«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, ...»
Billy Joe Martin, another motorcade officers, reports that the four motorcycle officers covering the Presidential limousine are ordered that under no circumstances are they to leave their positions “regardless of what happened.” Martain will eventually explain to the Warren Commission that the Secret Service told them that they didn’t want anyone riding past the President’s car and that they were to ride to the rear. (6H293) Martin allegedly tells his girlfriend Jean Hill, “Johnson’s Secret Service people came over to the motorcycle cops and gave us a bunch of instructions...They also ordered us into the damndest escort formation I’ve ever seen. Ordinarily, you bracket the car with four motorcycles, one on each fender. But this time, they told the four of us assigned to the President’s car there’d be no forward escorts. We were to stay well in back and not let ourselves get ahead of the car’s rear wheels under any circumstances.
I’d never heard of a formation like that, much less ridden in one, but they said they wanted the crowds to get an unrestricted view of the President. Well, I guess somebody got an ‘unrestricted’ view of him, all right.” Douglas Weldon/MIDP Bonnie Ray Williams and Billy Lovelady testify that they see Oswald on the fifth floor, waiting impatiently for them to send one of the elevators back up so he can come down. The scenario is that the employees race the elevators to the first floor. Charles Givens sees LHO standing at the gate on the fifth floor as the elevator goes by.
Photographer James W. Altgens arrives at the intersection of Main and Houston Streets where he remains until the motorcade arrives. TGZFH 11:45 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Charles Givens, an employee at The Texas Book Depository Building and a known narcotics user with a police record, later testifies that he works on the sixth floor until this time, then goes downstairs. As his elevator passes the fifth floor, he sees Lee Harvey Oswald. Givens, according to his testimony, then realizes he has left his cigarettes on the sixth floor and takes the elevator back upstairs to get his jacket with the cigarettes in it. He sees Oswald, clipboard in hand, walking from the southeast corner of the sixth floor toward the elevator.
(It is physically impossible for Givens to see Oswald, as he testifies he did, unless without any reason for doing so he walked far to the east of the elevator. It has been suggested that Givens, a black man with a drug record, was pressured into his story by the Dallas police.
Givens, like Oswald, was missing from the Book Depository Building after the assassination.) John Stevens Rutter Lawrence will state in a Secret Service document that he is walking north on Akard Street from Commerce to Main when his attention is called to a man walking in the opposite direction on the same side of the street... carrying a rifle. The man is about 6’5” tall, and weighs about 250 pounds or more. He appears to be a professional football type and very muscular. He has dirty blond hair and wears it in a short crew cut. The man is in his 30s and is wearing a light colored business suit and white business shirt. When Lawrence’s report eventually comes to light, someone has scribbled the name “Hemmings?” at the bottom of the document.
[Gerry Patrick Hemming] Hemming will claim to have refused offers made to him to kill JFK. He will state that he had nothing to do with the assassination.
11:50 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Charles Givens now observes LHO reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch.
This room is on the first floor of the Book Depository Building. (He will later deny testifying to this fact.) William Shelley will testify that he sees Oswald on the first floor when he [Shelly] “came down to eat lunch about ten to twelve.” AATF / H&L Philip Ben Hathaway, age 28, a testifies: “We were walking down Commerce up to Main and Main to Akard and while we were walking up Akard towards Main Street we passed a man who was carrying a rifle in a gun case. I saw this man walking towards me, walking towards Commerce, and took particular attention to him because of his size. I am 6’5” and weigh 200 pounds. This man was very tall, approx [sic] 6’6” or 6’7” over 250 pounds, very thick and big through the chest, in his 30’s, dirty blonde hair worn in a crew cut. Was wearing a grey colored business suit with white dress shirt, fair complexion. I remarked to my friend that there was a guy carrying a gun in all this crowd and made the remark that he was probably a secret service man. I could very easily identify this man if I ever saw him again. The gun case was holding a rifle because I could tell there was a gun in it as it was a combination leather and cloth gun case and without a gun, it would have been limp, but it was heavy and he was carrying it by the handle and the barrell of the gun was up at a 45 degree angle. It was beige or tan leather and olive drab material.” 11:51 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) J.D. Tippit returns to duty after having lunch at home with his wife, Marie. WM Tippit radios he is back in service from lunch, and starts driving back toward his Patrol District.
