«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, ...»
Also, during the afternoon of Nov. 22nd, Gilberto Policarpo Lopez crosses into Mexico from Nuevo Laredo. It is only hours after this border is reopened following its closure in the wake of the assassination. (By March 1964, Policarpo’s name will be put forward by the CIA as having been involved in the Kennedy assassination. The CIA, however, will never inform the Warren Commission of Policarpo’s activities.) 5:45 PM, Nov. 22, 1963 Dennis David observes arrival of BLACK hearse at the rear entrance of Bethesda with plain metal casket, accompanied by 6 - 7 men in plain clothes. He is told it is body of JFK. Plain metal casket brought into Bethesda morgue. Paul O’Connor reports JFK’s body wrapped in BODY BAG; no brain inside head.
5:55 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) GRAY Navy ambulance, driven by William Greer, arrives at Bethesda front entrance. Jacqueline Kennedy enters hospital.
6:00 PM (Nov. 22, 1963)
Erwin Swartz and Abraham Zapruder reportedly take the original positive copy of the assassination film footage to Jamison Film, in Dallas, and have three reversal duplicates made. They have a Jamison representative sign a statement that they will make no more than the three reversal duplicates. Swartz and Zapruder then take the three reversal duplicates to Eastman Kodak where three additional positive prints are made. It is further reported that Forrest V. Sorrels, head of Secret Service in Dallas also accompanies Zapruder to Jamison Film. BT Richard Stolley of Life Magazine learns of the Z film from part time Life reporter Patsy Swank who calls him from DPD headquarters.
Army Sergeant James Felder is a member of the Casket Team charged with transporting the president’s coffin. Felder will be eventually interviewed by researcher David S. Lifton. According to Lifton, Felder substantiates reports of confusion at Bethesda Naval Hospital involving the use of two Navy ambulances and the team’s difficulty locating Kennedy’s coffin during a thirty-minute interval following its arrival at the hospital.
When Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base, the president’s coffin was removed from the craft and placed inside a Navy ambulance for the trip to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Jacqueline Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who had met the plane, also rode in the ambulance. A second ambulance reportedly joined the motorcade from the air base to the hospital to serve as a decoy, drawing the crowd of curiosity seekers away from the ambulance bearing the president’s coffin. The motorcade reached Bethesda at approximately 6:55 p.m., Friday, November 22, 1963. Mrs. Kennedy and the president’s brother alighted and entered the front door of the hospital, leaving the ambulance containing the coffin outside under guard by a group of sailors hand-picked specifically for this duty. The Military District of Washington, D.C., Casket Team had flown by helicopter from Andrews to Bethesda, where the members loaded into a pickup truck. They waited near the front entrance to the hospital until the ambulance pulled away to drive around back to the loading dock. The truck attempted to keep pace with the ambulance, which reportedly drove at high speed, but lost sight of it and then lost its bearings. Returning to the hospital’s main entrance, the truck started again for the rear of the building, where the ambulance was found waiting. The coffin was finally removed by the Casket Team. Although Bureau records purportedly indicate that FBI agents accompanied the coffin from the ambulance to the autopsy room at 7:17 p.m., the Casket Team case report puts the time the coffin was transferred at 8:00 p.m. According to a statement that researcher David S. Lifton attributed to Petty Officer Dennis David, who was chief of the day for the medical school when Kennedy’s body arrived, David brought with him to the loading platform “seven or eight sailors” who unloaded the coffin and brought it into the autopsy room. This does not correspond with either of the two reports, one by the FBI men at the scene (the O’Neill and Sibert report) and the other by the Casket Team, concerning who unloaded the coffin. Adding to the controversy is a statement Lifton attributed to X-ray technician Jerrol F. Custer that Custer witnessed Mrs. Kennedy’s arrival through the front entrance of the hospital while he was carrying X rays of her husband’s head to be developed. If the president’s body was still in the coffin inside the ambulance in which Mrs. Kennedy arrived, it was impossible for Custer to be arranging to develop X rays of his wounds.
