«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, ...»
When CIA chief John McCone learns of the assassination, he rushes to Robert Kennedy’s home in McLean, Virginia, and stays with him for the next three hours. No one else is admitted. Even Bobby’s priest is turned away. McCone gives the attorney general a routine briefing on CIA business and Castro’s name is never mentioned. McCone anguishes with Bobby over the terrible possibility that the assassination plots sanctioned by the president’s own brother may have backfired. Tomorrow, McCone will brief President Lyndon Johnson and his National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy. McCone shares with Johnson and Bundy a dispatch from the U.S.
embassy in Mexico City, strongly suggesting that Fidel Castro is behind the assassination. The publicly released CIA record shows no trace of any linkage between Oswald and Cuba from Mexico until late November 23, long after McCone briefs the President. There are clues that CIA Headquarters already knows more about Oswald and Cuba than the purportedly complete record of CIA cables will ever account for.
Acting Press Secretary, Malcolm Kilduff will recall being at Parkland Hospital: “I didn’t know what to call him [LBJ]. I sure as hell wasn’t about to call him Lyndon. So when I said ‘President Johnson,’ Lady Bird let out a shriek. Nobody had bothered to tell the poor man” that Kennedy was dead. Kilduff will recall that Johnson is “as cool as a cucumber” and calmly asks what the next step is.
FBI SAC J. Gordon Shanklin orders SA J. Doyle Williams to go to Parkland Hospital, locate the SS agent in charge, and inform him that J. Edgar Hoover has ordered all bureau resources to be at the ready to assist. Williams speeds to hospital, finds Roy Kellerman and relays message. He then offers J. Edgar Hoover’s condolences to Mrs. Kennedy. He asks one of the nurses to help him find a telephone so that he can report to his superiors. When he returns from making this telephone call, reports of what happens next are confusing. Williams testifies that he is grabbed from behind by two SS agents and wrestled to the hall floor. Roy Kellerman steps in and asks Williams to leave. He does so and returns to his FBI office. Hoover will eventually demote Williams for this incident.
LBJ’s Secret Service bodyguard, Rufus Youngblood, testifies: “When Mr. [Kenny] O’Donnell and Roy Kellerman told us that he [JFK] had died, the Vice President said, “Well, how about Mrs. Kennedy?” O’Donnell told the Vice President that Mrs. Kennedy would not leave the hospital without the President’s body. And O’Donnell suggested we go to the plane and that they just come on the other plane. And I might add that, as a word of explanation, there were two jet planes, one Air Force 1, in which the President flew, and the other Air Force 2, in which the Vice President and his party flew on. And O’Donnell told us to go ahead and take Air Force 1. I believe this is mainly because Air Force 1 has better communications equipment and so forth than the other planes. President Johnson said that he didn’t want to go off and leave Mrs. Kennedy in such a state. And so he agreed that we would go on to the airplane and board the plane and wait until Mrs. Kennedy and the body would come out.” SS agent Jerry D. Kivett, on orders from SS agent Rufus Youngblood, radios Love Field and speaks to someone aboard Air Force One. He orders them to refuel and be prepared for takeoff and to move the plane to another section of the airport. Kivett is advised that the plane is already refueled and that they are in the process of trying to locate another location at the airport.
Jack Lawrence, a salesman from the Downtown Lincoln-Mercury dealership (two blocks west of Dealey Plaza) hurries into the dealership showroom with mud on his clothes. Pale and sweating profusely, he runs into the restroom and throws up. He tells coworkers that he has been ill and tried to drive a car (borrowed the day before from the dealership) back to the showroom but finally had to leave it parked some distance away because the traffic is so heavy. Two employees go to pick up the car and find it parked behind the wooden fence on the grassy knoll. The car salesman is arrested and soon released. He leaves Dallas immediately and is never questioned by the Warren Commission. An Air Force veteran, Lawrence has been qualified as an expert marksman. (It is interesting to note that Carlos Marcello had an interest in car dealerships in Dallas and his son, Carlos, Jr., settled in Highland Park, a ritzy suburb of Dallas.) Sam Giancana will later reportedly allege that Lawrence is sent along with Charles Harrelson by Carlos Marcello to take part in the assassination. Lawrence leaves almost immediately after the assassination and travels to North Carolina.
