Thursday, December 6, 2012


WHY OSWALD IS INNOCENT of being the Assassination of President Kennedy

I don’t know if President Kennedy was killed by a deranged lone nut or a covert conspiracy, but I do know that the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t kill him. I base this conclusion on the facts, evidence and testimony provided by the Warren Commission itself, which completely exonerates Oswald from being the Sixth Floor Sniper.

Not my original observation, I credit Howard Roffman, and his book “Presumed Guilty,” of pointing out these details, though I came across some supporting evidence - Roy Truly's affidavit, and added it to the mix.

Oswald is innocent if you believe him, as he claimed to be, a Patsy, and if you believe Dallas motorcycle police officer Marrion Baker and the superintendent of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) Roy Truly. Their reports and testimony, if true, exonerates Oswald as the Sixth Floor Sniper. 

Within minutes of the last shot, Baker dismounted his motorcycle and with gun drawn, entered the TSBD building by way of the front door. Accompanied by Roy Truly, who identified himself as a manager and led Baker to the rear elevators and stairs, since the two elevators were visible on the fifth floor, Baker followed Truly up the back stairs.

When they got to the second floor, while Truly continued on around the corner and up the stairs to the third floor, Baker stopped, having seen a man through a glass window of a door that led to a lunchroom.

Baker later said that he saw the man "through the door" and walking away from the stairway he was ascending, which he was, but it is clear that Baker saw the man through the window of the door, and it was later determined the door was closed.

Baker moved towards the door and  he saw through the 2 square foot window the head of a man walking away from him, so he opened the door and halted the man who stopped and turned around. With Baker’s revolver aimed at his belly, the man appeared perplexed but not surprised or out of breath, and with the arrival of Truly, who identified the man as an employee, they left to continue their assent.

Oswald, the man in the 2nd floor lunchroom, proceeded to buy a coke from the soda machine and walked out through the vestibule, past the door and window through which Baker had seen him and walked through the office where he passed a secretary who said something about the assassination. Oswald then walked down the front steps and ostensibly out the front door, where he reportedly was stopped by a reporter and directed him to a pay phone.

Baker and Truly meanwhile, had ascended to the fourth floor, where according to one of Baker’s reports, he encountered another man in a brown sports shirt or jacket, and then on the fifth floor, and with Truly took an elevator up to the seventh floor from where they went out to inspect the roof. There they only found pigeons and the Hertz advertising sign that read something close to 12:35, five minutes after the last shot.

Later that day, while Baker was at the Dallas Police Department making out his report, he sat at a desk a few feet away from Oswald, who had been arrested at the Texas Theater and was now in custody of the Dallas Police detectives responsible for the investigation of the assassination.

The significance of Baker’s encounter with Oswald in the 2nd floor lunchroom became evident in the attempts to reconstruct the assassination, and numerous attempts were made to time someone moving from the Sixth Floor Sniper’s nest across the Sixth floor, depositing the rifle and running down the steps in time to be in the second floor lunchroom within two minutes, tests successfully demonstrated a number of times.

But the proof that the Sixth Floor Sniper could have made it to that location in the designated less than two minutes time line is not what exonerates Oswald.

What exonerates Oswald is the combination of a number of factors – the first being that Baker said he saw Oswald’s head through the door window, which meant that Oswald was already in the vestibule of the lunchroom, which has three doors, one to the south, which Oswald left by, one to the west, through the window of which Baker saw Oswald, and the third door into the lunchroom itself.

In the course of the reconstructions, it became apparent that for Baker to have seen Oswald through that door window, the door had to be closed because if the door was open, even a few inches or a foot, pure geometry would reduce the size of the window to the point where you couldn’t see through it. That fact would therefore indicate that Oswald did not enter the vestibule through that door but through the south door, so only his head was passing by the window of the door, which is why Baker saw him but Truly didn't.

If Oswald had entered the vestibule through that door, Roy Truly would have seen Oswald go through the door because he was ahead of Baker, but he didn’t see him.

In order to help rectify the problem, the Warren Commission attorneys recalled Truly to be questioned a second time, after he had already testified extensively under oath. This time they asked him only one question. Calling him to an office in the Post Office across Dealey Plaza from the TSBD, they asked Truly, the building superintendent, if the doors to the second floor lunchroom vestibule had automatic closing devices? And the answer was yes, they do.

Now the Warren Commission lawyers could have walked across the plaza and in a matter of minutes learned that basic truth themselves, but they called Truly back to answer it to put it on the record – the door was closed when Baker saw Oswald walk past through the window – which thus proves Oswald didn’t enter the lunchroom through that door, and therefore did not come down the steps and was not the Sixth Floor Sniper after all.

Of course the Warren Commission lawyers did not say this, they simply dismissed Truly from answering any further questions, and the Secret Service, also knowing these facts, stopped their reconstruction of the assassination right there at that door, without bothering to follow Oswald outside or to Oak Cliff or anywhere else.

