges on their lapels and some may have been known to the police officers. 76
According to some reporters and policemen, people who appeared to be unauthorized were present on the third floor after security procedures were instituted, and video tapes seem to confirm their observations.77 Jack Ruby was present on the third floor on Friday night.78 Assistant Chief of Police N. T. Fisher testified that even on Saturday "anybody could come up with a plausible reason for going to one of the third floor bureaus and was able to get in." 79

Oswald and the Press

When the police car bringing Oswald from the Texas Theatre drove into the basement of police headquarters at about 2 p.m. on Friday, some reporters and cameramen, principally from local papers and stations, were already on hand. The policemen formed a wedge around Oswald and conducted him to the elevator, but several newsmen crowded into the elevator with Oswald and the police. When the elevator stopped at the third floor, the cameramen ran ahead down the corridor, and then turned around and backed up, taking pictures of Oswald as he was escorted toward the homicide and robbery bureau office. According to one escorting officer, some six or seven reporters followed the police into the bureau office.80
From Friday afternoon, when Oswald arrived in the building, until Sunday, newspaper reporters and television cameras focused their attention on the homicide office. In full view and within arm's length of the assembled newsmen, Oswald traversed the 20 feet of corridor between the homicide office and the locked door leading to the jail elevator at least 15 times after his initial arrival. The jail elevator, .sealed off from public use, took him to his fifth floor cell and to the assembly room in the basement for lineups and the Friday night news conference.81
On most occasions, Oswald's escort of three to six detectives and policemen had to push their way through the newsmen who sought to surround them. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2631, p. 205.) Although the Dallas press normally did not take pictures of a prisoner without first obtaining permission of the police, who generally asked the prisoner, this practice was not followed by any of the newsmen with Oswald.82 Generally when Oswald appeared the newsmen turned their cameras on him, thrust microphones at his face, and shouted

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questions at him. Sometimes he answered. Reporters in the forefront of the throng would repeat his answers for the benefit of those behind them who could not hear. On Saturday, however in response to police admonitions, the reporters exercised more restraint and shouted fewer questions at Oswald when he passed through the corridor.83
Oswald's most prolonged exposure occurred at the midnight press conference on Friday night. In response to demands of newsmen, District Attorney Wade, after consulting with Chief Curry and Captain Fritz, had announced shortly before midnight that Oswald would appear at a press conference in the basement assembly room.84 An estimated 70 to 100 people, including Jack Ruby, and other unauthorized persons, crowded into the small downstairs room. No identification was required.85 The room was so packed that Deputy Chief M. W. Stevenson and Captain Fritz who came down to the basement after the crowd had assembled could not get in and were forced to remain in the doorway.86
Oswald was brought into the room shortly after midnight.87 Curry had instructed policemen not to permit newsmen to touch Oswald or get close to him, but no steps were taken to shield Oswald from the crowd.88 Captain Fritz had asked that Oswald be placed on the platform used for lineups so that he could be more easily removed "if anything happened." 89 Chief Curry, however, insisted that Oswald stand on the floor in front of the stage, where he was also in front of the one-way nylon-cloth screen customarily used to prevent a suspect. from seeing those present in the room. This was done because cameramen had told Curry that their cameras would not photograph well through the screen.90
Curry had instructed the reporters that they were not to "ask any questions and try to interview * * * [Oswald] in any way," but when he was brought into the room, immediately they began to shoot questions at him and shove microphones into his face." 91 It was difficult to hear Oswald's answers above the uproar. Cameramen stood on the tables to take pictures and others pushed forward to get close-ups. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2965, p. 207.) The noise and confusion mounted as reporters shouted at each other to get out of the way and cameramen made frantic efforts to get into position for pictures.92 After Oswald had been in the room only a few minutes, Chief Curry intervened and directed that Oswald be taken back to the jail because, he testified, the newsmen "tried to overrun him." 93
The Abortive Transfer
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In Dallas, after a person is charged with a felony, the county sheriff ordinarily takes custody of the prisoner and assumes responsibility for his safekeeping. Normally, the Dallas Police Department notifies the sheriff when a prisoner has been charged with a felony and the sheriff dispatches his deputies to transport the accused to the county jail. This is usually done within a few hours after the complaint

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has been filed. In cases of unusual importance, however, the Dallas city police sometimes transport the prisoners to the county jail.94
The decision to move Oswald to the county jail on Sunday morning was reached by Chief Curry the preceding evening. Sometime after 7:30 Saturday evening, according to Assistant Chief Batchelor, two reporters told him that they wanted to go out to dinner but that "they didn't want to miss anything if we were going to move the prisoner." Curry came upon them at that point and told the two newsmen that if they returned by 10 o'clock in the morning, they wouldn't "miss anything." 95 A little later, after checking with Captain Fritz, Curry made a similar announcement to the assembled reporters. Curry reported the making of his decision to move Oswald as follows:

Then, I talked to Fritz about when he thought he would transfer the prisoner, and he didn't think it was a good idea to transfer him at night because of the fact you couldn't see, and if anybody tried to cause them any trouble, they needed to see who they were and where it was coming from and so forth, and he suggested that we wait until daylight, so this was normal procedure, I mean, for Fritz to determine when he is going to transfer his prisoners, so I told him "Okay." I asked him, I said, "What time do you think you will be ready tomorrow?" And he didn't know exactly and I said, "Do you think about 10 o'c1ock," and he said, "I believe so," and then is when I went out and told the newspaper people * * * "I believe if you are back here by 10 o'clock you will be back in time to observe anything you care to observe." 96

During the night, between 2:30 and 3 a.m., the local office of the FBI and the sheriff's office received telephone calls from an unidentified man who warned that a committee had decided "to kill the man that killed the President." 97 Shortly after, an FBI agent notified the Dallas police of the anonymous threat. The police department and ultimately Chief Curry were informed of both threats.98
Immediately after his arrival at the building on Sunday morning between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m., Curry spoke by telephone with Sheriff J. E. Decker about the transfer. When Decker indicated that he would leave to Curry the decision on whether the sheriff's office or the police would move Oswald, Curry decided that the police would handle it because "we had so much involved here, we were the ones that were investigating the case and we had the officers set up down stairs to handle it." 99
After talking with Decker, Curry began to discuss plans for the transfer. With the threats against Oswald in mind, Curry suggested to Batchelor and Deputy Chief Stevenson that Oswald be transported to the county jail in an armored truck, to which they agreed. While Batchelor made arrangements to have an armored truck brought to the building, Curry and Stevenson tentatively agreed on the route the armored truck would follow from the building to the county jail.100

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Curry decided that Oswald would leave the building via the basement. He stated later that he reached this decision shortly after his arrival at the police building Sunday morning, when members of the press had already begun to gather in the basement. There is no evidence that anyone opposed this decision.101 Two members of the Dallas police did suggest to Captain Fritz that Oswald be taken from the building by another exit, leaving the press "waiting in the basement and on Commerce Street, and we could be to the county jail before anyone knew what was taking place." 102 However, Fritz said that he did not think Curry would agree to such a plan because he had promised that Oswald would be transferred at a time when newsmen could take pictures.103 Forrest Sorrels also suggested to Fritz that Oswald be moved at an unannounced time when no one was around, but Fritz again responded that Curry "wanted to go along with the press and not try to put anything over on them." 104
Preliminary arrangements to obtain additional personnel to assist with the transfer were begun Saturday evening. On Saturday night, the police reserves were requested to provide 8 to 10 men on Sunday, and additional reservists were sought in the morning.105 Capt. C. E. Talbert, who was in charge of the patrol division for the city of Dallas on the morning of November 24, retained a small number of policemen in the building when he took charge that morning and later ordered other patrolmen from several districts to report to the basement. 106 At about 9 a.m. Deputy Chief Stevenson instructed all detectives within the building to remain for the transfer.107 Sheriff Decker testified that his men were ready to receive Oswald at the county jail from the early hours of Sunday morning.108
With the patrolmen and reserve policemen available to him, Captain Talbert, on his own initiative, undertook to secure the basement of the police department building. He placed policemen outside the building at the top of the Commerce Street ramp to keep all spectators on the opposite side of Commerce Street. Later, Talbert directed that patrolmen be assigned to all street intersections the transfer vehicle would cross along the route to the county jail. 109 His most significant security precautions, however, were steps designed to exclude unauthorized persons from the basement area.
The spacious basement of the Police and Courts Building contains, among other things, the jail office and the police garage. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2179, p. 211.) The jail office, into which the jail elevator opens, is situated on the west side of an auto ramp cutting across the length of the basement from Main Street, on the north side of the building, to Commerce Street, on the south side. From the foot of this ramp, on the east side, midway .through the basement, a decline runs down a short distance to the l.-shaped police garage. In addition to the auto ramp, five doors to the garage provide access to the basement from the Police and Courts Building on the west side of the garage and the attached Municipal Building on the east. Three of these five doors provide access to three elevators opening into the garage, two for passengers near the central part of the garage and

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one for service at the east end of the garage. A fourth door near the passenger elevator opens into the municipal building; the fifth door, at the Commerce Street side of the garage, opens into a sub~ basement that is connected with both buildings.110
Shortly after 9 o'clock Sunday morning, policemen cleared the basement of all but police personnel. Guards were stationed at the top of the Main and Commerce Streets auto ramps leading down into the basement, at each of the five doorways into the garage, and at the double doors leading to the public hallway adjacent to the jail office. Then, Sgt. Patrick T. Dean, acting under instructions from Talbert, directed 14 men in a search of the garage. Maintenance workers were directed to leave the area. The searchers examined the rafters, tops of air conditioning ducts, and every closet and room opening off the garage. They searched the interior and trunk compartment of automobiles parked in the garage. The two passenger elevators in the central part of the garage were not in service and the doors were shut and locked; the service elevator was moved to the first floor, and the operator was instructed not to return it to the basement.111
Despite the thoroughness with which the search was conducted, there still existed one and perhaps two weak points in controlling access to the garage. Testimony did not resolve positively whether or not the stairway door near the public elevators was locked both from the inside and outside as was necessary to secure it effectively.112 And 'although guards were stationed near the double doors, the hallway near the jail office was accessible to people from inside the Police and Courts Building without the necessity of presenting identification. Until seconds before Oswald was shot, newsmen hurrying to photograph Oswald were able to run without challenge through those doors into the basement.113
After the search had been completed, the police allowed news representatives to reenter the basement area and gather along the entrance to the garage on the east side of the ramp. Later, the police permitted the newsmen to stand in front of the railing on the east side of the ramp leading to Main Street. The policemen deployed by Talbert and Dean had instructions to allow no one but identified news media representatives into the basement. As before, the police accepted any credentials that- appeared authentic, though some officers did make special efforts to check for pictures and other forms of corroborating identification. Many newsmen reported that they were checked on more than one occasion while they waited in the basement. A small number did not recall that their credentials were ever checked.114
Shortly after his arrival on Sunday morning, Chief Curry issued instructions to keep reporters and cameramen out of the jail office and to keep television equipment behind the railing separating the basement auto ramp from the garage. Curry observed that in other respects Captain Talbert appeared to have security measures in hand and allowed him to proceed on his own initiative. Batchelor and

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Stevenson checked progress in the basement during the course of the morning, and the officials were generally satisfied with the steps Talbert had taken.115
At about 11 a.m., Deputy Chief Stevenson requested that Capt. O. A. Jones of the forgery bureau bring all available detectives from the third floor offices to the basement. Jones instructed the detectives who accompanied him to the basement to line the walls on either side of the passageway cleared for the transfer party.116 According to Detective T. D. McMillon,

* * * Captain Jones explained to us that, when they brought the prisoner out, that he wanted two lines formed and we were to keep these two lines formed: you know, a barrier on either side of them, kind of an aisle * * * for them to walk through, and when they came down this aisle, we were to keep this line intact and move along with them until the man was placed in the car.117

With Assistant Chief Batchelor's permission, Jones removed photographers who had gathered once again in the basement jail office. Jones recalled that he instructed all newsmen along the Main Street ramp to remain behind an imaginary line extending from the southeast corner of the jail office to the railing on the east side of the ramp; other officers recalled that Jones directed the newsmen to move away from the foot of the Main Street ramp and to line up against the east. railing. In any event, newsmen were allowed to congregate along the foot of the ramp after Batchelor observed that there was insufficient room along the east of the ramp to permit .all the news representatives to see Oswald as he was brought out.118
By the time Oswald reached the basement, 40 to 50 newsmen and 70 to 75 police officers were assembled there. Three television cameras stood along the railing and most of the newsmen were congregated in that area and at the top of the adjacent decline leading into the garage. A group of newsmen and police officers, best estimated at about 20, stood strung across the bottom of the Main Street ramp. Along the south wall of the passageway outside the jail office door were about eight detectives, and three detectives lined the north wall. Two officers stood in front of the double doors leading into the passageway from the corridor next to the jail office.119 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2634, p. 214.)
Beginning Saturday night, the public had been kept informed of the approximate time of the transfer. At approximately 10:20 a.m. Curry told a press conference that Oswald would be moved in an armored truck and gave a general description of other security precautions.120 Apparently no newsmen were informed of the transfer route, however, and the route was not disclosed to the driver of the armored truck until the truck arrived at the Commerce Street exit at about 11:07 a.m.121 When they learned of its arrival, many of the remaining newsmen who had waited on the third floor descended to the basement. Shortly after, newsmen may have had another indication

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Scene in areaway outside jail office immediately before shooting
(Sunday, November 24.)

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that the transfer was imminent if they caught a glimpse through the glass windows of Oswald putting on a sweater in Captain Fritz' office. 122
Because the driver feared that the truck might stall if it had to start from the bottom of the ramp and because the overhead clearance appeared to be inadequate, Assistant Chief Batchelor had it backed only into the entranceway at the top of the ramp. Batchelor and others then inspected the inside of the truck.123
When Chief Curry learned that the truck had arrived, he informed Captain Fritz that security controls were in effect and inquired how long the questioning of Oswald would continue. At this point, Fritz learned for the first time of the plan to convey Oswald by armored truck and immediately expressed his disapproval. He urged the use of an unmarked police car driven by a police officer, pointing out that this would be better from the standpoint of both speed and maneuverability. Curry agreed to Fritz' plan; the armored truck would be used as a decoy. They decided that the armored truck would leave the ramp first, followed by a car which would contain only security officers. A police car bearing Oswald would follow. After proceeding one block, the car with Oswald would turn off and proceed directly to the county jail; the armored truck would follow a lead car to the jail along the previously agreed upon and more circuitous route.124
Captain Fritz instructed Detectives C. W. Brown and C. N. Dhority and a third detective to proceed to the garage and move the followup car and the transfer car into place on the auto ramp. He told Lt. Rio S. Pierce to obtain another automobile from the basement and take up a lead position on Commerce Street.125 Deputy Chief Stevenson went back to the basement to inform Batchelor and Jones of the change in plans.126 Oswald was given his sweater, and then his right hand was handcuffed to the left hand of Detective J. R. Leavelle.127 Detective T. L. Baker called the jail office to check on security precautions in the basement and notify officials that the prisoner was being brought down.128
On arriving in the basement, Pierce asked Sgts. James A. Putnam and Billy Joe Maxey to accompany him in the lead car. Since the armored truck was blocking the Commerce Street ramp, it would be necessary to drive out the Main Street ramp and circle the block to Commerce Street. Maxey sat on the back seat of Pierce's car, and Putnam helped clear a path through reporters on the ramp so that Pierce could drive up toward Main Street. When the car passed by the reporters at about 11:20 a.m., Putnam entered the car on the right front side. Pierce drove to the top of the Main Street ramp and slowed momentarily as Patrolman Roy E. Vaughn stepped from his position at the top of the ramp toward the street to. watch for traffic.129 After Pierce's car left the garage area, Brown drove another police car out of the garage, moved part way up the Commerce Street ramp, and began to back down into position to receive Oswald. Dhority also proceeded to. drive the followup car into position ahead of Brown.130

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As Pierce's car started up the ramp at about 11:20 a.m., Oswald, accompanied by Captain Fritz and four detectives, arrived at the jail office. Cameramen in the hallway of the basement took pictures of Oswald through the interior glass windows of the jail office as he was led through the office to the exit.131 Some of these cameramen then ran through the double doors near the jail office and squeezed into the line which had formed across the Main Street ramp.132 Still others remained just inside the double doors or proceeded through the double doors after Oswald and his escort emerged from the jail office.133 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2177, p. 217.)
When Fritz came to the jail office door, he asked if everything was ready, and a detective standing in the passageway answered yes.134 Someone shouted, "Here he comes !"; additional spotlights were turned on in the basement, and the din increased. A detective stepped from the jail office and proceeded toward the transfer car. Seconds later Fritz and then Oswald, with Detective Leavelle at his right, Detective L. C. Graves at his left, and Detective L. D. Montgomery at his rear, came through the door. Fritz walked to Brown's car, which had not yet backed fully into position; Oswald followed a few feet behind. Newsmen near the double door moved forward after him.135 Though movie films and video tapes indicate that the front line newsmen along the Main Street ramp remained fairly stationary, it was the impression of many who were close to the scene that with Oswald's appearance the crowd surged forward. According to Detective Montgomery, who was walking directly behind Oswald, soon as we came out this door * * * this bunch here just moved in on us." 136 To Detective B. H. Combest, standing on the Commerce Street side of the passageway from the jail office door, it appeared that

Almost the whole line of people pushed forward when Oswald started to leave the jail office, the door, the hall--all the newsmen were poking their sound mikes across to him and asking questions, and they were everyone sticking their flashbulbs up and around and over him and in his face.137

After Oswald had moved about 10 feet from the door of the jail office, Jack Ruby passed between a newsman and a detective at the edge of the straining crowd on the Main Street ramp. With his right hand extended and holding a .38 caliber revolver, Ruby stepped quickly forward and fired a single fatal bullet into Oswald's abdomen.138 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2636, p. 218.)
Possible Assisstance To Jack Ruby In Entering the Basement
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The killing of Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of police headquarters in the midst of more than 70 police officers gave rise to

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Ruby shooting Oswald (Sunday, November 24).

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immediate speculation that one or more members of the police department provided Jack Ruby assistance which had enabled him to enter the basement and approach within a few feet of the accused Presidential assassin. In chapter VI, the Commission has considered whether there is any evidence linking Jack Ruby with a conspiracy to kill the President. At this point, however, it is appropriate to consider whether there is evidence that Jack Ruby received assistance from Dallas policemen or others in gaining access to the basement on the morning of November 24. An affirmative answer would require that the evidence be evaluated for possible connection with the assassination itself. While the Commission has found no evidence that Ruby received assistance from any person in entering the basement, his means of entry is significant in evaluating the adequacy of the precautions taken to protect Oswald.
Although more than a hundred policemen and newsmen were present in the basement of police headquarters during the 10 minutes before the shooting of Oswald, none has been found who definitely observed Jack Ruby's entry into the basement. After considering all the evidence, the Commission has concluded that Ruby entered the basement unaided, probably via the Main Street ramp, and no more than 3 minutes before the shooting of Oswald.
Ruby's account of how he entered the basement by the Main Street ramp merits consideration in determining his means of entry. Three Dallas policemen testified that approximately 80 minutes after his arrest, Ruby told them that he had walked to the top of the Main Street ramp from the nearby Western Union office and that he walked down the ramp at the time the police car driven by Lieutenant Pierce emerged into Main Street.139 This information did not come to light immediately because the policemen did not report it to their superiors until some days later.140 Ruby refused to discuss his means of entry in interrogations with other investigators later on the day of his arrest.141 Thereafter, in a lengthy interview on December 21 and in a sworn deposition taken after his trial, Ruby gave the same explanation he had given to the three policemen.142
The Commission has been able to establish with precision the time of certain events leading up to the. shooting. Minutes before Oswald appeared in the basement, Ruby was in the Western Union office located on the same block of Main Street some 350 feet from the top of the Main Street ramp. The time stamp on a money order which he sent and on the receipt found in his pocket establish that the order was accepted for transmission at almost exactly 11:17 a.m. Ruby was then observed to depart the office walking in the direction of the police building.143 Video tapes taken without interruption before the shooting establish that Lieutenant Pierce's car cleared the crowd at the foot of the ramp 55 seconds before the shooting. They also show Ruby standing at the foot of the ramp on the Main Street side before the shooting.144 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2635, p. 220.) The shooting occurred very close to 11:21 a.m. This time has been established by observing the time on a clock appearing in motion pictures

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Ruby in basement (extreme right) immediately before shooting (Sunday, November 24).

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of Oswald in the basement jail office, and by records giving the time of Oswald's departure from the city jail and the time at which an ambulance was summoned for Oswald.145
The Main Street ramp provided the most direct route to the basement from the Western Union office. At normal stride, it requires approximately 1 minute to walk from that office to the top of the Main Street ramp and about 20-25 seconds to descend the ramp.146 It is certain, therefore, that Ruby entered the basement no more than 2-3 minutes before the shooting. This timetable indicates that a little more than 2 of the 4 minutes between Ruby's departure from the Western Union office and the time of the shooting are unaccounted for. Ruby could have consumed this time in loitering along the way, at the top of the ramp, or inside the basement. However, if Ruby is correct that he passed Pierce's car at the top of the ramp, he could have been in the basement no more than 30 seconds before the shooting.147
The testimony of two witnesses partially corroborates Ruby's claim that he entered by the Main Street ramp. James Turner, an employee of WBAP-TV Fort Worth, testified that while he was standing near the railing on the east side of the Main Street ramp, perhaps 30 seconds before the shooting, he observed a man he is confident was Jack Ruby moving slowly down the Main Street ramp about 10 feet from the bottom.148 Two other witnesses testified that they thought they had seen Ruby on the Main Street side of the ramp before the shooting.149
One other witness has testified regarding the purported movements of a man on the Main Street ramp, but his testimony merits little credence. A former police officer, N.J. Daniels, who was standing at the top of the ramp with the single patrolman guarding this entrance, R. E. Vaughn, testified that "3 or 4 minutes, I guess" 150 before the shooting, a man walked down the Main Street ramp in full view of Vaughn but was not stopped or questioned by the officer. Daniels did not identify the man as Ruby. Moreover, he gave a description which differed in important respects from Ruby's appearance on November 24, and he has testified that he doesn't think the man was Ruby.151 On November 24, Vaughn telephoned Daniels to ask him if he had seen anybody walk past him on the morning of the 24th and was told that he had not; it was not until November 29 that Daniels came forward with the statement that he had seen a man enter.152
Although the sum of this evidence tends to support Ruby's claim that he entered by the Main Street ramp, there is other evidence not fully consistent with Ruby's story. Patrolman Vaughn stated that he checked the credentials of all unknown persons seeking' to enter the basement, and his testimony was supported by several persons.153 Vaughn denied that the emergence of Lieutenant Pierce's car from the building distracted him long enough to allow Ruby to enter the ramp unnoticed, and neither he nor any of the three officers in Lieutenant Pierce's car saw Ruby enter.154

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Despite Vaughn's denial the Commission has found no credible evidence to support. any other entry route. Two Dallas detectives believed they observed three men pushing a WBAP-TV camera into the basement minutes before the shooting', while only two were with the camera after Oswald had been shot.155 However, films taken in the basement show the WBAP-TV camera being pushed past the detectives by only two men.156 The suspicion of the detectives is probably explained by testimony that a third WBAP-TV employee ran to help steady the incoming camera as it entered the basement, probably just before the camera became visible on the films.157 Moreover, since the camera entered the basement close to 4 minutes before the shooting,158 it is virtually impossible that Ruby could have been in the basement at that time.
The possibility that Ruby entered the basement by some other route has been investigated, but the Commission has found no evidence to support it. Ruby could have walked from the Western Union office. to the Commerce Street ramp on the other side of the building in about 2 and a half minutes. 159 However, during the minutes preceding the shooting video tapes show the armored truck in the entranceway to this ramp with only narrow clearance on either side. (See Commission Exhibit. No. 2710, p. 223.) Several policemen were standing near the truck and a large crowd of spectators was gathered across the street.160 It is improbable that Ruby could have squeezed past the truck without having been observed. If Ruby entered by any other means, he would have had to pass first through the Police and Courts Building or the attached Municipal Building, and then secondly through one of the five doors into the basement, all of which, according to the testimony of police officers, were secured. The testimony was not completely positive about one of the doors.161
There is no evidence to support the speculations that Ruby used a press badge to gain entry to the basement or that he concealed himself in a police car. Police found no form of press card on Ruby's person after his apprehension, nor any discarded badges within the basement.162 There is no evidence that any police officer admitted Ruby on the pretense that he was a member of the press or any other pretense.163
Police vehicles in the basement were inspected during the course of the search supervised by Sergeant Dean.164 According to Patrolman Vaughn, the only vehicles that entered the basement while he was at the top of the Main Street ramp were two patrol cars, one of which entered twice, and a patrol wagon which was searched by another policeman after it entered the basement. All entered on official police business and considerably more than 4 minutes before Oswald was shot.165 None of the witnesses at the top of the Main Street ramp recalled any police car entering the basement in the 4-minute period after Ruby left the Western Union office and preceding the shooting.166 The possibility that Ruby could have entered the basement in a car may therefore be completely discounted.

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The Dallas Police Department, concerned at the failure of its security measures, conducted an extensive investigation that revealed no information indicating complicity between any police officer and Jack Ruby.167 Ruby denied to the Commission that he received any form of assistance.168 The FBI interviewed every member of the police department who was on duty in the basement on November 24, and Commission staff members took sworn depositions from many. With few exceptions, newsmen who were present in the basement at the time also gave statements and/or depositions. As the record before the Commission indicated, Ruby had had rather free access to the Dallas police quarters during the period subsequent to the assassination, but there was no evidence that implicated the police or newsmen in Ruby's actions on that day.169
Ruby was known to have a wide acquaintanceship with Dallas policemen and to seek their favor. According to testimony from many sources, he gave free coffee at his clubs to many policemen while they were on duty and free admittance and discounts on beverages when they were off duty.170 Although Chief Curry's estimate that approximately 25 to 50 of the 1,175 men in the Dallas Police Department knew Ruby 171 may be too conservative, the Commission found no evidence of any suspicious relationships between Ruby and any police officer.
The Commission found no substantial evidence that any member of the Dallas Police Department recognized Jack Ruby as an unauthorized person in the basement prior to the time Sgt. P. T. Dean, according to his testimony, saw Ruby dart forward toward Oswald. But Dean was then part way up the Commerce Street ramp, too far removed to act.172 Patrolman W. J. Harrison, Capt. Glen King, and reserve officers Capt. C. O. Arnett and Patrolman W. M. Croy were among those in front of Ruby at the time Dean saw him. They all faced away from Ruby, toward the jail office.173 Video tapes show that Harrison turned in the direction of the ramp at the time Lieutenant Pierce's car passed, and once again 25 seconds later, but there is no indication that he observed or recognized Ruby.174 The policemen standing on the south side of the passageway from the jail office, who might have been looking in Ruby's direction, had the glare of television and photographer's lights in their eyes.175
The Commission also considered the possibility that a member of the police department called Ruby at his apartment and informed him, either intentionally or unintentionally, of the time of the planned transfer. From at least 10:19 a.m., until close to 11 a.m., on Sunday, Ruby was at his apartment,176 where he could have received a call that the transfer was imminent. He apparently left his apartment between 10:45 and 11 a.m.177 However, the drive from Ruby's apartment to the Western Union office takes approximately 15 minutes.178 Since the time of the contemplated transfer could not have been known to anyone until a few minutes before 11:15 a.m., a precise time could not have been conveyed to Ruby while he was at his apartment. Moreover, the television and radio publicized

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the transfer plans throughout the morning, obviating the need for Ruby to obtain information surreptitiously.
Adequacy of Security Precautions
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The shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald obviously resulted from the failure of the security precautions which the Dallas Police Department had taken to protect their prisoner. In assessing the causes of the security failure, the Commission has not overlooked the extraordinary circumstances which prevailed during the. days that the attention of the world was turned on Dallas. Confronted with a unique situation, the Dallas police took special security measures to insure Oswald's safety. Unfortunately these did not include adequate control of the great crowd of newsmen that inundated the police department building.
The Dallas police had in custody a man whose alleged act had brought upon him immediate and universal opprobrium. There were many possible reasons why people might have attempted to kill him if given the opportunity. Concerned that there might be an attempt on Oswald's life, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a message to Chief Curry on November 22 through Special Agent Manning C. Clements of the FBI's Dallas office, urging that Oswald be afforded the utmost security. Curry does not recall receiving the message.179
Although the presence of a great mass of press representatives created an extraordinary security problem in the building, the police department pursued its normal policy of admitting the press. That policy, set forth in General Order No. 81 of the Dallas Police Department, provided--

* * * that members of this Department render every assistance, except such as obviously may seriously hinder or delay the proper functioning of the Department, to the accredited members of the official news-gathering agencies and this includes newspaper, television cameramen and news-reel photographers.180

In a letter to all members of the police department, dated February 7, 1963, Chief Curry explained the general order, in part, as follows:

The General Order covering this subject is not merely permissive. It does not state that the Officer may, if he so chooses, assist the press. It rather places on him a responsibility to lend active assistance.

* * * * * *

* * * as a Department we deal with public affairs. It is the right of the public to know about these affairs, and one of the most accurate and useful avenues we have of supplying this information is through the newspapers and radio and television stations.
Implied in the General Order is a prohibition for the Officer to improperly attempt to interfere with the news media representative,

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who is functioning in his capacity as such. Such activity on the part of any Police Officer is regarded by the press as an infringement of rights, and the Department shares this view.181

Under this policy, news representatives ordinarily had access to the Police and Courts Building. The first newsmen to arrive on Friday afternoon were admitted in accordance with the policy; others who came later simply followed behind them. Shortly after Oswald arrived, Captain King granted permission to bring television cameras to the third floor.182 By the time the unwieldy proportions of the crowd of newsmen became apparent, it had already become well entrenched on the third floor. No one suggested reversing the department's policy expressed in General Order No. 81. Chief Curry testified that at no time did he consider clearing the crowd from the building; he "saw no particular harm in allowing the media to observe the prisoner." 183 Captain King later stated candidly that he simply became "accustomed to the idea of them being out there." 184
The general policy of the Dallas police recognized that the rule of full cooperation did not apply when it might jeopardize an investigation.185 In retrospect, most members of the department believed that the general rule allowing admittance of the press to the police quarters should not have been followed after the assassination. Few, if any, thought this at the time.186 By failing' to exclude the press from the building on Friday and Saturday, the Dallas police made it possible for the uncontrolled crowd to nearly surround Oswald on the frequent occasions that he moved through the third floor corridor. The decision to allow newsmen to observe the transfer on Sunday followed naturally the policy established during these first 2 days of Oswald's detention. The reporters and cameramen descended upon the third floor of the Police and Courts Building in such numbers that the pressroom on the third floor proved wholly inadequate. Rather than the "two or three or maybe a half dozen reporters" who normally appeared to cover local police stories, 187 the police were faced with upward of 100. Bringing with them cameras, microphones, cables, and spotlights, the newsmen inevitably spilled over into areas where they interfered with the transaction of police business and the maintenance of security.188
Aside from numbers, the gathering of reporters presented a problem because most of them were representatives of the national and foreign press, rather than the local press.189 These newsmen carried individual press cards rather than identification cards issued by the Dallas police. Therefore, it was impossible for the police to verify quickly the identity of this great number of unfamiliar people who appeared almost simultaneously.190 Because of the close physical proximity of the milling mass of insistent newsmen to the prisoner, the failure to authenticate press credentials subjected the prisoner to a serious security risk.
Although steps were taken on Friday afternoon to insure that persons seeking entry to the third floor were there for a legitimate purpose,

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reasons could be fabricated. Moreover, because of the large crowd, it was easier for unauthorized persons to slip by those guarding the entrances. Jack Ruby, for one, was able to gain entry to the third-floor corridor on Friday night.191
The third-floor corridor provided the only passageway between the homicide and robbery bureau and the jail elevator. No thought seems to have been given, however, to the possibility of questioning Oswald on some other floor.192 Moreover, Oswald's most extended exposure to the press, at the Friday evening press conference, was unrelated to any phase of the investigation and was motivated primarily by the desire to satisfy the demands of the news media to see the prisoner.193 The risks attendant upon this appearance were emphasized by the presence of unauthorized persons, including Jack Ruby, at the press conference in the basement assembly room.194
Although Oswald was repeatedly exposed to possible assaults on Friday and Saturday, he met his death on Sunday, when police took the most extensive security precautions. The assembly of more than 70 police officers, some of them armed with tear gas, and the contemplated use of an armored truck, appear to have been designed primarily to repel an attempt of a mob to seize the prisoner.195 Chief Curry's own testimony indicated that such a focus resulted not from any appraisal of the varied risks to Oswald's life but came about in response to the telephone threat Sunday morning that a hundred men were going to. attack Oswald.196
A more balanced appraisal would have given thought to protection against. any attack. For example, the acceptance of inadequate press credentials posed a clear avenue for a one-man assault. The likelihood of an unauthorized person obtaining entry by such means is confirmed not alone by the fact that Jack Ruby managed to. get by a guard at one entrance. Several newsmen related that their credentials were not checked as they entered the basement Sunday morning. Seconds before Oswald was shot, the double doors from the hallway next to the jail office afforded a means of entry to the basement without presentation of credentials earlier demanded of newsmen.197
The swarm of newspeople in the basement also substantially limited the ability of the police to detect an unauthorized person once he had entered the basement. 'While Jack Ruby might have been easily spotted if only police officers had been in the basement,198 he remained apparently unnoticed in the crowd of newsmen until he lunged forward toward Oswald. The near-blinding television and motion picture lights which were allowed to shine upon the escort party further increased the difficulty of observing unusual movements in the basement.
Moreover, by making public the plans for the transfer, the police attracted to the city jail many persons who otherwise might not have learned of the move until it had been completed. This group included the onlookers gathered on Commerce Street and a few people on Main Street. Also, continuous television and radio coverage of

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the activities in the basement might have resulted in compromise of the transfer operation.
These risks to Oswald's safety, growing in part out of adherence to the general policy of the police department, were also accepted for other reasons. Many members of the police department believed that the extraordinary public attention aroused by the tragic death of President Kennedy obliged them to make special efforts to accommodate the press. Captain King carefully articulated one reason why the newsmen were permitted

* * * to remain in the hallways, * * * to view the investigation and to keep in constant touch with progress of the investigation.

