Chapter 4: "The So-Called Evidence"

An exhaustive look at an inadequate look

For reasons beyond my grasp, the first image in each chapter sometimes fails to appear.  If there's nothing up above, don't despair; you can still see the image here

The Deliberation Dilemma

As demonstrated in the preceding chapters, the Warren Commission’s conclusion Oswald fired all the shots on Kennedy was not supported by the statements of those hearing the shots fired.

But it's worse than that. When one takes a long hard look at the statements of those nearest the sniper's nest window at the time of the shots, and those who subsequently discovered this crime scene, the conclusion Oswald fired any of the shots on Kennedy is also open to question.

Let's reflect. Oswald's murder while in the protective custody of the notoriously right-wing Dallas Police Department had raised reasonable questions on whether he had, in fact, been framed, and that someone or some group had conspired to ensure his silence. If he had been framed, of course, it would explain the most damning piece of evidence against him: that his rifle had fired the shots. To avoid conjecture that their conclusion Oswald acted alone was, well, unWarren-ted, then, the Warren Commission needed solid evidence that:

1. Oswald was on the sixth floor before the shooting, putting together his rifle and building the sniper's nest.

2. Oswald was in the sniper's nest window at the time of the shooting, with his rifle.

3. Oswald fired a rifle on 11-22.

Without convincing evidence these purported events took place, there was room to doubt Oswald's involvement in the actual shooting. Without this evidence, all they really had to suggest he shot Kennedy was that his gun was found in the building, he fled the scene after the shooting, he soon after shot a police officer, and that he was presumed to have lied to the police in the unrecorded interrogations conducted before he could find an attorney. All this damning evidence, (and it is indeed damning evidence should it be accepted without reservation) could be explained, however, by the not-unreasonable proposition Oswald fled for his life once he realized he'd been set up as the president's assassin.

And so, the Warren Commission and its staff had its hands full. Did they dare reveal the holes in their case against Oswald?  Or would they hide important facts from the public? 

Would they behave like the prosecutors they had been, or like the truth-seekers they were tasked with becoming? 

Sadly, it appears they chose the former.


Solving the Puzzle of Where was Oswaldo

First, we look into the question of whether or not Oswald was on the sixth floor in the moments leading up to the shooting. There were two major hurdles to coming to the conclusion Oswald was on the sixth floor at this time. One was that Oswald was seen downstairs during the lunch period by a number of witnesses. And the other was that Oswald was not seen on the sixth floor during the lunch period by the one man claiming to have had lunch on the sixth floor.

Let's begin by reviewing Oswald's own claims. Captain Will Fritz's typed up notes on his first interrogation of Oswald reflect that, at the time of the shooting, Oswald said "he was having his lunch about that time on the first floor." (24H265)

Oswald was asked about this again the next day. This time, however, he was asked if anyone could confirm he'd eaten his lunch on the first floor. According to Fritz's typed-up notes, Oswald said he'd "ate lunch with some of the colored boys who worked with him. One of them was called 'Junior' and the other man was a little short man whose name he did not know." (24H267) The report of Secret Service Inspector Thomas Kelley, who was present at this second interrogation, confirms this account, moreover, stating "He said he ate his lunch with the colored boys who worked with him. He described one of them as 'Junior,' a colored boy, and the other was a little short negro boy." The report of FBI agent James Bookhout (WR622), who was also present for this interrogation, however, gives a slightly different account of Oswald's statements. Bookhout relates: "Oswald stated that on November 22, 1963, he had eaten lunch in the lunch room of the Texas School Book Depository, alone, but recalled possibly two negro employees walking through the room in this period. He stated possibly one of these employees was called 'Junior' and the other was a short individual whose name he could not recall, but whom he would be able to recognize." Bookhout's version in which Oswald did not eat lunch with these men, but merely saw them walk by, for that matter, receives solid support from an unexpected source: Fritz's original notes. In his hand-written notes, discovered after his death, Fritz reports that Oswald "saw two negroes come in one Jr. - & short negro" and says nothing about Oswald's claiming to have had lunch with these men.

In either event--whether Oswald claimed he'd had lunch with these men, or that he'd simply seen them walk by while he was eating--those investigating the assassination of President Kennedy were now tasked with finding out if James "Junior" Jarman or his lunch companion, Harold Norman (almost certainly the "short negro" in question), or anyone, for that matter, could confirm that Oswald had been in this first floor lunch room (aka the domino room) in the moments before the shooting, and, if not, whether anyone could place him on a higher floor during this same time period.

So let's retrace their footsteps and see what these men saw.

An 11-22-63 affidavit signed by Oswald co-worker Charles Givens reveals "I worked on the sixth floor today until about 11:30 A.M. Then I went downstairs and into the bathroom. At twelve o'clock I took my lunch period." (24H210) After signing this affidavit, Givens was interviewed by the FBI. A report on this interview further details “Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” (CD5 p329)

The FBI report on Givens thereby confirmed Oswald's story he'd spent at least part of his lunchtime in the domino room.

And Givens wasn't the only one of Oswald's co-workers confirming Oswald came down for lunch.

An 11-23-63 statement to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Dept. signed by depository janitor Eddie Piper confirms: “Yesterday, at 12:00 noon, this fellow Lee says to me 'I’m going up to eat' and I went on to my lunch. I went to a front window on the first floor and ate my lunch. I went to the front window on the first floor and ate my lunch and waited to see the President's parade go by. I saw the President pass and heard some shots and looked at the clock there and saw it was 12:25PM.” (19H499)

So, okay. That's two men claiming they saw Oswald downstairs. But Piper says he saw Oswald at 12:00. That still leaves Oswald a half hour to scamper back upstairs and prepare to shoot the President.

But then the timeline closed considerably...

An 11-26-63 FBI report on Mrs. Caroline Arnold adds “As she was standing in front of the building, she stated she thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of Lee Harvey Oswald standing in the doorway between the front door and the double doors leading to the warehouse, located on the first floor. She could not be sure that this was Oswald, but said she felt it was and believed the time to be a few minutes before 12:15 pm.” (CD5 p41)

And, no, this wasn't the end of it.

A 12-7 Secret Service report describing an interview with Eddie Piper reflects "At about 12:00 noon on November 22, 1963, Piper last saw Oswald on the first floor and at that time Oswald said 'I'm going up to eat lunch.' Piper stated that he ate lunch on the first floor and was still on that floor at the time of the shots, that he looked up at the clock, and it was 12:25 P.M." (CD87 p780) Now, this was a repeat of what Piper told Dallas County on 11-23-63. It confirmed that he saw Oswald on the first floor 25 minutes or so before the shooting. (The shooting took place at 12:30, so his clock must have been off.)

But the Secret Service found a new witness as well.

Further down the page from its discussion of Eddie Piper, the 12-7-63 Secret Service report on Oswald's co-workers describes an interview of William Shelley, Oswald’s direct boss. It relates: "Mr. Shelley last saw Oswald at about 11:50 A.M., at which time Oswald was working at his normal duties on the first floor." (CD87 p780)

The strange wording of this report begs discussion. While some might think Shelley's claiming he saw Oswald "working at his normal duties" means he saw Oswald working and about to head up to the sixth floor, this is blown out of the water by the fact Shelley was both Oswald's boss and the leader of the sixth floor work crew, which, by all accounts, (except Givens', which varied quite a bit), came down for lunch around 11:45, passing Oswald on the fifth floor.

So what would Oswald be doing as part of his "normal duties" after everybody else had quit for lunch? Well, here, my own personal experience is of help. I've pulled orders in warehouses, and checked orders, too. Oswald was an order puller, tasked with gathering books that have been ordered, and bringing these books to a shipping table, where the order could be checked against the pick list, wrapped, and shipped. In reporting that Shelley said Oswald was working at his normal duties on the first floor, then, the Secret Service was quite possibly reporting that Shelley saw Oswald delivering an order to the shipping table--perhaps, even, an order of books just retrieved from the fifth floor.

In any event, by 12-7-63, it would have to have been clear to those investigating the assassination that Oswald came down for lunch, if only for a few minutes.

Now, here comes the murk.

Strangely, an FBI report from 12-20 conceals that Piper spoke to Oswald around 12:00. Instead, it declares that Piper "advised he came to work at his usual time, 10 A.M., November 22, 1963, and during the course of his employment had seen Lee Harvey Oswald, a fellow employee, filling orders on the first floor. He did not recall the specific time he saw Oswald, stating it was shortly after he got to work and stated that this was the only time he saw Oswald on that particular day." (CD206 p13)

So what was going on? Were FBI agents Richard Harrison and William Johnson trying to dilute Piper's consistent claim he saw Oswald around noon?

Or had Piper changed his recollections?

Not the latter. On 2-17-64, when interviewed by the Dallas Police, Piper repeated "At around 12:00 noon, I told Oswald that I was going to eat my sandwich. Oswald mumbled something that he was going up to eat. This was the last time I saw Oswald."

So there it is. The statements of Oswald's co-workers strongly support that he came down for lunch.

So why is this important?


The Strange Reliance on Charles Givens

Since the only man identifying Oswald as the shooter in the sixth floor window, Howard Brennan, said he couldn't identify Oswald as the shooter on 11-22-63, and only did so in December, weeks after Oswald's death, after being prodded by the FBI, the statements placing Oswald downstairs in the forty-five minutes before the shooting represented a major problem for those seeking to blame him for the shooting. There was no hard evidence suggesting Oswald was the man seen in the window minutes before the shooting. If Oswald had been downstairs, moreover, there was no evidence he went back up. Joseph Ball and David Belin, the Warren Commission attorneys tasked with building a case against Oswald, then, needed to explain how Oswald was able to build the sniper’s nest and re-construct his dismantled rifle in the short time between his last being seen downstairs and the arrival of the motorcade.

Except they didn't. No, incredibly, they decided to argue that Oswald never came down for lunch.

With 20/20 hindsight, moreover, we can see how this was done.

Step 1. They set out to debunk Oswald's alibi--that he was in the domino room at the time of the shooting, and saw James Jarman and Harold Norman (Jarman's "short" companion) shortly before the shooting.

Step 2. They set out to minimize the damage done to their position by Bonnie Ray Williams, and his claim he spent part of his lunch period on the sixth floor, but didn't see Oswald, by understating the number of minutes Williams was on the sixth floor, and by portraying Williams as unreliable.

Step 3. They set out to discredit or ignore the testimony of anyone claiming Oswald came down to the first floor for lunch.

Step 4. They set out to find new witnesses who could help them place Oswald on the sixth floor in the moments before the shooting.


Step 1: The 3-24-64 Testimony of James Jarman and Harold Norman...

The testimony of James Jarman and Harold Norman was of vital importance to the commission. Oswald had cited them as witnesses to his being downstairs in the moments before the shooting. Commission Counsel Ball and Belin, then, needed Jarman and Norman to refute Oswald's claim.

They got some help from Jarman, but not much. In his 11-22 Affidavit to Dallas County, Jarman remembered last seeing Oswald "between 11:30 A.M. and 12:00 noon when he was taking the elevator upstairs to go get boxes." Jarman then added: "At about 11:45 A.M. all of the employees who were working on the sixth floor came downstairs and we were all out on the street about 12:00 noon." (24H213)

Now, this was nothing if not vague. Jarman said he saw Oswald go upstairs between 11:30 and 12:00, and that the sixth floor crew came down around 11:45. In sum, then, he couldn't remember whether or not he saw Oswald go upstairs before or after the sixth floor crew came down for lunch. But we needn't be so confused. As the sixth floor work crew remembered seeing and hearing Oswald upstairs when they came down for lunch, it's more than likely Jarman saw Oswald go upstairs just ahead of lunchtime. It's far more reasonable, after all, to assume someone who was seen going somewhere went there before he was seen in that location by others, than to assume he went there, was seen in that location by others, then came back, and then returned.

Still, for some, this was beside the point. On 3-24-64, Jarman testified before the Warren Commission and told them what they almost certainly wanted to hear. He told them that, although he'd been in the domino room after quitting for lunch at 5 to 12, he didn't remember seeing Oswald at this time. (3H198-211)

Now, we've already demonstrated why this wasn't as damaging for Oswald as at first it might appear. Oswald's boss William Shelley, the leader of the sixth floor work crew Jarman saw come down to the first floor around 11:45, had by the time of Jarman's testimony acknowledged seeing Oswald on the first floor around 11:50. And Charles Givens had apparently told the FBI he saw Oswald in the domino room around this same time. And Eddie Piper had repeatedly claimed he saw Oswald on the first floor shortly after this, around noon. And Carolyn Arnold had purportedly claimed she thought she saw Oswald on the first floor around 12:15.

So it's hard to see how Piper's testimony buried Oswald...

When one considers Jarman's subsequent statements, this is even harder to see. While those seeking to pin the blame for the assassination on Oswald, and Oswald alone, inevitably use Jarman's claim he didn't see Oswald in the domino room as evidence for Oswald's guilt, they never, and I mean never, acknowledge that Jarman spoke to federal investigators working for the HSCA on 9-25-77, and that, by then, his story had changed a bit. In this interview, to be clear, Jarman now recalled that he'd sent Oswald upstairs to correct a mistake around 11:25, or 11:30, and that Oswald had returned with the proper book shortly thereafter.

Now this is interesting, in several respects. For one, it seems Jarman now remembered, as a fact, seeing Oswald come down from the upper floors just before the shooting. While he could have been mistaken about this, we can't dismiss another possibility--that he'd been afraid to say this in 1963 and 1964, and had only got the gumption to say it after the passage of time. I mean, who knows? Perhaps Jarman had come to realize Shelley and Piper had also seen Oswald on the first floor. Perhaps, by 1977, he felt free to tell the truth. We really don't know, now do we?

But there is something we do know. While Jarman's story had changed a bit--from Oswald's going up to get boxes to his going up to correct a mistake and then coming back downstairs--his story was consistent on one key point--that Oswald had had a legitimate reason to go upstairs, and that this errand wasn't so arduous it would have interfered with his coming back down for lunch with the rest of the work crew.

So, in this light, Jarman's statements and testimony were more suggestive of Oswald's innocence, than his guilt.

The statements and testimony of Harold "Hank" Norman, Jarman's "short" companion, were even less suggestive of Oswald's guilt. In his 3-24-64 testimony, Norman admitted "I ate my lunch in the domino room." When asked if anyone had been in there with him, moreover, he answered in an odd manner: "I think there was someone else in there because we usually played dominoes in there but that particular day we didn't play that morning."  (3H186-198)

Well, what does this mean? How would Norman's normally playing dominoes but not on that day make him think someone else was in the room? Well, after reading everything I could about the domino room I think I found the answer. This answer is contained in a 12-7-63 Secret Service Report on the depository employees, in which Billy Lovelady is quoted as follows: "The other employees usually play dominoes during their lunch period after they have eaten, but Oswald never showed any interest in taking part in the games." (CD87 p780)

So, yeah, Norman's statement about the dominoes is a clear indication the "someone else" Norman thought was in the domino room was someone in particular, someone named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Now, let's debunk some junk... Vincent Bugliosi, in his monster tome Reclaiming History, dismisses the possibility Oswald was in the break room with Norman by claiming "But Danny Arce told the Warren Commission that he and Jack Dougherty ate their lunch in the domino room during the period Norman described. In fact, Arce was one of those who joined Norman and Jarman when they walked outside a moment later. Obviously, Arce and Dougherty were the 'someone else' Norman had referred to."

Except not so fast, Mr. Over-zealoous Prosecutor. Arce in fact testified that he went outside "With Billy Lovelady and Mr. Shelley and I was out there with Junior." Well, this indicates that he did not leave the break room with Norman and Jarman, as suggested by Bugliosi, but that he only saw Jarman outside. Even worse, Arce specified that he did not see Norman in the break room. In fact, when asked if he had seen Bonnie Ray Williams downstairs, Arce responded: "No, he stayed upstairs with Hank." Hank is Norman. If Arce thought Williams was upstairs with Hank, it follows that he did not see Hank in the domino room, and that he left the room before Hank's arrival. Bugliosi's dismissal is therefore so much moonshine, and the point he claims is "obvious" is obvious BS.

Well, then, what about Jack Dougherty? Here we enter uncharted territory. Jack Dougherty was a co-worker of Oswald's with some sort of mental disorder. It was claimed he'd been confused by the shooting, and it's clear he grew frustrated during his testimony. Even so, he would ultimately testify that he ate his lunch in the domino room, but did not see Oswald. Now, for some, this debunks Oswald's claim he was sitting in the domino room at the time of the shooting. Except... it really doesn't. Dougherty also testified that he spent "just a short length of time" in the domino room after finishing his lunch. So, yeah, it's entirely reasonable to suspect that Dougherty, as Arce, ate his lunch very quickly, and left the domino room before Oswald's arrival. 

So, let's get back to Norman. After making his comment about the dominoes, Norman told the commission that he got together with Jarman after finishing his lunch and that the two of them went outside around "12 or 12:10." (3H186-197). As Norman was of small stature and was almost certainly the short man Oswald claimed he saw with Jarman, for that matter, it appears that Oswald actually did see Norman and Jarman together at this time... or that he'd made an incredibly lucky guess.

There is another alternative, however.

Let's go back for a second. Agent Bookhout's report on Oswald's interrogation, let's recall, did not claim Oswald had said he'd eaten lunch with Jarman and Norman, as presented by Capt. Fritz. It said: "Oswald stated that on November 22, 1963, he had eaten lunch in the lunch room of the Texas School Book Depository, alone, but recalled possibly two negro employees walking through the room in this period. He stated possibly one of these employees was called 'Junior' and the other was a short individual whose name he could not recall, but whom he would be able to recognize." Perhaps, then, Oswald had seen Jarman and Norman not when most assume he claimed he'd seen them--when he first came down for lunch--but later, when they came back in the building and went back upstairs. I mean, that only makes sense. If the police ask you who can vouch that you weren't at the scene of a crime, you tell them the names of the LAST people who might remember seeing you somewhere else, and not those who saw you 30 minutes or more before the crime occurred.

With this in mind, then, it seems a bit of a coincidence that, according to Jarman's testimony, there were "too many people standing on the stairway" in front of the building when he and Norman decided to go back inside and view the motorcade from an upstairs window, and that he and Norman had thereupon re-entered the building by its north entrance. In doing so, by golly, they would have passed directly in front of the open door to the domino room, where Oswald claimed he was sitting at the time of the shooting.

Here, see for yourself. The diagram below has been cropped from the Warren Commission's diagram for the first floor of the school book depository. The domino room is on the right, in the northwest corner of the building. A toilet is to its left. The north entrance from the loading dock is the door to the left of this toilet. From the street, one can reach this entrance in two ways. There are steps from the sidewalk on the east side of the building that lead up onto the dock and then an overhead door just a few feet from the entrance by the toilet. And there are steps from where the trucks park that lead to a door cut at an angle to the loading dock, that is also quite close to the entrance by the toilet.




Should that not suffice, moreover, there's an FBI photo taken for the specific purpose of depicting the relationship between the north entrance and domino room. (I've searched in vain for a memo indicating who, specifically, ordered this picture, and can only assume it was Warren Commission counsel Joseph Ball and David Belin, the men tasked with establishing Oswald's guilt. Now, if this is so, well, then, it more than suggests they knew full well that Jarman and Norman passed right in front of the open door to the domino room.)

In any event, this photo is presented below. (It can be found in the commission's records in CD496, p 19) The rear entrance from the loading dock is the door on the left and the door to the domino room is the door on the right.


Let's now note that Jarman, in his 3-24-64 testimony, claimed that he and Norman re-entered the building via its north or rear entrance "about 12:20...between 12:20 and 12:25"...

Well, then, who's to say that Oswald wasn't sitting in the domino room when Jarman and Norman came in the back door? And that he wasn't still sitting there five to ten minutes later, as shots were being fired upstairs?

Certainly not the Warren Commission... They were supposed to get at the facts. And reveal them to the public. And yet right here is a total major fact that (if we are to give them the benefit of the doubt) eluded them, and went unreported...

Let this soak in...

Jarman and Norman were the only two depository employees to admit coming in the north entrance when Oswald claimed he was sitting right by this entrance, and they were the only two depository employees Oswald recalled seeing while he was sitting there.

What are the odds?

I'll tell you the odds. The odds are that Oswald was indeed where he sad he was, when he said he was.

So what did Ball and Belin do when they stumbled upon this fact? Did they write the commissioners a letter saying "Hey, maybe our working thesis--that Oswald put together his rifle in the sniper's nest, just before shooting Kennedy--is in error"?

Nope. That Jarman and Norman admitted walking past the domino room when Oswald said he was in the domino room was never discussed, as far as one can tell from studying the records of the commissioners and their staff.

And, strangely enough, this wasn't the last time the testimony of one of Oswald's co-workers regarding Oswald and the domino room would be ignored.

But first, let's discuss Ball and Belin's manhandling of Bonnie Ray Williams...


Step 2: The 3-24-64 Testimony of Bonnie Ray Williams,

An 11-23-63 FBI report on Bonnie Ray Williams declared: “At approximately 12 noon, Williams went back upstairs to the sixth floor with his lunch. He stayed on that floor only about three minutes, and seeing no one there, descended to the fifth floor using the stairs at the west end of the building.” (CD5 p330)

Now that was simple enough. A guy went upstairs to the sixth floor, saw nothing, and left, long before shots were fired from the far left corner of the floor.

A 12-7 Secret Service Report on an interview with Williams, however, went into more detail. It declared: "After Williams picked up his lunch on the first floor he returned to the sixth floor...Williams said he spent just a few minutes eating his lunch and that during that time he did not see anyone else or hear anything on the sixth floor. As soon as he finished his lunch, Williams went to the fifth floor of the building and he estimated the time to be prior to 12:15 P.M." (CD87 p784)

Hmmm... This is interesting. What had been but 3 minutes could now be as much as 14 minutes. Of Williams sitting alone on the sixth floor...with no Oswald in sight... This could be a problem for those pushing Oswald stayed up on the sixth floor during lunch.

It seems probable, then, that an FBI report on a 1-8-64 interview with Williams was written in an attempt to solve this problem. It declared that Williams "recalled that he ate lunch about noon on November 22, 1963 on the sixth floor of the TSBD Building and about that time he heard James Earl Jarman Jr. also known as 'Junior' and Harold 'Hank' Norman on the fifth floor and he joined them there by going down on the west elevator about 12:05 P.M." (CD329, p13)

Well, okay... This time of 12:05 is a bit curious, and is quite possibly the approximation of Special agents Carter and Griffin, the writers of the report, and not Williams. Williams made it clear, after all, that he only came down to the fifth floor after hearing Jarman and Norman on the floor below. On 1-8-64, agents Carter and Griffin spoke to both Jarman and Norman. Jarman said he thought he went up to the fifth floor around 12:25 (CD329, p12) and Norman said he went up to the fifth floor "about 12:10 to 12:20" (CD329, p14).

From this one can gather that Williams was on the sixth floor as recently as 5-10 minutes before the shooting at 12:30.

Aha! Perhaps this explains why Williams' signed statement from the afternoon of the shooting suggests he was at first too scared to say he'd been on the sixth floor at all. There, Williams declared that, after he came downstairs to get his lunch, "I went back on the fifth floor with a fellow called Hank and Junior, I don't know his last name. Just after we got on the fifth floor we saw the President coming around the corner on Houston from Main Street." (24H229)

In any event, on 3-19-64, Williams, who'd originally stated he heard but two shots, made a statement drawn up by the FBI (but apparently unsigned by Williams) asserting he'd heard three shots. He also asserted that "The last time I saw Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963 was at about 11:40 A.M. At that time Oswald was on the sixth floor on the east side of the building. I did not pay particular attention to what he was doing." (22H681)

Well, wait a second. This directly contradicted Williams' signed statement to Dallas County on the afternoon of the shooting. There, he claimed "I didn't see Oswald anymore, that I remember, after I saw him at 8 A.M." Still, it seems possible this is a reference to the elevator race, in which Williams heard but did not see Oswald yell out from the fifth (or sixth) floor as the floor crew (Williams, Arce, Lovelady, Givens) descended to the first floor via both elevators.

