«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, ...»
The second police car to arrive at the scene where Tippit was murdered is driven by Officer Gerald Hill. Riding with Hill is William Alexander. (Officer Hill testifies that he is given custody of the.38 revolver supposedly found on Oswald when he is arrested a few moments later.) In 1978, author and researcher Anthony Summers retraces the route LHO took to the scene of the Tippit murder with William Alexander, who in 1963 was assistant district attorney in Dallas. Alexander says: “One of the questions that I would like to have answered is why Oswald was where he was when he shot Tippit... Along with the police, we measured the route, all the conceivable routes he could have taken to that place; we interrogated bus drivers, we checked the cab-company records, but we still do not know how he got to where he was, or why he was where he was. I feel like if we could ever find out why he was there, then maybe some of the other mysteries would be solved. Was he supposed to meet someone? Was he trying to make a getaway? Did he miss a connection? Was there a connection? If you look at Oswald’s behavior, he made very few nonpurposeful motions, very seldom did he do anything that did not serve a purpose to him. People who’ve studied his behavior feel there was a purpose in his being where he was. I, for one, would like to know what that was.” NIYLT In his book Conspiracy, Matthew Smith advances the theory that J.D.
“There was so much confusion going on. But they told me he was dead. I just freaked out. I couldn’t believe this was happening. ‘Here the president and now my husband! You’ve got to be wrong!’ It was total devastation.” NBC coanchor Bill Ryan indicates that a neatly dressed young man (clearly NOT Oswald) has been taken into custody.
TID 1:20 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) After Presidential aide Kenneth O’Donnell informs LBJ that JFK is dead, he advises LBJ to return to Washington ASAP.
1:21 PM Police Ban (Channel 2) -- Get me 20 more uniformed officers to Parkland entrance immediately. This is a precautionary move.
The second officer, H.W. Summers, arrives at the shooting scene of J.D. Tippit. WM The main feature, “War Is Hell,” begins a few minutes prior to this time at The Texas Theater. H&L 1:22 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) The alleged murder rifle is discovered in the TSBD. (This is less than one hour after the shooting.) The rifle found is initially described as a 7.65 mm German Mauser. It is so described by Deputy Sheriff E. L. Boone, discoverer of the rifle, in his report of this day. Boone’s report is supported by that of Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman. Both lawmen reportedly have more than an average knowledge of weapons. This account is further confirmed by Deputy Craig, who will tell Texas researchers that he actually sees the word Mauser stamped on the weapon’s receiver. (When asked about the make of rifle shortly after midnight this day, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade replies: “It’s a Mauser, I believe.”) The Warren Commission will eventually indicate that Weitzman is simply mistaken in his identification of the rifle and that the others, including Wade, probably repeated this mistaken identification. However, Wade never gives any indication as to the source of his idea that the rifle is a Mauser. And Boone tells the Commission he thinks it was Captain Fritz who termed it a Mauser. Even the CIA has doubts as to the true identity of the assassination rifle. Five days after the assassination, in an internal report transmitted from Italy to Langley headquarters, CIA officials note that two different kinds of Italian-made carbines are being identified as the single murder weapon. The CIA document states: “The weapon which appears to have been employed in this criminal attack is a Model 91 rifle, 7.35 caliber, 1938 modification... The description of a ‘Mannlicher-Carcano’ rifle in the Italian and foreign press is in error.” No special precautions are taken to isolate the weapon as historic evidence. In tests of the rifle, metal shims have to be placed under the telescopic sight before the Army laboratory can test the accuracy of it. This evidence is known to both the FBI and the Warren Commission, but is never adequately relayed to the public. (At the time Oswald ordered the rifle, it was subject to litigation by Adams Consolidated Industries as “defective.”) No prints are initially found on the rifle. LHO’s palm print will eventually be discovered on the Mannlicher-Carcano. DPD Crime Scene Search division lieutenant Carl Day will note, in an October 1993 interview, “The prints on the rifle weren’t made the day of the assassination - or the day before that, or the day before that. The prints were at least weeks, if not months, old.” It remains to be discovered how the gun was fired on this day without fresh prints, but with the old prints left intact. OT “When a report reads “no prints,” what does that really mean? It means no prints of evidentiary value were preserved. It does not mean that the item was wiped down, or that no one had ever touched or handled it. Occasionally observations to establish that the item has been wiped down may be made and reported, but it usually would not be possible to determine at what point it was wiped or even if the item had been handled since the wiping. The term “no prints” does not mean that there were no marks or smears — it means that if any markings were present, they lacked sufficient detail to be of evidentiary value. As there are limits to the collection of prints at all scenes, an evaluation of what should be preserved as evidence is a necessity. Technicians cannot develop, preserve, document, and collect all fragmentary portions of ridge detail at crime scenes. Realistic expectations and a point of diminishing return are factors with which to reckon. (“Fingerprints: What They Can & Cannot Do!)” Lt. Carl Day will also indicate the location of a third print on the rifle - CE 139: “There was another print, I thought possibly under the wood part up near the trigger housing.” Whatever the reason...for none was officially given....this latent image has been lost, never having been examined or mentioned by officials associated with the investigation.
