«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, ...»
Local Dallas newspaper reporters have been joking all morning about when and where “the shooting will start.” Geneva Hine, the only employee in the Depository’s second floor offices, observes the electrical power and telephone system go dead. The Warren Commission will not question a single TSBD employee, including building manager Roy Truly, about the mysterious interruption of electric or telephone service, nor will they ask the location of the electric and telephone service panels. H&L Moments after the shooting, Geneva Hine knocks on the door of Southwestern Publishing (Room 203 in the TSBD). She sees a woman through the opaque glass, hears her talking on the phone, and continues knocking on the door, but the woman never answers. Researcher John Armstrong questions why a telephone was working in one office when electrical service and phone service went dead everywhere else in the TSBD. The woman using the phone, Mrs. John L. (Carol) Huges, was not questioned by the Warren Commission.
Bonnie Ray Williams, James Jarman, Harold Norman and Jack Dougherty are on the 5th floor of the TSBD.
Nellie Connally, sitting in the Presidential Limousine, turns to JFK. Mrs. Connally will later recall: “... we were having such a wonderful reception, and we were all so excited, and we had had through all these other cities, and I had restrained myself up to that point from saying anything, but I could no longer stand it, so I turned around to the President and I said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.” Roy H. Kellerman briefly scans the TSBD building “but not sufficiently to be alerted by anything in the windows or on the roof.”
12:30 PM THE MOTORCADE TURNS ONTO ELM FROM HOUSTONNote: H. L. Hunt’s offices are located on Elm St. The Dallas headquarters of Placid Oil are located at 2500 First National Bank Building. H. L. H. Products are located at 700 Mercantile Bank Building, but most of Hunt’s businesses are grouped at 1401 Elm Street: Hunt Oil Co., Hunt Petroleum Corp., Hunt Caroline Trust Estate, Hunt H. L., Hunt H. L. Jr., Hunt Hassie Trust, Hunt International Petroleum Company, Hunt Lamar, Hunt Lamar Trust Estate, Hunt Margaret Trust Estate, Hunt N. B., Hunt Nelson Bunker, Hunt W. H., Hunt William Herbert Trust Estate, etc.
Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas dress manufacturer, begins to film the motorcade with his new 8 mm camera. He is filming from the President’s right as the limousine moves along Elm St.
Dr. David Mantik writes: “When the camera is stopped and then restarted it takes a finite amount of time for the motor to get up to normal speed. This, in turn, means that for a brief interval the frames will advance slower than normally. Because the frames are advancing slower, the exposure time will be longer for these frames and the images will appear lighter than usual (overexposure). At three separate occasions during the home movie sequence (supposedly on the same film as the motorcade sequence) this actually occurs, and at each occasion such overexposure is visible. However, on the one occasion when the camera apparently stops during the motorcade (just before the limousine appears) an overexposure is not visible. This inconsistency is remarkable and should normally have raised the question of whether the camera actually did stop, or whether the effect is absent because frames had been excised at this juncture.” MIDP SPEED OF LIMOUSINE: Secret Service Agent, William Greer, driver of the Presidential limousine, estimates the car’s speed at the time of the first shot as 12 to 15 miles per hour. Other witnesses in the motorcade estimates the speed of the President’s limousine from 7 to 22 miles per hour. A more precise determination has been made from motion pictures taken on the scene by an amateur photographer, Abraham Zapruder. Based on these films, the speed of the President’s automobile is computed at an average speed of 11.2 miles per hour. The car maintains this average speed over a distance of approximately 186 feet immediately preceding the shot which strikes the President in the head. While the car traveles this distance, the Zapruder camera runs 152 frames. Since the camera operates at a speed of 18.3 frames per second, it is calculated that the car required 8.3 seconds to cover the 136 feet. This represents a speed of 11.2 miles per hour. [W.C.] - IF the Zapruder film is indeed an accurate measurement of true elapsed time.
