«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, ...»
Early this month, two men identifying themselves as FBI agents show up at the offices of the Dallas Morning News asking to see Jerry Coley and Jim Hood. They ask for the photographs and negatives of the “pool of blood” discovered by Coley and photographed on the day of the assassination by Hood. Placing the photos and negatives in an envelope, one of the agents says: “All right gentlemen, that’s the end of the interview, the end of the story and the end of the blood.” Coley asks what he means. The agent continues: “For your benefit, it never happened. You didn’t see it. Someone just fell and got hurt and it’s ridiculous to carry this thing any further.” The agent warns Coley that if he continues, he is going to cause himself a lot of problems and tells Coley just to forget the entire incident. (U.S. Marshall Clinton Peoples will eventually be asked if the pool of blood was involved in the assassination. He replies: “It most definitely was involved.” He declines to elaborate.) About two weeks following the assassination - some few days from now, Joe O’Donnell (a White House photographer who works with Robert Knudsen, the chief White House photographer) will show the Zapruder film to Jacqueline Kennedy at a private screening at the USIA building. No one else is present.
This clipboard has NOT been found until days following the shooting despite a previously thorough search by authorities.
Chester Boyers today prepares eight sections and six paraffin blocks of tissue from JFK’s brain. Boyers will state that all of these materials were filed under Bethesda Naval Hospital number A63-272. He speculates that they could still be there or are possibly at the AFIP.
At 10:00 AM today, CIA Director McCone meets with LBJ and McGeorge Bundy. McCone’s calendar reveals that, at 3 p.m., he has a secret meeting to discuss Cuba in the CIA’s conference room.
December 3, 1963 Marina Oswald testifies today that Oswald tried to kill General Edwin Walker. This is the first time this subject has been mentioned by Marina. Her statement comes about a week after a West German newspaper reports there might be a connection between the Walker shooting and the assassination. The Warren Commission reports that the German news story is “fabricated by the editor,” but then advances the very same allegation.
Also today the UPI wire service carries this story: “An exhaustive FBI report now nearly ready for the White House will indicate that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone and unaided assassin of President Kennedy, Government sources said today.” When informed of these news articles, J. Edgar Hoover writes: “I thought no one knew this outside the FBI.” Yet, according to Assistant FBI Director William Sullivan, it is Hoover himself who has leaked the information to the press in an attempt to “blunt the drive for an independent investigation of the assassination.” At a ceremony at the Treasury Department with his family and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy present, Agent Clint Hill is given the Exceptional Service Award by Treasury Secretary Dillon. POTP Today, Captain Michael D. Groves dies. Captain Groves commanded the honor guard for JFK’s funeral and dies under mysterin ous circumstances. While eating dinner, he takes a bite of food, pauses briefly as a pained look comes over his face, the falls face down into his plate. He dies instantly. On Dec. 12, his possessions and mementos -- which are sent home to Birmingham, Michigan are burned in a fire of mysterious origin. Groves is 27 yrs. old at the time of his death.
Chief Jesse Curry writes to J. Edgar Hoover, advising him that 196 photo negatives of the evidence turned over to the FBI by the DPD were not returned. Hoover will respond that the missing negatives are the result of “faulty technique” by the Dallas Police photographer who took pictures of LHO’s possessions. H&L December 4, 1963 Secret Service special agent William N. Carter receives testimony from Harold D. Norman, a Texas School Book Depository Building employee who was on the fifth floor of the building when the assassination took place. Carter’s report quotes Norman as saying the shots came from directly above him and that he saw “dust falling from the ceiling” below the window where Oswald allegedly stood when he fired at the president. When questioned about this by the Warren Commission, Norman will deny making either of these statements.
Jackie Kennedy has sent her mother and Ted Kennedy to retrieve Patrick Kennedy’s casket from Holyhood in Brookline, and her stillborn daughter’s from a cemetery in Newport. Today, the remains of both infants are buried at Arlington close to their father’s grave. G&P Orville Nix’s film of the assassination is returned to him by the FBI. They have made a copy of it. Nix does not get his camera back until June 2, 1964. Nix is never called as a witness by the Warren Commission. Additionally, in Nix’s film, JFK’s limo is measured as traveling at 8.5 mph - as opposed to the Zapruder film - in which the limo is measured as traveling 11 mph. The Nix film shows JFK’s limo traveling 22 percent slower than the Zapruder film.
The FBI goes to the Paine residence in Irving, Texas and supposedly collects all remaining property of the Oswald’s from Mrs.
Ruth Paine. A gray, box-type Imperial Reflex camera is overlooked.
