It seems reasonable to believe that the revolver that was found on Oswald was the revolver that was used to kill JD Tippit. (For the purposes of this essay, I will pretend that the gun, which had a poor chain of evidence, was not fired after the fact in order to produce shells that could be planted at the scene).
The marks on the shells and bullets are consistent enough with the gun to conclude such.
That there were two types of shells and bullets is not relevant as a 38 Special can fire bullets made by two manufacturers, Western Cartridge and Remington Peters.
It also seems likely that LHO purchased whatever bullets were available at the store. As long as it works, who cares.
What does not seem reasonable to conclude is that LHO fired the gun that killed JD Tippit.
Why would I think this?
Because a man cannot be in two places at the same time.
If LHO was in the theater by one o’clock, he could not have shot JD Tippit. There is ample evidence to support LHO being in that theater. There is also ample evidence to support LHO not being outside the theater at the time of the Tippit shooting.
If he had shot Tippit, he would have required a minimum of ten minutes to get inside that theater. If Tippit was shot at 1:15, LHO would have arrive at the theater at 1:25 PM given additional minutes for having to avoid the police, given an additional minute for having to stop at Hardy Shoes.
1:25 PM is close enough to Johnny Brewer’s time frame.
If LHO was outside the theater, and Johnny “Eagle Eye” Brewer was hot in his heels, how did LHO have the time to buy popcorn and move around the theater into different seats?
This is the evidence that supports him not being outside the theater.
What is more likely is that Oswald was driven to the theater directly from the Texas school book depository. Roger Craig saw him get in a car.
It makes sense, if you are planning an assassination, to deposit Lee Oswald in a soundproof room where he will not be able to hear any police sirens or any scuttlebutt from passersby. He will also not be able to hear any radio. He will not be able to see any television. The Texas Theater was the perfect spot to deposit him.
As a collaborator who was likely told he was going to be extracted and smuggled out of Dallas to find a new identity elsewhere, Lee would feel more comfortable there in a dark room where people would be less likely to identify him.
The key to framing him and convicting him would be to find a way to get the gun that killed JD Tippit into the hands of Lee Oswald.
It’s not that difficult to do. To begin with LHO is going to be in the theater for two hours. It wasn’t necessary for Lee to be picked up when he was; it could have easily been an hour later or 90 minutes later.
All that was required to frame Oswald was synchrony.
JD Tippit was shot by a professional assassin. You can read elsewhere on this site for how that was done. Here I want to focus on what was likely to have happened after Tippit’s killer disappeared behind the Texaco station on Crawford.
Tippit’s Killer, TK – Fake Oswald #2 – kills Tippit, walks south on Patton to Jefferson, hangs a right, walks west a block down to Crawford and hangs a right. He disappears behind the Texaco station.
What makes sense is that he ditched his jacket underneath a car, then got into a car driven by an accomplice. He hands the accomplice Oswald’s revolver, puts on a disguise (not hard to do: glasses, a cap, a change of shirt), after which the two drive down to the Texas Theater.
While TK waits in the car, the accomplice with the revolver, enters the theater with a pre-paid ticket (or buys a ticket), then sits behind LHO at which point, he hands him the gun and the bullets. Time on the clock: 1:20 PM. The accomplice then walks the 200 paces or so to Hardy Shoes and gives a signal to Johnny Brewer who is then off to the races. Or, if you believe that Johnny Brewer is innocent, you have TK walk over to the Hardy Shoes and look nervous. TK then enters the theater but instead of sitting of down goes right back out after Johnny Brewer enters. After Johnny Brewer enters the theater, a convenient call is made to the cops.
And there is it: LHO Surprise!
The important thing to remember is that it’s not important what precise time TK’s accomplice gets to the theater. He could have entered at 2 PM. What’s important is that he hands the revolver to Oswald, walks down to Hardy Shoes, then calls the DPD to set the wheels in motion. Oswald then gets arrested at 2:15 PM. Big deal.
In this scenario, we do not need to impugn the integrity of Gerald Hill or any of the other officers. As a matter of fact, it’s better for us if they aren’t brought into the scam. Bringing them into the scam makes the mission of framing LHO much more difficult.
What I will challenge are the events that transpired as Nick McDonald approached Oswald. I do not believe that LHO threw a punch in at Nick McDonald. To be charitable it’s possible that Nick McDonald interpreted as Oswald raising his hands in surrender as such. I think that Oswald knew the game was up and was raising his hand in surrender. Nick McDonald possibly felt threatened by this and so threw a punch at Oswald thus creating the mouse over his left eye. At this point, Oswald with his hands raised, fell to his left with Nick McDonald on top of him. The bracelet on Oswald right wrist is what scratched Nick McDonald’s left cheek.
