My search into the truth about what happened that day in Dallas 50 years ago has lead me down some very different paths. As a young boy I was intrigued by the assassination and was convinced that there was more than one person involved. The movie JFK came out at about the time I was 11 and this further convinced me to continue to search for answers. As time goes on, we tend to go with the flow sometimes and I was seeing documentary after documentary pointing to one assassin. As I got older, the use of the internet enabled me to search for things that I would not have been able to see because I would have had to go to the archives to look at it. This past week as I was doing my routine search of documents, I came across two witnesses that claim they saw a man carrying a gun case through the streets of Dallas on November 22nd, 1963.
The witnesses that came forward were Phillip Hathaway and John Lawerence. If you try looking for these individuals in the Warren Commission testimonies you will not be able to find them. It would seem that the Warren Commission decided that witnesses coming forward would not be important to their investigation. I understand that many witnesses have come forward claiming things, but this voluntary statement given by these two gentleman on the afternoon of the assassination would seem to me something that would be important to further investigate.
According to the witnesses they state that they were getting ready for the motorcade sometime before 12 noon, when a individual who seemed to be about 6’5 weighing somewhere around 250 pounds came walking through the crowd. In his statement to the Dallas Police, Mr. Hathaway mentioned that he took notice of this man because of the suit he was wearing and the package that the man was carrying. The package was a rifle case and according to the witness it had something in it, because the angle the man was holding the case indicating it had something in it. The direction that the man was heading towards was Main Street. At first the witness thought the man was a Secret Service agent, but once they realized the president had been shot, they decided to go to the police station.
The importance of these witness statements is because, at some point during the month of November, Oswald was seen at the Sportdome Rifle Range with another individual. The other individual seen with Oswald on a few occasions, was described as being around 6’4 and about 250 pounds. Could this be the same man that these witnesses saw that day? He would have had enough time to make it to the depository and plant Oswald’s gun on the sixth floor. This man would have had the gun, with the palm print on it and been able to have shell casings. At the rifle range, Oswald was seen collecting his shell casings after each shot, trying to catch them as they came out of the gun.
If you have ever been to Dallas you would know that the walk is not that far, and being that rifles have entered the building on occasion, this would not have been anything out of the ordinary. Someone could have easily made it to the depository and planted that gun, making Oswald the patsy he claimed he was. All of the investigative agencies involved failed to look further into this matter, and it is finding witness statements like this that make the search for the truth continue for me.
[Voluntary Statement by Phillip Ben Hathaway #1], Legal Document, November 22, 1963; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338788/ : accessed December 27, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas