Tuesday, 30 April 2024 07:27

The Tippit Tapes: A Re-examination

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In a new examination of the Dallas Police tapes, John Washburn demonstrates how it is almost a certainty that the tapes have been altered, and altered in a way that indicates a deliberate cover up for malignant reasons.

Set out here is new evidence drawn from an exercise comparing the Dallas Police Department radio transmissions on tapes extracted from Dictabelt recordings - held by the University of Virginia - to what was transcribed in three versions for the Warren Commission.


Officer JD Tippit was out of his assigned District 78 in the far south of Dallas at the time he was shot with four bullets, one to the head. The time of the shooting is disputed but it appears to be shortly after 1:00pm in Oak Cliff, Dallas outside 410E 10th Street.

His murder was attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald, allegedly on the run from shooting Kennedy on Elm Street, Dealey Plaza, Dallas, at 12:30 pm from the 6th Floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). But there was no credible explanation as to why Tippit was at 10th and Patton, nor what he was doing. There was also no credible explanation as to how Oswald left his lodgings at 1026 N Beckley at 1:03 pm-1:04 pm and then allegedly walked 0.9 miles to shoot Tippit.

Temple Bowley chanced on the post-event murder scene at 1:10pm and announced the crime on Tippit’s own car radio. (James DiEugenio, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, p. 127) An ambulance from two blocks away that had already been called by a neighbor arrived as Bowley was finishing that call. The ambulance then delivered Tippit’s body to Beckley Methodist Hospital, he was declared dead on arrival by a doctor at 1:15pm.

The assailant was seen walking from the east, whilst the route Oswald would have needed to have taken was from the north and west. There are plenty of other discrepancies of witness descriptions of the Tippit assailant that cast doubt on him being Oswald.


More than one person was reported to have been on the scene, and a neighbor in an apartment at 113 ½ S Patton, with a view across the rear of 410 E 10th, Doris Holan, said she saw two police officers present when Tippit was murdered. She said a police car pulled up in the alley behind 404 and 410 East 10th that could only be accessed from the alley behind the houses that ran from Denver to Patton.

More on that later. Just to say, her story has been misinformed by some on the basis she lived opposite of the murder scene and couldn’t see the back of 410 E 10th. However, she had moved from 409 E 10th to 113 S Patton in September 1963 and was living there on 22 November 1963. 113 ½ S Patton had a clear elevated view only 140 feet distance to the back of 410 E 10th and rear driveway and rear alley that the driveway was accessed from.

There were also discrepancies regarding the discarded shells found at the scene, and an alert on police radio was that Tippit had been shot with an automatic. (Henry Hurt,Reasonable Doubt, p. 155) The handgun on Oswald purportedly had on his arrest at the Texas Theater cinema was a revolver and had a bent firing pin.

The Warren Commission account – to give Oswald time to walk from 1026 N Beckley – had to deal with the problem of Tippit arriving at the hospital before, on its timeline, he’d been shot. For the death certificate by Dr. Richard Liquori states the time of death at 1:15 PM. The Warren Report says that TIppit was shot at about 1:16. (WR p. 155)

Housekeeper Earlene Roberts saw the man she thought was Oswald standing opposite the rooming house address 1026 N Beckley at 1:03pm-1:04pm after police car 207 pulled up and honked.(Mark Lane,Rush to Judgment, p. 170) Car 207 had left Dallas Police HQ at (old) City Hall at 12:46 pm having taken Sergeant Gerald Hill to the Texas School Book Depository.

Unpublished WC papers in a dossier now in the Kennedy files show that Warren Commission staff had a suspicion that Laverne “Larry Crafard” was 1 of 4 persons who they suspected might be impersonating Oswald. (Memo from Burt Griffin to staff, March 13, 1964) Crafard was a casual employee of Jack Ruby - who shot and killed Oswald at the City Hall Police HQ basement on 24 November - for just over a month in October and November 1963. He reportedly lived in a back room at the Carousel Club. He left Dallas after the assassination and hitchhiked to Michigan with seven dollars in his pocket. (Michael Benson,Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination, pp. 89-90)

Ruby was a nightclub owning minor mobster. He’d been a regular visitor to DPD HQ for years before the Kennedy assassination. He was also in and out of the Dallas Police offices in the two days prior to his arrest for shooting Oswald. The Dallas Police Department was known for being corrupt and very right-wing with members of Ku Klux Klan serving in it, together with Klan linked Masonic lodges.

But things were already going on before then, involving other police officers, that cannot be explained as being a reaction to Kennedy being shot.

Oak Cliff - a likely getaway zone (per radio Dispatcher Murray Jackson). So why was it full of cops before the assassination?