* * * * * *

We realized that if we arrested a suspect, that if we brought him into the police station and then conducted all of our investigations behind closed doors, that if we gave no reports on the progress of our investigation and did not permit the newsmen to see the suspect--if we excluded them from it--we would leave ourselves open not only to criticisms that we were fabricating a suspect and were attempting to pin something on someone, but even more importantly, we would cause people to lose faith in our fairness and, through losing faith in our fairness, to lose faith to a certain extent in the processes of law.
We felt it was mandatory that as many people knew about it as possible. We knew, too, that if we did exclude the newsmen, we would be leaving ourselves open to a charge that we were using improper action, duress, physical abuse, all of these things.199

While Oswald was in custody, the Dallas police kept the press informed about the treatment Oswald was receiving. The public could have been assured that the prisoner was not mistreated and that his rights were fully respected by the police, without each one of hundreds of cameramen and reporters being permitted to satisfy himself that the police had not abused the prisoner. This result could have been accomplished by obtaining reports from members of the family who visited him, or by a committee of the bar or other substantial citizens of the community. When it became known on Saturday that Oswald did not have an attorney, the president of the Dallas Bar Association visited him to inquire whether he wished assistance in obtaining counsel.200
Moreover, the right of the public to know does not give the press license to interfere with the efficient operation of law-enforcement agencies. Permitting the press to remain on the third floor of the building served no valid purpose that could not have been met if the press had been excluded from the third floor, as it was from the fourth and fifth floors, and informed of developments either through press releases or at press conferences elsewhere in the building.
Having failed to exclude the mass of the press from the basement during the transfer of Oswald, the police department's security measures

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could not be completely effective. Despite the pressures that prevailed, planning and coordination of security arrangements could have been more thorough and precise. No single member of the Dallas Police Department ever assumed full responsibility for the details of Oswald's transfer.201 Chief Curry participated in some of the planning, but he felt that primary authority for the transfer should be Fritz', since Fritz had charge of the investigation. According to Chief Curry--

Fritz and I, I think, discussed this briefly, the possibility of getting that prisoner out of the city hall during the night hours and by another route and slipping him to the jail, but actually Fritz was not too much in favor of this and I more or less left this up to Fritz as to when and how this transfer would be made, because he has in the past transferred many of his prisoners to the county jail and I felt that since it was his responsibility, the prisoner was, to let him decide when and how he wanted to transfer this prisoner.202

Fritz, on the other hand, felt that Curry was directing the transfer arrangements: "I was transferring him like the chief told me to. transfer him." 203 When Capt. W. B. Frazier notified Fritz by telephone early Sunday morning about the threats to Oswald's life, Fritz replied that Curry should be notified, since he was handling the transfer.204 When urged to modify the transfer plans to avoid the press, as he later testified he would have preferred to do, Fritz declined on the ground that Curry had already decided to the contrary.205 Hence, if the recollection of both officials is accurate, the basic decision to move Oswald at an announced time and in the presence of the news media was never carefully thought through by either man. Curry and Fritz had agreed Saturday evening that Oswald should not be moved at night, but their discussion apparently went little further.206
Perhaps the members of the Dallas Police Department were, as many testified, accustomed to working together so that formal instructions were sometimes unnecessary. On the other hand, it is clear, at least in retrospect, that this particular occasion demanded more than the usual informal unspoken understandings. The evidence indicates that no member of the department at any time considered fully the implications of moving Oswald through the basement. Nor did any single official or group of officials coordinate and direct where the transfer vehicle would be stationed to accept Oswald, where the press would stand, and the number and positioning of police officers in the basement. Captain Jones indicated that there were to be two solid lines of policemen from the jail office door to the transfer vehicle, 207 but lines were formed only along the walls of the areaway between the jail office door and the ramp. The newsmen were not kept east of the auto ramp where a railing would have separated

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them from Oswald. No strong ranks of policemen were ever placed in front of the newsmen once they were allowed to gather in the area of the Main Street ramp.208 Many policemen in the basement did not know the function they were supposed to perform. No instructions were given that certain policemen should watch the crowd rather than Oswald.209 Apparently no one gave any thought. to the blinding effect of television and other camera lights upon the escort party.
Largely on his own initiative, Captain Talbert undertook to secure the basement, with only minimal coordination with those responsible for and familiar with the route Oswald would take through the basement. Several officials recalled that Lt. Woodrow Wiggins was directed to clear the basement jail office, but Wiggins testified that he received no such assignment. 210 In any event, less than 20 minutes before the transfer, Captain Jones observed newsmen in the jail office and had them removed. But no official removed news personnel from the corridor beside the jail office; indeed, cameramen took pictures through the glass windows of the jail office as Oswald walked through it toward the basement, and then approached to within 20 feet of Oswald from the rear at the same time that Jack Ruby moved toward Oswald from the front.211
A clear example of the inadequacy of coordination was the last-minute change in plans to transfer Oswald in an unmarked police car rather than by .armored truck.212 The plan to use an armored vehicle was adopted without informing Fritz. When Fritz was told of the arrangement shortly after 11 o'clock, he objected, and hurried steps were taken to modify the arrangements. Fritz was then prematurely informed that the basement arrangements were complete. When Oswald and the escorting detectives entered the basement, the transfer car had not yet been backed into position, nor had the policemen been arranged to block the newsmen's access to Oswald's path.213 If the transfer car had been carefully positioned between the press and Oswald, Ruby might have been kept several yards from his victim and possibly without a clear view of him. Detective Leavelle, who accompanied Oswald into the basement, testified:

* * * I was surprised when I walked to the door and the car was not in the spot it should have been, but I could see it was in back, and backing into position, but had it been in position where we were told it would be, that would have eliminated a lot of the area in which anyone would have access to him, because it would have been blocked. by the car. In fact, if the car had been sitting where we were told it was going to be, see -- it would have been sitting directly upon the spot where Ruby was standing when he fired the shot.214

Captain Jones described the confusion with which Oswald's entry into the basement was in fact received:

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Then the change--going to put two cars up there. There is no reason why that back car can't get all the way back to the jail office. The original plan would be that the line of officers would be from the jail door to the vehicle. Then they say, "Here he comes." * * * It is too late to get the people out of the way of the car and form the line. I am aware that. Oswald is already coming because of the furor, so, I was trying to keep everybody out of the way and keep the way clear and I heard a shot.215

Therefore, regardless of whether the press should have been allowed to witness the transfer, security measures in the basement for Oswald's protection could and should have been better organized and more thorough. These additional deficiencies were directly related to the decision to admit newsmen to the basement. The Commission concludes that the failure of the police to remove Oswald secretly or to control the crowd in the basement at the time of the transfer were the major causes of the security breakdown which led to Oswald's death.
News Coverage and Police Policy
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Consistent with its policy of allowing news representatives to remain within the working quarters of the Police and Courts Building, the police department made every effort to keep the press fully informed about the progress of the investigation. As a result, from Friday afternoon until after the killing of Oswald on Sunday, the press was able to publicize virtually all of the information about the case which had been gathered until that time. In the process, a great deal of misinformation was disseminated to a worldwide audience. (For some examples see app. XII.)
As administrative assistant to Chief Curry, Captain King also handled departmental press relations and issued press releases. According to King, it was "the responsibility of each member of the department to furnish to the press information on incidents in which they, themselves, were involved, except on matters which involved * * * personnel policies of the department, or * * * unless it would obviously interfere with an investigation underway." 216 In Oswald's case, Chief Curry released most of the information to. the press. He and Assistant Chief Batchelor agreed on Friday that Curry would make all announcements to the press.217 However, there is no evidence that this decision was ever communicated to the rest of the police force. The chief consequence appears to have been that Batchelor refrained from making statements to the news media during this period.
Most of the information was disclosed through informal oral statements or answers to questions at impromptu and clamorous press conferences in the third floor corridor. Written press releases were not employed. The ambulatory press conference became a familiar sight during these days. Whenever Curry or other officials appeared in the

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Press interview with Chief Curry in third floor corridor.

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hallway, newsmen surrounded them, asking questions and requesting statements. Usually the officials complied. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2632, p. 232.)
Curry appeared in interviews on television and radio at least a dozen times during November 22-24. He did not attend any of the interrogations of Oswald in Captain Fritz' office except at the beginning and toward the end of Sunday morning's session; he received his information through Captain Fritz and other sources.218 Nevertheless, in sessions with the newsmen on Friday and Saturday he gave detailed information on the progress of the case against Oswald. Recorded statements of television and radio interviews with Curry and other officials in Dallas during November 22-24 have been transcribed and included in the record compiled by the Commission.219 An example of these interviews is the following transcript of remarks made by Curry to newsmen on Saturday:

Q. Chief Curry, I understand you have some new information in this case. Could you relate what that is ?
A. Yes, we've just been informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that they, the FBI, have the order letter from a mail order house, and the order was sent to their laboratory in Washington and the writing on this order was compared with known samples of our suspect, Oswald's handwriting and found to be the same.
Q. This order was for the rifle ?
A. This order was for the rifle to a mail order house in Chicago. It was [inaudible]. The return address was to Dallas, Texas, to the post office box under the name of A. Hidell, H-I-D-E-double L. This is the post office box of our suspect. This gun was mailed parcel post March 20, 1963. I understand he left Dallas shortly after this and didn't come back until I think about two months ago,
Q. Do you know again on what date this rifle was ordered and 'are you able to link it. definitely as the rifle which you confiscated at the School Book Depository?
A. That we have not done so far. If the FBI has been able to do it I have not been informed of it yet. We do know that this man ordered a rifle of the type that was used in the assassination of the President from this mail order house in Chicago and the FBI has definitely identified the writing as that of our suspect
Q. On another subject-- I understand you have photographs of the suspect, Oswald, with a rifle like that used. Could you describe that picture ?
A. This is the picture of Oswald sanding facing a camera with a rifle in his hand which is very similar to the rifle that we have in our possession. He also had a pistol strapped on his hip. He was holding two papers in his hand, with one of them seemed to be The Worker and the other says Be Militant--I don't know whether that was headlines or the name of the paper.

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Q. How much did the gun cost from the mail order house ?
A. I understand the gun was advertised for $12.78, I believe.
Q. Have you received any results on the ballistics test conducted on the gun and on Oswald ?
A. They're going to be favorable. I don't have a formal report yet.
Q. But you are sure at this time they will be favorable ?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you feel now that you have the case completely wrapped up, or are you continuing ?
A. We will continue as long as there is a shred of evidence to be gathered. We have a strong case at this time.
Q. I believe you said earlier this afternoon that you have a new development which does wrap up the case--the first time you said the case definitely is secure. Is that correct ?
A. That was this morning. This additional evidence just makes a stronger case.
Q. But this is not the same evidence you were referring to then ?
A. No, that's true.
Q. Would you be willing to say what that evidence was ?
A. No, sir. I don't wish to reveal it. It might jeopardize our case.
Commentator: Thank you very much Chief Jesse Curry of the Dallas Police Department.220

Although Captain Fritz permitted himself to be interviewed by the news media' less frequently than did Chief Curry, he nevertheless answered questions and ventured opinions about the progress of the investigation. On Saturday he told reporters that he was convinced beyond a doubt that Oswald had killed the President. He discussed some of the evidence in the case, especially the rifle, but his contribution to the knowledge of the reporters was small compared with that of Chief Curry.221
Many other members of the police department, including high officials, detectives, and patrolmen, were also interviewed by news representatives during these days.222 Some of these men had participated in specific aspects of the ease, such as the capture of Oswald at the Texas Theatre and the search for evidence at the Texas School Book Depository Building. Few, if any, seemed reluctant to submit to questions and to being televised. It seemed to District Attorney Wade that the newsmen "just followed everybody everywhere they went * * * they interviewed some of your patrolmen * * * on the corner' * * * they were interviewing anybody." 223
Wade himself also made several statements to the press. He visited police headquarters twice on Friday, twice on Saturday, and twice on Sunday. On most of these occasions he was interviewed by the press and appeared on television.224 After Oswald had appeared before the press on Friday night, Wade held an

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impromptu conference with reporters in the overflowing assembly room.225 Wade told the press on Saturday that he would not reveal any evidence because it might prejudice the selection of a jury.226 On other occasions, however, he mentioned some items of evidence and expressed his opinions regarding Oswald's guilt. He told the press on Friday night that Oswald's wife had told the police that her husband had a rifle in the garage at the house in Irving and that it was missing the morning of the assassination. On one occasion he repeated the error that the murder rifle had been a Mauser. Another time, he stated his belief that Oswald had prepared for the assassination months in advance, including what he would tell the police. He also said that Oswald had practiced with the rifle to improve his marksmanship.227
The running commentary on the investigation by the police inevitably carried with it the disclosure of many details that proved to be erroneous. In their efforts to keep the public abreast of the investigation, the police reported hearsay items and unverified leads; further investigation proved many of these to be incorrect or inaccurate. For example, the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building was initially identified as a Mauser 7.65 rather than a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 because a deputy constable who was one of the first to see it thought it looked like a Mauser. He neither handled the weapon nor saw it at close range.228
Police sources were also responsible for the mistaken notion that the chicken bones found on the sixth floor were the remains of Oswald's lunch. They had in fact been left by another employee who ate his lunch there at least 15 minutes before the assassination.229 Curry repeated the erroneous report that a Negro had picked up Oswald near the scene of the assassination and driven him across town.230 It was also reported that the map found in Oswald's room contained a marked route of the Presidential motorcade when it actually contained markings of places where Oswald may have applied for jobs, including, of course, the Texas School Book Depository.231
Concern about the effects of the unlimited disclosures was being voiced by Saturday morning. According to District Attorney Wade, he received calls from lawyers in Dallas and elsewhere expressing concern about providing an attorney for Oswald and about the amount of information being given to the press by the police and the district attorney.232 Curry continued to answer questions on television and radio during the remainder of the day and Sunday morning.233
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover became concerned because "almost as soon as * * * [FBI Laboratory reports] would reach the Dallas Police Department, the chief of police or one of the representatives of the department would go on TV or radio and relate findings of the FBI, giving information such as the identification of the gun and other items of physical evidence." 234 On Sunday, after Oswald was shot, Hoover dispatched a personal message to Curry requesting him

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"not to go on the air any more until this case * * * [is] resolved." Hoover testified later that Curry agreed not. to make any more statements.235
The shooting of Oswald shocked the Dallas police, and after the interviews that immediately followed the shooting they were disposed to remain silent. Chief Curry made only one more television appearance after the shooting. At 1:30 p.m., he descended to the assembly room where, tersely and grimly, he announced Oswald's death. He refused to answer any of the questions shouted at him by the persistent reporters, concluding the conference in less than a minute.236
District Attorney Wade also held one more press conference. Before doing so on Sunday evening, he returned once more to the police station and held a meeting with "all the brass" except Curry. Wade told them that "people are saying * * * you had the wrong man and you all were the one who killed him or let him out here to have him killed intentionally." Wade told the police that "somebody ought to go out in television and lay out the evidence that you had on Oswald, and tell them everything." He sat down and listed from memory items of evidence in the case against Oswald. According to Wade, Chief Curry refused to make any statements because he had told an FBI inspector that he would say no more. The police refused to furnish Wade with additional details of the case.237
Wade nonetheless proceeded to hold a lengthy formal press conference that evening, in which he attempted to list all of the evidence that had been accumulated at that point tending to establish Oswald as the assassin of President Kennedy. Unfortunately, at that time, as he subsequently testified, he lacked a thorough grasp of the evidence and made a number of errors.238 He stated that Oswald had told a woman on a bus that the President had been killed, an error apparently caused by the busdriver having confused Oswald with another passenger who was on the bus after Oswald had left. Wade also repeated the error about Oswald's having a map marked with the route of the motorcade. He told reporters that Oswald's description
and name "went out by the police to look for him." 239 The police never mentioned Oswald's name in their broadcast descriptions before his arrest.240
Wade was innocent of one error imputed to him since November 24. The published transcript of part of the press conference furnished to newspapers by the Associated Press represented Wade as having identified the cabdriver who took Oswald to North Beckley Avenue after the shooting, as one named "Darryl Click." The transcript as it appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post of November 26, reads:

A. [Wade] a lady. He then the bus, he asked the bus driver to stop, got off at a stop, caught a taxicab driver, Darryl Click. don't have his exact place--and went to his home in Oak Cliff, changed his clothes hurriedly, and left.241

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The correct transcript of the press conference, taken from an audio tape supplied by station WBAP, Fort. Worth, is as follows:

A. [Wade] A lady. He then--the bus, he asked the bus driver to stop, got off at a stop, caught a taxicab driver.
Q. Where?
A. In Oak Cliff. I don't have the exact place--and went to his home in Oak Cliff, changed his clothes hurriedly and left.242

In this manner, a section of Dallas, "Oak Cliff," became a nonexistent taxicab driver, "Darryl Click." Wade did not mention the cabdriver by name at any time. In transcribing the conference from the sound tape, a stenographer apparently made an error that might have become permanently imbedded in the literature of the event but for the preservation and use of an original sound tape.
Though many of the inaccuracies were subsequently corrected by the police and are negated by findings of the Commission included elsewhere in this report, the publicizing of unchecked information provided much of the basis for the myths and rumors that came into being soon after the President's death. The erroneous disclosures became the basis for distorted reconstructions and interpretations of the assassination. The necessity for the Dallas authorities to correct themselves or to be corrected by other sources gave rise not only to criticism of the police department's competence but also to doubts regarding the veracity of the police. Skeptics sought to cast doubt on much of the correct evidence later developed and to find support for their own theories in these early police statements.
The immediate disclosure of information by the police created a further risk of injuring innocent citizens by unfavorable publicity. This was the unfortunate experience of Joe R. Molina, a Dallas-born Navy veteran who had been employed by the Texas School Book Depository since 1947 and on November 22, 1963, held the position of credit manager. Apparently because of Molina's employment at the Depository and his membership in a veterans' organization, the American G.I. Forum, that the Dallas police considered possibly subversive, Dallas policemen searched Molina's home with his permission, at about 1:30 a.m., Saturday, November 23. During the day Molina was intermittently interrogated at police headquarters for 6 or 7 hours, chiefly about his membership in the American G.I. Forum, and also about Oswald. He was never arrested, charged, or held in custody.243
While Molina was being questioned, officials of the police department made statements or answered questions244 that provided the basis for television reports about Molina during the day. These reports spoke of a "second suspect being picked up," insinuated that the Dallas police had reason to suspect another person who worked in the Texas School Book Depository, stated that the suspect had been arrested and his home searched, and mentioned that Molina may have

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been identified by .the U.S. Department of Justice as a possible subversive.245
No evidence was ever presented to link Molina with Oswald except as a fellow employee of the Texas School Book Depository. According to Molina, he had never spoken to Oswald.246 The FBI notified the Commission that Molina had never been the subject. of an investigation by it and that it had never given any information about Molina to the Dallas police concerning any alleged subversive activities by him.247 The Dallas police explained in a statement to the FBI that they had never had a file on Molina, but that they did have one on the American G.I. Forum.248
Molina lost his his job in December. He felt that he was being discharged because of the unfavorable publicity he had received, but officials of the Depository claimed that automation was the reason. Molina testified that he had difficulty in finding another position, until finally, with the help of a fellow church member, he secured a position at. a lower salary than his previous one.249
If Oswald had been tried for his murders of November 22, the effects of the news policy pursued by the Dallas authorities would have proven harmful both to the prosecution and the defense. The misinformation reported after the shootings might have been used by the defense to cast doubt on the reliability of the State's entire case. Though each inaccuracy can be explained without great difficulty, the number and variety of misstatements issued by the police shortly after the assassination would have greatly assisted a skillful defense attorney attempting to influence the attitudes of jurors.
A fundamental objection to the news policy pursued by the Dallas police, however, is the extent to which it endangered Oswald's constitutional right to a trial by an impartial jury. Because of the nature of the crime, the widespread attention which it necessarily received, and the intense public feelings which it aroused, it would have been a most difficult task to select an unprejudiced jury, either' in Dallas or elsewhere. But the difficulty was markedly increased by the divulgence of the specific items of evidence with which the police linked Oswald to the two killings. The disclosure of evidence encouraged the public, from which a jury would ultimately be impaneled, to prejudge the very questions that would be raised at trial.
Moreover, rules of law might have prevented the prosecution from presenting portions of this evidence to the jury. For example, though expressly recognizing that Oswald's wife could not be compelled to testify against him, District Attorney Wade revealed to the Nation that Marina Oswald had affirmed her husband's ownership of a rifle like that found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.250 Curry stated that Oswald had refused to take a lie detector test, although such a statement would have been inadmissible in a trial.251 The exclusion of such evidence, however, would have been meaningless if jurors were already familiar with the same facts from previous television or newspaper reports. Wade might have influenced prospective jurors by his mistaken statement that

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the paraffin test showed that Oswald had fired a gun. The tests merely showed that he had nitrate traces on his hands, which did not necessarily mean that he had fired either a rifle or a pistol.252
The disclosure of evidence was seriously aggravated by the statements of numerous responsible officials that they were certain of Oswald's guilt. Captain Fritz said that the case against Oswald was "cinched." Curry reported on Saturday that "we are sure of our case." 253 Curry announced that he considered Oswald sane, and Wade told the public that he would ask for the death penalty.254
The American Bar Association declared in December 1963 that "widespread publicizing of Oswald's alleged guilt, involving statements by officials and public disclosures of the details of 'evidence,' would have made it extremely difficult to impanel an unprejudiced' jury and afford the accused a fair trial." 255 Local bar associations expressed similar feelings.256 The Commission agrees that Lee Harvey Oswald's opportunity for a trial by 12 jurors free of preconception as to his guilt or innocence would have been seriously jeopardized by the premature disclosure and weighing of the evidence against him.
The problem of disclosure of information and its effect on trials is, of course, further complicated by the independent activities of the press in developing information on its own from sources other than law enforcement agencies. Had the police not released the specific items of evidence against Oswald, it is still possible that the other information presented on television and in the newspapers, chiefly of a biographical nature, would itself have had a prejudicial effect on the public.
In explanation of the news policy adopted by the Dallas authorities, Chief Curry observed that "it seemed like there was a great demand by the general public to know what was going on." 257 In a prepared statement, Captain King wrote:

At that time we felt a necessity for permitting the newsmen as much latitude as possible. We realized the magnitude of the incident the newsmen were there to cover. We realized that not only the nation but the world would be greatly interested in what occurred in Dallas. We believed that we had an obligation to make as widely known as possible everything we could regarding the investigation of the assassination and the manner in which we undertook that investigation.258

The Commission recognizes that the people of the United States, and indeed the world, had a deep-felt interest in learning of the events surrounding the death of President Kennedy, including the development of the investigation in Dallas. An informed public provided the ultimate guarantee that adequate steps would be taken to apprehend those responsible for the assassination and that all necessary precautions would be taken to protect the national security. It was therefore proper and desirable that the public know which agencies

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were participating in the investigation and the rate at which their work was progressing. The public was also entitled to know that Lee Harvey Oswald had been apprehended and that the State had gathered sufficient evidence to arraign him for the murders of the President and Patrolman Tippit, that he was being held pending action of the grand jury, that the investigation was continuing, and that the law enforcement agencies had discovered no evidence which tended to show that any other person was involved in either slaying.
However, neither the press nor the public had a right to be contemporaneously informed by the police or prosecuting authorities of the details of the evidence being accumulated against Oswald. Undoubtedly the public was interested in these disclosures, but its curiosity should not have been satisfied at the expense of the accused's right to a trial by an impartial jury. The courtroom, not the newspaper or television screen, is the appropriate forum in our system for the trial of a man accused of a crime.
If the evidence in the possession of the authorities had not been disclosed, it is true that the public would not have been in a position to assess the adequacy of the investigation or to apply pressures for further official undertakings. But a major consequence of the hasty and at times inaccurate divulgence of evidence after the assassination was simply to give rise to groundless rumors and public confusion. Moreover, without learning the details of the case, the public could have been informed by the responsible authority of the general scope of the investigation and the extent to which State and Federal agencies were assisting in the police work.
Responsibility of News Media
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While appreciating the heavy and unique pressures with which the Dallas Police Department was confronted by reason of the assassination of President Kennedy, primary responsibility for having failed to control the press and to check the flow of undigested evidence to the public must be borne by the police department. It was the only agency that could have established orderly and sound operating procedures to control the multitude of newsmen gathered in the police building after the assassination.
The Commission believes, however, that a part of the responsibility for the unfortunate circumstances following the President's death must be borne by the news media. The crowd of newsmen generally failed to respond properly to the demands of the police. Frequently without permission, news representatives used police offices on the third floor, tying up facilities and interfering with normal police operations. Police efforts to preserve order and to clear passageways in the corridor were usually unsuccessful. On Friday night the reporters completely ignored Curry's injunction against asking Oswald questions in the assembly room and crowding in on him. On Sunday morning, the newsmen were instructed to direct no questions

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at Oswald; nevertheless, several reporters shouted questions at him when he appeared in the basement.259
Moreover, by constantly pursuing public officials, the news representatives placed an insistent pressure. upon them to disclose information. And this pressure was not without effect, since the police attitude toward the press was affected by the desire to maintain satisfactory relations with the news representatives and to create a favorable image of themselves. Chief Curry frankly told the Commission that

I didn't order them out of the building, which if I had it to do over I would. In the past like I say, we had always maintained very good relations with our press, and they had always respected us. * * * 260

Curry refused Fritz' request to put Oswald behind the screen in the assembly room at the Friday night press conference because this might have hindered the taking of pictures.261 Curry's subordinates had the impression that an unannounced transfer of Oswald to the county jail was unacceptable because Curry did not want to disappoint the newsmen; he had promised that they could witness the transfer.262 It seemed clear enough that any attempt to exclude the press from the building or to place limits on the information disclosed to them would have been resented and disputed by the newsmen, who were constantly and aggressively demanding all possible information about anything related to the assassination.
Although the Commission has found no corroboration in the video and audio tapes, police officials recall that one or two representatives of the press reinforced their demands to see Oswald by suggesting that the police had been guilty of brutalizing him. They intimated that unless they were given the opportunity to see him, these suggestions would be passed on to the public.263 Captain King testified that he had been told that

A short time after Oswald's arrest one newsman held up a photograph .and said, "This is what the man charged with the assassination of the President looks like. Or at least this is what he did look like. We don't know what he looks like after an hour in the custody of the Dallas Police Department." 264

City Manager Elgin Crull stated that when he visited Chief Curry in his office on the morning of November 23, Curry told him that he "felt it was necessary to cooperate with the news media representatives, in order to avoid being accused of using Gestapo tactics in connection with the handling of Oswald." Crull agreed with Curry.265 The Commission deems any such veiled threats to be absolutely without justification.
The general disorder in the Police and Courts Building during November 22-24 reveals a regrettable lack of self- discipline by the newsmen.

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The Commission believes that the news media, as well as the police authorities, who failed to impose conditions more in keeping with the orderly process of justice, must share responsibility for the failure of law enforcement which occurred in connection with the death of Oswald. On previous occasions, public bodies have voiced the need for the exercise of self-restraint by the news media in periods when the demand for information must be tempered by other fundamental requirements of our society.
At its annual meeting in Washington in April 1964, the American Society of Newspaper Editors discussed the role of the press in Dallas immediately after President Kennedy's assassination. The discussion revealed the strong misgivings among the editors themselves about the role that the press had played and their desire that the press display more self-discipline and adhere to higher standards of con-duet in the future.266 To prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate events which followed the assassination, however, more than general concern will be needed. The promulgation of a code of professional conduct governing representatives of all news media would be welcome evidence that the press had profiled by the lesson of Dallas.
The burden of insuring that appropriate action is taken to establish ethical standards of conduct for the news media must also be borne, however, by State and local governments, by the bar, and ultimately by the public. The experience in Dallas during November 22-24 is a dramatic affirmation of the need for steps to bring about a proper balance between the right of the public to be kept informed and the right of the individual to a fair and impartial trial.

Chapter VI Investigation of Possible Conspiracy
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Investigation of Possible Conspiracy

THIS chapter sets forth the findings of the Commission as to whether Lee Harvey Oswald had any accomplices in the planning or execution of the assassination. Particularly after the slaying of Oswald by Jack Ruby under the circumstances described in the preceding chapter, rumors and suspicions developed regarding the existence of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. As discussed in appendix XII, many of these rumors were based on a lack of information as to the nature and extent of evidence that Oswald alone fired the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally. Others of the more widely publicized rumors maintained that Oswald must have received aid from one or more persons or political groups, ranging from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum, or from a foreign government, usually either the Castro regime in Cuba or the Soviet Union.
The Commission faced substantial difficulties in determining whether anyone conspired with or assisted the person who committed the assassination. Prior to his own death Oswald had neither admitted his own involvement nor implicated any other persons in the assassination of the President. The problem of determining the existence or nonexistence of a conspiracy was compounded because of the possibility of subversive activity by a foreign power. Witnesses and evidence located in other countries were not subject to subpena, as they would have been if they had been located in the United States. When evidence was obtained from a foreign nation, it could not be appraised as effectively as if it had been derived from a domestic source. The Commission has given the closest scrutiny to all available evidence which related or might have related to a foreign country. All such evidence was tested, whenever possible, against the contingency that it had been fabricated or slanted to mislead or confuse.
In order to meet its obligations fully, the Commission has investigated each rumor and allegation linking Oswald to a conspiracy which has come to its attention, regardless of source. In addition, the Commission has explored the details of Lee Harvey Oswald's activities and

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life, especially in the months immediately preceding the assassination, in order to develop any investigative lead relevant to the issue of conspiracy. All of Oswald's known writings or other possessions which might have been used for code or other espionage purposes have been examined by either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Security Agency, or both agencies, to determine whether they were so used.1
In setting forth the results of this investigation, the first section of this chapter reviews the facts related to the assassination itself, previously considered in more detail in chapter IV. If any conspiracy did exist, it might have manifested itself at some point during Oswald's preparation for the shooting, his execution of the plan, or his escape from the scene of the assassination. The Commission has therefore studied the precise means by which the assassination occurred for traces of evidence that Oswald received any form of assistance in effecting the killing.
The second section of the chapter deals more broadly with Oswald's life since 1959. During the period following his discharge from the Marines in 1959, Oswald engaged in several activities which demand close scrutiny to determine whether, through these pursuits, he developed any associations which were connected with the planning or execution of the assassination. Oswald professed commitment to Marxist ideology; he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959; he at tempted to expatriate himself and acquire Soviet citizenship; and he resided in the Soviet Union until June of 1962. After his return to the United States he sought to maintain contacts with the Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee; he associated with various Russian-speaking citizens in the Dallas-Fort Worth area--some of whom had resided in Russia; he traveled to Mexico City where he visited both the Cuban and Soviet Embassies 7 weeks before the assassination; and he corresponded with the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. In view of these activities, the Commission has instituted a thorough investigation to determine whether the assassination was in some manner directed or encouraged through contacts made abroad or through Oswald's politically oriented activities in this country. The Commission has also considered whether any connections existed between Oswald and certain right- wing activity in Dallas which, shortly before the assassination, led to the publication of hostile criticism of President Kennedy.
The final section of this chapter considers the possibility that Jack Ruby was part of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. The Commission explored Ruby's background and his activities in the months prior to the assassination, and especially his activities in the 2 days after the assassination, in an effort to determine whether there was any indication that Ruby was implicated in that event. The Commission also sought to ascertain the truth or falsity of assertions that Oswald and Ruby were known to one another prior to the assassination.
In considering the question of foreign involvement, the Commission has received valuable assistance from the Department of State,

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the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other Federal agencies with special competence in the field of foreign investigation. Some of the information furnished by these agencies is of a highly confidential nature. Nevertheless, because the disclosure of all facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy is of great public importance, the Commission has included in this report all information furnished by these agencies which the Commission relied upon in coming to its conclusions, or which tended to contradict those conclusions. Confidential sources of information, as contrasted with the information itself, have, in a relatively few instances, been withheld.
Circumstances Surrounding the Assassination
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Earlier chapters have set forth the evidence upon which the Commission concluded that President Kennedy was fired upon from a single window in the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, and that Lee Harvey Oswald was the person who fired the shots from this point. As reflected in those chapters, a certain sequence of events necessarily took place in order for the assassination to have occurred as it did. The motorcade traveled past the Texas School Book Depository; Oswald had access to the sixth floor of the building; Oswald brought the rifle into the building; the cartons were arranged at the sixth-floor window; and Oswald escaped from the building before the police had sealed off the exits. Accordingly, the Commission has investigated these circumstances to determine whether Oswald received help from any other person in planning or performing the shooting.

Selection of Motorcade Route

The factors involved in the choice of the motorcade route by the Secret Service have been discussed in chapter II of this report,2 It was there indicated that after passing through a portion of suburban Dallas, the motorcade was to travel west on Main Street, and then to the Trade Mart by way of the Stemmons Freeway, the most direct route from that point. This route would take the motorcade along the traditional parade route through downtown Dallas; it allowed the maximum number of persons to observe the President; and it enabled the motorcade to cover the distance from Love Field to the Trade Mart in the 45 minutes allocated by members of the White House staff planning the President's schedule in Dallas. No member of the Secret Service, the Dallas Police Department, or the local host committee who was consulted felt that any other route would be preferable.
To reach Stemmons Freeway from Main Street, it was determined that the motorcade would turn right from Main Street onto Houston Street for one block and then left onto Elm Street, proceeding through the Triple Underpass to the Stemmons Freeway access road. This route took the motorcade past the Texas School Book Depository

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Building on the northwest corner of Elm and Houston Streets. Because of the sharp turn at this corner, the motorcade also reduced its speed. The motorcade would have passed approximately 90 yards further from the Depository Building and made no turn near the building if it had attempted to reach the Stemmons Freeway directly from Main Street. The road plan in Dealey Plaza, however, is designed to prevent such a turn. In order to keep motorists from reaching the freeway from Main Street, a concrete barrier has been erected between Main and Elm Streets extending beyond the freeway entrance. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2114-2116, pp. 35-37.) Hence, it would have been necessary for the motorcade either to have driven over this barrier or to have made a sharp S-turn in order to have entered the freeway from Main Street. Selection of the motorcade route was thus entirely appropriate and based on such legitimate considerations as the origin and destination of the motorcade, the desired opportunity for the President to greet large numbers of people, and normal patterns of traffic.

Oswald's Presence in the Depository Building

Oswald's presence as an employee in the Texas School Book Depository Building was the result of a series of happenings unrelated to the President's trip to Dallas. He obtained the Depository job after almost 2 weeks of job hunting which began immediately upon his arrival in Dallas from Mexico on October 8, 1963.3 At that time he was in poor financial circumstances, having arrived from Mexico City with approximately $133 or less,4 and with his unemployment compensation benefits due to expire on October 8.5 Oswald and his wife were expecting the birth of their second child, who was in fact born on October 20.6 In attempting to procure work, Oswald utilized normal channels, including the Texas Employment Commission.7
On October 4, 1963, Oswald applied for a position with Padgett Printing Corp., which was located at 1313 Industrial Boulevard, several blocks from President Kennedy's parade route.8 Oswald favorably impressed the plant superintendent who checked his prior job references, one of which was Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, the firm where Oswald had done photography work from October 1962 to April 1963.9 The following report was written by Padgett's plant superintendent on the reverse side of Oswald's job application: "Bob Stovall does not recommend this man. He was released because of his record as a troublemaker--Has Communistic tendencies." 10 Oswald received word that Padgett Printing had hired someone else.11
Oswald's employment with the Texas School Book Depository came about through a chance conversation on Monday, October 14, between Ruth Paine, with whom his family was staying while Oswald was living in a roominghouse in Dallas, and two of Mrs. Paine's neighbors.12 During a morning conversation over coffee, at which Marina Oswald was present, Oswald's search for employment was mentioned. The neighbors suggested several places where Oswald might

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apply for work. One of the neighbors present, Linnie Mac Randle, said that her brother had recently been hired as a schoolbook order filler at the Texas School Book Depository and she thought. the Depository might need additional help. She testified, "and of course you know just being neighborly and everything, we felt sorry for Marina because her baby was due right away as we understood it, and he didn't have any work * * *. 13
When Marina Oswald and Mrs. Paine returned home, Mrs. Paine promptly telephoned the Texas School Book Depository and spoke to Superintendent Roy Truly, whom she did not know.14 Truly agreed to interview Oswald, who at the time was in Dallas seeking employment. When Oswald called that. evening, Mrs. Paine told him of her conversation with Truly.15 The next morning Oswald went to the Texas School Book Depository where he was interviewed and hired for the position of order filler.16
On the same date, the Texas Employment Commission attempted to refer Oswald to an airline company which was looking for baggage and cargo handlers at a salary which was $100 per month higher than that offered by the Depository Co.17 The Employment Commission tried to advise Oswald of this job at 10:30 a.m. on October 16, 1963. Since the records of the Commission indicate that Oswald was then working,18 it seems clear that Oswald was hired by the Depository Co. before the higher paying job was available. It is unlikely that he ever learned of this second opportunity.
Although publicity concerning the President's trip to Dallas appeared in Dallas newspapers as early as September 13, 1963, the planning of the motorcade route was not started until after November 4, when the Secret Service was first notified of the trip.19 A final decision as to the route could not have been reached until November 14, when the Trade Mart was selected as the luncheon site.20 Although news reports on November 15 and November 16 might have led a person to believe that the motorcade would pass the Depository Building, the route was not finally selected until November 18; it was announced in the press on November 19, only 3 days before the President's arrival.21 Based on the circumstances of Oswald's employment and the planning of the motorcade route, the Commission has concluded that Oswald's employment in the Depository was wholly unrelated to the President's trip to Dallas.

Bringing Rifle Into Building

On the basis of the evidence developed in chapter IV the Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald carried the rifle used in the assassination into the Depository Building on Friday, November 22, 1968, in the handmade brown paper bag found near the window from which the shots were fired.22 The arrangement by which Buell Wesley Frazier drove Oswald between Irving and Dallas was an innocent one, having commenced when Oswald first started working at the Depository.23 As noted above, it was Frazier's sister, Linnie May Randle, who had suggested to Ruth Paine that Oswald might be able

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to find employment at the Depository. When Oswald started working there, Frazier, who lived only a half block away from the Paines, offered to drive Oswald to and from Irving whenever he was going to stay at the Paines' home.24 Although Oswald's request for a ride to Irving on Thursday, November 21, was a departure from the normal weekend pattern, Oswald gave the explanation that he needed to obtain curtain rods for an "apartment" in Dallas.25 This served also to explain the long package which he took with him from Irving to the Depository Building the next morning.26 Further, there is no evidence that Ruth Paine or Marina Oswald had reason to believe that Oswald's return was in any way related to an attempt to shoot the President the next day. Although his visit was a surprise, since he arrived on Thursday instead of Friday for his usual weekend visit, both women testified that they thought he had come to patch up a quarrel which he had with his wife a few days earlier when she learned that he was living in Dallas under an assumed name.27
It has also been shown that Oswald had the opportunity to work in the Paines' garage on Thursday evening and prepare the rifle by dis-assembling it, if it were not already disassembled, and packing it in the brown bag. 28 It has been demonstrated that the paper and tape from which the bag was made came from the shipping room of the Texas School Book Depository and that Oswald had access to this material.29 Neither Ruth Paine nor Marina Oswald saw the paper bag or the paper and tape out of which the bag was constructed.30 Oswald actually prepared the bag in the Depository out of materials available to him there, he could have concealed it in the jacket or shirt which he was wearing. 31 The Commission has found no evidence which suggests that Oswald required or in fact received any assistance in bringing the rifle into the building other than the innocent assistance provided by Frazier in the form of the ride to work.