11:55 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) JFK’s motorcade leaves Love Field for trip through downtown Dallas to the Trade Mart. Marty Underwood says: “They had a hell of a fight there for about five minutes that day, before they started the motorcade. I don’t mean a fight, but.....” (Concerning the bubble top for the Presidential limo) “... Jackie wanted it up and Kenny O’Donnell wanted it up, and Connally wanted it up. He (JFK) wanted people to see Jackie...” “We were getting ready to start the motorcade and Connally, Kenny O’Donnell, and Dave Powers and everybody talked to Kennedy and said, look, let’s put the bubble top up. And he said, ‘No this is Jackie’s first trip and the people love her, and I’m going to keep it down.’ It was his idea all the way.” Agent Sam Kinney, however, admits to Vince Palamara that it was his sole responsibility for the removal of the bubbletop -- a decision he has lived with, with some regret for over thirty years now. Richard Greer, son of the late Bill Greer, told me of his father’s guilt over this decision of the Secret Service. Three agents -- Sam Kinney, Bob Lilly and Thomas Kelley -- stated that the bubbletop, although not bulletproof, may have at least deflected a bullet or, at the very least, somewhat hampered a gunman’s view via the sun’s glare off its surface.
As the motorcade begins, film footage from ABC television’s Dallas/ Fort Worth affiliate WFAA shows SS agent Henry J.
Rybka being recalled by shift leader (and commander of the follow-up car detail) Emory P. Roberts. As the limo begins leaving the area, Rybka’s confusion is made clear as he throws his arms up several times before, during, and after the follow-up car passes him by, despite agent Paul E. Landis making room for Rybka on the running board of the car.
In 1991, Marty Underwood gives an interview to researcher Vincent Palamara in which he says that the CIA, the FBI, and the mafia “knew (JFK) was going to be hit” on 11/22/63 - this information came from his direct contacts with CIA officer Win Scott, the Mexico City Station Chief during Oswald’s visit to that region. Additionally, Underwood stated that, eighteen hours before Kennedy’s murder, “we were getting all sorts of rumors that the President was going to be assassinated in Dallas; there were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.” When Underwood told JFK about these disturbing reports, the President merely said, “Marty, you worry about me too much.” The motorcade is spread over a half mile. Leading it is Deputy Chief Lumpkin in his “pilot car.” In the motorcade’s lead car are: Chief Jesse Curry, Sheriff Bill Decker, Special Agent Forrest Sorrels and Agent Winston Lawson. (Chief Curry seems more talkative than usual.) The lead car has four motorcycles in front of it to trim the curbside crowds. Three car lengths behind the lead car is the presidential limo. Agent William Greer is driving. Sitting next to him is Roy Kellerman. Behind them in jump seats are Gov. and Mrs. Connally -- then JFK and Mrs. Kennedy. Behind JFK’s Lincoln are four motorcycles. They have been ordered not to pull up on the President unless he is endangered. Following JFK’s limo is the Secret Service car - a 1955 Cadillac 9-passenger convertible. Sam Kinney drives; Emory Roberts mans the communications set. Mrs. Kennedy’s guardian, Clint Hill, stands in the forward position of the left running board. John Ready has the opposite position on the right. Behind them stands Bill McIntyre and Paul Landis. Glen Bennett and George Hickey occupy two thirds of the back seat. Also riding with the Secret Service are Kenneth O’Donnell and Dave Powers.
