«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»
12:35 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) J. Edgar Hoover calls Attorney General RFK at home. “The President’s been shot. I think it is serious. I’ll call you back when I find out more.” Robert Morganthau watches as RFK turns away, a look of horror on his face, clapping his hand to his mouth. He turns to his aides and screams “Jack’s been shot! It might be fatal.” RFK then goes back to the main house, walking around in a state of shock. Later, followed by Ethel, he goes up to their bedroom to try calling Dallas. He is also simultaneously preparing to pack for an emergency flight to Texas.
Eventually, RFK’s call to Parkland is put through. He isn’t sure to whom, though he believes it is to Secret Service agent Clint Hill. Later, RFK recalls: “They said that it was very serious. And I asked if he was conscious, and they said he wasn’t, and I asked if they’d gotten a priest, and they said they had... Then, I said, will you call me back, and he said yes, and then he - Clint Hill called me back, and I think it was about thirty minutes after I talked to Hoover... and he said, “The President s dead.” (LBTS) The phone log for J. Edgar Hoover on this day shows that, aside from calls to RFK and the head of the Secret Service, Hoover called only one man on the afternoon the President is shot: Billy Byars. Within four days, the FBI will receive a tip-off that Clint Murchison and Tom Webb - the FBI veteran the millionaire has hired at Hoover’s suggestion - are both acquainted with Jack Ruby. While they deny it, Ruby has met one of Murchison’s best friends, Humble Oil millionaire Billy Byars. Hoover and Byars are close. They use adjacent bungalows at Murchison’s California hotel each summer. O&C In the book, Brothers, by David Talbot, the author explains RFK’s receipt of Hoover’s call by stating that at Hickory Hill in McLean, Virginia, the phone extension at Kennedy’s swimming pool rings. RFK, still dressed in a wet bathing suit, is eating lunch near the pool. Ethel answers the phone and tells RFK that J. Edgar Hoover is calling. RFK knows something must be wrong because Hoover never calls him at home. When he answers the phone, Hoover says: “I have news for you. The president’s been shot.” Hoover’s voice is blunt and matter of fact.
In Dallas, Texas - Tom Dillard snaps two photographs in the rail yard next to the TSBD parking area which show a 1959 Rambler station wagon that is all but identical to George Wing’s Rambler.
Sergeant Tom Tilson, an off-duty Dallas policeman, and his daughter are in his car just west of the triple underpass. They watch as a man in dark clothing comes down the railroad embankment to a black automobile. He throws something into the backseat, hurries around to the front, gets into the car, and speeds off westward. Thinking this suspicious, they pursue the vehicle but lose it in the traffic. The man, Tilson later says, looked and dressed like Jack Ruby.
Researcher R. D. Morningstar puts forth a theory that “Badgeman” - identified in the Moorman polaroid photograph - is, in reality, J. D.
Tippit. Morningstar also maintains that J.D. Tippit is seen in the photographs of the “tramps” taken soon after the shooting. This identification is partially based on pointing out a small patch located on the lower sleeve of one of the the arresting officers in the “tramps” photographs. During the 50s and 60s the symbol on the patch was one of the insignias and logos of the Ku Klux Klan’s Southern Jurisdiction. Morningstar asserts that this symbol was also used by General Edwin Walker’s renegade army of “Minutemen.” Of the twenty sheriff’s deputies watching the motorcade from in front of the Sheriff’s Office, sixteen place the origin of the shots near the Triple Underpass, three give no opinion, and one implies the Book Depository Building. Of the Dallas policemen interviewed, four place shots from the Grassy Knoll, four say shots came from the Depository, and four give no opinion.
The Warren Commission will eventually question 126 of the 266 known witnesses either by testimony or affidavit. Regarding the source of the shots, thirty-eight gave no opinion -- most are not asked -- thirty two indicate the TSBD, and fifty-one place the shots in the vicinity of the Grassy Knoll. Several believe shots were fired from two different locations.
A police sergeant radios headquarters that he has a witness who says shots came from the fifth floor.