Accomplices at the Scene of the Assassination

The arrangement of boxes at the window from which the shots were fired was studied to determine whether Oswald required any assistance in moving the cartons to the window. Cartons had been stacked on the floor, a few feet behind the window, thus shielding Oswald from the view of anyone on the sixth floor who did not attempt to go behind them.32 (See Commission Exhibit No. 723, p. 80.) Most of those cartons had been moved there by other employees to dear an area for laying a new flooring on the west end of the sixth floor.33 Superintendent Roy Truly testified that the floor-laying crew moved a long row of books parallel to the windows on the south side and had "quite a lot of cartons" in the southeast corner of the building.34 He said that there was not any particular pattern that the men used in putting them there. "They were just piled up there more or less at that time." 35 According to Truly, "several cartons" which had been in the extreme southeast corner had been placed on top of the ones that had been piled in front of the southeast corner window.36

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The arrangement of the three boxes in the window and the one on which the assassin may have sat has been described previously.37 Two of these four boxes, weighing approximately 55 pounds each, had been moved by the floor- laying crew from the west side of the floor to the area near the southwest corner.38 The carton on which the assassin may have sat might not even have been moved by the assassin at all. A photograph of the scene depicts this carton on the floor alongside other similar cartons. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1301, p. 138.) Oswald's right palmprint on this carton may have been placed there as he was sitting on the carton rather than while carrying it. In any event both of these 55-pound cartons could have been carried by one man. The remaining two cartons contained light block-like reading aids called "Rolling Readers" weighing only about 8 pounds each. 39 Although they had been moved approximately 40 feet 40 from their normal locations at the southeast corner window, it would appear that one man could have done this in a matter of seconds.
In considering the possibility of accomplices at the window, the Commission evaluated the significance of the presence of fingerprints other than Oswald's on the four cartons found in and near the window. Three of Oswald's prints were developed on two of the cartons.41 In addition a total of 25 identifiable prints were found on the 4 cartons.42 Moreover, prints were developed which were considered as not identifiable, i.e., the quality of the print was too fragmentary to be of value for identification purposes.43
As has been explained in chapter IV, the Commission determined that none of the warehouse employees who might have customarily handled these cartons left prints which could be identified.44 This was considered of some probative value in determining whether Oswald moved the cartons to the window. All but 1 of the 25 definitely identifiable prints were the prints of 2 persons--an FBI employee and a member of the Dallas Police Department who had handled the cartons during the course of the investigation.45 One identifiable palmprint was not identified.46
The presence on these cartons of unidentified prints, whether or not identifiable, does not appear to be unusual since these cartons con-rained commercial products which had been handled by many people throughout the normal course of manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping. Unlike other items of evidence such as, for example, a ransom note in a kidnaping, these cartons could contain the prints of many people having nothing to do with the assassination. Moreover, the FBI does not maintain a filing system for palmprints because, according to the supervisor of the Bureau's latent fingerprint section, Sebastian F. Latona, the problems of classification make such a system impracticable.47 Finally, in considering the significance of the unidentified rifled prints, the Commission gave weight to the opinion of Latona to the effect that people could handle these cartons without leaving prints which were capable of being developed.48
Though the fingerprints other than Oswald's on the boxes thus provide no indication of the presence of an accomplice at the window,

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two Depository employees are known to have been present briefly on the sixth floor during the period between 11:45 a.m., when the floor-laying crew stopped for lunch, and the moment of the assassination. One of these was Charles Givens, a member of the floor-laying crew, who went down on the elevator with the others and then, returned to the sixth floor to get his jacket and cigarettes.49 He saw Oswald walking away from the southeast corner, but saw no one else on the sixth floor at that time. He then took one of the elevators back to the first floor at approximately 11:55 a.m.50
Bonnie Ray Williams, who was also working with the floor-laying crew, returned to the sixth floor at about noon to eat his lunch and watch the motorcade.51 He looked out on Elm Street from a position in the area of the third or fourth set of windows from the east wall.52 At this point he was approximately 20-30 feet away from the southeast corner window. He remained for about "5, 10, maybe 12 minutes" eating his lunch which consisted of chicken and 'a bottle of soda pop.53 Williams saw no one on the sixth floor during this period, although the stacks of books prevented his seeing the east side of the building.54 After finishing his lunch Williams took the elevator down because no one had joined him on the sixth floor to watch the motorcade.55 He stopped at the fifth floor where he joined Harold Norman and James Jarman, Jr., who watched the motorcade with him from a position on the fifth floor directly below the point from which the shots were fired. Williams left the remains of his lunch, including chicken bones and a bottle of soda, near the window where he was eating.56
Several witnesses outside the building claim to have seen a person in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor. As has already been indicated, some were able to offer better descriptions than others and one, Howard L. Brennan, made a positive identification of Oswald as being the person at the window.57 Although there are differences among these witnesses with regard to their ability to describe the person they saw, none of these witnesses testified to seeing more than one person in the window.58
One witness, however,' offered testimony which, if accurate, would create the possibility of an accomplice at the window at the time of the assassination. The witness was 18-year-old Arnold Rowland, who testified in great detail concerning his activities and observations on November 22, 1963. He and his wife were awaiting the motorcade, standing on the east side of Houston Street between Maine and Elm,59 when he looked toward the Depository Building and noticed a man holding a rifle standing back from the southwest corner window on the sixth floor. The man was rather slender in proportion to his size and of light complexion with dark hair.60 Rowland said that his wife was looking elsewhere at the time and when they looked back to the window the man "was gone from our vision." 61 They thought the man was most likely someone protecting the President. After the assassination Rowland signed an affidavit in which he told of seeing this man, although Rowland was unable to identify him.62

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When Rowland testified before the Commission on March 10, 1964, he claimed for the first time to have seen another person on the sixth floor. Rowland said that before he had noticed the man with the rifle on the southwest corner of the sixth floor he had seen an elderly Negro man "hanging out that window" on the southeast corner of the sixth floor.63 Rowland described the Negro man as "very thin, an elderly gentleman, bald or practically bald, very thin hair if he wasn't bald," between 50 and 60 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with fairly dark complexion. 64 Rowland claimed that he looked back two or three times and noticed that the man remained until 5 or 6 minutes prior to the time the motorcade came. Rowland did not see him thereafter. He made no mention of the Negro man in his affidavit.65 And, while he said he told FBI agents about the man in the southeast corner window when interviewed on the Saturday and Sunday following the assassination,66 no such statement appears in any FBI report. 67
Mrs. Rowland testified that her husband never told her about seeing any other man on the sixth floor except the man with the rifle in the southwest corner that he first saw. She also was present during Rowland's interview with representatives of the FBI 68 and said she did not hear him make such a statement,69 although she also said that she did not hear everything that was discussed. 70 Mrs. Rowland testified that after her husband first talked about seeing a man with the rifle, she looked back more than once at the Depository Building and saw no person looking out of any window on the sixth floor.71 She also said that "At times my husband is prone to exaggerate." 72 Because of inconsistencies in Rowland's testimony and the importance of his testimony to the question of a possible accomplice, the Commission requested the FBI to conduct an inquiry into the truth of a broad range of statements made by Rowland to the Commission. The investigation showed that numerous statements by Rowland concerning matters about which he would not normally be expected to be mistaken--such as subjects he studied in school, grades he received, whether or not he had graduated from high school, and whether or not he had been admitted to college--were false.73
The only possible corroboration for Rowland's story is found in the testimony of Roger D. Craig, a deputy sheriff of Dallas County, whose testimony on other aspects of the case has been discussed in chapter IV. Craig claimed that about 10 minutes after the assassination he talked to a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rowland,

* * * and the boy said he saw two men on the sixth floor of the Book Depository Building over there; one of them had a rifle with a telescopic sight on it--but he thought they were Secret Service agents or guards and didn't report it. This was about--oh, he said, 15 minutes before the motorcade ever arrived.74

According to Craig, Rowland said that he looked back a few minutes later and "the other man was gone, and there was just one man--the


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man with the rifle." 75 Craig further testified that Rowland told him that when he first saw the two men, they were walking back and forth in front of the window for several minutes. They were both white men and one of them had a rifle with a scope on it.7° This report by Craig is contradicted by the testimony of both the Rowlands, and by every recorded interview with them conducted by law enforcement agencies after the assassination.
As part of its investigation of Rowland's allegation and of the general question of accomplices at the scene of the assassination, the Commission undertook an investigation of every person employed in the Texas School Book Depository Building. Two employees might possibly fit the general description of an elderly Negro man, bald or balding. These two men were on the first floor of the building during the period before and during the assassination.77 Moreover, all of the employees were asked whether they saw any strangers in the building on the morning of November 22.78 Only one employee saw a stranger whom he described as a feeble individual who had to be helped up the front steps of the building. He went to a public restroom and left the building 5 minutes later, about 40 minutes before the assassination. 79
Rowland's failure to report his story despite several interviews until his appearance before the Commission, the lack of probative corroboration, and the serious doubts about his credibility, have led the Commission to reject the testimony that Rowland saw an elderly balding Negro man in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor of the Depository Building several minutes before the assassination.

Oswald's Escape

The Commission has analyzed Oswald's movements between the time of the assassination and the shooting of Patrolman Tippit to determine whether there is any evidence that Oswald had assistance in his flight from the building. Oswald's activities during this period have been traced through the testimony of seven witnesses and discussed in detail in chapter IV.80 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1119-A, p. 158 and Commission Exhibit No. 1118, p. 150.) Patrolman M. L. Baker and Depository superintendent Roy Truly saw him within 2 minutes of the assassination on the second floor of the building. Mrs. R. A. Reid saw him less than 1 minute later walking through the second-floor offices toward the front of the building. A busdriver, Cecil J. McWatters, and Oswald's former landlady, Mrs. Mary Bledsoe, saw him board a bus at approximately 12:40 p.m., and get off about 4 minutes later. A cabdriver, William W. Whaley, drove Oswald from a cabstand located a few blocks from where Oswald left the bus to a point in Oak Cliff about four blocks from his roominghouse; and Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper at Oswald's roominghouse, saw him enter the roominghouse at about 1 p.m. and leave a few minutes later'. When seen by these seven witnesses Oswald was always alone.

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Particular attention has been directed to Oswald's departure from the Depository Building in order to determine whether he could have left the building within approximately 3 minutes of the assassination without assistance. As discussed more fully in chapter IV, the building was probably first sealed off no earlier than 12:37 by Inspector Herbert Sawyer. 81 The shortest estimate of the time taken to seal off the building comes from Police Officer W. E. Barnett, one of the officers assigned to the corner of Elm and Houston Streets for the Presidential motorcade, who estimated that approximately 3 minutes elapsed between the time he heard the last of the shots and the time he started guarding the front door. 82 According to Barnett, "there were people going in and out" during this period. 88 The evidence discussed in chapter IV shows that 3 minutes would have been sufficient time for Oswald to have descended from the sixth floor and left the building without assistance.84
One witness, James R. Worrell Jr., claims to have seen a man running from the rear of the building shortly after the assassination, but in testimony before the Commission he stated that he could not see his face. 85 Two other witnesses who watched the rear of the building during the first 5 minutes after the shooting saw no one leave.86 The claim of Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig that he saw Oswald leave the Depository Building approximately 15 minutes after the assassination has been discussed in chapter IV.87 Although Craig may have seen someone enter a station wagon 15 minutes after the assassination, the person he saw was not Lee Harvey Oswald, who was far removed from the building at that time.
The possibility that accomplices aided Oswald in connection with his escape was suggested by the testimony of Earlene Roberts., the housekeeper at the 1026 North Beckley roominghouse.88 She testified that at about 1 p.m. on November 22, after Oswald had returned to the roominghouse, a Dallas police car drove slowly by the front. of the 1026 North Beckley premises and stopped momentarily; she said she heard its horn several times. 89 Mrs. Roberts stated that the occupants of the car were not known to her even though she had worked for some policemen who would occasionally come by.90 She said the policeman she knew drove car No. 170 and that this was not the number on the police car that honked on November 22. She testified that she first thought the car she saw was No. 106 and then said that it was No. 107.91 In an FBI interview she had stated that she looked out the front window and saw police car No. 207. 92 Investigation has not produced any evidence that there was a police vehicle in the area of 1026 North Beckley at about 1 p.m. on November 22.93 Squad car 207 was at the Texas School Book Depository Building, as was car 106. Squad cars 170 and 107 were sold in April 1963 and their numbers were not reassigned until February 1964.94
Whatever may be the accuracy of Mrs. Roberts' recollection concerning the police car, it is apparent from Mrs. Roberts' further testimony that she did not see Oswald enter a car when he hurriedly left the house. She has stated that when she last saw Oswald, shortly after

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1 p.m., he was standing at a bus stop in front of the house.95 Oswald was next seen less than 1 mile away, at the point where he shot Patrolman Tippit. Oswald could have easily reached this point on foot by about 1:16 p.m., when Tippit was shot. Finally, investigation has produced no evidence that Oswald had prearranged plans for a means to leave Dallas after the assassination or that any other person was to have provided him assistance in hiding or in departing the city.
Background of Lee Harvey Oswald
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Finding no evidence in the circumstances immediately surrounding the assassination that any person other than Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in the killing of the President, the Commission directed an intensive investigation into his life for the purpose, among others, of detecting any possible traces that at some point he became involved in a conspiracy culminating in the deed of November 22, 1963. As a product of this investigation, the Commission has compiled a detailed chronological biography of Oswald which is set forth as appendix XIII. Study of the period from Oswald's birth in 1989 to his military service from 1956 to 1959 has revealed no evidence that he was associated with any type of sinister or subversive organization during that period. Though his personality and political views took shape during these early years, the events of that period are significant primarily to an understanding of the personality of Lee Harvey Oswald and are discussed in that connection in chapter VII. Beginning with his preparation for defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, however, Oswald engaged in several activities which required dose scrutiny by the Commission. In an appraisal of Oswald's actions since 1959 for the purpose of determining whether he was part of a conspiracy, several aspects of his background and character must be borne in mind. He was young, inexperienced, and had only a limited education. As will be more fully discussed in chapter VII, he was unable to establish relationships with others and had a resent-merit for authority and any discipline flowing from it. While he demonstrated the ability to act secretively and alone, without regard to the consequences to himself, as in his defection to the Soviet Union, he does not appear to have been the kind of person whom one would normally expect to be selected as a conspirator.

Residence in the Soviet Union

Lee Harvey Oswald was openly committed to Marxist ideology, he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, and resided there until June of 1962, eventually returning to the United States with a Russian wife. In order to evaluate rumors and speculations 96 that Oswald may have been an agent of the Soviet Union, the Commission investigated the facts surrounding Oswald's stay in Russia. The Commission was thus fulfilling its obligation to probe all facts of possible rele-

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vance to the assassination, and does not suggest by this investigation that the rulers of the Soviet Union believed that their political interests would be advanced by the assassination of President Kennedy. On this question, the Secretary of State testified before the Commission on June 10, 1964 as follows:

I have seen no evidence that would indicate to me that the Soviet Union considered that it had an interest in the removal of President Kennedy or that it was in any way involved in the removal of President Kennedy.

I have not seen or heard of any scrap of evidence indicating that the Soviet Union had any desire to eliminate President Kennedy nor in any way participated in any such event.
Now, standing back and trying to look at that question objectively despite the ideological differences between our two great systems, I can't see how it could be to the interest of the Soviet Union to make any such effort.

I do think that the Soviet Union, again objectively considered, has an interest in the correctness of state relations. This would be .particularly true among the great powers, with which the major interests of the Soviet Union are directly engaged.

I think that although there are grave differences between the Communist world and the free world, between the Soviet Union and other major powers, that even from their point of view there needs to be some shape and form to international relations, that it is not in their interest to have this world structure dissolve into complete anarchy, that great states and particularly nuclear powers have to be in a position to deal with each other, to transact business with each other, to try to meet problems with each other, and that requires the maintenance of correct relations and access to the leadership on all sides.
I think also that although there had been grave differences between Chairman Khrushchev and President Kennedy, I think there were evidences of a certain mutual respect that had developed over some of the experiences, both good and bad, through which these two men had lived.
I think both of them were aware of the fact that any Chairman of the Soviet Union, and any President of the United States, necessarily bear somewhat special responsibility for the general peace of the world. Indeed without exaggeration, one could almost say the existence of the northern hemisphere in this nuclear age.

* * * *


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So that it would be an act of rashness and madness for Soviet leaders to undertake such an action as an active policy. Because everything would have been put in jeopardy or at stake in connection with such an act.
It has not been our impression that madness has characterized the actions of the Soviet leadership in recent years.97

The Commission accepts Secretary Rusk's estimate as reasonable and objective but recognizes that a precise assessment of Soviet intentions or interests is most difficult. The Commission has thus examined all the known facts regarding Oswald's defection, residence in the Soviet Union, and return to the United States. At each step the Commission sought to determine whether there was any evidence which supported a conclusion that Soviet authorities may have directly or indirectly influenced Oswald's actions in assassinating the President.
Oswald's entry into the Soviet Union.-Although the evidence is inconclusive as to the factors which motivated Oswald to go to the Soviet Union, there is no indication that he was prompted to do so by agents of that country. He may have begun to study the Russia language when he was stationed in Japan, which was intermittently from August 1957 to November 1958.98 After he arrived in Moscow in October 1959 he told several persons that he had been planning his defection for 2 years, which suggests that the decision was made while he was in the Far East.99 George De Mohrenschildt, who met Oswald after his return from the Soviet Union, testified that Oswald once told him much the same thing: "I met some Communists in Japan and they got me excited and interested, and that was one of my inducements in going to Soviet Russia, to see what goes on there." 100 This evidence, however, is somewhat at variance with Oswald's statements made to two American newspaper reporters in Moscow shortly after his defection in 1959,101 and to other people in the United States after his return in 1962.102 Though his remarks were not inconsistent as to the time he decided to defect, to these people he insisted that before going to the Soviet Union he had "never met a Communist" and that the intent to defect derived entirely from his own reading and thinking. He said much the same to his brother in a letter he wrote to him from Russia explaining why he had defected.103 Which of Oswald's statements was the more accurate remains unknown.
There is no evidence that Oswald received outside assistance in financing his trip to the Soviet Union. After he arrived in Moscow, Oswald told a newspaper correspondent, Aline Mosby, that he had saved $1,500 out of his Marine Corps salary to finance his defection,104 although the news story based upon Oswald's interview with Aline Mosby unaccountably listed the sum of $1,600 instead of $1,500. 105 After this article had appeared, Marguerite Oswald also related the $1,600 figure to an FBI agent.106 Either amount could have been accumulated out of Oswald's earnings in the Marine Corps; during


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his 2 years and 10 months of service. he received $3,452.20, after all taxes, allotments and other deductions.107 Moreover Oswald could certainly have made the entire trip on less than $1,000. The ticket on the ship he took from New Orleans to Le Havre, France, cost $220.75;108 it cost him about $20 to reach London from Le Havre: his plane fare from London to Helsinki, where he received his visa, cost him $111.90; he probably purchased Russian "tourist Vouchers" normally good for room and board for 10 days for $300; his train fare from Helsinki to Moscow was about $44; in Moscow he paid only $1.50 to $3 a night for his room and very little for his meals after his tourist vouchers ran out; 109 and apparently he did not pay his hotel bill at all after November 30, 1959.110 Oswald's known living habits indicate that he could be extraordinarily frugal when he had reason to be, and it seems clear that he did have a strong desire to go to the Soviet Union.
While in Atsugi, Japan, Oswald studied the Russian language, perhaps with some help from an officer in his unit who was interested in Russian and used to "talk about it" with Oswald occasionally. 111 He studied by himself a great deal in late 1958 and early 1959 after he was transferred from Japan to California.112 He took an Army aptitude test in Russian in February 1959 and rated "Poor." 113 When he reached the Soviet Union in October of the same year he could barely speak the language. 114 During the period in Moscow while he was awaiting decision on his application for citizenship, his diary records that he practiced Russian 8 hours a day.115 After he was sent to Minsk in early January 1960 he took lessons from an interpreter assigned to him for that purpose by the Soviet Government.116 Marina Oswald said that by the time she met him in March 1961 he spoke the language well enough so that at first she thought he was from one of the Baltic areas of her country, because of his accent. She stated that his only defects were that his grammar was sometimes incorrect and that his writing was never good.117
Thus, the limited evidence provides no indication that Oswald was recruited by Soviet agents in the Far East with a view toward defection and eventual return to the United States. Moreover, on its face such a possibility is most unlikely. If Soviet agents had communicated with Oswald while he was in the Marine Corps, one of the least probable instructions they would have given him would have been to defect. If Oswald had remained a Marine radar specialist, he might at some point have reached a position of value as a secret agent. However, his defection and the disloyal statements he made publicly in connection with it eliminated the possibility that he would ever gain access to confidential information or programs of the United States. The very fact that he defected, therefore, is itself persuasive evidence that he was not recruited as an agent prior to his defection.
The Commission has investigated the circumstances under which Oswald obtained a visa to enter the Soviet Union for possible evidence that he received preferential treatment in being permitted to enter the country. Oswald left New Orleans, La., for Europe on September 20, 1959, 118 having been released from .active duty in the Marine Corps on


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September 11, 1959.119 He went directly to Helsinki, Finland, by way of Le Havre, France, and London, England, arriving at Helsinki on Saturday, October 10, 1959.120 Oswald probably arrived in Helsinki too late in the evening to have applied for a visa at the Soviet Union consulate that night.121 In light of the rapidity with which he made connections throughout his entire trip,122 he probably applied for a visa early on Monday, October 12. On October 14, he was issued Soviet Tourist Visa No. 403339, good for one 6-day visit in the U.S.S.R. 128 He left Helsinki on a train destined for Moscow on October 15. 124
The Department of State has advised the Commission that it has some information that in 1959 it usually took an American tourist in Helsinki I to 2 weeks to obtain a visa,125 and that it has other information that the normal waiting period during the past 5 years has been a week or less.126 According to the Department's information, the waiting period has always varied frequently and widely, with one confirmed instance in 1963 of a visa routinely issued in less than 24 hours.127 The Central Intelligence Agency has indicated that visas during the 1964 tourist season were being granted in about 5 to 7 days.128
This information from the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency thus suggests that Oswald's wait for a visa may have been shorter than usual but not beyond the range of possible variation. The prompt issuance of Oswald's visa may have been merely the result of normal procedures, due in part to the fact that the summer rush had ended. It might also mean that Oswald was unusually urgent in his demands that his visa be issued promptly. Oswald himself told officials at the American Embassy in Moscow on October 31, when he appeared to renounce his citizenship, that he had said nothing to the Soviets about defecting until he arrived in Moscow.129 In any event, the Commission has found nothing in the circumstances of Oswald's entry into the Soviet Union which indicates that he was at the time an agent of the U.S.S.R.
Defection and admission to residence.--Two months and 22 days elapsed from Oswald's arrival in Moscow until he left that city to take up residence in Minsk. The Commission has considered the possibility that Oswald was accepted for residence in the Soviet Union and sent to Minsk unusually soon after he arrived, either because he had been expected or because during his first weeks in Moscow he developed an undercover relationship with the Soviet Government. In doing so, the Commission has attempted to reconstruct the events of those months, though it is, of course, impossible to account for Oswald's activities on every day of that period.
Oswald's "Historic Diary," 130 which commences on October 16, 1959, the date Oswald arrived in Moscow, and other writings he later prepared,131 have provided the Commission with one source of information about Oswald's activities throughout his stay in the Soviet Union. Even assuming the diary was intended to be a truthful record, it is not


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an accurate guide to the details of Oswald's activities. Oswald seems not to have been concerned about the accuracy of dates and names,132 and apparently made many of his entries subsequent to the date the events occurred. Marina Oswald testified that she believed that her husband did not begin to keep the diary until he reached Minsk, 3 months after his arrival in Russia,133 and scraps of paper found in Oswald's possession, containing much the same information as appears in his diary,134 suggest that he transcribed the entries into the diary at a later time. The substance of Oswald's writings has been carefully examined for consistency with all other related information available to the Commission. In addition, the writings have been checked for handwriting,135 and for consistency of style, grammar, and spelling with earlier and later writings which are known to be his.136 No indication has been found that entries were written or coached by other persons.137
However, the most reliable information concerning the period Oswald spent in Moscow in the latter part of 1962 comes from the records of the American Embassy in Moscow,138 the testimony of Embassy officials,139 and the notes of two American newspaper reporters, Aline Mosby 140 and Priscilla Johnson,141 who interviewed Oswald during this period. Oswald's correspondence with his brother and mother has also been relied upon for some relatively minor information. The findings upon which the Commission based its conclusion concerning Soviet involvements in the assassination were supported by evidence other than material provided by the Soviet Union 142 or Oswald's writings. The Central Intelligence Agency has also contributed data on the normal practices and procedures of the Soviet authorities in handling American defectors.
The "Historic Diary" indicates that on October 16, 1959, the day Oswald arrived in Moscow, he told his Intourist guide, Rima Shirokova, that he wished to renounce his American citizenship and become a Soviet citizen. The same day, the guide reportedly helped Oswald prepare a letter to the Soviet authorities requesting citizenship.143 The diary indicates, however, that on October 21 he was informed that his visa had expired and that he would be required to leave Moscow within 2 hours. 144 During the preceding days, according to the diary, he had been interviewed once and perhaps twice by Soviet officials.145 During this period the KGB,* the agency with


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primary responsibility for examining defectors arriving in Russia, undoubtedly investigated Oswald as fully as possible. In 1959, virtually all Intourist guides were KGB informants, and there is no reason to believe that this was not true of Oswald's guide.146
According to Oswald's diary he attempted suicide when he learned his application for citizenship had been denied.147 If true, this would seem to provide strong evidence that, at least prior to October 21, there was no undercover relationship between Oswald and the Soviet Government. Though not necessarily conclusive, there is considerable direct evidence which indicates that Oswald did slash his wrist. Oswald's autopsy showed that he had a scar on his left wrist and that it was of the kind which could have been caused by a suicide attempt.148 The medical records from the Botkinskaya Hospital in Moscow, furnished by the Soviet Government, reveal that from October 21 to October 28 he was treated there for a self-inflicted wound on the left wrist.149 The information contained in these records is consistent with the facts disclosed by the autopsy examination relating to Oswald's wrist and to other facts known about Oswald. Although no witness recalled Oswald mentioning a suicide attempt,150 Marina Oswald testified that when she questioned her husband about the scar on his wrist, he became "very angry," and avoided giving her a reply. 151 Oswald's character, discussed in the following chapter, does not seem inconsistent with a suicide or feigned suicide attempt, nor with his having failed to disclose the suicide attempt. Many witnesses who testified before the Commission observed that he was not an "open" or trusting person, had a tendency toward arrogance, and was not the kind of man who would readily admit weaknesses.152
Oswald appeared at the American Embassy in Moscow on October 31, 1959, 3 days after his release from the Botkinskaya Hospital.153 He did not give the officials at the Embassy any indication that he had recently received medical treatment.154 Oswald's appearance was the first notification to the American Government that he was in Russia, since he had failed to inform the Embassy upon his arrival,155 as most American tourists did at the time.156 In appendix w, Oswald's dealings with the Embassy in 1959 until his return to the United States in 1962 are described in full, and all action taken by the American officials on his case is evaluated. His conduct at the Embassy has also been considered by the Commission for any indication it may provide as to whether or not Oswald was then acting under directions of the Soviet Government.
At the Embassy, Oswald declared that he wished to renounce his U.S. citizenship,157 but the consul to whom he spoke, Richard E.


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Snyder, refused to accept his renunciation at that time, telling him that he would have to return to complete the necessary papers.158 However, Oswald did give the consul his passport 159 and a hand-written statement requesting that his American citizenship be "revoked" and "affirm[ing] [his] * * * allegiance" to the Soviet Union.160 (See Commission Exhibit No. 913, p. 261.) The FBI has confirmed that this statement is in Oswald's handwriting,161 and Snyder has testified that the letter's phrases are consistent with the way Oswald talked and conducted himself.162 During the approximately 40-minute interview, Oswald also informed Snyder that he had been a radar operator in the Marine Corps, intimating that he might how something of special interest, and that he had informed a Soviet official that he would give the Soviets any information concerning the Marine Corps and radar operation which he possessed.163 Although Oswald never filed a formal renunciation, in a letter to the Embassy dated November 3, 1959, he again requested that his American citizenship be revoked and protested the refusal to accept his renunciation on October 31.164 (See Commission Exhibit 912, p. 263.)
While at the Embassy,165 and in a subsequent interview with an American journalist,166 Oswald displayed familiarity with Communist ideological arguments, which led those with whom he spoke to speculate that he may have received some instruction from Soviet authorities. Oswald's familiarity with the law regarding renunciation of citizenship, observed by both Embassy officials,167 could also be construed as a sign of coaching by Soviet authorities. However, Oswald is known to have been an avid reader 168 and there is evidence that he had read Communist literature without guidance while in the Marine Corps and before that time.169 After his arrival in Moscow, Oswald most probably had discussions with his Intourist guide and others,170 but none of the Americans with whom he talked in Moscow felt that his conversations necessarily revealed any type of formal training.171 The "Historic Diary" indicates that Oswald did not tell his guide that he intended to visit the Embassy because he feared she would disapprove.172 (See Commission Exhibit No. 24, p. 264.) Though Oswald gave Snyder the impression "of an intelligent person who spoke in a manner and on a level, which seemed to befit his apparent level of intelligence," 173 correspondent Priscilla Johnson, who spent about 5 hours talking with him,174 received a much less favorable impression:

He liked to create the pretense, the impression that he was attracted to abstract discussion and was capable of engaging in it, and was drawn to it. But it was like pricking a balloon. I had the feeling that if you really did engage him on this ground, you very quickly would discover that he didn't have the capacity for a logical sustained argument about an abstract point on economics or on noneconomic, political matters or any matter, philosophical.175


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Excerpts from his "Historic Diary"


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A comparison of the formal note Oswald handed Snyder 176 and his letter of November 3 177 with the provisions of section 349 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 178 suggests that Oswald had read the statute but understood it imperfectly; he apparently was trying to use three out of the four ways set out in the statute to surrender his citizenship, but he succeeded in none.
Moreover, persuasive evidence that Oswald's conduct was not carefully coached by Soviet agents is provided by some of his actions at the Embassy. The single statement which probably caused Oswald the most future trouble was his declaration that he had already volunteered to a Soviet official that he would, if asked, tell the Soviet Government all that he knew about his job in radar as a Marine. Certainly a statement of this type would prejudice any possibility of his being an effective pro-Communist agent.
Further, though unquestionably evidencing anti-American sentiments, Oswald's behavior at the Embassy, which brought him exceedingly close to expatriation, was unlikely to have increased his value in any capacity to the Soviet Union. Richard E. Snyder, the official who interviewed Oswald on October 31, testified that he "had every reason to believe" that Oswald would have carried through a formal--and therefore effective--renunciation of his American citizenship immediately if he had let. him.179 However, as a defector, Oswald could have had considerable propaganda value without expatriating himself; and if he had expatriated himself his eventual return to the United States would have been much more difficult and perhaps impossible. If Snyder's assessment of Oswald's intentions is accurate, it thus tends to refute the suggestion that Oswald was being coached by the Soviets. In addition, reporters noticed Oswald's apparent ambivalence in regard to renouncing his citizen-ship-- stormily demanding that he be permitted to renounce while failing to follow through by completing the necessary papers 180--behavior which might have detracted from his propaganda value.
According to Oswald's "Historic Diary" 181 and the documents furnished to the Commission by the Soviet Government, 182 Oswald was not told that he had been accepted as a resident of the Soviet Union until about January 4, 1960. Although on November 13 and 16 Oswald informed Aline Mosby 183 and Priscilla Johnson 184 that he had been granted permission to remain in the country indefinitely, the diary indicates that at that time he had been told only that he could remain "until some solution is found with what to do with me." 185 The diary is more consistent with the letter Oswald wrote to his brother Robert on December 17, saying that he was then, more than a month after he saw Johnson and Mosby, about to leave his hotel,186 and with some later correspondence with his mother. Oswald mailed a short note to his mother which she received in Texas on January 5; that same day she mailed a money order to him in Moscow, but it apparently got there too late, because she received it back, unopened, on February 25. 187 Oswald's conflicting statement to the correspondents also seems rec-oneliable with his very apparent desire to appear important to others.