Further proof that Oswald did not descend those stares from the sixth floor to the second is found in the testimony and reports of other TSBD employees who did use the stairs, including two secretaries who descended from the fourth floor to the first without seeing anyone, the three black guys who were on the fifth floor and saw Baker and Truly run past but didn’t see anyone else, including Oswald, and the employee who was on the fifth floor and took the other elevator down to the first floor while Baker and Truly were running up the stairs.

Certainly one can make the argument that they all just missed each other, like Keystone Cops, and that’s certainly a possibility, but not something that the assassin could plan on happening, and from all indications, the real sniper, or his spotter – the man in the brown sports coat, didn’t rush away from the Sixth Floor Sniper’s nest but instead stuck around, moved boxes about and took their merry old time getting out of there, confident in their cover story, whatever it was. \

The proof that Oswald was not the Sixth Floor Sniper is Baker’s eyeballing of Oswald through the window of the closed door to the second floor vestibule, the door Oswald didn’t go through, and the fact that if he had, Truly, being ahead of Baker would have seen him first.


Marrion L. Baker is interviewed by the CBS Television Network in 1964. Baker was riding a police motorcycle in the Presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was shot and killed by a sniper. Baker encountered JFK's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, on the second floor of the Texas School Book Depository within minutes of the shots being fired at the President.

Texas School Book Depository Employees - part 1 HelmerReenberg·

[BK: In this Helmer Reenberg prosecution, a photo of the front stairs is shown as the stairs Truly and Baker ascended to the second floor, when in fact they went up the much smaller rear stairs next to the duel service elevators. The broad steps in the photo only go one floor – to the second and the adjacent passenger elevator only went to the fourth floor.]

Dallas motorcycle officer Marion L. Baker and TSBD Superintendant Roy S. Truly met a man on the 2nd floor of the Texas School Book Depository about 75-90 seconds after the shooting in Dealey Plaza

11/22/63 Affidavit of Marion L. Baker
BEFORE ME, Mary Rattan, a Notary Public in and for said County, State of Texas, on this day personally appeared M. L. Baker, Patrolman Dallas Police Department who, after being by me duly sworn, on oath deposes and says:
Friday November 22, 1963 I was riding motorcycle escort for the President of the United States. At approximately 12:30 pm I was on Houston Street and the President's car had made a left turn from Houston onto Elm Street. Just as I approached Elm Street and Houston I heard three shots. I realized those shots were rifle shots and I began to try to figure out where they came from. I decided the shots had come from the building on the northwest corner of Elm and Houston. This building is used by the Board of Education for book storage. I jumped off my motor and ran inside the building. As I entered the door I saw several people standing around. I asked these people where the stairs were. A man stepped forward and stated he was the building manager and that he would show me where the stairs were. I followed the man to the rear of the building and he said, "Let's take the elevator." The elevator was hung several floors up so we used the stairs instead. As we reached the third or fourth floor I saw a man walking away from the stairway. I called to the man and he turned around and came back toward me. The manager said, "I know that man, he works here." I then turned the man loose and went up to the top floor. The man I saw was a white man approximately 30 years old, 5'9", 165 pounds, dark hair and wearing a light brown jacket.
s/ M. L. Baker
/s/ Mary Rattan
Notary Public, Dallas County, Texas

8/11/64 Affidavit of Marrion L. Baker

Affidavit Of Marrion L. Baker
The following affidavit was executed by Marrion L. Baker on August 11, 1964.
County of Dallas, ss:
I, Marrion L Baker, being duly sworn say:
1. I am an officer in the Dallas Police Department.
2. On November 22, 1963, upon hearing shots I rode my motorcycle 180 to 200 feet, parked the motorcycle, and ran 45 feet to the Texas School Book Depository Building.
3. On March 20, 1964, counsel from the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy timed a re-enactment of my actions after hearing the shots on November 22, 1963. During this re-enactment, I reached the recessed door of the Texas School Book Depository Building fifteen seconds after the time of the simulated shot.
Signed this 11th day of August 1964, at Dallas, Tex.
(S) Marrion L. Baker,

The following affidavit was executed by Roy Sansom Truly on August 3, 1964.
County of Dallas, ss:
I, Roy Sansom Truly, being duly sworn say:
1. I am the Superintendent of the Texas School Book Depository Building Dallas, Texas.
2. The door opening on the vestibule of the lunchroom on the second floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building is usually shut because of a closing mechanism on the door.
Signed this 3d day of August 1964, at Dallas Tex.
(S) Roy Sansom Truly,

HOWARD ROFFMAN’S “Presumed Guilty”

Dave Ratcliff runs one of the most important websites with JFK Assassination information, including the complete text of a number of books the most important of which is Howard Roffman’s “Presumed Guilty,” which essentially exonerates Lee Harvey Oswald as the President’s assassin.

