In this post, I address the incriminating statements which Oswald allegedly uttered during and following his arrest at the Texas Theatre. As you will hopefully come to realise, these were lies by the DPD to help incriminate Oswald.
The first DPD Officer to approach Oswald in the Theatre was Patrolman, M. Nick McDonald. As McDonald approached Oswald, he asked him to get on his feet. According to McDonald, Oswald stood up and raised both of his arms. Oswald then allegedly yelled out “this is it” then struck McDonald’s nose with his fist. McDonald made this statement to WFAA-TV the day following the assassination.
The obvious implication of this statement is that Oswald had realised he had been caught after trying to get away for murdering Officer J.D Tippit. When DPD Sgt, Gerald Hill, was interviewed on television on the day of the assassination, he also claimed that Oswald yelled out “this is it”. Detective Paul Bentley was also interviewed by reporters. He claimed Oswald yelled out “This is it. It’s all over with now”. However, Bentley indicated that Oswald stated this remark after he was arrested – and not before.
Whilst lone gunman kooks such as Vincent Bugliosi, Dale Myers and David Von Pein have used this statement to incriminate Oswald, there are many reasons to believe these were deliberate lies. None of the other arresting Officers, including Johnny Brewer, and theatre patrons John Gibson and George Applin, who were sitting near Oswald, claimed in their reports, affidavits or Warren commission testimony, that they heard Oswald say anything as he stood up and punched McDonald.
Furthermore, McDonald claimed in both his arrest report (submitted on 3/12/63) and during his Warren commission testimony that Oswald yelled out “Well, it’s all over now” as he stood up. He also repeated this claim during a TV recreation of Oswald’s arrest. Now, there is no way in which McDonald could have confused “Well, it’s all over now” for “This is it” since they sound nothing alike. The only logical conclusion is that McDonald lied!
The following is from McDonald’s testimony:
What did you do then?
After I was satisfied that these two men were not armed or had a weapon on them, I walked out of this row, up to the right centre aisle toward the suspect. And as I walked up there, just at a normal gait, I didn't look directly at him, but I kept my eye on him and any other persons. And to my left was another man and I believe a woman was with him. But he was further back than the suspect. And just as I got to the row where the suspect was sitting, I stopped abruptly, and turned in and told him to get on his feet. He rose immediately, bringing up both hands. He got this hand about shoulder high, his left hand shoulder high, and he got his right hand about breast high. He said, "Well, it is all over now."
As far as Bentley’s insinuation that Oswald said “This is it. It’s all over with now” following his arrest - there is absolutely no corroboration for this from any other Officer. Bentley was therefore lying. Unless of course we are to believe the completely absurd notion that none of the other four arresting Officers heard it. As far as Hill is concerned, McDonald either told him that Oswald said “This is it” or Hill himself had concocted that expression to incriminate Oswald, with McDonald going along with it. Let me note that hill made the following comments during his testimony.
Did you hear anyone else yell or make any other statements? First, I will ask you this. Did you hear the suspect make any statement of any kind?
Not any distinguishable statement that I can specifically recall. Later in the course of trying to piece this thing together for a report, I believe it was McDonald and Hutson that stated, and we put it in the report that way, that the suspect yelled, "This is it."
Hill claims that it was McDonald and Hutson who stated Oswald yelled out “This is it”. Hutson, however, made no mention of this in his report, and when asked during his Warren commission testimony if he heard Oswald say anything as he stood up, he claimed he didn’t. Hill was therefore either badly mistaken, or simply lying.
It’s difficult to make a judgement on who was responsible for concocting this phony statement by Oswald. However, given that Hill was interviewed by reporters shortly following Oswald’s arrest (and the fact that his actions following the President’s assassination are highly suspect) I believe it was Hill who was responsible.
Following Oswald’s arrest inside the Texas theatre, he was placed into an unmarked Police car and taken to City hall. The Officers accompanying Oswald were: Bob Carroll (driver), Paul Bentley, Gerald Hill, Charles Walker, and K.E Lyons. Carroll and Lyons stated in their arrest reports that Oswald admitted to carrying the revolver into the theatre. Hill and Walker made the same claim during their Warren commission testimonies. Bentley also made this claim during his interview with WFAA –TV the day following the assassination. I discussed the issue of Oswald’s ownership of the revolver in this post.
According to Officers Gerald Hill and Charles Walker, Oswald allegedly made a further incriminating statement whilst en route to city hall. Below are the excerpts from their Warren commission testimonies - where they explain what Oswald allegedly said.