Richard Lipsey is military aide to General Wehle, Commanding General of the Military District of Washington. It becomes Lipsey’s job to transport the body of President Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital for autopsy. Lipsey describes how a “decoy” hearse is driven to the front of the hospital along with Jackie Kennedy, and the hearse with Kennedy’s body is driven to the rear of the morgue. If this account is true, the body would have had to have been removed from its original casket before the plane left the ground in Dallas, unless Jackie Kennedy herself knew of the switch.
Lipsey also has interesting things to say about JFK’s wounds, insisting that there is a third wound in addition to the back wound and skull wound. The location Lipsey gives for this third wound matches the location of a spot near the hairline which appears in autopsy photos. The HSCA medical panel deems this spot to be a splotch of brain tissue.
6:10 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) The Marsalis City bus driven by Cecil McWatters comes to the bus stop at Dallas police headquarters. Two men get on board and identify themselves as police detectives. They ask McWatters to come inside for questioning. They take him in through the main entrance and up to the third floor. When shown bus transfer No. 4459 McWatters says “yes, that is the transfer I issued because it had my punch mark on it... I only gave two transfers going through town on that trip (from North Dallas south to Oak Cliff) and that was at the one stop of where I gave the lady and the gentlemen that got off the bus, I issued two transfers. But that was the only two transfers were issued.” 6:17 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) [CST] Time of preparation for Bethesda autopsy, according to FBI 6:20 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Oswald’s second interrogation begins. Sometime after 6 PM a paraffin test is made on LHO’s hand.
LHO says: ““What are you trying to do, prove that I fired a gun?” W.E. Barnes conducts the test in Capt. Fritz’s office. WC LHO’s first interrogation ends. He is escorted to the basement for a second lineup. H&L Mike Robinson, a fourteen-year-old boy, has watched the motorcade earlier today with another friend whose father works on the Dallas Police force. For most of the afternoon, Mike and his friend have been hanging around the police station... and have even seen Lee Harvey Oswald being led down a hallway. Mike and his friend then continue to observe the goings-on in the Police station for the rest of the afternoon. They see Bobby Hargis, the motorcycle officer splattered by particulate matter from the president, return to headquarters with blood and brain matter on him and his helmet, and when the realization of events hit Hargis, he violently slams the helmet into a wall and literally goes beserk, requiring a number of other officers to restrain him. Toward evening, Mike tells his friend’s father that he needs to use the bathroom. Since the restrooms on the third floor of the police station are now filled by newsmen and other visitors, Mike is taken by his friend’s father to a restroom in the lower level of the building where the officer’s have their locker room.
Mike is told that the restroom is just beyond the locker room and his friend’s father then leaves him alone. While using the toilet in one of the stalls, Mike says that he hears three men enter the restroom. They are obviously police or police related individuals. Embarrassed, Mike pulls his feet up and out of view so that his stall appears to be empty. He then says he hears the three men whispering angrily to each other. As Mike Robinson reconstructs the statements, their order is “You knew you were supposed to kill Lee,” followed by icy silence, then the same voice in the same nasty tone, “then you stupid son of a bitch, you go kill a cop...” At this point another individual enters the room, and the first three fall silent. The newcomer, whom Mike can not identify is wearing blue, “did his business, flushed the urinal, and left.” The original three men then conclude, “Lee will have to be killed before they take him to Washington.” Mike remains in his stall for a decent span of time after the three men leave the room, the Mike leaves as well. As he passes through the police locker room, one officer, in the process of changing his clothes, stares at Mike, as if to say, “Were you in there when we were?” Having been shown every available photo of officers on the Dallas police force at this time, Mike Robinson believes that the man who stared at him in a menacing way is Roscoe White. Mike finally comes forward with this information in November 1993. TID 6:30 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Captain Will Fritz, Assistant District Attorney Jim Allen, Forrest Sorrels of the Secret Service, and Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander leave the Dallas Police station and go across the street to the Majestic Cafe with two Dallas police officers. Alexander says they needed a quiet place to think and to try to piece together “what we had.” Of LHO, Fritz will later say: “I don’t believe he was afraid at all. And I think he was above average for intelligence. I know a lot of people call him a nut all the time, but he didn’t talk like a nut. He knew exactly when to quit talking. I could talk to him as long as I wanted to if I just talked about a lot of things that didn’t amount to anything. But any time I asked him a question that meant something, that would produce evidence, he immediately told me that he wouldn’t tell me about it and he seemed to anticipate what I was going to ask.” WFAA radio and television reporter Victor Robertson, Jr. stands in the hall near the entrance to Captain Fritz’s third-floor office in Dallas. Two police officers are guarding the door. Robertson sees Jack Ruby approach and attempt to enter the office. He is prevented from doing so by one of the officers who says: “You can’t go in there Jack.” Ruby makes a joking remark and heads back down the hall toward the elevator.