Shortly after the assassination of Kennedy, Officer Tippit was seen by several witnesses at a Gloco service station, Oak Cliff, the other side of the Trinity River basin from Dealey Plaza at the southern end of the Houston Viaduct. But that only emerged after the Warren Commission’s conclusions were made public. The evidence of the employees at Gloco gas service station, from Tippit researcher GregLowrey - is that they were absolutely certain Tippit arrived shortly after the “shots were fired” in Dealey Plaza.

“Greg recalled his interviews with Gloco Station employees Emmett Hollingshead and J.B. "Shorty" Lewis. They were both certain that Tippit arrived at the Gloco Station "a few minutes" after the shots were fired in Dealey Plaza. Greg said "There was simply no doubt whatever about this in their minds, they were absolutely certain””.

They then said he stayed for about 10 minutes and headed off at speed in the direction of Lancaster Avenue.

Nothing in what the witnesses said indicate this was third-hand information, and look at where they were. Gloco was across the Trinity River basin from Dealey Plaza, 1.2 miles in a straight line (approximately where Greenbriar Streetcar station is now).

We know that Tippit’s colleague, Officer R. C. Nelson, could hear the shots across the river basin. Nelson told CBS in 2013 he was on the western end of the Commerce Viaduct, 0.85 miles in straight line from Dealey Plaza. He heard the shots and drove over to Dealey Plaza in time to see people still cowering on the ground.

Given Nelson - who was also not where he should have been at 12:30pm - could hear “shots fired”, then outdoor gas pump attendants at Gloco, should have been able to hear the shots too. That would explain their certainty by hearing the event, not being told it. They said Tippit stayed approximately 10 minutes then raced off at speed in the direction of Lancaster Avenue (by a road now covered over).

Tippit was also seen at Gloco by professional photographer Al Volkland . Volkland took a famous photo from the margin of the freeway (at what is now Highway 366) of the distressed JFK limousine heading to Parkland Hospital. That would have been 12:31pm. He and his wife drove from the freeway to Gloco, saw Tippit and waved, as they knew him. It’s a 5-minute ride from where the photograph was taken to Gloco by the current road system. The Volklands said it was 15-20 minutes after the assassination.

Those timings put Tippit at Gloco for approximately 10 minutes between shortly after 12:30 pm and perhaps until 12:45 or a bit after.Nelson placed himself in Dealey Plaza at 12:32 pm talking to witnesses. But by the DPD radio Nelson can then be heard calling “clear” at 12:40 pm (not transcribed for the Warren Commission).

The Warren Commission transcript, CE-705, also has a call at 12:47 pm as “101's on south end of the Houston Street viaduct.” However, the words on the tape are “87 [Nelson)] “ON, south end Houston Street viaduct”.

There is then a faint and untranscribed call to Nelson seconds later. “87 call station 7”. That is an order to make a landline call. The south end of Houston Street viaduct is of course the position of Gloco Gas Service Station which presumably would have a payphone. The word “ON” is heavily emphasised, was he at Gloco having expected to see Tippit there but who had left? After all, Nelson told author Henry Hurt he did not want to talk unless there was a monetary reward. (Hurt, p. 162)

At 12:52pm Nelson makes a radio call “87, out down here”, being the parlance for Dealey Plaza from 12:49 pm, when a call placed Deputy DPD Chief Lumpkin in charge in Dealey Plaza in which he calls “out down here”. Therefore, Nelson before 12:30 pm (the time of the assassination) was out of his assigned district 16 miles to the south, yet went to the assassination scene on hearing the shots, but then left Dealey Plaza for at least 12 minutes and then came back and on the way back is asked to make a landline call. Was Nelson saying “clear” to signal he’d left Dealey Plaza to go somewhere and 7-8 minutes later he’s heading back from whatever he went to do? More on where he may have gone is covered later

But as well as - and contrary to all of that - thereis a dispatch call at 12:45pm “87 [Nelson], 78 [Tippit], move into central Oak Cliff area.” (Hurt, p. 161) With the replies.”I'm at Kiest and er Bonnie” (5 miles south of Gloco and “87’s going north on Marsalis at R.L. Thornton” (3 miles south of Dealey Plaza).

But Nelson can’t have been heading north on Marsalis at RL Thornton from his home district, as he’d been 15 miles north at Commerce Viaduct and Dealey Plaza since at least 12:30 pm. And if Nelson had been told to go to central Oak Cliff at 12:45 pm, why did he go to back to Dealey Plaza at 12:52 pm instead? If the 12:45 pm Nelson call was genuine then his CBS account was false and the other untranscribed and mistranscribed calls are fakes. But why go to the effort to fake calls but not transcribe? (As Jim Marrs notes in Crossfire, J. C. Bowles told Gary Mack that the original tapes were taken by federal agents a few days after the assassination; Joe McBride,Into the Nightmare, p. 425)


One would also expect the dispatcher working in real time would have wondered why, if he’d made the 12:45 pm call to go to Oak Cliff, Nelson disobeyed it and went to Dealey Plaza instead.