If the FBI and Warren Commission thought this signaled a new and improved Williams, one who would help them make their case that Oswald stayed on the sixth floor when everyone else came down for lunch, however, they had another think coming. When Williams testified on 3-25-64 he stated that the sixth floor crew had quit working at 5 to 12 (his statement on the afternoon of the shooting said 10 to 12) and that he had went back up to the sixth floor looking for others after grabbing his lunch. He testified further that he ate lunch by himself for “5, 10, 12 minutes…no longer than it took me to finish my chicken sandwich” before heading back down to the fifth floor. When pressed further on what time he came down to the fifth floor, he responded "I finished the chicken sandwich maybe 10 or 15 minutes after 12. I could say approximately what time it was." He then told them something no one could expect: "Approximately 12:20, maybe." Later, when asked by Commissioner Dulles if he had heard anything on the sixth floor while he was eating, he responded "I felt like I was all alone. That is one of the reasons I left--because it was so quiet." (3H161-184)

As Williams sat but a few yards from the sniper’s nest and did not see or hear anyone else at this time, it suggests that, after Piper's departure from the domino room, Oswald either went out for a walk for 10-15 minutes, or headed on up to the second floor lunch room (where he was found drinking a coke within 90 seconds of the last shot being fired), and did not immediately head back up to the sixth floor, if at all.

So now let's take a closer look at Williams' testimony, and see if he, as Piper, was under pressure to testify in a manner damaging to Oswald.

Here, look at what happened after he dropped his bombshell about being on the sixth floor till 12:20.

Mr. BALL. Well, now, when you talked to the FBI on the 23d day of November, you said that you went up to the sixth floor about 12 noon with your lunch, and you stayed only about 3 minutes, and seeing no one you came down to the fifth floor, using the stairs at the west end of the building. Now, do you think you stayed longer than 3 minutes up there?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I am sure I stayed longer than 3 minutes.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember telling the FBI you only stayed 3 minutes up there?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I do not remember telling them I only stayed 3 minutes.
Mr. BALL. And then on this 14th of January 1964, when you talked to Carter and Griffin, they reported that you told them you went down to the fifth floor around 12:05 p.m., and that around 12:30 p.m. you were watching the Presidential parade. Now, do you remember telling them you went down there about 12:05 p.m.?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I remember telling the fellows that--they asked me first, they said, "How long did it take you to finish the sandwich?" I said, "Maybe 5 to 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes." Just like I said here. I don't remember saying for a definite answer that it was 5 minutes.
Mr. BALL. Well, is it fair to say that you do not remember the exact time now?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. You do remember, though, that you ate your lunch and drank your pop, your Doctor Pepper, before you came down?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.

Ball was trying to discredit him... This was to no avail, moreover, as Ball questioned James Jarman later that day, and Jarman testified that he didn't reach the fifth floor until "12:25 or 12:28." (3H198-211) Williams, we should recall, was clear in that he left the sixth floor when he heard Jarman and Norman on the fifth floor.

Now, it's not as if Williams was a difficult witness, who refused to budge on the slightest point. As we've seen, on 11-23-63, the FBI claimed Williams told them he'd come down from the sixth floor to the fifth via the stairs. This was a problem. The east elevator was later found on the fifth floor. If Williams hadn't brought it there, well, then, who had? Jarman and Norman claimed they'd reached the fifth floor via the west elevator. Motorcycle Patrolman Marrion Baker and Oswald's boss Roy Truly claimed that after racing to the elevator shaft, they found that both elevators were locked up on the upper floors. They said they then climbed the stairs up to the fifth floor, and rode the east elevator from the fifth floor to the seventh floor. So how did it get to the fifth? On 1-8-64, Williams was re-interviewed and now said he'd taken the west elevator from the sixth to the fifth. Oops. That didn't help matters.

Now check out how Ball cleared this up.

Mr. BALL. Now, I want to call your attention to another report I have here. On the 23d of November 1963, the report of Mr. Odum and Mr. Griffin, FBI agents, is that you told them that you went from the sixth floor to the fifth floor using the stairs at the west end of the building. Did you tell them that?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I didn't tell them I was using the stairs. I came back down to the fifth floor in the same elevator I came up to the sixth floor on.
Mr. BALL. You did?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Now, also, on January 14th, did you remember talking to a couple of agents named Carter and Griffin?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I can't remember their names, but I am sure I did.
Mr. BALL. You talked to a good many of them?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Well, they reported here that you went down to the fifth floor, and you did so by going down on the west elevator.
Mr. WILLIAMS. The east elevator. The reason I was able to determine whether it was the east elevator is because I think when you questioned us the other day, the other fellows--I told you I didn't remember which elevator first. But the other fellows said they had the west elevator. There are only two elevators. If they are sure they had the west elevator up, that only leaves the east elevator.
Mr. BALL. When you got to the fifth floor and left the elevator, at that time were both elevators on the fifth floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Both west and east?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir, as I remember.
Mr. BALL. The other day, when I talked to you in Dallas, on Friday 20 March--
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And at that time were you able did you remember which elevator it was?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Which elevator I had?
Mr. BALL. What you had come down from six to five on.
Mr. WILLIAMS. As I remember, I first said I wasn't sure. After the fellows said they brought the west elevator up, I said I must have the east elevator.
Mr. BALL. Is it fair to say now that you don't have any definite memory as to whether it was the east or west elevator?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir. I believe that would be true.

As he would subsequently do with Piper, Ball reminded Williams of his prior statements, and put these on the record so the commissioners would know Williams was not to be trusted.

And that's not the last of the Williams switcheroos. In his 11-22-63 affidavit, signed but hours after the shooting, Williams swore that along with Jarman and Norman he ran to the west end of the fifth floor after hearing the shots and seeing the crowd below run towards the grassy knoll. He then declared: "We stayed there and in a little while some officers came up. They left and then we took an elevator to the fourth floor." (24H229). Well, this wouldn't do. In the scenario ultimately proffered by the FBI and WC, to be clear, there was no elevator on the fifth floor 4-5 minutes after the shooting.

So let's see what Williams said the next day. An 11-23-63 FBI memo on an interview with Williams reports: "While they were standing at the west end of the building on the fifth floor, a police officer came up on the elevator and looked all around the fifth floor and left the floor" and that furthermore "he and Hank and Junior were standing where they would have seen anyone coming down from the sixth floor via the stairs and that they did not see anyone coming down. He stated someone might have been coming down on the elevator and they would not have noticed that. He stated that after the police officer left the fifth floor, Williams went down to the fourth floor where there were a lot of women around the west end of the floor." (CD5, p330-333) Okay. No switcheroo yet.

So what did Williams say to the Secret Service a few weeks later? "While they were still on the fifth floor, Williams saw a policeman near the stairway at the back of the building, but he did not know whether the policeman was going up or down the stairway. The policeman did not speak to Williams and apparently did not see him. Williams estimated that about five minutes had passed between the time of the shots and the time he and the others started down the stairs to the first floor." (CD87, p784) Aha! There's the switch. No elevator. Not even a stop on the fourth floor.

And here's Williams again in a statement to the FBI from 3-19-64: "While we were standing at the west end of the building on the fifth floor, a police officer came up on the elevator and looked all around the fifth floor and left the floor. I did not see anyone come down from the stairs." (22H681)

Now, that's strange. The police officer (presumably Marrion Baker) has once again arrived via elevator.

And here's Williams' 3-24 testimony regarding this police officer:

Mr. BALL. Now, when you were questioned by the FBI agents, talking to Mr. Odum and Mr. Griffin, they reported in writing here that while you were standing at the west end of the building on the fifth floor, a police officer came up on the elevator and looked all around the fifth floor and left the floor. Did you see anything like that?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, at the time I was up there I saw a motorcycle policeman. He came up. And the only thing I saw of him was his white helmet.
Mr. BALL. What did he
Mr. WILLIAMS. He just came around, and around to the elevator.
Mr. BALL. Which elevator?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I believe it was the east elevator.
Mr. BALL. Did you see anybody with him?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I did not.
Mr. BALL. You were only able to see the top of his helmet?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. You could only see the top of his helmet
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir; that is the only thing I saw about it.
Mr. BALL. They reported that you told them on the 23d of November that you and Hank, that is Hank Norman, isn't it--
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And Junior--that is Junior Jarman--were standing where they would have seen anyone coming down from the sixth floor by way of the stairs. Did you tell them that?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I could not possibly have told him that, because you cannot see anything coming down from that position.
Mr. BALL. And that you did not see anyone coming down.
Mr. WILLIAMS. No, sir. An elephant could walk by there, and you could not see him.

And here's Williams' testimony regarding their descent to the first floor.

Mr. WILLIAMS. After we stood at the west window for a while, we decided to go down. Then we left.
Mr. BALL. How did you go down?
Mr. WILLIAMS. By stairs.
Mr. BALL. Where did you go?
Mr. WILLIAMS. We went to the fourth floor first. Then we paused for a minute there, where we saw these women looking out of the window. Then we decided to go down to the first floor, and we ran on down.

(3-24-64 Testimony of Bonnie Ray Williams, 3H161-184)

Williams had originally claimed they'd descended via the elevator. But now claimed they'd left by the stairs.

Well, what about Jarman and Norman? Did they support Williams' original statements? Or his subsequent testimony?

A 12-7-63 Secret Service report relates of Jarman: "He went with Williams and Norman to the west side of the building where they looked out those windows for a few minutes and then went down the back stairway to the first floor. He did not see any police officer on the stairway, but says that he did see a woman looking out a window on the west side of the fourth floor as they went down...Jarman estimated that they remained on the fifth floor for about five minutes after the shots, before they started down the stairway." (CD87 p785) And a 12-4-63 affidavit by Harold Norman confirms that after they (Jarman, Norman, and Williams) reached the west side of the building, "We discussed the shots, and where they had come from, and decided we better go down stairs. We walked down the stairs to the first floor and did not see anyone else on the stairway as we went down. From the time of the shots until we started downstairs was about five minutes." (CD7, p783)

On 3-24-64, just after Williams, Norman and Jarman would similarly testify that they ran down from the fifth floor, with Jarman even specifying that they looked for an elevator, but found none were available.

It seems clear, then, that Williams was quite flexible with his recollections. And that, even so, he stood strong about his being on the sixth floor until 12:20 or so.

We will soon move onto a witness that was far difficult.

But, before we move on to that. Let's add another little piece into our timeline.

On 4-7-64, depository foreman William Shelley testified and made it clear that when he last saw Oswald, it was after Shelley and those under his command had quit for lunch. When asked if he'd seen Oswald at work on 11-22-63, Shelley volunteered: “I do remember seeing him when I came down to eat lunch about 10 to 12.” (6H327-334) 


Step 3: The 4-8-64 Testimony of Eddie Piper

Yep. There are questionable conclusions, and there are conclusions so questionable they are suspicious. And the conclusion Oswald never came down for lunch was (and is) the latter.

We've already shown how Eddie Piper, within hours of the shooting, swore he talked to Oswald on the first floor around noon. And we showed how he repeated this claim.

So it should come as no surprise then that on 4-8-64, Piper testified before the Warren Commission and once again claimed he saw Oswald on the first floor around noon. 

But that's not all Piper said. Here, in testimony taken 4 1/2 months after the killing of President Kennedy, Piper finally said where on the first floor he saw Oswald. Now, it's not as if anyone asked Piper this incredibly important detail. And it's not as if Piper volunteered it when they didn't. It just kinda...came out. Here, see for yourself.

Mr. BALL. What time did you go to work that day?
Mr. PIPER. 10 o'clock.
Mr. BALL. That was your usual time to go to work?
Mr. PIPER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And, did you see Oswald that morning?                                                                         Mr. PIPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Where?
Mr. PIPER. Down on the first floor filling orders.
Mr. BALL. Did you ever see him again that day?
Mr. PIPER You mean all day---the rest of the day?
Mr. BALL. Yes, sir.
Mr. PIPER. No.
Mr. BALL. Was that the last time you saw him?
Mr. PIPER. Just at 12 o'clock.
Mr. BALL. Where were you at 12 o'clock?
Mr. PIPER. Down on the first floor.
Mr. BALL. What was he doing?
Mr. PIPER. Well, I said to him---"It's about lunch time. I believe I'll go have lunch." So, he says, "Yeah"---he mumbled something---I don't know whether he said he was going up or going out, so I got my sandwich off of the radiator and went on back to the first window of the first floor.          

(4-8-64 Testimony of Eddie Piper, 10:20 AM, 6H382-386)

Now, let's stop right here and point out that Piper is not sure Oswald said he was "going up," as originally reported, and that he now says Oswald could have said "going out." Now, some will claim it makes no difference because no one saw Oswald go up or out. But this is short-sighted. As we've seen, no one saw Oswald between 12:00, when Piper saw him, and a few minutes before 12:15, when Carolyn Arnold thought she saw him on the first floor, near the front door. Well, this suggests the possibility that, after talking to Piper, Oswald went out the back of the building to take a walk. And that he returned 15 minutes later. And that he even considered going out front with his co-workers upon his return, but saw the crowded steps outside, and thought better of it.

And no, this isn't pure conjecture. In his 11-22-63 affidavit to the Dallas County Sheriff's Department, William Shelley, Oswald's boss, opted to add a little detail about Oswald that has been largely over-looked. He revealed: "This man stayed by himself most of the time, and would go for a walk at noon time. Lee would bring his lunch and usually eat with us in the lounge and read the paper." (CD87, p273)

So, there you have it. Oswald's going "out" at noon, and then returning to sit by himself in the domino room, while sipping on a drink and reading the paper, would not have been a deviation from his usual routine. It WAS his routine.

We now return to Ball's questioning of Piper...

Mr. BALL. The first window on the first floor?                                                                               Mr. PIPER. No, not the first window---but on the first floor about the second window on the first floor. I was intending to sit there so I could see the parade because the street was so crowded with people---I didn't see anything.

It's curious, to say the least, that Ball failed to follow-up on Piper's claim he saw Oswald at 12 by asking him where it was he saw Oswald, and that he oped instead to change the subject from the relevant issue of Piper's discussion with Oswald to the barely relevant issue of which window Piper chose to sit behind while watching the motorcade.

But if Ball was trying to lure Piper to sleep so he could circle back and undermine Piper's testimony he saw Oswald on the first floor around 12:00, he was in for a surprise.

Mr. BALL. What time was it that you spoke to Oswald and said you thought you would have your lunch?
Mr. PIPER. Just about 12 o'clock.

Mr. BALL. And do you remember exactly what he said?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir; I don't remember exactly. All I remember him was muttering out something---I didn't know whether he said he was going up or going out.
Mr. BALL. He said something like that?
Mr. PIPER. Yes--something like that.

Now, apparently, this ticked Ball off. If he gets Piper to say Oswald said he was going "up", the Commission can conclude Oswald did just that--went back "up"...to the sixth floor.

Piper's refusal to specify "up" as opposed to "out", then, could only have been seen as a set-back for Ball. Now, look how he responds.

Mr. BALL. Now, that day, you went over to the sheriff's office and made a statement, didn't you?
Mr. PIPER. Yes, sir---no, sir; not that day.
Mr. BALL. Did you the next day?
                                                                                                 Mr. PIPER. Saturday.
Mr. BALL. Did you go to the sheriff's department?
Mr. PIPER. I went to the county---yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And did you tell them at any time that you saw Lee about 12 o'clock?
Mr. PIPER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And that Lee said, "I'm going up to eat?"
Mr. PIPER. He said either "up" or "out"---that's the way I reported it.
Mr. BALL. That's what you told them?                                                                                          Mr. PIPER. Yes, sir. 

Now, this is important in light of subsequent developments... When Piper didn't testify in the manner most damaging to Oswald, and most supportive of what we can only assume was Ball's presumption Oswald acted alone, Ball reminded Piper of his previous statements, and undermined Piper's credibility to the Commissioners tasked with studying Piper's testimony. 

And he did this, moreover, at the expense of asking the far more relevant question of where it was on the first floor Piper saw Oswald.

It wasn't until 2017, for that matter, that I realized Piper's comment about the radiator provided us with an answer to that far more relevant question. He saw Oswald in the domino room, just where Oswald claimed he was at the time.

Here's an FBI photograph of the domino room, entered into evidence as Kaiser Exhibit B. (20H334) The radiator is on the left. Note that Oswald's jacket was later discovered by this radiator.


And here's another FBI picture of the radiator. Note that the window sill is used to store found items and lunch bags. Presumably, Piper brought a hot sandwich for lunch and placed it on the radiator to keep warm.

Note also that this version of the photo was marked with an X by depository employee Frankie Kaiser, to show where he found Oswald's jacket weeks after the shooting. This version of the photo was entered into evidence as Kaiser Exhibit C (20H335).

While some might prefer to believe Ball had no idea what Piper was telling him when he said he picked his sandwich off the radiator and went back to the front window after talking to Oswald, and that it was just an oversight on Ball's part that he failed to put on the record that Piper was thereby confirming Oswald's claim he came down for lunch and went to the domino room, moreover, there's no good reason for us to do so. Kaiser Exhibits B and C, photos of the domino room in which the radiator is obvious, were entered into evidence on 4-8-64, roughly 4 hours after Piper testified. Kaiser's testimony, as Piper's, was taken by Joe Ball. Ball personally handled Kaiser Exhibits B and C. As a consequence one can only assume these photos were in Ball's briefcase when he took Piper's testimony.

So, yeah, you can bet you bippy Ball knew full well that the radiator discussed by Piper was the radiator in the domino room.

And that it was no coincidence Ball failed to put this on the record.

Now, here's a third photo showing the radiator in the domino room. (CD 496, p 24) Note that there was a shower in the domino room.


Some of the questions about who was in the domino room, and when, and why didn't so-and-so see such and such, might have been explained should the FBI agents and Warren Commission counsel tasked with getting to the bottom of what happened have asked detailed questions about when Oswald and his co-workers used the bathrooms and shower. But, alas, few, if any, of these questions were asked.

In any event, Piper's statements were consistent, and indicative Oswald was in the first floor lunch room (or domino room) around noon. (As Piper's original statement indicates he thought the President was shot around 12:25, when he was actually shot around 12:30, moreover, it's reasonable to assume the clock he was looking at was a bit slow, and that he actually saw Oswald around 12:05. Under no circumstances can it be taken to suggest he failed to see Oswald at all, or that he actually saw him much earlier in the day.)

Piper was a credible witness who was ultimately ignored. That's bad.

But there's something far worse... A lying witness who is treated like a credible witness...by attorneys who really have to--and I mean really have to--know their witness is lying.


Step 4: The 4-8-64 Testimony of Charles Givens

We now arrive at the 4-8-64 testimony of Charles Givens (6H345-356). There are four problems with Givens' testimony that would almost certainly have come to light should Oswald have been provided a defense, or even if Ball (and his junior partner Belin) had found his testimony at odds with the Oswald-did-it conclusion.

The first problem bubbles up near the beginning of his testimony.

Mr. BELIN. Do you remember what time you got to work that day?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes; I got to work around about a quarter to eight.
                                                     Mr. BELIN. Where did you go when you got to work?
Mr. GIVENS. I went in a little lunchroom that we have downstairs.
Mr. BELIN. Is that what you call the domino room?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. You carry your lunch with you?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. You put your lunch there?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you wear a jacket to work that day?
Mr. GIVENS. I wore a raincoat, I believe. It was misting that morning.
Mr. BELIN. Did you hang up your coat in that room, too?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.

Now, this is clear, right? Belin asked Givens about a jacket, and Givens corrected Belin and told him he'd wore a raincoat, and that he'd hung it up in the domino room.

Belin then asked Givens about his seeing Oswald on the morning of the 22nd. Givens said he saw Oswald on the first floor around 8:30. Belin then asked Givens about the next time he saw Oswald.

Here is his response: “Well, it was about a quarter till 12, we were on our way downstairs, and we passed him, and he (Oswald) was standing at the gate on the fifth floor. I came downstairs, and I discovered I left my cigarettes in my jacket pocket upstairs, and I took the elevator back upstairs to get my jacket with my cigarettes in it."

Well, wait a second. This bit about the jacket is not only in conflict with Givens' earlier testimony he hung up his raincoat (not jacket) in the domino room, it's in conflict with a statement Givens provided the FBI on 3-18-64, in which he asserted that he was a block away from Dealey Plaza when the President was shot, but that "After the President was shot I returned to the Texas School Book Depository Building, and was told by a Dallas policeman that I could not enter the building. About an hour later, I went to the Dallas Police Department and was questioned by the police for about forty-five minutes. Then I returned to the Book Depository Building about 5 o'clock that same afternoon to pick up my hat and coat. I left the building a few minutes after I picked up my hat and coat." (22H649)

Okay. Let's get this straight. Givens said he went to the sixth floor to get cigarettes from his jacket. No jacket was found on the sixth floor. It follows then that Givens took his jacket with him when he went to lunch. Now, he also claimed he returned to the building to get his coat. Well, the only way Givens' statements and testimony can make any sense, then, is if we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wore both a coat and jacket to work on 11-22-63.

Now, should we give him that benefit? Absolutely not. Givens was a warehouse worker. He did not work in a jacket. So, why should we believe he wore a raincoat to work over a jacket, removed this raincoat in the domino room, and then removed the jacket up on the sixth floor? I repeat, he was a warehouse worker. He would know, upon entrance into the building, that he wasn't gonna need a jacket while working up on the sixth floor. It follows, then, that he would have left his jacket (if he was even wearing a jacket) with his coat in the domino room. I mean, think about it. The order pullers and floor crew with access to the sixth floor were not allowed to return to that floor after the shooting. Some of them--Harold Norman, Bonnie Ray Williams, and Billy Lovelady come to mind--were captured in photographs during or just after the shooting. And yet none of them were wearing jackets when photographed. And yet none of their jackets were found on the sixth floor.

Givens' claim he left a jacket on the sixth floor is simply not credible.

Belin's failure to clarify Givens' testimony regarding his raincoat and/or jacket is also strange, if not suspicious...

This brings us to the second problem with Givens' testimony.

Givens continued: "When I got back upstairs, he was on the sixth floor in that vicinity, coming from that way…Toward the window up front where the shots were fired from…he had his clipboard in his hand…He was coming towards the elevators…He said…'When you get downstairs, close the gate to the elevator.'" 

Now, this is the centerpiece of Givens' testimony. He changed his story from seeing and hearing Oswald yell out to close the gate when the floor crew was heading down to lunch to his seeing Oswald on the sixth floor (and hearing Oswald yell out to close the gate) after the floor crew had gone down to lunch and he (Givens) had returned to the sixth floor.

And Belin knew this. A 3-18-64 Ball/Belin memo outlined the topics to be explored in Givens' upcoming testimony. Under the subject heading "Elevator," Belin noted: "Oswald was on the fifth floor. Oswald called for them to stop. Oswald yelled at Givens to close the gates so that Oswald could have the elevator to return to the sixth floor." Well, heck. That's almost shocking. But a few weeks before Givens testified to Oswald's yelling out when he (Givens) came down alone, Ball and Belin were planning to spin that Oswald's yelling out when the floor crew came down meant he wanted to use the elevator to go back up to the sixth floor.

In any event, when Givens testified to returning to the sixth floor on his lunch hour, seeing Oswald on the sixth floor near the sniper's nest, and hearing Oswald yell out when he (Givens) descended to the first floor, Belin failed to remind Givens of his prior statements. Or even the testimony of his co-workers, Bonnie Ray Williams, Danny Arce, and Billy Lovelady, who claimed Oswald yelled out to close the gate when Givens first headed down for lunch.

Oh, that's right. Williams, Arce and Lovelady. Williams had testified in March. Arce and Lovelady had testified on 4-7-64, but one day before Givens. All three had said they'd heard Oswald yell out to Givens when Givens came down for lunch, and said nothing about Givens going back up to get his cigarettes or anything like that. Still, let's look at their exact words.