730-900 O-64--19

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Moreover, so long as Oswald continued to stay in a hotel in Moscow, the inference is that the Soviet authorities had not yet decided to accept him.188 This inference is supported by information supplied by the CIA on the handling of other defectors in the Soviet Union.189
Thus, the evidence is strong that Oswald waited at least until November 16, when he saw Miss Johnson, and it is probable that he was required to wait until January 4, a little over 2.5 months from October 16, before his application to remain in Russia was granted. In mid-November Miss Johnson asked Oswald whether the Russians were encouraging his defection, to which Oswald responded: "The Russians are treating it like a legal formality. They don't encourage you and they don't discourage you." 190 And, when the Soviet Government finally acted, Oswald did not receive Soviet citizenship, as he had requested, but merely permission to reside in Russia on a year-to-year basis.191
Asked to comment upon the length of time, 2 months and 22 days, that probably passed before Oswald was granted the right to remain in the Soviet Union, the CIA has advised that "when compared to five other defector cases, this procedure seems unexceptional." 192 Similarly, the Department of State reports that its information "indicated that a 2-month waiting period is not unusual." 193 The full response of the CIA is as follows:

Oswald said that he asked for Soviet citizenship on 16 October 1959. According to his diary, he received word a month later that he could stay in the USSR pending disposition of his request, but it was another month and a half before he was given his stateless passport.
When compared to five other defector cases, this procedure seems unexceptional. Two defectors from US Army intelligence units in West Germany appear to have been given citizenship immediately, but both had prior KGB connections and fled as a result of Army security checks. Of the other three cases, one was accepted after not more than five weeks and given a stateless passport apparently at about the same time. The second was immediately given permission to stay for a while, and his subsequent request for citizenship was granted three months later. The third was allowed to stay after he made his citizenship request, but almost two months passed before he was told that he had been accepted. Although the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs soon after told the US Embassy that he was a Soviet citizen, he did not receive his document until five or six months after initial application. We know of only one case in which an American asked for Soviet citizenship but did not take up residence in the USSR. In that instance, the American changed his mind and voluntarily returned to the United States less than three weeks after he had requested Soviet citizenship.194


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The Department of State has commented as follows:

The files of the Department of State reflect the fact that Oswald first applied for permission to remain in Russia permanently, or at least for a long period, when he arrived in Moscow, and that he obtained permission to remain within one or two months.
A. Is the fact that he obtained permission to stay within this period of time usual ?
Answer--Our information indicates that a two months waiting period is not unusual. In the ease of [name withheld] the Supreme Soviet decided within two months to give Soviet citizenship and he was thereafter, of course, permitted to stay.
B. Can you tell us what the normal procedures are under similar circumstances ?
Answer--It is impossible for us to state any "normal" procedures. The Soviet Government never publicizes the proceedings in these eases or the reasons for its action. Furthermore, it is, of course, extremely unusual for an American citizen to defect.195

The information relating to Oswald's suicide attempt indicates that his application to remain in the Soviet Union was probably re-jeered about 6 days after his arrival in Moscow. Since the KGB is the Soviet agency responsible for the initial handling of all defectors,196 it seems likely that the original decision not to accept Oswald was made by the KGB. That Oswald was permitted to remain in Moscow after his release from the hospital suggests that another ministry of the Soviet Government may have intervened on his behalf. This hypothesis is consistent with entries in the "Historic Diary" commenting that the officials Oswald met after his hospital treatment were different from those with whom he had dealt before.197 The most plausible reason for any such intervention may well have been apprehension over the publicity that would follow the rejection of a devout convert to the Communist cause.
Oswald's Life in Minsk.--According to the "Historic Diary" 198 and documents received from the Soviet Government,199 Oswald resided in the city of Minsk from January 1960 until June 1962. Oswald's life in Minsk is the portion of his life concerning which the least is known. The primary sources of information are Oswald's own writings and the testimony of Marina Oswald. Other evidence, however, establishes beyond doubt that Oswald was in fact located in Minsk on at least two occasions. The Commission has obtained two photographs which were taken by American tourists in Minsk in August 1961 in which Oswald appears.200 The tourists did not know Oswald, nor did they speak with him; they remembered only that several men gathered near their car.201 (See Kramer Exhibit 1, p. 268.) In addition, Oswald was noticed in Minsk by a student who was traveling with

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the University of Michigan band on a tour of Russia in the spring of 1961. 202 Oswald corresponded with the American Embassy in Moscow from Minsk,203 and wrote letters from Minsk to his family in the United States.204 Oswald and his wife have many photographs taken of themselves which show Minsk backgrounds and persons who are identifiable as residents of Minsk.205 After he returned to the United States,` Oswald conversed about the city with Russian-born American citizens who were familiar with it.206 Marina Oswald is also familiar with the city. 207 The Commission has also been able independently to verify the existence in Minsk of many of the acquaintances of Oswald and his wife whom they said they knew there. 208 (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 1392, 1395, 2606, 2609, 2612 and 2623, pp. 270--271.)
Once he was accepted as a resident alien in the Soviet Union, Oswald was given considerable benefits which ordinary Soviet citizens in his position in society did not have. The "Historic Diary" recites that after Oswald was informed that he could remain in the Soviet Union and was being sent to Minsk he was given 5,000 rubles* ($500) by the "Red Cross, * * * for expenses." He used 2,200 rubles to pay his hotel bill, and another 150 rubles to purchase a train ticket. With the balance of slightly over 2,500 rubles, Oswald felt, according to the diary, like a rich man.209 Oswald did not receive free living quarters, as the diary indicates the "Mayor" of Minsk promised him,210 but about 6 weeks after his arrival he did receive an apartment, very pleasant by Soviet standards, for which he was required to pay only 60 rubles ($6.00) a month. Oswald considered the apartment "almost rent free." Oswald was given a job in the "Byelorussian Radio and Television Factory," where his pay on a per piece basis ranged from 700 to 900 rubles ($70-$90) a month.212 According to his wife, this rate of pay was average for people in his occupation but good by Soviet standards generally.213 She explained that piecework rates throughout the Soviet Union have generally grown out of line with compensation for other jobs.214 The CIA has confirmed that this condition exists in many areas and occupations in the Soviet Union. 215 In addition to his salary, Oswald regularly received 700 rubles ($70) per month from the Soviet "Red Cross." 216 The well-paying job, the monthly subsidy, and the "almost rent-free" apartment combined to give Oswald more money than he needed. The only complaint recorded in the "Historic Diary" is that there was "no place to spend the money." 217
The Commission has found no basis for associating Oswald's preferred income with Soviet undercover activity. Marina Oswald testified that foreign nationals are commonly given special treatment in the Soviet Union, 218 and the Central Intelligence Agency has confirmed that it is standard practice in the Soviet Union for Americans and other foreign defectors from countries with high standards of living to be "subsidized." 219 Apparently it is Soviet practice


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to attempt to make life sufficiently pleasant for a foreign defector so that he will not become disillusioned and return to his native country. The Commission has also assumed that it is customary for Soviet intelligence agencies to keep defectors under surveillance during their residence in the Soviet Union, through periodic interviews of neighbors and associates of the defector.220 Oswald once mentioned that the Soviet police questioned his neighbors occasionally.221
Moreover, it is from Oswald's personal writings alone that the Commission has learned that he received supplementary funds from the Soviet "Red Cross." In the notes he made during the return trip to the United States Oswald recognized that the "Red Cross" subsidy had nothing to do with the well-known International Red Cross. He frankly stated that the money was paid to him for having "denounced" the United States and that it had come from the "MVD." 222 Oswald's papers reveal that the "Red Cross" subsidy was terminated as soon as he wrote the American Embassy in Moscow in February 1961 asking that he be permitted to return.223 (See Commission Exhibit No. 25, p. 278.) Marina Oswald's testimony confirmed this; she said that when she knew Oswald he no longer was receiving the monthly grant but still retained some of the savings accumulated in the months when he had been receiving it.224 Since she met Oswald in March and married him in April of 1961, her testimony was consistent with his records.
The nature of Oswald's employment while in Minsk has been examined by the Commission. The factory in which he worked was a large plant manufacturing electronic parts and radio and television sets. Marina Oswald has testified that he was an "apprentice machinist" and "ground small metallic parts for radio receivers, on a lathe." as So far as can be determined, Oswald never straight-forwardly described to anyone else in the United States exactly what his job was in the Soviet Union.226 Some of his acquaintances in Dallas and Fort Worth had the impression that he was disappointed in having been given a menial job and not assigned to an institution of higher learning in the Soviet Union.227 Marina Oswald confirmed this and also testified that her husband was not interested in his work and not regarded at the factory as a very good worker.228 The documents furnished to the Commission by the Soviet government were consistent with her testimony on this point, since they included a report from Oswald's superior at the factory which is critical of his performance on the job.229 Oswald's employment and his job performance are thus consistent with his known occupational habits in this country and otherwise afford no ground for suspicion.
Oswald's membership in a hunting club while he was in the Soviet Union has been a matter of special interest to the Commission. One Russian emigre testified that this was a suspicious circumstance because no one in the Soviet Union is permitted to own a gun for pleasure.230 The Commission's investigation, however, has established that this is not so. The Central Intelligence Agency has advised the Commission that hunting societies such as the one to

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which Oswald belonged are very popular in the Soviet Union. 231 They are frequently sponsored by factories for their employees, as was Oswald's.232 Moreover, Soviet citizens (or foreigners residing in the Soviet Union) are permitted to own shotguns, but not rifles, without joining a society; all that is necessary is that the gun be registered at the local militia office immediately after it has been purchased.233 Experts from the Central Intelligence Agency have examined Oswald's club membership certificate and gun permit and expressed the opinion that its terms and numbers are consistent with other information the CIA has about the Soviet Union. 234
Marina Oswald testified that her husband went hunting only on one occasion during the time of their marriage.235 However, Oswald .apparently joined the Byelorussian Society of Hunters and Fishermen m the summer of 1960 236 and did not marry until April 30, 1961, 237 so he could have been more active while he was still a bachelor. Oswald made no secret of his membership in the hunting club. He mentioned it on occasion to friends after he returned to the United States; 238 discussed it at some length in a speech at a Jesuit Seminary in Mobile, Ala., in the summer of 1962; 239 included it in his correspondence with his brother Robert; 240 and kept his membership certificate 241 and gun permit 242 until the day he was killed. In view of these facts, it is unlikely that Oswald's membership in a hunting club was contrived to conceal some sort of secret training. Moreover, the CIA has informed the Commission that it is in possession of considerable information on the location of secret Soviet training institutions and that it knows of no such institution in or near Minsk during the time Oswald was there. 243
Oswald's marriage to Marina Prusakova on April 30, 1961, 244 is itself a fact meriting consideration. A foreigner living in Russia cannot marry without the permission of the Soviet Government. 245 It seems unlikely that the Soviet authorities would have permitted Oswald to marry and to take his wife with him to the United States if they were contemplating using him alone as an agent. The fact that he had a Russian wife would be likely, in their view, to increase any surveillance under which he would be kept by American security agencies, would make him even more conspicuous to his neighbors as "an ex- Russian," and would decrease his mobility. A wife's presence in the United States would also constitute a continuing risk of disclosure. On the other hand, Marina Oswald's lack of English training and her complete ignorance of the United States and its customs 246 would scarcely recommend-her to the Soviet authorities as one member of an "agent team" to be sent to the United States on a difficult and dangerous foreign enterprise.
Oswald's departure from the Soviet Union.--On February 13, 1961, the American Embassy in Moscow received a letter from Oswald postmarked Minsk, February 5, asking that he be readmitted to the United States. 247 This was the first time that the Embassy had heard from or about Oswald since November 16, 1959. 248 The end of the 15-month silence came only a few days after the Department of State

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in Washington had forwarded a request to the Moscow Embassy on February 1, 1961, informing the Embassy that Oswald's mother was worried about him, and asking that he get in touch with her if possible.249 The simultaneity of the two events was apparently coincidental. The request from Marguerite Oswald went from Washington to Moscow by sealed diplomatic pouch and there was no evidence that the seal had been tampered with.250 The officer of the Department of State who carried the responsibility for such matters has testified that the message was not forwarded to the Russians after it arrived in Moscow.251
Oswald's letter does not seem to have been designed to ingratiate him with the Embassy officials. It starts by incorrectly implying that he had written an earlier letter that was not answered, states that he will return to the United States only if he can first "come to some agreement" on there being no legal charges brought against him, and ends with a reminder to the officials at the Embassy that they have a responsibility to do everything they can to help him, since he is an American citizen.252
The Embassy's response to this letter was to invite Oswald to come personally to Moscow to discuss the matter.253 Oswald at first protested because of the difficulty of obtaining Soviet permission.254 He wrote two more protesting letters during the following 4 months,255 but received no indication that the Embassy would allow him to handle the matter by mail.256 While the Department of State was clarifying its position on this matter,257 Oswald unexpectedly appeared in Moscow on Saturday, July 8, 1961.258 On Sunday, Marina Oswald flew to Moscow,259 and was interviewed by officials in the American Embassy on Tuesday.260
The Commission asked the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency to comment on whether the Oswalds' travel to Moscow without permission signified special treatment by the Soviet Union. From their responses, it appears that since Marina Oswald possessed a Soviet citizen's internal passport, she did not require prior approval to make the trip.261 Although Soviet law did require her husband, as the holder of a "stateless passport," to obtain advance permission for the trip, his failure to do so would not normally have been considered a serious violation. In this respect, the CIA has advised the Commission as follows:

OSWALD'S travel from Minsk to Moscow and return in July 1961 would normally have required prior authorization. Bearers of a Soviet "passport for foreigners" (vid na zhitelstov v. SSSR dlya innostrantsa) are required to obtain travel authorization from the Visa and Registration Department (OVIR) (or Passport Registration Department (PRO) in smaller towns) if they desire to leave the city (or oblast) where they are domiciled. This same requirement is believed to apply to persons, such as OSWALD, holding Soviet "stateless passports" (vid na zhitel-stvo v. SSSR dlya lits bez grazhdanstva).

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The practicality of even "unauthorized" travel was demonstrated by events related by a United States citizen who defected in 1960, and subsequently was sent to Kiev to study. After repatriating this defector told U.S. authorities he had made a total of seven unauthorized trips from Kiev during his stay in the USSR. He was apprehended on two of his flights and was returned to Kiev each time, the second time under escort. On both occasions he was merely reprimanded by the deputy chief of the institute at which he was studying. Since Marina had a Soviet citizen's internal passport there would have been no restrictions against her making the trip to Moscow.262

The answers of the Department of State, together with the Commission's specific questions, are as follows:

B. Could resident foreigners normally travel in this manner without first obtaining such permission?
Answer--There are only a few U.S. nationals now living in the Soviet Union. They include an American Roman Catholic priest, an American Protestant minister, a number of correspondents, some students and technical advisers to Soviet businesses. We know that the priest, the minister, the correspondents and the students must obtain permission from Soviet authorities before taking any trips. The technical advisers notify officials of their project before they travel and these officials personally inform the militia.
C. If travel of this type was not freely permitted, do you believe that Oswald normally would have been apprehended during the attempt or punished after the fact for traveling without permission ?
Answer--Based on the information we have, we believe that if Oswald went to Moscow without permission, and this was known to the Soviet authorities, he would have been fined or reprimanded. Oswald was not, of course, an average foreign resident. He was a defector from a foreign country and the bearer of a Soviet internal "stateless" passport * * * during the time when he was contemplating the visit to Moscow to come to the Embassy * * *
The Soviet authorities probably knew about Oswald's trip even if he did not obtain advance permission, since in most instances the Soviet militia guards at the Embassy ask for the documents of unidentified persons entering the Embassy grounds ***
An American citizen who, with her American citizen husband, went to the Soviet Union to live permanently and is now trying to obtain permission to leave, informed the Embassy that she had been fined for not getting permission to go from Odessa to Moscow on a recent trip to visit the Embassy.
D. Even if such travel did not have to be authorized, do you have any information or observations regarding the practicality of such travel by Soviet citizens or persons in Oswald's status ?


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Answer--It is impossible to generalize in this area. We understand from interrogations of former residents in the Soviet Union who were considered "stateless" by Soviet authorities that they were not permitted to leave the town where they resided without permission of the police. In requesting such permission they were required to fill out a questionnaire giving the reason for travel, length of stay, addresses of individuals to be visited, etc.
Notwithstanding these requirements, we know that at least one "stateless" person often traveled without permission of the authorities and stated that police stationed at railroad stations usually spotchecked the identification papers of every tenth traveler, but that it was an easy matter to avoid such checks. Finally, she stated that persons who were caught evading the registration requirements were returned to their home towns by the police and sentenced to short jail terms and fined. These sentences were more severe for repeated violations.263

When Oswald arrived at the Embassy in Moscow, he met Richard E. Snyder, the same person with whom he had dealt in October of 1959. 264 Primarily on the basis of Oswald's interview with Snyder on Monday, July 10, 1961, the American Embassy concluded that Oswald had not expatriated himself. 265 (See app. XV pp. 752- 760. ) On the basis of this tentative decision, Oswald was given back his American passport, which he had surrendered in 1959. 266 The document was due to expire in September 1961, 267 however, and Oswald was informed that its renewal would depend upon the ultimate decision by the Department of State on his expatriation.268 On July 11, Marina Oswald was interviewed at the Embassy and the steps necessary for her to obtain an American visa were begun.269 In May 1962, after 15 months of dealings with the Embassy, Oswald's passport was ultimately renewed and permission for his wife to enter the United States was granted.270
The files on Oswald and his wife compiled by the Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service contain no indication of any expert guidance by Soviet authorities in Oswald's dealings with the Department or the Service. For example, the letters from Minsk to the Embassy in Moscow,271 which are in his handwriting,272 display the arrogant attitude which was characteristic of him both before and after he lived in Russia, and, when compared with other letters that were without doubt composed and written by him, 273 show about the same low level of sophistication, fluency, and spelling. The Department officer who most frequently dealt with Oswald when he began negotiations to return to the United States, Richard E. Snyder, testified that he can recall nothing that indicated Oswald was being guided or assisted by a third party when he appeared at the Embassy in July 1961.274 On the contrary, the arrogant and presumptuous attitude which Oswald displayed in his correspondence with the Embassy from early 1961 until June 1962, 275 when he finally departed from Russia, undoubtedly hindered


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his attempts to return to the United States. Snyder has testified that although he made a sincere effort to treat Oswald's application objectively, Oswald's attitude made this very difficult. 276
In order to leave Russia, it was also necessary for the Oswalds to obtain permission from the Soviet Government. The timing and circumstances under which the Oswalds obtained this permission have also been considered by the Commission. Marina Oswald, although her memory is not clear on the point, said that she and Oswald first made their intentions to go to the United States known to Soviet officials in Minsk in May, even before coming to Moscow in July for the conference at the American Embassy.277 The Oswalds' correspondence with the Embassy and the documents furnished the Commission by the Soviet Government show that the Oswalds made a series of formal applications to the Soviets from July 15 to August 21. 278 Presumably the most difficult question for the Soviet-authorities was whether to allow Marina Oswald to accompany her husband. She was called to the local passport office in Minsk on December 25, 1961, and told that authority had been received to issue exit visas to her and Oswald.279 Obtaining the permission of the Soviet Government to leave may have been aided by a conference which Marina Oswald had, at her own request, with a local MVD official, Colonel Aksenov, sometime in late 1961. She testified that she applied for the conference at her husband's urging, after he had tried unsuccessfully to arrange such a conference for himself.280 She believed that it may have been granted her because her uncle with whom she had lived in Minsk before her marriage was also an MVD official.281
The correspondence with the American Embassy at this time reflected that the Oswalds did not pick up their exit visas immediately.282 On January 11, 1962, Marina Oswald was issued her Soviet exit visa. It was marked valid until December 1, 1962.283 The Oswalds did not leave Russia until June 1962, but the additional delay was caused by problems with the U.S. Government and by the birth of a child in February.284 Permission of the Soviet authorities to leave, once given, was never revoked. Oswald told the FBI in July 1962, shortly after he returned to the United States, that he had been interviewed by the MVD twice, once when he first came to the Soviet Union and once just before he departed.285 His wife testified that the second interview did not occur in Moscow but that she and her husband dealt with the MVD visa officials frequently in Minsk.286
Investigation of the circumstances, including the timing, under which the Oswalds obtained permission from the Soviet Government to leave Russia for the United States show that they differed in no discernible manner from the normal. The Central Intelligence Agency has informed the Commission that normally a Soviet national would not be permitted to emigrate if he might endanger Soviet national security once he went abroad.287 Those persons in possession of confidential information, for example, would constitute an


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important category of such "security risks." Apparently Oswald's predeparture interview by the MVD was part of an attempt to ascertain whether he or his wife had access to any confidential information. Marina Oswald's reported interview with the MVD in late 1961, which was arranged at her request, may have served the same purpose. The Commission's awareness of both interviews derives entirely from Oswald's and his wife's statements and letters to the American Embassy, which afford additional evidence that the conferences carried no subversive significance.
It took the Soviet authorities at least 5% months, from about July 15, 1961, until late December, to grant permission for the Oswalds to leave the country. When asked to comment upon the alleged rapidity of the Oswalds' departure, the Department of State advised the Commission:

* * * In the immediate post-war period there were about fifteen marriages in which the wife had been waiting for many years for a Soviet exit permit. After the death of Stalin the Soviet Government showed a disposition to settle these cases. In the summer of 1953 permission was given for all of this group of Soviet citizen wives to accompany their American citizen husbands to the United States.
Since this group was given permission to leave the Soviet Union, there have been from time to time marriages in the Soviet Union of American citizens and Soviet citizens. With one exception, it is our understanding that all of the Soviet citizens involved have been given permission to emigrate to the United States after waiting periods which were, in some cases from three to six months and in others much longer. 288

Both the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency compiled data for the Commission on Soviet wives of American citizens who received exit visas to leave the Soviet Union, where the relevant information was available. In both cases the data were consistent with the above conclusion of the State Department. The Department of State had sufficient information to measure the timespan in 14 cases. The Department points out that it has information on the dates of application for and receipt of Soviet exit visas only on those cases that have been brought to its attention. A common reason for bringing a case to the attention of the Department is that the granting of the exit visa by the Soviet Union has been delayed, so that the American spouse seeks the assistance of his own government. It therefore appears that the sampling data carry a distinct bias toward lengthy waiting periods. Of the 14 cases tested, 6 involve women who applied for visas after 1953, when the liberalized post-Stalin policy was in effect. The approximate waiting periods for these wives were, in decreasing order, 13 months, 6 months, 8 months, 1 month, and 10 days.289 Of the 11 cases examined by the Central Intelligence Agency

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in which the time period is known or can be inferred, the Soviet wives had to wait from 5 months to a year to obtain exit visas.290
In his correspondence with the American Embassy and his brother while he was in Russia,291 in his diary,292 and in his conversations with people in the United States after he returned,293 Oswald claimed that his wife had been subjected to pressure by the Soviet Government in an effort to induce her not to emigrate to the United States. In the Embassy correspondence, Oswald claimed that the pressure had been so intense that she had to be hospitalized for 5 days for "nervous exhaustion." 294 Marina Oswald testified that her husband exaggerated and that no such hospitalization or "nervous exhaustion" ever occurred.295 However, she did testify that she was questioned on the matter occasionally and given the impression that her government was not pleased with her decision. 296 Her aunt and uncle in Minsk did not speak to her "for a long time"; she also stated that she was dropped from membership in the Communist Youth Organization (Komsomol) when the news of her visit to the American Embassy in Moscow reached that organization. 297 A student who took Russian lessons from her in Texas testified that she once referred to the days when the pressure was applied as "a very horrible time." 298 Despite all this Marina Oswald testified that she was surprised that their visas were granted as soon as they were--and that hers was granted at all.299 This evidence thus indicates that the Soviet authorities, rather than facilitating the departure of the Oswalds, first tried to dissuade Marina Oswald from going to the United States and then, when she failed to respond to the pressure, permitted her to leave without undue delay. There are indications that the Soviet treatment of another recent defector who left the Soviet Union to return to the United States resembled that accorded to the Oswalds. 300
On the basis of all the foregoing evidence, the Commission concluded that there was no reason to believe that the Oswalds received unusually favorable treatment in being permitted to leave the Soviet Union.

Associations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Community

The Russian-speaking community.--Shortly after his return from Russia in June 1962, Oswald and his family settled in Fort Worth, Tex., where they met a group Of Russian-born or Russian-speaking persons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.301 The members of this community were attracted to each other by common background, language, and culture. Many of them were well-educated, accomplished, and industrious people, several being connected with the oil exploration, production, and processing industry that flourishes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.302 As described more fully in chapter VII and in appendix XIII, many of these persons assisted the Oswalds in various ways. Some provided the Oswalds with gifts of such things as food, clothing, and baby furniture.303 Some arranged appointments and transportation for medical and dental treatment, and assumed the cost in some instances.304 When Oswald under-

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took to look for employment in Dallas in early October of 1962 and again when marital difficulties arose between the Oswalds in November of the same year, Marina Oswald and their child were housed at times in the homes of various members of the group.305 The Commission has examined the background of many of these individuals and has thoroughly investigated Oswald's relationship with them.
There is no basis to suppose that Oswald came to Fort Worth upon his return from Russia for the purpose of establishing contacts with the Russian-speaking community located in that area. Oswald had spent several of his grammar-school years in Fort Worth.306 In 1962, his brother Robert lived in Fort Worth and his mother resided in nearby Vernon, Tex. In January of that year, Oswald indicated to American officials in Russia that he intended to stay with his mother upon his return to the United States; however, sometime after mid- February, he received an invitation to stay with Robert and his family until he became settled, and he did spend the first several weeks after his return at Robert's home.307 In July, Oswald's mother moved to Fort Worth and Oswald and his wife and child moved into an apartment with her.308 While in that apartment, Oswald located a job in Fort Worth and then rented and moved with his family into an apartment on Mercedes Street.309
Upon his arrival in 1962, Oswald did not know any members of the relatively small and loosely knit Russian-speaking community.310 Shortly after his arrival Oswald obtained the name of two Russian-speaking persons in Fort Worth from the office of the Texas Employment Commission in that city.311 Attempts to arrange a prompt visit with one of them failed.312 The second person, Peter Paul Gregory, was a consulting petroleum engineer and part-time Russian-language instructor at the Fort Worth Public Library. Oswald contacted him in order to obtain a letter certifying to his proficiency in Russian and Marina Oswald later tutored his son in the Russian language.313 Gregory introduced the Oswalds to George Bouhe and Anna Meller, both of whom lived in Dallas and became interested in the welfare of Marina Oswald and her child.314 Through them, other members of the Russian community became acquainted with the Oswalds.315
The Oswalds met some 30 persons in the Russian-speaking community, of whom 25 testified before the Commission or its staff; others were interviewed on behalf of the Commission.316 This range of testimony has disclosed that the relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and the Russian-speaking community was short lived and generally quite strained.317 During October and November of 1962 Marina Oswald lived at the homes of some of the members of the Russian-speaking community.318 She stayed first with Elena Hall while Oswald was looking for work in Dallas.319 In early November, Marina Oswald and the baby joined Oswald in Dallas, but soon thereafter, she spent approximately 2 weeks with different Russian-speaking friends during another separation.320 Oswald openly resented the help Marina's "Russian friends" gave to him and his wife and the efforts of some of them to induce Marina to leave him.321 George

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Bouhe attempted to dissuade Marina from returning to her husband in November 1962, and when she rejoined him, Bouhe became displeased with her as well.322 Relations between the Oswalds and the members of the Russian community had practically ceased by the end of 1962. Katherine Ford, one of the members of the group, summed up the situation as it existed at the end of January 1963: "So it was rather, sort of, Marina and her husband were dropped at that time, nobody actually wanted to help. * * *" 323
In April of 1963, Oswald left Fort Worth for New Orleans, where he was later joined by his wife and daughter, and remained until his trip to Mexico City in late September and his subsequent return to the Dallas- Fort Worth area in early October of 1963.324 With only minor exceptions,325 there is no evidence that any member of the Russian-speaking community had further contact with Oswald or his family after April. 326 In New Orleans, Oswald made no attempt to make new Russian-speaking acquaintances for his wife and there is no evidence that he developed any friendships in that city.327 Similarly, after the return from New Orleans, there seems to have been no communication between the Oswalds and this group until the evening of November 22, 1963, when the Dallas Police enlisted Ilya Mamantov to serve as an interpreter for them in their questioning of Marina Oswald.328
George De Mohrenschildt and his wife, both of whom speak Russian as well as several other languages, however, did continue to see the Oswalds on occasion up to about the time Oswald went to New Orleans on April 24, 1963. De Mohrenschildt was apparently the only Russian-speaking person living in Dallas for whom Oswald had appreciable respect, and this seems to have been true even though De Mohrenschildt helped Marina Oswald leave her husband for a period in November of 1962. 329
In connection with the relations between Oswald and De Mohrenschildt, the Commission has considered testimony concerning an event which occurred shortly after Oswald shot at General Walker. The De Mohrenschildts came to Oswald's apartment on Neely Street for the first time on the evening of April 13, 1963, apparently to bring an Easter gift for the Oswald child.330 Mrs. De Mohrenschildt testified that while Marina Oswald was showing her the apartment, she saw a rifle with a scope in a closet. Mrs. De Mohrenschildt then told her husband, in the presence of the Oswalds, that there was a rifle in the closet.331 Mrs. De Mohrenschildt testified that "George, of course, with his sense of humor--Walker was shot at a few days ago, within that time. He said, 'Did you take a pot shot at Walker by any chance?' "332 At that point, Mr. De Mohrenschildt testified, Oswald "sort of shriveled, you see, when I asked this question. * * * made a peculiar face * * * [and] changed the expression on his face" and remarked that he did targetshooting.333 Marina Oswald testified that the De Mohrenschildts came to visit a few days after the Walker incident and that when De Mohrenschildt made his reference to Oswald's possibly shooting at Walker, Oswald's "face changed, * * * he almost

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became speechless." 334 According to the De Mohrenschildts, Mr. De Mohrenschildt's remark was intended as a joke, and he had no knowledge of Oswald's involvement in the attack on Walker.335 Nonetheless, the remark appears to have created an uncomfortable silence, and the De Mohrenschildts left "very soon afterwards." They never saw either of the Oswalds again.336 They left in a few days on a trip to New York City and did not return until after Oswald had gone to New Orleans.337 A postcard from Oswald to De Mohrenschildt was apparently the only contact they had thereafter.338 The De Mohrenschildts left in early June for Haiti on a business venture, and they were still residing there at the time they testified on April 23, 1964. 339
Extensive investigation has been conducted into the background of both De Mohrenschildts.340 The investigation has revealed that George De Mohrenschildt is a highly individualistic person of varied interests. He was born in the Russian Ukraine in 1911 and fled Russia with his parents in 1921 during the civil disorder following the revolution. He was in a Polish cavalry military academy for 11/2 years. Later he studied in Antwerp and attended the University of Liege from which he received a doctor's degree in international commerce in 1928. Soon thereafter, he emigrated to the United States; he became a U.S. citizen in 1949.341 De Mohrenschildt eventually became interested in oil exploration .and production; he entered the University of Texas in 1944 and received a master's degree in petroleum geology and petroleum engineering in 1945.342 He has since become active as a petroleum engineer throughout the world.343 In 1960, after the death of his son, he and his wife made an 8-month hike from the United States-Mexican border to Panama over primitive jungle trails. By happenstance they were in Guatemala City at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion.344 A lengthy film and complete written log was prepared by De Mohrenschildt and a report of the trip was made to the U.S. Government.345 Upon arriving in Panama they journeyed to Haiti where De Mohrenschildt eventually became involved in a Government-oriented business venture in which he has been engaged continuously since June 1963 until the time of this report.346
The members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Russian community and others have variously described De Mohrenschildt as eccentric, outspoken, and a strong believer in individual liberties and in the U.S. form of government, but also of the belief that some form of undemocratic government might be best for other peoples.347 De Mohrenschildt frankly admits his provocative personality.348
Jeanne De Mohrenschildt was born in Harbin, China, of White Russian parents. She left during the war with Japan, coming to New York in 1938 where she became a successful ladies dress and sportswear apparel designer. She married her present husband in 1959. 349
The Commission's investigation has developed no signs of subversive or disloyal conduct on the part of either of the De Mohrenschildts. Neither the FBI, CIA, nor any witness contacted by the


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Commission has provided any information linking the De Mohrenschildts to subversive or extremist organizations. 350 Nor has there been any evidence linking them in any way with the assassination of President Kennedy.
The Commission has also considered closely the relations between the Oswalds and Michael and Ruth Paine of Irving, Tex. The Paines were not part of the Russian community which has been discussed above. Ruth Paine speaks Russian, however, and for this reason was invited to a party in February of 1963 at which she became acquainted with the Oswalds.351 The host had met the Oswalds through the De Mohrenschildts.352 Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine subsequently became quite friendly, and Mrs. Paine provided considerable assistance to the Oswalds. 353 Marina Oswald and her child resided with Ruth Paine for a little over 2 weeks while Oswald sought a job in New Orleans in late April and early May 1963.354 In May, she transported Marina Oswald to New Orleans, paying all of the traveling and other expenses. 355 While the Oswalds were in New Orleans, the two women corresponded.356 Mrs. Paine came to New Orleans in late September and took Marina Oswald and her child to her home in Irving.357
Since Oswald left for Mexico City promptly after Mrs. Paine and his family departed New Orleans, 358 the Commission has considered whether Ruth Paine's trip to New Orleans was undertaken to assist Oswald in this venture, but the evidence is clear that it was not. In her letters to Ruth Paine during the summer of 1963, Marina Oswald confided that she was having continuing difficulties with her husband, and Mrs. Paine urged Marina Oswald to live with her in Irving; the letters of the two women prior to Mrs. Paine's arrival in New Orleans on September 20, 1963, however, contain no mention that Oswald was planning a trip to Mexico City or elsewhere.359 In New Orleans, Mrs. Paine was told by Oswald that he planned to seek employment in Houston, or perhaps Philadelphia. Though Marina Oswald knew this to be false, she testified that she joined in this deception.360 At no time during the entire weekend was Mexico City mentioned.361 Corroboration for this testimony is found in a letter Mrs. Paine wrote her mother shortly after she and Marina Oswald had returned to Irving on September 24, in which she stated that Marina Oswald was again living with her temporarily and that Oswald was job-hunting.362 When Oswald arrived at the Paine home on October 4, he continued his deception by telling Mrs. Paine, in his wife's presence, that he had been unsuccessful in finding employment.363 At Oswald's request, Marina Oswald remained silent.364
Marina Oswald lived with Ruth Paine through the birth of her second daughter on October 20, 1963, and until the assassination of President Kennedy.365 During this period, Oswald obtained a room in Dallas and found employment in Dallas, but spent weekends with his family at the Paine home.366 On November 1 and 5, Ruth Paine was interviewed by agents of the FBI who were investigating Oswald's activities since his return from the Soviet Union, as set forth

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in greater detail in chapter VIII. She did not then know Oswald's address in Dallas.367 She was not asked for, nor did she volunteer, Oswald's telephone number in Dallas, which she did know.368 She advised the Bureau agent to whom she spoke of Oswald's periodic weekend visits, and she informed him that Oswald was employed at the Texas School Book Depository Building.369
On November 10, Ruth Paine discovered a draft of Oswald's letter written the day before to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, in which he indicated that he had journeyed to Mexico City and conferred with a "comrade Kostine in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City, Mexico." 370 (This letter is discussed later in this chapter.) Mr. and Mrs. Paine testified that although they initially assumed the letter was a figment of Oswald's imagination, the letter gave Mrs. Paine considerable misgivings.371 She determined that if the FBI agents returned she would deliver to them the copy of a draft of the letter which, unknown to Oswald, she had made.372 However, the agents did not. return before the assassination.373 On November 19, Mrs. Paine learned that Oswald was living in his Dallas roominghouse under an assumed name.374 She did not report this to the FBI because, as she testified, she "had no occasion to see them, and * * * did not think it important enough to call them after that until the 23d of November." 375
The Commission has thoroughly investigated the background of both Paines. Mrs. Paine was born Ruth Hyde in New York City on September 8, 1932. Her parents moved to Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1930's.376 They were divorced in 1961.377 Ruth Paine graduated from Antioch College in 1955.378 While in high school she first. became interested in Quaker activities; she and her brother became Quakers in 1951. 379 In 1952, following completion of her sophomore year at Antioch College, she was a delegate to two Friends conferences in England.380
At the time the Paines met in 1955, Mrs. Paine was active in the work of the Young Friends Committee of North America, which, with the cooperation of the Department of State, was making an effort to lessen the tensions between Soviet Russia and the United States by means of the stimulation of contacts and exchange of cultures between citizens of the two nations through "pen-pal" correspondence and exchanges of young Russians and Americans.381 It was during this period that Mrs. Paine became interested in the Russian language.382 Mrs. Paine participated in a Russian-American student exchange program sponsored by the Young Friends Committee of North America, and has participated in the "pen-pal" phase of the activities of the Young Friends Committee. 383 She has corresponded until recently with a schoolteacher in Russia.384 Although her active interest in the Friends' program for the lessening of East-West tensions ceased upon her marriage in December 1957, she has continued to hold to the tenets of the Quaker faith. 385
Michael Paine is the son of George Lyman Paine and Ruth Forbes Paine, now Ruth Forbes Young, wife of Arthur Young of Phila-

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delphia, Pa.386 His parents were divorced when he was 4 years of age. His father, George Lyman Paine, is an architect and resides in California. 387 Michael Paine testified that during his late grammar and early high school days his father participated actively in the Trotskyite faction of the Communist movement in the United States and that he attended some of those meetings.388 He stated that his father, with whom he has had little contact throughout most of his life, has not influenced his political thinking. He said that he has visited his father four or five times in California since 1959, but their discussions did not include the subject of communism.389 Since moving to Irving, Tex., in 1959, he has been a research engineer for Bell Helicopter Co. in Fort Worth.390 Mr. Paine has security clearance for his work.391 He has been a long-time member of the American Civil Liberties Union.392 Though not in sympathy with rightist political aims, he has attended a few meetings of far-right organizations in Dallas for the purpose, he testified, of learning something about those organizations and because he "was interested in seeing more communication between the right and the left." 393
The Commission has conducted a thorough investigation of the Paines' finances and is satisfied that their income has been from legitimate and traceable sources, and that their expenditures were consistent with their income and for normal purposes. Although in the course of their relationship with the Oswalds, the Paines assumed expenses for such matters as food and transportation, with a value of approximately $500, they made no direct payments to, and received no moneys or valuables from, the Oswalds.394
Although prior to November 22, Mrs. Paine had information relating to Oswald's use of an alias in Dallas, his telephone number, and his correspondence with the Soviet Embassy, which she did not pass on to the FBI,395 her failure to have come forward with this information must be viewed within the context of the information available to her at that time. There is no evidence to contradict her testimony that she did not then know about Oswald's attack on General Walker, the presence of the rifle on the floor of her garage, Oswald's ownership of a pistol, or the photographs of Oswald displaying the firearms.396 She thus assumed that Oswald, though a difficult and disturbing personality, was not potentially violent, and that the FBI was cognizant of his past history and current activities.397
Moreover, it is from Mrs. Paine herself that the Commission has learned that she possessed the information which she did have. Mrs. Paine was forthright with the agent of the FBI with whom she spoke in early November 1963, providing him with sufficient information to have located Oswald at his job if he had deemed it necessary to do so,398 and her failure to have taken immediate steps to notify the Bureau of the additional information does not under the circumstances appear unusual. Throughout the Commission's investigation, Ruth Paine has been completely cooperative, voluntarily producing all correspondence, memoranda, and other written communications in her possession that had passed between her and Marina Oswald both


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before and after November 22, 1963. 399 The Commission has had the benefit of Mrs. Paine's 1963 date book and calendar and her address book and telephone notation book, in both of which appear many entries relating to her activities with the Oswalds.400 Other material of a purely personal nature was also voluntarily made available. 401 The Commission has found nothing in the Paines' background, activities, or finances which suggests disloyalty to the United States,402 and it has concluded that Ruth and Michael Paine were not involved in any way with the assassination of President Kennedy.
A fuller narrative of the social contacts between the Oswalds and the various persons of the Dallas-Fort Worth community is incorporated in chapter VII and appendix XIII, and the testimony of all members of the group who testified before the Commission is included in the printed record which accompanies the report. The evidence establishes that the Oswalds' contacts with these people were originated and maintained under normal and understandable circumstances. The files maintained by the FBI contain no information indicating that any of the persons in the Dallas-Fort Worth community with whom Oswald associated were affiliated with any Communist, Fascist, or other subversive organization.403 During the course of this investigation, the Commission has found nothing which suggests the involvement of any member of the Russian-speaking community in Oswald's preparations to assassinate President Kennedy.