The provenance of the 12:45 pm call fits with it being added afterwards and being ersatz. Warren Commission staff had questioned why Tippit was so far out of his home district when shot, because the 12:45 pm call out and the responses from Nelson and Tippit didn’t exist in the first DPD transcript.

There were three official transcripts of the DPD tapes:

  • Secret Service Copy CD-290. Logged by Warren Commission 8 January 1964, dated December 3 1963 (11 days after the assassination). Supplied by Deputy Chief Lumpkin of DPD.
  • FBI Copy CE-705. Went through Inspector Herbert Sawyer DPD dated 6th March 1964,
  • DoJ Copy CE-1974. – from the FBI for the DoJ dated August 11, 1964,

The reason given in the Warren Commission testimony of DPD Chief Curry for the appearance of a 12:45pm call was that not all transmissions were audible:

Mr. Rankin. Chief Curry, we were furnished a Commission Document No. 290, dated December 5, 1963, that purported. to be a radio log for your department, and it did not have any item in it in regard to instruction to Officer Tippit to go to the Central Oak Cliff area. Do you know why that would be true?

Mr. Curry. I don't know why it wasn't in that log except that these logs, after they are recorded, they are pretty difficult to try to take everything off.

However, the 12:45pm call on the tape is as clear as a bell.  One of the clearest things on the whole tape.

The likely explanation is that the 12:45 pm call was added afterwards as an attempt to explain Tippit’s movements and jibe with the Warren Commission’s published account. However, in faking Tippit’s position they also brought in a position for Nelson to embellish the story of “depletion of officers in Oak Cliff”, but those alterations missed that Nelson’s real movements were left on the tape.

Further, the voice of “Nelson” on the tape in the 12:45 pm call is different than his other calls on the same tape, in which he sounds like a pleasant, earnest young Texan. The voice at 12:45 pm is older and sounds almost drunk/slurred, a different accent. Also, the grammar, “87’s headed North on Marsalis at TL Thornton” is out. It’s in the third person. It should be “87. Headed North….etc”.

The voice of “Tippit” is also different than the other Tippit calls – he normally has a very laid-back rockabilly type twang. This one was not.

So, who controlled Tippit and Nelson (both of the SW District) that day? And as referenced above, what were the two doing that required DPD and/or the FBI which took the tapes to Oklahoma to process and then likely alter parts of them? (The intentions of FBI Director J Edgar Hoover are covered later.)

Per the Warren Commission testimony of Sergeant Calvin Owens, Owens was the acting SW District commander for that day as Lieutenant Fulgham was doing a traffic school. Owens stated that officers Tippit and Angell were under his command, but another Sergeant took over at lunchtime.An FBI memo of 20 May 1964, supplied to the Warren Commission on 5 June 1964 never published by the Commission states:

“According to Sergeant OWENS, Officer TIPPIT had gone home to eat lunch, which was a normal and approved procedure, at about noontime.”
“Sergeant OWENS advised he could not furnish any information as to when or how TIPPIT's assignment from District 78 had been changed as he, OWENS, had gone to lunch and had not returned during the time that TIPPIT's assignment had been changed.”

Then, what appears on the record of the Warren Commission is this testimony (Vol. 7, p. 78ff)

Mr. Ely. Were you on duty on November 22, 1983?
Mr. Owens. I was.
Mr. Ely. And what was the nature of your assignment on that date?
Mr. Owens. Acting lieutenant, Oak Cliff substation.
Mr. Ely. Because you were acting lieutenant in the Oak Cliff substation, would that mean that Officer Tippit would be under your supervision?
Mr. Owens. That's true.”

Ely clearly cannot understand why Tippit was wandering around the area in three different districts, i.e. 78, 109 and 91. (See p. 81) Towards the end, this happens:

“Mr. Ely. Off the record. (Discussion off the record between Counsel Ely and the witness Owens.)
Mr. Owens. I don't know what district Officer J. L. Angel [spelling should be Angell] was working, but it was my understanding that he also went to Elm and Houston.
Mr. Ely. Well, he was working somewhere in the Oak Cliff area, was he?
Mr. Owens. Yes; he was working in the Oak Cliff area under the same sergeant that Officer Tippit was working under.”

Owens is not asked who that Sergeant was nor why the command changed. He brought up Angell as answer without an on the record question that would require it. It appears as a non-sequitur after an off-record exchange with Warren Counsel Ely immediately prior to that answer.  His being “unable to furnish” is an indication that people superior to him would need to be asked that. By that, Angell wasn’t supposed to be in Oak Cliff either. Owens’ testimony vitiates the notion that Tippit was where the 12:45 pm call placed him. He was already working in Oak Cliff under the command of a Sergeant.


