Case To Answer: A retired English detective's essays
and articles on the JFK Assassination, 1993-2011 UPDATED
a retired police officer in the UK (uniform and CID, 1971-1994)
it is only natural that one of my specialist areas of research
into the JFK assassination should centre upon the Dallas Police
Department. I have studied the DPD for several years, concentrating
particularly on that brief period from 22nd to 24th November
1963. Inevitably, I have made occasional comparisons between
the DPD of 1963 and its modern counterpart. Similarly, I have
sometimes compared the differences in general policing methods,
particularly in the investigative field, as carried out on both
sides of the Atlantic.
of the highlights of the 1997 JFK-Lancer Conference in Dallas,
Texas was the opportunity for William Law, Mark Rowe and myself
to conduct a video-recorded interview of assassination eyewitness
William "Bill" Eugene Newman, Jr. At the time
of the assassination, Mr Newman was standing on the north side
of Elm Street and can be seen plainly on many films and photographs
as he and his wife Gayle threw themselves to the ground to protect
their two young children as the shots rang out. Both Bill and
Gayle Newman were aged 22 at the time of the assassination.
of the most frequently asked questions in connection with the
Kennedy assassination concerns the identity of a mysterious young
lady who became known as the Babushka Lady. She can be
seen clearly on the Zapruder film and also on various other movie
films and still photographs taken in Dealey Plaza on 22nd November
1963. The Babushka Lady is one of the few eyewitnesses who were
not immediately identified. She acquired her rather odd nickname
because of the babushka or triangular headscarf tied under the
chin which she was wearing that day.
was employed by Texas Instruments in north Dallas and was a deaf
mute. On the day of the assassination, he was at work as usual
but during his morning refreshment break he broke a tooth and
was given permission to visit his dentist for urgent attention.
This drive took him close to Dealey Plaza and recalling that
the President was due to pass through, he stopped his car to
watch the motorcade. From his elevated vantage point on Stemmons
Freeway he had an unrestricted view over not only Dealey Plaza
but also the railroad yards behind the picket fence. From this
position, Ed saw two men behind the picket fence, one of whom
fired a rifle at the motorcade.
seems to have become one of the forgotten witnesses to the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy. His is not a name that springs
readily to mind like those of Howard Brennan, Jean Hill or Abraham
Zapruder, when the events of Friday 22nd November 1963 are discussed.
I find this strange since Paternostro viewed the event from a
perfect and unobstructed elevated vantage point and he appears
to have been a totally honest and credible witness. There is
even a somewhat vague and uncorroborated report that he saw a
rifle pointing out of one of the windows of the Texas School
Book Depository at the time of the assassination. You will search
in vain for this gentleman's name in the Warren Commission Report
and it appears only twice in the 26 Volumes of Hearings and Exhibits.
These appearances, however, seem to be significant and they constitute
the basis of this short analysis.
a result of the televised coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial
(1994/95), many of us became familiar with the appearance and
testimony of a rather strange character called Brian 'Kato' Kaelin.
This aspiring actor ('aspiring' for several years) had been a
close friend of both victim Nicole Brown Simpson and accused
Oranthal James Simpson. It was debatable which side, the prosecution
or the defence, would call Kaelin to appear for them during the
criminal trial. In the event, he was called by the prosecution.
His evidence, however, seemed to be of equal value to the defence.
I feel that Ronald B. Fischer and Robert Edwin Edwards
would have proved similarly valuable to both prosecution and
defence if Lee Harvey Oswald had lived long enough to be allowed
his day in court. Fischer and Edwards were eyewitnesses to the
assassination of President John Kennedy in Dealey Plaza, Dallas
on 22nd November 1963 and were thus of considerable importance.
However we need to examine exactly what they saw, or what they
said they saw, in order to judge what their individual value
may have been in a court trial, for whichever side they may have
Monday 25th November 1996, as a result of my friend the late
Mike Blackwell acting as the middleman, I had the opportunity
to meet and interview Johnny Calvin Brewer. Like most
researchers, I knew Brewer as the shoe store manager who had
seen Lee Harvey Oswald acting suspiciously on West Jefferson
Boulevard, Oak Cliff, and then ducking into the Texas Theatre
a matter of minutes after the shooting of Patrolman J. D. Tippit.