Topics on the National Security States of America
Understanding Special Operations
The Kennedy Assassination
The Clandestine Operations Business

PRESUMED GUILTY - How and why the Warren Commission framed Lee Harvey Oswald. A factual account based on the Commission's public and private documents

by Howard Roffman 
©1976 by A.S. Barnes and Co., Inc.
©1975 by Associated University Presses, Inc.
ISBN 0-498-01933-0

From the inside front and back jacket
of the 1976 issue of "Presumed Guilty:"

If Howard Roffman is right, and his careful documentation argues that he is, Lee Harvey Oswald could not have been the assassin of John F. Kennedy. He could not have been the gunman in the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building, as is shown by his close analysis of both the circumstantial evidence and the ballistics of the case. 

      The implications are serious indeed, and the Introduction deals with them extensively, besides assessing the contributions of other critics. The documentation here presented, extracted from the once-secret working papers of the Warren Commission, demonstrates conclusively that the Commission prejudged Oswald guilty and made use of only circumstantial evidence to bolster its assumption, while suppressing information that tended to undermine it. 

      Roffman in this book states the charge explicitly: "When the Commissioners decided in advance that the wrong man was the lone assassin, whatever their intentions, they protected the real assassins. Through their staff, they misinformed the American public and falsified history."

About the Author
      Howard Roffman, now 23, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., where he attended public school. His interest in the assassination of President Kennedy began when he was fourteen, and he read everything he could lay his hands on on the subject. By the 11th grade he had bought all 26 volumes of the Warren Report ($76), and, convinced of the inadequacy of the conclusions, he went to the National Archives and studied the files--the youngest researcher ever to see them. Alarmed at what he discovered, he writes, "I can't think of anything more threatening than when the government lies about the murder of its leader."

Mr. Roffman completed his undergraduate studies as a History major at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with honors in 1974. At present studying law at the Holland Law Center, Gainesville, Fla., he is the author of a second book, Understanding the Cold War. 

The Alibi: Oswald's Actions after the Shots

The first person to see Oswald after the assassination was Dallas Patrolman Marrion Baker, who had been riding a motorcycle behind the last camera car in the motorcade. As he reached a position some 60 to 80 feet past the turn from Main Street onto Houston, Baker heard the first shot (3H246). Immediately after the last shot, he "revved up that motorcycle" and drove it to a point near a signal light on the northwest corner of Elm and Houston (3H247). From here Baker ran 45 feet to the main entrance of the Book Depository, pushing through people and quickly scanning the area. At the main entrance, Baker's shouts for the stairs were spontaneously answered by building manager Roy Truly as both men continued across the first floor to the northwest corner, where Truly hollered up twice for an elevator. When an elevator failed to descend, Truly led Baker up the adjacent steps to the second floor.

From the second floor, Truly continued up the steps to the third; Baker, however, did not. The Report describes the situation:   On the second floor landing there is a small open area with a door at the east end. This door leads into a small vestibule, and another door leads from the vestibule into the second-floor lunchroom. The lunchroom door is usually open, but the first door is kept shut by a closing mechanism on the door. This vestibule door is solid except for a small glass window in the upper part of the door. As Baker reached the second floor, he was about 20 feet from the vestibule door. He intended to continue around to his left toward the stairway going up but through the window in the door he caught a fleeting glimpse of a man walking in the vestibule toward the lunchroom. (R151)

Baker ran into the vestibule with his pistol drawn and stopped the man, who turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald. Truly, realizing that Baker was no longer following him, came down to the second floor and identified Oswald as one of his employees. The two men then continued up the stairs toward the Depository roof. 

      "In an effort to determine whether Oswald could have descended to the lunchroom from the sixth floor by the time Baker and Truly arrived," the Commission staged a timed reconstruction of events. The Commission knew that this encounter in the lunchroom such a short time after the shots could have provided Oswald with an alibi, thus exculpating him from involvement in the shooting. The reconstruction could not establish whether Oswald was at the sixth-floor window; it could, however, tell whether he was not. In the interest of determining the truth, it was vital that this reenactment be faithfully conducted, simulating the proper actions to the most accurate degree possible. 

      From beginning to end, the execution of the reconstruction was in disregard of the known actions of the participants, stretching -- if not by intent, certainly in effect -- the time consumed for Baker to have arrived on the second floor and shrinking the time for the "assassin's" descent.[1] 

      To begin with, the reconstruction of Baker's movements started at the wrong time. Baker testified that he revved up his motorcycle immediately after the last shot (3H247). However, Baker's time was clocked from a simulated first shot (3H252). To compare the time of the assassin's descent with that of Baker's ascent, the reconstruction obviously had to start after the last shot. Since the time span of the shots was, according to the Report, from 4.8 to over 7 seconds, the times obtained for Baker's movements are between 4.8 and 7 seconds in excess. 