Per the tape at12:42 pm, and missing from the WC transcript, is Officer Angell (car 81) – saying “81. We’re still at Lansing and 8th”. That is Oak Cliff. At 12:45 pm Angell then says in a sing-song type voice “we’re going north on Industrial from Corinth” the WC Exhibit 705 did transcribe this, but wrongly, as “I’m going north on Industrial at Corinth”. That is the north end of the Corinth Viaduct over the Trinity River, consistent with having left Oak Cliff.

At 12:54 pm there is an exchange with the dispatcher and Tippit. ”78, “78” “you are in the Oak Cliff area are you not”. Tippit says “Lansin’ 8th” in his rockabilly type relaxed twang.

But all three WC transcripts had “Lancaster and 8th”. So, Tippit had by 12:54 pm left Gloco and is where Angell was 12 minutes earlier, Lansing Street at 8th. That is two streets to the west of Lancaster Avenue crossing where 8th Street has a bend. Angell and Tippit are in the same place under the same command , two blocks down, one across, from where Tippit is later shot.

The dispatcher – having likely never made the 12:45 pm call – doesn’t ask why Tippit is out of his area. Just as he didn’t ask Nelson or Angell why they were doing the things they were. Instead, he wishes to know where Tippit is, and expected it to be Oak Cliff. Was Tippit expected to confirm something prior to that call, but hadn’t?

By deduction,the dispatcher probably was in on the alteration, to assist in making it; and to tell the story after the event that the call had occurred when it hadn’t. Nelson seems not to have co-operated or else his own voice could have been used to create his 12:45pm call. Presumably too, Nelson would have told them it was a bad idea given the obvious inconsistencies elsewhere on the tape.

Lansing at 8th is not a normal suburban road but a due north-south alley and it doglegs once it crosses over 10th to the southwest and runs as the alley behind the crime scene on E 10th by passing through what is now waste ground over Denver then on to Patton and Beckley towards the Texas Theater. The continuous telegraph poles on Google maps show the alley and Lansing are the same original thoroughfare.  The Google street car drove the whole route even over the waste ground. The rear alley of what was 410 E 10th, now renumbered 408, can still be seen with a gate in front of new 410 at the rear.

DPD Dispatcher Murray Jackson said he sent Nelson and Tippit to Oak Cliff at 12:45 pm, as it was depleted of officers, and Oak Cliff was where an assassin on the the run might go. Looking at the Dallas map and what routes spill from Dealey Plaza, then Oak Cliff – over the viaducts - does makes sense as a getaway zone; if downtown is to be avoided as well as the route north to Parkland Hospital where Kennedy was taken to.

But as set out above, Jackson did not need to send any officers to Oak Cliff in reacting to the assassination. Instead, as set out below, the number of officers already there was half a dozen. Any dispatcher with ears could hear that.

Off-duty Officer Harry Olsen was in Oak Cliff on 22 November 1963 supposedly guarding a house on 8th, the estate of a lady who had died. Olsen’s girlfriend, later wife, Kay Coleman’s Warren Commission testimony--by counting blocks by reference to her apartment on N Ewing and the 7/11 store (still there at Lancaster and 8th, it was the first 7/11 in the whole of the USA) --places Olsen on 22 November 1963 at 8th at the Lansing block. She gave him an alibi for 12:30 pm. When asked how Olsen knew Kennedy had been shot, the answer was that a friend of the dead woman had called to tell her. That block on 8th is also where researcher Prof. Greg Pulte put Olsen, by property description and counting the blocks.

Warren Commission staff papers now on the web have an Olsen dossier. In July of 1964, J. Lee Rankin asked Hoover, “The Commission is interested in exploring the possibility that Harry Olsen…and Kay Coleman, a strip tease dancer for Jack Ruby, assisted Ruby in the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.” Rankin then asked for phone calls of the pair for 11/23 and 11/24.

Olsen was reportedly asked later in life whether he was involved in the shooting of Tippit. According to Michael Brownlow he said, “a lot of people followed orders that day”. (See Jack Myers, “How Oswald was framed for the Murder of Tippit”, Pt. 3) That would indicate a rogue command structure from the top rather than junior officers like Tippit and Nelson, who may merely have operated as commanded.

Olsen lied to the FBI and Warren Commission. He said that the night after the assassination Kay and he chanced across Jack Ruby around midnight at a parking garage near the Carousel Club; they had a chat, and that they had gone there to meet a person called Johnny. However, it transpired that “Johnny” was the garage attendant Johnny Simpson and he said there was no meeting with him, but he did see the others there. By Kay Olsen’s testimony the meeting with Ruby lasted 2 ½ hours. Despite that testimony raising even more questions about a conspiracy to kill Oswald, Hoover closed the inquiry in a letter of 4 September 1964.

Some of the Olsen Warren Commission deposition was done off the record and is not known to this author. The counsel who gave Olsen an easy ride despite the problems with his testimony was Arlen Specter, who was also the creator of the Single Bullet Theory.

