Tag Archives: Warren Commission

Who do we blame for JFK’s Assassination?

For many people, the answer to who was involved in the killing of President John F. Kennedy stems from either years of research or is formed from an opinion based on everything they have heard from the media.  The answer is not simple and it is something that still has not been answered completely.  There are those that want to believe that Oswald acted alone in this and they have every right to that opinion.  Then, there are those that believe that one man could not have planned and executed this crime in front of hundreds of people.  I, for one, believe that Oswald could not have done this by himself and that others were behind this assassination.  I have been reading books about the assassination since I was a kid and it seems that I still find new and interesting things in each of these readings. For example, I recently came across a book that shows some motive as to why someone would want JFK killed.

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The book, which I found at a local flea market, is titled “Robert F. Kennedy: Assistant President”.  The title of the book says it all for me.  The authorclearly believes that RFK had more influence inside the government than the Vice President of the United States.  My own daughter (who is 12) noticed the title and asked me if Robert Kennedy was the Vice President and why they would title the book that way.  The book, which was published in 1962, shows how RFK fell into the position of Attorney General.  At the time, it received reviews from Look magazine and U.S News and World Report which described RFK as “the man  who is second only to the President in power and influence”.  Now, put yourself in the shoes of Lyndon Baines Johnson. This is a man that, at one time, was the most powerful man in the Senate, only to find himself a few years later, playing second fiddle to a young, inexperienced lawyer who happened to be the President’s brother.  How can he compete with that?  The answer to that question is simple.  He could not.  So, it would seem to me that publications like this would serve as a means of motive.

 

In most crimes, there has to be a motive involved for someone to commit a crime.  Whether it is to get back at someone or maybe even to get ahead in some faction.  I am not saying that Johnson was the man behind the Kennedy assassination nor am I denying his possible involvement in it.  I am simply showing those that are interested a possible means of motive.  Here we have a book, published in 1962, that refers to Robert Kennedy as the Assistant President.  The author goes into detail about decisions that he helps make on a daily basis and the trips around the world he takes during his first couple of years as Attorney General.  These feelings that Johnson harbored towards RFK would carry on even after the assassination and would last until RFK himself was assassinated in 1968.  Lyndon Johnson would go on to become President after the assassination of JFK, finally attaining the power that he so desperately wanted.  It could be possible that Lyndon Johnson saw books like this and became so angered by them that he felt he had to do something.  All I know is that questions still remain about the assassination.  Maybe finding little clues like this book could help those that feel they have the answer.

Sources:

Gordon, G. (1962). Robert F.Kennedy Assistant President. Derby, Connecticut: Monarch Books, Inc.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25727909@N04/3116939730/in/set-72157611372396118

Witnesses see man with a rifle..

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.

Phillip HathawayJohn Lawerence

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.

Sources

[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

Warren Commission likes to leave out witnesses..

It has become an almost everyday occurrence to find witnesses that the Warren Commission wanted to ignore. There are many individuals who were in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd, 1963, yet they choose to pick the ones that made their story fit. From the start, the Commission had to find a way to put Oswald in the building and at that window at the time of the assassination.  So they needed to place Oswald in the building at the time, and find a way for him to leave the building. When someone told a different story then the one they had predetermined, they would deem this individual as being mistaken. Today, I want to bring about the statements given by Roger Craig.

In the early afternoon of November 22nd, 1963, Dallas Deputy Roger Craig was standing on Main Street close to Dealey Plaza. As the shots rang out, Craig followed the crowd that was heading up the grassy knoll. He had seen an officer heading into that direction and decided to follow suit. When they arrived they searched the area and were unable to find anything up there. As he was walking  back he encountered Arnold Rowland who was a witness that claimed he saw a man with a rifle on the sixth floor. Not only did he see a man with a rifle at the southwest corner ( Oswald was supposedly at the southeast), he saw another man on the sixth floor as well. Mr. Rowland pointed this out to his wife, and he constantly looked in that direction before the motorcade arrived in Dealey Plaza.. More on the Rowland story in another post, because there is much more to that story then I can fit.

So Officer Craig, listens to the man give his account of the scene and directs him to other officers that are in the area.  About 15 minutes after the shooting, Craig hears someone whistle. At this time he sees a man, that is slender in build, looks to be in his early 20’s running towards a station wagon. Officer Craig gets a good look at this man that is running down the grassy knoll and tries to get the license plate number of the vehicle. His initial reaction at the time was that,why would anyone be running away, when it seemed everyone was running towards the situation. As the scene is unfolding in Dealey Plaza, Officer Craig is told to head into the Texas School Book Depository.  While on the sixth floor, it was him and another officer named Seymour Weitzman along with another officer that find the alleged rifle that was used in the shooting. When the weapon was found, they were told to leave it alone until the identification team could have a look at it. Upon looking at the weapon Weitzman described the weapon as a 7.65 Mauser rifle, and Officer Craig thought the same thing at the time. It wasn’t until pressure from the Warren Commission that Weitzman changed his story. His initial statement to Dallas investigators was that it was a Mauser and he knew weapons from being in the Sporting Goods business.