Was he ever asked again where he lived, up to the time you got to the station?
No; I don't believe so, because when Bentley got the identification out, we had two different addresses. We had two different names, and the comment was made, "I guess we are going to have to wait until we get to the station to find out who he actually is." After about the time Bentley reached in his pocket and got his billfold, the suspect made the statement, "I don't know why you are treating me like this. The only thing I have done is carry a pistol in a movie." Then there was a remark made something to the effect, "Yes, sir; you have done a lot more. You have killed a policeman." And then the suspect made a remark similar to "Well, you fry for that," or something to that effect.
Something to what effect?
Well, now, he either made the statement, "You only fry for that," or "You can fry for that," or a similar statement. Now the exact words of it, I don't recall.
All right; then what was said?
Some more questions were asked as to where he had been prior to going to the movie, which he did not answer. Some more questions were asked as to what was his true name, and in neither case did he ever answer them. He did make a comment, if I recall, about the handcuffs, about, "I don't see why you handcuffed me." And here again he repeated the statement, "The only crime I have committed was carrying a pistol in a movie."
From Walker’s testimony:
All right, you got in the car and went down to the police station?
As we were driving down there, yes; he said –
Who was he?
Oswald said. "What is this all about?" He was relating this all the time. He said, "I know my rights." That is what he was saying, "I know my rights." And we told him that the police officer, that he was under arrest because the police officer, he was suspected in the murder of a police officer. And he said, "Police officer been killed?" And nobody said nothing. He said, "I hear they burn for murder." And I said, "You might find out." And he said, "Well, they say it just takes a second to die." And that is all I recall. Now we talked some more going down, but that is the thing that I recall.
Do you recall any other conversation that you had with him, or not?
No; he was just denying it, and he was saying that all he did was carry a gun, and the reason he fought back in the theatre is, he knew he wasn't supposed to be carrying a gun, and he had never been to jail.
Were you asked ever to make a report of any conversation you had with him?
No; they called me on the phone a couple of days after, and some supervisor asked me, there had been a rumour got out that Oswald had said, "Well, I got me a President and a cop. I should have got me two more." Or something like that. But that conversation was never said, because I was with him from the time that he was arrested until the time the detectives took him over. I made a written report on the arrest about a week after it happened, and that is the only conversation I had with anyone.
In that report you didn't put any conversation that Oswald had, did you?
No; I didn't put any conversation. I just put the details of the arrest.
Were you asked just to make a report on your arrest of Oswald?
That is normal procedure, just what we call a "Dear Chief" letter. Just describe the arrest and other officers involved, and we never did put what conversation we had.
The statements made by Hill and Walker regarding what Oswald stated vary slightly, and is expected since the recollections of two people always differ to some degree. However, as with the claim that Oswald supposedly yelled out “This is it”, “Well, it’s all over now”, and “This is it. It’s all over now”, there is good reason to believe that both Hill and Walker were lying. For example, during Hill’s interviews by reporters, the only incriminating statement which he claimed that Oswald made was “This is it” and made no mention of what Oswald allegedly stated in the Police car en route to city hall.
Similarly, when Paul Bentley was interviewed on WFAA –TV concerning the arrest, he recalled Oswald stating he had carried a revolver into the theatre, and that Oswald refused to answer any questions asked about his address etc. Now, are we to honestly believe that Bentley (who was sitting to Oswald’s left in the car) somehow couldn’t recall hearing this incriminating statement? This is completely absurd – especially in light of the fact that Gerald Hill was sitting in the front middle seat, with Walker sitting to Oswald’s right, heard what they claimed Oswald purportedly said.
Let me also note that Walker claimed during his testimony that he didn’t write down any conversation he had with Oswald in his arrest report, because it wasn’t a requirement to do so. However, both Bob Carroll and K.E Lyons wrote in their reports that Oswald admitted to carrying a pistol into the Theatre. In fact, Carroll claimed in his report: “Oswald was belligerent and said very little”. Also, there was no mention of Oswald’s incriminating remarks in either Carroll’s or Lyons’ reports. Hence, Walker was by all likelihood lying.
Based on the above information, there is simply no reason to believe that Oswald made any of the incriminating remarks attributed to him by McDonald, Hill, Walker, and Bentley – and they were therefore lying! But if the above is not enough to convince you that the DPD were lying, then what follows concerning the Selective Service card bearing the name Alek James Hidell (allegedly discovered in Oswald’s wallet) hopefully will.