It’s difficult to believe that Oswald was reaching for his gun. People’s testimony reveals that although the house lights were up, it was still very dim in the theater. Additionally there was a melee of hands around Oswald. There was such a melee that one officer accidentally handcuffed another officer. It would be impossible for any officer to state with certainty that Oswald had his hand on the gun.
Did the hammer of the gun hit the bullet? Was there a misfire? This is unlikely. I don’t want to say that anyone on the Dallas Police Department was overtly lying. Let’s just say that they were highly motivated to believe such.
One question must be answered above all. Assuming he did not kill Tippit, why would Oswald feel the need to carry a gun in a movie theater? Assuming that LHO is being framed, if the accomplice to TK did indeed hand a gun to LHO minutes before the police showed up, why would Oswald require a gun? LHO would naturally ask the accomplice: Why are you bringing me a gun? For this caper to work, LHO must be sold on the need for a gun; otherwise he might get spooked and refuse to accept the gun.
Perhaps the gun was given to LHO as part of the mission: In case he was caught he was to kill himself. Is this too outlandish? Perhaps. It would be unrealistic to expect him to do so, but we are not expecting Oswald to kill himself; we are just looking for a rationale to get him to accept the gun. Maybe this is not so implausible given that LHO left his ring and nearly all his money with this wife prior to departing for work on 11/22/63. Clearly, LHO felt the gravity of what he was participating in.
Why did LHO have only $13.87 on his body? That’s probably about $250 in 2022 money, not exactly enough to get far on. That he left the bulk of his money to Marina indicates that he felt he might not survive the day. Alternatively, it might mean that he felt someone else might provide for his needs.
If LHO was known to be armed and dangerous, why did Nick McDonald not approach Oswald with his revolver drawn? Did he do so because he knew LHO had no gun? Was the fix in?
Why does LHO after the assassination of JFK not put on a disguise after he leaves his boarding house? Why does he stroll around Oak Cliff looking like himself? LHO is certainly familiar with methods of disguising himself. He certainly has watched enough television shows in his life. If he’s nervous enough to be carrying a gun, why not put on a cap, glasses? How about a heavy coat? We certainly know that he owned one, because he arrived back in the United States wearing one. We also know that Oswald was familiar with the Red Cross. If you are familiar with the Red Cross, you are generally familiar with all the services that poor people must access. It stands to reason that he was familiar with the Salvation Army that sells clothes on the cheap. That he is not wearing a disguise might indicate that he wasn’t worried about being picked up, or that he wasn’t walking around Oak Cliff to begin with.
Why would Oswald admit to carrying a “pistol” into a theater. Bentley, Hill and Carroll testified that Oswald said such. In so many words they said that Oswald knew it was wrong to carry a “pistol” into a movie theater. Why would Oswald use the word “pistol” when he clearly was alleged to have carried a revolver. Oswald was a military man. He certainly knew the difference between a pistol and a revolver. So did the police officers. Perhaps the word pistol was used generally to describe any gun? Fair enough. But why would LHO admit to it when he clammed up about everything else?
Did the police officers agree to fabricate this testimony in order to tie Oswald more firmly to the gun? Or did one police officer plant this so-called admission by Oswald into their minds. Suppose when they got back to the station, someone like Jerry Hill said to the others: “Can you believe what he said about the pistol? He says: ‘What did I do that was wrong? I know that carrying a pistol into a movie theater was a wrong thing to do, but why are you arresting me?’” The other officers say: “He said that.” Hill: “Oh, yeah, he said it. We have to agree to that. We all have to write that in our report. Otherwise this cop-killer gets off.”
Well, maybe it didn’t go down exactly that way, but it might have gone down in a similar way. They were motivated to catch a cop-killer. And it’s not like officers of the Dallas Police Department hadn’t done something like this before.
Many researchers have looked closely at Jerry Hill because he was at so many critical locations during the assassination of JFK and JD Tippit. After reviewing these criticisms of Jerry Hill, I don’t see much in the way of opportunity for him to fabricate evidence. He seems like an honest guy. So do the other officers. Nevertheless, they had motivation to make sure LHO was not going to escape justice in the killing of their fellow officer. To that end, we should ask some questions.