Coleman was British and divorced from her US husband. She and Olsen drove 125 miles to see Olsen’s father in Wichita Falls. They left Dallas at 2 pm Sunday 24 November 1963, arriving in Wichita at 6:30pm. They left there at 10:30 pm, to tell him they were getting married. The reason Olsen gave for being off work on 22 November 1963 was his having a bad leg. But his testimony about his movements that weekend indicates someone very much mobile.


From the tape and transcripts and Warren Commission testimonies, there were other officers in Oak Cliff from 12:30 pm. Officer William Mentzel was at Luby’s Cafeteria on E. Jefferson Boulevard one block and 500 yards from opposite the Texas Theater on E Jefferson Boulevard. He claimed to the FBI in 1963/64 not to have known of the assassination until his lunch break ended at 1:00 pm, as he didn’t have radio contact and couldn’t get through to DPD HQ by the payphone at Luby’s as the line was always engaged.

But he did have radio contact. The tape has him calling “91 clear” at 12:33pm immediately after the 5-minute radio jam (that jamming is suspicious) across the assassination event ended. There are sirens going in the adjacent call. Mentzel’s story also changed for the HSCA when he said a waitress at Luby’s told him at about 12:45pm that Kennedy had been shot. (McBride, p. 428)He also claimed that after 1:00 pm, that he went to the scene of a motor accident. This is also dubious. From the tape he can be heard taking the call, and he interjects several times; but he hands the assignment to another officer, Patrolman Nolan. From the tape, Mentzel was anxious – and he labors the whole incident - to establish that the western part of West Davis was the venue of the accident, rather than the eastern part.

The potential relevance of that is that the low block numbers of West Davis form the junction with N Patton; 300 yards from where Tippit was shot five minutes after Mentzel’s interjections. Anyone responding to and going to the wrong end of West Davis could have been very close to where the Tippit murder was about to take place.

Officer Walker at 12:30 pm was at the old Oak Cliff fire station at 706 E 10th (still there as Engine Co No 7), where 10th meets Lancaster, where he said he popped in to watch assassination coverage on their TV. That’s two blocks and 500 yards from where Tippit is shot at 10th and Patton.

Patrolman Lewis call sign 35 per the tape (not transcribed) says at 12:47pm “105 Corinth”. That’s the south end of Corinth Viaduct, Oak Cliff. He is 7 miles out of his district in northwest Dallas next to Love Field Airport.

Officer Parker, call sign 56, states at 12:42pm “56. E Jefferson”. East Jefferson becomes the Corinth Viaduct. He was 20 miles out of his northeast patrol district of Garland.

All of this again scotches the line that Tippit and Nelson were called to Oak Cliff as it was depleted of Officers. It was not, not at all. Tippit, Angell, Mentzel, Walker, Lewis, Parker; and the viaducts are a common position: Tippit, Nelson, Parker, Lewis and then Angell. Then there was Olsen.

The SW District Commander was William Fulgham, who was purportedly on other duties for the day. He was later promoted to Deputy Chief of Police, but then investigated for misconduct in October1972. Six of his 22 Second Platoon patrolmen had unexplained movements that day: Tippit, Nelson, Mentzel, Walker, Angell and Anglin.

It would take a remarkable lack of curiosity by Fulgham not to realize that something had been going on with his officers that day. He was never called to the Warren Commission, so Owens was left trying to explain things as best he could.

The presence of so many out of district officers in the getaway zone prior to the JFK murder and without any overt radio orders to go there because of the assassination speaks volumes. As does the failure to transcribe certain calls, misrepresenting others and faking at least one.

Recently released CIA papers state that its interception of USSR intelligence concluded that Kennedy was shot by right wing elements assisted by a rogue element of the DPD.

Presidential papers also show advice to President Lyndon Johnson in the immediate days after the assassination that a commission needed to be set up to conclude Oswald was the sole assassin to avoid nuclear war with the USSR. A reason for that being Oswald’s Russia connections. J. Edgar Hoover also worried about international complications. (NBC News report, 10/26/17, by Alex Johnson) Declassified tapes also set out that Oswald was being impersonated in Mexico City at the Cuban Consulate, Hoover told Johnson that the picture the CIA sent up to the FBI was not Oswald, and the tape of his voice sent to Dallas was not his. (James Douglass,JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 80) Johnson asked whether he himself was a target on 22 November.

Added to all that, papers in the Kennedy files and now on the web--not published at the time-- contain a dossier setting out how Warren Commission staff suspected Oswald was being impersonated in Dallas. In a memo dated 3/13/64 they mapped out four persons they thought might he imposters. And they asked the FBI to investigate them. One of those suspected was Larry (Laverne) Crafard, Jack Ruby’s recently hired assistant.