William Greer, driver of the limousine, seems to have difficulty making this turn - nearly hitting a curb outcropping in front of the TSBD. He then begins to slow the limousine - perhaps to let those vehicles behind the Presidential limo catch up. Greer will later testify that, in such parades, the limo is driven in “low gear” for greater control. A lower gear will obviously affect the vehicle’s ability to quickly accelerate. Greer will eventually say that he had never driven the route, and the turn surprised him. He will also explain that he has to now slow down in the turn, and after it, to maintain the “integrity of the parade.” Then, as he now looks ahead, he encounters another problem: The triple underpass, which should have been devoid of civilians, is, on the contrary, overpopulated.
A strong wind begins to blow into the plaza from the North. Patrolman M. L. Baker rounds the corner from Main onto Houston and the gust of wind almost unseats him from his two-wheeled motorcycle which is behind the last press car of the motorcade. (Baker will be the first man to see LHO immediately following the assassination.) Abraham Zapruder continues to film the assassination of JFK with his camera.
According to Harrison Edward Livingstone in “Killing The Truth”, once Zapruder turns his undeveloped movie film over to the printing
lab, copies are immediately duplicated and distributed as follows:
“... standard Kodak practice was to punch [a] processing number after the last image on the second side [of the film itself]. If this practice had been followed with the Zapruder film, then a 0183 should have appeared after the motorcade side. None of the remaining numbers (the image of 0183, then punched 0186) coincide with this practice. A review of the intact original home movie side might prove enlightening; unfortunately, it remains unfound... The chain-of-custody affidavits (for reasons unknown) do not mention serial number 0184, which remains a mystery - because it has never been located and because the Kodak lab has no record of any roll of film that would correspond to it (critics have suggested that this was the Hunt copy.)” MIDP The chain of possession of Zapruder’s film, following the assassination, has been seriously questioned by a great many researchers.
Homer McMahon, head of the color lab at the National Photographic Interpretation Center describes receiving the film from a Secret Service agent who flies it to Rochester for development before bringing it to the NPIC. McMahon’s recollections will be corroborated by one of his assistants, Bennett Hunter, who will also be eventually interviewed by the ARRB. As best as these two men recall, they receive the film on the weekend immediately after the assassination. McMahon recalls seeing the film projected at least 10 times that night. It is his opinion, based on this viewing, the JFK was shot 6 to 8 times from at least three directions, but the Secret Service agent tells McMahon that there were just three shots, and that these all came from the Book Depository. McMahon and his assistant are told to keep their work secret and are prohibited even from telling their supervisors (who are not present.) More recently, William Reymond, a French journalist, claims to have seen a different film in France, which may be either H. L. Hunt’s copy or a descendant of it. Was the original switched at the Jamieson laboratory for a copy and then given to the Secret Service for transportation to Rochester that same evening? Was Zapruder merely given a copy when he thought he had the original? If so, how would he have known the difference? The fact is that no documentary evidence, nor anyone’s memory, can settle a question of this nature. MIDP An FBI Memorandum dated today reports that the Bureau Laboratory has requested to make THREE copies of the Zapruder film, “maintaining one for bureau use and returning two to Dallas by most expeditious means possible. Eastman Kodak, Dallas, advises that they developed original negative and three copies for Zapruder.” Thomas Atkins, an official photographer for the Kennedy White House has also been photographing the motorcade with a quality camera, a 16 mm Arriflex S. He is riding six cars behind Kennedy and filming the motorcade as it moves through Dealey Plaza.
(Atkins will eventually assemble his film footage into a movie entitled The Last Two Days. The film will be described as “terribly damaging to the Warren Commission finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.” Neither Atkins’s testimony nor his film will be studied by either of the federal panels investigating the assassination.) In the motorcade’s lead car which is almost beneath the overpass, Forrest V. Sorrels says to Chief Jesse Curry: “Five more minutes and we’ll have him there.” Winston G. Lawson calls the Trade Mart, giving them a five minute warning.
Rose Cheramie, now convalescing at a state hospital in Jackson, Louisiana, is watching television with several nurses when a spot report about JFK’s motorcade comes on. Cheramie says “This is when it is going to happen!” The nurses dismiss her remarks
- until moments later. Cheramie has also told one of the hospital interns “...that one of the men involved in the plot was a man named Jack Rubenstein.” (Probe Vol. 6, No. 5) Walter Sheridan is sitting in a federal court building in Nashville, where Jimmy Hoffa is awaiting trial. Brothers Positioned in the front doorway of the Texas School Book Depository, watching the motorcade are: Wesley Buell Frazier, Danny Arce, Billy Lovelady and -- fifteen feet away, near a lone v-shaped oak tree -- Mr. Roy Truly and Mr. Ochus Campbell.