According to telephone company records, Michael Paine places a collect call to the Paine’s phone number from his number at work. Ruth Paine receives the collect call and begins talking with her husband while the telephone operator remains on the line. The operator will tell the FBI that the man on the phone says he, “Felt sure Lee Harvey Oswald had killed the President but did not feel Oswald was responsible.” Michael Pain then tells his wife, “We both know who is responsible.” This is nearly one hour before LHO is arrested. H&L Jack Ruby telephones his sister, Eva Grant, from the Dallas Morning News building. H&L Also at about 1:00 PM, neighbors who live along the road running by the little Redbird private airport between Dallas and Fort Worth begin calling the police. A twin-engine plane, they report, is out there behaving very peculiarly. For an hour it has been revving its engines, not on the runway but parked at the end of the airstrip on a grassy area next to the fence. The noise has prevented nearby residents from hearing their TV’s, as news comes over about the terrible events in downtown Dallas. But the police are too busy to check it out, and shortly thereafter the plane takes off.
Officers are also searching the bus that LHO has reportedly boarded. This search may suggest that someone other than Marina and Ruth Paine know that LHO can not operate an automobile and has supposedly chosen to travel by bus.
No individual employed at the TSBD comes forward to police to indicate they are afraid to reenter the building. This may indicate that either all seventy-three known employees are convinced that shots have come from elsewhere, or that they know, or suspect, the depository as a location for shots, but now that JFK’s car has passed, there is no further threat to human life. AATF Butch Burroughs, an employee of the Texas Theater, hears someone enter the Texas Theater shortly after 1:00 PM and go to the balcony. Oswald has apparently entered the theater and gone to the balcony without being seen by Burroughs. About 1:15 PM LHO comes down from the balcony and buys popcorn from Burroughs. Burroughs watches him walk down the aisle and take a seat on the main floor. He sits next to Jack Davis during the opening credits of the first movie, several minutes before 1:20 PM. LHO then moves across the aisle and sits next to another man. A few minutes later Davis notices he moves again and sits next to a pregnant woman. Just before the police arrive, the pregnant woman goes to the balcony and is never seen again. In addition to Harvey there are seven people watching the movie on the main level (six after the pregnant woman left). Within 10 minutes, LHO will sit next to half of them. Note that at this time, J.D. Tippit has not yet been shot.
Bricklayer William Lawrence Smith leaves his Dallas construction job for lunch at the Town and Country Cafe - two doors west of the 10th Street Barber Shop. While walking east to the cafe a man, who he later identifies as LHO, walks past him heading west-toward 10th & Patton. A minute later, Oswald is seen by Jimmy Burt and William. A. Smith walking west. The suspect is now in a position to see J. D. Tippit’s patrol car moving toward him. Some eyewitnesses claim that the gunman reverses his direction, so that he is now heading east - with his back to Tippit’s approaching squad car.
Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander, who will talk to residents along LHO’s suspected route to the corner of Tenth & Patton, thinks it unlikely that LHO could have gotten to the scene on foot without being spotted. Alexander says: “There are enough old people that live in that neighborhood, that are at home, that in order to make that distance on foot, he would have to have double-timed a big part of the way, thus drawing attention to himself. Somebody would have seen him. Negative. I don’t know how he got there and nobody else does either.” WM Max Allen Long, who lives with is mother at 324 East Tenth St. will later claim (on Aug. 24, 1977) that LHO is on his way to Long’s address - which has been established as a “safe house.” Long will claim that letting LHO come to his house is “supposed to wipe out a unspecific debt that Long had with some people in New Orleans.” WM Domingo Benavides, a mechanic at Dootch Motors, is approached by a man whose car is stalled on Patton between Tenth and Jefferson. Benavides looks it over and discovers the carburetor is faulty. WM The Texas Theater begins showing newsreels and cartoons prior to the main feature, “War Is Hell.” Concession attendant Butch Burroughs will tell British film producer Nigel Turner, “Oswald slipped into the theater between 1:00 and 1:07 PM.” H&L Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney reportedly notices a pile of cartons in front of the window in the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the TSBD. This area will eventually become known as “the sniper’s nest.” Photograph CE 723 shows eight stacks of cartons, three or four to a stack, arranged in a crude semi-circle, concealing the window area from view. Almost a half hour has now elapsed between the report by three employees who were watching the motorcade from the fifth-floor windows that they heard shells being ejected overhead, and this moment when Mooney stumbles into the sniper’s nest. Police have also heard witnesses who have reported - immediately following the shots - that they had seen a rifle or an object like a rifle, or a man, or a man with a rifle, in the sixth-floor window of the TSBD.