      Although Baker testified that he was flanking the last "press" car in the motorcade (3H245), the record indicates that he was, in fact, flanking the last camera car -- the last of the convertibles carrying the various photographers, closer to the front of the procession than the vehicles carrying other press representatives. Baker said he was some 60 to 80 feet along Houston Street north of Main when he heard the first shot (3H246). Those in the last camera car were also in this general location at the time of the first shot (Jackson: 2H158; Couch: 6H156; Dillard: 6H163-64; Underwood: 6H169;). During the reconstruction, Baker drove his motorcycle from his location at the time of the first shot a distance of 180 to 200 feet to the point in front of the Depository at which he dismounted (3H247). However, since Baker had revved up his cycle immediately after the last shot on November 22, the distance he traveled in the reenactment was entirely too long. Since the motorcade advanced about 116 feet during the time span of the shots, the distance Baker should have driven in the reconstruction was no greater than 84 feet (200 - 116 = 84). This would have placed Baker near the intersection of Elm and Houston at the time he revved up his cycle, not 180 feet from it as was reconstructed. Likewise, the men in the last camera car recalled being in proximity to the intersection at the time of the last shot (Underwood: 6H169; Couch: 6H158; Jackson: 2H159). 

      With 116 feet extra to travel in a corresponding added time of 4.8 to 7 seconds, Baker was able to reach the front entrance of the Depository in only 15 seconds during the reconstruction (7H593). Had the reenactment properly started at the time of the last shot, it follows that Baker could have reached the main entrance in 8 to 10 seconds. Did Baker actually consume so little time in getting to the Depository on November 22? 

      The Commission made no effort to answer this question, leaving an incomplete and unreliable record. Billy Lovelady, Bill Shelley, Joe Molina, and several other employees were standing on the steps of the Depository's main entrance during the assassination. Lovelady and Shelley testified that another employee, Gloria Calvery, ran up to them and stated that the President had been shot; the three of them began to run west toward the parking lot, at which time they saw Truly and a police officer run into the Depository (6H329-31, 339). This story is contradicted by Molina, who contended that Truly (he did not notice Baker) ran into the main entrance before Gloria Calvery arrived (6H372). Mrs. Calvery was not called to testify, and the one statement by her to the FBI does not address this issue. From her position just east of the Stemmons Freeway sign on the north side of Elm (22H638), it does not seem likely that she could have made the 150-foot run to the main entrance in only 15 seconds. Yet, adding to this confusion is an affidavit that Shelly executed for the Dallas Police on November 22, 1963. Here he stated that he ran down to the "park" on Elm Street and met Gloria Calvery there (24H226). Obviously, the issue cannot be resolved through these witnesses. 

      While Molina felt that Truly ran into the Depository some 20 to 30 seconds after the shots (6H372), Lovelady and Shelley estimated that as much as three minutes had elapsed (6H329, 339). When Counsel Joe Ball cautioned Lovelady that "three minutes is a long time," Lovelady partially retracted because he did not have a watch then and could not be exact (6H339). Supporting Molina's estimate, Roy Truly told the Secret Service in December 1963 that Baker made his way to the front entrance "almost immediately" (CD87, Secret Service Control No. 491); almost a year later Truly said on a CBS News Special that Baker's arrival "was just a matter of seconds after the third shot."[2] 

      I was able to resolve the issue concerning Baker's arrival at the Depository through evidence strangely absent from the Commission's record. Malcolm Couch, riding in the last camera car (Camera Car 3), took some very important motion-picture footage immediately after the shots. Couch, whose car was almost at the intersection of Elm and Houston when the last shot sounded, immediately picked up his camera, made the proper adjustments, and began filming (6H158). Others in Camera Car 3 related how their car came to a stop or hesitated in the middle of the turn into Elm to let some of the photographers out (2H162; 6H165, 169). Couch's film begins slightly before the stop, just as the car was making the turn (6H158). From Couch's testimony and the scenes depicted in his film, in addition to the testimony of others in the same car, it can be determined that Couch began filming no more than 10 seconds after the last shot.[3] 

      The first portion of the Couch film depicts the crowds dispersing along the island at the northwest corner of Elm and Houston. The camera pans in a westerly direction as the grassy knoll and Elm Street come into view. In these beginning sequences, a motorcycle is visible, parked next to the north curb of Elm, very slightly west of a traffic light at the head of the island. Baker testified that he parked his cycle 10 feet east of this signal light (3H247-48). The position of the motorcycle in the Couch film is not in great conflict with the position at which Baker recalled having dismounted; it is doubtful that Baker paid much attention to the exact position of his motorcycle in those confused moments. It would appear that this cycle, identical with the others driven in the motorcade, must have been Baker's, for it is not visible in any photographs taken during the shots, including footage of that area by David Weigman,[4] and no other motorcycle officer arrived at that location in so short a time after the shots. No policeman appears on or around the cycle depicted in the Couch film. 