Political Activities Upon Return to the United States

Upon his return from the Soviet Union, Oswald had dealings with the Communist Party, U.S.A., the Socialist Workers Party, and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and he also had minor contacts with at least two other organizations with political interests. For the purpose of determining whether Oswald received any advice, encouragement, or assistance from these organizations in planning or executing the assassination of President Kennedy, the Commission has conducted a full investigation of the nature and extent of Oswald's relations with them. The Commission has also conducted an investigation to determine whether certain persons and organizations expressing hostility to President Kennedy prior to the assassination had any connection with Lee Harvey Oswald or with the shooting of the President.
Communist Party, U.S.A.; Socialist Workers Party.--In August of 1962, Oswald subscribed to the Worker, a publication of the Communist Party, U.S.A. 404 He also wrote the Communist Party to obtain pamphlets and other literature which, the evidence indicates, were sent to him as a matter of course.405
Oswald also attempted to initiate other dealings with the Communist Party, U.S.A., but the organization was not especially responsive. From New Orleans, he informed the party of his activities in connection with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee discussed below, submit-

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ting membership cards in his fictitious chapter to several party officials.406 In a letter from Arnold S. Johnson, director of the information and lecture bureau of the party, Oswald was informed that although the Communist Party had no "organizational ties" with the committee, the party issued much literature which was "important for anybody who is concerned about developments in Cuba." 407 In September 1963 Oswald inquired how he might contact the party when he relocated in the Baltimore-Washington area, as he said he planned to do in October, and Johnson suggested in a letter of September 19 that he "get in touch with us here [New York] and we will find some way of getting in touch with you in that city [Baltimore] ." 408 However, Oswald had also written asking whether, "handicapped as it were, by * * * [his] past record," he could "still * * * compete with antiprogressive forces, above ground or whether in your opinion * * * [he] should always remain in the background, i.e., underground," and in the September 19 letter received the reply that "often it is advisable for some people to remain in the background, not underground."
In a letter postmarked November 1, Oswald informed the party that he had moved to Dallas, and reported his attendance at a meeting at which General Walker had spoken, and at a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union; he asked Johnson for the party's "general view" of the latter organization and "to what degree, if any, [he] should attempt to highten its progressive tendencies." According to Johnson, this letter was not received by the Communist Party until after the assassination.410 At different times, Oswald also wrote the Worker and the Hall-Davis Defense Committee, enclosing samples of his photographic work and offering to assist in preparing posters; he was told that "his kind offer [was] most welcomed and from time to time we shall call on you," but he was never asked for assistance.411 The correspondence between Oswald and the Communist Party, and with all other organizations, is printed in the record accompanying this report.
When Oswald applied for a visa to enter Cuba during his trip to Mexico City, discussed below,412 Senora Silvia Duran, the Cuban consular employee who dealt with Oswald, wrote on the application that Oswald said he was a member of the Communist Party and that he had "displayed documents in proof of his membership."
When Oswald went to Mexico, he is believed to have carried his letters from the Soviet Embassy in Washington and from the Communist Party in the United States, his 1959 passport, which contained stamps showing that he had lived in Russia for 2 1/2 years, his Russian work permit, his Russian marriage certificate, membership cards and newspaper clippings purporting to show his role in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and a prepared statement, of his qualifications as a "Marxist." 414 Because of the mass of papers Oswald did present showing Iris affinity for communism, some in the Russian language, which was foreign to Senora Duran, and because further investigation, discussed below, indicated that Oswald was not


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a member of the party, Senora Duran's notation was probably inaccurate.
Upon his arrest after the assassination, Oswald attempted to contact John J. Abt, a New York attorney, to request Abt to represent him. Abt was not in New York at the time, and he was never reached in connection with representing' Oswald. Abt has testified that he at no time had any dealings with Oswald and that prior to the assassination he had never heard of Lee Harvey Oswald.415
After his return from the Soviet Union, Oswald also carried on a limited correspondence with the Socialist Workers Party. In October of 1962 he attempted to join the party, but his application was not accepted since there was then no chapter in the Dallas area. 416 Oswald also wrote the Socialist Workers Party offering his assistance in preparing posters. From this organization too he received the response that he might be called upon if needed. He was asked for further information about his photographic skills, which he does not appear to have ever provided.417 Oswald did obtain literature from the Socialist Workers Party, however, and in December 1962 he entered a subscription to the affiliated publication, the Militant.418 Apparently in March of 1963 Oswald wrote the party of his activities and submitted a clipping with his letter. In response, he was told that his name was being sent to the Young Socialist Alliance for further correspondence, but the files of the alliance apparently contain no reference to Oswald. Neither the letter nor the clipping which Oswald sent has been located. 419
Investigation by the Commission has produced no plausible evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald had any other significant contacts with the Communist Party, U.S.A., the Socialist Workers Party, or with any other extreme leftist political organization. The FBI and other Federal security agencies have made a study of their records and files and contacted numerous confidential informants of the agencies and have produced no such evidence.420 The Commission has questioned persons who, as a group, knew Oswald during virtually every phase of his adult life, and from none of these came any indication that Oswald maintained a surreptitious relationship with any organization. Arnold S. Johnson, of the American Communist Party; James T. Tormey, executive secretary of the Hall-Davis Defense Committee; and Farrell Dobbs, secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, voluntarily appeared before the Commission and testified under oath that Oswald was not a member of these organizations and that a thorough search of their files had disclosed no records relating to Oswald other than those which they produced for the Commission.421 The material that has been disclosed is in all eases consistent with other data in the possession of the Commission.
Socialist Labor Party.--Oswald also wrote to the Socialist Labor Party in New York in November 1962 requesting literature. Horace Twiford, a national committeeman at large for the party in the State of Texas, was informed by the New York headquarters in July 1963


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of Oswald's request, and on September 11, 1963, he did mail literature to Oswald at his old post office box in Dallas.422 On his way to Mexico City in September 1963, Oswald attempted to contact Twiford at his home in Houston; Oswald spoke briefly with Twiford's wife, identifying himself as a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, but since Twiford was out of town at the time, Oswald was unable to speak with him.423 Arnold Peterson, national secretary and treasurer of the Socialist Labor Party, has stated that a search of the records of the national headquarters reveals no record pertaining to Oswald; he explained that letters requesting literature are routinely destroyed.424 The Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation has also advised that a review of its records fails to reflect any information or correspondence pertaining to Oswald.425
Fair Play for Cuba Committee.---During the period Oswald was in New Orleans, from the end of April to late September 1963, he was engaged in activity purportedly on behalf of the now defunct Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), an organization centered in New York which was highly critical of U.S. policy toward the Cuban Government under Fidel Castro. In May 1963, after having obtained literature from the FPCC,426 Oswald applied for and was granted membership in the organization.427 When applying for membership, Oswald wrote national headquarters that he had

* * * been thinking about renting a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a F.P.C.C. branch here in New Orleans.
Could you give me a charter ? 428

With his membership card, Oswald apparently received ,a copy of the constitution and bylaws for FPCC chapters, and a letter, dated May 29, which read in part as follows (with spelling as in original):

It would be hard to concieve of a chapter with as few members as seem to exist in the New Orleans area. I have just gone through our files and find that Louisiana seams somewhat restricted for Fair Play activities. However, with what is there perhaps you could build a larger group if a few people would undertake the disciplined responsibility of concrete organizational work.
We certainly are not at all adverse to a very small Chapter but certainly would expect that there would be at least twice the amount needed to conduct a legal executive board for the Chapter. Should this be reasonable we could readily issue a charter for a New Orleans Chapter of FPCC. In fact, we would be very, very pleased to see this take place and would like to do everything possible to assist in bringing it about.


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You must realize that you will come under tremendous pressures with any attempt to do FPCC work in that area and that you will not be able to operate in the manner which is conventional here in the north-east. Even most of our big city Chapters have been forced to Abandon the idea of operating an office in public. * * * Most Chapters have discovered that it is easier to operate semi-privately out of a home and maintain a P.O. Box for all mailings and public notices. (A P.O. Box is a must for any Chapter in the organization to guarantee the continued contact with the national even if an individual should move or drop out.) We do have a serious and often violent opposition and this proceedure helps prevent many unnecessary incidents which frighten away prospective supporters. I definitely would not recommend an office, at ]east not one that will be easily identifyable to the lunatic fringe in your community. Certainly, I would not recommend that you engage in one at the very beginning but wait and see how you can operate in the community through several public experiences.429

Thereafter Oswald informed national headquarters that he had opened post office box No. 30061, and that against its advice he had decided "to take an office from the very beginning"; he also submitted copies of a membership application form and a circular headed "Hands Off Cuba!" which he had had printed, and informed the headquarters that he intended to have membership cards for his chapter printed, which he subsequently did.430 He wrote three further letters to the New York office to inform it of his continued activities.431 In one he reported that he had been evicted from the office he claimed to have opened, so that he "worked out of a post office box and by useing street demonstrations and some circular work * * * sustained a great deal of interest but no new members." 432
Oswald did distribute the handbills he had printed on at least three occasions.433 Once, while doing so, he was arrested and fined for being involved in a disturbance with anti-Castro Cuban refugees,434 one of whom he had previously met by presenting himself as hostile to Premier Castro in an apparent effort to gain information about anti- Castro organizations operating in New Orleans.435 When arrested, he informed the police that Iris chapter had 35 members.436 His activities received some attention in the New Orleans press, and he twice appeared on a local radio program representing himself as a spokesman for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.437 After his return to Dallas, he listed the FPCC as an organization authorized to receive mail at his post office box.438
Despite these activities, the FPCC chapter which Oswald purportedly formed in New Orleans was entirely fictitious. Vincent T. Lee, formerly national director of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, has testified that the New York office did not authorize the creation of a New Orleans chapter, nor did it provide Oswald with funds to support his activities there.439 The national office did not write

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Oswald again after its letter of May 29. As discussed more fully in chapter VII, Oswald's later letters to the national office purporting to inform it of his progress in New Orleans contained numerous exaggerations about the scope of his activities and the public reaction to them.440 There is no evidence that Oswald ever opened an office as he claimed to have done. Although a pamphlet taken from him at the time of his arrest in New Orleans contains the rubber stamp imprint "FPCC, 544 CAMP ST., NEW ORLEANS, LA.," investigation has indicated that neither the Fair Play for Cuba Committee nor Lee Harvey Oswald ever maintained an office at that address.441 The handbills and other materials bearing the name of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee were printed commercially by Oswald without the approval of the national headquarters.442 Oswald's membership card in the "New Orleans chapter" of the committee carried the signature of "A. J. Hidell," purportedly the president of the chapter, but there is no evidence that an "A. J. Hidell" existed and, as pointed out in chapter IV, there is conclusive evidence that the name was an alias which Oswald used on various occasions. Marina Oswald herself wrote the name "Hidell" on the membership card at her husband's insistence.443
No other member of the so-called New Orleans chapter of the committee has ever been found. The only occasion on which anyone other than Oswald was observed taking part in these activities was on August 9, 1963, when Oswald and two young men passed out leaflets urging "Hands Off Cuba!" on the streets of New Orleans. One of the two men, who was 16 years old at the time, has testified that Oswald approached him at the Louisiana State Employment Commission and offered him $2 for about an hour's work. He accepted the offer but later, when he noticed that television cameras were being focused on him, he obtained his money and left. He testified that he had never seen Oswald before and never saw him again. The second individual has never been located; but according to the testimony of the youth who was found, he too seemed to be someone not previously connected with Oswald.444 Finally, the FBI has advised the Commission that its information on undercover Cuban activities in the New Orleans area reveals no knowledge of Oswald before the assassination.445
Right-wing groups hostile to President Kennedy.--The Commission also considered the possibility that there may have been a link between Oswald and certain groups which had bitterly denounced President Kennedy and his policies prior to the time of the President's trip to Dallas. As discussed in chapter II, two provocative incidents took place concurrently with President Kennedy's visit and a third but a month prior thereto. The incidents were (1) the demonstration against the Honorable Adlai E. Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in late October 1963, when he came to Dallas on United Nations Day; (2) the publication in the Dallas Morning News on November 22 of the full page, black-bordered paid advertisement entitled, "Welcome Mr. Kennedy"; and (3) the distribution of a throwaway handbill entitled "Wanted for Treason" throughout Dallas on November 20 and 21. Oswald was aware of


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the Stevenson incident; there is no evidence that he became aware of either the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement or the "Wanted for Treason" handbill, though neither possibility can be precluded.
The only evidence of interest on Oswald's part in rightist groups in Dallas was his alleged attendance at a rally at the Dallas Auditorium the evening preceding Ambassador Stevenson's address on United Nations Day, October 24, 1963. On the evening of October 25, 1968, at the invitation of Michael Paine, Oswald attended a monthly meeting of the Dallas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in which he was later to seek membership.446 During the course of the discussion at this meeting, a speaker mentioned Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker (Resigned, U.S. Army). Oswald arose in the midst of the meeting to remark that a "night or two nights before" he had attended a meeting at which General Walker had spoken in terms that led Oswald to assert that General Walker was both anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic.447 General Walker testified that he had been the speaker at a rally the night before Ambassador Stevenson's appearance, but that he did not know and had never heard of Oswald prior to the announcement of his name on radio and television on the afternoon of November 22.448 Oswald confirmed his attendance at the U.S. Day rally in an undated letter he wrote to Arnold Johnson, director of the information and lecture bureau of the Communist Party, mailed November 1, 1963, in which he reported:

On October 23rd, I had attended a ultra-right meeting headed by General Edwin a. Walker, who lives in Dallas.
This meeting preceded by one day the attack on a. e. Stevenson at the United Nations Day meeting at which he spoke.
As you can see, political friction between 'left' and 'right' is very great here.449

In the light of Oswald's attack upon General Walker on the evening of April 10, 1963, discussed in chapter IV,450 as well as Oswald's known political views,451 his asserted attendance at the political rally at which General Walker spoke may have been induced by many possible motives. However, there is no evidence that Oswald attended any other rightist meetings or was associated with any politically conservative organizations.
While the black-bordered "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement in the November 22 Dallas Morning News, which addressed a series of critical questions to the President, probably did not come to Oswald's attention, it was of interest to the Commission because of its appearance on the day of the assassination and because of an allegation made before the Commission concerning the person whose name appeared as the chairman of the committee sponsoring the advertisement. The black-bordered advertisement was purported to be sponsored by "The American Fact-Finding Committee," which was described as "An unaffiliated and nonpartisan group of citizens who wish truth." Bernard Weissman was listed as "Chairman" and


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post office box in Dallas was the only address. (See Commission Exhibit No. 1031, p. 294.)
The Commission has conducted a full investigation into the genesis of this advertisement and the background of those responsible for it. Three of the four men chiefly responsible, Bernard W. Weissman, William B. Burley III, and Larrie H. Schmidt, had served together in the U.S. Army in Munich, Germany, in 1962. During that time they had with others devised plans to develop two conservative organizations, one political and the other business. The political entity was to be named Conservatism--USA, or CUSA, and the business entity was to be named American Business, or AMBUS.452 While in Munich, according to Weissman, they attempted to develop in their "own minds * * * ways to build up various businesses that would support us and at the same time support our political activities." 453 According to a subsequent letter from Schmidt to Weissman, "Cusa was founded for patriotic reasons rather than for personal gain--even though, as a side effect, Ambus was to have brought great return, as any business endeavor should." 454 To establish their organizations, Weissman testified that they:

* * * had planned while in Munich that in order to accomplish our goals, to try to do it from scratch would be almost impossible, because it would be years before we could even get the funds to develop a powerful organization. So we had planned to infiltrate various rightwing organizations and by our own
forts become involved in the hierarchy of these various organizations and eventually get ourselves elected or appointed to various higher offices in these organizations, and by doing this bring in some of our own people, and eventually take over the leadership of these organizations, and at that time having our people in these various organizations, we would then, you might say, call a conference and have them unite, and while no one knew of the existence of CUSA aside from us, we would then bring them all together, unite them, and arrange to have it called CUSA.455

Schmidt was the first to leave the service; settling in Dallas in October 1962, he became a life insurance salesman and quickly engaged in numerous political activities in pursuit of the objectives devised in Munich.456 lie became affiliated with several organizations and prepared various political writings.457
Upon their release from the military, Weissman and Burley did not immediately move to Dallas, though repeatedly urged to do so by Schmidt.458 On October 1, 1963, Schmidt wrote Weissman: "Adlai Stevenson is scheduled here on the 24th on UN Day. Kennedy is scheduled in Dallas on Nov. 24th. There are to be protests. All the big things are happening now--if we don't get in right now we may as well forget it."459 The day of the Stevenson demonstration, Schmidt telephoned Weissman, again urging him to move to Dallas. Recalling that conversation with Schmidt, Weissman testified:

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And he said, "If we are going to take advantage of the situation * * * you better hurry down here and take advantage of the publicity, and at least become known among these various right-wingers, because this is the chance we have been looking for to infiltrate some of these organizations and become known," in other words, go along with the philosophy we had developed in Munich.460

Five days later he wrote to Weissman and Burley to report that as the "only organizer of the demonstration to have publicly identified himself," he had "become, overnight, a 'fearless spokesman' and 'leader' of the rightwing in Dallas. What I worked so hard for in one year--and nearly failed--finally came through one incident in one night
He ended, "Politically, CUSA is set. It is now up to you to get Ambus going."
Weissman and Burley accepted Schmidt's prompting and traveled to Dallas, arriving on November 4, 1963.462 Both obtained employment as carpet salesmen. At Schmidt's solicitation they took steps to join the John Birch Society, and through Schmidt they met the fourth person involved in placing the November 22 advertisement, Joseph P. Grinnan, Dallas independent oil operator and a John Birch Society coordinator in the Dallas area.463
Within a week to 10 days after Weissman and Burley had arrived in Dallas, the four men began to consider plans regarding President Kennedy's planned visit to Dallas.464 Weissman explained the reason for which it was decided that the ad should be placed:

* * * after the Stevenson incident, it was felt that a demonstration would be entirely out of order, because we didn't want anything to happen in the way of physical violence to President Kennedy when he came to Dallas. But we thought that the conservatives in Dallas--I was told--were a pretty downtrodden lot after that, because they were being oppressed by the local liberals, because of the Stevenson incident. We felt we had to do something to build up the morale of the conservative element, in Dallas. So we hit upon the idea of the ad.465

Weissman, Schmidt, and Grinnan worked on the text for the advertisement.466 A pamphlet containing 50 questions critical of American policy was employed for this purpose, and was the source of the militant questions contained in the ad attacking President Kennedy's administration.467 Grinnan undertook to raise the $1,465 needed to pay for the ad.468 He employed a typed draft of the advertisement to support his funds solicitation.469 Grinnan raised the needed money from three wealthy Dallas businessmen: Edgar R. Crissey, Nelson Bunker Hunt, and H. R. Bright., some of whom in turn collected contributions from others.470 At least one of the contributors would not make a contribution unless a question he suggested was inserted.471 Weissman, believing that Schmidt, Grinnan, and the contributors were


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active members of the John Birch Society, and that Grinnan eventually took charge of the project, expressed the opinion that the advertisement was the creation of the John Birch Society,472 though Schmidt and Grinnan have maintained that they were acting "solely as individuals." 473
A fictitious sponsoring organization was invented out of whole cloth.474 The name chosen for the supposed organization was The American Fact-Finding Committee.475 This was "Solely a name," Weissman testified; "* * * As a matter of fact, when I went to place the ad, I could not remember the name * * * I had to refer to a piece of paper for the name." 476 Weissman's own name was used on the ad in part to counter charges of anti-Semitism which had been leveled against conservative groups in Dallas.477 Weissman conceived the idea of using a black border,478 and testified he intended it to serve the function of stimulating reader attention.479 Before accepting the advertisement, the Dallas Morning News apparently submitted it to its attorneys for their opinion as to whether its publication might subject them to liability.480
Weissman testified that the advertisement drew 50 or 60 mailed responses.481 He took them from the post office box early on Sunday morning, November 24.482 He said that those postmarked before the attack on President Kennedy were "favorable" in tone;483 those of later postmark were violently unfavorable, nasty, and threatening; 484 and, according to a report from Schmidt, those postmarked some weeks later were again of favorable tone.485
The four promoters of the ad deny that they had any knowledge of or familiarity with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to November 22, or Jack Ruby prior to November 24.486 Each has provided a statement of his role in connection with the placement of the November 22 advertisement and other matters, and investigation has revealed no deception. The Commission has found no evidence that any of these persons was connected with Oswald or Ruby, or was linked to a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.
The advertisement, however, did give rise to one allegation concerning Bernard Weissman which required additional investigation. On March 4, 1964, Mark Lane, a New York attorney, testified before the Commission that an undisclosed informant had told him that Weissman had met with Jack Ruby and Patrolman J. D. Tippit at Ruby's Carouse] Club on November 14, 1963. Lane declined to state the name of his informant but said that he would attempt to obtain his informant's permission to reveal his name.487 On July 2, 1964, after repeated requests by the Commission that he disclose the name of his informant, Lane testified a second time concerning this matter, but declined to reveal the information, stating as his reason that he had promised the individual that his name would not be revealed without his permission. 488 Lane also made this allegation during a radio appearance, whereupon Weissman twice demanded that Lane reveal the name of the informant. 489 As of the date of this report Lane has failed to reveal the name of his informant and has


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offered no evidence to support his allegation. The Commission has investigated the allegation of a Weissman- Ruby-Tippit meeting and has found no evidence that such a meeting took place anywhere at any time. The investigation into this matter is discussed in a later section of this chapter dealing with possible conspiracies involving Jack Ruby.
A comparable incident was the appearance of the "Wanted for Treason" handbill on the streets of Dallas 1 to 2 days before President Kennedy's arrival. These handbills bore a reproduction of a front and profile photograph of the President and set forth a series of inflammatory charges against him.490 Efforts to locate the author and the lithography printer of the handbill at first met with evasive responses 491 and refusals to furnish information.492 Robert A. Surrey was eventually identified as the author of the handbill.493 Surrey, a 38-year- old printing salesman employed by Johnson Printing Co. of Dallas, Tex., has been closely associated with General Walker for several years in his political and business activities.494 He is president of American Eagle Publishing Co. of Dallas, in which he is a partner with General Walker.495 Its office and address is the post office box of Johnson Printing Co. Its assets consist of cash and various printed materials composed chiefly of General Walker's political and promotional literature, 496 all of which is storm at General Walker's headquarters.497
Surrey prepared the text for the handbill and apparently used Johnson Printing Co. facilities to set the type and print a proof.498 Surrey induced Klause, a salesman employed by Lettercraft Printing Co. of Dallas,499 whom Surrey had met when both were employed at Johnson Printing Co.,500 to print the handbill "on the side." 501 According to Klause, Surrey contacted him initially approximately 2 or 2 1/2 weeks prior to November 22.502 About a week prior to November 22, Surrey delivered to Klause two slick paper magazine prints of photographs of a front view and profile of President Kennedy,503 together with the textual page proof.504 Klause was unable to make the photographic negative of the prints needed to prepare the photographic printing plate,505 so that he had this feature of the job done at a local shop.506 Klause then arranged the halftone front and profile representations of President Kennedy at the top of the textual material he had received from Surrey so as to simulate a "man wanted" police placard. He then made a photographic printing plate of the picture.507 During the night, he and his wife surreptitiously printed approximately 5,000 copies on Lettercraft Printing Co. offset printing equipment without the knowledge of his employers.508 The next day he arranged with Surrey a meeting place, and delivered the handbills.509 Klause's charge for the printing of the handbills was, including expenses, $60.510
At the outset of the investigation Klause stated to Federal agents that he did not know the name of his customer, whom he incorrectly described; 511 he did say, however, that the customer did not resemble either Oswald or Ruby.512 Shortly before he appeared before the


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Commission, Klause disclosed Surrey's identity.513 He explained that no record of the transaction had been made because "he saw a chance to make a few dollars on the side." 514
Klause's testimony receives some corroboration from Bernard Weissman's testimony that he saw a copy of one of the "Wanted for Treason" handbills on the floor of General Walker's station wagon shortly after November 22.515 Other details of the manner in which the handbills were printed have also been verified.516 Moreover, Weissman testified that neither he nor any of his associates had anything to do with the handbill or were ,acquainted with Surrey, Klause, Lettercraft Printing Co., or Johnson Printing Co. 517 Klause and Surrey, as well as General Walker, testified that they were unacquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald and had not heard of him prior to the afternoon of November 22.518 The Commission has found no evidence of any connection between those responsible for the handbill and Lee Harvey Oswald or the assassination.

Contacts With the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City and
the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Eight weeks before the assassination, Oswald traveled to Mexico City where he visited both the Cuban and Soviet Embassies.* Oswald's wife knew of this trip before he went,519 but she denied such knowledge until she testified before the Commission.520 The Commission undertook an intensive investigation to determine Oswald's purpose and activities on this journey, with specific reference to reports that Oswald was an agent of the Cuban or Soviet Governments. As a result of its investigation, the Commission believes that it has been able to reconstruct and explain most of Oswald's actions during this time. A detailed chronological account of this trip appears in appendix XIII.
Trip to Mexico.--Oswald was in Mexico from September 26, 1963, until October 3, 1968.521 (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2478, 2481, p. 800.) Marina Oswald testified that Oswald had told her that the purpose of the trip was to evade the American prohibition on travel to Cuba and to reach that country.522 He cautioned her that the trip and its purpose were to be kept strictly secret.523 She testified that he had earlier laid plans to reach Cuba by hijacking an airliner flying out of New Orleans, but she refused to cooperate and urged him to give it up, which he finally did.524 Witnesses who spoke with Oswald while he was on a bus going to Mexico City also testified that Oswald told them he intended to reach Cuba by way of Mexico, and that he hoped to meet Fidel Castro after he arrived.525 When Oswald spoke to the Cuban and Soviet consular officials in Mexico City, he represented that he intended to travel to the Soviet Union and requested

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an "in-transit" Cuban visa to permit him to enter Cuba on September 30 on the way to the Soviet Union. Marina Oswald has testified that these statements were deceptions designed to get him to Cuba.526 Thus, although it is possible that Oswald intended to continue on to Russia from Cuba, the evidence makes it more likely that he intended to remain in Cuba.527
Oswald departed from New Orleans probably about noon on September 25 and arrived in Mexico City at about 10 a.m. on September 27.528 In Mexico City he embarked on a series of visits to the Soviet and Cuban Embassies, which occupied most of his time during the first 2 days of his visit. At the Cuban Embassy, he requested an "in-transit" visa to permit him to visit Cuba on his way to the Soviet Union. 529 Oswald was informed that he could not obtain a visa for entry into Cuba unless he first obtained a visa to enter the U.S.S.R.,530 and the Soviet Embassy told him that he could not expect an answer on his application for a visa for the Soviet Union for about 4 months.531 Oswald carried with him newspaper clippings, letters and various documents, some of them forged or containing false information, purporting to show that he was a "friend" of Cuba.532 With these papers and his record of previous residence in the Soviet Union and marriage to a Soviet national, he tried to curry favor with both Embassies.533 Indeed, his wife testified that in her opinion Oswald's primary purpose in having engaged in Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities was to create a public record that he was a "friend" of Cuba.534 He made himself especially unpopular at the Cuban Embassy by persisting in his demands that as a sympathizer in Cuban objectives he ought to be given a visa. This resulted in a sharp argument with the consul, Eusebio Azque.535
By Saturday, September 28, 1963, Oswald had failed to obtain visas at both Embassies. 536 From Sunday, September 29, through Wednesday morning, October 2, when he left Mexico City on a bus bound for the United States, Oswald spent considerable time making his travel arrangements, sightseeing and checking again with the Soviet Embassy to learn whether anything had happened on his visa application.537 Marina Oswald testified that when she first saw him after his return to the United States he was disappointed and discouraged at his failure to reach Cuba.538
The general outlines of Oswald's activities in Mexico, particularly the nature and extent of his contacts at the Cuban Embassy, were learned very early in the investigation. An important source of information relating to his business at the Cuban Embassy was Senora Silvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican national employed in the visa section of the Cuban Embassy, who was questioned intensively by Mexican authorities soon after the assassination. 539 An excerpt from the report of the Mexican Government summarized the crucial portion of Senora Duran's recollection of Oswald. In translation it reads as follows:

* * * she remembered * * * [that Lee Harvey Oswald] was the name of an American who had come to the Cuban Consulate to


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obtain a visa to travel to Cuba in transit to Russia, the latter part of September or the early part of October of this year, and in support of his application had shown his passport., in which it was noted that he had lived in that country for a period of three years; his labor-card from the same country written in the Russian language; and letters in that same language. He had presented evidence that he was married to a Russian woman, and also that he was apparently the leader of an organization in the city of New Orleans called "Fair * * * [Play] for Cuba," claiming that he should be accepted as a "friend" of the Cuban Revolution. Accordingly, the declarant, complying with her duties, took down all of the information and completed the appropriate application form; and the declarant, admittedly exceeding her responsibilities, informally telephoned the Russian consulate, with the intention of doing what she could to facilitate issuance of the Russian visa to Lee Harvey Oswald. However, they told her that there would be a delay of about four months in processing the case, which annoyed the applicant since, according to his statement, he was in a great hurry to obtain visas that would enable him to travel to -Russia, insisting on his right to do so in view of his background and his loyalty and his activities in behalf of the Cuban movement. The declarant was unable to recall accurately whether or not the applicant told her he was a member of the Communist Party, but he did say that his wife * * * was then in New York City, and would follow him, * * * [Senora Duran stated] that when Oswald understood that it was not possible to give him a Cuban visa without his first having obtained the Russian visa, * * * he became very excited or angry, and accordingly, the affiant called Consul Ascue [sic], * * * [who] came out and began a heated discussion in English with Oswald, that concluded by Ascue telling him that "if it were up to him, he would not give him the visa," and "a person of his type was harming the Cuban Revolution rather than helping it," it being understood that in their conversation they were talking about the Russian Socialist Revolution and not the Cuban. Oswald maintained that he had two reasons for requesting that his visa be issued prompt]y, and they were: one, that his tourist permit in Mexico was about to expire; and the other, that he had to get to Russia as quickly as possible. Despite her annoyance, the declarant gave Oswald a paper * * * in which she put down her name, "Silvia Duran," and the number of the telephone at the consulate, which is "11-28-47" and the visa application was processed anyway. It was sent to the Ministry of [Foreign] Relations of Cuba; from which a routine reply was received some fifteen to thirty days later, approving the visa, but on the condition that the Russian visa be obtained first, although she does not recall whether or not Oswald later telephoned her at the Consulate number that she gave him.540

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With the dates of Oswald's entry into and departure from Mexico, which had been obtained from the records of the Mexican Immigration Service very shortly after the assassination, the Government of Mexico initiated a thorough investigation to uncover as much information as possible on Oswald's trip.541 Representatives of U.S. agencies worked in close liaison with the Mexican law enforcement authorities. The result of this investigative effort was to corroborate the statements of Senora Duran and to verify the essentials of Oswald's activities in Mexico as outlined above.
Senora Duran is a well-educated native of Mexico, who was 26 years old at the time of her interrogation. She is married to Senor Horacio Duran Navarro, a 40-year-old industrial designer, and has a young child. Although Senora Duran denies being a member of the Communist Party or otherwise connected with it, both Durans have been active in far left, political affairs in Mexico, believe in Marxist ideology, and sympathize with the government of Fidel Castro,542 and Senor Duran has written articles for El Dia, a pro-Communist newspaper in Mexico City.543 The Commission has reliable evidence from a confidential source that Senora Duran as well as other personnel at the Cuban Embassy were genuinely upset upon receiving news of President Kennedy's death. Senora Duran's statements were made to Mexican officials soon after the assassination,544 and no significant inaccuracies in them have been detected. Documents fitting the description given by Senora Duran of the documents Oswald had shown her, plus a notation which she said she had given him, were found among his possessions after his arrest.545
The Cuban Government was asked to document and confirm the essentials of Senora Duran's testimony. Its response, which has been included in its entirety in this Report, included a summary statement of Oswald's activities at the Cuban Embassy,546 a photograph of the application for a visa he completed there,547 and a photograph of the communication from Havana rejecting the application unless he could first present a Soviet visa.548 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2564, p. 306.) The information on these documents concerning Oswald's date of birth, American passport number and activities and statements at the Embassy is consistent with other information available to the Commission.549 CIA experts have given their opinion that the handwriting on the visa application which purports to be Oswald's is in fact his and that, although the handwritten notations on the bottom of the document are too brief and faint to permit a conclusive determination, they are probably Senora Duran's.550 The cloths which Oswald was wearing in the photograph which appears on the application appear to be the same as some of those found among his effects after the assassination, and the photograph itself appears to be from the same negative as a photograph found among his effects.551 Nothing on any of the documents raises a suspicion that they might not be authentic.