Also today, an undeliverable package addressed to “Lee Oswald” is discovered in the deal-letter section of the Irving post office, where it has rested for an unknown length of time. The package contains “a brown paper bag made of fairly heavy brown paper which was open at both ends” and measures about 18 inches. It is addressed to Oswald at a nonexistent address in Dallas, with no postage on the outer wrapper. No post office personnel knows anything about the parcel or remembers handling it. Sylvia Meagher suggests that “the paper bag was mailed to Oswald by an unknown person who did not wish to indicate his identity and whose reasons seem indisputably questionable. No one not implicated in the assassination could have known before the event that a homemade paper bag would become a piece of key evidence against a suspect who was said to have acted alone. The sender was implicated, either as Oswald’s coconspirator or as a member of a plot not only to assassinate the President but also to frame an innocent man, in advance, for the crime.” December 5, 1963 The New York Times reports: “Most private citizens who had cooperated with newsmen reporting the crime have refused to give further help after being interviewed by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” This is the day the Warren Commission’s first official meeting takes place.
The commission still hasn’t received the FBI’s report of the assassination.
Never once during the testimony of the 94 witnesses will all seven commission members be present at the same time. Gerald Ford, who is informing J. Edgar Hoover about the secret proceedings, will have the best record of all. He hears 70 witnesses.
Bobby Baker, LBJ’s former aide, has offered an explanation for Ford’s readiness to help the FBI. For a period in the year preceding the assassination, he and Ford both had access to a “hospitality suite” at Washington’s Sheraton-Carlton Hotel rented by a mutual friend, the lobbyist Fred Black. “Like me,” Baker said, “Jerry Ford had a key to the suite. And sometimes Black would tell me not to use the room, because Ford was meeting someone there.” Nicholas Katzenbach appears at the Commission’s first executive session today and tells the Commission that although the FBI claims to be moving heaven and earth to discover who is leaking information from the FBI’s forthcoming report, only the FBI could have done it since no one else has any copies of the report at the time of the leak. ( These leaks, according to Assistant Director William Sullivan, have acutally been ordered by J. Edgar Hoover.) Senator Russell then asks Katzenbach, “...how much of their findings does the FBI propose to release to the press before they present their findings to this Commission?” Katzenbach responds by saying that Hoover and Alan Belmont, “who is the man in charge of this particular investigation, are utterly furious...They say they are confident it could not have come from the FBI, and I say with candor to the committee, I can’t think of anybody else it could have come from, because I don’t know of anybody else that knew that information.” Never Again!
On this date, the FBI receives a letter/statement from Carroll Jarnagin -- a Dallas attorney. It reads:
“Dear Mr. Hoover, On Oct. 4, 1963 I was in the Carousel in Dallas, Texas, and while there I heard Jack Ruby talking to a man using the name H. L.
Lee. These men were talking about plans to kill the Governor of Texas. This information was passed on to the Texas Department of Public Safety on Oct. 5, 1963 by telephone. On Sunday Nov. 24, 1963 I definitely realized that the picture in the Nov.
23, 1963 Dallas Times Herald of Lee Harvey Oswald was a picture of the man using the name of H. L. Lee, whose conversation with Jack Ruby I had overheard back on Oct. 4, 1963” Henry Wade dismisses this statement. Wade tells the W.C. that Jarnagin had been given a polygraph examination, which indicated that he had been in the Carousel but had not heard a suspicious conversation.
Also on this date the second survey of Dealey Plaza and the first government reenactment is actually conducted by the Secret Service. Utilizing again the services of surveyor Robert H. West, the Secret Service takes photographs from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and tracks the movement of a white Lincoln convertible at various intervals on both Houston and Elm Street. A survey plat of Elm Street along with data from the reenactment will eventually be introduced as Warren Commission Exhibit
585. This survey is a typical engineering drawing, with a border, the usual title block in the lower right-hand corner, a legend (which explains the symbols used), and a properly signed certification as to the authenticity of the information shown on the drawing. Commission Counsel Melvin Eisenberg introduced it with this strange non-sequitor: “solely to show the basis which Mr. Simmons was using in his test, and not for the truth of the measurements which are shown here.” December 6, 1963 Jackie Kennedy and her two children move out of the White House today. She leaves Lady Bird and LBJ a vase of her favorite lilies of the valley. G&P LIFE magazine, which owns the Zapruder film reports that “the 8 mm. film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed -- towards the sniper’s nest -- just before he clutches it.” The writer is Paul Mandel. He dies in 1965 -- two years from now. It is not known whether he saw the film himself or based what he wrote on what others told him. Few outside of the government and Time/Life Inc. have seen the film. It will be kept locked up for years.
Also on this date, the American Civil Liberties Union comments: “It is our opinion that Lee Harvey Oswald, had he lived, would have been deprived of all opportunity to receive a fair trial by the conduct of the police and prosecuting officials in Dallas, under pressure from the public and news media. From the moment of his arrest until his murder two days later, Oswald was tried and convicted many times over in the newspapers, on the radio, and over television by the public statements of the Dallas law enforcement officials.
Time and again high-ranking police and prosecution officials state their complete satisfaction that Oswald was the assassin. As their investigation uncovered one piece of evidence after another, the results were broadcast to the public..... Oswald’s trial would... have been nothing but a hollow formality.” On this date, JFK’s brain receives a supplemental examination. Dr. Pierre Finck registers the brain as weighing 1,500 grams.