Jack Ruby had picked up Crafard – a visiting fairground worker – at the Texas State Fair in October 1963. He stayed on a sofa at Ruby’s Carousel Club and the Warren Commission staff got the FBI to trace him to the wilds of Michigan, he’d gone there the weekend of 23-24 November, after the assassination. This was his exchange with Hubert, in Volume XIV of the Commission. Hubert was one of the more tenacious Warren Commission Counsels. He wants Crafard to describe the haste with which he left Dallas:

Mr. HUBERT. What about the salary that was owed to you? Weren't you interested in that?
Mr. CRAFARD. I didn't even think about it.
Mr. HUBERT. You didn't say goodbye to anybody when you left Dallas?
Mr. HUBERT. You didn't advise anyone that you were leaving Dallas?
Mr. CRAFARD. No; other than the fact that I give the key to the boy at the parking lot and told him to tell Jack goodbye for me.
Mr. HUBERT. You did send a message of goodbye to Jack through this man?
Mr. HUBERT. Did you leave word where you would be?

More on Crafard’s departure is covered later. It’s difficult to comprehend how a person relying on casual work wasn’t concerned about his final salary from Jack Ruby, begging the question whether he’d been paid off by other means.

The bus and the theater

Aligning with the suspicion that Crafard had a role in impersonating Oswald in Dallas, are the points of detail in the observations of the witnesses on the Marsalis bus Oswald was supposed to have boarded at 12:39 pm to then disembark at 12:43 pm. Both Warren Commission timings are relevant.

Mary Bledsoe had been Oswald’s landlady for a week in October 1963. She said Oswald’s face was horribly distorted when she saw him on the bus. But elsewhere in her testimony she’d described the Oswald who’d lodged with as a “good looking boy” who she wanted to help find a job.

Roy Milton Jones, also on the bus, said the man he saw on the bus who sat behind him had dark hair.  Photographs show Crafard has darker hair than Oswald and was less pleasant looking.

Domingo Benavides, a witness at the Tippit murder scene, was asked to identify Oswald in a police line-up. He said that Oswald had a tapered cut neckline, whilst the assailant he saw had a square cut neckline. Crafard had a square cut neckline in photographs. Benavides knew hair. As well as being a mechanic he worked as a barber at the Dudley Hughes Funeral Home that had supplied the ambulance to take Tippit to the hospital. Two blocks from where Benavides worked at, Tippit was shot. Benavides refused to identify Oswald as the assailant.

Benavides put the shooting of his similar looking brother down to his failure to cooperate. Witnesses to the assailant on the run e.g. Warren Reynolds, couldn’t identify the assailant as Oswald. Reynolds did then change his mind and testify after being shot in the head on 23rd January 1964 but surviving. (Benson, pp.378-79) The person arrested for that shooting was given an alibi by a dancer, Nancy Mooney, who had purportedly worked for Jack Ruby. (Benson, pp. 296-97)


Back to maps, and downtown. Of note is that the bus stop at Field and Elm where Oswald was supposed to have boarded the westbound Marsalis bus, 7 blocks (0.4 miles eastwards) from the Texas School Book Depository, was the closest bus stop to the Carousel Club, 140 yards away at 1312 ½ Commerce Street, a 2-minute walk, and the place Crafard spent the night of 21/22 November.

Further evidence consistent with someone impersonating Oswald are statements by Texas Theater manager Butch Burroughs who said Oswald entered the theater at approximately 1:00 pm and bought popcorn from him at about 1:15 pm.  Another person said Oswald was acting strangely, moving seats as if to find someone. (Joe McBride, Into the Nightmare, p. 520)

Oswald was arrested on the ground floor of the Texas Theater at approximately 1:50 pm and photographed being taken out of the front – there is little to dispute about that. But witnesses at the theater said the suspect who entered the theater at around 1:40 pm had run up the separate stairs onto the balcony – the ground floor had separate doors after those stairs - and Officer Stringfellow’s arrest report put Oswald’s arrest as in the balcony. (McBride, p. 521) Bernard Haire, a neighbouring business owner, said he was shocked when years later he saw the photographs of Oswald coming out of the front of the Theatre as he’d seen the arrested person taken out the back.  (ibid)

Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig insisted until his early death that, minutes after the assassination of Kennedy, he had seen a person he identified as Oswald – having seen Oswald in person after his arrest at police HQ, City Hall – running down the grassy bank from the road by the School Book Depository getting into a Rambler station wagon. (McBride, pp. 443-44)

If Oswald was in the theater just after 1:00pm, then what is the probability he was on the Beckley bus, or the taxi he was supposed to have then gotten into to get to Beckley Avenue? How could he have entered 1026 N Beckley at 1:00pm to don a jacket and pick up a revolver and be standing waiting for a bus at 1:04 pm, and could he have shot Tippit shortly before Temple Bowley arrived on the scene at 1:10pm? Those are mutually exclusive events. Either Burroughs is wrong, or there was an Oswald double in place as Roger Craig’s, Bernard Haire’s, and the police report testimony seem to indicate.