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By far the most important confirmation of Senora Duran's testimony, however, has been supplied by confidential sources of extremely high reliability available to the United States in Mexico. The information from these sources establishes that her testimony was truthful and accurate in all material respects. The identities of these sources cannot be disclosed without destroying their future usefulness to the United States.
The investigation of the Commission has produced considerable testimonial and documentary evidence establishing the precise time of Oswald's journey, his means of transportation, the hotel at which he stayed in Mexico City, and a restaurant at which he often ate. All known persons whom Oswald may have met while in Mexico, including passengers on the buses he rode, 552 and the employees and guests of the hotel where he stayed,553 were interviewed. No credible witness has been located who saw Oswald with any unidentified person while in Mexico City; to the contrary, he was observed traveling alone to and from Mexico City, 554 at his hotel, 555 and at the nearby restaurant where he frequently ate.556 A hotel guest stated that on one occasion he sat down at a table with Oswald at the restaurant because no empty table was available, but that neither spoke to the other because of the language barrier.557 Two Australian girls who saw Oswald on the bus to Mexico City relate that he occupied a seat next to a man who has been identified as Albert Osborne, an elderly itinerant preacher.558 Osborne denies that Oswald was beside him on the bus.559 To the other passengers on the bus it appeared that Osborne and Oswald had not previously met, 560 and extensive investigation of Osborne has revealed no further contact between him and Oswald. Osborne's responses to Federal investigators on matters unrelated to Oswald have proved inconsistent and unreliable, and, therefore, based on the contrary evidence and Osborne's lack of reliability, the Commission has attached no credence to his denial that Oswald was beside him on the bus. Investigation of his background and activities, however, disclose no basis for suspecting him of any involvement in the assassination.561
Investigation of the hotel at which Oswald stayed has failed to uncover any evidence that the hotel is unusual in any way that could relate to Oswald's visit. It is not especially popular among Cubans, and there is no indication that it is used as a meeting place for extremist or revolutionary organizations.562 Investigation of other guests of the hotel who were there when Oswald was has failed to uncover anything creating suspicion.563 Oswald's notebook which he carried with him to Mexico City contained the telephone number of the Cuban Air- lines Office in Mexico City; 564 however, a Cuban visa is required by Mexican authorities before an individual may enplane for Cuba,565 and a confidential check of the Cuban Airlines Office uncovered no evidence that Oswald visited their offices while in the city.566
Allegations of conspiracy.--Literally dozens of allegations of a conspiratorial contact between Oswald and agents of the Cuban Government have been investigated by the Commission. Among the claims made were allegations that Oswald had made a previous trip to

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Mexico City in early September to receive money and orders for the assassination,567 that he had been flown to a secret airfield somewhere in or near the Yucatan Peninsula,568 that he might have made contacts in Mexico City with a Communist from the United States shortly before the assassination, 569 and that Oswald assassinated the President at the direction of a particular Cuban agent who met with him in the United States and paid him $7,000.570 A letter was received from someone in Cuba alleging the writer had attended a meeting where the assassination had been discussed as part of a plan which would soon include the death of other non-Communist leaders in the Americas.571 The charge was made in a Cuban expatriate publication that in a speech he delivered 5 days after the assassination, while he was under the influence of liquor, Fidel Castro made a slip of the tongue and said, "The first time Oswald was in Cuba," thereby giving away the fact that Oswald had made one or more surreptitious trips to that
Some stories linked the assassination to anti-Castro groups who allegedly were engaged in obtaining illicit firearms in the United States, one such claim being that these groups killed the President as part of a bargain with some illicit organizations who would then supply them with firearms as payment.573 Other rumors placed Oswald in Miami, Fla., at various times, allegedly in pro-Cuban activities there.574 The assassination was claimed to have been carried out by Chinese Communists operating jointly with the Cubans.575 Oswald was also alleged to have met with the Cuban Ambassador in a Mexico City restaurant and to have driven off in the Ambassador's car for a private talk.576 Castro himself, it was alleged, 2 days after the assassination called for the files relating to Oswald's dealings with two members of the Cuban diplomatic mission in the Soviet Union; the inference drawn was that the "dealings" had occurred and had established a secret subversive relationship which continued through Oswald's life.577 Without exception, the rumors and allegations of a conspiratorial contact were shown to be without any factual basis, in some cases the product of mistaken identification.
Illustrative of the attention given to the most serious allegations is the case of "D," a young Latin American secret agent who approached U.S. authorities in Mexico shortly after the assassination and declared that he saw Lee Harvey Oswald receiving $6,500 to kill the President. Among other details, "D" said that at about noon on September 18, waiting to conduct some business at the Cuban consulate, he saw a group of three persons conversing in a patio a few feet away. One was a tall, thin Negro with reddish hair, obviously dyed, who spoke rapidly in both Spanish and English, and another was a man he said was Lee Harvey Oswald. A tall Cuban joined the group momentarily and passed some currency to the Negro. The Negro then allegedly said to Oswald in English, "I want to kill the man." Oswald replied, "You're not man enough, I can do it." The Negro then said in Spanish, "I can't go with you, I have a lot to do." Oswald replied, "The people are waiting for me back there." The


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Negro then gave Oswald $6,500 in large-denomination American bills, saying, "This isn't much." After hearing this conversation, "D" said that he telephoned the American Embassy in Mexico City several times prior to the assassination in an attempt to report his belief that someone important in the United States was to be killed, but was finally told by someone at the Embassy to stop wasting his time.
"D" and his allegations were immediately subjected to intensive investigation. His former employment as an agent for a Latin American country was confirmed, although his superiors had no knowledge of his presence in Mexico or the assignment described by "D." Four days after "D" first appeared the U.S. Government was informed by the Mexican authorities that "D" had admitted in writing that his whole narrative about Oswald was false. He said that he had never seen Oswald anyplace, and that he had not seen anybody paid money in the Cuban Embassy. He also admitted that he never tried to telephone the American Embassy in September and that his first call to the Embassy was after the assassination. "D" said that his motive in fabricating the story was to help get himself admitted into the United States so that he could there participate in action against Fide] Castro. He said that he hated Castro and hoped that the story he made up would be believed and would cause the United States to "take action" against him.
Still later, When questioned by American authorities, "D" claimed that he had been pressured into retracting his statement by the Mexican police and that the retraction, rather than his first statement, was false. A portion of the American questioning was carried on with the use of a polygraph machine, with the consent of "D." When told that the machine indicated that he was probably lying, "D" said words to the effect that he "must be mistaken." Investigation in the meantime had disclosed that the Embassy extension number "D" said he had called would not have given him the person he said he spoke to, and that no one at the Embassy---clerks, secretaries, or officers--had any recollection of his calls. In addition, Oswald spoke little, if any, Spanish. That he could have carried on the alleged conversation with the red-headed Negro in the Cuban Embassy, part of which was supposed to have been in Spanish, was therefore doubtful. "D" now said that he was uncertain as to the date when he saw "someone who looked like Oswald" at the Cuban Embassy, and upon reconsideration, he now thought it was on a Tuesday, September 17, rather than September 18. On September 17, however, Oswald visited the Louisiana State Unemployment Commission in New Orleans and also cashed a check from the Texas Employment Commission at the Winn-Dixie Store No. 1425 in New Orleans. On the basis of the retractions made by "D" when he heard the results of the polygraph examination, and on the basis of discrepancies which appeared in his story, it was concluded that "D" was lying.578
The investigation of the Commission has thus produced no evidence that Oswald's trip to Mexico was in any way connected with the assassination of President Kennedy, nor has it uncovered evidence that the


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Cuban Government had any involvement in the assassination. To the contrary, the Commission has been advised by the CIA and FBI that secret and reliable sources corroborate the statements of Senora Duran in all material respects, and that the Cuban Government had no relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald other than that described by Senora Duran. Secretary of State Rusk also testified that after the assassination "there was very considerable concern in Cuba as to whether they would be held responsible and what the effect of that might be on their own position and their own safety." 579
Contacts with the Soviet Embassy in the United States.--Soon after the Oswalds reached the United States in June 1962 they wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. Oswald requested information about subscriptions to Russian newspapers and magazines and ultimately did subscribe to several Russian journals. Soviet law required Marina Oswald, as a Soviet citizen living abroad, to remain in contact with her nation's Embassy and to file various papers occasionally.580 In 1963, after Oswald had experienced repeated employment difficulties, there were further letters when the Oswalds sought permission to return to the Soviet Union. The first such request was a letter written by Marina Oswald on February 17, 1963. She wrote that she wished to return to Russia but that her husband would stay in the United States because "he is an American by nationality." 581 She was informed on March 8, 1963, that it would take from 5 to 6 months to process the application.582 The Soviet Union made available to the Commission what purports to be the entire correspondence between the Oswalds and the Russian Embassy in the United States.583 This material has been checked for codes and none has been detected.584 With the possible exception of a letter which Oswald wrote to the Soviet Embassy after his return from Mexico City, discussed below, there is no material which gives any reason for suspicion. The implications of all of this correspondence for an understanding of Lee Harvey Oswald's personality and motivation is discussed in the following chapter.
Oswald's last letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., dated November 9, 1963, began by stating that it was written "to inform you of recent events since my meetings with Comrade Kostin in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City, Mexico." 585 The envelope bears a postmark which appears to be November 12, 1963.586 Ruth Paine has testified that Oswald spent the weekend at her home working on the letter and that she observed one preliminary draft.587 A piece of paper which was identified as one of these drafts was found among Oswald's effects after the assassination. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 15, 103, p. 311.) According to Marina Oswald, her husband retyped the envelope 10 times.588
Information produced for the Commission by the CIA is to the effect that the person referred to in the letter as "comrade Kostin" was probably Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov, a member of the consular staff of the Soviet Union in Mexico City. He is also one of the KGB officers stationed at the Embassy.589 It is standard Soviet pro-


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cedure for KGB officers stationed in embassies and in consulates to carry on the normal duties of such a position in addition to the undercover activities.590 The Commission has identified the Cuban consul referred to in Oswald's letter as Senor Eusebio Azque (also "Ascue"), the man with whom Oswald argued at the Cuban Embassy, who was in fact replaced. The CIA advised the Commission:

We surmise that the references in Oswald's 9 November letter to a man who had since been replaced must refer to Cuban Consul Eusebio Azque, who left Mexico for Cuba on permanent transfer on 18 November 1963, four days before the assassination. Azque had been in Mexico for 18 years and it was known as early as September 1963 that Azque was to be replaced. His replacement did arrive in September. Azque was scheduled to leave in October but did not leave until 18 November.
We do not know who might have told Oswald that Azque or any other Cuban had been or was to be replaced, but we speculate that Silvia Duran or some Soviet official might have mentioned it if Oswald complained about Azque's altercation with him.591

When asked to explain the letter, Marina Oswald was unable to add anything to an understanding of its contents.592 Some light on its possible meaning can be shed by comparing it with the early draft. When the differences between the draft and the final document are studied, and especially when crossed-out words are taken into account, it becomes apparent that Oswald was intentionally be-clouding the true state of affairs in order to make his trip to Mexico sound as mysterious and important as possible.
For example, the first sentence in the second paragraph of the letter reads, "I was unable to remain in Mexico indefinily because of my mexican visa restrictions which was for I5 days only." The same sentence in the draft begins, before the words are crossed out, "I was unable to remain in Mexico City because I considered useless * * *" As already mentioned, the Commission has good evidence that Oswald's trip to Mexico was indeed "useless" and that he returned to Texas with that conviction. The first draft, therefore, spoke the truth; but Oswald rewrote the sentence to imply that he had to leave because his visa was about to expire. This is false; Oswald's tourist card still had a full week to run when he departed from Mexico on October 3. 593
The next sentence in the letter reads, "I could not take a chance on reqesting a new visa unless I used my real name, so I returned to the United States." The fact is that he did use his real name for his tourist card, and in all dealings with the Cuban Embassy, the Russian Embassy and elsewhere. Oswald did use the name of "Lee" on the trip, but as indicated below, he did so only sporadically and probably as the result of a clerical error. In the opinion of the Commission, based upon its knowledge of Oswald, the letter constitutes no more than a clumsy effort to ingratiate himself with the Soviet Embassy.


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Investigation of Other Activities

Oswald's use of post office boxes and false names.---After his return from the Soviet Union, Lee Harvey Oswald is known to have received his mail at post office boxes and to have used different aliases on numerous occasions. Since either practice is susceptible of use for clandestine purposes, the Commission has directed attention to both for signs that Oswald at some point made undercover contact with other persons who might have been connected with the assassination.
Oswald is known to have opened three post office boxes during 1962 and 1963. On October 9, 1962, the same day that he arrived in Dallas from Fort Worth, and before establishing a residence there, he opened box No. 2915 at the Dallas General Post Office. This box was closed on May 14, 1963, shortly after Oswald had moved to New Orleans.594 That portion of the post office box application listing the names of those persons other than the applicant entitled to receive mail at the box was discarded in accordance with postal regulations after the box was closed; hence, it is not known what names other than Oswald's were listed on that form.595 However, as discussed in chapter IV, Oswald is known to have received the assassination rifle under the name of A. Hidell and his Smith & Wesson revolver under the name of A. J. Hidell at that box.596 On June 3, 1963, Oswald opened box No. 30061 at the Lafayette Square Substation in New Orleans. Marina Oswald and A. J. Hidell were listed as additional persons entitled to receive mail at this box.597 Immediately before leaving for Mexico City in late September, Oswald submitted a request to forward his mail to the Paines' address in Irving, and the box was closed on September 26.598 On -November 1, 1963, he opened box No. 6225 at the Dallas Post Office Terminal Annex. The Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union were listed as also being entitled to receive mail at this box.599
Oswald's use of post office boxes is consistent with other information known about him. His frequent changes of address and receipt of Communist and other political literature would appear to have provided Oswald reason to have rented postal boxes. These were the explanations for his use of the boxes which he provided Postal Inspector H. D. Holmes on November 24.600 Moreover, on October 14, 1963, he had moved into a room on Beckley Avenue under the name of O. H. Lee 601 and it would have been extremely difficult for Oswald to have received his mail at that address without having disclosed his true name. The boxes cost Oswald only $1.50 or less per month.602
Although the possibilities of investigation in this area are limited, there is no evidence that any of the three boxes was ever used for the surreptitious receipt of messages or was used by persons other than Oswald or his family. No unexplainable notes were found among Oswald's possessions after his arrest. Oswald's box on the day of the assassination, No. 6225, was kept under constant personal surveillance by postal inspectors from about 5 p.m. November 22 until midnight November 24. A modified surveillance was maintained there-


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after. No one called for mail out of this box; indeed the only mail in the box was a Russian magazine addressed to Oswald. The single outstanding key was recovered from Oswald immediately after he was taken in custody.603
In appraising the import of Oswald's rental of post office boxes, it is significant that he was not secretive about their use. All three boxes were rented by Oswald using his true name.604 His application for box No. 2915 showed his home address as that of Alexandra De Mohrenschildt (Taylor), whose husband had agreed to allow Oswald to use his address.605 His application for the New Orleans box listed his address as 657 French Street; his aunt, Lillian Murret, lived at 757 French Street.606 On the application for box No. 6225, Oswald gave an incorrect street number, though he did show Beckley Avenue, where he was then living.607 He furnished the box numbers to his brother, to an employer, to Texas and New Orleans unemployment commissions, and to others.608 Based on all the facts disclosed by its investigation, the Commission has attached no conspiratorial significance to Oswald's rental of post office boxes.
Oswald's use of aliases is also well established. In chapter IV, the evidence relating to his repeated use of the name "A. J. Hidell," and close variants thereof, is set forth.609 Because Oswald's use of this pseudonym became known quickly after the assassination, investigations were conducted with regard to persons using the name Hidell or names similar to it. Subversive files, public carrier records, telegraph company records, banking and other commercial records, and other matters investigated and persons interviewed have been examined with regard to Oswald's true name and his known alias.610 No evidence has been produced that Oswald ever used the name Hidell as a means of making undercover contact with any person. Indeed, though Oswald did prepare a counterfeit selective service card and other identification using this name, he commonly used "Hidell" to represent persons other than himself, such as the president of his nonexistent Fair Play for Cuba Committee chapter, the doctor whose name appeared on his counterfeit international certificate of vaccination, and as references on his job applications.611
Alwyn Cole, questioned document expert for the Treasury Department, testified that the false identification found on Oswald upon his arrest could have been produced by employing elementary techniques used in a photographic printing plant.612 (See app. X, pp. 571-578.) Though to perform the necessary procedures would have been difficult without the use of expensive photographic equipment, such equipment and the needed film and photographic paper were available to Oswald when he was employed from October 1962 through early April 1963 at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, a commercial advertising photography firm in Dallas.613 While so employed, Oswald is known to have become familiar with the mechanics of photographic enlargements, contraction, and image distortion that would have been necessary to produce his false identification, and to have used the facilities of his employer for some personal work.614 Cole testified that the cards


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in Oswald's wallet did not exhibit a great deal of skill, pointing out various errors that had been committed.615 Oswald's supervisor at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall has stated that Oswald seemed unable to perform photographic work with precision, which was one of the main reasons for which he was ultimately discharged.616 The retouched negatives used to make Oswald's counterfeit certificate of service identification were found among Oswald's personal effects after his arrest, as was a rubber stamping kit apparently employed to produce his spurious international certificate of vaccination.617 There is strong evidence, therefore, that Oswald himself made the various pieces of counterfeit identification which he carried, and there is no reason to believe that he received assistance from any person in establishing his alias.
Oswald also used incorrect names other than Hidell, but these too appear unconnected with any form of conspiracy. Oswald's last name appears as "Lee" in three places in connection with his trip to Mexico City, discussed above. His tourist card was typed by the Mexican consulate in New Orleans, "Lee, Harvey Oswald." 618 However, the comma seems to have been a clerical error, since Oswald signed both the application and the card itself, "Lee H. Oswald." Moreover, Oswald seems originally to have also printed his name, evenly spaced, as "Lee H Oswald," but, noting that the form instructed him to "Print full name. No initials," printed the remainder of his middle name after the "H." The clerk who typed the card thus saw a space after "Lee," followed by "Harvey Oswald" crowded together, and probably assumed that "Lee" was the applicant's last name. (See Commission Exhibit 2481, p. 800.) The clerk who prepared Oswald's bus reservation for his return trip wrote "H. O. Lee." He stated that he did not remember the occasion, although he was sure from the handwriting and from other facts that he had dealt with Oswald. He surmised that he probably made out the reservation directly from the tourist card, since Oswald spoke no Spanish, and, seeing the comma, wrote the name "H. O. Lee." 619 Oswald himself signed the register at the hotel in Mexico City as "Lee, Harvey Oswald," 620 but since the error is identical to that on the tourist card and since he revealed the remainder of his name, "Harvey Oswald," it is possible that Oswald inserted the comma to conform to the tourist card, or that the earlier mistake suggested a new pseudonym to Oswald which he decided to continue.
In any event, Oswald used his correct name in making reservations for the trip to Mexico City, in introducing himself to passengers on the bus, and in his dealings with the Cuban and Soviet Embassies.621 When registering at the Beckley Avenue house in mid-October, Oswald perpetuated the pseudonym by giving his name as "0. H. Lee," 622 though he had given his correct name to the owner of the previous roominghouse where he had rented a room after his return from Mexico City.623 Investigations of the Commission have been conducted with regard to persons using the name "Lee," and no evidence


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has been found that Oswald used this alias for the purpose of making any type of secret contacts.
Oswald is also known to have used the surname "Osborne" in ordering Fair Play for Cuba Committee handbills in May 1963.624 He also used the false name D. F. Drittal as a certifying witness on the mail-order coupon with which he purchased his Smith & Wesson revolver. 625 He used the name Lt. J. Evans as a reference on an employment application in New Orleans.626
Oswald's repeated use of false names is probably not to be disassociated from his antisocial and criminal inclinations. No doubt he purchased his weapons under the name of Hidell in attempt to prevent their ownership from being traced. Oswald's creation of false names and ficititious personalities is treated in the discussion of possible motives set forth in chapter VII. Whatever its significance in that respect may be, the Commission has found no indication that Oswald's use of aliases was linked with any conspiracy with others.
Ownership of a second rifle.--The Commission has investigated a report that, during the first 2 weeks of November 1963, Oswald had a telescopic sight mounted and sighted on a rifle at a sporting goods store in Irving, Tex. The main evidence that Oswald had such work performed for him is an undated repair tag bearing the name "Oswald" from the Irving Sports Shop in Irving, Tex. On November 25, 1963, Dial D. Ryder, an employee of the Irving Sports Shop, presented this tag to agents of the FBI, claiming that the tag was in his handwriting. The undated tag indicated that three holes had been drilled in an unspecified type of rifle and a telescopic sight had been mounted on the rifle and boresighted.627
As discussed in chapter IV, the telescopic sight on the C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was already mounted when shipped to Oswald, and both Ryder and his employer, Charles W. Greener, feel certain that they never did any work on this rifle.628 If the repair tag actually represented a transaction involving Lee Harvey Oswald, therefore, it would mean that Oswald owned another rifle. Although this would not alter the evidence which establishes Oswald's ownership of the rifle used to assassinate President Kennedy, the possession of a second rifle warranted investigation because it would indicate that a possibly important part of Oswald's life had not been uncovered.
Since all of Oswald's known transactions in connection with firearms after his return to the United States were undertaken under an assumed name,629 it seems unlikely that if he did have repairs made at the sports shop he would have used his real name Investigation has revealed that the authenticity of the repair tag bearing Oswald's name is indeed subject to grave doubts. Ryder testified that he found the repair tag while cleaning his workbench on November 23, 1963.630 However, Ryder spoke with Greener repeatedly during the period be tween November 22-28 and, sometime prior to November 25, he discussed with him the possibility that Oswald had been in the store. Neither he nor Greener could remember that he had been. But despite these conversations with Greener, it is significant that Ryder never

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called the repair tag to his employer's attention. Greener did not learn about the tag until November 28, when he was called by TV reporters after the story had appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald.631 The peculiarity of Ryder's silence is compounded by the fact that, when speaking to the FBI on November 25, Ryder fixed the period during which the tag had been issued as November 1-14, 1963, yet, from his later testimony, it appears that he did so on the basis that it must have occurred when Greener was on vacation since Greener did not remember the transaction.632 Moreover, the FBI had been directed to the Irving Sports Shop by anonymous telephone calls received by its Dallas office and by a local television station. The anonymous male who telephoned the Bureau attributed his information to an unidentified sack boy at a specified supermarket in Irving, but investigation has failed to verify this source.633
Neither Ryder nor Greener claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald had ever been a customer in the Irving Sports Shop. Neither has any recollection of either Oswald or his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, nor does either recall the transaction allegedly represented by the repair tag or the person for whom the repair was supposedly made. 634 Although Ryder stated to the FBI that he was "quite sure" that he had seen Oswald and that Oswald may have been in the store at one time, when shown a photograph of Oswald during his deposition, Ryder testified he knew the picture to be of Oswald, "as the pictures in the paper, but as far as seeing the guy personally, I don't think I ever have." 635
Subsequent events also reflect on Ryder's credibility. In his deposition, Ryder emphatically denied that he talked to any reporters about this matter prior to the time a story about it appeared in the November 28, 1963, edition of the Dallas Times-Herald.636 Earlier, however, he told an agent of the U.S. Secret Service that the newspaper had misquoted him.637 Moreover, a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald has testified that on November 28, 1968, he called Ryder at his home and obtained from him all of the details of the alleged transaction, and his story is supported by the testimony of a second reporter who overheard one end of the telephone conversation.638 No other person by the name of Oswald in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has been found who had a rifle repaired at the Irving Sports Shop.639
Possible corroboration for Ryder's story is provided by two women, Mrs. Edith Whitworth, who operates the Furniture Mart, a furniture store located about 1½ blocks from the Irving Sports Shop, and Mrs. Gertrude Hunter, a friend of Mrs. Whitworth. They testified that in early November of 1963, a man who they later came to believe was Oswald drove up to the Furniture Mart in a two-tone blue and white 1957 Ford automobile, entered the store and asked about a part for a gun, presumably because of a sign that. appeared in the building advertising a gunsmith shop that had formerly occupied part of the premises. When he found that he could not obtain the part, the man allegedly returned to his car and then came back into the store with a woman and two young children to look at furniture, remaining in the store for about 30 to 40 minutes.640


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Upon confronting Marina Oswald, both women identified her as the woman whom they had seen in the store on the occasion in question, although Mrs. Hunter could not identify a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald and Mrs. Whitworth identified some pictures of Oswald but not others. Mrs. Hunter purported to identify Marina Oswald by her eyes, and did not observe the fact that Marina Oswald had a front tooth missing at the time she supposedly saw her.641 After a thorough inspection of the Furniture Mart, Marina Oswald testified that she had never been on the premises before.642
The circumstances surrounding the testimony of the two women are helpful in evaluating the weight to be given to their testimony, and the extent to which they lend support to Ryder's evidence. The women previously told newspaper reporters that the part for which the man was looking was a "plunger," which the Commission has been advised is a colloquial term used to describe a firing pin.643 This work was completely different from the work covered by Ryder's repair tag, and the firing pin of the assassination weapon does not appear to have been recently replaced.644 At the time of their depositions, neither woman was able to recall the type of work which the man wanted done. 645
Mrs. Whitworth related to the FBI that the man told her that the younger child with him was born on October 20, 1968, which was in fact Rachel Oswald's birthday.646 In her testimony before the Commission, however, Mrs. Whitworth could not state that the man had told her the child's birthdate was October 20, 1963, and in fact expressed uncertainty about the birthday of her own grandchild, which she had previously used as a guide to remembering the birthdate of the younger child in the shop.647 Mrs. Hunter thought that the man she and Mrs. Whitworth believed was Oswald drove the car to and from the store; 648 however, Lee Harvey Oswald apparently was not able to drive an automobile by himself and does not appear to have had
access to a car.649
The two women claimed that Oswald was in the Furniture Mart on a weekday, and in midafternoon. However, Oswald had reported to work at the Texas School Book Depository on the dates referred to by the women and there is no evidence that he ]eft his job during business hours.650 In addition, Ruth Paine has stated that she always accompanied Marina Oswald whenever Marina left the house with her children and that they never went to the Furniture Mart, either with or without Lee Harvey Oswald, at any time during October or November of 1963.651 There is nothing to indicate that in November the Oswalds were interested in buying furniture.652
Finally, investigation has produced reason to question the credibility of Mrs. Hunter as a witness. Mrs. Hunter stated that one of the reasons she remembers the description of the car in which Oswald supposedly drove to the furniture store was that she was awaiting the arrival of a friend from Houston, who drove a similar automobile. 653 However, the friend in Houston has advised that in November 1963, she never visited or planned to visit Dallas, and that she

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told no one that she intended to make such a trip. Moreover the friend added, according to the FBI interview report, that Mrs. Hunter has "a strange obsession for attempting to inject herself into any big event which comes to her attention" and that she "is likely to claim some personal knowledge of any major crime which receives much publicity." 654 She concluded that "the entire family is aware of these 'tall tales' Mrs. Hunter tells and they normally pay no attention to her." 655
Another allegation relating to the possible ownership of a second rifle by Oswald comes from Robert Adrian Taylor, a mechanic at a service station in Irving. Some 3 weeks after the assassination, Taylor reported to the FBI that he thought that, in March or April of 1963, a man he believed to be Oswald had been a passenger in an auto mobile that stopped at his station for repairs; since neither the driver nor the passenger had sufficient funds for the repair work, the person believed to be Oswald sold a U.S. Army rifle to Mr. Taylor, using the proceeds to pay for the repairs.656 However, a second employee at the service station, who recalled the incident, believed that, despite a slight resemblance, the passenger was not Oswald.657 Upon reflection, Taylor himself stated that he is very doubtful that the man was Oswald.658
Rifle practice.--Several witnesses believed that in the weeks preceding the assassination, they observed a man resembling Oswald practicing with a rifle in the fields and wooded areas surrounding Dallas, and at rifle ranges in that area. Some witnesses claimed Oswald was alone, while others said he was accompanied by one or more other persons. In most instances, investigation has disclosed that there is no substantial basis for believing that the person reported by the various witnesses was Oswald.659
One group of witnesses, however, believed that they observed Lee Harvey Oswald at the Sports Drome Rifle Range in Dallas at various times from September through November of 1963. In light of the number of witnesses, the similarity of the descriptions of the man they saw, and the type of weapon they thought the individual was shooting, there is reason to believe that these witnesses did see the same person at the firing range, although the testimony of none of these witnesses is fully consistent with the reported observations of the other witnesses.
The witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald at the firing range had more than a passing notice of the person they observed. Malcolm H. Price, Jr., adjusted the scope on the individual's rifle on one occasion; 660 Garland G. Slack had an altercation with the individual on another occasion because he was shooting at Slack's target; 661 and Sterling C. Wood, who on a third date was present at the range with his father, Dr. Homer Wood, spoke with his father and very briefly with the man himself about the individual's rifle.662 All three of these persons, as well as Dr. Wood, expressed confidence that the man they saw was Oswald.663 Two other persons believed they saw


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a person resembling Oswald firing a similar rifle at another range near Irving 2 days before the assassination.664
Although the testimony of these witnesses was partially corroborated by other witnesses,665 there was other evidence which prevented the Commission from reaching the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the person these witnesses saw. Others who were at the firing range remembered the same individual but, though noting a similarity to Oswald, did not believe that the man was Oswald;666 others either were unable to state whether the man was Oswald or did not recall seeing anybody who they feel may have been Oswald.667 Moreover, when interviewed on December 2, 1963, Slack recalled that the individual whom he saw had blond hair,668 and on December 3, 1963, Price stated that on several occasions when he saw the individual, he was wearing a "Bulldogger Texas style" hat and had bubble gum or chewing tobacco in his cheek.669 None of these characteristics match those known about Lee Harvey Oswald.
Moreover, the date on which Price adjusted the scope for the unknown person was September 28, 1963, but Oswald is known to have been in Mexico City at that time; 670 since a comparison of the events testified to by Price and Slack strongly suggests that they were describing the same man,671 there is reason to believe that Slack was also describing a man other than Oswald. In addition, Slack believed he saw the same person at the rifle range on November 10 672 and there is persuasive evidence that on November 10, Oswald was at the Paine's home in Irving and did not leave to go to the rifle range.673 Finally, the man whom Price assisted on September 28 drove an old car, possibly a 1940 or 1941 Ford.674 However, there is evidence that Oswald could not drive at that timer and there is no indication that Oswald ever had access to such a car.675 Neither Oswald's name nor any of his known aliases was found in the sign-in register maintained at the Sports Drome Rifle Ranger though many customers did not sign this register.676 The allegations pertaining to the companions who reportedly accompanied the man believed to be Oswald are also inconsistent among themselves 677 and conform to no other credible information ascertained by the Commission. Several witnesses noticed a bearded man at the club when the person believed to be Oswald was there, although only one witness thought the two men were together; 678 the bearded gentleman was located, and he was not found to have any connection with Oswald.679
It seems likely that the identification of Price, Slack, and the Woods was reinforced in their own minds by the belief that the man whom they saw was firing a rifle perhaps identical to Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano. The witnesses agreed that the man they observed was firing a Mauser-type bolt-action rifle with the ammunition clip immediately in front of the trigger action, and that a scope was mounted on the rifle.680 These features are consistent with the rifle Oswald used for the assassination.681 The witnesses agreed that the man had accurate aim with the rifle.682


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However, the evidence demonstrated that the weapon fired by the man they observed was different from the assassination rifle. The witnesses agreed that the barrel of the gun which the individual was firing had been shortened in the process of "sporterizing" the weapon.683 In addition, Price and Slack recalled that certain pieces were missing from the top of the weapon,684 and Dr. Wood and his son, and others, remembered that the weapon spouted flames when fired.685 None of these characteristics correspond with Oswald's Mannlicher- Carcano.686 Price and Slack believed that the gun did not have a sling, but the assassination weapon did have one. Sterling Wood, on the other hand, recalled that the rifle which he saw had a sling.687 Price also recalled that he examined the rifle briefly for some indication as to where it had been manufactured, but saw nothing, whereas the words "MADE ITALY" are marked on the top of Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano.688
The scope on the rifle observed at the firing range does not appear to be the same as the one on the assassination weapon. Price remembered that the individual told him that his scope was Japanese, that he had paid $18 for it, and that he had it mounted in a gunshop in Cedar Hills, though apparently no such shop exists in that area.689 The scope on the Mannlicher-Carcano was of Japanese origin but it was worth a little more than $7 and was already mounted when he received the rifle from a mail-order firm in Chicago.690 Sterling Wood and Slack agreed that the scope had a somewhat different appearance from the scope on the assassination rifle.691
Though the person believed to be Oswald retained his shell casings, presumably for reuse,692 all casings recovered from areas where it is believed that Oswald may have practiced have been examined by the FBI Laboratory, and none has been found which was fired from Oswald's rifle.693 Finally, evidence discussed in chapter IV tends to prove that Oswald brought his rifle to Dallas from the home of the Paines in Irving on November 22, and there is no other evidence which indicates that he took the rifle or a package which might have contained the rifle out of the Paine's garage, where it was stored, prior to that date.694
Automobile demonstration.--The testimony of Albert Guy Bogard has been carefully evaluated because it suggests the possibility that Oswald might have been a proficient automobile driver and, during November 1963, might have been expecting funds with which to purchase a car. Bogard, formerly an automobile salesman with a Lincoln-Mercury firm in Dallas, testified that in the early afternoon of November 9, 1963, he attended a prospective customer who he believes was Lee Harvey Oswald. According to Bogard, the customer, after test driving an automobile over the Stemmons Freeway at 60 to 70 miles per hour, told Bogard that in several weeks he would have the money to make a purchase. Bogard asserted that the customer gave his name as "Lee Oswald," which Bogard wrote on a business card. After Oswald's name was mentioned on the radio on November 22, Bogard assertedly threw the card in a trash can, making the comment


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to coemployees that he supposed Oswald would no longer wish to buy a car.695
Bogard's testimony has received corroboration.696 The assistant sales manager at the time, Frank Pizzo, and a second salesman, Eugene M. Wilson, stated that they recall an instance when the customer described by Bogard was in the showroom.697 Another salesman, Oran Brown, recalled that Bogard asked him to assist the customer if he appeared during certain evenings when Bogard was away from the
showroom. Brown stated that he too wrote down the customer's name and both he and his wife remember the name "Oswald" as being on a paper in his possession before the assassination.698
However, doubts exist about the accuracy of Bogard's testimony. He, Pizzo, and Wilson differed on important details of what is supposed to have occurred when the customer was in the showroom. Whereas Bogard stated that the customer said he did not wish credit and wanted to purchase a car for cash,699 Pizzo and Wilson both indicated that the man did attempt to purchase on credit.700 According to Wilson, when the customer was told that he would be unable to purchase a ear without a credit rating, substantial cash or a lengthy employment record, he stated sarcastically, "Maybe I'm going to have to go back to Russia to buy a car." 701 While it is possible that Oswald would have made such a remark, the statement is not consistent with Bogard's story. Indeed, Bogard has made no mention that the customer ever spoke with Wilson while he was in the showroom.702 More important, on November 23, a search through the showroom's refuse was made, but no paper bearing Oswald's name was found.703 The paper on which Brown reportedly wrote Oswald's name also has never been located.704
The assistant sales manager, Mr. Pizzo, who saw Bogard's prospect on November 9 and shortly after the assassination felt that Oswald may have been this man, later examined pictures of Oswald and expressed serious doubts that the person with Bogard was in fact Oswald. While noting a resemblance, he did not believe that Oswald's hairline matched that of the person who had been in the showroom on November 9.705 Wilson has stated that Bogard's customer was only about 5 feet tall.706 Several persons who knew Oswald have testified that he was unable to drive,707 although Mrs. Paine, who was giving Oswald driving lessons, stated that Oswald was showing some improvement by November.708 Moreover, Oswald's whereabouts on November 9, as testified to by Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine, would have made it impossible for him to have visited the automobile showroom as Mr. Bogard claims.709
Alleged association with various Mexican or Cuban individuals.--The Commission has examined Oswald's known or alleged contacts and activities in an effort to ascertain whether or not he was involved in any conspiracy may be seen in the investigation it conducted as a result of the testimony given by Mrs. Sylvia Odio. The Commission investigated her statements in connection with its consid-


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eration of the testimony of several witnesses suggesting that Oswald may have been seen in the company of unidentified persons of Cuban or Mexican background. Mrs. Odio was born in Havana in 1937 and remained in Cuba until 1960; it appears that both of her parents are political prisoners of the Castro regime. Mrs. Odio is a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Junta (JURE), an anti-Castro organization.710 She testified that late in September 1963, three men came to her apartment in Dallas and asked her to help them prepare a letter soliciting funds for JURE activities. She claimed that the men, who exhibited personal familiarity with her imprisoned father, asked her if she were "working in the underground," and she replied that she was not.711 She testified that two of the men appeared to be Cubans, although they also had some characteristics that she associated with Mexicans. Those two men did not state their full names, but identified themselves only by their fictitious underground "war names." Mrs. Odio remembered the name of one of the Cubans as "Leopoldo." 712 The third man, an American, allegedly was introduced to Mrs. Odio as "Leon Oswald," and she was told that he was very much interested in the Cuban cause.713 Mrs. Odio said that the men told her that they had lust come from New Orleans and that they were then about to leave on a trip. 714 Mrs. Odio testified that the next day Leopoldo called her on the telephone and told her that it was his idea to introduce the American into the underground "because he is great, he is kind of nuts." 715 Leopoldo also said that the American had been in the Marine Corps and was an excellent shot, and that the American said the Cubans "don't have any guts * * * be cause President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs, and some Cubans should have done that, because he was the one that was holding the freedom of Cuba actually." 716
Although Mrs. Odio suggested doubts that the men were in fact members of JURE, 717 she was certain that the American who was introduced to her as Leon Oswald was Lee Harvey Oswald.718 Her sister, who was in the apartment at the time of the visit by the three men, and who stated that she saw them briefly in the hallway when answering the door, also believed that the American was Lee Harvey Oswald.719 By referring to the date on which she moved from her former apartment, October 1, 1963, Mrs. Odio fixed the date of the alleged visit on the Thursday or Friday immediately preceding that date, i.e., September 26 or 27. She was positive that the visit occurred prior to October 1.720
During the course of its investigation, however, the Commission concluded that Oswald could not have been in Dallas on the evening of either September 26 or 27, 1963. It also developed considerable evidence that he was not in Dallas at any time between the beginning of September and October 3, 1963. On April 24, Oswald left Dallas for New Orleans, where he lived until his trip to Mexico City in late September and his subsequent return to Dallas. Oswald is known to


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have been in New Orleans as late as September 23, 1963, the date on which Mrs. Paine and Marina Oswald left New Orleans for Dallas.721 Sometime between 4 p.m. on September 24 and 1 p.m. on September 25, Oswald cashed an unemployment compensation check at a store in New Orleans;722 under normal procedures this check would not have reached Oswald's postal box in New Orleans until at least 5
on September 25.723 The store at which he cashed the check did not open until 8 a.m.724 Therefore, it appeared that Oswald's presence in New Orleans until sometime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on September 25 was quite firmly established.
Although there is no firm evidence of the means by which Oswald traveled from New Orleans to Houston, on the first leg of his Mexico City trip, the Commission noted that a Continental Trailways bus leaving New Orleans at 12:30 p.m. on September 25 would have brought Oswald to Houston at 10:50 p.m. that evening.725 His presence on this bus would be consistent with other evidence before the Commission.726 There is strong evidence that on September 26, 1963, Oswald traveled on Continental Trailways bus No. 5133 which left Houston at 2:35 a.m. for Laredo, Tex. Bus company records disclose that one ticket from Houston to Laredo was sold during the night shift on September 25-26, and that such ticket was the only one of its kind sold in the period of September 24 through September 26. The agent who sold this ticket has stated that Oswald could have been the purchaser.727 Two English passengers, Dr. and Mrs. John B. McFarland, testified that they saw Oswald riding alone on this bus shortly after they awoke at 6 a.m.728 The bus was scheduled to arrive in Laredo at 1:20 p.m. on September 26, and Mexican immigration records show that Oswald in fact crossed the border at Laredo to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on that day.729 Evidence set out in appendix XIII establishes that Oswald did not leave Mexico until October 3, and that he arrived in Dallas the same day.
The Commission noted that the only time not strictly accounted for during the period that Mrs. Odio thought Oswald might have visited her is the span between the morning of September 25 and 2:35 a.m. on September 26. The only public means of transportation by which Oswald could have traveled from New Orleans to Dallas in time to catch his bus from Houston to Laredo, would have been the airlines. Investigation disclosed no indication that he flew between these points.730 Moreover, it did not seem probable that Oswald would speed from New Orleans, spend a short time talking to Sylvia Odio, and then travel from Dallas to Mexico City and back on the bus. Automobile travel in the time available, though perhaps possible, would have been difficult.731 The Commission noted, however, that if Oswald had reached Dallas on the evening of September 25, he could have traveled by bus to Alice, Tex., and there caught the bus which had left Houston for Laredo at 2:35 a.m. on September 26, 1963.732 Further investigation in that regard indicated, however, that no tickets were sold, during the period September 23-26, 1963 for travel from