At some point during this early evening, CIA agent Gary Underhill drives out of Washington, DC and heads for New York -and the home of Robert Fitzsimmons on Long Island. (Fitzsimmons and his wife Charlene, are longtime friends whom Underhill feels he can trust. ) Bob is sleeping; Charlene is awake. Underhill tells Charlene that he fears for his life and plans on leaving the country.
“I’ve got to get out of the country... This country is too dangerous for me now. I’ve got to get on a boat... I’m really afraid for my life.” Upon questing by Charlene, Underhill goes on to explain that he has information about the Kennedy assassination and that “Oswald is a patsy. They set him up. It’s too much. The bastards have done something outrageous. They’ve killed the President! I’ve been listening and hearing things. I couldn’t believe they’d get away with it, but they did!” Underhill, emotionally distraught, continues to explain “They’ve gone mad! They’re a bunch of drug runners and gun runners -- a real violence group. God, the CIA is under enough pressure already without that bunch in Southeast Asia.... I know who they are. That’s the problem. They know I know. That’s why I’m here.” Underhill begs Charlene to help hide him, and she consents to let him stay a few hours until Bob awakens -- then possibly Bob will leave Gary a key while the couple vacations in Spain, a trip they have previously planned on taking with departure, ironically, taking place this very day. “No, that’s all right,” says Underhill. “Maybe I shouldn’t leave the country.” Underhill turns toward the door. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours.” He never does. Underhill returns quietly to Washington and begins investigating JFK’s assassination on his own.
He mentions his efforts to another friend, Asher Brynes, of The New Republic, but probably no one else. (In six months, Underhill will be dead -- “suicide.” He will be shot behind his left ear. Yet, Underhill is right-handed.) 6:37 PM (Nov. 22, 1963 LHO’s second lineup is over and he is escorted back to Captain Fritz’s office. H&L 7:00 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) LHO is formally charged with the murder of J.D. Tippit.
Autopsy on J. D. Tippit is completed.
Jack Ruby is seen at the Dallas police station. He is carrying a loaded gun, to which he later admits in his testimonies to the Warren Commission.
Marina Oswald and Mr. and Mrs. Paine are brought into police headquarters in Dallas. Shown the rifle allegedly found on the sixth floor of the TSBD, Marina states that it is “like” her husband’s but that she is “not sure.” Officers take her affidavit.
In Washington, LBJ has his first appointment as president with CIA director John McCone. What they discuss remains unknown.
Captain Taswell Shepard, in charge of the briefcase known as the “nuclear football,” remembers that the atmosphere in the White House on the evening of the assassination was not one of crisis as LBJ will later assert in order, for instance, to pressure Earl Warren to chair the commission investigating JFK’s murder. BT This evening, Santos Trafficante meets Frank Ragano and his nineteen-year-old fiancee, Nancy, at Tampa, Florida’s International Inn. He has invited them to supper and meets them in a jubilant mood. He embraces both of them warmly. “Our problems are over,” he tells Ragano. “I hope Jimmy [Hoffa] is happy now. We will build hotels again. We’ll get back into Cuba now.” Once at the table, Trafficante launches into a tirade against the slain president, then proposes a toast. Turning to Ragano and his future bride, he raises a glass and says: “To your health and John Kennedy’s death.” Nancy, a college student, is horrified at what Trafficante has just said. She has only just come from her campus where the students are still crying over what has happened in Dallas. Unable to take it, she runs out of the restaurant, leaving Frank and Santos alone.