Bonnie Ray Williams, 3-24-64:"We always had a little kids game we played racing down with the elevators. And I think one fellow, Charles Givens, had the east elevator, and me, and I think two or three more fellows had the west elevator. And we was racing down... On the way down I heard Oswald--and I am not sure whether he was on the fifth or the sixth floor. But on the way down Oswald hollered "Guys, how about an elevator?" I don't know whether those are his exact words. But he said something about the elevator. And Charles said, "Come on, boy," just like that. And he (Oswald) said, "Close the gate on the elevator and send the elevator back up." (3H161-164)

Danny Arce, 4-7-64: (When asked if he saw or heard Oswald as the elevator descended from the sixth floor) "Yeah, he was up there and I believe someone asked if he wanted to go down." (When asked what floor he was on at the time) "That's what I'm not too sure; I believe he was on (the fifth) or the sixth floor. I am not too sure but we were going down and I believe he was on the fifth; I am not too sure." (When asked Oswald's words) "He said "You all close the door on the elevator, I will be down," or somethin'. I didn't pay too much attention. He said to leave the elevator (gate) down." (6H363-367)

Billy Lovelady, 4-7-64: "I heard him holier to one of the boys to stop, he wanted the elevator. They said, 'No; we're going down to lunch.'" (6H336-341)

Well, wait a second. The statements of these three witnesses, taken in sum, indicate that Oswald wasn't trying to get Givens to make an elevator available (via pulling down the gate) so he could call it back up to the sixth floor and expedite his escape after the shooting, but stop, and let him on the elevator, so he could go down for lunch, along with everybody else. And that Givens refused to stop.

And, no, Oswald's asking Givens to stop the elevator wasn't a latter-day embellishment by Lovelady. The FBI interviewed Lovelady on 11-22-63, within hours of the shooting. The report on this interview reflects that Lovelady's last contact with Oswald at work was "about 11:50 AM, when Lovelady, Charles Givens, a Negro employee, Danny Arce (phonetic), and another Negro male started down from the sixth floor on the two elevators to take their lunch break. As they passed the fifth floor, Lovelady heard Oswald call for them to stop, but one of the four told him "We're going to wash our hands" and did not stop for him." (CD5, p332-333)

Well, this suggests Oswald's innocence. I mean, if Givens had stopped for Oswald, and Oswald had descended with his co-workers, would he have raced back up later? I mean, what would be the point? Why come down in the first place if he'd planned on killing Kennedy with a rifle that could be traced back to him with very little effort?

So, yikes, this was a huge problem for Ball and Belin, the Warren Commission counsel tasked with identifying the assassin firing from the sniper's nest. They needed Oswald to be on the sixth floor in the moments leading up to the shooting, putting his rifle together and stacking up the boxes in the sniper's nest. Not downstairs with his co-workers.

So it was quite fortuitous then that Givens, testifying the day after Lovelady even though he was originally scheduled to testify the same day, suddenly remembered 1) seeing Oswald near the sniper's nest, 2) asking Oswald if he wanted to come down on the elevator, and 3) having Oswald refuse his offer but ask him to close the gate on the elevator (and thereby make the elevator accessible to Oswald on the sixth floor) when he reached the bottom.

Now for some it seems fortuitous that Arce backed up Givens' story, or at least a small part of it, by claiming someone had offered Oswald a ride but that he'd told them no, and told they should instead leave the gate down on the elevator so he could call it back up. I mean, that's a far cry from Williams' and Lovelady's testimony in which Oswald wanted to come down but was told no. But we have reason to doubt this snippet of Arce's testimony.

To be clear, Arce's early statements fail to describe the encounter. His 11-22-63 signed statement does declare, however, that the other employees liked to tease Oswald, and that "I last saw Lee Oswald...at approximately 11:50 A.M., this being on the fifth floor near the elevators." Well, this suggests that Arce, and Givens, saw Oswald after the race described by Williams was already underway. And that Oswald asked them to stop the elevator, but was rejected. (They were in a race, after all.) And, yes, Arce's testimony backs this up. When asked on what floor it was he he heard Oswald, he replied: "I am not too sure but we were going down and I believe he was on the fifth; I am not too sure."

There's stink and then there's stank, and Givens' claim he went back up and saw Oswald on the sixth floor is the latter. It just boggles the mind. How could Givens fail to tell investigators he last saw Oswald standing near the sniper's nest, prior to his testimony, 4 1/2 months after the shooting? And how could Belin not note the monumental change in Givens' story?

When then asked the time of his return to the first floor, Givens responded "Well, I would say it was about 5 minutes to 12, then because it was---" But Givens would never get to explain his reasoning. David Belin interrupted him with a question about what he did next. Givens testified "When I got down to the first floor Harold Norman, James Jarman and myself, we stood over by the window, and then we said we was going outside and watch the parade, so we walked out and we stood there a while, and then I said, "I believe I will walk up to the parking lot."

This leads us, then, to a third problem with Givens' claim he saw Oswald after going back to get his cigarettes... It seems likely that, great gosh a mighty, Givens couldn't have seen Oswald from where he claimed he was standing when he saw Oswald!

Mr. BELIN. Just a second, where did you go? Where were you when you saw him on the sixth floor?
Mr. GIVENS. I had went and got my jacket and was on my way back to the elevator.
Mr. BELIN. All right, just a second. I am going to get a plan of the sixth floor, if I have one, and try and have you point that out to me.
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Well, I don't seem to have a sixth floor plan here, but perhaps we can use another plan here to help us. Here is a diagram of the front of the building. This is the Elm Street side, and you can see the arrow pointing north. This perhaps would be a diagram of the third floor. You notice that there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven sets of windows, right?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. On the Elm Street side, seven pairs of windows?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. You notice the two freight elevators toward the rear. Now did you see--when you first saw him on the sixth floor there, were you standing near any of these windows?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir. I was over here by the elevators.
Mr. BELIN. You are pointing your finger to a spot which would be somewhat to the east of the east elevator, is that correct?
Mr. GIVENS. That's correct.
Mr. BELIN. At a spot which is about on the same line as what I call the south side of the east elevator, and about as far cast of the front part of that elevator as the distance from the front of the elevator to the back of the east elevator, is that about as far east of the front part of that elevator, is that about right?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. You were standing at that point, and where did you see Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. GIVENS. Well, I was along here [indicating].
Mr. BELIN. All right, you are pointing at a spot you say along in here?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. That would be near the east wall of the building.                                                           Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.                                                                                                                 Mr. BELIN. You can see a scale here that is from 0 to 20 feet. Well, it would be about 30 to 40 feet north of the south wall of that building, is that right?                                                                     Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.                                                                                                                 Mr. BELIN. And around 10 feet or so away from the east wall, is that about right?

(4-8-64 9:00 AM, 6H345-356)

Okay. Givens claimed he was near the east elevator, and Oswald was in the first aisle 10 feet from the east wall at a point 30-40 feet north of the south wall.

Now, let's see if we can figure out what Oswald would look like from Givens' location.

Here's a drawing of the sixth floor, made by the Dallas Police, showing the approximate locations and directions from which they took their crime scene photos. I have added a G and an O to this drawing to designate the approximate locations of Givens and Oswald when Givens supposedly saw Oswald.

Well, this is helpful in two ways. It establishes that Givens, by his own estimation, was about 60 feet from Oswald when he supposedly saw Oswald. And that he would have been looking at Oswald at an angle, about 30 degrees to the left from straight down the aisle.

Now, let's look at photo 2. This was taken down the first aisle towards the sniper's nest. This was purportedly taken from a location 85 feet north of the sniper's nest window. Givens claimed he was roughly this distance back from the front of the building when he saw Oswald, only two and a half aisles over. He also claimed Oswald was less than halfway up this aisle. Unfortunately, there is no photo of the sixth floor taken from such an angle.

Still, what photos do exist are enough to give us doubt Givens saw Oswald as claimed. Note that there's an awful lot of stock on the right side of this first aisle. Note also that the highest stack appears to be at the distance of the third post from the camera. If so, it seems possible this stack would have blocked Givens' view of Oswald, who was, according to Givens, within five feet or so of the fourth post away from the camera.

Now, let's look at photo 4. This one was taken in the second aisle. The Dallas Police claimed this photo was taken from 40 feet north of the front window. Givens, as we've seen, claimed he saw Oswald heading north along the aisle to the left, at a location 30 to 40 feet from the front window. And that he saw this from the back of the aisle to the right.

And yet... There are high stacks of boxes on the left and the right. While there are some gaps in these stacks, the rows are double-wide between aisles. This means there are 4 rows of boxes between the third aisle where Givens claimed he was standing and the first aisle where he claimed Oswald was walking. When looking towards Oswald, for that matter, Givens would be viewing these boxes at an angle. This angle would serve to distort the width of these boxes, and block out an additional 25-30% of what lay behind.

Yes, there's no escaping it. There's reason to doubt Givens saw Oswald as claimed.

Now let's look at photo 5. The Dallas Police said they took this one looking down the third aisle, from 45 feet north of the windows.

Well, that doesn't do much to relieve our doubts, now does it? Look back at the photo of the second aisle. The left side of this aisle down by the windows is largely open space. The left side of the next aisle over in the photo above, however, is heavily populated by boxes. There's also this. The wooden post on the left side of the photo above is in line with the right side of the aisle to the left. There is no such post on the right side of the second aisle. This proves there was an aisle between these two aisles that was not photographed by the Dallas Police. And this means there were actually five or six rows of boxes stretching from north to south between Givens' purported location when he saw Oswald, and the location he claimed for Oswald..

There was a wall of boxes on the left side of this de facto third aisle, for that matter, that would have blocked Givens' view of Oswald for much of the first aisle. There was a wall on the right side of the fourth aisle as well.

And yet, it seems possible Givens' line of sight passed to the north and to the east of these boxes, and that the stacks along the northern half of these aisles were shorter. And that this allowed Givens to get a clear view of Oswald.

Only not so fast. Photo 11 shows the west elevator, with the northernmost section of aisle 2 (or is it 3? or 4?) in the background.

Now, it's too dark in the background to see these boxes, so I took the liberty of cropping the area to the right of the wooden post and left of the boxes, and lightening it up.


First, pardon the strange shape of this image. But I wanted to be sure you could tell that there are multiple rows of boxes in the background, and that there appears to be a wall of boxes at the depth of the third or second aisle, that would have interfered with Givens' purported line of sight.

Now. I'm perfectly willing to accept that there was an overlapping gap here or there in the fourth, third and second aisles where Givens could have seen Oswald for a second or two while he was walking up the first aisle.

But Givens didn't just say he got a glimpse of Oswald for a second. He said he saw all of him, while he was walking. And that Oswald had a clipboard in his hand.

Mr. GIVENS. He was between the stock and the window, coming towards the elevators.
Mr. BELIN. Coming towards the elevators?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see all of his body or not?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir; he had his clipboard in his hand.
Mr. BELIN. He had his clipboard in his hand?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Was that kind of an aisleway over there right next to the east wall that he was walking along, or what?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir; they have aisles.
Mr. BELIN. Now, was there stock in back of him as well as in front of him? Were you there where you had stacked it up, or not, or don't you remember?
Mr. GIVENS. Well, it was already some books stacked there.
Mr. BELIN. Were there books stacked between where you saw him and the window itself?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. All right, he was walking with his clipboard from that southeast corner?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Where did you see him walking? What direction did you see him walking in?
Mr. GIVENS. He was coming towards the elevators.
Mr. BELIN. From the Elm Street side of the building?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, Sir.
Mr. BELIN. So that would be walking in a northerly direction?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Now, you said that he had a clipboard in his hand?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes; he had his board with his orders on it.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see the orders on the board?
Mr. GIVENS. Well, yes, sir; he had it in his hand.

I call pants on fire.

Now let's sink our teeth into a fourth problem with Givens' testimony.

After discussing Givens' hanging up his coat in the domino room, and his seeing Oswald on the first floor around 8:30 PM, Belin asked Givens about seeing Oswald in the domino room.

Mr. BELIN. Did you see him come into the domino room at all?
Mr. GIVENS. Not that morning, no, sir; I didn't.
Mr. BELIN. When did you leave the domino room to go up to the sixth floor?
Mr. GIVENS. 8 o'clock.
Mr. BELIN.. At 8 o'clock?
Mr. GIVENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. So you don't feel he came in the domino room before 8 o'clock?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir; not that morning he didn't.

Now that might go unnoticed. But Belin later returned to the domino room.

Mr. BELIN. Did you see Lee Oswald anywhere else in the building between 11:55 and the time you left the building?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. On November 22d?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see him in the domino room at all around anywhere between 11:30 and 12 or 12:30?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see him reading the newspaper?
Mr. GIVENS. No; not that day. I did--he generally sit in there every morning. He would come to work and sit in there and read the paper, the next day paper, like if the day was Tuesday, he would read Monday's paper in the morning when he would come to work, but he didn't that morning because he didn't go in the domino room that morning. I didn't see him in the domino room that morning. 

And this wasn't the last time Belin brought up the domino room.

Mr. BELIN. Did you ever tell anyone that you saw Lee Oswald reading a newspaper in the domino room around 11:50, 10 minutes to 12 on that morning on November 22nd?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.

So what in blazes was going on?

Belin was clearly referencing the FBI's initial report on Givens, in which it was claimed "Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.”

So was Belin pushing Givens into disputing this report?

Apparently so. Still, surprise surprise, he may not have been wrong to do so.

In February 2012, I stumbled across the FBI's first teletype regarding Givens. (This teletype can be found in FBI file 62-109060 sec 9 p54 on the Mary Ferrell Foundation website.) Here, only hours after he'd been interviewed, it was claimed "Charles Douglas Givens, Employee, TSBD, worked on sixth floor until about eleven thirty A.M. Left at this time going down on elevator. Saw Oswald on fifth floor as left going down. Oswald told him to close the gates when he got to first floor so Oswald could signal for elevator later. Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass. Oswald was reading paper in the first floor domino room seven-fifty A.M. November twenty two last when Givens came to work."

Well, heck. What's this? Here in this summary of its interview with Givens it is claimed Givens told the FBI he saw Oswald at 7:50 A.M., not 11:50 A.M.

This led me to re-read the FBI's report on this interview. I then realized that the sentences I cut out of Givens' statement at the beginning of this chapter were far more important than I thought, and helped provide the proper context for Givens' statement about seeing Oswald in the domino room. Here is the oft-quoted statement in its proper context: "Givens said that during the past few days Lee had commented that he rode to work with a boy named Wesley. Givens said all employees enter the back door of the building when Jack Dougherty, the foreman opens the door about 7 A.M. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.” Within this context, the "about 11:50 A.M." represents the time the employees eat lunch, not the time Givens saw Oswald. Givens had thereby claimed he saw Oswald in the domino room EARLY in the morning. Before starting work. And not during lunch, as most assume.

So let's sum this up. Givens told the FBI he saw Oswald before work. A poorly-worded FBI report made it seem as though Givens saw him during lunch, however. In his testimony, Givens denied seeing Oswald during lunch. This was consistent with the FBI's original teletype. The problem, then, is that Givens also denied seeing Oswald before work.

No matter how one twists it, Givens' testimony was in conflict with what the FBI claimed he'd told them.


Belin, the Generous?

So why didn't Belin read Givens the FBI report, and ask Givens for an explanation? Or follow up with the FBI and ask them if the report could have been mistaken? The Warren Commission's counsel were tasked with acting as both prosecutor and defense attorney. Truth was (supposedly) their only client. So why did Belin fail to challenge his witness with a report in conflict with his testimony?

I mean, it's not as if Belin's partner Joseph Ball was averse to challenging their witnesses. As we've seen, Ball pretty-much manhandled Bonnie Ray Williams and Eddie Piper over the inconsistencies contained within their purported statements.

So why didn't Belin push Givens' on his inconsistencies?

There really is no answer here other than that Belin was trying to shield a friendly witness...and that Ball and Belin did their damnedest to harass witnesses whose recollections were unsupportive of their Oswald-did-it conclusion, while treating those whose recollections were supportive of their conclusion--no matter how dubious--with kid gloves.

If Belin had avoided the subject of Givens' seeing Oswald in the domino room, after all, one might believe he was simply asking questions and letting Givens tell his story. But he asked numerous questions about the subject. And was clearly trying to get Givens to refute the FBI's report...without actually citing the report. Well, this gives up the game. It seems clear he was aware of the problems with Givens' credibility, but was unwilling to expose them in testimony he knew would be read by the commissioners tasked with weighing Givens' credibility.

And this, when added to Belin's far more significant failure to expose Givens' changing his story from his seeing Oswald as he went down for lunch to his seeing Oswald when he went back up to get cigarettes from his jacket pocket, and then topped off by Belin's failure to confront Givens on the fact he said he'd left his coat in the domino room, but then claimed he was retrieving cigarettes from his jacket pocket when he saw Oswald on the sixth floor, suggests Belin was complicit in Givens' lies. He, as the public's representative, either had reason to believe Givens was lying, and had refused to put it on the record, or had actually helped arrange the lies.

With that in mind, then, it seems a wee bit curious that Belin's partner Joe Ball was supposed to take Givens' testimony on 4-7, but that this was changed at the last minute. (Source: 3-24-64 Ball-Rankin memo found on the website of Howard Willens.)

In any event, Belin chose to treat Givens as a credible witness, and pollute the Warren Report with one of its worst passages (and that's saying a lot).

Here it is:

Oswald's Presence on Sixth Floor Approximately 35 Minutes Before the Assassination

Additional testimony linking Oswald with the point from which the shots were fired was provided by the testimony of Charles Givens, who was the last known employee to see Oswald inside the building prior to the assassination. During the morning of November 22, Givens was working with the floor-laying crew in the southwest section of the sixth floor. At about. 11:45 a.m. the. floor-laying crew used both elevators to come down from the sixth floor. The employees raced the elevators to the first floor. Givens saw Oswald standing at the gate on the fifth floor as the elevator went by. Givens testified that after reaching the first floor, "I discovered I left my cigarettes in my jacket pocket upstairs, and I took the elevator back upstairs to get my jacket with my cigarettes in it." He saw Oswald, a clipboard in hand, walking from the southeast corner of the sixth floor toward the elevator. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2707, p. 142.) Givens said to Oswald, "Boy are you going downstairs? * * * It's near lunch time." Oswald said, "No, sir. When you get downstairs, close the gate to the elevator." Oswald was referring to the west elevator which operates by pushbutton and only with the gate closed. Givens said, "Okay," and rode down in the east elevator. When he reached the first floor, the west elevator--the one with the gate was not there. Givens thought this was about 11:55 a.m. None of the Depository employees is known to have seen Oswald again until after the shooting. (WR p143)

That Belin was a liar, a big fat stinking liar, is supported by his behavior when the inconsistencies of Givens' testimony came to light, moreover. In 1973, Belin published November 22, 1963: You are the Jury!, a defense of the Warren Commission. Here, he presented Givens as credible, never mentioning the inconsistencies he had previously acknowledged. Here, on at least three separate occasions, he claimed Givens was the last to see Oswald in the building before the shooting. Here, he never once mentioned Eddie Piper, the janitor who had consistently and from the beginning claimed to see Oswald on the ground floor around noon, five minutes after the time Givens had claimed to see Oswald. Piper's claim he saw Oswald at noon had been discussed, moreover, in a February 24, 1964 memo authored by Belin. This memo had in turn been discussed by Sylvia Meagher in an August 1971 article in the Texas Observer, upon which Belin had negatively commented. Piper's April 8, 1964 testimony had been taken, for that matter, by Joseph Ball, Belin's partner in the investigation. There is simply no way Belin was unaware of Piper's testimony, and his failure to acknowledge it in his book was inexcusable.

And that's but one example of Belin's slipperiness. In February 1976, in an extended article published in the National Review, Belin once again defended his behavior regarding Givens. Here, he claimed Givens had first said he saw Oswald on the sixth floor with a clipboard months before his testimony, when he spoke to the Secret Service in December. Belin thereby suggested that Givens' testimony about seeing Oswald on the sixth floor was just a clarification of an earlier story, and not a brand new concoction worthy of cross-examination. 

Let's take a look at the Secret Service's report on Givens: "On November 22, 1963, Givens, along with other employees working on the sixth floor, was laying the new plywood floor. Givens stated that he saw Oswald on the sixth floor at about 11:45 A.M. on that date, and that Oswald was carrying a clipboard that appeared to have some orders on it. Givens felt that Oswald was looking for some books to fill an order, which is his job, and did not give the matter further thought. Shortly, thereafter, Givens and the other employees working on the floor-laying project quit for lunch and they took both elevators. They were racing the elevators to the first floor and Givens heard Oswald call to them to send one of the elevators back up. It is Givens' recollection that Oswald was wearing a brown shirt, when he last saw him." (CD 87, p780).

Jinkies! Belin failed to tell his readers that Givens had also told the Secret Service he saw Oswald on the sixth floor BEFORE he--Givens--went down for lunch, and not after he returned to get his cigarettes, as he would later testify. As a number of witnesses, including Givens himself when first interviewed by the FBI, claimed they saw or heard Oswald on the fifth floor as they went down for lunch, there is a world of difference in the stories, as one places Oswald on the fifth or sixth floor about 11:45--and asking for an elevator--and one places Oswald on the sixth floor just before noon--and refusing to come down on an elevator. It's hard to believe, moreover, that Belin would fail to appreciate the significance of this change in the story, and think it of such little importance he would fail to tell it to his readers. It follows, then, that he was being willfully deceptive. 

But enough about Belin. He repeated his claim Givens was the last to see Oswald in his 1988 book Final Disclosure, and was either a big fat liar or cognitively impaired. Let's go back to Givens.

Shadow of a Lie

Subsequent to his testimony, the FBI decided to interview Givens yet again. The 6-4-64 FBI report (CD1245 p182) on this meeting reflects that Givens stood by his Warren Commission testimony and that “he now recalls he returned to the sixth floor at about 11:45 A.M. to get his cigarettes which he had left there. Givens stated it was at this time that he saw Lee Harvey Oswald, known to him as Lee, standing in the southeast corner of the building on that floor. He said Oswald had orders and a clip board in his hand and in response to a question by Givens whether or not Oswald was going to come downstairs, Oswald responded "No, not now." Givens stated he then got on the elevator and as he was leaving the sixth floor Oswald yelled at him to close the gates on the elevator so that he, Oswald, could have the elevator returned to the sixth floor.”

Well, first of all, this report is strange in that it fails to even address the question of whether or not Givens saw Oswald in the domino room on the afternoon (or morning) of the shooting, and Givens' contradiction of the FBI's initial report on this question in his testimony.

And, second of all, this report is strange in that it fails to provide much context to Givens' new and improved recollection. Givens, nearly five months after the shooting, "now recalled" seeing Oswald after going back up to get his cigarettes from the sixth floor, and having Oswald yell out to him as he left, and, apparently, no longer recalled having Oswald yell out to him from the fifth floor when the floor crew came down for lunch. This was the story Givens had been telling for a number of months. It was backed-up by the other members of the floor crew. And yet there is no evidence anyone pointed this out to Givens, And there was no follow-up with those who came down with Givens, to see if they could vouch that the exchange with Oswald Givens now recollected as occurring while he was alone, was different than the one they observed when they were with him in the elevator, or even that he returned upstairs. I mean, one or more of them could have remembered his doing so, if in fact he did so, or that he hadn't left his jacket upstairs because, well, it just wasn't done. But no, none of them were contacted to support, or back-up Givens' story. He'd told Belin and the Commission what they'd wanted to hear and that was that.

The FBI's 6-4-64 report is helpful in one way, however. It provides us with yet another example of Givens' acute unreliability. Whereas Givens, in his 3-18-64 statement to the FBI, declared that he went to the Dallas Police Dept. about an hour after the shooting (i.e., about 1:30), that he was questioned for about 45 minutes, and that he "returned to the Book Depository Building about 5 o'clock that same afternoon to pick up my hat and coat," he now said he was taken to the police station "between 1:30 and 2:00 PM," that he and the other TSBD employees were released "around 3:00 or 3:30 PM," and that he then returned to the TSBD, where he "picked up his hat and coat." Some way, somehow, 1 1/2 to 2 hours had disappeared from his timeline!