the assassination of President Kennedy was apparently a purely
American affair, it obviously had a profound and lasting effect
on the rest of the world. There was not a country on the planet
that was not affected in some way. This applied equally to the
countries of the 'free' world and to those under Communist or
totalitarian influence. As one of the United States' foremost
allies, the United Kingdom shared the shock and revulsion of
the event more keenly than most. It is not widely known, however,
that various British citizens played important parts in
several aspects of the assassination, its aftermath and subsequent
investigation. Purely by coincidence, the majority of these people
I think all serious researchers are aware, Lee Harvey Oswald
seemed to be officially declared 'guilty' within a very short
time of his arrest. Indeed, some may say that this situation
existed before his arrest. When I say 'officially' I mean in
the eyes of the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas County Sheriff's
Office, the Dallas District Attorney's Office and the FBI. Since
it was so obviously an 'open-and-shut' case and the murderer
of Kennedy and Tippit was safely in custody, there was nothing
more to do but complete a few reports, wrap up the files and
all go out for a celebratory drink to mark a job well done. Maybe
this was also the reason that the separate identity parades which
Oswald attended had been conducted in such a haphazard, unfair
and downright sloppy manner. They could have been filmed and
shown to future police recruit classes as how not to do it.
- Dallas Postal Inspector Harry
D. Holmes was, in my
opinion, one of the most fascinating characters connected with
the investigation of the Kennedy assassination. Most people in
the case fall into one of the accepted categories: assassination
eyewitness, expert witness or police witness. Mr Holmes, however,
could be said to drop into all three of those categories-plus
- At the end of a 1994 presentation
on the subject of the rifle allegedly used in the assassination
of President Kennedy I was pleased to answer questions from an
enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. One question concerned
a screwdriver or breakdown tool for the Mannlicher-Carcano
rifle, the alleged assassination weapon. I confirmed that
there was no evidence to suggest that either of those implements
had been found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository
or in Lee Harvey Oswald's possession. I was then asked whether
it could have been possible for the Mannlicher to have been disassembled
and later reassembled using a small coin. It is known that Oswald
had cash amounting to $13.87 on him when he was arrested. This
sum included three dime coins. Much of my presentation was centred
on the fact that I distrust the Warren Commission's account of
the finding and subsequent handling of the Mannlicher-Carcano.
Furthermore, I seriously question the very existence of the paper
sack in which the weapon is alleged to have been carried by Oswald
from Irving to the TSBD on the morning of the assassination.
The official version would have us believe that Oswald carried
the disassembled rifle to work in a "heavy brown bag"-the
paper sack CE 142 and/or 626-on the back seat of Buell Wesley
Frazier's car that morning. The word 'disassembled' is one which
very few, if any, researchers have taken the trouble to examine
in depth. What exactly does the word mean in the present context.
- One of the most questionable
of all Warren Commission exhibits has to be CE 1302. This is
a photograph which, according to its caption, purports to show
"Approximate location of wrapping-paper bag ... near
window in southeast corner." The Contents page to Volume
22 of the Warren Commission's 26 Volumes of Hearings and Exhibits,
in which this appears on page 479, describes this exhibit as
"Photograph of southeast corner of sixth floor of Texas
School Book Depository Building showing approximate location
of wrapping-paper bag and location of palmprint on carton."
From those positive and uncomplicated descriptions, we would
expect to see a photograph showing a bag made out of wrapping-paper.
In reality, the photograph shows no paper bag-just a dotted line
rectangle which has been printed on to the photograph and which
bears the legend: "Approximate location of wrapping-paper
bag." In accordance with normal police practice, other items
of potential evidential value at the sixth floor crime scene
were photographed where they lay-for example, the rifle, the
spent cartridges and the book carton with the palm print on it.
Why then, was the paper bag not afforded this attention? May
I be as bold as to suggest that this most vital item of 'evidence'
did not actually exist at the time? It is my earnest belief that
the paper bag was made up (in both senses) some time later.
is Ian Griggs, the man: his intelligence, experience, humanity
and humor; Ian Griggs, his person, his presence, but especially
his voice that we hear in this irreplaceable collection of presentations
and essays on the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Emeritus George Michael Evica, author of And We Are All Mortal
interest in the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy began
on 22nd November 1963 and he has been studying it seriously for
the past 35 years. He has become a frequent visitor to Dallas
where he has built up a wide range of friends and contacts.
He has written and published many articles on the subject, 27
of which are featured in the book before you. He has also presented
research papers and acted as a panel moderator at ASK, COPA,
Fourth Decade and JFK Lancer conferences in Dallas, Fredonia
(New York) and Washington, D.C. He is a founder member of the
British research group Dealey Plaza UK, was the group's first
Secretary, from 1995 to 2005 and edited its research journal,
The Dealey Plaza Echo, from 1996 to 2005. Ian is the proud recipient
of a JFK Lancer Editor's Award (1995) and in 1998 he received
a JFK Lancer New Frontier Award.
all Holmes's reasoning the thing seemed like simplicity
itself when it was once explained."
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle "The Stockbroker's Clerk" (published