Why would Oswald admit to carrying a gun into a theater? If he was going to be a cool, calm and collected otherwise; if he was not going to answer other questions, why would he volunteer that information? Why would he potentially incriminate himself? If he had shot Tippit, why would he admit to bringing the gun into the theater? Why wouldn’t he have ditched the gun somewhere down Jefferson or 10th Street? If he really was a cop killer, and he had brought the gun into the theater, why not pull out the gun when Nick McDonald was ten feet away and kill him right then and there?
Perhaps, Oswald said to the officers: “Why are you arresting me? You’re saying I brought a gun into this theater?” Maybe the officers having already convinced themselves that Oswald was the killer didn’t hear him right. Maybe they heard him say: “Why are you arresting me? I brought a gun into this theater.” This is the charitable explanation, but it’s possible. Our minds are powerful tools, and often they pick out what we want to hear.
Did Jerry Hill upon entering the theater, run up to the balcony, grab Oswald’s gun from TK’s accomplice, then run down to the first level and shove the gun into the melee of hands? Or did another officer do so? Clearly that gun found its way into the melee. Maybe not. Maybe TK’s accomplice handed the gun to LHO as stated before. But why? Why would LHO need a gun if was assured that he would be extracted to a safe location?
On Saturday, 11/23/63, Jerry Hill took the day off. On Sunday, 11/24/63, Jerry Hill took a Braniff flight to San Antonio to attend a police officer’s meeting. What? You are one of the principle key officers in the Dallas Police Department who is involved in what transpired at the Texas School Book Depository, the Tippit killing, and the arrest of Oswald at the Texas Theater, and you took the weekend off? Who has a meeting on Sunday morning in Texas in 1963. When I came to Texas in 1982, I couldn’t shop at the mall on Sunday. This was a blue state. Again, who schedules a meeting on Sunday morning in Texas in 1963?
If I am Jesse Curry, I’m going to go to Jerry Hill and I’m going to say to him: “Your day off is canceled. Your meeting in San Antonio is canceled. You are needed here.”
Was Jerry Hill at that meeting in SA? Was Jerry Hill at the LHO press conference on Friday night. Apparently not. But if he was, he certainly would have witnessed Jack Ruby volunteering a comment from the peanut gallery. So would many other Dallas police officers.
Jerry Hill by his own admission knew Jack Ruby.
Is this important? Maybe. Maybe not. We know that Jerry Hill opened a tax service years later. We also know that Jack Ruby was hopeless in doing his own taxes. Maybe a younger Jerry Hill had helped Jack out from time to time with curbside tax advice. Maybe they knew each other better than we were led to believe.
I find it fascinating that these two tidbits of testimony – Jerry’s trip to SA, and his acquaintance with Jack Ruby – were added on at the end of Jerry Hill’s testimony. Were the WC investigators trying to tidy up a few loose ends?
What about Captain Westbrook who was Jerry Hill’s boss? It has been reported that Captain Westbrook in 1966 worked with USAID in Vietnam. He also worked as an advisor to the police in Saigon. Dale Meyers does not find this significant. I disagree. I find it highly significant. When it comes to a crime we frequently do not have the full evidence that would convict that person; but with time we almost always know who did the crime. People reveal themselves through their later actions. That has been my experience.
USAID has been long known as a CIA front organization. Working as an advisor to the Saigon Police might amount to the same. It reveals much about Captain Westbrook. Why would USAID pick him? They are looking for team players. Perhaps Captain Westbrook was a natural fit having worked with CIA before. We know that the CIA has placed liaison workers in various police departments. Captain Westbrook was the head of personnel in the DPD which is Internal Affairs. If anyone would know if the CIA was placing liaison personnel in the DPD, he would know about it. Maybe Captain Westbrook was working with the CIA in 1963.
Is it too farfetched to speculate that Westbrook was handed Oswald’s gun by TK, and that Westbrook shoved the gun into the melee of hands? He was there. Or was he a split second too late?
The arresting police officers had plenty of time to confer and get their story straight. My experience with groups is that conformity is valued over individuality. The vast majority of people do not feel comfortable in being the wet blanket on the party. Since police work depends much on collegiality and working together it would not be surprising to discover that the officers arrived at a story and stuck to it.
Given that, much of what we have learned about Oswald’s arrest may not happened. Much of the narrative we think we know may have been conceived in post production. It’s not hard to do. People want to go along.
Copyright 2022 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved
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