Well, what is one to think of this? Maybe Givens had a bad memory. Maybe Belin realized this and exploited it, so he could claim both that Oswald never intended to come down for lunch, and never did come down for lunch.

Was Givens' new and improved recollection, separate from Belin's spin on his new and improved recollection, so significant we should think he was lying?

There are reasons to believe not. Givens’ assertion that he went back upstairs and encountered Oswald shortly after 11:45, when taken with Shelley’s and Piper’s statements, after all, suggests only that Oswald followed Givens back downstairs and made a phone call. Certainly, one can not take Givens' delayed recollection that he returned to the first floor "about 5 to 12" as evidence that Shelley failed to see Oswald at 10 to 12 or that Piper was wrong about seeing him at 12.

Well, at least no one reasonable. Beyond Belin and the Warren Commission, few have insisted Givens was the last to see Oswald in the building.

An exception would be Vincent Bugliosi. In Reclaiming History Bugliosi argues that we should believe that Shelley and Piper--who saw Oswald on the first floor at "10 to 12" and "12", respectively, had in fact seen Oswald several minutes before Givens--whose sense of time he inexplicably trusts--saw him on the fifth floor "about a quarter to 12". But this is hoo-ha. It seems much more likely that Givens was off by a few minutes and had returned to the first floor before 5 to 12, and/or that Shelley was off by a few minutes and saw Oswald after 10 to 12, than that Piper was off by more than 15 minutes in a statement signed the day after the shooting, and had completely mis-remembered the circumstances under which he saw Oswald. Piper, after all, knew when he went to lunch, and felt certain he saw Oswald as he went to lunch. This is the kind of thing that a janitor would be likely to know.

Still, let's not pretend. The likelihood is and has been (since this issue was first explored by researcher Sylvia Meagher) that Givens flat out lied when he said he'd went back up to the sixth floor after he came down for lunch. The 11-23-63 FBI teletype reporting on its interview of Givens, after all, claimed that after coming down for lunch "Givens stayed on first floor until twelve o'clock and then walked out of the building to watch the parade pass." The 12-7-63 Secret Service Report  summarizing an interview with Givens, for that matter, not only failed to mention that he'd went back upstairs and encountered Oswald, it actually had him stating that he saw Oswald with the clipboard and heard him yell out before he came down for lunch. (CD87 p780)

So how can he suddenly change his story to his not staying on the first floor after first coming down for lunch, and to his hearing Oswald yell out after going back up for his cigarettes? He can't. Or at least shouldn't.

Now this raises a question. Did someone pressure or pay Givens to change his story?

A 2-9-64 article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram gives us reason to believe this occurred. According to the article, written by Thayer Waldo, a Secret Service agent had boasted that a negro witness, who "had been arrested in the past by the Special Services office of the Dallas Police for gambling" had come forward, and had claimed to have seen Oswald actually fire the shots that killed Kennedy. According to Waldo, who claimed to have sat in on a conversation between this agent and another man, the agent said "Wait till that old black boy gets up in front of the Warren Commission and tells his story. That will settle everything. Yes, sir. He was right there on the same floor, looking out the next window; and, after the first shot, he looked and saw Oswald, and then he ran. I saw him in the Dallas Police station. He was still the scaredest nigger I ever seen. I heard him tell the officer, 'Man you don't know how fast fast is, because you didn't see me run that day.' He said he ran and hid behind the boxes because he was afraid that Oswald would shoot him." As Givens was the only school book depository employee with a notable police record, and was also one of the very few to have seen Oswald in the hour before the shooting, the "negro witness" described in the article is most certainly Givens.

Since Givens never signed a statement or offered testimony describing these events, however, it suggests that either Givens had lied to the police, the agent was lying to Waldo, or that Waldo himself had embellished his story. Perhaps the agent, who Waldo would later reveal to be Mike Howard, had merely indicated that Givens' story was damaging to Oswald, and Waldo had filled in the blanks. 

On 2-13-64 the FBI looked into this story. They contacted Jack Revill, a Lieutenant in the Dallas PD's Special Service Bureau. Revill told them the man described in the article was most logically Charles Givens. Revill told them that Givens had a history of drug use and “would change his story for money”. Revill told them, furthermore, that although he thought the character in the story was Givens, "that when Givens was interviewed immediately after the assassination, he stated he was not in the building at the time of the assassination." The FBI report then recounts Givens' earlier story that he came down for lunch around 11:30, and that, as he came down, he heard Oswald yell out and ask to have the elevator sent back up. (CD735, p295-296).

Months later, after Waldo's story was dredged up by Mark Lane as an indication the Secret Service had been planting false stories in the press, the FBI re-investigated. On May 28, 1964, the FBI wrote a report after talking with agent Mike Howard. (25H844-845). While Howard admitted that he and his brother, Deputy Sheriff Pat Howard, had had a conversation with Waldo, he claimed they did not know he was a reporter, and that they'd never discussed a negro witness to the shooting. On this same day Waldo signed a sworn statement backing his published version of the story. (25H846-848). A few days later, the Bureau contacted Pat Howard, and he admitted that he and his brother had told Waldo about a negro employee with a criminal record who had fled the building after the shots, for fear he would be implicated. (25H849-850) This is clearly a reference to Givens. If the Howards were telling the truth, and they just mentioned Givens because they thought his flight was an "amusing incident," it seems an incredible coincidence that Givens would shortly thereafter change his story and help the Warren Commission put the rifle in Oswald's hand.

Yes, you read that right...I wrote shortly thereafter. You see there is reason to believe that, although Givens first officially told his tale on 4-08-64, that he began to change his story within days of Howard's talking to Waldo. The February 21, 1964 cover story of Life Magazine, which treated Oswald's sole guilt as a proven fact, revealed "A few minutes after noon, as the President and his wife were pulling away from the airport in the open presidential limousine, an employee in the school book building, Charles Givens, saw Oswald on the sixth floor and said 'Let's go down and watch the President go by.' 'Not now,' Oswald responded. 'Just send the elevator back up.'"

So, hmmm...a story sneaks out that a black man with a criminal record is gonna implicate Oswald; a report is then written indicating that this man is Charles Givens, that he will change his story for money, and that he really doesn't know anything; a thoroughly-biased article then appears in a prominent magazine citing Givens as the source of previously undisclosed information, and that this information is extremely damaging to Oswald; this info, furthermore, is inconsistent with Givens' sworn testimony months later. Well, from this one might gather Life paid Givens for his story, and that he lied to them, or that someone paid or pressured Givens to lie to them. One can not reasonably assert or assume his cloudy memory suddenly became clear. 

Adding to the mystery surrounding Givens' sudden change of mind is the fact that only a few hours after Givens testified Dallas Police inspector J. Herbert Sawyer testified about the events leading up to his putting out an APB for someone matching Oswald's description (4H315-325)...and that his words appeared to confirm Givens' story. When asked if he'd put out an APB for anyone besides the white male observed in the sniper's nest, he replied "There is another broadcast in there somewhere, though. I put out another description on the colored boy that worked in that department...He is one that had a previous record in the narcotics, and he was supposed to have been a witness to the man being on that floor. He was supposed to have been a witness to Oswald being there."  He was then asked if this man was Charles Givens, and replied "Yes, I think that is the name, and I put out a description on him." When asked the vital question of how he found out Givens had seen Oswald, he replied: "Somebody told me that. Somebody came to me with the information. And again, that particular party, whoever it was, I don't know. I remember that a deputy sheriff came up to me who had been over taking these affidavits, that I sent them over there, and he came over from the sheriff's office with a picture and a description of this colored boy and he said that he was supposed to have worked at the Texas Book Depository, and he was the one employee who was missing, or he was missing from the building. He wasn't accounted for, and that he was suppose to have some information about the man that did the shooting."  

Well, this is peculiar. Who was this "somebody" who knew that Givens had seen Oswald? Givens had not come back in the building and talked to anyone after the shooting. Therefore, it must have been someone who'd talked to him after he'd come down from the sixth floor, but before he left the building...someone who'd spoken to the Dallas police on 11-22, or who'd spoken to someone who'd spoken to the police. This person could very well be James Jarman. While Jarman did not sign an affidavit until 11-23, he undoubtedly spoke to his boss Roy Truly (who spent a considerable amount of time with the police on 11-22) about the line-up of depository employees, in which it was discovered that both Oswald and Givens were missing. Jarman had also spoken to Givens after Givens had come down for lunch. It seems reasonable then to suspect that the two spoke about Oswald sometime around noon, before Givens walked up the street, and that Jarman had told this to Truly when both Oswald and Givens went missing. (When Jarman testified on 3-24-64, he was not asked about any conversations with Givens.) Perhaps Givens had told Jarman that Oswald had asked for someone to send the elevator back up for him when the sixth floor crew came down for lunch. And that no one had done so. Perhaps Givens had mentioned going back up to the sixth floor to get his cigarettes, and his seeing Oswald still up there.

But I doubt it. It seems highly unlikely that the Warren Commission, desperate to prove that Oswald had stayed up on the sixth floor during his lunch period, would fail to provide a corroborating witness for Givens' latter-day story that he saw Oswald at 5 to 12, should there have been one. It appears, therefore, that Jarman--or whomever--remembered Givens saying that he saw Oswald just before he came down with the others, and not that he saw him after going back up for cigarettes. In such case, Sawyer's testimony suggests 3 possibilities: 1) that Sawyers' memory was accurate and that Givens had told someone he saw Oswald on the sixth floor when he went back up for cigarettes, but that the Warren Commission had failed to identify and interview this person; 2) that Sawyers lied to bolster Givens' testimony by pretending that the DPD was aware that Givens' had had important information on Oswald all along; and 3) that Sawyers incorrectly remembered why they were looking for Givens. As Givens was the only convicted felon working in the building and as he just so happened to disappear after the shooting, it only makes sense that they'd be looking for him. The Dallas Police tapes of Sawyers' conversation about Givens, in fact, reflect that he explained why he wanted Givens to be located, and had said simply "He is a porter that worked on this floor up here. He has a police record and he left.” 

At this point, I'm leaning toward option number three. On his website, single-assassin theorist Dale Myers makes what is at least for me a convincing argument that Sawyers was just clutching at straws, and had no real recollection of why they were looking for Givens. 

But there are also reasons to suspect option two--that Sawyers deliberately lied in order to help prop up Givens' newfound story. On 5-13-64, Detective Jack Revill, who had warned the FBI on 2-13-64 that Givens would "change his story for money," testified before the Warren Commission. In his testimony, Revill discussed his actions in the hours just after the shooting. Strangely, he testified that within hours of the shots, "I talked to a negro by the name of Givens...I asked him if he had been on the sixth floor, and as well as I recall, and Detective Brian was present at this same time, he said yes, that he had observed Mr. Lee over by this window. Well, I asked him who Mr. Lee was, he said, a 'It is a white boy.' He didn't know his full name. So I turned this Givens individual over to one of our negro detectives and told him to take him to Captain Fritz for interrogation." (5H33-47).

Detective Brian testified just after Revill. He was not asked about Givens. When Captain Fritz testified he was also not asked about Givens. Even stranger, there is no record that Givens--who Revill, in his testimony, would have us believe was an important witness--was extensively interrogated on 11-22-63, or that he said he saw Oswald by the window. Givens' signed statement from 11-22, in fact, never even mentions Oswald. We should recall as well that Revill, when interviewed by the FBI on 2-13-64, failed to say anything about Givens' seeing Oswald by the window. He had, in fact, been dismissive that Givens knew anything about the shooting. 

Ultimately, however, whether or not Givens or Sawyers or Revill lied is not as important as the fact that the Commission accepted Givens’ inconsistent and incredible testimony as evidence Oswald never came down for lunch. By doing so, the commission blatantly disregarded the consistent statements of the far more credible Shelley, Piper and Arnold. As we've seen, the commission's report asserted that Givens saw Oswald at 11:55 and “was the last known employee to see Oswald inside the building prior to the assassination.” This was a flat-out lie, no matter what Belin would come to claim later. Piper, of course, repeatedly claimed he saw Oswald at 12:00. 

While I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, I just can't believe the Warren Commission's actions on this matter were innocent. When an official report, re-written numerous times by men supposedly versed in the facts, makes an almost certainly false claim, based on the statements of someone who has repeatedly changed his story, and then supports the relevance of this claim by making a demonstrably false claim, it seems reasonable to assume that a decision has been made to deceive the public and obstruct its search for truth. 

Particularly when there's other false claims supporting this same almost certainly false claim...

In its report, the Commission supports Givens' story by claiming:

"The significance of Givens' observation that Oswald was carrying his clipboard became apparent on December 2, 1963, when an employee, Frankie Kaiser, found a clipboard hidden by book cartons in the northwest corner of the sixth floor at the west wall a few feet from where the rifle had been found. This clipboard had been made by Kaiser and had his name on it. Kaiser identified it as the clipboard which Oswald had appropriated from him when Oswald came to work at the Depository. Three invoices on this clipboard, each dated November 22, were for Scott Foresman books, located on the first and sixth floors. Oswald had not filled any of the three orders."

Let's break this down... There are three deceptions in the paragraph.

The first of these deceptions is a subtle one. The significance of Givens' story about the clipboard did not become apparent when Kaiser found the clipboard, as contended in the report. Kaiser found the clipboard on 12-2; none of the statements by Givens or memos on Givens mentioned Oswald's having a clipboard until 12-7, when Givens was reported to have said he saw Oswald with the clipboard as he (Givens) first came down for lunch. By implying Givens' story about the clipboard preceded Kaiser's finding of the clipboard, of course, the Commission gives the impression Givens had told the story he first told more than four months after the shooting--about going back up to get his cigarettes and running into Oswald on the sixth floor--from the beginning. They knew this wasn't true.

The second deception is more concrete. The clipboard was not hidden by book cartons, as contended. The discoverer of the clipboard, Frankie Kaiser, testified that the clipboard was "just laying there in the plain open...you see, we've got a pretty good space back there and I just noticed it laying over there...it was laying on the floor." When asked further if there were "any boxes between the wall and the clipboard?" he answered directly "No, not between the wall and the clipboard--there wasn't." When asked the more concrete question if there were any "boxes between the stairway and the clipboard?" he answered "No, you see, here's---let me see just a second---here's the stairs right here, and we went down this way and here's the stairs this way going up and here's the--and it was laying right in here by the cards--there are about four or five cards, I guess, running in front of it--just laying between the part you go down and the part you go up....right there in the corner." (6H341-345). Neither Kaiser nor his boss, William Shelley, nor the FBI's Nat Pinkston, who also saw the clipboard in this location, ever described it as being "hidden". The photo of the boxes by which the clipboard was found, moreover, marked by Kaiser and submitted into evidence as Kaiser exhibit A, shows that this clipboard would have been laying between two short rows of books with an open end, whereby anyone standing at the end of these rows, or even passing by, could see the clipboard laying right there on the floor. It was not hidden.

The third deception is also significant. The clipboard was found more than "a few feet" from the rifle. It was more like 12-15 feet, across an aisle and a row of boxes. By saying "a few feet" the report implies that Oswald most probably stashed the clipboard at the same time he was stashing the rifle. This is simply not  true. The clipboard location was in fact past the entrance to the down staircase from the rifle location. That Oswald would walk out of his way to hide a clipboard containing orders that gave him a legitimate excuse to be on the sixth floor, while in flight for his life, makes little sense. It's more logical to believe Oswald left these orders unfilled, and planned on returning to them after lunch. The clipboard location was, after all, close to both the elevator and the staircase.

The relative locations of the rifle and clipboard are best demonstrated in Commission Exhibit 2707 (26H78).


This brings us to a fourth deception... While the report implies that there is something suspicious about the orders on the clipboard all being unfilled, the reverse is true--it is exactly as one should expect should Oswald have been innocent. An order-puller, after all, would take his completed orders downstairs to the shipping and billing department when he came down for lunch. As all three orders found on the clipboard were for books found on the sixth floor, moreover, there is no reason to believe Oswald wasn't intending to come back and fill those orders after lunch. These books, moreover, could very well have been found within a few feet of the clipboard location; the Commission doesn't say. As no real effort was made to determine what orders Oswald HAD filled on the 22nd, furthermore, there is no reason to believe Oswald hadn't filled an order for a book stored near the clipboard location, quit for lunch, put down his clipboard, and transported the order downstairs. The Commission's implying the clipboard's being found in this location supported Givens' story, when it quite possibly had an innocent explanation, and may have actually supported Oswald's innocence, was unreasonable and unfair.

There was just no reason to trust Givens. The line in the 11-23 FBI report about Givens seeing Oswald in the break room on the morning of the shooting is quite clear, once read in the proper context. And it's not as if the FBI agent taking the notes was thinking of somebody else. At the very least, the Commission counsel tasked with this line of inquiry, David Belin and Joe Ball, should have called the FBI and Secret Service agents who’d interviewed Givens in the weeks after the shooting to see if they had notes on their meetings with Givens, and would vouch that Givens had made the statements attributed to him in their early reports. That the Commission's counsel did not, and lustily accepted Givens’ sudden recollection 4 months later that “Oh yeah, I saw Oswald on the sixth floor about 5 to 12,” is to their everlasting shame. 

But their shame was destined to be shared. On June 25, 1967, CBS News debuted part 1 of a 4 part investigation of the Warren Commission’s findings. As to whether or not Oswald was on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting CBS relied on the statements of one man: Charles Givens.  Eddie Barker of CBS introduced Givens as the “last man known to have seen Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination.”  Givens then repeated his story of seeing Oswald standing in the middle of the sixth floor with orders in his hand, and of Oswald asking him to close the door on the elevator when he got to the bottom, so that Oswald could call it when needed. When Barker asked Givens “This would be about what time?” however, Givens’ gave a new response, indicating that someone, somewhere, had alerted Givens to Piper’s testimony. Givens told Barker “Well, about one or two minutes after twelve.” Not surprisingly, CBS failed to alert their viewers that Givens had thereby changed his story, yet AGAIN, and that Bonnie Ray Williams, cited elsewhere on their program, had testified he was on the sixth floor from about noon to 12:20 and had seen neither Givens nor Oswald.

(Although Edward Shields, Givens' lunch partner on 11-22-63, was interviewed by the FBI on 3-23-64, and signed a statement saying he'd left the building where he worked "about twelve o'clock noon" in order to watch the parade with Givens, he was more specific when talking to the HSCA on 10-23-77. Instead of lending credence to Givens' story--the story that only emerged after Shields had been interviewed--Shields told his interviewer that he'd met up with Givens on the street around 10 to 12.  From the sum of the evidence, then, the HSCA refused to accept Givens' story about seeing Oswald on the sixth floor at 5 to 12, and concluded instead that Oswald's whereabouts at 12:00--a half an hour before the shots were fired--were irrelevant as to his guilt.)



The Ghost in the Elevator, and The Girls on the Stairs

As we've seen, Ball and Belin, and by extension the commission that hired them, both cherry-picked the statements of their witnesses, and avoided certain lines of questioning altogether, in order to prop up their conclusion Oswald acted alone. When less-than-friendly witnesses like Piper and Williams told them what they didn't want to hear, they rubbed their faces in their earlier statements. But when suddenly friendly witnesses like Givens, Sawyer and Revill popped up with a new story in which Givens saw Oswald near the sixth floor sniper's nest after everyone else had left for lunch, they failed to challenge this story.

That this was not a fluke, but part of a larger pattern, moreover, becomes obvious when one studies the bigger picture, and realizes that Ball and Belin had additional evidence supporting that someone or somebody--perhaps the actual assassin or assassins--had come down from the top floors on an elevator just after the shooting...but chose to hide this by pretending Jack Dougherty was on this elevator, and that Oswald himself ran down the stairs.

The Dougherty Problem (in which the Warren Commission manipulates and distorts the statements of a mentally handicapped person to hide that President Kennedy's assassin or assassins walked right out the back door of the school book depository)

The Jack Dougherty problem was first acknowledged by Warren Commission counsel Melvin Eisenberg.

March 12, 1964

MEMORANDUM
TO: J Lee Rankin
FROM: Melvin A. Eisenberg
SUBJECT: Identity of Assassin

I think a thorough investigation should he run on a TSBD employee named Jack Dougherty.

On the morning of November 22, Dougherty was part of a crew laying a new plywood floor on the sixth floor of the TSBD. This crew consisted of Danny Arce, Dougherty, Charles Givens, James ("Junior") Jarman, Billy Lovelady, and Bonnie Rae Williams, all regular employees in the TSBD shipping and. order-filling department.

They were apparently working under the direction of William Shelley the senior employee in that department.

In a written statement to the Dallas Police on November 22,

Dougherty gave the following story: On the morning of November 22, he had worked [with the floor laying crew] on the sixth floor until 12:00, when he went down to the first floor to eat his lunch. After lunch he returned to work (on the sixth floor) and then went down to the fifth floor "to get some stock," when he heard a shot, which sounded as if it had come from inside the building. He then went down to the first floor and asked Eddie Piper, the TSBD Janitor, whether Piper had heard anything. Piper said yes, he had heard 3 shots. Dougherty then returned to the sixth floor. (81B.20)[

SA Blake of the Secret Service, who interviewed Dougherty between December 2 and December 5, reported that "when Dougherty was interviewed he seemed to be very confused about time and places. Mr. Truly [Roy S. Truly, Superintendent of the TSBD] finished the information that although Dougherty is a very good employee and a hard worker, he is mentally retarded and has difficulty in remembering facts, such as dates, times, places, and. has-been especially confused since the assassination." (SS 1*91 at p. 7)

I am suspicious of Dougherty for several reasons.

(1) He has no alibi. Of the six employees on the floor laying crew, Givens claims to have been with a friend at a parking lot several blocks away when the assassination took place; Williams and Jarman were together on the fifth floor with another employee named Norman; Lovelady was standing outside the TSBD (and was photographed); and Arce claims to have been standing outside the TSBD.

Dougherty was inside the TSBD and all alone.

(2) His story is very thin.

(a) It does not make sense that Dougherty, one of a six-man floor laying crew, should begin working before the other five members returned from lunch.

(b) It is questionable that Dougherty would have had to go to the fifth floor to get "stock" in connection with the floor-laying project.

1/ Dougherty’s father told the FBI that Dougherty had received a medical discharge from the U.S. Army and had considerable difficulty coordinating his mental facilities and his speech. (5.367)

(c) Jarman, Norman, and Williams, who were at the southeast window of the fifth floor at the time of the assassination, and ran from there to the southwest window, make absolutely no mention of having seen Dougherty on the fifth floor.

(d) It does not seem credible that Dougherty would have gone down to the first floor, found out that the three shots had been fired, and then casually returned to the sixth floor.

(e) No report indicates that Dougherty or anyone else was on the sixth floor when that floor was searched

(f) Since Dougherty heard the shots on the fifth floor, and since the shots were fired at approximately 12:32, Dougherty must have returned to the sixth floor, allegedly to go back to work, before 12:30. This seems odd, since the TSBD lunch period extends until 12:45.

(3) If Dougherty is “mentally retarded,” it may explain some of the inconsistencies in his story. On the other hand, the “mental retardation” may be an emotional problem, which would itself be grounds for suspicion. In this connection, I find disturbing Truly’s comment that Dougherty “has been especially confused since the assassination.”

cc: Ball
Belin
Craig
Adams
Specter
Redlich


The importance of Jack Dougherty to the conclusion Oswald acted alone was perhaps best explained by Warren Commission counsel Norman Redlich, the main architect of the Warren Report.


March 25, 1964

MEMORANDUM

TO: Messrs. Ball, Belin, Craig

FROM: Norman Redlich

SUBJECT: The Mystery of the West Elevator

This memorandum results from a discussion between Mr. Belin and myself on March 24, following Roy Truly's testimony.