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Dallas to Laredo or points beyond by the Dallas office of Continental Trailways, the only bus line on which Oswald could have made connections with the bus on which he was later seen. Furthermore, if Oswald had traveled from Dallas to Alice, he would not have reached the Houston to Laredo bus until after he was first reportedly observed on it by the McFarlands.733 Oswald had also told passengers on the bus to Laredo that he had traveled from New Orleans by bus, and made no mention of an intervening trip to Dallas. 734 In addition, the Commission noted evidence that on the evening of September 25, 1963, Oswald made a telephone call to a party in Houston proposing to visit a resident. of Houston that evening 735 and the fact that such a call would appear to be inconsistent with Oswald's having been in Dallas at the time. It thus appeared that the evidence was persuasive that Oswald was not in Dallas on September 25, and, therefore, that he was not in that city at the time Mrs. Odio said she saw him.
In spite of the fact that it appeared almost certain that Oswald could not have been in Dallas at the time Mrs. Odio thought he was, the Commission requested the FBI to conduct further investigation to determine the validity of Mrs. Odio's testimony.736 The Commission considered the problems raised by that testimony as important, in view of the possibility it raised that Oswald .may have had companions on his trip to Mexico.737 The Commission specifically requested the FBI to attempt to locate and identify the two men who Mrs. Odio stated were with the man she thought was Oswald. 738 In an effort to do that the FBI located and interviewed Manuel Ray, a leader of JURE who confirmed that Mrs. Odio's parents were political prisoners in Cuba, but stated that he did not know anything about the alleged Oswald visit.739 The same was true of Rogelio Cisneros,740 a former anti-Castro leader from Miami who had visited Mrs. Odio in June of 1962 in connection with certain anti- Castro activities. 741 Additional investigation was conducted in Dallas and in other cities in search of the visitors to Mrs. Odio's apartment. 742 Mrs. Odio herself was reinterviewed.743
On September 16, 1964, the FBI located Loran Eugene Hall in Johnsandale Calif. 744 Hall has been identified as a participant in numerous anti-Castro activities. 745 He told the FBI that in September of 1963 he was in Dallas, soliciting aid in connection with anti-Castro activities. He said he had visited Mrs. Odio. He was accompanied by Lawrence Howard, a Mexican-American from East Los Angeles and one William Seymour from Arizona. He stated that Seymour is similar in appearance to Lee Harvey Oswald; he speaks only a few words of Spanish,746 as Mrs. Odio had testified one of the men who visited her did.747 While the FBI had not yet completed its investigation into this matter at the time the report went to press, the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was not at Mrs. Odio's apartment in September of 1963.
The Commission has also noted the testimony of Evaristo Rodriguez, a bartender in the Habana Bar in New Orleans, to the effect that he saw Oswald in that bar in August of 1963 in the company of a


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Latin-appearing man. 748 Rodriguez' description of the man accompanying the person he thought to be Oswald was similar in respects to the description given by Sylvia Odio since beth testified that the man may have been of either Cuban or Mexican extraction, and had a slight bald spot on the forepart of his hairline.749 Rodriguez' identification of Oswald was uncorroborated except for the testimony of the owner of the bar, Orest Pena; according to Rodriguez, Pena was not in a position to observe the man he thought later to have been Oswald.750 Although Pena has testified that he did observe the same person as did Rodriguez, and that this person was Oswald,751 an FBI interview report indicated that a month earlier Pena had stated that he "could not at this time or at any time say whether or not the person was identical with Lee Harvey Oswald." 752 Though when testifying, Pena identified photographs of Oswald, the FBI report also recorded that Pena "stated the only reason he was able to recognize Oswald was because he had seen Oswald's picture in the news media so often after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy." 753 When present at Pena's bar, Oswald was supposed to have been intoxicated to the extent that he became ill,754 which is inconsistent. with other evidence that Oswald did not drink alcoholic beverages to excess.755
The Commission has also noted the testimony of Dean Andrews, an attorney in New Orleans. Andrews stated that Oswald came to his office several times in the summer of 1963 to seek advice on a less than honorable discharge from the Armed Forces, the citizenship status of his wife and his own citizenship status. Andrews, who believed that he was contacted on November 23 to represent Oswald, testified that Oswald was always accompanied by a Mexican and was at times accompanied by apparent homosexuals.756 Andrews was able to locate no records of any of Oswald's alleged visits, and investigation has failed to locate the person who supposedly called Andrews on November 23, at a time when Andrews was under heavy sedation.757 While one of Andrews' employees felt that Oswald might have been at his office, his secretary has no recollection of Oswald being there. 758

Oswald Was Not an Agent for the U.S. Government

From the time of his release from the Marine Corps until the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald dealt in various transact-ions with several agencies of the U.S. Government. Before departing the United States for the Soviet Union in 1959, he obtained an American passport, which he returned to the Embassy in Moscow in October 1959 when he attempted to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Thereafter, while in the Soviet Union, Oswald had numerous contacts with the American Embassy, beth in person and through correspondence. Two years later, he applied for the return and renewal of his passport, which was granted him. His application concerning the admittance of his wife to this country was passed upon by the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice in addition to the State Department. And before returning to this country, he

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secured a loan from the State Department to help cover his transportation costs from Moscow to New York. These dealings with the. Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service have been reviewed earlier in this chapter and are considered in detail in appendix w. After his return, Oswald was interviewed on three occasions by agents of the FBI, and Mrs. Paine was also questioned by the FBI about Oswald's activities. Oswald obtained a second passport in June of 1963. And both the FBI and the CIA took note of his Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities in New Orleans and his appearance at the Soviet consulate in Mexico City. For reasons which will be discussed fully in chapter VIII, Oswald's name was never given to the U.S. Secret Service.
These dealings have given rise to numerous rumors and allegations that Oswald may have been a paid informant or some type of undercover agent for a Federal agency, usually the FBI or the CIA. The Commission has fully explored whether Oswald had any official or unofficial relationship with any Federal agency beyond that already described.
Oswald's mother, Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, testified before the Commission that she believes her son went to Russia and returned as an undercover agent for the U.S. Government.759 Mrs. Oswald mentioned the belief that her son was an agent to a State Department representative whom she visited in January 1961, when she was trying to locate her son. 760 She had been interviewed earlier by FBI Agent John W. Fain, within some 6 months of Oswald's departure for Russia, and did not at that time suggest such an explanation for Oswald's departure. 761 Though provided the opportunity to present any material she considered pertinent, Mrs. Oswald was not able to give the Commission any reasonable basis for her speculation. 762 As discussed later in this chapter, the Commission has investigated Marguerite Oswald's claim that an FBI agent showed her a picture of Jack Ruby after the assassination but before Lee Harvey Oswald had been killed; this allegation was inaccurate, since the picture was not of Ruby.
After the assassination it was reported that in 1962 Oswald had told Pauline Bates, a public stenographer in Fort Worth, Tex., that he had become a "secret agent" of the U.S. Government and that he was soon going back to Russia "or Washington." 763 Mrs. Bates in her sworn testimony denied that Oswald ever told her anything to that effect. 764 She testified that she had stated "that when he first said that he went to Russia and had gotten a visa that I thought--it was just a thought--that maybe he was going over under the auspices of the State Department--as a student or something." 765
In order to evaluate the nature of Oswald's dealings with the Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Commission has obtained the complete files of both the Department and the Service pertaining to Lee Harvey Oswald. Officials who were directly involved in dealing with the Oswald case on these matters have testified before the Commission. A critical evaluation of the manner in which they were handled by these organizations is set forth


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in appendix XV. The record establishes that Oswald received no preferential treatment and that his case involved no impropriety on the part of any Government official.
Director John A. McCone and Deputy Director Richard Helms of the Central Intelligence Agency testified before the Commission that no one connected with the CIA had ever interviewed Oswald or communicated with him in any way.766 In his supplementing affidavit, Director McCone stated unequivocally that Oswald was not an agent, employee, or informant of the CIA, that the Agency never communicated with him in any manner or furnished him any compensation, and that Oswald was never directly or indirectly associated with the CIA.767 The Commission has had access to the full CIA file on Oswald which is entirely consistent with Director McCone's statements.
The Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, Assistant to the Director Alan H. Belmont, FBI Agents John W. Fain and John L. Quigley, who interviewed Oswald, and FBI Agent James P. Hosty, Jr., who was in charge of his case at the time of the assassination, have also testified before the Commission. All declared, in substance, that Oswald was not an informant or agent of the FBI, that he did not act in any other capacity for the FBI, and that no attempt was made to recruit him in any capacity.768 Director Hoover and each Bureau agent, who according to the FBI would have been responsible for or aware of any attempt to recruit Oswald as an informant, have also provided the Commission with sworn affidavits to this effect.769 Director Hoover has sworn that he caused a search to be made of the records of the Bureau, and that the search discloses that Oswald "was never an informant of the FBI, and never assigned a symbol number in that capacity, and was never paid any amount of money by the FBI in any regard." 770 This testimony is corroborated by the Commission's independent review of the Bureau files dealing with the Oswald investigation.
The Commission also investigated the circumstances which led to the presence in Oswald's address book of the name of Agent Hosty together with his office address, telephone number, and license number. 771 Hosty and Mrs. Paine testified that on November 1, 1963, Hosty left his name and phone number with Mrs. Paine so that she could advise Hosty when she learned where Oswald was living in Dallas.772 Mrs. Paine and Marina Oswald have testified that Mrs. Paine handed Oswald the slip of paper on which Hosty had written this information. 773 In accordance with prior instructions from Oswald, 774 Marina Oswald noted Hosty's license number which she gave to her husband. 775 The address of the Dallas office of the FBI could have been obtained from many public sources.
Thus, close scrutiny of the records of the Federal agencies involved and the testimony of the responsible officials of the U.S. Government establish that there was absolutely no type of informant or undercover relationship between an agency of the U.S. Government and Lee Harvey Oswald at any time.


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Oswald's Finances

In search of activities or payments demonstrating the receipt of unexplained funds, the Commission undertook a detailed study of Oswald's receipts and expenditures starting with the date of his return from the Soviet Union on June 13, 1962, and continuing to the date of his arrest on November 22, 1963. In appendix XIV there appears a table listing Oswald's estimated receipts and expenditures on a monthly basis during this period.
The Commission was assisted in this phase of the investigation by able investigators of the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury and by agents of the FBI. The investigation extended far beyond interrogation of witnesses who appeared before the Commission. At banks in New Orleans, La.; Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, and Laredo, Tex., inquiries were made for any record of a checking, savings, or loan accounts or a safe deposit box rented in the names of Lee Harvey Oswald, his known aliases, or members of his immediate family. In many cases a photograph of Oswald was exhibited to bank officials who were in a position to see a person in the safe deposit box area of their banks. No bank account or safe deposit boxes were located which could be identified with Oswald during this period of his life, although evidence was developed of a bank account which he had used prior to his trip to the Soviet Union in 1959. Telegraph companies were checked for the possibility of money orders that may have been sent to Oswald. All known locations where Oswald cashed checks which he received were queried as to the possibility of his having cashed other checks there. Further inquiries were made at Oswald's places of employment, his residences and with local credit associations, hospitals, utility companies, State and local government offices, post offices, periodicals, newspapers, and employment agencies.776
Marina Oswald testified that she knew of no sources of income Oswald other than his wages and his unemployment compensation.777 No evidence of other cash income has been discovered. The Commission has found that the funds known to have been available to Oswald during the period June 13, 1962, through November 22, 1963, were sufficient to cover all of his known expenditures during this period. Including cash on hand of $63 when he arrived from the Soviet Union, the Oswalds received a total of $3,665.89 in cash from wages, unemployment compensation benefits, loans, and gifts from acquaintances. His cash disbursements during this period were estimated at $3,501.79, leaving a balance of $164.10. (See app. XIV.) This estimated balance is within $19 of the $183.87 in cash which was actually in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest, consisting of $13.87 on his person and $170 in his wallet left at the Paine house.778
In computing Oswald's expenditures, estimates were made for food, clothing, and incidental expenses. The incidental expenses included telephone calls, the cost of local newspapers, money order and check-cashing fees, postage, local transportation costs, personal care goods and services, and other such small items. All of these expenses, in-


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cluding food and clothing, were estimated at a slightly higher figure than would be normal for a family with the income of the Oswalds, and probably higher than the Oswalds actually spent on such items.779 This was done in order to be certain that even if some of Oswald's minor expenditures are not known, he had adequate funds to cover his known expenditures.
During the 17-month period preceding his death, Oswald's pattern of living was consistent with his limited income. He lived with his family in furnished apartments whose cost, including utilities, ranged from about $60 to $75 per month. 780 Witnesses testified to his wife's disappointment and complaints and to their own shock and misgivings about several of the apartments in which the Oswalds lived during the period.781 Moreover, the Oswalds, particularly Marina, frequently lived with relatives and acquaintances at no cost. Oswald and his family lived with his brother Robert and then with Marguerite Oswald from June until sometime in August 1962.782 As discussed previously, Marina Oswald lived with Elena Hall and spent a few nights at the Taylors' house during October of 1962 ;783 in November of that same year, Marina Oswald lived with two families.784 When living away from his family Oswald rented rooms for $7 and $8 per week or stayed at the YMCA in Dallas where he paid $2.25 per day.785 During late April and early May 1963, Oswald lived with relatives in New Orleans, while his wife lived with Ruth Paine in Irving, Tex.786 From September 24, 1963, until November
Marina Oswald stayed with Ruth Paine, while Oswald lived in roominghouses in Dallas.787 During 'the period Marina Oswald resided with others, neither she nor her husband made any contribution to her support.788
The Oswalds owned no major household appliances, had no automobile, and resorted to dental and hospital clinics for medical care.789 Acquaintances purchased baby furniture for them, and paid dental bills in one instance.790 After his return to the United States, Oswald did not smoke or drink, and he discouraged his wife from doing so.791 Oswald spent much of his time reading books which he obtained from the public library, and periodicals to which he subscribed.792 He resided near his place of employment and used buses to travel to and from work.793 When he visited his wife and the children on weekends in October and November 1963, he rode in a neighbor's ear, making no contribution for gasoline or other expenses.794 Oswald's personal wardrobe was also very modest. He customarily wore T-shirts, cheap slacks, well-worn sweaters, and well-used zipper jackets. Oswald owned one suit, of Russian make and purchase, poor fitting and of heavy fabric which, despite its unsuitability to the climates of Texas and Louisiana and his obvious discomfort, he wore on the few occasions that required dress.795
Food for his family was extremely meager. Paul Gregory testified that during the 6 weeks that Marina Oswald tutored him he took the Oswalds shopping for food and groceries on a number of occasions and that he was"amazed" at how little they bought." 796 Their friends

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in the Dallas-Fort Worth area frequently brought them food and groceries.797 Marina testified that her husband ate "very little." He "never had breakfast. He just drank coffee and that is all. Not because he was trying to economize. Simply he never liked to eat." She estimated that when he was living by himself in a roominghouse, he would spend "about a dollar, $1.30" for dinner and have a sandwich and soft drink for lunch.798
The thrift which Oswald exercised in meeting his living expenses allowed him to accumulate sufficient funds to meet other expenses which he incurred after his return from the Soviet Union. From his return until January of 1963, Oswald repaid the $435.71 he had borrowed from the State Department for travel expenses from Moscow, and the $200 loan he had obtained from his brother Robert to fly from New York to Dallas upon his return to this country. He completed the retirement of the debt to his brother in October 1962.799 His cash receipts from all sources from the day of his arrival in Fort Worth through October 1962 aggregated $719.94; it is estimated that he could have made the repayments to Robert and met his other known expenses and still have been left with savings of $122.06 at the end of the month. After making initial $10 monthly payments to the State Department, Oswald paid the Government $190 in December and $206 in January, thus liquidating that debt. 800 From his net earning of $805.96 from November through January plus his prior savings, Oswald could have made these payments to the State Department, met his other known expenses, and still have had a balance of $8.59 at the end of January 1963. In discussing the repayment of these debts, Marina Oswald testified: "Of course we did not live in luxury. We did not buy anything that was not absolutely needed, because Lee had to pay his debt to Robert and to the Government. But it was not particularly difficult." 801
Included in the total figure for Oswald's disbursements were $21.45 for the rifle used in the assassination and $31.22 for the revolver with which Oswald shot Officer Tippit. The major portion of the purchase price for these weapons was paid in March 1963, when Oswald had finished paying his debts, and the purchases were compatible with the total funds then available to him.802 During May, June, and July of 1963, Oswald spent approximately $23 for circulars, application blanks, and membership cards for his one-man New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.803 In August he paid $2 to one and possibly two young men to assist in passing out circulars and then paid a $10 court fine after pleading guilty to a charge of disturbing the peace.804 Although some of these expenses were incurred after Oswald lost his job on July 19, 1963, his wages during June and July, and his unemployment compensation thereafter, provided sufficient funds to enable him to finance these activities out of his own resources.805
Although Oswald paid his own busfare to New Orleans on April 24, 1963, his wife and the baby were taken there, at no cost to Oswald, by Ruth Paine.806 Similarly, Ruth Paine drove to New Orleans in


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September and brought Marina Oswald and the baby back to Irving, Tex.807 Oswald's uncle, Charles Murret, also paid for the short trip taken by Oswald and his family from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala., on July 27, 1963.808 It is estimated that when Oswald left for Mexico City in September 1963, he had accumulated slightly over $200. Marina Oswald testified that when he left for Mexico City he had "a little over $100," though she may not have taken into account the $33 unemployment compensation check which Oswald collected after her departure from New Orleans.809 In any event, expenses in Mexico have been estimated as approximately $85, based on transportation costs of $50 and a hotel expense of about $1.28 per day. Oswald ate inexpensively and, allowing $15 for entertainment and miscellaneous items, it would appear that he had the funds available to finance the trip.810
The Commission has considered the testimony of Leonard E. Hutchison, proprietor of Hutch's Market in Irving, in connection with Oswald's finances. Hutchison has testified that on a Friday during the first week in November, a man he believes to have been Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to cash a "two-party," or personal check for $189, but that he refused to cash the check since his policy is to cash personal cheeks for no more than $25. 811 Oswald is not known to have received a check for this amount from any source.
On Friday, November 1, Oswald did cash a Texas Unemployment Commission check for $33 at another supermarket in Irving,812 so that a possible explanation of Hutchison's testimony is that he refused to cash this $33 check for Oswald and is simply in error as to the amount of the instrument. However, since the check cashed at the super-market was issued by the State comptroller of Texas, it is not likely that Hutchison could have confused it with a personal check.
Examination of Hutchison's testimony indicates that a more likely explanation is that Oswald was not in his store at all. Hutchison testified that the man who attempted to cash the cheek was a customer in his store on previous occasions; in particular, Hutchison recalled that the man, accompanied by a woman he believes was Marina Oswald and an elderly woman, were shopping in his store in October or November of 1963 on a night he feels certain was a. Wednesday evening.813 Oswald, however, is not known to have been in Irving on any Wednesday evening during this period.814 Neither of the two checkers at the market recall such a visit by a person matching the description provided by Hutchison, and both Marina Oswald and Marguerite Oswald deny that they were ever in Hutchison's store. 815 Hutchison further stated that the man made irregular calls at his grocery between 7:20 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. on weekday mornings, and always purchased cinnamon rolls and a full gallon of milk.816 However, the evidence indicates that except for rare occasions Oswald was in Irving only on weekends; moreover, Buell Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to and from Irving on these occasions, testified that on Monday mornings he picked Oswald up at a point which is many blocks from Hutchison's store and ordinarily by

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Hutchison also testified that Ruth Paine was an occasional customer in his store; 818 however, Mrs. Paine indicated that she was not in the store as often as Hutchison testified; 819 and her appearance is dissimilar to the description of the woman Hutchison stated was Mrs. Paine.820 In light of the strong reasons for doubting the correctness of Hutchison's testimony and the absence of any other sign that Oswald ever possessed a personal check for $189, the Commission was unable to conclude that he ever received such a check.
The Commission has also examined a report that, not long before the assassination, Oswald may have received unaccounted funds through money orders sent to him in Dallas. Five days after the assassination, C. A. Hamden, early night manager for the Western Union Telegraph Co. in Dallas, told his superior that about 2 weeks earlier he remembered Oswald sending a telegram from the office to Washington, D.C., possibly to the Secretary of the Navy, and that the application was completed in an unusual form of hand printing.821 The next day Hamden told a magazine correspondent who was in the Western Union office on other business that he remembered seeing Oswald in the office on prior occasions collecting money orders for small amounts of money. 822 Soon thereafter Hamden signed a statement relating to both the telegram and the money orders, and specifying two instances in which he had seen the person he believed to be Oswald in the office; in each instance the man had behaved disagreeably and one other Western Union employee had become involved in assisting him. 823
During his testimony, Hamden did not recall with clarity the statements he had previously made and was unable to state whether the person he reportedly had seen in the Western Union office was or was not Lee Harvey Oswald. 824 Investigation has disclosed that a second employee does recall one of the occurrences described by Hamden, and believes that the money order in question was delivered "to someone at the YMCA"; however, he is unable to state whether or not the man involved was Oswald. 825 The employee referred to by Hamden in connection with the second incident feels certain that the unusual episode described by Hamden did not occur, and that she at no time observed Oswald in the Western Union office.826
At the request of Federal investigators, officers of Western Union conducted a complete search of their records in Dallas and in other cities, for the period from June through November 1963, for money orders payable to Lee Harvey Oswald or his known aliases and for telegrams sent by Oswald or his known aliases. In addition, all money orders addressed to persons at the YMCA in Dallas during October and November 1963 were inspected, and all telegrams handled from November 1 through November 29 by the employee who Hamden assertedly saw service Oswald were examined, as were all telegrams sent from Dallas to Washington during November. No indication of any such money order or telegram was found in any of these records.827 Hamden himself participated in this search, and was "unable * * * to pin down any of these telegrams or money orders that would indicate

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it was Oswald." 828 Hamblen's superiors have concluded "that this whole thing was a figment of Mr. Hamblen's imagination," 829 and the Commission accepts this assessment.
Possible Conspiracy Involving Jack Ruby
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Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald at 11:21 a.m., on Sunday, November 24, 1968, shortly after Ruby entered the basement of the Dallas Police Department. Almost immediately, speculation arose that Ruby had acted on behalf of members of a conspiracy who had planned the killing of President Kennedy and wanted to silence Oswald. This section of chapter VI sets forth the Commission's investigation into the possibility that Ruby, together with Oswald or with others, conspired to kill the President., or that Ruby, though not part of any such conspiracy, had accomplices in the slaying of Oswald. Presented first are the results of the Commission's detailed inquiry into Ruby's actions from November 21 to November 24. In addition, this section analyzes the numerous rumors and suspicions that Ruby and Oswald were acquainted and examines Ruby's background and associations for evidence of any conspiratorial relationship or motive. A detailed life of Ruby is given in appendix XVI which provides supplemental information about Ruby and his associations.

Ruby's Activities From November 21 to November 24, 1963

The Commission has attempted to reconstruct as precisely as possible the movements of Jack Ruby during the period November 21-November 24, 1968. It has done so on the premise that, if Jack Ruby were involved in a conspiracy, his activities and associations during this period would, in some way, have reflected the conspiratorial relationship. The Commission has not attempted to determine the time at which Ruby first decided to make his attack on Lee Harvey Oswald, nor does it purport to evaluate the psychiatric and related legal questions which have arisen from the assault upon Oswald. Ruby's activities during this a-day period have been scrutinized, however, for the insight they provide into whether the shooting of Oswald was grounded in any form of conspiracy.
The eve of the President's visit.--On Thursday, November 21, Jack Ruby was attending to his usual duties as the proprietor of two Dallas night spots--the Carousel Club, a downtown nightclub featuring strip-tease dancers, and the Vegas Club, a rock-and-roll establishment in the Oaklawn section of Dallas. Both clubs opened for business each day in the early evening and continued 7 days a week until after midnight. 830 Ruby arrived at the Carousel Club at about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, as was his custom, 831 and remained long enough to chat with a friend and receive messages from Larry Crafard, a handyman and helper who lived at the Carousel. 832 Earlier in the day Ruby had visited with a young lady who was job hating in Dallas, 833 paid


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his rent for the Carousel premises,834 conferred about a peace bond he had been obliged to post as a result of a fight with one of his striptease dancers,835 consulted with an attorney about problems he was having with Federal tax authorities,836 distributed membership cards for the Carousel Club,837 talked with Dallas County Assistant District Attorney William F. Alexander about insufficient fund checks which a friend had passed,838 and submitted advertising copy for his night-clubs to the Dallas Morning News.839
Ruby's evening activities on Thursday, November 21, were a combination of business and pleasure. At approximately 7:30 p.m., he drove Larry Crafard to the Vegas Club which Crafard was overseeing because Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, who normally managed the club, was convalescing from a recent illness.840 Thereafter, Ruby returned to the Carousel Club and conversed for about an hour with Lawrence Meyers, a Chicago businessman.841 Between 9:45 and 10:45 p.m., Ruby had dinner with Ralph Paul, his close friend and financial backer. While dining Ruby spoke briefly with a Dallas Morning News employee, Don Campbell, who suggested that they go to the Castaway Club, but Ruby declined.842 Thereafter, Ruby returned to the Carousel Club where he acted as master of ceremonies for his show and peacefully ejected an unruly patron.843 At about midnight Ruby rejoined Meyers at the Bon Vivant Room of the Dallas Cabana where they met Meyers' brother and sister- in-law.844 Neither Ralph Paul nor Lawrence Meyers recalled that Ruby mentioned the President's trip to Dallas. 845 Leaving Meyers at the Cabana after a brief visit, Ruby returned to close the Carousel Club and obtain the night's receipts.846 He then went to the Vegas Club which he helped Larry Crafard close for the night; 847 and, as late as 2:30 a.m., Ruby was seen eating at a restaurant near the Vegas Club.848
Friday morning at the Dallas Morning News.-- Jack Ruby learned of the shooting of President Kennedy while in the second-floor advertising offices of the Dallas Morning News, five blocks from the Texas School Book Depository, where he had come Friday morning to place regular weekend advertisements for his two nightclubs.849 On arriving at the newspaper building at about 11 or 11:30 a.m., he talked briefly with two newspaper employees concerning some diet pills he had recommended to them.850 Ruby then went to the office of Morning News columnist, Tony Zoppi, where he states he obtained a brochure on his new master of ceremonies that he wanted to use in preparing copy for his advertisements. 851 Proceeding to the advertising department, he spoke with advertising employee Don Campbell from about noon until 12:25 p.m. when Campbell left the office.852 In addition to the business at hand, much of the conversation concerned Ruby's unhappiness over the financial condition of his clubs and his professed ability to handle the physical fights which arose in connection with the clubs.583 According to Campbell, Ruby did not mention the Presidential motorcade nor did he display any unusual behavior.854
About 10 minutes after the President had been shot but before word had spread to the second floor, John Newnam, an advertising de-


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partment employee, observed Ruby sitting at the same spot where Campbell had left him. At that time Ruby had completed the advertisement, which he had apparently begun to compose when Campbell departed, and was reading a newspaper. 855 To Newnam, Ruby voiced criticism of the black-bordered advertisement entitled "Welcome, Mr. Kennedy" appearing in the morning paper and bearing the name of Bernard Weissman as the chairman of the committee sponsoring the advertisement. 856 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1031, p. 294.) According to Eva Grant, Ruby's sister, he had telephoned her earlier in the morning to call her attention to the ad. 857 At about 12:45 p.m., an employee entered the office and announced that shots had been fired at the President. Newham remembered that Ruby responded with a look of "stunned disbelief." 858
Shortly afterward, according to Newnam, "confusion reigned" in the office as advertisers telephoned to cancel advertising they had placed for the weekend. 859 Ruby appears to have believed that some of those cancellations were motivated by the Weissman advertisement. 860 After Newnam accepted a few telephone calls, he and Ruby walked toward a room where other persons were watching television. 861 One of the newspaper employees recalled that Ruby then appeared "obviously shaken, and an ashen color--just. very pale * * *" 362 showed little disposition to converse, 863 and sat for a while with a dazed expression in his eyes. 864
After a few minutes, Ruby placed telephone calls to Andrew Armstrong, his assistant at the Carousel Club, and to his sister, Mrs. Grant. He told Armstrong, "If anything happens we are going to close the club" and said he would see him in about 30 minutes. 865 During the call to his sister, Ruby again referred to the Weissman advertisement; at one point he put the telephone to Newnam's ear, and Newnam heard Mrs. Grant exclaim, "My God, what do they want?" It was Newnam's recollection that Ruby tried to calm her. 866
Ruby testified that after calling his sister he said, "John, I will have to leave Dallas." 867 Ruby explained to the Commission:

I don't know why I said that, but it is a funny reaction that you feel; the city is terribly let down by the tragedy that happened. And I said, "John, I am not opening up tonight."
And I don't know what else transpired. I know people were just heartbroken * * *.
I left the building and I went down 'and I got in my car and I couldn't stop crying. * * * 868

Newnam estimated that Ruby departed from the Morning News at about 1:30 p.m., but other testimony indicated that Ruby may have left earlier.869
Ruby'8 alleged visit to Parkland Hospital.--The Commission has investigated claims that Jack Ruby was at Parkland Hospital at about 1:30 p.m., when a Presidential press secretary, Malcolm Kilduff, announced that President Kennedy was dead. Seth Kantor, a newspaperman who had previously met Ruby in Dallas, reported and later

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testified that Jack Ruby stopped him momentarily inside the main entrance to Park]and Hospital some time between 1:30 and 2 p.m., Friday, November 22, 1963.870 The only other person besides Kantor who recalled seeing Ruby at the hospital did not make known her observation until April 1964, had never seen Ruby before, allegedly saw him only briefly then, had an obstructed view, and was uncertain of the time.871 Ruby has firmly denied going to Parkland and has stated that he went to the Carousel Club upon leaving the Morning News.872 Video tapes of the scene at Parkland do not show Ruby there, although Kantor can be seen.873
Investigation has limited the period during which Kantor could have met Ruby at Parkland Hospital on Friday to a few minutes before and after 1:30 p.m. Telephone company records and the testimony of Andrew Armstrong established that Ruby arrived at the Carousel Club no later than 1:45 p.m. and probably a few minutes earlier.874 Kantor was engaged in a long-distance telephone call to his Washington office from 1:02 p.m. until 1:27 p.m. 875 Kantor testified that, after completing that call, be immediately left the building from which he had been telephoning, traveled perhaps 100 yards, and entered the main entrance of the hospital. It was there, as he walked through a small doorway, that he believed he saw Jack Ruby, who, Kantor said, tugged at his coattails and asked, "Should I close my places for the next three nights, do you think?" Kantor recalled that he turned briefly to Ruby and proceeded to the press conference at which the President's death was announced. Kantor was certain he encountered Ruby at Parkland but had doubts about the exact time and place.876
Kantor probably did not see Ruby at Parkland Hospital in the few minutes before or after 1:30 p.m., the only time it would have been possible for Kantor to have done so. If Ruby immediately returned to the Carousel Club after Kantor saw him, it would have been necessary for him to have covered the distance from Parkland in approximately 10 or 15 minutes in order to have arrived at the club before 1:45 p.m., when a telephone call was placed at Ruby's request to his entertainer, Karen Bennett Carlin. 877 At a normal driving speed under normal conditions the trip can be made in 9 or 10 minutes. 878 However, it is likely that congested traffic conditions on November 22 would have extended the driving time. 879 Even if Ruby had been able to drive from Parkland to the Carousel in 15 minutes, his presence at the Dallas Morning News until after 1 p.m., and at the Carousel prior to 1:45 p.m., would have made his visit at Parkland exceedingly brief. Since Ruby was observed at the Dallas Police Department during a 2 hour period after 11 p.m. on Friday, 880 when Kantor was also present, and since Kantor did not remember seeing Ruby there, 881 Kantor may have been mistaken about both the time and the place that he saw Ruby. When seeing Ruby, Kantor was preoccupied with the important event that a press conference represented. Both Ruby and Kantor were present at another important event, a press conference held about midnight, November 22, in the assembly room of the Dallas Police Department.. It is conceivable that Kantor's en-


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counter with Ruby occurred at that time, perhaps near the small doorway there.882
Ruby's decision to close his clubs.--Upon arriving at the Carouse] Club shortly before 1:45 p.m., Ruby instructed Andrew Armstrong, the Carousel's bartender, to notify employees that the club would be closed that night. 883 During much of the next hour Ruby talked by telephone to several persons who were or had been especially close to him, and the remainder of the time he watched television and spoke with Armstrong and Larry Crafard about the assassination. 884 At 1:51 p.m., Ruby telephoned Ralph Paul in Arlington, Tex., to say that he was going to close his clubs. He urged Paul to do likewise with his drive-in restaurant.885 Unable to reach Alice Nichols, a former girl friend, who was at lunch, Ruby telephoned his sister, Eileen Kaminsky, in Chicago.886 Mrs. Kaminsky described her brother as completely unnerved and crying about President Kennedy's death.887 To Mrs. Nichols, whose return call caused Ruby to cut short his conversation with Mrs. Kaminsky, Ruby expressed shock over the assassination.888 Although Mrs. Nichols had dated Ruby for nearly 11 years, she was surprised to hear from him on November 22 since they had not seen one another socially for some time.889 Thereafter, Ruby telephoned at 2:37 p.m. to Alex Gruber, a boyhood friend from Chicago who was living in Los Angeles. 890 Gruber recalled that in their 3-minute conversation Ruby talked about a dog he had promised to send Gruber, a carwash business Gruber had considered starting, and the assassination. 891 Ruby apparently lost his self-control during the conversation and terminated it. 892 However, 2 minutes after that call ended, Ruby telephoned again to Ralph Paul. 893
Upon leaving the Carousel Club at about 3:15 p.m., Ruby drove to Eva Grant's home but left soon after he arrived, to obtain some weekend food for his sister and himself. 894 He first returned to the Carousel Club and directed Larry Crafard to prepare a sign indicating that the club would be closed; however, Ruby instructed Crafard not to post the sign until later in the evening to avoid informing his competitors that he would be closed. 895 (See Commission Exhibit 2427, p. 339.) Before leaving the club, Ruby telephoned Mrs. Grant who reminded him to purchase food. 896 As a result he went to the Ritz Delicatessen, about two blocks from the Carousel Club, and bought a great quantity of cold cuts. 897
Ruby probably arrived a second time at his sister's home close to 5:30 p.m. and remained for about 2 hours. He continued his rapid rate of telephone calls, ate sparingly, became ill, and attempted to get some rest. 898 While at the apartment, Ruby decided to close his clubs for 3 days. He testified that after talking to Don Saffran, a columnist for the Dallas Times-Herald:

I put the receiver down and talked to my sister, and I said "Eva, what shall we do?"
And she said, "Jack, let's close for the 3 days." She said, "We don't have anything anyway, but we owe it to--" (chokes up.)