      Thus, photographic evidence known to, but never sought by, the Commission proves that Officer Baker had parked and dismounted his motorcycle within 10 seconds after the shots. Corroborative evidence is found in the testimony of Bob Jackson, also riding in Camera Car 3. Jackson told the Commission that after the last shot, as his car hesitated through the turn into Elm, he saw a policeman run up the Depository steps, toward the front door (2H164). This is entirely consistent with Baker's abandoned motorcycle's appearing at this same time in the Couch film. 

      During the Baker-Truly reconstructions, Baker reached the second floor in one minute and 30 seconds on the first attempt and one minute, 15 seconds on the second (3H252). Since Baker's simulated movements up to the time he reached the main entrance consumed 15 seconds (7H593), the actions subsequent to that must have been reenacted in a span of one minute to about 75 seconds. However, since Baker actually reached the main entrance within 10 seconds on November 22, the reconstructed time is cut by at least five seconds. Further reductions are in order. 

      Officer Baker described the manner in which he simulated his movements subsequent to dismounting his motorcycle: From the time I got off the motorcycle we walked the first time and then we kind of run the second time from the motorcycle on into the building. (3H253)

Baker neither walked nor "kind of" ran to the Depository entrance on November 22. From his own description, he surveyed the scene as he was parking his cycle, and then "ran straight to" the main entrance (3H248-249). Billy Lovelady also swore that Baker was running (6H339). However, Truly provided the most graphic description of Baker's apparent "mad dash" to the building: I saw a young motorcycle policeman run up to the building, up the steps to the entrance of our building. He ran right by me. And he was pushing people out of the way. He pushed a number of people out of the way before he got to me. I saw him coming through, I believe. As he ran up the stairway -- I mean up the steps, I was almost to the steps, and I ran up and caught up with him. (3H221; emphasis added)

      Thus, walking through this part of the reconstruction was, as Harold Weisberg aptly termed it, pure fakery, unnecessarily and unfaithfully burdening Baker's time.[5] The Report, on the other hand, assures us that the time on November 22 would actually have been longer, because "no allowance was made for the special conditions which existed on the day of the assassination -- possible delayed reaction to the shot, jostling with the crowd of people on the steps and scanning the area along Elm Street and the Parkway" (R152-53). Had the Commission directed any significant effort to obtaining as many contemporaneous pictures as possible -- including those taken by Couch -- it could not have engaged in such excuse-making. Even at that, how could the Commission dare go to all the efforts of staging a reconstruction and then admit -- to its own advantage -- that it deliberately failed to simulate actions? As was discussed in chapter 1, this child's play was inexcusable as an effort bearing such weight in deciding Oswald's guilt. The Couch film eliminates the possibility that the factors mentioned in the Report could have slowed Baker down. As for "jostling with the crowd of people on the steps," the Report neglected to mention other disproof of this as a slowing factor. As Truly testified, when the officer and I ran in, we were shouldering people aside in front of the building, so we possibly were slowed a little bit more coming in than we were when he and I came in on March 20 (date of the reconstruction). I don't believe so. But it wouldn't be enough to matter there. (3H228; emphasis added)

      Once in the building during the reconstruction, the two men proceded [sic] to the elevators "at a kind of trot . . . it wasn't a real fast run, an open run. It was more of a trot, kind of" (3H253). This, again, was not an accurate simulation of the real actions. While Truly admitted that the reconstruction pace across the first floor was "about" the same as that of November 22, he described the former as a trot and the latter as "a little more than a trot" (3H228). Baker himself said that once through the door, he and Truly "kind of ran, not real fast but, you know, a good trot" (3H249), not the "kind of trot" he described during the reconstruction. A swinging door at the end of the lobby in the main entrance was jammed because the bolt had been stuck. Apparently, the pace on November 22 was of sufficient speed for Truly to bang right into this door and Baker to subsequently collide with Truly in the instant before the door was forced open (3H222). Likewise, Eddie Piper, a first-floor witness, had seen the two men run into the building, yell up for an elevator, and "take off" up the stairs (6H385). 

      In walking through part of the reconstruction, which should have been conducted running and was begun at least five seconds early, Baker and Truly managed to arrive on the second floor in one minute, 30 seconds. In the reconstruction, equally begun too early but staged at a pace closer to, though not simulating that of November 22, the time narrowed to a minute and 15 seconds. While Baker and Truly felt that the reconstructed times were minimums (3H228, 253), it would seem that the opposite was true.

Subtracting the extra seconds tacked on by including the time span of the shots reduces even the maximum time to one minute, 25 seconds. The understandably hurried pace of November 22 as manifested in all the evidence would indicate that Truly and Baker reached the second floor in under 85 seconds, and the Couch film introduces the possibility that it may have taken as little as 70 seconds, since Baker parked and abandoned his motorcycle within ten seconds of the last shot. 

      The second part of the reconstruction was supposed to have simulated the "assassin's" movements from the sixth-floor window down to the second-floor lunchroom. Here the figurative lead weights tied to Baker and Truly during the reconstruction of their movements are exchanged for figurative roller skates, to shorten the time of the "assassin's" descent. 