Roy Truly has testified that when he and Patrolman Baker ran to the rear of the first floor, neither elevator was there. Truly pressed the button for the west elevator and shouted up the shaft asking that the elevator be released. It was necessary to do this since the elevator would not work if the gate was open. Once the gate was closed the elevator would come if the button was pressed. Truly did not try to get the east elevator, because this operates only by hand and can be run only by a person who is in it.

Truly claims that he looked up the shaft and saw that both elevators were together on the same floor.

As part of this picture we should also remember that approximately 15 minutes before the assassination Jarman and Norman took the west elevator up to the fifth floor.

Truly and Baker started climbing the stairs no more than two or three minutes after the assassination. (Mr. Belin timed it at less than two minutes.) At each landing Truly and Baker looked to see whether an elevator was present and they did not see one. They certainly would have noticed the west elevator because this was most directly in line with their vision at each landing.

It was only when they reached the fifth floor that they saw an elevator, but, surprisingly enough, it was the east elevator which they saw. The west elevator was not present on the fifth floor where Truly thought he had seen it from below, and where it could have been expected to be found since Jarman and Norman had taken it there to have their lunch.

Truly testified further that he and Baker took the east elevator to the seventh floor. The west elevator was not on the seventh floor when they reached that floor. He cannot say that the west elevator was not on the sixth floor at this time.

Truly and Baker then looked around the roof and took the east elevator back down from the seventh floor. On the way down he noticed that the west elevator was on the fifth floor again.

There are several alternative explanations for the movements of the west elevator.

First, let us assume that Truly was correct in his first observation that the east and west elevators were both on the fifth floors of approximately two minutes after the assassination. This means that by the time Truly and Baker reached the fifth floor, it was gone. We know that someone would have had to close the gate during this period, because Truly was unable to get the elevator by pressing the button when he was on the first floor. This person then might have taken the elevator up the sixth floor while Truly and Baker were running up the stairs. At this moment, however, we have Jarman, Williams and Norman who say that they didn't hear any elevator. Moreover, they have never admitted that anyone else was on the floor.

It is also possible that someone got on the elevator on the fifth floor at this time and headed down while Truly and Baker were running up the stairs. Here again, Jarman, Norman, and Williams didn't hear anyone and it is quite unlikely that Truly and Baker would not have noticed the elevator moving as they reached each landing.

While it is possible, therefore, that a worker moved the west elevator either up or down from the fifth floor during this period, we don't know the name of such a worker and we have the problem of Jarman, Williams and Norman who have to be questioned again as to whether they heard anyone on the floor and whether they heard the elevator move.

The second possible assumption is that the elevator was not on the fifth floor at all, but was on the sixth floor with the gate open at the time that Truly rang for it on the first floor. This would mean that someone on the sixth floor would have had to close the gate and take the elevator down-- either directly to the fifth floor where Truly saw it after he was on the roof, or to some lower floor and then back up to the fifth floor. In either case, it would mean that someone got on the west elevator on the sixth floor just a very short time after Oswald left the floor via the stairway. Significantly, none of the investigations appears to have turned up anyone who admits to being on the west elevator at this time.

Truly thinks that Dougherty was working there at this time. I know that Messrs. Ball and Belin plan to question Dougherty, who would have to explain why he was up there working so soon after the shots were fired. A previous memorandum on Dougherty, written by Mr. Eisenberg, raises questions about Dougherty which should be looked into on the next trip to Dallas.

If Oswald was not acting alone, it is very likely that an employee of the TSBD building was his accomplice. It is also possible that an employee of the TSBD might have information and for some reason be afraid to come forward. Through persistent questioning on such matters as the elevator locations we might be able to locate the person or persons who may know more than they are telling.

I have discussed this matter with Mr. Belin and he shares my feeling that this matter will be the subject of questioning when Messrs. Ball and Belin travel to Dallas again.


So, let 's sum this up. Baker and Truly said the west elevator was not on the fifth floor when they got there. This meant either that someone came down as they ran up--OR that this elevator was on the sixth floor as they rode the east elevator up to the seventh floor. And was brought down later... By persons unknown...

This was upsetting to Redlich and the Commission. As a consequence, Redlich ordered Ball and Belin to get to the bottom of it, and make the pieces fit.

They would come to claim they'd done just that when on 4-8-64 they took Roy Truly's cue and got a mentally handicapped co-worker of Oswald's named Jack Dougherty to testify he'd taken the west elevator up to the sixth floor, had then taken this elevator down to the fifth floor, had heard a loud noise that sounded like a car backfiring from within the building, and had then descended to the first floor.

But get this--Dougherty said this all took place AFTER 12:30, when the shooting actually took place. And, not only that, Truly testified to seeing Dougherty (who never mentioned going back to work on the fifth floor after the shooting) at work on the fifth floor as he and Baker descended from the roof "between 5 and 10 minutes after the shooting," according to Truly, which was a bit shy of Baker's estimate of spending 5 to 10 minutes up on the roof alone, and 15 minutes or so in the building overall.

Mr. BELIN. When you got to the fifth floor, as I understand it, the west elevator was not there, but when you started up from the first floor, you thought it was on the fifth floor.
Mr. TRULY. No. When I came down from the second floor---from the seventh floor with the officer, I thought I saw Jack Dougherty on the fifth floor, which he would have had plenty of time to move the elevator down and up and get some stock and come back.
Mr. BELIN. But when you got to the fifth floor that west elevator was not there?

And then later...
Mr. BELIN. I believe you said when you first saw the elevators, you thought they were both on the same floor, the fifth floor.
Mr. TRULY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Then how do you explain that when you got to the fifth floor, one of the elevators was not there?
Mr. TRULY. I don't know, sir. I think one of my boys was getting stock off the fifth floor on the back side, and probably moved the elevator at the time somewheres between the time we were running upstairs. And I would not have remembered that. I mean I wouldn't have really heard that, with the commotion we were making running up the enclosed stairwell.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see anyone on the fifth floor?
Mr. TRULY. Yes. When coming down I am sure I saw Jack Dougherty getting some books off the fifth floor.
Now, this is so dim in my mind that I could be making a mistake.
But I believe that he was getting some stock, that he had already gone back to work, and that he was getting some stock off the fifth floor.
Mr. BELIN. You really don't know who was operating the elevator, then, is that correct?
Mr. TRULY. That is correct.
Mr. BELIN. What is your best guess?
Mr. TRULY. My best guess is that Jack Dougherty was.

Mr. BELIN. Now, after you got down from the seventh floor, you then went down to the sixth floor with Officer Baker?
Mr. TRULY. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Did he look around on the sixth floor at all or not?
Mr. TRULY. Just before we got on the elevator on the seventh floor, Officer Baker ran over and looked in a little room on the seventh floor, and glanced around on that floor, which is open, and it didn't take much of a search. And then we reached the sixth floor. I stopped. He glanced over the sixth floor quickly.
Mr. BELIN. Could you see the southeast corner of the sixth floor from there?
Mr. TRULY. I don't think so; no, sir. You could not.
Mr. BELIN. Then what?
Mr. TRULY. Then we continued on down, and we saw officers on the fourth floor.
I don't recall that we stopped any more until we reached the first floor. But I do recall there was an officer on the fourth floor, by the time we got down that far.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
And then you got down eventually to the first floor?
Mr. TRULY. That is right.

Well, think about it. The convergence of Dougherty's thinking he descended from the fifth floor 10-15 minutes after the time the shots were actually fired, and Truly's thinking he saw Dougherty at work on the fifth floor 10 minutes or so after the shooting, more than suggests that what Dougherty thought could have been a shot wasn't a shot at all and that Dougherty mistakenly believed he'd taken the west elevator down from the fifth floor just after the shooting when he'd actually returned to work and rode up to the sixth and then fifth floor roughly 10 minutes after the shooting.

Now, this is quite startling. It follows from this that the real assassin (not Oswald, as he was spotted by Baker on his way up the stairs), or assassins, descended from the sixth floor via the west elevator after the shooting as Baker and Truly were running upstairs or even after Baker and Truly reached the roof (thereby leaving this elevator on the first floor, where Dougherty discovered it a few minutes later.)


Dougherty's testimony is surprising in other ways as well.

Mr. DOUGHERTY - Well, when the FBI men---I imagine it was who it was---he showed me his credentials, but he asked me who the manager was, and I told him, "Mr. Truly." He told me to go find him. Well, I didn't know where he was so I started from the first floor and Just started looking for him, and by the time I got to the sixth floor, they had found a gun and shells.
Mr. BALL - When you went up to the sixth floor, it was after they found the shotgun and shells?
Mr. DOUGHERTY - Yes, sir; and I found out later he was on the fourth floor, which I didn't find.

(4-8-64, 10:50 AM 6H373-382)

Now, the shells weren't discovered until approximately 1:10, and the rifle wasn't discovered until after 1:20. If Dougherty went looking for Truly just after the shooting, as presumed by many, well, then, he was on a Truly hunt for 40 minutes or more. But he didn't.

Yes, according to the 11-22-63 affidavit of Dougherty's boss, William Shelley, Shelley left Dougherty "in charge of the elevator" when Shelley "left the elevator and went with the police on up to the other floors" (24H226)

So, when was this?

Mr. BALL - Now, did the police come into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes, sir; they started coming in pretty fast.
Mr. BALL - Did you go with them any place?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes; Mr. Truly left me guarding the elevator, not to let anybody up and down the elevator or stairway and some plainclothesmen came in; I don't know whether they were Secret Service or FBI or what but they wanted me to take them upstairs, so we went up and started searching the various floors.


Mr. BELIN. Now, after you got down from the seventh floor, you then went down to the sixth floor with Officer Baker?
Mr. TRULY. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Did he look around on the sixth floor at all or not?
Mr. TRULY. Just before we got on the elevator on the seventh floor, Officer Baker ran over and looked in a little room on the seventh floor, and glanced around on that floor, which is open, and it didn't take much of a search. And then we reached the sixth floor. I stopped. He glanced over the sixth floor quickly.
Mr. BELIN. Could you see the southeast corner of the sixth floor from there?
Mr. TRULY. I don't think so; no, sir. You could not.

Note: Givens claimed that from 10 feet or so to the east of where Truly was standing he could see Oswald holding a clipboard in the southeast corner, 30-40 feet north of the windows.

Mr. BELIN. Then what?
Mr. TRULY. Then we continued on down, and we saw officers on the fourth floor.
I don't recall that we stopped any more until we reached the first floor. But I do recall there was an officer on the fourth floor, by the time we got down that far.

Mr. BELIN. All right.
And then you got down eventually to the first floor?
Mr. TRULY. That is right.

Mr. BELIN - When you got back down from the roof to this top floor, did you have any occasion to notice whether or not the west elevator was on that top floor or not?
Mr. BAKER - No, sir; I still didn't look at the elevator. I was following Mr. Truly and every time I had a chance I would look around over the building.
Mr. BELIN - You would look over the floor itself rather than the other elevator?
Mr. BAKER - That is right.
Mr. BELIN - You then got on the elevator to go on back down?
Mr. BAKER - That is correct.
Mr. BELIN - And I believe you said it was the east elevator, is that correct?
Mr. BAKER - That is correct.
Mr. BELIN - How far did you take the east elevator down?
Mr. BAKER - As we descended, somewhere around--we were still talking and I was still looking over the building.
Mr. BELIN - As the elevator was moving?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir; downward.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. BAKER - The next thing that I noticed was Inspector Sawyer, he was on one of those floors there, he is a police inspector.
Mr. DULLES - City of Dallas Police?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir. And he was on, I really didn't notice which floor he was on, but that is the first thing I saw as we descended how this freight elevator, you know, it has got these picket boards in front of it and it has got it open so far, and it seemed to me like we stopped for a moment and I spoke to him and I told him that I had been to the roof, and there wasn't anything on the roof that would indicate anybody being up there, and then we started on down.
Mr. BELIN - Did you stay on the elevator while you spoke to him?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember what floor it was that you spoke to him on or how many floors down that you went from the top before you saw him?
Mr. BAKER - No, sir; not at that time. It seemed to me like it was on either the third or the fourth floor.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember about how long you stayed on the roof?
Mr. BAKER - It was a little over 5 minutes.
Mr. BELIN - When you continued moving on the elevator after you talked to Inspector Sawyer how far did you go on the elevator?
Mr. BAKER - We went to the, I believe it would be the first floor there.
Mr. BELIN - All right. You got off the elevator then?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Did you leave Mr. Truly or did you stay with him?
Mr. BAKER - I left Mr. Truly there.

Would Truly have told Shelley to guard the elevator AFTER the building was already swarming with police?

Another possibility comes from the testimony of Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels.

Mr. STERN - Then you arrived at the Book Depository Building, and did you see any police officers outside the building?
Mr. SORRELS - Yes; there were officers. I recall seeing officers. I could not say any specific one.
Now, as I came into the back of the building, there was a colored man standing on the rear platform, a loading platform. And he was just standing there looking off into the distance. I don't think he knew what happened.
And I said to him, "Did you see anyone run out the back?"
He said, "No, sir."
"Did you see anyone leave the back way?"
"No, sir."
Mr. STERN - Did you get his name?
Mr. SORRELS - No, sir; I did not. I did not stop to do that, because I figured he was an employee of the building.
I went on the inside of the building and asked someone for the manager and they pointed to Mr. Truly.
I identified myself to Mr. Truly.

So it seems possible Sorrels, after entering the building around 12:50,  asked for Truly, but didn't remember finding Truly on the fourth floor.



And another hint comes in the testimony of Billy Lovelady, Shelley's sidekick. We pick up his testimony after he has described his and Shelley's return to the building through the door by the west loading dock.

Mr. BALL - Did you see any other people on the first floor?
Mr. LOVELADY - Oh, yes; by that time there were more; a few of the guys had come in.
Mr. BALL - And you stayed on the first floor then?
Mr. LOVELADY - I would say 30 minutes. And one of the policemen asked me would I take them up on the sixth floor.
Mr. BALL - Did you take them up there?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir; I sure did.


(4-7-64, 3:50 PM 6H336-341)

Now, we can't say for sure, but it makes more sense to believe that Lovelady would either go up with Shelley, or take up the next policeman to ask for help after Shelley, than that he would wait around while Dougherty went on his Truly hunt.

In any event, it seems more likely that Dougherty embarked upon his Truly hunt after coming down from above and checking in with Shelley circa 12:45 than that he saw no one and talked to no one for 20 minutes or more after talking to Piper just after 12:30.

Now, I know what you're thinking. What did Dougherty hear if it wasn't a shot? Well, one possibility is that he heard a sound related to Baker and Truly's running around on the roof, and subsequent descent using the east elevator. Was it the slamming of the roof door"

Mr. BELIN - Officer Baker, I am going to hand you what the court reporter, what the Commission reporter, has marked as Exhibit 507 which purports to be a diagram of the seventh floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building and on that diagram you will see at the top the marks of two elevators and then, what looks to be the south, a stairway marked "Ladder to the roof."
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What is the fact as to whether or not this stairway marked "Ladder to the roof" is the stairway that you took to go to the roof?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir; it would be.
Mr. BELIN - All right.

But then there's this.

Mr. BAKER - No, sir; we came out at this northwest corner back behind this sign here.
Mr. BELIN - All right.

And this:

Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do?
Mr. BAKER - At that time I went on back. Mr. Truly was standing over here on this northwest corner and we descended on the stairs there.
Mr. BELIN - You went from the stairs to the roof to where, to the top floor of the building?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do when you got to the top floor of the building?
Mr. BAKER - We walked on down one more flight of stairs and then we caught the same elevator back down.
Mr. DULLES - The top floor was the seventh floor, is it not?

The "ladder to roof" is not the staircase in the northwest corner.

John Wiseman, Deputy Sheriff, Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

Date Nov 23, 1963

I was standing in front of the Sheriff's Office at 505 Main Street, Dallas when the President passed and the car went around the corner and a few more cars had passed when I heard a shot and I knew something had happened. I ran at once to the corner of Houston and Main Street and out into the street when the second and third shots ran out. I ran on across Houston Street, then across the park to where a policeman was having trouble with his motorcycle and I saw a man laying on the grass. This man laying on the grass said the shots came from the building and he was pointing to the old Sexton Building. I talked to Marilyn Sitzman, 202 S. Lancaster who said her boss, Abraham Zaprutes, RI 8 6071, had movies of the shooting. She said the shots came from that way and she pointed at the old Sexton Building. I ran at once to the Sexton Building and went in. I asked some woman how many doors lead out of the building and she said 4. I left the building and found some DPD patrolmen and we came back to the building. I ran up the stairs and the patrolman started trying to get more help to search the building. I went up the stairs to the 7th floor and started up into the attic and noticed that the door to the roof was locked on the inside with a gate type hook latch. I stopped and started back down the stairs taking a quick look on each floor. I met more officers on the 2nd floor and then in a few minutes the place had maybe 50 officers in it. A better search was started floor by floor. About the time we got started on the 5th floor, Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney found some spent hulls.

The sound Dougherty heard, after all, came from above him, not from the southeast windows of the fifth floor, far to his side. These were open windows but a few feet below an open window through which a high-powered rifle had supposedly fired three shots. Should these shots have been fired while he was on the fifth floor, he would have heard a shot from the sniper's nest through these windows. That only makes sense.

Yeah, I know. It's all so freaking confusing. But this scenario certainly makes more sense than what Ball, Belin, and the Warren Commission ultimately pushed upon the public--that Dougherty: 1) was wrong about returning to work at 12:30, and going up to the sixth floor around 12:40, and actually returned to work and went up to the sixth floor at 12:25 or earlier; 2) was on the one-room sixth floor at the same time as the assassin or assassins, but did not notice him or them; 3) only heard one of the three shots fired from the floor above him after going down to the fifth floor; 4) believed this "shot" came from above him, even though he would have best heard a shot fired from the sniper's nest through the open windows in the southeast corner of the building; 5) was on the one-room fifth floor the same time as Jarman, Norman, and Williams, but did not notice them or hear them, even as they excitedly exchanged comments after the shooting and raced over to the west end of the building; 6) was incredibly and inexplicably wrong when he insisted the shooting took place around 12:45, and not 12:30; 7) failed to do anything but stand by the elevator shaft for the minute plus period between the time the shots were fired and the time Baker and Truly began their ascent on the stairs; and 8) failed to hear his boss Roy Truly yell up to him to release the elevator, even though he was standing but a few yards from the elevator shaft.

When you think about it, moreover, Ball and Belin's twisting of Dougherty's 4-8-64 testimony represents the Warren Commission at its worst. Here was a mentally-handicapped man--in that he had difficulty expressing himself--whose testimony was largely ignored (e.g. the time he went back to work, the time he heard the loud sound) so they could insert him into a scenario in which the movement of the west elevator as Baker and Truly climbed the stairs had an innocent explanation. That Ball and Belin had little interest in the truth is confirmed, moreover, by the questions asked Dougherty (and about Dougherty). Unbelievably, Ball never asked Dougherty if he called the west elevator from the fifth floor (where it was left by Jarman and Norman), or whether he'd found it on the first floor. Unbelievably, they never asked Eddie Piper, who'd testified just before Dougherty, anything about the conversation he'd had with Dougherty after Dougherty descended on the elevator. I mean, did this take place a few seconds after Piper had witnessed Baker and Truly run up the stairs, as in Ball and Belin's scenario, or 5 to 10 minutes later, as in the more likely scenario described above? We'll never know because Ball failed to ask Piper anything about his conversation with Dougherty, even though Dougherty mentioned this conversation in both his 11-22-63 affidavit (24H206) and his 12-18-63 FBI interview (19H619), and Ball called Piper back for a second round of questioning on 5-14-64.

And should one think it unfair for me to second-guess Ball in this manner, well, lucky for us, Warren Commission counsel Howard Willens shared some of the Commission's internal documents on his website for a short period surrounding the 50th anniversary of the assassination, and one of these was a 5-6-64 memo from Ball to Commission counsel J. Wesley Liebeler outlining what questions Liebeler should ask when re-interviewing a number of witnesses. Apparently, Ball was hoping to shove these interviews off on Liebeler on Liebeler's upcoming trip to Dallas but then realized it was better that he do them himself.

Here is Ball's section on Piper:

"Eddie Piper. The deposition of Eddie Piper was taken in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday April 8, 1964. Piper is a janitor employed by the Texas School Book Depository. He watched the motorcade from the first floor window which opens on to Elm. After he heard the shots he walked away from the window; he saw Truly and some officer (Baker) run into the building and up the stairway. Ask Piper if he saw Jack Dougherty come to the first floor immediately afterwards. Dougherty has testified that he was on the fifth floor when he heard the shots; that he came to the first floor by way of the west elevator; that the first person whom he saw was Eddie Piper; that Piper then told him that the President had been shot. Also ask Eddie Piper if he saw Vickie Adams come to the first floor. If he did see Vickie Adams find out if he saw Vickie before or after he saw Truly and the police officer go up the stairs. If he says that he saw Dougherty and Vickie Adams come to the first floor, ask him which one he saw first. Vickie Adams has testified that she ran to the first floor immediately after the shooting. As she did not see Truly or Baker she must have come down the stairs after they went up the stairs."

Or not. Ball's desperate devotion to his theory Oswald ran down the stairs has blinded him to the possibility Adams didn't see Truly or Baker on the stairs because she raced from the fourth floor to the bottom of the stairs before they got there, and that she didn't see Oswald on the stairs because, well, gee, he didn't run down the stairs just after the shooting, as he has presumed.

In any event, Ball himself takes Piper's testimony on 5-14-64, and fails to ask him if he even talked to Dougherty on 11-22-63.


Mr. BALL. You told us that after the shooting you came out onto the floor?
Mr. PIPER. That's right.
Mr. BALL. And the first people that you saw on the floor after the shooting was who?

Mr. PIPER. Mr. Truly and some fellow---I really don't know who it was; like I say, it was some fellow that was with Mr. Truly.
Mr. BALL. Some fellow; how was he dressed?
Mr. PIPER. Oh, I don't know.
Mr. BALL. Was he an officer?
Mr. PIPER. Yes; I believe he was an officer.
Mr. BALL. A police officer?
Mr. PIPER. Yes; a police officer.
Mr. BALL. Did he have a white helmet on?
Mr. PIPER. No; I don't think so. I didn't pay any attention to it. I was already excited over the shooting or something when he came running into the building.
Mr. BALL. And what did Truly and this--some fellow do?
Mr. PIPER. Well, Mr. Truly and this fellow run up the steps. He just hollered for the elevator and I said, "I don't know where it is at," and I'm still standing over there by that table and he ran up on up the steps with this police officer--him and another fellow and I was standing there and the people began swarming out and around--different ones coming in, but it was where nobody could come out.

So, no, it's not mean or irrational or any other bullshit term for us to assume Ball's failure to ask Piper about Dougherty was deliberate. Piper might have shot down the scenario Ball and the rest of the commission staff had already decided upon--that no one besides Oswald could have fired the shots from the sixth floor and gotten out of the building before Baker and Truly arrived at the back stairs. And Ball couldn't have that. It should be noted, however, that Ball did ask Piper about Adams and that he said he never saw her.


Mr. BALL. They were the first ones to go up the steps?
Mr. PIPER. That's right.
Mr. BALL. Had anybody come down the steps before they went up the steps?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. They weren't the first ones to come down?
Mr. PIPER. Yes; and when the elevators come down---I really don't know who brought the elevators down, but I know nobody ever come down the steps.
Mr. BALL. Did you ever see Vicki Adams come down the steps?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir; I don't know about that, if she said she did, it was after I got over here and walked over to the back door.
Mr. BALL. Did Vicki Adams come down before Truly and the man went up the steps?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir, no, sir; she didn't do it.