SS Agent Emory Roberts jots in his shift report, “12:35 pm, the President arrived at the Trade Mart.” Laura Knight writes: “The Secret Service could count on the reinforcement of its 28 agents in Texas, including 5 based in Dallas. Eight agents were assigned to guard the Trade Mart, but there were none at all at Dealey Plaza. The Secret Service was so unconcerned about the Texas trip that it even left its chief behind. At the time of the assassination, Jerry Behn was dining in a Washington restaurant. Roy Kellerman, who took his place at Dallas, proved so incompetent that at Parkland Hospital his men started taking orders from agent Emory Roberts. Later, during the flight back to Washington, Rufus Youngblood took over. These men had traveled 200,000 miles with the President. Somewhere along the line, they had neglected the first rule of security: they had lost their reflexes.” Note: Whenever French President Charles De Gaulle now travels by car, he is protected by 47 motorcycle policemen spread out in rows.
Several police cars precede and follow the Presidential vehicle, and the car immediately following the President contains a sharpshooter and a photographer equipped with an automatic Japanese camera similar to a Robot. When de Gaulle makes shorter, routine trips, he is protected by a smaller force of 8 motorcycle policemen who surround the car. Today, only four motorcycle policeman are positioned at the rear and on either side of JFK’s limo. The Protective Research Section, headed by Robert I. Bouck, now has 65 offices across the country and 50,000 files on people who have threatened the President. Between November 1961 and November 1963, it has investigated 34 Texas residents and opened 115 other files on Texans. On November 8, 1963, the PRS spent ten minutes inspecting Dallas.
Army Intelligence officer, James Powell, is now in the Dal Tex building. This is the building that Jim Braden will be found coming out of in a matter of minutes and will be arrested. Braden has an office in New Orleans : Room 1701 in the Pere Marquette Building. During this same period in late 1963, David Ferrie is working for Carlos Marcello on the same floor... in the same building.... just down the hall from Braden -- in Room 1707.
Dallas Deputy Harry Weatherford, a crack shot rifleman, is now on the roof of the Dallas County Jail Building with a high powered rifle.
Associated Press photographer, James W. Altgens has now stationed himself at a vantage point on Elm Street across from the Texas School Book Depository Building to photograph the presidential motorcade as it passes through Dealey Plaza and heads onto the Stemmons Freeway.
Altgens captures the president on film in a now-famous shot taken within two seconds of the impact of the bullet that strikes JFK’s head. For a while, controversy rages around a figure visible in the background of the photograph. A man many people think strongly resembles Lee Harvey Oswald is pictured standing in the front entrance of the Book Depository Building. If it is, in fact, Oswald, he could not have been on the sixth floor of the building when the shots were fired. The Warren Commission will discount any possibility that the figure is Oswald, and instead identifies the man as Billy Nolan Lovelady, another building employee. The man in the photo is wearing a dark, heavy-textured shirt open halfway to the waist over a white undershirt. Lovelady later tells reporters that he was wearing a red-and-white-striped sport shirt that day. The identity of the man in the photo has never been clearly established. James Altgens will tell Commission investigators that he raced up the Grassy Knoll immediately after the president was hit because several uniformed Dallas police officers ran in that direction with weapons drawn, apparently in response to the sound of gunfire from that direction. Altgens’ testimony that “flesh particles flew out of the side of his [Kennedy’s] head in my direction from where I was standing... “ has been cited by many investigators to support the conclusion that the president’s head wound was caused by a bullet fired from the Grassy Knoll, which was to Kennedy’s right and front, not from the Texas School Book Depository Building, which was to his rear.
The President is in an open, unarmored car.
The route chosen is along busy streets with many overlooking high buildings on each side.
Windows in these buildings (estimated: 20,000 along the route) have not been closed,sealed and put under surveillance.