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So I called Don Saffran back immediately and I said, "Don, we decided to close for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday."
And he said, "Okay." 899

Ruby then telephoned the Dallas Morning News to cancel his advertisement and, when unable to do so, he changed his ad to read that his clubs would be closed for the weekend. 900 Ruby also telephoned Cecil Hamlin, a friend of many years. Sounding very "broken up," he told Hamlin that he had closed the clubs since he thought most people would not be in the mood to visit them and that he felt concern for President Kennedy's "kids." 901 Thereafter he made two calls to ascertain when services at Temple Shearith Israel would be held.902 He placed a second call to Alice Nichols to tell her of his intention to attend those services 903 and phoned Larry Crafard at the Carousel to ask whether he had received any messages. 904 Eva Grant testified:

When he was leaving, he looked pretty bad. This I remember. I can't explain it to you. He looked too broken, a broken man already. He did make the remark, he said, "I never felt so bad in my life, even when Ma or Pa died."
So I said, "Well, Pa was an old man. He was almost 89 years. * * *"

Friday evening.--Ruby is uncertain whether he went directly from his sister's home to his apartment or possibly first to his club.906 At least 5 witnesses recall seeing a man they believe was Ruby on the third floor of police headquarters at times they have estimated between 6 and 9 p.m.; 907 however, it is not clear that Ruby was present at the Police and Courts Building before 11 p.m. With respect to three of the witnesses, it is doubtful that the man observed was Ruby. Two of those persons had not known Ruby previously and described wearing apparel which differed both from Ruby's known dress that night and from his known wardrobe.908 The third, who viewed from the rear the person he believed was Ruby, said the man unsuccessfully attempted to enter the homicide office.909 Of the police officers on duty near homicide at the time of the alleged event, only one remembered the episode, and he said the man in question definitely was not Ruby.910 The remaining witnesses knew or talked with Ruby, and their testimony leaves little doubt that they did see him on the third floor at some point on Friday night; however the possibility remains that they observed Ruby later in the evening, when his presence is conclusively established. 911 Ruby has denied being at the police department Friday night before approximately 11:15 p.m.912
In any event, Ruby eventually returned to his own apartment before 9 p.m. There he telephoned Ralph Paul but was unable to persuade Paul to join him at synagogue services.913 Shortly after 9 p.m., Ruby called the Chicago home of his oldest brother, Hyman Rubenstein, and two of his sisters, Marion Carroll and Ann Volpert.914 Hyman Rubenstein testified that, during the call, his brother was so disturbed


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about the situation in Dallas that he mentioned selling his business and returning to Chicago.915 From his apartment, Ruby drove to Temple Shearith Israel, arriving near the end of a 2-hour service which had begun at 8 p.m.916 Rabbi Hillel Silverman, who greeted him among the crowd leaving the services 917 was surprised that Ruby, who appeared depressed, mentioned only his sister's recent illness and said nothing .about the assassination.918
Ruby related that, after joining in the postservice refreshments,919 he drove by some night clubs, noticing whether or not they had been closed as his were. 920 He testified that, as he drove toward town, a radio announcement that the Dallas police were working overtime prompted the thought that he might bring those at police headquarters something to eat.921 At about 10:30 p.m., he stopped at a delicatessen near the Vegas Club and purchased 8 kosher sandwiches and 10 soft drinks.922 From the delicatessen, he called the police department but was told that the officers had already eaten. 923 He said he then tried to offer the food to employees at radio station KLIF but failed in several attempts to obtain the private night line number to the station. 924 On three occasions between phone calls, Ruby spoke with a group of students whom he did not know, lamenting the President's death, teasing one of the young men about being too young for his clubs, borrowing their copy of the Dallas Times Herald to see how his advertisements had been run, and stating that. his clubs were the only ones that had closed because of the assassination. He also expressed the opinion, as he had earlier in the day, that the assassination would be harmful to the convention business in Dallas. 925 Upon leaving the delicatessen with his purchases, Ruby gave the counterman as a tip a card granting free admission to his clubs.926 He drove downtown to the police station where he has said he hoped to find an employee from KLIF who could give him the "hot line" phone number for the radio station.927
The third floor of police headquarters.--Ruby is known to have made his way, by about 11:30 p.m., to the third floor of the Dallas Police Department where reporters were congregated near the homicide bureau.928 Newsman John Rutledge, one of those who may well have been mistaken as to time, gave the following description of his first encounter with Ruby at the police station:

I saw Jack and two out-of-state reporters, whom I did not know, leave the elevator door and proceed toward those television cameras, to go around the corner where Captain Fritz's office was. Jack walked between them. These two out-of-state reporters had big press cards pinned on their coats, great big red ones, I think they said "President Kennedy's Visit to Dallas--Press", or something like that. And Jack didn't have one, but the man on either side of him did. And they walked pretty rapidly from the elevator area past the policeman, and Jack was bent over like this--writing on a piece of paper, and talking to one of the reporters, and pointing to something on the piece of paper, he was kind of hunched over.929


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Jack Ruby at press conference in basement assembly room about midnight November 22, 1963. (Jack Ruby is the individual in the dark suit, back row, right-hand side, wearing horn-rimmed glasses. )



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Detective Augustus M. Eberhardt, who also. recalled that he first saw Ruby earlier in the evening, said Ruby carried a note pad and professed to be a translator for the Israeli press. He remembered Ruby's remarking how unfortunate the assassination was for the city of Dallas and that it was "hard to realize that a complete nothing, a zero like that, could kill a man like President Kennedy * * * "930
Video tapes confirm Ruby's statement that he was present on the third floor when Chief Jesse E. Curry and District Attorney Henry M. Wade announced that Oswald would be shown to the newsmen at a press conference in the basement. 931 Though he has said his original purpose was only to locate a KLIF employee, Ruby has stated that while at the police station he was "carried away with the excitement of history." 932 He accompanied the newsmen to the basement to observe Oswald. His presence at the midnight news conference is established by television tapes and by at least 12 witnesses. 933 When Oswald arrived, Ruby, together with a number of newsmen, was standing atop a table on one side of the room.934 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2424, p. 341.) Oswald was taken from the room after a brief appearance, and Ruby remained to hear reporters question District Attorney Wade. During the press conference, Wade stated that Oswald would probably be moved to the county jail at the beginning of the next week.935 In answer to one question, Wade said that Oswald belonged to the "Free Cuba Committee." A few reporters spoke up correcting Wade and among the voices was that of Jack Ruby.936
Ruby later followed the district attorney out of the press conference, walked up to him and, according to Wade, said "Hi Henry * * * Don't you know me ? * * * I am Jack Ruby, I run the Vegas Club. * * *" 937 Ruby also introduced himself to Justice of the Peace David L. Johnston, shook his hand, gave Johnston a business card to the Carousel Club, and, upon learning Johnston's official position, shook Johnston's hand again. 938 After talking with Johnston, he gave another card to Icarus M. Pappas, a reporter for New York radio station WNEW.939 From a representative of radio station KBOX in Dallas, Ruby obtained the "hot line" telephone number to KLIF.940 He then called the station and told one of the employees that he would like to come up to distribute the sandwiches and cold drinks he had purchased. 941 Observing Pappas holding a telephone line open and attempting to get the attention of District Attorney Wade, Ruby directed Wade to Pappas, who proceeded to interview the district attorney.942 Ruby then called KLIF a second time and offered to secure an interview with Wade; he next summoned Wade to his phone, whereupon KLIF recorded a telephone interview with the district attorney.943 A few minutes later, Ruby encountered Russ Knight, a reporter from KLIF who had left the station for the police department at the beginning of Ruby's second telephone call. Ruby directed Knight to Wade and waited a short distance away while the reporter conducted another interview with the district attorney.944


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At radio station KLIF.--When Ruby left police headquarters, he drove to radio station KLIF, arriving at approximately 1:45 a.m. and remaining for about 45 minutes.945 After first distributing his sandwiches and soft drinks. Ruby settled in the newsroom for the 2 a.m. newscast in which he was credited with suggesting that Russ Knight ask District Attorney Wade whether or not Oswald was sane.946 After the newscast, Ruby gave a Carousel card to one KLIF employee, although another did not recall that Ruby was promoting his club as he normally did.947 When speaking with KLIF's Danny Patrick Me-Curdy, Ruby mentioned that he was going to close his clubs for the weekend and that he would rather lose $1,200 or $1,500 them remain open at that time in the Nation's history. McCurdy remembered that Ruby "looked rather pale to me as he was talking to me and he kept looking at the floor." 948 To announcer Glen Duncan, Ruby expressed satisfaction that the evidence was mounting against Oswald. Duncan said that Ruby did not appear to be grieving but, instead, seemed pleased about the personal contact he had had with the investigation earlier in the evening.949
Ruby left the radio station accompanied by Russ Knight. Engaging Knight in a short conversation, Ruby handed him a radio script entitled "Heroism" from a conservative radio program called "Life Line." It was apparently one of the scripts that had come into Ruby's hands a few weeks before at the Texas Products Show when Hunt Foods were including such scripts with samples of their products.950 The script extolled the virtues of those who embark upon risky business ventures and stand firmly for causes they believe to be correct. 951 Ruby asked Knight's views on the script and suggested that there was a group of "radicals" in Dallas which hated President Kennedy and that the owner .of the radio station should editorialize against this group. Knight could not clearly determine whether Ruby had reference to persons who sponsored programs like "Life Line" or to those who held leftwing views.952 Knight gained the impression that Ruby believed such persons, whoever they might be, were partially responsible for the assassination. 953
Early morning of November 23.--At about 2:30 a.m., Ruby entered his automobile and departed for the Dallas Times-Herald Building. En route, he stopped for about an hour to speak with Kay Helen Coleman, one of his dancers, and Harry Olsen, a member of the Dallas Police Department, who had hailed him from a parking garage at the corner of Jackson and Field Streets. The couple were crying and extremely upset over the assassination. At one point, according to Ruby, the police officer remarked that "they should cut this guy [Oswald] inch by inch into ribbons," and the dancer said that. "in England they would drag him through the streets and would have hung him." 954 Although Ruby failed to mention this episode during his first two FBI interviews,955 he later explained that his reason for failing to do so was that he did not "want to involve them in anything, because it was supposed to be a secret that he [the police officer] was going with this young lady." 956 About

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6 weeks after the assassination, Olsen left the Dallas Police Department and married Miss Coleman. Both Olsen and his wife testified that they were greatly upset during their lengthy conversation with Ruby early Saturday morning; but Mrs. Olsen denied and Olsen did not recall the remarks ascribed to them.957 The Olsens claimed instead that Ruby had cursed Oswald. 958 Mrs. Olsen also mentioned that Ruby expressed sympathy for Mrs. Kennedy and her children.959
From Jackson and Field Streets, Ruby drove to the Dallas Times-Herald, where he talked for about 15 minutes with composing room employee Roy Pryor, who had jug finished a shift at 4 a.m. Ruby mentioned that he had seen Oswald earlier in the night, that he had corrected Henry Wade in connection with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and that he had set up a telephone interview with Wade. Pryor testified that Ruby explicitly stated to him that he believed he was in good favor with the district attorney.960 Recalling that Ruby described Oswald as a "little weasel of a guy" and was emotionally concerned about the President's wife and children, Pryor also was impressed by Ruby's sorrowful mood and remembered that, as he talked, Ruby shook a newspaper to emphasize his concern over the assassination. 961
When Pryor left the composing room, Ruby remained and continued speaking with other employees, including Arthur Watherwax and the foreman, Clyde Gadash. Ruby, who often visited the Times-Herald at that early morning hour in connection with his ads, sought Watherwax's views on his decision to close his clubs and indicated he was going to attempt to persuade other club owners to do likewise. Watherwax described Ruby as "pretty shaken up" about the assassination and at the same time "excited" that he had attended Oswald's Friday night press conference. 962
While at the Times-Herald, Ruby displayed to the composing room employees a "twistboard" he had previously promised to Gadash. 963 The twistboard was an exercising device consisting of two pieces of hardened materials joined together by a lazy susan bearing so that one piece could remain stationary on the floor while a person stood atop it and swiveled to and fro.964 Ruby had been trying to promote sales of the board in the weeks before President Kennedy was killed.965 Considerable merriment developed when one of the women employees at the Times-Herald demonstrated the board, and Ruby himself, put on a demonstration for those assembled.966 He later testified: "* * * not that I wanted to get in with the hilarity of frolicking, but he [Gadash] asked me to show him, and the other men gathered around." 967 Gadash agreed that Ruby's general mood was one of sorrow.968
At about 4:30 a.m., Ruby drove from the Dallas Times-Herald to his apartment where he awakened his roommate George Senator.969 During his visit in the composing room Ruby had expressed the view that the Weissman advertisement was an effort to discredit the Jews.970 Senator testified that when Ruby returned to the apartment, he began to discuss the Weissman advertisement and also a sign-

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board he had seen in Dallas urging that Chief Justice Earl Warren be impeached.971 Shortly thereafter, Ruby telephoned Larry Crafard at the Carousel Club.972 He told Crafard to meet him and Senator at the Nichols Garage adjacent to the Carousel Club and to bring a Polaroid camera kept in the club.973 After Crafard joined Ruby and Senator, the three men drove to the "Impeach Earl Warren" sign near Hall Avenue and Central Expressway in Dallas. There Ruby instructed Crafard to take three photographs of the billboard. Believing that the sign and the Weissman newspaper ad might somehow be connected, Ruby noted on the back of an envelope a name and post office box number that appeared on the sign.974 According to George Senator:

* * * when he was looking at the sign and taking pictures of it, and the newspaper ad, * * * this is where he really wanted to know the whys or why these things had to be out. He is trying to combine these two together which I did hear him say, "This is the work of the John Birch Society or the Communist Party or maybe a combination of both." 975

Pursuing a possible connection between the billboard and the newspaper advertisement, Ruby drove to the post office and asked a postal employee for the name of the man who had rented the box indicated on the billboard, but the employee said that he could not provide such information. Ruby inspected the box, however, and was upset to find it stuffed with mail.976 The three men then drove to a coffee-shop where Ruby continued to discuss the two advertisements. After about 30 minutes, they left the coffeeshop. Crafard was taken to the Carousel Club; Ruby and Senator returned to their apartment,977 and Ruby retired at about 6 a.m. 978
The morning and afternoon of November 23.--At 8 or 8:30 a.m. Crafard, who had been asked to feed Ruby's dogs, telephoned Ruby at his apartment to inquire about food for the animals.979 Ruby forgot that he had told Crafard he did not plan to go to bed and reprimanded Crafard for waking him.980 A few hours thereafter Crafard assembled his few belongings, took from the Carousel cash register $5 of money due him from Ruby, left a receipt and thank-you note, and began hitchhiking to Michigan. Later that day, Andrew Armstrong found the note and telephoned Ruby.981
Ruby apparently did not return to bed following Crafard's call. During the morning hours, he watched a rabbi deliver on television a moving eulogy of President Kennedy.982 According to Ruby, the rabbi:

went ahead and eulogized that here is a man that fought in every battle, went to every country, and had to come back to his own country to be shot in the back [starts crying] * * * That created a tremendous emotional feeling for me, the way he said that. Prior to all the other times, I was carried away.983


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An employee from the Carousel Club who telephoned Ruby during the morning remembered that his "voice was shaking" when he spoke of the assassination. 984
Ruby has stated that, upon leaving his apartment some time between noon and 1:30 p.m., he drove to Dealey Plaza where a police officer, who noted Ruby's solemnity, pointed out to him the window from which the rifleshots had been fired the day before.985 Ruby related that he inspected the wreaths that had been placed in memory of the President and became filled with emotion while speaking with the police officer. 986 Ruby introduced himself to a reporter for radio station KRLD who was working inside a mobile news unit at the plaza; the newsman mentioned to Ruby that he bad heard of Ruby's help to KLIF in obtaining an interview with Henry Wade, and Ruby pointed out to the reporter that Capt. & Will Fritz and Chief Curry were then in the vicinity. Thereafter, the newsman interviewed and photographed the officers. 987 Ruby said that he next drove home and returned downtown to Sol's Turf Bar on Commerce Street.
The evidence indicated, however, that sometime after leaving Dealey Plaza, Ruby went to the Nichols Parking Garage adjacent, to the Carousel Club, where he was seen by Garnett C. Hallmark, general manager of the garage, and Tom Brown, an attendant,. Brown believed that at about 1:30 p.m. he heard Ruby mention Chief Curry's name in a telephone conversation from the garage. Brown also recalled that, before finally departing, Ruby asked him to inform acquaintances whom he expected to stop by the garage that the Carousel would be closed.989 Hallmark testified that Ruby drove into the garage at-about 3 p.m., walked to the telephone, inquired whether or mot a competing burlesque club would be closed that night, and told Hallmark that he (Ruby) was "acting" like a reporter."
Hallmark then heard Ruby address someone at the other end of the telephone as "Ken" and caught portions of a conversation concerning the transfer of Oswald.991 Hallmark said Ruby never called Oswald by name but used the pronoun "he" and remarked to the recipient of the call, "you know I'll be there."
Ken Dowe, a KLIF announcer, to whom Ruby made at. least two telephone calls within a short span of time Saturday afternoon, confirmed that he was probably the person to whom Hallmark and Brown overheard Ruby speaking. In one call to Dowe, Ruby asked whether the station knew when Oswald would be moved; and, in another, he stated he was going to attempt to locate Henry Wade.993 After Ruby finished his calls, he walked onto Commerce Street, passed the Carousel Club, and returned a few minutes later to get his car.994
Ruby's comment that he was "acting like a reporter" and that he would be at the Oswald transfer suggests that Ruby may have spent part of Saturday afternoon shuttling back and forth from the Police and Courts Building to Dealey Plaza. Such activity would explain the fact that Tom Brown at the Nichols Garage believed he saw Ruby at 1:30 p.m. while Garnett Hallmark placed Ruby at the garage at 3 p.m. It would also explain Ken Dowe's receiving two phone calls

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from Ruby. The testimony of five news reporters supports the possibility that Ruby was at the Police and Courts Building Saturday afternoon.995 One stated that Ruby provided sandwiches for newsmen on duty there Saturday afternoon, although no news representative has mentioned personally receiving such sandwiches. 996 Another testified that he received a card to the Carousel Club from Ruby about 4p.m. that day at the police station.997 A third believed he saw Ruby enter an office in which Henry Wade was working, but no one else reported a similar event. 998 The remaining two witnesses mentioned no specific activities.999 None of the persons who believed they saw Ruby at the police department on Saturday had known him previously, and no police officer has reported Ruby's presence on that day. Ruby has not mentioned such a visit. The Commission, therefore, reached no firm conclusion as to whether or not Ruby visited the Dallas Police Department on Saturday.
Shortly after 3 p.m. Ruby went to Sol's Turf Bar on Commerce Street where he remained for about 45 minutes. Ruby, a nondrinker, stated that he visited Sol's for the purpose of talking with his accountant, who customarily prepared the bar's payroll on Saturday afternoon. The accountant testified, however, that he saw Ruby only briefly and mentioned no business conversation with Ruby. 1000 Ruby was first noticed at the Turf Bar by jeweler Frank Bellochio, who, after seeing Ruby, began to berate the people of Dallas for the assassination.1001 Ruby disagreed and, when Bellochio said he might close his jewelry business and leave Dallas, Ruby attempted to calm him, saying that there were many good citizens in Dallas.1002 In response, Bellochio pointed to a copy of the Bernard Weissman advertisement.1003 To Bellochio's bewilderment, Ruby then said he believed that the advertisement was the work of a group attempting to create anti-Semitic feelings in Dallas and that he had learned from the Dallas Morning News that the ad had been paid for partly in cash.1004 Ruby thereupon produced one of the photographs he had taken Saturday morning of the "Impeach Earl Warren" sign and excitedly began to rail against the sign as if he agreed with Bellochio's original criticism of Dallas.1005 He "seemed to be taking two sides--he wasn't coherent," Bellochio testified.1006 When Bellochio saw Ruby's photographs, which Bellochio. thought supported his argument against Dallas, he walked to the front of the bar and showed them to Tom Apple, with whom he had been previously arguing. In Apple's presence, Bellochio asked Ruby for one of the pictures but Ruby refused, mentioning that he regarded the pictures as a scoop.1007 Bellochio testified: "I spoke to Tom and said a few more words to Tom, and Ruby was gone--never said 'Goodbye' or 'I'll be seeing you.'" 1008
Ruby may have left in order to telephone Stanley Kaufman, a friend and attorney who had represented him in civil matters.1009 Kaufman testified that, at approximately 4 p.m., Ruby called him about the Bernard Weissman advertisement. According to Kaufman, "Jack was particularly impressed with the [black] border as being a

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tipoff of some sort--that this man knew the President was going to be assassinated * * * "1010 Ruby told Kaufman that he had tried to locate Weissman by going to the post office and said that he was attempting to be helpful to law enforcement authorities.1011
Considerable confusion exists as to the place from which Ruby placed the call to Kaufman and as to his activities after leaving Sol's Turf Bar. Eva Grant stated that the call was made from her apartment about 4 p.m. 1012 Ruby, however, believed it was made from the Turf Bar. He stated that from the Turf Bar he went to the Carouse] and then home and has not provided additional details on his activities during the hours from about 4 to 9:30 p.m.1013 Robert Larkin saw him downtown at about 6 p.m. 1014 and Andrew Armstrong testified that Ruby visited the Carousel Club between 6 and 7 p.m. and remained about an hour.1015
At Eva Grant's apartment Saturday evening.--Eva Grant believed that, for most of the period from 4 until 8 p.m., Ruby was at her apartment. Mrs. Grant testified that her brother was still disturbed about the Weissman advertisement when he arrived, showed her the photograph of the Warren sign, and recounted his argument with Bellochio about the city of Dallas. Still curious as to whether or not Weissman was Jewish, Mrs. Grant asked her brother whether he had been able to find the name Bernard Weissman in the Dallas city directory, and Ruby said he had not. Their doubts about Weissman's existence having been confirmed, both began to speculate that the Weissman ad and the Warren sign were the work of either "Commies or the Birchers," and were designed to discredit the Jews.1016 Apparently in the midst of that conversation Ruby telephoned Russ Knight at KLIF and, according to Knight, asked who Earl Warren was. 1017
Mrs. Grant has testified that Ruby eventually retired to her bedroom where he made telephone calls and slept.1018 About 8:30 p.m., Ruby telephoned to Thomas J. O'Grady, a friend and former Dallas police officer who had once worked for Ruby as a bouncer. To O'Grady, Ruby mentioned closing the Carousel Club, criticized his competitors for remaining open, and complained about the "Impeach Earl Warren" sign.1019
Saturday evening at Ruby's apartment.--By 9:30 p.m., Ruby had apparently returned to his apartment where he received a telephone call from one of his striptease dancers, Karen Bennett Carlin, who, together with her husband, had been driven from Fort Worth to Dallas that evening by another dancer, Nancy Powell.1020 All three had stopped at the Colony Club, a burlesque nightclub which competed with the Carousel.1021 Mrs. Carlin testified that, in need of money, she telephoned Ruby, asked whether the Carousel would be open that night, and requested part of her salary.1022 According to Mrs. Carlin, Ruby became angry at the suggestion that the Carousel Club might be open for business but told her he would come to the Carousel in about an hour.1023
Thereafter, in a depressed mood, Ruby telephoned his sister Eva Grant, who suggested he visit a friend.1024 Possibly in response to

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that suggestion, Ruby called Lawrence Meyers, a friend from Chicago with whom he had visited two nights previously.1025 Meyers testified that, during their telephone conversation, Ruby asked him what. he thought of this "terrible thing." Ruby then began to criticize his competitors, Abe and Barney Weinstein, for failing to close their clubs on Saturday night. In the course of his conversation about the Weinsteins and the assassination, Ruby said "I've got to do something about this." 1026 Meyers initially understood that remark to refer to the Weinsteins. Upon reflection after Oswald was shot, Meyers was uncertain whether Ruby was referring to his competitors, or to the assassination of President Kennedy; for Ruby had also spoken at length about Mrs. Kennedy and had repeated "those poor people, those poor people." 1027 At the conclusion of their conversation, Meyers declined Ruby's invitation to join him for a cup of coffee but invited Ruby to join him at the motel. When Ruby also declined, the two agreed to meet for dinner the following evening.1028
Meanwhile, Karen Carlin and her husband grew anxious over Ruby's failure to appear with the money they had requested.1029 After a substantial wait, they returned together to the Nichols Garage where Mr. Carlin telephoned to Ruby.1030 Carlin testified that he told Ruby they needed money in order to return to Fort Worth 1031 although Nancy Powell testified that she drove the Carlins home that evening.1032 Agreeing to advance a small sum, Ruby asked to speak to Mrs. Carlin, who claimed that Ruby told her that if she needed more money she should call him on Sunday.1033 Thereafter, at Ruby's request, garage attendant Huey Reeves gave Mrs. Carlin $5, and she signed with her stage name "Little Lynn" a receipt which Reeves time-stamped 10:33 p.m., November 23.1034 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1476, p. 351.)
Inconsistent testimony was developed regarding Ruby's activities during the next 45 minutes. Eva Grant testified that she did not see her brother on Saturday night after 8 p.m. and has denied calling Ralph Paul herself that night.1035 Nonetheless, telephone company records revealed that at 10:44 p.m. a call was made to Ralph Paul's Bull Pen Drive-In in Arlington, Tex., from Mrs. Grant's apartment.1036 It was the only call to Paul from her apartment on Friday or Saturday; 1037 she recalled her brother making such a call that weekend; 1038 and Ralph Paul has testified that Ruby telephoned him Saturday night from Eva Grant's apartment and said he and his sister were there crying.1039
Nineteen-year-old Wanda Helmick, a former waitress at the Bull Pen Drive-In, first reported in June, 1964 that some time during the evening she saw the cashier answer the Bull Pen's pay telephone and heard her call out to Paul, "It is for you. It is Jack." 1040 Mrs. Hel-mick claimed she overheard Paul, speaking on the telephone, mention something about a gun which, she understood from Paul's conversation, the caller had in his possession. She said she also heard Paul exclaim "Are you crazy?"" 1041 She provided no other details of the conversation. Mrs. Helmick claimed that on Sunday, November 24,

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after Oswald had been shot, she heard Paul repeat the substance of the call to other employees as she had related it and that Paul said Ruby was the caller.1042 Ralph Paul denied the allegations of Mrs. Helmick.1043 Both Paul and Mrs. Helmick agreed that Paul went home soon after the call, apparently about 11 p.m. 1044
Shortly after 11 p.m., Ruby arrived at the Nichols Garage where he repaid Huey Reeves and obtained the receipt Mrs. Carlin had signed.1045 Outside the Carousel, Ruby exchanged greetings with Police Officer Harry Olsen and Kay Coleman, whom he had seen late the previous night.1046 Going upstairs to the club, Ruby made a series of five brief long-distance phone calls, the first being to the Bull Pen Drive-In at 11:18 p.m. and lasting only 1 minute.1047 Apparently unable to reach Paul there, Ruby telephoned Paul's home in Arlington, Tex., for 3 minutes.1046 A third call was placed at. 11:36 p.m. for 2 minutes, again to Paul's home.1049 At 11:44 p.m. Ruby telephoned Breck Wall, a friend and entertainer who had gone to Galveston, Tex., when his show in Dallas suspended its performance out of respect to President Kennedy. The call lasted 2 minutes. 1050 Thereafter, Ruby immediately placed a 1-minute phone call to Paul's home. 1051
Although Ruby has mentioned those calls, he has not provided details to the Commission; however, he has denied ever indicating to Paul or Wall that he was going to shoot Oswald and has said he did not consider such action until Sunday morning.1052 Ralph Paul did not mention the late evening calls in his interview with FBI agents on November 24, 1963.1053 Later Paul testified that Ruby called him from downtown to say that nobody was doing any business.1054 Breck Wall testified that Ruby called him to determine whether or not the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), which represented striptease dancers in Dallas, had met concerning a dispute Ruby was having with the union.1055 Ruby's major difference with AGVA during the preceding 2 weeks had involved what Ruby considered to be AGVA's failure to enforce against his 2 competitors, Abe and Barney Weinstein, AGVA's ban on "striptease contests" and performances by "amateurs." 1056 As recently as Wednesday, November 20, Ruby had telephoned an AGVA representative in Chicago about that complaint and earlier in November he had unsuccessfully sought to obtain assistance from a San Francisco gambler and a Chicagoan reputed for his heavyhanded union activities.1057 Wall testified that Ruby "was very upset the President was assassinated and he called Abe Weinstein or Bernie Weinstein * * * some names for staying open * * * "Wall added, "he was very upset * * * that they did not have the decency to close on such a day and he thought out of respect they should close."
Ruby's activities after midnight.--After completing the series of calls to Paul and Wall at 11:48 p.m., Ruby went to the Pago Club, about a 10-minute drive from the Carousel Club.1059 He took a table near the middle of the club and, after ordering a Coke, asked the waitress in a disapproving tone, "Why are you open?" 1060 When Robert


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NOVEMBER 23, 1963

NOVEMBER 24, 1963, STAMPED 11:17 A. M.




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Norton, the club's manager, joined Ruby a few minutes later he expressed to Ruby his concern as to whether or not it was proper to operate the Pago Club that evening. Ruby indicated that the Carousel was closed but did not criticize Norton for remaining open.1061 Norton raised the topic of President Kennedy's death and said, "[W]e couldn't do enough to the person that [did] this sort of thing." Norton added, however, that "Nobody has the right to take the life of another one." 1062 Ruby expressed no strong opinion, and closed the conversation by saying he was going home because he was tired.1063 Later, Ruby told the Commission: "he knew something was wrong with me in the certain mood I was in."
Ruby testified that he went home after speaking with Norton and went to bed about 1:30 a.m.1065 By that time, George Senator claimed, he had retired for the night. and did not. remember Ruby's return.1066 Eva Grant testified that her brother telephoned her at about 12:45 a.m. to learn how she was feeling.1067
Sunday morning.--Ruby's activities on Sunday morning are the subject of conflicting testimony. George Senator believed that Ruby did not rise until 9 or 9:30 a.m.; 1068 both Ruby and Senator maintained that Ruby did not leave their apartment until shortly before 11:00 a.m., and two other witnesses have provided testimony which supports that account. of Ruby's whereabouts. 1069 On the other hand, three WBAP-TV television technicians--Warren Richey, John Smith, and Ira Walker--believed they saw Ruby near the Police and Courts Building at various times between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.1070 But there are substantial reasons to doubt the accuracy of their identifications. None had ever seen Ruby on a prior occasion. None looked for an extended period at the man believed to be Ruby,1070 and all were occupied with their duties and had no reason to remember the man's appearance until they saw Ruby's picture on television.1072
Smith, for one, was not entirely positive about his identification of Ruby as the man he saw; 1073 and Richey was looking down from atop a TV mobile unit when he observed on the sidewalk the man be believed was Ruby.1074 In addition, Richey and Smith provided descriptions of Ruby which differ substantially from information about Ruby gathered from other sources. Smith described the man he saw as being an "unkempt person that possibly could have slept with his clothes on * * * "1075 Ruby was characteristically clean and well groomed. 1076 In fact, Senator testified that Ruby shaved and dressed before leaving their apartment that morning, and at the time Ruby shot Oswald he was dressed in a hat and business suit. 1077 Richey described Ruby as wearing a. grayish overcoat,1078 while investigation indicated that Ruby did not own an overcoat and was not wearing one at the time of the shooting. 1079 (See Pappas Deposition Exhibit No. 1, p. 356.) Al though Walker's identification of Ruby is the most positive, his certainty must, be contrasted with the indefinite identification made by Smith, who had seen the man on one additional occasion. 1080 Both Smith and Walker saw a man resembling Ruby when the man, on two occasions, looked through the window of their mobile news unit and


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once asked whether Oswald had been transferred. Both saw only the man's head, and Smith was closer to the window; yet Smith would not state positively that the man was Ruby.1081 Finally, video tapes of scenes on Sunday morning near the NBC van show a man close to the Commerce Street entrance who might have been mistaken for Ruby.1082
George Senator said that when he arose, before 9 a.m., he began to do his laundry in the basement of the apartment building while Ruby slept.1083 During Senator's absence, Ruby received a telephone call from his cleaning lady, Mrs. Elnora Pitts, who testified that she called sometime between 8:30 and 9 a.m. to learn whether Ruby wanted her to clean his apartment that day.1084 Mrs. Pitts remembered that Ruby "sounded terrible strange to me." She said that "there was something wrong with him the way he was talking to me." 1085 Mrs. Pitts explained that, although she had regularly been cleaning Ruby's apartment on Sundays, Ruby seemed not to comprehend who she was or the reason for her call and required her to repeat herself several times.1086 As Senator returned to the apartment after the call, he was apparently mistaken for Ruby by a neighbor, Sidney Evans, Jr. Evans had never seen Ruby before but recalled observing a man resembling Ruby, clad in trousers and T-shirt, walk upstairs from the "washateria" in the basement of their building and enter Ruby's suite with a load of laundry. Later in the morning, Malcolm Slaughter who shared an apartment, with Evans, saw an individual, similarly clad, on the same floor as Ruby's apartment.1087 Senator stated that it was not Ruby's custom to do his own washing and that Ruby did not do so that morning.1088
While Senator was in the apartment, Ruby watched television, made himself coffee and scrambled eggs, and received, at 10:19 a.m., a telephone call from his entertainer, Karen Carlin.1089 Mrs. Carlin testified that in her telephone conversation she asked Ruby for $25 inasmuch as her rent was delinquent and she needed groceries.1090 She said that Ruby, who seemed upset, mentioned that he was going downtown anyway and that he would send the money from the Western Union office.1091 According to George Senator, Ruby then probably took a half hour or more to bathe and dress.1092
Supporting the accounts given by Mrs. Carlin and Mrs. Pitts of Ruby's emotional state, Senator testified that during the morning Ruby:

* * * was even mumbling, which I didn't, understand. And right after breakfast he got dressed. Then after he got dressed he was pacing the floor from the living room to the bedroom, from the bedroom to the living room, and his lips were going. What he was jabbering I don't know. But he was really pacing.1093

Ruby has described to the Commission his own emotions of Sunday morning as follows:

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* * * Sunday morning * * * [I] saw a letter to Caroline, two columns about a 16-inch area. Someone had written a letter to Caroline. The most heartbreaking letter. I don't remember the contents. * * * alongside that letter on the same sheet of paper was a small comment in the newspaper that, I don't know how it was stated, that Mrs. Kennedy may have to come back for the trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. * * *
I don't know what bug got ahold of me. I don't know what it is, but I am going to tell the truth word for word.
I am taking a pill called Preludin. It is a harmless pill, and it is very easy to get in the drugstore. It isn't a highly prescribed pill. I use it for dieting.
I don't partake of that much food. I think that was a stimulus to give me an emotional feeling that suddenly I felt, which was so stupid, that I wanted to show my love for our faith, being of the Jewish faith, and I never used the term and I don't want to go into that--suddenly the feeling, the emotional feeling came within me that someone owed this debt to our beloved President to save her the ordeal of coming back. I don't know why that came through my mind. 1084

(See Commission Exhibit. No. 2426, p. 355.)
Sunday morning trip to police department.---Leaving his apartment a few minutes before 11 a.m., Ruby went to his automobile taking with him his dachshund, Sheba, and a portable radio. 1095 He placed in his pocket a revolver which he routinely carried in a bank moneybag in the trunk of his car.1096 Listening to the radio, he drove downtown, according to his own testimony, by a route that took him past Dealey Plaza where he observed the scattered wreaths. Ruby related that he noted the crowd that had gathered outside the county jail and assumed that Oswald had already been transferred. However, when he passed the Main Street side of the Police and Courts Building, which is situated on the same block as the Western Union office, he a]so noted the crowd that. was gathered outside that building.1097 Normal driving time for the trip from his apartment would have been about. 15 minutes, but Ruby's possible haste and the slow movement of traffic through Dealey Plaza make a reliable estimate difficult. 1098
Ruby parked his car in a lot directly across the street from the Western Union office. He apparently placed his keys and billfold in the trunk of the car, then locked the trunk, which contained approximately $1,000 in cash, and placed the trunk key in the glove compartment of the car. He did not lock the car doors.1099
With his revolver, more than $2,000 in cash, and no personal identification, Ruby walked from the parking lot across the street to the Western Union office where he filled out forms for sending $25 by telegraph to Karen Carlin.1100 After waiting in line while one other Western Union customer completed her business,1101 Ruby paid for the telegram and retained as a receipt one of three time-stamped docu-


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ments which show that the transaction was completed at almost exactly 11:17 a.m., c.s.t.1102 (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 1476, 2420, 2421; D. Lane Deposition Exhibits Nos. 5118, 5119, p. 351.) The Western Union clerk who accepted Ruby's order recalls that Ruby promptly turned, walked out of the door onto Main Street, and proceeded in the direction of the police department one block away. 1103 The evidence set forth in chapter V indicates that Ruby entered the police basement through the auto ramp from Main Street and stood behind the front rank of newsmen and police officers who were crowded together at the base of the ramp awaiting the transfer of Oswald to the county jail.1104 As Oswald emerged from a basement office at approximately 11:21 a.m., Ruby moved quickly forward and, without speaking,1105 fired one fatal shot into Oswald's abdomen before being subdued by a rush of police officers.1106
Evaluation of activities.--Examination of Ruby's activities immediately preceding and following the death of President Kennedy revealed no sign of any conduct which suggests that he was involved in the assassination. Prior to the tragedy, Ruby's activities were routine. Though persons who saw him between November 22 and 24 disagree as to whether or not he appeared more upset than others around him, his response to the assassination appears to have been one of genuine shock and grief. His indications of concern over the possible effects of the assassination upon his businesses seem consistent with other evidence of his character.1107 During the course of the weekend, Ruby seems to have become obsessed with the possibility that the Impeach Earl Warren sign and the Bernard Weissman ad were somehow connected and related to the assassination. However, Ruby's interest in these public notices was openly expressed and, as discussed below, the evidence reveals no connection between him and any political organization.
Examination of Larry Crafard's sudden departure from Dallas shortly before noon on November 23 does not suggest that Ruby was involved in a conspiracy. To be sure, Crafard started hitchhiking to Michigan, where members of his family lived, with only $7 in his pocket.1108 He made no attempt to communicate with law enforcement officials after Oswald's death; 1109 and a relative in Michigan recalled that Crafard spoke very little of his association with Ruby.1110 When finally located by the FBI 6 days later, he stated that he left Ruby's employ because he did not wish to be subjected to further verbal abuse by Ruby and that he went north to see his sister, from whom he had not heard in some time.1111
An investigation of Crafard's unusual behavior confirms that his departure from Dallas was innocent. After Oswald was shot, FBI agents obtained from the Carousel Club an unmailed letter drafted by Crafard to a relative in Michigan at least a week before the assassination.1112 The letter revealed that. he was considering leaving Dallas at that time.1113 On November 17, Crafard, who had been receiving only room, board, and incidental expenses, told Ruby he wanted to stop working for him; however, Crafard agreed to remain when Ruby

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promised a salary.1114 Then on the morning of November 23, Ruby and Crafard had a minor altercation over the telephone.1115 Although Crafard did not voluntarily make known to the authorities his associations with Ruby, he spoke freely and with verifiable accuracy when questioned. The automobile driver who provided Crafard his first ride from Dallas has been located; his statement generally conforms with Crafard's story; and he did not recall any unusual or troubled behavior by Crafard during that ride.1115
Although Crafard's peremptory decision to leave Dallas might be unusual for most persons, such behavior does not appear to have been uncommon for him. His family residence had shifted frequently among California, Michigan, and Oregon.1117 During his 22 years, he had earned his livelihood picking crops, working in carnivals, and taking other odd jobs throughout the country.1118 According to his testimony, he had previously hitchhiked across the country with his then wife and two infant children.1119 Against such a background, it is most probable that the factors motivating Crafard's departure from Dallas on November 23 were dissatisfaction with his existence in Ruby's employ, which he had never considered more than temporary, Ruby's decision to dose his clubs for 3 days, the argument on Saturday morning, and his own desire to see his relatives in Michigan. There is no evidence to suggest any connection between Crafard's departure and the assassinatio