(As Piper only began watching the back stairs after Baker and Truly ran to the back of the building, this actually supported Adams' claim she came down the back stairs before Baker and Truly reached the back of the building.). But that's not the worst of it for Ball. Sometimes the truth has a strange way of sneaking out. After asking Piper a series of questions about Adams, and getting Piper to state as a matter of fact that Adams hadn't come down the stairs before Baker and Truly ran up the stairs, Piper promptly whacked Ball in the face with "I really don't know who brought the elevators down, but I know nobody ever come down the steps." (5-14-64 7H388-390)

That Ball and Belin had it in for Piper, and had decided to undermine his credibility, is confirmed, moreover, by their subsequent discussion of the elevator problem in the Warren Report. On page 153, they wrote: "Jack Dougherty, an employee working on the fifth floor, testified that he took the west elevator to the first floor after hearing a noise which sounded like a backfire. Eddie Piper, the janitor, told Dougherty that the president had been shot, but in his testimony Piper did not mention either seeing or talking with Dougherty during these moments of excitement. Both Dougherty and Piper were confused witnesses."

Wh-what??? Ball and Belin failed to follow up with Piper to see if he would back up Dougherty's story, and they blamed it on Piper? They used THEIR FAILURE to do their job and ask the questions they'd outlined for Liebeler as a means of discrediting him?

Now, that's pretty sleazy, and indicative of just how low they were willing to go to sell that no one came down from the sixth floor using the elevator after the shooting, and that Oswald musta dunnit...alone.

But, wait, it gets worse...


The Adams Problem (in which the Warren Commission chooses to ignore a problematic witness so it can pretend Oswald ran down the stairs)

The complicity of Ball, Belin, and their bosses on the commission in a cover-up of the evidence becomes clear when one studies the commission's treatment of Victoria Adams. To be clear, a 2-25-64 Ball and Belin memo (retrieved from the Archives by researcher Barry Ernest) reveals that, from the start, before they'd even taken one day's testimony, Ball and Belin recognized that Oswald "had to descend to the second floor in a short space of time in order to meet Truly and Baker" in the second floor lunch room within 90 seconds of the shooting. And that, as a consequence, Adams' claim she and Sandra Styles ran down the stairs Oswald would have to have used, at the same time he would have had to have used them, was a problem. And that, as a result, they needed to "pin down this time sequence."

So let's see how they "pinned" it down.

But first, an acknowledgement. There are legitimate reasons to doubt Adams, and her testimony claiming she raced down the stairs but didn't see Oswald. The main cause for doubt is that she claimed she saw William Shelley and Billy Lovelady at the bottom of the stairs, and they claimed they went over to the train yards for a sec just after the shooting, and then re-entered the building via a roll-up door on the west side of the building. The thinking is that this must have taken 4 minutes or more, and that Baker and Truly would have made it to the back stairs within a minute or so, and that Adams therefore must have come down the stairs after Baker a
nd Truly went up.

But this ain't necessarily so. Consider:


Mr. BELIN - What did you see and what did you do as you ran into the building?
Mr. BAKER - As I entered this building, there was, it seems to me like there was outside doors and then there is a little lobby.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. BAKER - And then there are some inner doors and another door you have to go through, a swinging door type.
As I entered this lobby there were people going in as I entered. And I asked, I just spoke out and asked where the stairs or elevator was, and this man, Mr. Truly, spoke up and says, it seems to me like he says, "I am a building manager. Follow me, officer, and I will show you." So we immediately went out through the second set of doors, and we ran into the swinging door.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Now, during the course of running into the swinging door, did you bump into the back of Mr. Truly?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. BELIN - Then what happened?
Mr. BAKER - We finally backed up and got through that little swinging door there and we kind of all ran, not real fast but, you know, a good trot, to the back of the Building, I was following him.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Then what did you do?
Mr. BAKER - We went to the northwest corner, we was kind of on the, I would say, the southeast corner of the Building there where we entered it, and we went across it to the northwest corner which is in the rear, back there.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. BAKER - And he was trying to get that service elevator down there.
Mr. BELIN - All right. What did you see Mr. Truly do?
Mr. BAKER - He ran over there and pushed the button to get it down.
Mr. BELIN - Did the elevator come down after he pushed the button?
Mr. BAKER - No, sir; it didn't.
Mr. BELIN - Then what did he do?
Mr. BAKER - He hollered for it, said, "Bring that elevator down here."
Mr. BELIN - How many times did he holler, to the best of your recollection?
Mr. BAKER - It seemed like he did it twice.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Then what did he do?
Mr. BAKER - I said let's take the stairs.
Mr. BELIN - All right. Then what did you do?
Mr. BAKER - He said, "Okay" and so he immediately turned around, which the stairs is just to the, would be to the, well, the west of this elevator.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. BAKER - And we went up them.

(3-25-64 9:50 AM, 3H242-270)


Now, this testimony--of racing to the back of the building--yelling up the elevator shaft, and racing up the stairs--was pretty much a repeat of what Truly had testified to the day before.

Well, what about Shelley and Lovelady? Did they race?

Perhaps not. There's this... "Immediately following the shooting, Billy N. Lovelady and I accompanied some uniformed police officers to the railroad yards just west of the building and returned through the west side door of the building about ten minutes later." (The 3-18-64 statement of William Shelley to the FBI, 22H673)

And then there's this...

Mr. BALL - How did you happen to see Truly?
Mr. SHELLEY - We ran out on the island while some of the people that were out watching it from our building were walking back and we turned around and we saw an officer and Truly.
Mr. BALL - And Truly?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Did you see them go into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - No; we didn't watch that long but they were at the first step like they were fixin' to go in.
Mr. BALL - Were they moving at the time, walking or running?
Mr. SHELLEY - Well, they were moving, yes.
Mr. BALL - Were they running?
Mr. SHELLEY - That, I couldn't swear to; there were so many people around.
Mr. BALL - What did you and Billy Lovelady do?
Mr. SHELLEY - We walked on down to the first railroad track there on the dead-end street and stood there and watched them searching cars down there in the parking lots for a little while and then we came in through our parking lot at the west end.
Mr. BALL - At the west end?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes; and then in the side door into the shipping room.
Mr. BALL - When you came into the shipping room did you see anybody?
Mr. SHELLEY - I saw Eddie Piper.
Mr. BALL - What was he doing?
Mr. SHELLEY - He was coming back from where he was watching the motorcade in the southwest corner of the shipping room.
Mr. BALL - Of the first floor of the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Who else did you see?
Mr. SHELLEY - That's all we saw immediately.

Wait. Ball doesn't ask the question... DID SHELLEY AT ANY TIME SEE HIS BOSS ROY TRULY IN THE COMPANY OF OFFICER MARRION BAKER? Ball's failure to ask this question is inexcusable.

Mr. BALL - Did you ever see Vickie Adams?
Mr. SHELLEY - I saw her that day but I don't remember where I saw her.
Mr. BALL - You don't remember whether you saw her when you came back?
Mr. SHELLEY - It was after we entered the building.

Mr. BALL - You think you did see her after you entered the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes, sir; I thought it was on the fourth floor awhile after that.                                  Mr. BALL - Now, did the police come into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes, sir; they started coming in pretty fast.
Mr. BALL - Did you go with them any place?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes; Mr. Truly left me guarding the elevator, not to let anybody up and down the elevator or stairway and some plainclothesmen came in; I don't know whether they were Secret Service or FBI or what but they wanted me to take them upstairs, so we went up and started searching the various floors.

(4-7-64, 4:10 PM 6H327-334)

Oh wait. Let's think about this. Shelley says they came in "fast". And that Truly left him guarding the elevator. Well, the official story has it that Shelley didn't see Truly for 10-15 minutes after the shooting. It seems probable, then, that Shelley was indeed the man by the elevator noted by Baker, and that Truly told Shelley to guard the elevator when he and Baker ascended the stairs.

Well, that reminds me. According to the 11-22-63 affidavit of Dougherty's boss, William Shelley, Shelley left Dougherty "in charge of the elevator" when Shelley "left the elevator and went with the police on up to the other floors" (24H226)

Might this not suggest that Dougherty came down in the elevator?

Okay, let's go back to Piper. When did Piper leave his spot by the window?

Mr. PIPER. I heard one shot, and then the next shot went off---the one that shot him and I got on up and went on back, back where they make coffee at the end of the counter where I could see what happened and before I could get there, the third shot went off, and I seen the people all running and in a few minutes someone came in the building, and I looked up and it was the boss-man and a policeman or someone.
    Mr. BALL. You say you heard one shot---you heard two shots and you got up and then what happened, where did you go?
    Mr. PIPER. I came out to the end of the counter where they make coffee there by the stand.
    Mr. BALL. You said you did it so you could see out better?
    Mr. PIPER. No, sir; I did it to see what time it was---when all this happened---to see what time it was.
    Mr. BALL. What time was it?
    Mr. PIPER. It was about between 12:30---between 12:27 and 12:30--something like that, as near as I can remember.
    Mr. BALL. Could you tell where the shots were coming from?
    Mr. PIPER. No, sir---I couldn't, not for sure.
    Mr. BALL. The direction?
    Mr. PIPER. No, sir; I couldn't.
    Mr. BALL. Did you look out the window later?
    Mr. PIPER. No more no, sir; I didn't go back to any window.
    Mr. BALL. You mentioned you saw Truly?
    Mr. PIPER. I don't know whether it was a policeman or FBI or who it was, but another fellow was with him.
    Mr. BALL And where were you?
    Mr. PIPER. Standing right there where they make coffee.
    Mr. BALL. What did they do?
    Mr. PIPER. He ran in and yelled, "Where is the elevator?" And I said, "I don't know, sir, Mr. Truly."
    They taken off and went on up the stairway and that's all I know about that.

(4-8-64 10:20 AM, 6H382-386)

So Piper left his window before talking to Truly. Note also that Neither Baker nor Truly mentioned this discussion with Piper. Well, this suggests that, after running to the elevator, Baker and Truly back-tracked a bit to ask Piper if he knew what had happened to the elevators. And that this delayed their ascent of the stairs.

So what about Lovelady?

Mr. BALL - When Gloria came up and said the President had been shot, Gloria Calvary, what did you do?
Mr. LOVELADY - Well, I asked who told her. She said he had been shot so we asked her was she for certain or just had she seen the shot hit him or--she said yes, she had been right close to it to see and she had saw the blood and knew he had been hit but didn't know how serious it was and so the crowd had started towards the railroad tracks back, you know, behind our building there and we run towards that little, old island and kind of down there in that little street. We went as far as the first tracks and everybody was hollering and crying and policemen started running out that way and we said we better get back into the building, so we went back into the west entrance on the back dock had that low ramp and went into the back dock back inside the building.
Mr. BALL - First of all, let's get you to tell us whom you left the steps with.
Mr. LOVELADY - Mr. Shelley.
Mr. BALL - Shelley and you went down how far?
Mr. LOVELADY - Well, I would say a good 75, between 75 to 100 yards to the first tracks. See how those tracks goes---
Mr. BALL - You went down the dead end on Elm?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - And down to the first tracks?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Did you see anything there?
Mr. LOVELADY - No, sir; well, just people running.
Mr. BALL - That's all?
Mr. LOVELADY - And hollerin.
Mr. BALL - How did you happen to go down there?
Mr. LOVELADY - I don't know, because everybody was running from that way and naturally, I guess---
Mr. BALL - They were running from that way or toward that way?
Mr. LOVELADY - Toward that way; everybody thought it was coming from that direction.
Mr. BALL - By the time you left the steps had Mr. Truly entered the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - As we left the steps I would say we were at least 15. maybe 25. steps away from the building. I looked back and I saw him and the policeman running into the building.
Mr. BALL - How many steps?
Mr. LOVELADY - Twenty, 25.
Mr. BALL - Steps away and you looked back and saw him enter the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Then you came back. How long did you stay around the railroad tracks?
Mr. LOVELADY - Oh, just a minute, maybe minute and a half.
Mr. BALL - Then what did you do?
Mr. LOVELADY - Came back right through that part where Mr. Campbell, Mr. Truly, and Mr. Shelley park their cars and I came back inside the building.
Mr. BALL - And enter from the rear?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir; sure did.

Mr. BALL - You heard the shots. And how long after that was it before Gloria Calvary came up?
Mr. LOVELADY - Oh, approximately 3 minutes, I would say.
Mr. BALL - Three minutes is a long time.
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, it's---I say approximately; I can't say because I don't have a watch; it could.
Mr. BALL - Had people started to run?
Mr. LOVELADY - Well, I couldn't say because she came up to us and we was talking to her, wasn't looking that direction at that time, but when we came off the steps--see, that entrance, you have a blind side when you go down the steps.
Mr. BALL - Right after you talked to Gloria, did you leave the steps and go toward the tracks?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Did you run or walk?
Mr. LOVELADY - Medium trotting or fast walk.
Mr. BALL - A fast walk?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - How did you happen to turn around and see Truly and the policeman go into the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - Somebody hollered and I looked.
Mr. BALL - You turned around and looked?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - After you ran to the railroad tracks you came back and went in the back door of the building?


Mr. LOVELADY - Right.
Mr. BALL - Did you go in through the docks, the wide open door or did you go in the ordinary Small door?
Mr. LOVELADY - You know where we park our trucks--that door; we have a little door.
Mr. BALL - That is where you went in, that little door?
Mr. LOVELADY - That's right.
Mr. BALL - That would be the north end of the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - That would be the west end, wouldn't it?
Mr. BALL - Is it the one right off Houston Street?
Mr. LOVELADY - No; you are thinking about another dock.
Mr. BALL - I am?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes; we have two.


Mr. BALL - Do you have a dock on the west side and one on the north side of the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - East, and well, it would be east and west but you enter it from the south side.
Mr. BALL - Now, the south side---
Mr. LOVELADY - Elm Street is that little dead-end street.
Mr. BALL - That's south.
Mr. LOVELADY - I drive my truck here (indicating) but we came in from this direction; that would have to be west.
Mr. BALL - You came into the building from the west side?
Mr. LOVELADY - Right.
Mr. BALL - Where did you go into the building?
Mr. LOVELADY - Through that, those raised-up doors.
Mr. BALL - Through the raised-up doors?
Mr. LOVELADY - Through that double door that we in the morning when we get there we raised. There's a fire door and they have two wooden doors between it.


Illustration by R.B. Cutler.

Mr. BALL - You came in through the first floor?
Mr. LOVELADY - Right.
Mr. BALL - Who did you see in the first floor?
Mr. LOVELADY - I saw a girl but I wouldn't swear to it it's Vickie.
Mr. BALL - Who is Vickie?
Mr. LOVELADY - The girl that works for Scott, Foresman.
Mr. BALL - What is her full name?
Mr. LOVELADY - I wouldn't know.
Mr. BALL - Vickie Adams?
Mr. LOVELADY - I believe so.
Mr. BALL - Would you say it was Vickie you saw?
Mr. LOVELADY - I couldn't swear.
Mr. BALL - Where was the girl?
Mr. LOVELADY - I don't remember what place she was but I remember seeing a girl as she was talking to Bill or saw Bill or something, then I went over and asked one of the guys what time it was and to see if we should continue working or what.
Mr. BALL - Did you see any other people on the first floor?
Mr. LOVELADY - Oh, yes; by that time there were more; a few of the guys had come in.
Mr. BALL - And you stayed on the first floor then?
Mr. LOVELADY - I would say 30 minutes. And one of the policemen asked me would I take them up on the sixth floor.
Mr. BALL - Did you take them up there?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir; I sure did.
Mr. BALL - Mr. Lovelady, your testimony will be written up and it can be submitted to you for your signature if you wish and you can make any changes, or you can waive signature and we will make this your final---
Mr. LOVELADY - I want this to be the final one.
Mr. BALL - All right; you waive signature?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Thanks very much.

(4-7-64, 3:50 PM 6H336-341)

And that's it. BALL NEVER ASKS LOVELADY IF HE SAW TRULY AND BAKER IN THE BUILDING EITHER BEFORE THEY WENT UPSTAIRS OR AFTER THEY CAME DOWN. And he never asks about Dougherty. There's just no excuse for this.

Still, it's quite interesting. A 3-18-64 statement to the FBI prepared for Shelley's signature says he and Lovelady "accompanied" some police officers over to the railroad yards and returned to the building "about ten minutes later" (22H673), and a similar statement prepared for Lovelady's signature said they stayed in the railroad yards "for about five minutes" before returning to the building (22H662). And yet here Lovelady turns around and testifies that he and Shelley were over by the railroad tracks for but "a minute, maybe minute and a half" and that Gloria Calvery ran up to the steps--an event that must have happened within seconds of the shooting for Lovelady to race across the street with Shelley in time to look back and see Officer Baker run into the building--could have happened as much as three minutes after the shooting. Well, yikes, this suggests Lovelady felt he'd spent but half as much time in the railroad yards as he'd spent standing in front of the building prior to Calvery's arrival. In other words...mere seconds...

Of course, there''s another angle on this. While subsequent study of news footage shows Baker running into the building within seconds of the shooting, Ball and Belin didn't know this. So why, oh why did they fail to interview Gloria Calvery...? Here's Shelley on this issue.

Mr. BALL - Did you see Truly, Mr. Truly and an officer go into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yeah, we saw them right at the front of the building while we were on the island.
Mr. BALL - While you were out there before you walked to the railroad yards?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Do you have any idea how long it was from the time you heard those three sounds or three noises until you saw Truly and Baker going into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - It would have to be 3 or 4 minutes I would say because this girl that ran back up there was down near where the car was when the President was hit.
Mr. BALL - She ran back up to the door and you had still remained standing there?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes.

Three minutes? The same as Lovelady? Well, this suggests either that Baker took a lot longer to reach the building than he claimed (which means the assassin or assassins had plenty of time to exit the building) or that Lovelady and Shelley were terrible judges of time which means they could have returned to the first floor before Baker and Truly reached the elevators.

So, hmmm... Baker and Truly raced into the front of the building...while Shelley and Lovelady circled around to re-enter the west side of the building. The distance to the stairs was shorter for Baker and Truly. But they spent some time waiting for the elevator.

So, let's call it a tie. If it was a tie, or anywhere near a tie, they would have noticed each other, right?

They probably did. Consider:

SENATOR COOPER - Did you see anyone else while you were in the building, other than this man you have identified later as Oswald, and Mr. Truly?

Mr. BAKER - On the first floor there were two men. As we came through the main doorway to the elevators, I remember as we tried to get on the elevators I remember two men, one was sitting on this side and another one between 20 or 30 feet away from us looking at us.
Mr. DULLES - Were they white men?
Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.

And consider:

Mr. BALL - Now, did the police come into the building?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes, sir; they started coming in pretty fast.
Mr. BALL - Did you go with them any place?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes; Mr. Truly left me guarding the elevator, not to let anybody up and down the elevator or stairway and some plainclothesmen came in; I don't know whether they were Secret Service or FBI or what but they wanted me to take them upstairs, so we went up and started searching the various floors.

Okay, then, so the question becomes whether or not Adams came down before Baker and Truly went up... This answer seems elusive...

Mr. BELIN - When you got to the bottom of the first floor, did you see anyone there as you entered the first floor from the stairway?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Who did you see?
Miss ADAMS - Mr. Bill Shelley and Billy Lovelady.
Mr. BELIN - Where did you see them on the first floor?
Miss ADAMS - Well, this is the stairs, and this is the Houston Street dock that I went out. They were approximately in this position here, so I don't know how you would describe that.
Mr. BELIN - You are looking now at a first floor plan or diagram of the Texas School Book Depository, and you have pointed to a position where you encountered Bill Lovelady and Mr. Bill Shelley?
Miss ADAMS - That's correct.
Mr. BELIN - It would be slightly east of the front of the east elevator, and probably as far south as the length of the elevator, is that correct?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - I have a document here called Commission's Exhibit No. 496, which includes a diagram of the first floor, and there is a No. 7 and a circle on it, and I have pointed to a place marked No. 7 on the diagram. Is that correct?
Miss ADAMS - That is approximate.
Mr. BELIN - Between the time you got off the stairs and the time you got to this point when you say you encountered them, which was somewhat to the south and a little bit east of the front of the east elevator, did you see any other employees there?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Any other people prior to the time you saw them?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Now when you were running down the stairs on your trip down the stairs, did you hear anyone using the Stairs?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Did you hear anyone calling for an elevator?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see the foreman, Roy Truly? Did you see the superintendent of the warehouse, Roy S. Truly?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir; I did not.
Mr. BELIN - What about any motorcycle police officers?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.

Mr. BELIN - Now what did you do after you encountered Mr. Shelley and Mr. Lovelady?
Miss ADAMS - I said I believed the President was shot.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember what they said?
Miss ADAMS - Nothing.
Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do?
Miss ADAMS - I proceeded out to the Houston Street dock.
Mr. BELIN - That would be on this same diagram? It is marked Houston Street dock, and you went through what would be the north door, which is towards the rear of the first floor, is that correct?
And down some stairs towards the rear of the dock?
Miss ADAMS - That's correct.
Mr. BELIN - Where did yougo from there?

Miss ADAMS - I proceeded--which way is east and west?
Mr. BELIN - East is here. East is towards Houston, and west is towards the railroad tracks. You went east or west? Towards the railroad tracks or towards Houston Street?
Miss ADAMS - I went west towards the tracks.
Mr. BELIN - How far west did you go?
Miss ADAMS - I went approximately 2 yards within the tracks and there was an officer standing there, and he said, "Get back to the building." And I said, "But I work here."
And he said, "That is tough, get back." I said, "Well, was the President shot?" And he said, "I don't know. Go back." And I said, "All right."


Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do?
Miss ADAMS - I went back, only I went southwest.
Mr. BELIN - Well, did you come back by way of the street, or did you come back the same entrance you went out?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - You went back in through the front entrance, through the front of the building?
Miss ADAMS - Well, I didn't go back in right away.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do then? There is a street that would be a continuation of Elm Street that goes in front of the building, and Elm Street itself angles into the freeway. Did you go back either of those streets?

Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir. I went by the one directly in front of the building.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do when you got there?
Miss ADAMS - When I got there, I happened to look around and noticed several of the employees, and I noticed Joe Molina, for one, was standing in front of the building, and also Avery Davis, who works with me, and I said, "What do you think has happened?"
And she said, "I don't know."
And I said, "I want to find out." I think the President is shot.
There was a motorcycle that was parked on the corner of Houston and Elm directly in front of the east end of the building, and I paused-there to listen to the report on the police radio, and they said that shots had been fired which apparently came either from the second floor or the fourth floor window, and so I panicked, as I was at the only open window on the fourth floor.
Mr. BELIN - Did they say second floor or second floor from the top?
Miss ADAMS - It said second floor.
So then I decided maybe I had better go back into the building, and going up the stairs---

Now, hold it right there. Adams' recollection of this broadcast has created a time-stamp by which we can approximate the time she returned to the building.

Mr. BELIN. Handing you what has been marked Sawyer Deposition Exhibit A, which appears to be a transcript of a police log of the Dallas Police Department, you see this exhibit here?
Mr. BREWER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Your call number that day was?
Mr. BREWER. 137.
Mr. BELIN. I notice here that the first time there appears Call No. 137, after 12:30 is at 12:38 p.m.
There is a call from 137 to 531. You want to read what it says there?
Mr. BREWER. "A witness says he saw 'em pull the weapon from the window of the second floor on the southeast comer of the Depository Building."
Mr. BELIN. Would that have been the second floor or the second floor from the top?
Mr. BREWER. I don't know.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember any witness talking to you at all?
Mr. BREWER. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember what he said?
Mr. BREWER. He said that he had saw him pull a weapon from the window from that building.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember what window he said?
Mr. BREWER. I don't remember specifically which window he indicated, but I immediately told that to the dispatcher and proceeded on up to the building.