S. M. Holland, who hurries to the spot behind the fence where he thinks one shot has been fired, finds a number of Dallas police officers already there, in the area behind the picket fence reserved for parking for the sheriff’s department and others who work at the courthouse.
Beverly Oliver also hurries to the knoll and identifies Dallas police officers P.T. Dean and Roscoe White as two policemen she encounters near the fence on the knoll. TID Jean Hill sees police officers with rifles. Shotguns are the standard issue for police, not rifles.
- POLICE SEEN IN DEALEY PLAZA IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SHOOTING:
* Police with rifles seen by Jean Hill.
* Police officers seen in railroad yard by Victoria Adams as though they were sealing off the area.
* James Altgens notices Secret Service agents and police officers with guns drawn on North side of Elm St. running toward the triple overpass.
* Marion Baker parks motorcycle and runs into TSBD with gun drawn.
(The only officer to do so. Everyone else rushes towards the Grassy Knoll.) * Secret Service agent seen displaying credentials to J. M. Smith behind Grassy Knoll fence.
* Beverly Oliver identifies P.T. Dean and Roscoe White near fence on knoll.
* Men who say they are Secret Service agents behind the TSBD * A Dallas policeman reportedly seen inside the TSBD prior to Marion Baker entering building
- POLICE SEEN IN DEALEY PLAZA PRIOR TO THE SHOOTING:
*One Dallas police officer seen standing in front of the TSBD.
*Deputy Sheriff on roof on County Records Bldg. with rifle.
Deputy Sheriff and crack shot Harry Weatherford is on the roof of the Dallas County Jail (Records Building) with a rifle during the assassination. Weatherford has received a custom-made silencer for his rifle several weeks prior to the assassination. He is reportedly ordered to the roof of the building by Dallas sheriff Bill Decker. (When Decker dies in 1970, Weatherford is at his bedside.) A researcher once asks him if he shot JFK. Weatherford replies, “You little son of a bitch, I shoot lots of people.” *Two police officers on triple overpass *Two police officers assigned to traffic duty at the corner of Elm & Houston.
In New Orleans, at the trial of Carlos Marcello, Judge Herbert W. Christenberry has just delivered his fifteen minute charge to the jury. A bailiff suddenly strides into the courtroom and, going up to the bench, hands the judge a note. As Judge Christenberry reads it, a look of shock and consternation spreads over his face. Recovering quickly, he stands up and announces that President JFK has just been shot in Dallas and is feared dead. Carlos Marcello and his brother Joe file out of the courtroom for an hour’s recess showing absolutely no emotion. Also leaving the federal courthouse is David Ferrie. Shortly thereafter, Ferrie telephones a motel Carlos Marcello owns in Houston and makes a reservation for this night for himself and two young male companions, Alvin Beauboeuf and Melvin Coffey. He then places a call to the owner and operator of the Winterland Skating Rink in Houston, inquiring about the rink’s skating schedule. (Three days later, he will lie to the FBI about the nature of the call.) Sergeant D. V. Harkness reaches the rear of the Book Depository to make sure that the building is sealed off. When he arrives, “there were some Secret Service agents there. I didn’t get them identified. They told me they were Secret Service agents.” 6H 312 J. M. Smith proceeds at once to the area behind the concrete structure in the grassy space back from Elm Street toward the
railroad tracks, where he checks the bushes and the cars in the parking lot. He testifies:
SMITH: Of course, I wasn’t alone. There was some deputy sheriff with me, and I believe one Secret Service man when I got there. I got to make this statement, too. I felt awfully silly, but after the shot and this woman, I pulled my pistol from my holster, and I thought, this is silly. I don’t know who I am looking for, and I put it back. Just as I did, he showed me that he was a Secret Service agent.” 7H 535 * Sylvia Meagher, in her book Accessories After The Fact states: “I suggest that he [the “Secret Service” agent] was one of the assassins, armed with false credentials... Few mysteries are as important as this one, and it is appalling that the [Warren] Commission ignored or failed to recognize the grounds here for serious suspicion of a well-planned conspiracy at work.” “[The 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 at or immediately after the shooting... 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.” WR 52 During this time period, the Secret Service relies heavily on the CIA for technical support. The CIA even manufactures the lapel pins worn by Secret Service agents. It is also important to understand that there is an agreement in force from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, exempting the CIA from a statutory requirement to report any criminal activity by any of its employees or assets.