Despite this, no police have rushed immediately to the sixth floor. The sniper’s nest is only discovered by chance during a floor-by-floor search.
1:01 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Oswald is seen by Jimmy Burt and William Arthur Smith walking WEST. (The W.C. says LHO is walking EAST.) This puts LHO a block and a half east of the Tippit shooting and three blocks west of Ruby’s apartment.
1:04 - 1:07 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Insurance salesman James A. Andrews is driving a couple of blocks from the Top Ten Record Store.
A police car following Andrews suddenly passes him and forces his car to the curb. The officer jumps out of the patrol car, motions for Andrews to stay put, and then runs back to Andres’s car. The officer looks in the front and back seat of the car and then, without saying a word, returns to his patrol car and drives off. Andrews looks at the officer’s nameplate, which reads “Tippit.” He will recall that Tippit seems to be very upset, agitated, and is acting wild. After returning to his police car Tippit turns the car around and begins driving EAST on 10th Street. H&L 1:06 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) J.D. Tippit pulls out of the Gloco service station and heads south on Lancaster at a “high rate of speed.” WM Helen Markham leaves the washateria of her apartment house near the corner of 9th & Patton. While walking south on Patton she notices a police car driving slowly east on 10th Street. One half block in front of Markham, on the opposite side of Patton, cab driver William Scoggins is eating lunch in his cab. Scoggins notices a man walking west as J. D. Tippit’s patrol car passes slowly in front of him. Jack Tatum, sitting in his red 1964 Ford Galaxie a block east, notices the same man turn and walk toward the police car. Tatum turns left onto 10th street and drives slowly west past Tippit’s car.
1:10 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Officer J. D. Tippit has now supposedly spotted a man walking east along Tenth Street who n seems to fit the description of the suspected assailant in Dealey Plaza. Tippit then reportedly stops, and calls the man over to his car.
The man walks over to the car, leans down, and speaks to Tippit through the window on the passenger’s side. There is no indication that Tippit is at all concerned about the possibility of danger. Then, according to the Warren Commission report, Tippit gets out and starts to walk around the front of the car. The man Tippit has been talking to draws a pistol and fires from the hip, hitting Tippit in the chest.
Earlier this morning, Tippit hugged his oldest son Allen and said, “no matter what happens today, I want you to know that I love you.” This is the last time young Allen Tippit sees his father alive.
In 2004, Tippit’s widow will say: ““I was privileged to have been married to J.D. for 17 years. He was a good husband and a good father. And I knew I was loved. You know, that is the most important thing in your life. To be loved. And to be able to express that love to others. And that’s what J.D. was for me.” In the book, WITH MALICE, it is noted that Top Ten Record shop owner J.W. Stark and clerk Louis Cortinas claim Tippit comes into the store on west Jefferson and makes a phone call. Getting no answer, Tippit leaves heading north to Sunset, then east. The time given for Tippit’s visit to top Ten Record shop is 1:11:00 PM.
Anthony Summers reminds us that Harry Olsen, an off duty policeman, is today moonlighting by doing guard duty at a vacant estate not far from where TIppit is murdered. Tonight, Olsen and his girlfriend, one of Ruby’s nightclub girls, will visit with Jack Ruby. They will spend at least an hour talking together while sitting in a car. A month after the assassination, Olsen will leave Dallas for good.