(4-9-64 testimony of E.D. Brewer 10:00 A.M., 6H302-308)


Mr. BELIN - Now at this time when you went back into the building, were there any policemen standing in front of the building keeping people out?
Miss ADAMS - There was an officer on the stairs itself, and he was prohibiting people from entering the building, that is correct. But I told him I worked there.
Mr. BELIN - Did he let you come back in?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do ?
Miss ADAMS - Following that, I pushed the button for the passenger elevator, but the power had been cut off on the elevator, so I took the stairs to the second floor.
Mr. BELIN - You then went all the way back to the northwest corner of the building and took the same set of stairs you had previously taken to come down, or did you take the stairs by the passenger elevator?
Miss ADAMS - By the passenger elevator.
Mr. BELIN - Do those stairs go above floor 2?
Miss ADAMS - No, sir; they didn't.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do when you got to the second floor?
Miss ADAMS - I went into the Texas School Book Depository office and just listened for a few minutes to the people that were congregating there, and decided there wasn't anything interesting going on, and went out and walked around the hall to the freight elevator meaning the one on the northwest corner.
Mr. BELIN - Would it have been the west or the east? The one nearest the stairs or the other one?
Miss ADAMS - Yes; the one nearest the stairs.

(Note: It seems apparent that Adams and her companion for most of this trip, Sandra Styles, have separated by this point, as a 3-19-64 statement by Styles relates that upon heading round the front of the building, "I then re-entered the building through the front door, took the elevator to the fourth floor, and returned to my office." (22H676) One would have to presume, moreover, that this was the elevator by the front stairs--the one Adams would later testify was without power on the first floor.)

Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do?
Miss ADAMS - I went into the elevator which was stopped on the second floor, with two men who were dressed in suit and hats, and I assumed they were plainclothesmen.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do then?
Miss ADAMS - I tried to get the elevator to go to the fourth floor, but it wasn't operating, so the gentlemen lifted the elevator gate and we went out and ran up the stairs to the fourth floor.
Mr. BELIN - Then you went back to the Scott Foresman Company offices?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN - Now trying to reconstruct your actions insofar as the time sequence, which we haven't done, what is your best estimate of the time between the time the shots were fired and the time you got back to the building? How much time elapsed? If you have any estimate. Maybe you don't have one.
Miss ADAMS - I would estimate not more than 5 minutes elapsed.

(Note: this was in keeping with the estimate she offered the FBI on 11-24-63, where she is purported to have said "that the time between her departure from the building and her return to the building was about four or five minutes." CD5, p40)

Well, this places her exit from the building around 12:33. Or 12:34. And for this to have been accurate she'd have to have started down the stairs around 12:32 or 12:33, at a time when Baker and Truly were purported to be either just below or just above her location. So why didn't she hear them?

Mr. BELIN - Is there any particular reason why you make this estimation?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, sir; going down the stairs toward the back, I was running. I ran to the railroad tracks. I moved quickly to the front of the building, paused briefly to talk to someone, listened only to the report of the windows from which the shot supposedly was fired, and returned to the building.
Mr. BELIN - How long do you think it was between the time the shots were fired and the time you left the window to start toward the stairway?
Miss ADAMS - Between 15 and 30 seconds, estimated, approximately.
Mr. BELIN - How long do you think it was, or do you think it took you to get from the window to the top of the fourth floor stairs?
Miss ADAMS - I don't think I can answer that question accurately, because the time approximation, without a stopwatch, would be difficult.
Mr. BELIN - How long do you think it took you. to get from the window to the bottom of the stairs on the first floor?
Miss ADAMS - I would say no longer than a minute at the most.
Mr. BELIN - So you think that from the time you left the window on the fourth floor until the time you got to the stairs at the bottom of the first floor, was approximately 1 minute?
Miss ADAMS - Yes, approximately.
Mr. BELIN - As I understand your testimony previously, you saw neither Roy Truly nor any motorcycle police officer at any time?
Miss ADAMS - That's correct.
Mr. BELIN - You heard no one else running down the stairs?
Miss ADAMS - Correct.
Mr. BELIN - When you got to the first floor did you immediately proceed to this point where you say you encountered Mr. Shelley and Mr. Lovelady?
Well, you showed me on a diagram of the first floor that there was a place which was south and somewhat east of the front part of the east elevator that you encountered Truly and Lovelady?
Miss ADAMS - I saw them there.
Mr. BELIN - I mean; you saw them?
Miss ADAMS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Would that have been a matter of seconds after you got to the bottom of the first floor?
Miss ADAMS - Definitely.
Mr. BELIN - Less than 30 seconds?
Miss ADAMS - Yes.

And then later

Mr. BELIN - Is there any other information that you can think of that might be relevant to anything, connected with the assassination?
Miss ADAMS - At the time I left the building on the Houston Street dock, there was an officer standing about 2 yards from the curb, and about from the curb across the street from the Texas School Depository, and about 4 yards from the corner of Houston and Elm, and when we were running out the dock, going around the building, the officer was standing there, and he didn't encounter us or ask us what we were doing or where we were going, and I don't know if that is pertinent.

(Note: this would be Welcome Barnett--see below.)

Mr. BELIN - No one stopped you from getting out of the building when you left?
Miss ADAMS - That's correct.
Mr. BELIN - That is helpful information. Is there any other information you have that could be relevant?
Miss ADAMS - There was a man that was standing on the corner of Houston and Elm asking questions there. He was dressed in a suit and a hat, and when I encountered Avery Davis going down, we asked who he was, because he was questioning people as if he were a police officer, and we noticed him take a colored boy away on a motorcycle, and this man was asking questions very efficaciously, and we said, "I guess he is maybe a reporter," and later on on television, there was a man that looked very similar to him, and he was identified as Ruby.

(4-7-64 2:15 P.M., 6H386-393)

Note: she's mixed up. The colored boy was brought over to the TSBD on a motorcycle.


So who was this officer?

Mr. HARKNESS - I had started west on Main Street to the, I don't know what they call this area here.
Mr. BELIN - Plaza.
Mr. HARKNESS - On the plaza area with the crowd to observe the President as he went west on Elm Street.
Mr. BELIN - How many shots did you hear?
Mr. HARKNESS - Three.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do after you heard those noises? Did you know they were shots, by the way?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What did you do?
Mr. HARKNESS - When I saw the first shot and the President's car slow down to almost a stop----
Mr. BELIN - When you saw the first shot, what do you mean by that?
Mr. HARKNESS - When I heard the first shot and saw the President's car almost come to a stop and some of the agents piling off the car, I went back to the intersection to get my motorcycle.
Mr. BELIN - You were in the process of doing that when you heard the second and third shots?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Where did the shots sound like they came from?
Mr. HARKNESS - I couldn't tell. They were bouncing off the buildings down there. I couldn't tell.
Mr. BELIN - You mean the reverberations?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do
Mr. HARKNESS - I went west on Main to observe the area between the railroad tracks and Industrial.
Mr. BELIN - Why did you go down there?
Mr. HARKNESS - By the way the people, when I went into this area, everybody was hitting the ground, and someone led us to indicate that the shots were coming into the cars.
Mr. BELIN - You mean from some point in front of the cars?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Do you know who that someone was?
Mr. HARKNESS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What did that person do that indicated that?
Mr. HARKNESS - I don't remember.
Mr. BELIN - Then what did you
Mr. HARKNESS - I went down to Industrial to see if I could see anyone fleeing that area.
Mr. BELIN - What did you see?
Mr. HARKNESS - I didn't see anyone, so I come back to the front of the Book Depository and went around to this fence that was across the street from Elm Street.
Mr. BELIN - What do you mean across the street from Elm Street?
Mr. HARKNESS - Again, I will have to--near the railroad track.
Mr. BELIN - Behind the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - No, sir; this area right here. See, Elm Street goes down.
Mr. BELIN - What you are really saying---
Mr. HARKNESS - This area.
Mr. BELIN - You are pointing to a place between what would be the extension of Elm that doesn't go down into the parkway but the actual extension of Elm?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes; to the plaza area.
Mr. BELIN - The plaza area?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What did you find there?
Mr. HARKNESS - I found a little colored boy, Amos Euins, who told me he saw the shots come from that building.
Mr. BELIN - Now you just picked out a little small book, one of those little pocket notebooks?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Or a notepad from your pocket here. Is that the original notation that you made?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - When did you make that notation?
Mr. HARKNESS - Immediately after the shooting.
Mr. BELIN - Is that your own record that you have kept in your possession since then?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir. I turned.
Mr. BELIN - You turned what?
Mr. HARKNESS - After I took his name and address and put this information on the radio, I then took him on the back of my three-wheel motorcycle and put him in Inspector Sawyer's car.
Mr. BELIN - Now you mentioned that you put something on the radio here, and I hand you here what has been marked as Sawyer Deposition Exhibit A. Before doing that, do you remember what call number you used, you were using on that day?
Mr. HARKNESS - I believe 260.
Mr. BELIN - Well, I notice here that there is a call with a notation at 12:36 p.m., 260 to 531. 531 is your office in the main station?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What does it say there on that transcript?
Mr. HARKNESS - "Witness says shots came from fifth floor, Texas Book Depository store at Houston and Elm. I have him with me now and we are sealing off the building."
Mr. BELIN - All right, that was at 12:36 p.m.?

Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Had the building been sealed off at that time?
Mr. HARKNESS - Not to my knowledge. There were several officers around it, but I don't know whether it had been sealed off or not.
Mr. BELIN - In the process of sealing off the building, what did you do?
Mr. HARKNESS - Asked for a squad.
Mr. BELIN - How long did it take you after that to have the back part sealed off?
Mr. HARKNESS - The guard was arriving by the time I got off my motorcycle. There was already additional squads en route.
Mr. BELIN - How soon after 12:36 p.m., would you say the building was sealed off?
Mr. HARKNESS - It was sealed off then because I was back there and two other men.
Mr. BELIN - You are talking about the back part of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - What about the front part of the building? When was that sealed off?
Mr. HARKNESS - Inspector Sawyer and two officers were there.
Mr. BELIN - By the time you got around to the front part of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir; by the time I put the witness in his car, I went immediately to the back.
Mr. BELIN - In other words, as I understand the sequence, you first went to the back of the building and had that sealed off first, or not?
Mr. HARKNESS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - You tell me what happened then.
Mr. HARKNESS - I had this witness with me. I didn't want to lose this witness.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. HARKNESS - So I took him to the car.
Mr. BELIN - To Inspector Sawyer's car?
Mr. HARKNESS - To Inspector Sawyer's car, which was right in front.
Mr. BELIN - Which was parked in front of the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. HARKNESS - And left the witness there and went around to the back.
Mr. BELIN - On whose radio did you call? Did you call in before or after you left the witness in the car?
Mr. HARKNESS - I don't remember in exact sequence there, but it was in the process of going to the car there.

(4-9-64 Testimony of D.V. Harkness, 11:30 A.M. 6H308-315)

So...hmmm... Adams, in the company of Davis--who she and Styles encountered out in front of the building, (after Adams and Styles had already been to the railroad yards) saw Harkness questioning Euins, before putting him on his motorcycle and wheeling him over to Sawyer's car, and talking on the radio at 12:36. This puts Adams and Styles outside at 12:33 or so, and strongly supports her belief she came directly down the stairs before Truly and Baker came up the stairs.

Or not. Was she talking about Sorrels? No, he wasn't there till 20 after the shooting.

Mr. SORRELS - I asked--I don't know who, someone there "Is there anyone here that saw anything?" And someone said, "That man over there."
He was out in front of the building and I went right to him.
Mr. STERN - Did Mr. Brennan tell you anything else?
Mr. SORRELS - I asked him whether or not he thought he could identify the person that he saw, and he, of course, gave me a description of him, said that he appeared to be a slender man, he had on what appeared to be a light jacket or shirt or something to that effect, and that he thought he could identify him--said he was slender build. Because I was definitely interested in someone that had seen something that could give us some definite information.
And I also asked if he had seen anybody else, and he pointed to a young colored boy there, by the name of Euins. And I got him and Mr. Brennan, and I took them over to the sheriff's office where we could get statements from them.
Mr. STERN - What was the name of that young man?
Mr. SORRELS - Euins, I believe it is, or pretty close to that.
Mr. STERN - Did you interview Mr. Euins?
Mr. SORRELS - Yes, sir; I did. And he also said that he had heard the noise there, and that he had looked up and saw the man at the window with the rifle, and I asked him if he could identify the person, and he said, no, he couldn't, he said he couldn't tell whether he was colored or white.

And that's not all Harkness told us.

Mr. BELIN - Then what did you do?
Mr. HARKNESS - See, here is the thing. The radio traffic was heavy at the time, and it depended on how long you had to wait to get in.
Mr. BELIN - All right, in any event, after you made the call, what did you do on the radio? And after you got the man in the car?
Mr. HARKNESS - Well---
Mr. BELIN - The witness in the car, what did you do?
Mr. HARKNESS - Stayed at the back of the building until I was relieved by a squad.
Mr. BELIN - So you then went to the back of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - When you were at Inspector Sawyer's car, did you see him there?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Was he at his car?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir; he was by his car, near his car.
Mr. BELIN - Do you know whether or not he had gone inside the building.
Mr. HARKNESS - No, sir.
Mr. BELIN - You mean you don't know?
Mr. HARKNESS - Don't know whether he had gone in or not. Actually, he was standing there in front taking information. All the information was being funneled to Inspector Sawyer.
Mr. BELIN - Did you tell him you had a witness?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - In his car?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - At that time, had the building been sealed off yet when you told him that?
Mr. HARKNESS - At that time?
Mr. BELIN - When you told Inspector Sawyer that you had a witness that said the shot came from the building, up to that particular moment, had the front part of the building been sealed off yet?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - It had already been sealed off?
Mr. HARKNESS - There was two officers with Inspector Sawyer at the front.
Mr. BELIN - Were they stopping people from going in and out?
Mr. HARKNESS - I don't know.

Mr. BELIN - You don't know?
Mr. HARKNESS - No, sir; I don't know that, because I didn't go up and talk to them.
Mr. BELIN - Did you notice whether or not people were coming in and out of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - No. I was interested in getting around to the back of the building to make sure it was.
Mr. BELIN - Then am I correct that your testimony is that you didn't notice whether people were coming in and out? Did you notice, or did you not notice whether people were coming out of the building at that time?
Mr. HARKNESS - Several officers at the area, and it was a lot of people around. I don't know whether they were going in or out or not. I couldn't say that.
Mr. BELIN - Then you went around to the back of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Was anyone around in the back when you got there?
Mr. HARKNESS - There were some Secret Service agents there. I didn't get them identified. They told me they were Secret Service.
Mr. BELIN - Then did you say around the back of the building?
Mr. HARKNESS - Yes; I stayed at the back until the squad got there.

(4-9-64 Testimony of D.V. Harkness, 11:30 A.M. 6H308-315)

Mr. BELIN. Well, you heard the shots, and then what did you do?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, I knew something was wrong. I mean, I could sense that with in my own self.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. ROMACK. And I looked up and I felt kind of chilly looking down towards the which I am facing the Houston entrance, and I looked down toward where all the people were standing along, the motorcade was passing by, and just immediately after I heard the shots, I saw a policeman running north towards me. He was running to look to see if somebody was running out of the back of this building.
Mr. BELIN. What building?
Mr. ROMACK. Texas School Book Depository Building. And he didn't stay but just, oh, he was just there to check and he runs back.
Well, sensing that something is wrong, I automatically take over watching the building for the man.
Mr. BELIN. What part of the building were you watching?
Mr. ROMACK. The back
Mr. BELIN. Could you see that back dock in the back part?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, I mean, they got it sealed off. I could see as much as anyone could see.
Mr. BELIN. Could you see---there are some stairs that go up to the back dock, aren't there?
Mr. ROMACK. Right here.
Mr. BELIN. You are pointing to a first floor plan of the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. ROMACK. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Did you watch those stairs?
Mr. ROMACK. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you watch them after you saw the policeman leave?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, I watched them all the time until someone arrived, and the only time I did take my back off, turn my back to the building was Sam Pate with his KBOX news, he arrived before any of the police or anyone.
Mr. BELIN. Is that KBOX
Mr. ROMACK. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Is that a radio or television station?
Mr. ROMACK. It is a radio station.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you take your eyes off then?
Mr. ROMACK. He was driving up and they were having a little high---the city has ,a piece of wood that they use to stop traffic coming through, and I'd taken that so he could come through, drive his truck.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you leave your post?
Mr. ROMACK. I didn't leave. That was right there, even closer than what we were. But all I did was let that down for him, and then we
Mr. BELIN. Would that have taken less than a minute?
Mr. ROMACK. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Less than 30 seconds, do you know?
Mr. ROMACK. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you stay after that watching that back door?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, we were all there watching it then.
Mr. BELIN. How long a period of time?
Mr. ROMACK. Pardon?
Mr. BELIN. Did you see a policeman go up there?
Mr. ROMACK. I saw policemen up in there. I didn't see anyone come up the back. They came in the front, all---most of them.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see any employees walk up the back way?
Mr. ROMACK. There was two other gentlemen which I never said anything about, that taken over. They were FBI or something standing right here at the very entrance, and just stood there.
Mr. BELIN. You are pointing again to the back stairway that leads up from the street to the dock on the north side of the building?
Mr. ROMACK. Right.

Note: there were two different flights of stairs leading to this dock, one directly from the street on the east side of the dock, and one from the corner between the gates facing north and the gates facing east. This door is shown below.





Mr. BELIN. See anyone else?
Mr. ROMACK. No, sir; other than all the motorcycle officers and squad cars. They started coming in, I would say, in 4 minutes from the time that this happened. They were swarming the building, which naturally. I quit watching anything particular.
Mr. BELIN. In other words, about 4 minutes after the shots came you quit watching it? Would that be accurate, or not?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 minutes, 4 or 5 minutes. That would probably be true. I stayed there, but I wasn't particularly watching.
Mr. BELIN. In other words, then as I understand your testimony, you said that from about the time of the shots until about 5 minutes after the shots, you watched the back door of the building?
Mr. ROMACK. Right.
Mr. BELIN. What is the fact as to whether or not you saw anyone leave the building?
Mr. ROMACK. They wasn't anyone left the building.
(4-8-64 testimony of James Romack 11:30, 6H277-284)

Note: there were NO Secret Service or FBI agents at the TSBD when Harkness and Romack thought they saw them standing by the back door. And, oh yeah, Romack's claim no one came out the back is refuted by the fact Vickie Adams and Sandra Styles came out the back. Perhaps then Romack focused his attention on the steps leading down to the street and missed Adams and Styles as they scampered out the door in the photo above, which would have been the door closest to the train yards to which they were fleeing. Romack was, we mustn't forget, 100 yards or more away when he first started watching the back door. There was a lot of people running about. It seems likely then that he focused on just the one exit.

Still, who was the officer Romack saw looking at the back of the building?

Mr. BARNETT - When the first shot was fired, I thought it was a firecracker, and I looked across the street. In fact, I scanned the whole area to see where people would jump or move or make some action.
Mr. LIEBELER - You couldn't tell specifically where it had come from?
Mr. BARNETT - Not the first one, but I thought it was a firecracker. But none of the people moved or took any action, whereas they would have if a firecracker went off. And when the second shot was fired, it sounded high. The sound of the second one seemed to me like it was coming from up high, and I looked up at the building and I saw nothing in the windows. In fact, I couldn't even see any windows at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - In the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. BARNETT - No, sir; because I was standing to close, was the reason. And I looked back again at the crowd, and the third shot was fired. And I looked up again, and I decided it had to be on top of that building. To me it is the only place the sound could be coming from.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you do when you concluded that the shots were coming from that building?
Mr. BARNETT - I ran to the back of the building.
Mr. LIEBELER - Ran down Houston Street?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - There is a door in the back of the Texas School Book Depository. Does it face on Houston or around the corner?
Mr. BARNETT - It is around the corner from Houston Street.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you go in the building?
Mr. BARNETT - No, sir; I didn't get close to it, because I was watching for a fire escape. If the man was on top, he would have to come down, and I was looking for a fire escape, and I didn't pay much attention to the door. I was still watching the top of the building, and so far as I could see, the fire escape on the east side was the only escape down.
Mr. LIEBELER - Since you surmised that the shots had come from the building, you looked up and you didn't see any windows open. You thought they had been fired from the top of the building?
Mr. BARNETT - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you ran around here on Houston Street immediately to the east of the Texas School Book Depository Building and watched the fire escape?
Mr. BARNETT - I went 20 foot past the building still on Houston, looking up. I could see the whole back of the building and also the east side of the building.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you see anybody coming off the fire escape up there, or any movement on top of the building?
Mr. BARNETT - Not a thing.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you do after you went around behind the building?
Mr. BARNETT - I went looked behind the building and I saw officers searching the railroad cars. I looked around in front towards the front of the building and I saw officers going west.
Mr. LIEBELER - Going west down the little street there in front of the School Book Depository Building?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes; but there was no sign they were going into the building or watching the building, so I decided I was the only one watching the building. So since this was the only fire escape and there were officers down here watching the this back door, I returned back around to the front to watch the front of the building and the fire escape. Then I decided maybe I had been wrong, so I saw the officers down here searching.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mean the officers went on down toward No. 5 on your Exhibit No. 354?
Mr. BARNETT - When I got to the front, some of the officers were coming back toward me, started back toward me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were still back near the intersection of Elm and Houston?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes, sir; I was back where No. 8 is then. That was probably 2 1/2 minutes after the last shot was fired. About that time, my sergeant came up from this way, from the north of Houston Street and asked me to get the name of that building. I broke and ran to the front and got the name of it. There were people going in and out at that time. I ran back and told him the name of it, and about that time a construction worker ran from this southwest corner of the intersection up to me and said, "I was standing over there and saw the man in the window with the rifle." He and I and the sergeant all three broke and ran for the door. I kept the man there with me. The sergeant ran to the back to make sure it was covered. I kept the man there until they took him across the street to the courthouse. I was there until 3 o'clock, at the door there with one of the other officers, J.D. Smith.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't actually go into the building at the time?
Mr. BARNETT - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long do you think it was from the time the last shot was fired until the time you were at the front door keeping people from going in and out?
Mr. BARNETT - It was around 2 1/2 minutes. Maybe between 2 1/2 or 3 minutes. 

(7-23-64 testimony of Welcome Eugene Barnett, 3:50 P.M., 7H539-544)

So where was Barnett standing when he was standing at number 8? EXACTLY where Adams said she saw him standing! Here is crop from CE 354. The number 8 is at the northeast corner of Houston and Elm, across from the school book depository, where Adams saw an officer. (The Houston street dock exit was at the northeast corner of the TSBD.) (Note: i thought I was the first to realize Barnett was the officer observed by Adams, but later realized researcher Tony Fratini had made this argument in 2015, 2 years before my "revelation".)



So hmmm... Adams and Styles would have exited the rear of the building about 12:32...when no one was watching the back, and Barnett was back in position 8. IF Baker and Truly reached the stairs just after them, moreover, then, whoever was descending in the elevator as they went up would have reached the bottom around 12:34, and been outside within a few seconds.

Did Eddie Piper see these men? Is that why he was never asked about the elevator that came down as Truly and Baker went up?

And should one wonder if anyone was pretending to be Secret Service agent.

Mr. LIEBELER. Did you turn to watch the motorcade? Did you turn to watch the President as the motorcade went by?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir; I glanced around and was watching the crowd to make sure they stayed back out of the way of the motorcade, and also to make sure none of the cars started up or anything. Then I heard the shots, and I immediately proceeded from this point.
Mr. LIEBELER. Point 4 on Commission Exhibit No. 354?
Mr. SMITH. I started up toward this Book Depository after I heard the shots, and I didn't know where the shots came from. I had no idea, because it was such a ricochet.
Mr. LIEBELER. An echo effect?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.; and this woman came up to me and she was just in hysterics. She told me, "They are shooting the President from the bushes." So I immediately proceeded up here.
Mr. LIEBELER. You proceeded up to an area immediately behind the concrete structure here that is described by Elm Street and the street that runs immediately in front of the Texas School Book Depository, is that right?
Mr. SMITH. I was checking all the bushes and I checked all the cars in the parking lot.
Mr. LIEBELER. There is a parking lot in behind this grassy area back from Elm Street toward the railroad tracks, and you went down to the parking lot and looked around?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir; I checked all the cars. I looked into all the cars and checked around the bushes. Of course, I wasn't alone. There was some deputy sheriff with me, and I believe one Secret Service man when I got there.
I got to make this statement, too. I felt awfully silly, but after the shot and this woman, I pulled my pistol from my holster, and I thought, this is silly, I don't know who I am looking for, and I put it back. Just as I did, he showed me that he was a Secret Service agent.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you accost this man?
Mr. SMITH. Well, he saw me coming with my pistol and right away he showed me who he was.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember who it was?
Mr. SMITH. No, sir; I don't--because then we started checking the cars. In fact, I was checking the bushes, and I went through the cars, and I started over here in this particular section.