Secret Service agent Bennett is sitting behind presidential aide Dave Powers. During the return trip to Washington aboard Air Force One, Bennett writes down his impressions. He describes having seen a bullet enter the president’s back “about four inches down from the right shoulder,” which is consistent with the placement of holes in Kennedy’s clothing. Researcher David S. Lifton mistrusts Bennett’s account as simply a fabrication to corroborate the results of the autopsy. To support this theory, he presents photographs taken at the time of the assassination showing everyone in Bennett’s car facing forward except Bennett, whose head is turned to the right as he looks at the crowd of people lining the route.] BE Next comes a rented 1964 Lincoln 4-door convertible, occupied by the Lyndon Johnsons and Ralph Yarborough. In the front seat is Rufus Youngblood, LBJ’s agent. Hurchel Jacks of the Texas Highway Patrol is driving LBJ. This car is followed by another Secret Service car called Varsity. Next, comes a Mercury with Mayor and Mrs. Earle Cabell. Behind them is the press pool car consisting of four men who, if a news story breaks, will get it on the wires as a “flash.” LBJ’s Secret Service bodyguard, Rufus Youngblood, testifies: “The Vice President was asking me if we were running on time, and so forth. And so he asked me how much further, and I would call back to our followup car and ask them how many more miles and so forth.” Local television coverage does not include the major portion of the motorcade. The sound portion describes the welcome to the President, but the camera remains in the interior of the Dallas Trade Mart.
Additionally, it is standard practice that someone occupy the front seat of JFK’s limousine during motorcades. Major General Ted Clifton is one such person. Another person is Presidential aide General Godfrey McHugh. Both of these persons are now in Dallas. On this date, Godfrey McHugh is placed in the back of the motorcade. He will later acknowledge that this is unusual. This is the first time he is advised not to ride in the car, “so that attention would be focused on the President.” All overpasses have been cleared of spectators except in Dealey Plaza. MIDP Jesse Curry will later testify: “In the planning of this motorcade, we had more motorcycles lined up to be with the President’s car, but the Secret Service didn’t want that many.” Question: ‘Did they tell you why?” Curry: “We actually had two on each side but we wanted four on each side and they asked us to drop out some of them and back down the motorcade, along the motorcade, which we did.” MIDP Hugh Sidey, White House correspondent for Time remembers: “I was [in one of the press buses] behind the driver, and to be honest I was bored. It was just another motorcade.” John Connally will recall: “Dallas did have one sign, there was a fellow up on an old house, like a turn of the century house, badly needing paint, I recall very well, he had a sign up on this balcony that said, “Kennedy, go home.” But, it was on the left side of the car as we were traveling in the motorcade and the President was on the right side in the back seat, and I hoped he didn’t see it, but he finally turned to Nelly and me and said, “Did you all see that sign? I said, “Yes, Mr. President, but we were hoping you didn’t.” He said, “Well, I saw it. Don’t you imagine he’s a nice fellow?” And, I said, “Yes, I imagine he’s a nice fellow.” But that was about the only thing we saw, and frankly, there was less of that than I thought.” Bobby Hargis, riding a motorcycle in the motorcade remembers that, on Cedar Springs, the president startles everyone by leaping out of the car to shake hands with some of the hundreds who are pushing forward for a closer look. “The Secret Service liked to had a conniption fit when he did that,” says Mr. Hargis. At that moment, he felt an eerie sense of dread wash over him. “They was hoppin’ around like cats on a hot roof. It freaked ‘em out big time. You could tell how nervous they were.” 12:00 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Bonnie Ray Williams returns to the sixth floor to eat his lunch. He has brought fried chicken in a paper bag.
He does not see LHO or Douglas Givens on the sixth floor.
Eddie Piper, an employee at The Texas Book Depository, sees Oswald on the first floor of the building. According to Piper, Oswald tells him “I’m going up to eat.” Oswald then goes to the second floor and buys his lunch from one of the vending machines.
Richard Carr, a steelworker, notices a man in a window on the seventh floor of the Book Depository Building. The man is wearing a brown suit coat.
12:14 Police Ban (Channel 2) Curry reports that motorcade is just turning onto Turtle Creek. The speed of the motorcade is 12 MPH.
Officers check in on radio, reporting that crowds are good and everything is in good shape along the way.