It was not until later in the evening of November 22nd, that Officer Craig is able to figure out who that man was running down the grassy knoll. He identified him as Lee Harvey Oswald. According to Craig, he went into Police Headquarters to talk to Captain Fritz about what he saw in Dealey Plaza. When told, Fritz and Craig went into the room where Oswald was staying and Fritz asked Oswald about the station wagon. Oswald was quoted as saying ” leave Mrs. Paine out of this, she had nothing to do with it”. A little side note, Ruth Paine was the woman who Oswald’s wife was staying with, and where his rifle was located. At the time, she drove a light green station wagon like the one Officer Craig had seen that day.

So here we have an Officer who sees a man he believes his Oswald about 15 minutes after the shooting, get into a car and take off. The final determination by the Warren Commission was that Oswald left the Texas School Book Depository after the shooting, got on a bus, but when the bus got caught in traffic he took a cab into Oak Cliff. When Oswald was arrested, he had on him a transfer ticket from the bus he was supposedly on. Before November 22nd, 1963, Officer Roger Dean Craig was an outstanding and decorated police officer for the city of Dallas. He was awarded the Man of the year award in 1960 for his work in a jewelry thief arrest. But once word gets out about his talk of Oswald being on the grassy knoll after the shooting, he is quickly ridiculed by his fellow officers. They simple do not believe his story, and he is eventually forced out of the police department by 1967. There were many threats made against his life in the following years, and following being shot at and injured, and driven off the road in an automobile accident, Mr. Craig decided to end his life in 1975. Until the moment of his passing, he believed that the man he saw that day was Oswald.

I am not going to say whether or not I believe this story, but it would be hard pressed not to believe a decorated police officer, who from day one stated he saw Oswald after the shooting. His observations and that of other witnesses fell on deaf ears to the Warren Commission and although he was called in as a witness, Officer Craig’s statements never made it to the final report. The final report will never be final in the eyes of many, and it is stories like this and witness statements from that day which keep this flame burning. I along with everyone else just want to know everything that transpired that day.

Sources:

John F. Kennedy assassination homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.jfk-assassination.de/warren/wch/vol6/page260.php

Simkin, J. (1997, 09). Roger dean craig. Retrieved from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcraigR.htm

Another person claims Curtain Rods!!!

I know I may be a little late to this discussion about someone else claiming curtain rods, but I feel the need to share it with everyone who is not familiar. As I was looking through some of the FBI files on the case I found another person that claims he was told by Oswald that he had curtain rods. My journey to this discovery came as I was looking through old telephone records of the home of Michael Paine. In the notes that the FBI had, was a memo that stated a man named Robert Yates voluntarily came into the office on November 26th, 1963. In his statement he claimed that he picked up a hitchhiker in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas on Beckley Street on either November 20th or 21st (Note that Oswald’s rooming house was located on Beckley Street). The man according to the witness had a package with him as he was standing on the side of the road. When Mr. Yates offered him a ride in his pickup truck, he told the man that he could put the package in the bed of the truck. The man stated that he wanted to hold on to him, because they were “curtain rods”.

The witness stated that once he saw the television coverage of the assassination he immediately recognized the man as Lee Harvey Oswald. How could Oswald be in two places at the same time? As the statements given by employees of the Texas School Book Depository mentioned, Oswald was at work on these two days leading up to the assassination. The witness said that he picked this Oswald up at around 10:30am and he was certain it was the Oswald on the television. The witness went on to further say that during the ride, that Oswald was asking him questions about  “if someone could shoot the president”, “ever been to the carousel club”, “you think this rifle in this picture can kill him”. Even questions about the motorcade route of the president were talked about in this less then 15 minute drive into Dallas. The hitchhiker wanted to be dropped off at the intersection of Houston and Elm ( Texas School Book Depository) These kinds of questions raised some suspicion in the witness because when he arrived back to work that day, he mentioned his encounter with the hitchhiker to another co-worker. This witness was never brought before the Warren Commission and was completely left out of the final report. The FBI did not find that Mr. Robert Yates to be telling a lie, because they interviewed the other co-workers who claimed that he did mention to them about the hitchhiker story when he came back to work that day.

So how can there be two Oswald’s doing things at the same time on November 20th or 21st. My guess is that this witness Mr. Yates did not know Lee Harvey Oswald at the time, and that he did not want any fame from this. In the FBI memo, it states that the witness does not want publicity from it. The Warren Commission found this to go against the things they had already thought happened, and they did not want any part of it as well. We know from witness testimony at the Texas School Book Depository ( TSBD), that many of them take lunch at 12:00 but that they do not punch out for their break. Could Oswald have left the building unnoticed and caught a ride to his rooming house to retrieve a different gun to be used in the assassination? Then caught a ride back into the city before his lunch break would be over. Remember, it is only a 15 minute ride to the rooming house. We also know that someone has already brought a rifle into the building a few days before and that everyone was glancing over it. If Oswald was to bring a package in then, nobody would notice.