(7-23-64 testimony of Dallas Police Officer Joe Marshall Smith, 1:00 P.M., 7H531-539)

Of course, nothing is clear in this case. Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney testified that he initially ran over to the railroad yards, but then received orders to go to the depository. And that he ran into two young women--quite possibly Adams and Styles, but more probably Karan Hicks and Karen Westbrook--on the first floor, not second.

Mr. BALL - Why did you go over to the railroad yard?
Mr. MOONEY - Well, that was--from the echo of the shots, we thought they came from that direction.
Mr. BALL - That would be north and west from where you were standing?
Mr. MOONEY - Yes, sir. To a certain extent--northwest. The way the echo sounded, the cracking of the shot. And we wasn't there many second-- of course I never did look at my watch to see how many seconds it took us to run so many hundred yards there, and into the railroad yard. We were there only a few seconds until we had orders to cover the Texas Depository Building.
Mr. BALL - How did you get those orders?
Mr. MOONEY - They were referred to us by the sheriff, Mr. Bill Decker.
Mr. BALL - Where was he when he gave you those orders?
Mr. MOONEY - They were relayed on to us. I assume Mr. Decker was up near the intersection of Elm and Houston.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear it over a loudspeaker?
Mr. MOONEY - No, sir. It come by word, by another officer.
Mr. BALL - And you were with Walters at that time?
Mr. MOONEY - Right, And where Officer. Walters went at that time, I don't know. We split up. I didn't see him any more until later on, which I will refer to later.
Mr. BALL - Where did you go?
Mr. MOONEY - Mr. Webster and Mr. Victory were there with me at the time that we received these orders from another deputy.
Mr. BALL - They are deputy sheriffs?
Mr. MOONEY - Yes, sir; they were plainclothes officers like myself, work in the same department, and we run right over to the building then, which we were only 150, 200 feet back--I assume it is that distance I haven't measured it. It didn't take us but a few seconds to get there. When we hit the rear part, these big iron gates, they have cyclone fencing on them--this used to be an old grocery store warehouse--Sachs & Co., I believe is correct. And I says let's get these doors closed to block off this rear entrance.
Mr. BALL - Were the doors open?
Mr. MOONEY - They were wide open, the big gates. So I grabbed one, and we swung them to, and there was a citizen there, and I put him on orders to keep them shut, because I don't recall whether there was a lock on them or not. Didn't want to lock them because you never know what might happen. So he stood guard, I assume, until a uniformed officer took over. We shut the back door--there was a back door on a little dock. And then we went in through the docks, through the rear entrance. Officer Victory and Webster said, "We will take the staircase there in the corner.

(NOTE: Victory and Webster, the first two deputies to run upstairs, failed to file a report on their activities and were never interviewed by the FBI or Warren Commission.)

MR. MOONEY (cont.d):I said, "I will go up the freight elevator." I noticed there was a big elevator there. So I jumped on it. And about that time two women come running and said, "we want to go to the second floor."
I said, "All right, get on, we are going."
Mr. BALL - Which elevator did you get on?
Mr. MOONEY - It was the one nearest to the staircase, on the northwest corner of the building.
Mr. BALL - There are two elevators there?
Mr. MOONEY - I found that out later. I didn't know it at that time.
Mr. BALL - You took the west one, or the east one?
Mr. MOONEY - I would say it was the west elevator, the one nearest to the staircase.
Mr. BALL - Did it work with a push button?
Mr. MOONEY - It was a push button affair the best I can remember. got hold of the controls and it worked. We started up and got to the second. I was going to let them off and go on up. And when we got there, the power undoubtedly cut off, because we had no more power on the elevator. So I looked around their office there, just a short second or two, and then I went up the staircase myself. And I met some other officers coming down, plainclothes, and I believe they were deputy sheriffs. They were coming down the staircase. But I kept going up. And how come I get off the sixth floor, I don't know yet. But, anyway, I stopped on six, and didn't even know what floor I was on.
Mr. BALL - You were alone?
Mr. MOONEY - I was alone at that time.

(3-25-64, 3H281-290)

So who were the two sheriffs Mooney saw coming down?

Allen Sweatt's 11-23-63 report which fails to mention Crawford

At approximately 12:30 PM, Friday, November 22, 1963, I was standing with a group of Deputy Sheriff's about 30 feat east of the corner of Houston and Main Street on Main Street.

The president's caravan had just passed and about a minute or 2 I heard a shot and about 7 seconds later another shot and approximately 2 or 3 seconds later a third shot which sounded to me like a rifle and coming from the vicinity of Elm and Houston street. Several officers and myself from the Sheriff's department ran around the corner and towards Elm Street and Houston and were told that someone had shot at the President. A man by the name of "Hester" told Deputy John Wiseman that the shots had come from the old Sexton building. As we approached the building we were told the shots had come from the fence. Deputy Wiseman and a City Officer went to the front door of the building and I continued towards the railroad yards with Deputy Harry Weatherford and I stopped where I could see two sides of the building which was the west and south sides. Deputy Harry Weatherford went into the building through an open window on the 1st floor and Deputy Wiseman and the DPD officer went in the front door. On the far side of the building opposite me were some DPD Officers. At that time I was told the President had been shot and that Governor Connally also had been shot.

Officers started coming to the scene and approximately 15 deputy sheriff's and a number of DPD officers were at location. At this time, Inspector Sawyer of the DPD came to the front of the building and started taking names of witnesses and I suggested to inspector Sawyer that I get two deputies and send the witnesses to the Sheriff's Office for statements instead of letting the witnesses leave the scene. Inspector Sawyer agreed with this plan and as witnesses were brought together they were taken directly across the street to the Sheriff's Office to wait until statements could be taken.

While I was still at the front of the Building, Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney stuck his head out of the 5th floor window and the Northeast corner of the building and stated he had found some spent cartridge cases and he was told to let them remain untouched until the DPD Crime Lab arrived on the scene.


REF: ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
FROM: HARRY WEATHERFORD, Deputy Sheriff

Date: November 23, 1963

On Friday, November 22, 1963, at about 12:30 PM, I was standing in front of the Sheriff's Office watching the Presidential Motorcade. The President's car had passed my location a couple of minutes when I heard a loud report which I thought was a railroad torpedo, as it sounded as if it came from the railroad yard. Thinking, this was a heck of a time for one to go off, then I heard a 2nd report which had more of an echo report and thought to myself, that this was a rifle and I started toward the corner when I heard the 3rd report. By this time I was running towards the railroad yards where the sound seemed to come from. I got with Deputy Allan Sweatt and was searching the tracks and cars, etc, then someone said the shots came from above. I then went to the Elm Street loading gates of the Texas School Book Depository where I met Deputies Ralph Walters, Luke Mooney, Eugene Boone and Sam Webster. We all went into the building and proceeded to the first floor by way of the stairs. I jumped out of the first window onto the roof of the adjoining covered loading dock. I then searched the roof for any expended shell cases, as at the time we were trying to find just where the shots came from and if they were fired from the west side of the building they possibly could have fallen onto this roof. Finding no shells, I then climbed into the window and started searching the first floor, with an unknown DPD detective. Then learning other officers were searching this first floor, I went to the top floor to start down with each floor. Looking over the 7th floor to no avail, I came down to the 6th floor and while searching this floor, Deputy Luke Mooney said, "here are some shells". I went over to where he was and saw 3 expended rifle shells, and a sack on the floor and a partially eaten piece of chicken on top of one of the cartons which was used as a sort of barracade, advising Mooney to preserve the scene for the Crime Lab. I then proceeded to look for the rifle as it was possible it was still on this floor. After several minutes passed, I was about 10 feet from Deputy Boone when he found the rifle with a light he was using. This was also preserved for the Crime Lab.



Now, the two women on the elevator Mooney mentioned were probably Karan Hicks and Karen Westbrook. They were young and worked for Southwestern Publishing on the second floor of the book depository. In any event, Mooney confirmed that the elevator was stuck on the second floor, if only for a minute or two.

His testimony is intriguing as well in that he claims two men were walking downstairs as he ran up!

My search for the identity of these men continues. They could be two of a number of Sheriff's Deputies and employees whose names were mentioned in the statements and testimony of their fellow Deputies. But who were never interviewed by the FBI or Warren Commission. The vast majority of these men, moreover, failed to make a report on their activities. Beyond Victory and Webster, who Mooney would have recognized, there was Donald Flusche, Joe Loraine, A.D. McCurley, Roy Westphal,  someone named Whitman, and John Wiseman. Outside of Officer Marrion Baker, these were among the first responders in the building. What did these men see? Why weren't they ever interviewed?

There's another possibility, however. A known entity who admitted coming back down the stairs.

Mr. BELIN. What did you do then?
Mr. SAWYER. Then I went on down to the Texas Book Depository.
Mr. BELIN. Where did you park your car?
Mr. SAWYER. In front of the Texas School Book Depository.
Mr. BELIN. In front of the main entrance there?
Mr. SAWYER. In front of the main entrance.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do then?
Mr. SAWYER. Immediately went into---well, talked to some of the officers around there who told me the story that they had thought some shots had come from one of the floors in the building, and I think the fifth floor was mentioned, but nobody seemed to know who the shots were directed at or what had actually happened, except there had been a shooting there at the time the President's motorcade had gone by.
And I went with a couple of officers and a man who I believed worked in the building. The elevator was just to the right of the main entrance, and we went to the top floor, which was pointed out to me by this other man as being the floor that we were talking about. We had talked about the fifth floor. And we went back to the storage area and looked around and didn't see anything.
Mr. BELIN. Now you took an elevator up, is that correct?
Mr. SAWYER. That's right.
Mr. BELIN. The route that you took to the elevator, you went to the front door?
Mr. SAWYER. Right.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?
Mr. SAWYER. We got into the elevator. We run into this man.
Mr. BELIN. Well, when you say you got into the elevator, where was the elevator as you walked in the front door?
Mr. SAWYER. It was to the right.
Mr. BELIN. To the right?
Mr. SAWYER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Was it a freight elevator or a passenger elevator?
Mr. SAWYER. The best of my recollection, it was a passenger elevator.
Mr. BELIN. Did you push for the top button in that elevator?
Mr. SAWYER. Well, I don't know who pushed it, but we went up to the top floor.
Mr. BELIN. You went up to the top floor that the elevator would go to?
Mr. SAWYER. That's right.
Mr. BELIN. You got off, and were there officers there?
Mr. SAWYER. There was one or two other officers with me.
Mr. BELIN. Now when you got off, you say you went into the back there into a warehouse area?
Mr. SAWYER. Storage area; what appeared to be a storage area.
Mr. BELIN. Did you go into any place other than a warehouse or storage area?
Mr. SAWYER. No.
Mr. BELIN. Was there anything other than a warehouse or storage area there?
Mr. SAWYER. Well, to one side I could see an office over there with people in it. Some women that apparently were office workers.
Mr. BELIN. Now Inspector, what did you do then?
Mr. SAWYER. Well, I didn't see anything that was out of the ordinary, so I immediately came back downstairs to check the security on the building.

Mr. BELIN. Would it be fair for me to assume then that you had not at least completely left your car by 12:34 p.m?
Mr. SAWYER. Correct.
Mr. BELIN. Then when you got to the Texas School Book Depository, well, you got out of the car and talked to some people or to some officers?
Mr. SAWYER. Officers.
Mr. BELIN. And then what did the officers tell you?
Mr. SAWYER. That their information was that the shots had come from the fifth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
Mr. BELIN. Did any officers give you any other information about the source of the shots other than the fact that it came from the Texas School Book Depository, at that particular time?
Mr. SAWYER. I can't say whether it was officers or who, but there was a reference also made to the overpass.
Mr. BELIN. All right, in any event--pardon me, do you have anything else to add?
Mr. SAWYER. Also, there was a broadcast here in the transcript about the railroad yard.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. SAWYER. And this could be part of what I was thinking about, or what I had heard, was this broadcast on the radio about the railroad yard.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do? You went inside the building, is that correct?
Mr. SAWYER. We immediately went inside the building. I took--I believe Sgt. Harkness may have gone with me. I am not positive of that.
Mr. BELIN. Was the elevator on the first floor when you got there, or did you have to wait for it to come down?
Mr. SAWYER. Best of my recollection, it was there.
Mr. BELIN. You got to the elevator, went up, looked around back there. How long did you spend up there at the top floor that the elevator took you to?
Mr. SAWYER. Just took a quick look around and made sure there was nobody hiding on that floor. I doubt if it took over a minute at the most.
Mr. BELIN. To go up and look around and come down?
Mr. SAWYER. To look around on the floor. How long it took to go up, it couldn't have been over 3 minutes at the most from the time we left, got up and back down.
Mr. BELIN. Then that would put it around no sooner than 12:37, if you heard the call at 12:34?

(4-8-64, 3:45 PM, 6H315-325)

Hmm. This can be used to establish Baker and Truly's timeline.. So why wasn't Sawyer asked about his talk with Baker?

Anyhow, here's another possibility.



In any event, Shelley, upon re-entry to the building, saw Piper heading to the back of the building, something Piper said happened right after the shooting. Well, this suggests Shelley and Lovelady got to the northwest corner around the same time as Baker and Truly. This is supported, moreover, by Baker's claim he saw two men by the elevator. It is further supported by Shelley's claim Truly "left" him guarding the elevator. It makes no sense, after all, for Truly to have told Shelley to guard the elevator upon his and Baker's return to the first floor, 10 minutes or more after the shooting, after the building had been flooded by police.

And, oh yeah, there's this. Lovelady said he thought he saw Adams on the first floor, after he and Shelley re-entered the building through the west loading dock. This would have to have been when she first came down the stairs because, according to her detailed testimony, she and Styles never returned to that part of the building.

It is disturbing, in this light, that Ball never asked Truly if he saw Shelley before running up the stairs.

And all this is merely a set-up for the big reveal--that there were grown-up witness aside from the two girls--Adams and Styles--who were willing to testify that no one raced down the stairs after the shooting, but were inexplicably never called.

The first of these was Otis Williams.

Otis Williams
(11-24-63 FBI report, CD5 p.64) “He thought (the) blasts came from the location of the court house. He did not look up and immediately went back into the building into his office on the second floor.” (2-18-64 report of the Dallas Police Department, box folder 19 file 20 of the Dallas JFK Archive) "The president's car had gotten out of Mr. Williams' view when he heard the shots. Mr. Williams then came back into the building, and went to his office on the second floor. He then went to the fourth floor after hearing that the President had been shot. He used the stairway to go to the fourth floor, but stated that he did not see anyone on the stairway." (3-19-64 statement to the FBI, 22H683) “I thought these blasts or shots came from the direction of the viaduct which crosses Elm Street. I did not then know that President Kennedy had been shot. I remained momentarily on the steps and then returned inside the building.” (No More Silence p.116-120, published 1998) (On the shots) “I thought it came from the underpass. I entered the building immediately, climbed up the stairs back where the warehouse elevator was which led to the sixth floor and went up to the fourth floor, which was the first one I could see from to see the underpass. After I got up there and saw that nothing was going on on the underpass, I turned around and came back down to the office and called my wife. Soon, while we were talking, people came in, officers rushed in, and I had to get off the phone.”

The second of these was Peggy Ann Garner. (Writer Barry Ernst would further expose Ball's blind-spot--or dishonest-spot, take your pick--in his 2011 book The Girl on the Stairs, which included the revelation that within the Warren Commission's files was a 6-4-64 letter from U.S. Attorney Barefoot Sanders to Warren Commission General Counsel J. Lee Rankin that read "Mr. Belin was questioning Miss Adams about whether or not she saw anyone as she was running down the stairs. Miss Garner, Miss Adams' supervisor, stated this morning that after Miss Adams went downstairs she (Miss Garner) saw Mr. Truly and the policeman come up." And yes, you guessed it. Rankin, Ball, and Belin failed to follow up on this and ask Miss Garner if she could indeed support Adams' testimony.)


Mr. HAYGOOD. Yes. My original call number is 142.
Mr. BELIN. I have here a Sawyer Deposition Exhibit A, which appears to be a transcript of a police radio log, and I notice that at 12:35 p.m., there is a call from 142 to 531. 531 is your station headquarters?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Right.
Mr. BELIN. Do you want to read what you said?
Mr. HAYGOOD. "I talked to a guy at the scene who says the shots were fired from the Texas School Book Depository Building with the Hertz Rent A Car sign on top."
Mr. BELIN. Is that what you said?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Approximately. I don't recall the exact words.
Mr. BELIN. There was a response to you. What does it say there?
Mr. HAYGOOD. "Get his name, address, phone number and all information you can."
Mr. BELIN. Did you do that?
Mr. HAYGOOD. No, I never.
Mr. BELIN. What happened?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Because I was told to go to the School Book Depository Building. I instructed the three different people to come to the front of the School Book Depository Building and remain there until they were talked to.
Mr. BELIN. You took these people that you had with you?
Mr. HAYGOOD. I did not take them, no.
Mr. BELIN. You instructed them to go there?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. In front of the School Book Depository?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. And remain there until someone talked to them?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Right.
Mr. BELIN. You don't know the names of these people?
Mr. HAYGOOD. No, I don't.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know who talked to thereat all?
Mr. HAYGOOD. No; I don't.

Mr. HAYGOOD. At that time I went to the School Building at the rear location of it, which would be
Mr. BELIN. To the back door?
Mr. HAYGOOD. North side of it, yes.
Mr. BELIN. Where that door leads out there to the dock?
Mr. HAYGOOD. Yes; on the northeast corner there.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do then?
Mr. HAYGOOD. At that time I talked to the colored male that was standing at the door and asked him how long he had been there, and he said he had been there some 5 minutes or so. And I asked him if anyone had came out that door, and he said that they had not.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember his name?
Mr. HAYGOOD. No; I don't.

(4-9-64 testimony, 9:15 A.M. 6H296-302)

Mr. STERN - Just a minute.
How much time do you think elapsed from the time the shots were fired until the time you returned to the Book Depository?
Mr. SORRELS - I don't believe it could have been over about 20 minutes, because we went to the hospital just as fast as we possibly could, and I wasn't there very long.
And we came back as fast as we could.
Of course we didn't get back as fast as we went out there, because traffic was moving.
The other way it was just cleared out to the Trade Mart. We had clear sailing from the time that the shots were fired until we got to the Trade Mart, because that was the route that we were going to go anyway. And that was cleared out.
But coming back, of course, there was traffic. We did come back under lights and siren, as fast as we could.
But there was traffic that slowed us up some.
Mr. STERN - So you estimate not more than 20 minutes?
Mr. SORRELS - I don't believe it could have been more than 20 or 25 minutes at the very most.
Mr. STERN - Then you arrived at the Book Depository Building, and did you see any police officers outside the building?
Mr. SORRELS - Yes; there were officers. I recall seeing officers. I could not say any specific one.
Now, as I came into the back of the building, there was a colored man standing on the rear platform, a loading platform. And he was just standing there looking off into the distance. I don't think he knew what happened.
And I said to him, "Did you see anyone run out the back?"
He said, "No, sir."
"Did you see anyone leave the back way?"
"No, sir."
Mr. STERN - Did you get his name?
Mr. SORRELS - No, sir; I did not. I did not stop to do that, because I figured he was an employee of the building.

I went on the inside of the building and asked someone for the manager and they pointed to Mr. Truly.
I identified myself to Mr. Truly.
Mr. STERN - Just a minute.
Did you establish how long that man had been on the loading platform?
Mr. SORRELS - No, sir; I did not.
Mr. STERN - There was no policeman stationed at the loading platform when you came up?
Mr. SORRELS - I did not see one; no, sir.
Mr. STERN - And you were able to enter the building without identifying yourself?
Mr. SORRELS - Yes, sir.

(5-7-64 Testimony of Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels, 9:45 A.M., 7H332-360)

Mr. BELIN - At any time while you were making coffee or eating your lunch, did you see anyone else on the first floor?
Mr. WEST - No, sir; I didn't see.
Mr. BELIN - Who was the first person you saw on the first floor after you - while you were eating your lunch? Someone came in the building?
Mr. WEST - Yes; before I got through. The officers and things were coming in the front door.
Mr. BELIN - Who was the first person or persons that you saw coming through there while you were eating your lunch?
Mr. WEST - Well, that was the police.
Mr. BELIN - A police officer?
Mr. WEST - Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Anyone else?
Mr. WEST - I guess it was a bunch of them, I guess, FBI men, and just a crowe of them coming in there.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see Roy Truly coming in at all that time? Do you know Mr. Truly?
Mr. WEST - Yes, sir; that is the boss, the superintendent.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see him, do you remember, while you were eating your lunch, come in the building?
Mr. WEST - Yes, sir; I think he came in with the police.
Mr. BELIN - Was he one of the first people in, or did other people come in ahead of him, if you remember?
Mr. WEST - Really, I just don't know.
Mr. BELIN - That is okay if you don't remember. That is all I want you to say if you don't remember. Did you hear anyone yelling to let the elevator loose or anything like that?
Mr. WEST - I can't remember.
Mr. BELIN - Were you working when you were eating your lunch? Were you facing the elevator or not when you were eating your lunch? Were you facing any on the elevators back there?
Mr. WEST - No, sir; I was always - I mean I would always be with my back kind of, you know, towards the elevators and facing the front side over on the side.
Mr. BELIN - The Elm Street side?
Mr. WEST - Toward Elm Street side.
Mr. BELIN - So you don't know whether anyone was using the elevators?
Mr. WEST - No, sir; I don't.
Mr. BELIN - Do you know whether anyone was going up and down the stairs?
Mr. WEST - No, sir; I don't.
Mr. BELIN - Do you know anything else about what happened on November 22, that might be helpful or relevant here?
Mr. WEST - No, sir; I don't really.

(4-8-64 testimony of Troy West, 10:30 A.M.6H356-363)56 years old Eddie Piper was 55. Roy Lewis was 17.

Mr. BALL. Did you ever see Vicki Adams come down the steps?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir; I don't know about that, if she said she did, it was after I got over here and walked over to the back door.
Mr. BALL. Did Vicki Adams come down before Truly and the man went up the steps?
Mr. PIPER. No, sir, no, sir; she didn't do it.




So Piper was the black man by the back door! Did Truly tell him to guard the door when he told Shelley to guard the elevator?  Why didn't Ball ever ask him about his actions after the shooting?

And he was there from about 12:33!

Did Dougherty go find him outside?


And that wasn't the last time he testified in this manner. On 5-14-64, Shelley again testified that he last saw Oswald before the shooting at “10 or 15 minutes before 12." Only this time he added a significant detail--that this was "On the first floor over near the telephone.” (7H390-393)  


So where was this telephone? From what can be gathered (I've never seen a picture of it) it was in the lobby.

And who did Oswald call.
A 2-17-64 report by the Dallas Police reflects that Eddie Piper had said  something foreshadowing Shelley's testimony: "During the lunch breaks, Oswald usually made several phone calls, which were usually short in length." (CD950, p45) Several phone calls, One to his wife, Marina. And the other one to? (The phone records for this phone have never been revealed.)


Well, then, was there anything beyond Charles Givens' statement to the FBI, and Harold Norman's testimony before the Warren Commission, suggesting Oswald spent part of his lunch hour in the domino room?

Incredibly, yes.