      Secret Service Agent John Howlett stood in for the "assassin." He executed an affidavit for the Commission in which he described his actions: I carried a rifle from the southeast corner of the sixth floor northernly along the east aisle to the northern corner, then westernly [sic] along the north wall past the elevators to the northwest corner. There I placed the rifle on the floor. I then entered the stairwell, walked down the stairway to the second floor landing, and then into the lunchroom. (7H592)

This test was done twice. At a "normal walk" it took one minute and 18 seconds; at a "fast walk," one minute, 14 seconds (3H254). This reconstruction also suffered from most serious ommissions.[sic] 

      The "assassin" could not just have walked away from his window as Howlett apparently did. If the gunman fired the last shot from the Carcano as the official theory demands, a minimum time of 2.3 seconds after the last shot must be added to the reconstructed time since the cartridge case from that shot had to be ejected -- an operation that involves working the rifle bolt. Furthermore, witnesses recalled that the gunman had been in no hurry to leave his window (2H159; 3H144). 

      There were also physical obstructions that prevented immediate evacuation of the area. Commission Exhibit 734 shows that some stacks of boxes nearest to the "assassin's" window did not extend far enough toward the east wall of the building to have blocked off the window there completely. However, as Commission Exhibits 723 and 726 clearly show, other columns of boxes were situated behind the first stacks; these formed a wall that had no openings large enough for a man to penetrate without contortion. Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney discovered three cartridge cases by this window. He had to squeeze "between these two stacks of boxes, I had to turn myself sideways to get in there" (3H285). The gunman would have had to squeeze through these stacks of boxes while carrying a 40-inch, 8-pound rifle. Considering these details, we must add at least six or seven seconds to the Commission's time to allow for the various necessary factors that would slow departure from the window. 

      To simulate the hiding of the rifle, Howlett "leaned over as if he were putting a rifle there [near the stair landing at the northwest corner of the sixth floor]" (3H253). The Commission did not do justice to its putative assassin who, as the photographs reveal, took meticulous care in concealing his weapon. The mere act of gaining access to the immediate area in which the rifle was hidden required time. This is what Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone went through before he discovered the rifle: As I got to the west wall, there were a row of windows there, and a slight space between some boxes and the wall. I squeezed through them. . . . I caught a glimpse of the rifle, stuffed down between two rows of boxes with another box or so pulled over the top of it. (3H293)

Luke Mooney "had to get around to the right angle" before he could see the rifle (3H298). Likewise, Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman reported that "it was covered with boxes. It was very well protected as far as the naked eye" (7H107). Another Deputy Sheriff, Roger Craig, recalled that the ends of the rows between which the rifle had been pushed were closed off by boxes, so that one could not see through them (6H269).

      Photographs of the area in which the rifle was found (e.g., CE 719), and a bird's-eye view of the hidden rifle itself (e.g., CE 517), corroborate what these men have described and add other information. CE 719 shows that the rifle was found amid clusters of boxes that did not permit easy access. CE 517, in particular, is very revealing. It shows that the rifle had been pushed upright on its side between two rows of boxes that partially overlapped on top, thus eliminating the possibility that the rifle had merely been dropped down between the stacks. CE 517 also demonstrates that both ends of the rows of boxes were partially sealed off by other boxes, indicating a possibility never pursued by the Commission -- namely, that boxes had to be moved to gain access to the weapon. When interviewed by CBS News, Seymour Weitzman inadvertently admitted this fact:  I'll be very frank with you. I stumbled over it two times, not knowing it was there. . . . And Mr. Bone [sic] was climbing on top, and I was down on my knees looking, and I moved a box, and he moved a carton, and there it was. And he in turn hollered that we had found a rifle.[6]

      Hence, the concealment of the rifle required much maneuvering. In addition to squeezing in between boxes, the gunman had to move certain cartons filled with books. The rifle itself had been very carefully placed in position. Doubtless this would have added at least 15, perhaps 20, seconds to the reconstructed time even if the hiding place had been chosen in advance (of which there is no evidence either way). 

      If we take the Commission's minimum time of one minute, 14 seconds (giving the advantage to the official story) and add the additional six or seven seconds needed just to evacuate the immediate area of the window, plus the 15 to 20 seconds more for hiding the rifle, we find that it would have taken at least a minute and 35 seconds to a minute and 41 seconds for a sixth-floor gunman to have reached the second-floor lunchroom, had all his maneuvers been planned in advance. Had Oswald been the assassin, he would have arrived in the lunchroom at least five to eleven seconds after Baker reached the second floor, even if Baker took the longest time obtainable for his ascent -- a minute, 30 seconds. Had Baker ascended in 70 seconds -- as he easily could have -- he would have arrived at least 25 seconds before Oswald. Either case removes the possibility that Oswald descended from the sixth floor, for on November 22 he had unquestionably arrived in the lunchroombefore Baker. 