The real question should be, if he was able to get a gun into the building on either the 20th or 21st, why would he need to bring another package on the 22nd. The story that Buell Frazier mentions is the one that the Warren Commission is so readily wanting to accept instead of Mr. Yates’s story. Could it be that Frazier’s link to getting Oswald the job, and the every Monday car rides seemed so much better. Or are they trying to hide the fact that there was two rifles found that day, and the gun they wanted to find was right where they thought it would be and the other rifle used went missing. I’m not saying that Oswald pulled the trigger, but I do believe that there was involvement on his part, and to figure out what it was is another mystery to uncover. Two Dallas Police Officers make a mention about finding another rifle and not the one that had been shown to the world. They have made statements about finding this other gun but yet again, this gets overlooked. But that discussion will be for another day and time to examine.

Sources:

F.B.I, (1963).  (DL 44-1639). Retrieved from  website: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/FBI%20Records%20Files/105-82555/105-82555%20Section%20071/71c.pdf

Questions Still Linger On…

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As the research into the Kennedy assassination continues into its 26th year for me, it is still easy to find things that are hard to understand. Like most of the assassination, there are things still left to be answered and yet many levels of the government and police agencies have refused to answer. I was recently looking through the Dallas Police files of the assassination and found the statement given by Victoria Adams. In her statement that she gave to Dallas Police detective  James Leavelle, she states that she remembers seeing Jack Ruby outside of the Texas School Book Depository. The statement does not start off as bold as the ending as she mentions that she was with three other employees who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the presidential motorcade. One of the women that was with her at the time was Elsie Dorman. This is the same Elise Dorman that filmed the motorcade as is came up Houston and turned onto Elm street. The Dorman film would not be seen by the public for more than 40 years. After she hears the first shot, she thinks it is nothing more than a firecracker. Then after the second shot, she see the secret service agent run towards the limousine and she knows something is wrong. As she is running towards the elevator she hears the third and final shot.

vickie 1vickie 2

By the time the third shot goes off, they had reached the elevator which is not working. They then use the stairway to get down to the bottom floors. This would be the same set of stairs that the Warren Commission claims that Oswald is using at this exact time to get down to the lunch room where he is found by Officer Baker. The problem is that Vickie Adams and her friends do not hear anyone else on the stairs with them. Once they reached the front of the building they encounter the chaos that has become of Dealey Plaza. She then heads towards the railroad tracks where she is met by a police officer who tells her to go back to where she came from. As she is walking back to the building she notices two men in plain clothes stopping people and asking them questions. One of these men is waving down people and trying to get information from them. One of the men that was asking questions she recognizes on the television a few days later. His name was Jack Ruby. Why would Ruby be at the scene of the crime? Could he have been there to make sure that the job was done and that everyone needed to think that the shots came from the building and not the grassy knoll? This question was not followed up by neither the Dallas Police or the F.B.I and they did not include the testimony of Vickie Adams in there final report. The relationship between Oswald and Ruby seems to be a working relationship and that they both had the job, but they were working on opposite ends of it. It seems the people that Ruby is working for wants everyone to think the shots came from above, and from the window that Oswald was supposed to be at. There are lots of twists and turns in the Kennedy Assassination, and it is hard to think that it could have all been done by one man. These kind of witness statements are the keys to the truth in this investigation.

Sources:

Leavelle, J. R.. [Report concerning interview with Vickie Adams, by J. R. Leavelle], Legal Document, n.d.; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth340453/ : accessed November 30, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas.

Innocence Lost..

JFK

I come from a generation that was not able to see or hear John F. Kennedy in real life. We only have seen him through the television and in black and white. Just think if we had the chance to see this man or even hear him speak in person. The world we live in now does not let us get close to a President like it was in those days and we will never have a chance unless we donate a significant amount of money to the campaign of that candidate.

Back then this man was real and he wanted the people to be able to see him, let alone hear his voice. Although at the time of his death, his approval rating was not the greatest, it is widely believed that he would have been elected to a second term because he connected to so many people. He was young, smart and had the looks of a movie star. We have looked for a President like him ever since, and every Democratic Presidential candidate since has had to embrace the Kennedy legacy and know that this is what we are looking for. Someone that had vision into the future and had the best interest of the country at all times.

A day like November 22nd, 1963 is one of those days that impacted everyone, much like Pearl Harbor to the generation before and 9/11 to my generation. The world stopped on this day 50 years ago and it seems that we have never been able to move on ever since. The mistrust in government which started on this day has only gotten worse over the years. We still know that there is more to the assassination then what the government has put in the Warren Report and we have not forgiven them for not giving us the answers.

All it takes is to look at the pictures of the motorcade in Dallas to know that this President was loved and admired by many people. Even in a state like Texas which the President’s advisors thought would be difficult,had in fact turned out much larger crowds than expected. Images of people smiling and waving at the president show their excitement. We haven’t had that trust and excitement of a President looking towards the future since, and it is something we all want. Let’s us all teach our children to remember days like November 22nd, 1963, December 7th, 1941 and September 11th, 2001 not just on the big anniversary’s that occur every 5 or 10 years but every year that these days come by. Let us tell them how it impacted the history of this country. It is up to us to keep the memory alive of these events. We will never know what the world would be like if Kennedy lived, but we know that it would have been a better place had he did.