Tape tampering

There are other anomalies with the tape and transcripts.

Prior to 12:45 pm the dispatcher called time every minute for the record. After all, police records need to be accurate for legal purposes. Occasionally, single minutes might be missing. But from 12:56pm to 1:04pm, 8 consecutive time calls are missing. There are then another six calls missing prior to 1:15 pm, seven from 1:15 pm to 1:30 pm and then 10 from 1:30 pm to 1:45 pm. They then approach normal regularity after Oswald is arrested at 1:51pm, a time that is independently verifiable by the sheer number of witnesses, including the press, hence sticking with tampered time wouldn’t work. There is therefore an hour where time goes awry.

The times that are on the tape put Bowley’s call after 1:15 pm, but the tape itself can be verified by taking calls prior to 12:50 pm, and then timing the elapse. It is quite clear that Bowley’s call by time elapsed is closer to 1:10 pm. We know that the tape was, in all probability, tampered with to add the 12:45 pm call. The tape also appears to be tampered with in order to change the time of death for Tippit.

A reason for the 8 missing time calls being removed would be to then selectively add some new times adjacent to Bowley’s call to make it appear later than it was. Similarly, the time that was stretched fast would need to be slowed again, to catch up with reality at 1:51 pm; hence the need for 10 time stamps to be missing from 1:30pm to 1:45pm.

There are other clues to the tampering which are quite crude. A verbal time stamp for 1:16 pm appears twice after a long time has elapsed. The time of 1:11 pm also appears twice. There is also a long-crackled pause and then the tape sounds like a stuck needle on a vinyl record player for a minute until ‘normality’ is restored (that also stretches the time out). With tampering on that scale, it’s reasonable to conclude that, as well as changing times and adding a fake call at 12:45 pm, that some things might be missing; and they are.

A conversation listed in the first transcript - CD-290 - disappears in the next two versions CE-705 and CE-1974.

531” “205 was dispatched to notify Mrs Tippit”

CD-290 puts this sometime before 1:40pm. It’s missing from CE-705 and the earliest mention in CE-705 to that matter is a call between 1:40 pm and 1:43 pm and that transmission used the word ‘wife’ not ‘Mrs Tippit’.

Stacking up more. There was also this conversation in the CD-290 transcript. The time of the call was between 1:25 pm and 1:32 pm (tampered time) by reference to the 2 calls on either side.

“531”“Received information from Methodist the Officer involved in the shooting Officer JD Tippit was DOA”.

That call is missing in the next two transcripts.

But the tamperers didn’t address that there were two channels. Channel 2 for that day was allocated to logistics of the Presidential visit. But once Tippit was shot Channel 2 was also used for that event.

There was a call on Channel 2 asking Channel 1 to put a call out thus: -

“Disp” “Stand by. Notify 1 [i.e. notify Channel 1)] that Officer involved in this shooting, Officer J. D. TIPPIT, we believe, was pronounced DOA at Methodist (1:28 p.m).

In short, the tape-tamperers took out the call that was on Channel 1 for the CE-260 transcript, but they left on Channel 2 the call asking Channel 1 to put out that call which was erased between the first and second transcripts.

The official line was that Tippit had a lunch break at home with his wife from 11:30-11:50 am at 238 Glencairn, Dallas, 8 miles to the south from where he was shot.But the House Select Committee on Assassinations had this from Tippit’s colleague Bill Anglin and reported it.

The committee also contacted William Anglin. Anglin indicated that he socialized with J. D. Tippit. He said in the interview that "he and J. D. had coffee or tea at "The Old Drive-In'" about 11:30-11:45 on the morning of November 22. (McBride, p. 503)

Further doubts on Tippit having lunch at home with his wife need to reflect this entry on page 83 of the WC705 call transcript for police radio Channel 2 just before 2:00pm, which by now was being used for Tippit as well as Presidential activity.

Car 210: Has anyone made arrangements or picked up Tippit's wife yet?
Dispatcher: I'm not sure 210.
210: If you give me his address, I will go there and pick her up. I do not have anybody to send right now.
210: I'll call 505 for the address.
Dispatcher: 10:4, 1:51 pm.
…some other calls then….
210: I'm downtown. J.D. Tippit LIVES at 7500 South Beckley. I'm running Code 2 to his wife’s house.
Dispatcher: Yes, go ahead. 1:56 pm.

That South Beckley address for Tippit is 4 miles to the south of where he was shot and doesn’t appear as any present or former address of Tippit per his FBI file. But there were other issues around where he lived. There was another Tippit on the force so it could have been his in error.