      The circumstances surrounding the lunchroom encounter indicate that Oswald entered the lunchroom not by the vestibule door from without, as he would have had he descended from the sixth floor, but through a hallway leading into the vestibule. The outer vestibule door is closed automatically by a closing mechanism on the door (7H591). When Truly arrived on the second floor, he did not see Oswald entering the vestibule (R151). For the Commission's case to be valid, Oswald must have entered the vestibule through the first door before Truly arrived. Baker reached the second floor immediately after Truly and caught a fleeting glimpse of Oswald in the vestibule through a small window in the outer door. Although Baker said the vestibule door "might have been, you know, closing and almost shut at that time" (3H255), it is dubious that he could have distinguished whether the door was fully or "almost" closed. 

      Baker's and Truly's observations are not at all consistent with Oswald's having entered the vestibule through the first door. Had Oswald done this, he could have been inside the lunchroom well before the automatic mechanism closed the vestibule door. Truly's testimony that he saw no one entering the vestibule indicates either that Oswald was already in the vestibule at this time or was approaching it from another source. However, had Oswald already entered the vestibule when Truly arrived on the second floor, it is doubtful that he would have remained there long enough for Baker to see him seconds later. Likewise, the fact that neither man saw the mechanically closed door in motion is cogent evidence that Oswald did not enter the vestibule through that door. 

      One of the crucial aspects of Baker's story is his position at the time he caught a "fleeting glimpse" of a man in the vestibule. Baker marked this position during his testimony as having been immediately adjacent to the stairs at the northwest corner of the building (3H256; CE 497). "I was just stepping out on to the second floor when I caught this glimpse of this man through this doorway," said Baker. 

      It should be noted that the Report never mentions Baker's position at the time he saw Oswald in the vestibule (R149-51). Instead, it prints a floor plan of the second floor and notes Baker's position "when he observed Oswald in lunchroom" (R150). This location, as indicated in the Report, was immediately outside the vestibule door (see CE 1118).

The reader of the Report is left with the impression that Baker saw Oswald in the vestibule as well from this position. However, Baker testified explicitly that he first caught a glimpse of the man in the vestibule from the stairs and, upon running to the vestibule door, saw Oswald in the lunchroom (3H256). The Report's failure to point out Baker's position is significant. 

      Had Oswald descended from the sixth floor, his path through the vestibule into the lunchroom would have been confined to the north wall of the vestibule. Yet the line of sight from Baker's position at the steps does not include any area near the north wall. From the steps, Baker could have seen only one area in the vestibule -- the southeast portion. The only way Oswald could have been in this area on his way to the lunchroom is if he entered the vestibule through the southernmost door, as the previously cited testimony indicates he did. 

      Oswald could not have entered the vestibule in this manner had he just descended from the sixth floor. The only way he could have gotten to the southern door is from the first floor up through either a large office space or an adjacent corridor. As the Report concedes, Oswald told police he had eaten his lunch on the first floor and gone up to the second to purchase a coke when he encountered an officer (R182). 

      Thus, Oswald had an alibi. Had he been the sixth-floor gunman, he would have arrived at the lunchroom at least 5 secondsafter Baker did, probably more. It is extremely doubtful that he could have entered the vestibule through the first door without Baker's or Truly's having seen the door in motion. Oswald's position in the vestibule when seen by Baker was consistent only with his having come up from the first floor as he told the police.
      Oswald could not have been the assassin. 

      The Commission had great difficulty with facts, for none supported the ultimate conclusions. Instead, it found comfort and security in intangibles that usually had no bearing on the actual evidence. Amateur psychology seems to have been one of the Commission's favorite sciences, approached with the predisposition that Oswald was a murderer. This was manifested in the Report's lengthy chapter, "Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives" (R375-424). 

      To lend credibility to its otherwise incredible conclusion that Oswald was the assassin, the Commission accused Oswald of yet another assassination attempt -- a shot fired at right-wing Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker on April 10, 1963 (R183-87). Thus, Oswald officially was not a newcomer to the "game" of political assassination. Although I am not in accord with the conclusion that Oswald shot at Walker, I find it illuminating that the Commission did not follow its inclination for psychology in its comparison of Oswald as the Walker assailant to Oswald as the Kennedy assailant. 

      Having just torn open the head of the President of the United States, as the Commission asserts, how did Oswald react when stopped by a policeman with a drawn gun? Roy Truly was first asked about Oswald's reaction to the encounter with Baker:

      Mr. Belin: Did you see any expression on his face? Or weren't you paying attention?
      Mr. Truly: He didn't seem to be excited or overly afraid or anything. He might have been a little startled, like I might have been if someone confronted me. But I cannot recall any change in expression of any kind on his face. (3H225)
Officer Baker was more explicit under similar questioning:
      Rep. Boggs: When you saw him [Oswald] . . ., was he out of breath, did he appear to have been running or what?
      Mr. Baker: It didn't appear that to me. He appeared normal you know.
      Rep. Boggs: Was he calm and collected?
      Mr. Baker: Yes, sir. He never did say a word or nothing. In fact, he didn't change his expression one bit.
      Mr. Belin: Did he flinch in anyway when you put the gun up . . .?
      Mr. Baker: No, sir. (3H252)
      Sen. Cooper: He did not show any evidence of any emotion?
      Mr. Baker: No, sir. (3H263)

