The Real Sixth Floor
The real sixth floor was an open room stacked and packed with books. The elevators and stairwell were in the northwest corner. The decoy nest and window was in the southeast corner overlooking Dealey Plaza. The shells were found in the southeast corner, the rifle was found at the head of the stairwell in the northwest corner. The Warren Commission never asked why Oswald, if he shot JFK, could not take the time to pick up three shells at his feet.
Could Oswald have shot JFK from the 6th Floor and gotten down to the lunchroom in time for Officer Marrion Baker to see him? Yes, if he slid six floors down a fire pole. Otherwise, most decidedly not. Why? Physics. I have excerpted the following from my book, How to Fix the JFK Lie in 30 Seconds.
You are going to race Lee Oswald as he tears down a staircase. You will represent Marrion Baker, the policeman who encountered Lee in the second-floor lunchroom after the assassination. A shot will be fired to commence the race. Lee will run approximately 100 feet to get to the stairs on the sixth floor, 100 feet to go down the stairs (60 feet diagonally descending, 40 feet horizontal), 15 feet to get into the break room on the second floor. The grand total is about 215 feet. Lee however was not able to run in a straight line; he had approximately 20 stops, 5 per floor, because of the peculiar old-world staircase design. Let’s conservatively estimate that each stop takes one (1) second of time. This creates 20 extra seconds of handicap for Lee. Don’t fret; making each stop a quarter second won’t change the results.
Marrion Baker was outside the TSBD as the shots went off. He immediately got off his bike and headed into the TSBD. The distance he had to travel was approximately 165 feet – 45 feet to get from his bike to the Oswald-Baker axis point at the TSBD, 100 feet inside the TSBD and 25 feet to get up one flight of stairs. Marrion Baker had a few obstructions along the way, but not too many. He had about five. The front door, the inner door (where Roy Truly ran into his back), the stop at the door to the stairwell and the 1/2 landing 90 degree turn on that stairway to the second floor. Let’s add another stop at the doorway to the second floor. This gives him 5.0 seconds of handicap.
Take a look at the numbers below and you will see that Marrion Baker beats Oswald to that lunch room with plenty to spare. And that is the key point.
Now, this is, of course, assuming that both Lee and Marrion took off at the same time and that neither one dawdled around. I estimated that the time it took for Lee to admire his handiwork (surely he looked to see what had happened after he shot) plus hide the weapon equaled the amount of time for Marrion to assess the unfolding situation in front of him. This model also assumes that Baker and Oswald were moving at the same speed, which seems reasonable; and that Baker and Oswald traveled the same distance across their respective floors. I figure that the boxes on Oswald’s floor canceled out any walls and people that may have held Baker back on his floor.
Additionally, I didn’t factor into the equation the placement of the rifle on the northwest corner of the TSBD. The rifle appears as if it could have been placed by Martha Stewart herself so neatly and carefully was it positioned. Was there a gift card with a bow as well? Had Oswald placed that rifle there, it would have taken him at least an extra 15 to 30 seconds. Oswald may as well have taken a boat to China to place that rifle.
Note: The TSBD is about 80 feet by 80 feet when you look at interior dimensions where people were likely to walk. A direct diagonal is about 100 feet. This distance across the TSBD by both Baker and Oswald is moot because both have to travel approximately the same distance. Oswald most likely had more obstructions; Baker was unfamiliar with the layout plan so was probably hindered by not knowing precisely where to go. Quite frankly, I’m being charitable to Baker here because Oswald was more likely to not walk in a diagonal across the floor due to the many books.
Here is a spreadsheet where you can evaluate side by side the times and distances.
Here is a schematic drawing of the staircase Oswald had to descend. A modern staircase is separated from the contents of the floor itself. An old-world staircase is not. Some of the floors may have doors leading into the staircase; some may not.