But the evidence from Virginia Davis trumps it all. She was an earwitness to the shooting of Tippit and an eyewitness to the assailant running from the scene. She was one house over from where Tippit was parked and shot. This is an extract from her interview for the Warren Commission (Vol. VI, p. 458)

Mr. BELIN. In other words, to your—to the best of your recollection, you heard the shots, you ran outside, you saw Mrs. Markham-did you see anything else when you saw Mrs. Markham?
Mrs. Davis. No, sir: we just saw a police car sitting on the side of the road.
Mr. BELIN. Where was the police car parked?
Mrs. Davis. It was parked between the hedge that marks the apartment house where he lives in and the house next door.
Mr. BELIN. Was it on your side of East 10th or the other side of the street?
Mrs. Davis. It was on our side, the same side that we lived on.
Mr. BELIN. Was it headed as you looked to the police car, towards your right or towards your left?
Mrs. Davis. Right.

That is another example of questions from some Warren Commission Counsel displaying a lack of curiosity when there are remarkable answers, then jumping to something else.

Something had currently been causing Tippit to go to 410 East 10th enough times for it to at least appear that was where he lived. (McBride, p. 290) That is also the house with the drive at the back described by Doris Holan.

That is not the kind of place for a chance encounter with the fugitive Oswald but a place for a rendezvous. Furthermore, the angle of Tippit’s squad car wasn’t consistent with someone driving parallel to the curb and then stopping nor pulling over with the front pointed to the curb. It was angled with the rear closest to the curb consistent with his being stopped mid-maneveur with the intent to reverse into the driveway between 404 and 410. That is not a position for anyone driving then stopping on a chance encounter.

It’s also consistent with Tippit either living there or going their regularly.


After Ruby’s arrest for the murder of Oswald he was asked to supply the names and addresses of his staff at the Carousel Club. The list appears as the Hall (C. Ray) Exhibit. One is: -

“JOYCE LEE MCDONALD, a dancer whose stage name is JOY DALE, 410 ½ - 10th Street, Dallas, Texas;”

If that was the “apartment house” of 410 1/2 E10th, it is consistent with more links to Jack Ruby, perhaps even levers to blackmail Tippit. If Tippit was leaned on by any form of blackmail to do what he was asked to do then it’s fair to assume he would be susceptible to turning if he was also misled.

As to Anglin, he was assigned to District 79 even further south than Tippit and adjacent to Nelson’s home district next to the City of Lancaster. But at 12:45 pm he is at 1400 Corinth. That is near but past where Angell put himself. It is over the Corinth Viaduct. Had Anglin also been shot it would have been necessary to explain why he was 16 miles out of his district.

So, from putting all this together, we can construct a scenario consistent with a professional operation to assassinate Kennedy; to move Oswald to the Texas Theater by car; and to have Crafard, who resembled Oswald get a bus, and perhaps to go to 1026 N Beckley to be seen by housekeeper Earlene Roberts.

The purpose of an impersonation in the form of Crafard would be a decoy operation to establish the narrative that the person to be blamed for the assassination of Kennedy, namely Oswald, was a lone gunman who’d escaped without assistance. A duped Oswald would need to be shot, and blamed. Case closed.

Crafard’s movements would need to be protected as the last thing that should happen would be for him to be arrested by good faith police activity. That scenario would fit with, as USSR intelligence concluded, a sophisticated operation from right wing interests with assistance from rogue elements of the DPD. Creating a link to the USSR of an assassination plot, by virtue of Oswald having lived in Minsk would have created a safety net, a scenario too dangerous to contemplate publicly and to incentivise a systemic cover-up from non-conspirators. That is precisely what J Edgar Hoover did with Johnson’s cooperation in transcripts and papers now available of conversations where President Johnson was persuaded not to dig further. (Douglass, p. 335)

It is said that there were plans to assassinate Kennedy in Chicago and in Miami. If that meant there was a centrally planned intent with interchangeable cities using professional gunmen, then local factors would include the co-operation of corrupt elements of the local police, and other local elements for a decoy operation.

It therefore would follow that Jack Ruby’s role would not be as an assassin nor necessarily needing to be aware there would be a real assassination, but to provide and fix the key elements of merely the decoy operation. Ruby told Justice Warren himself in roundabout terms that the far-right John Birch Society was involved.

Those elements under Ruby could be accommodating Crafard. The sister of Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper at 1026 N Beckley, Bertha Cheek was an associate of Ruby, and finally Tommy Rowe in the shoe shop opposite the Texas Theater another associate of Jack Ruby (see later) who could have possibly seen Crafard run into the theatre later.

Running with that scenario then leaves some questions:

  • why did Tippit go to Gloco and then leave at speed?
  • why was Tippit shot?
  • why was Oswald not shot at the Texas Theater?
  • why did Jack Rubenstein “Ruby” need to shoot Oswald?
  • why are accounts of timings of events confused?
  • why are accounts of bullets and revolvers confused?
Last modified on Thursday, 02 May 2024 15:13
John Washburn

To be updated.

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