This "calm and collected" "assassin" proceeded to buy himself a coke and at his normal "very slow pace," was then observed by Depository employee Mrs. Robert Reid walking through the office space on the second floor on his way down to the first floor (3H279). Presumably he finished his coke on the first floor. Documents in the Commission's files (but omitted from the Report, which assumes Oswald made an immediate get-away) indicate very strongly that, at the main entrance after the shots, Oswald directed two newsmen to the Depository phones (CD354). 

      According to the evidence credited by the Commission, Oswald was not such a cool cucumber after his first assassination attempt. Here the source of the Commission's information was Oswald's wife, Marina, and his once close "friends," George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt. The incident in question is described in the Report as follows:
 The De Mohrenschildts came to Oswald's apartment on Neely Street for the first time on the evening of April 13, 1963 (three days after the Walker incident), apparently to bring an Easter gift for the Oswald child. Mrs. De Mohrenschildt then told her husband, in the presence of the Oswalds, that there was a rifle in the closet. Mrs. De Mohrenschildt testified that "George, of course, with his sense of humor -- Walker was shot at a few days ago, within that time. He said, `Did you take a pot shot at Walker by any chance?'"

At that point, Mr. De Mohrenschildt testified, Oswald "sort of shriveled, you see, when I asked this question . . . made a peculiar face . . . (and) changed the expression on his face" and remarked that he did target-shooting. Marina Oswald testified that the De Mohrenschildts came to visit a few days after the Walker incident and that when De Mohrenschildt made his reference to Oswald's possibly shooting at Walker, Oswald's "face changed, . . . he almost became speechless." According to the De Mohrenschildts, Mr. De Mohrenschildt's remark was intended as a joke, and he had no knowledge of Oswald's involvement in the attack on Walker. Nonetheless, the remark appears to have created an uncomfortable silence, and the De Mohrenschildts left "very soon afterwards." (R282-83)

De Mohrenschildt further testified that his "joking" remark "had an effect on" Oswald, making him "very, very uncomfortable" (9H249-50). In another section, the Report adds that Oswald "was visibly shaken" by the remark (R274). 

      The Commission certainly chose a paradoxical assassin. We are asked to believe, according to the Commission, that Oswald was guilty of attacking both Walker and Kennedy. Yet, this man who officially became markedly upset when jokingly confronted with his attempt to kill Walker did not even flinch when a policeman put a gun to his stomach immediately after he murdered the President! 

      The Commission begged for the charge of being ludicrous in drawing its conclusions relevant to Oswald and the assassination; it insulted common sense and intelligence when it asked that those conclusions be accepted and believed.

The first critical analysis of these reconstructions appeared in Whitewash, pp. 36-38.
CBS News Extra: "November 22 and the Warren Report," p. 28.

To my knowledge, the Couch film is not commercially available. I was fortunately able to obtain numerous stills made from individual frames of a copy of the Couch film, which was originally obtained from the Dallas television station for which Couch worked. Due to the legalities involved, these pictures can not be reproduced here.

I obtained numerous frames from the Weigman film in the same manner as described above. These can not be reproduced either.

Weisberg, Whitewash, p. 37.
CBS News Inquiry: "The Warren Report," Part I, p. 9

The lunchroom encounter was Oswald's alibi; it proved that he could not have been at the sixth-floor window during the shots.

[BK Notes: That Oswald was on the first floor shortly before the assassination, as he said he was, is documented by Roffman in his appendix by Mrs. Arnold, TSBD secretary.] 

Appendix F

FBI Report on Mrs. R. E. Arnold

Author's note: The Warren Commission stated in its Report that it knew of no Book Depository employee who claimed to have seen Oswald between 11:55 and 12:30 on the day of the assassination. This was false, as this FBI report from the Commission's files reveals. The Warren Report never mentions Mrs. Arnold and this FBI document was omitted from the Commission's published evidence.

Date   11/26/63

      Mrs. R. E. ARNOLD, Secretary, Texas School Book Depository, advised she was in her office on the second floor of the building on November 22, 1963, and left that office between 12:00 and 12:15 PM, to go downstairs and stand in front of the building to view the Presidential Motorcade. 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 hallway 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.
      She stated thereafter she viewed the Presidential Motorcade and heard the shots that were fired at the President; however, she could furnish no information of value as to the individual firing the shots or any other information concerning OSWALD, whom she stated she did not know and had merely seen him working in the building.

on     11/26/63     at     Dallas, Texas     File #     DL 89-43
by Special Agent     RICHARD E. HARRISON/rmh
Date dictated   11/26/63

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