This agreement, drawn up under Eisenhower and eventually to be rescinded under Gerald Ford, is so secret that the Attorneys General under JFK and LBJ (including Robert Kennedy) are never informed of it.
Mr. Pierce Allman, who has brown crew cut hair, and Terrence Ford, of WFAA TV, run into the TSBD around this time. They enter the front door of the building, emerge into a hallway and there meet a white male who they can not further identify. Allman asks this person for the location of a telephone. (It has been alleged that this white male is LHO. It is further suggested that LHO then casually exits the TSBD through the front door. Depending on the suggested scenario, LHO then either gets into a Rambler station wagon, or boards a bus to leave the scene.) A UPI wire goes out reading: “THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED TODAY AT PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S MOTORCADE IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS.” 12:36 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Marsalis Bus No. 1213 leaves the intersection of St. Paul and Elm, going west on Elm Street -- bound for Oak Cliff. Behind it is another city bus also bound for Oak Cliff -- the Beckley bus. These two buses will travel together down Elm Street through dense city traffic. At Dealey Plaza their routes will diverge, the Marsalis bus turning south on Houston Street, and the Beckley bus continuing westward past the Texas School Book Depository. LHO will supposedly board the Marsalis bus in a matter of minutes and be recognized by Mary Bledsoe. Linnie Mae Randle will recall LHO “wearing a tan shirt and gray jacket on the morning of November 22.” DPD Officer Baker will recall that LHO is wearing a light brown jacket when he and Roy Truly encounter Oswald in the TSBD shortly after 12:30 pm (affidavit by ML Baker, 11/22/63). The next person who identifies LHO’s brown shirt is Mary Bledsoe (FBI interview by SA Harrison and Weir, 11/24/63). She says he is wearing “ragged gray work pants, and a brown shirt with holes in the elbows.” Mary Bledsoe boards the bus at at St. Paul and Elm and sits across the aisle from the driver. This bus, identified as the “Marsalis-Ramona-Elwood”, is driven by Cecil McWatters (vol 2, page 292 W.C.; also W.C. exhibit #378). A few blocks later the bus stops to pick up a passenger. Bledsoe recognizes the passenger as Oswald when he boards the bus. He passes by her while walking toward the rear of the bus (Bledsoe interview by SA Richard Harrison 11/23/63). When the bus becomes stalled in traffic, Oswald again passes by Bledsoe, this time while walking toward the front of the bus. Oswald obtains a transfer from McWatters and exits through the front door.
When interviewed on November 23rd, 1963, Bledsoe remembered that Oswald wore “a brown shirt with holes in the elbows and “ragged gray work pants”. Bledsoe was the only witness on the bus who paid any attention to Oswald, probably because she knew him, and thus was able to identify the clothing he wore (as of November 23rd).
Before her W.C. testimony Bledsoe prepared notes, at the suggestion of SS Agent Forrest Sorrels, in order to refresh her memory. Reading from notes to refresh a witnesses testimony is, as any lawyer knows, not uncommon in courtroom proceedings. It is allowed in all state and federal court proceedings (Federal Rules of Evidence --- Rule 612 and Rule 803-S).
Cecil McWatters was interviewed on November 22nd and 23rd. On November 22, McWatters was driving the “Marsalis, Ramona, Elwood, Munger” bus run, known as run 1213. McWatters, with his time checked by the company dispatcher, arrived on schedule at St.
Paul and Elm at 12:36 pm. At Elm and Griffin “I come to a complete stop, and when I did, someone come up and beat on the door of the bus, and that is about even with Griffin St.” (Vol 2, pg 264). The man boarded the bus, paid his 23 cent fare, and “he took the third chair back on the right” (CE 343). Mary Bledsoe, sitting across from McWatters, identified the man as her former tenant --- Lee Harvey Oswald.