On August 20, 1964, J. Edgar Hoover will write to J. Lee Rankin: “... it should be noted that the firing pin of this rifle has been used extensively as shown by wear on the nose or striking portion of the firing pin and, further, the presence of rust on the firing pin and its spring may be an indication that the firing pin had not been recently changed prior to November 22, 1963. This rust would have been disturbed had the firing pin been changed subsequent to the formation of the rust. In this regard, the firing pin and spring of this weapon are well oiled and the rust present necessarily must have been formed prior to the oiling of these parts. No oil has been applied to the weapon by the FBI; however, it is not known whether it was oiled by any other person having this rifle in his possession. It was noted during the examination of the firing pin that numerous shots have been fired with the weapon in its present well-oiled condition as shown by the presence of residues on the interior surfaces of the bolt and on the firing pin. The Laboratory has no record of any outlet where spare parts, including firing pins, can be obtained for rifles such as Commission Number 139. In accordance with Mr. Redlich’s telephonic request and in the absence of any indication that the firing pin of the rifle was changed, no investigative survey was conducted to ascertain whether any such outlets exist in the United States.” As stated earlier, the original inventory of articles found in what becomes known as “the sniper’s nest”, where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired at JFK, reportedly does not list an ammunition clip despite an otherwise meticulous detailing of every item recovered along with the rifle. According to assassination researcher Sylvia Meagher, the first reference to a clip surfaces in the Warren Report, published in September 1964. Prior to this, no mention of an ammunition clip appears anywhere. Some researchers, seeking to explain the apparent absence of a clip, have advanced the theory that Oswald reloaded the rifle manually and that someone later added the clip to the inventory. Most experts agree that without using a clip Oswald could not possibly have fired more than one round before the president’s car sped from the scene, indicating that the additional shots had to have come from a second source. The gun found in the TSBD building has a difficult bolt, eccentric trigger, maladjusted scope, and disintegrating firing pin. Despite this impressive list of disabilities, the W.C. will conclude that it is the rifle that, in three shots, felled JFK and the Governor.
Ten days will pass before Lee Harvey Oswald’s clipboard is discovered on the sixth floor. His jacket is not found until late November. This seems to demonstrate that there is no real systematic search of the building once the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle is discovered there -- OR evidence is planted after the fact to shore up the attempt to place Oswald on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting.
The Warren Report will also eventually state that “when the rifle was found in the Texas School book Depository Building it contained a clip.” No witness who gave testimony about the search of the TSBD or the discovery of the rifle mentions an ammunition clip, either in the rifle or elsewhere on the sixth floor -- assuming this was the floor the rifle was actually found on. FBI expert Latona will later specifically refer to the clip by stating that no prints were found on the ammunition clip. The W.C. will state that “there is no evidence that Oswald wore gloves or that he wiped prints off the rifle.” The clip should have been ejected from the rifle, falling on the floor somewhere near the southeast corner window. If it was not ejected, it may have been defective or deformed in such a way that it remained stuck in the weapon -- and that in itself should have been the subject of comment by Frazier or other witnesses. No such comment was made. The fact is that the rifle had not been fully loaded at the time of the assassination but had held only four cartridges instead of seven. If an ammunition clip was used in firing the rifle found in the Book Depository,, it must have been empty, since the single, live round was ejected from the chamber and no other unexpended ammunition was found in the Book Depository,. The clip should therefore have been ejected, falling on the floor somewhere near the southeast corner window. If it was not ejected, it may have been defective or deformed in such a way that it remained stuck in the weapon -- and that in itself should have been the subject of comment by Frazier or other witnesses. No such comment was made. Such an assassin would have had to be certain that he would hit his victim or victims without missing, and that his escape was guaranteed, so that there would be no need to shoot his way out of the Book Depository. The Warren Commission scenario, based upon available evidence, indicates that the rifle had not been fully loaded at the time of the assassination but held only four cartridges instead of seven. Thus, it conjures up a picture of a rather implausible assassin, who set out to kill the President armed with only four bullets, his last and only ones Further adding to the mystery of the rifle, ATF agent Frank Ellsworth, who participates in a second search of the book depository conducted after 1:30 PM on this date, according to a Secret Service document, confirms that the Mannlicher-Carcano was found by a DPD detective on the fourth or fifth floor of the building, “not on the same floor as the cartridges.”[the sixth floor] He adds: “I remember we talked about it, and figured that he [LHO] must have run out from the stairwell [to the lower floor] and dropped it [the Mannlicher] as he was running downstairs.” A report, dated 11/22/63 and signed by Lt. J. C. Day, mentions one live round in the barrel, three spent hulls, and and notes that “THE CLIP IS STAMPED SMI 952.” This is the notation on the clip that resides to this day in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.