Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Gerald Hill and the murder of Officer Tippit - Part 1


I have previously discussed the issue of whether or not Oswald actually had a revolver when he entered the Texas Theatre, as he was “escaping” after allegedly murdering President Kennedy and DPD Officer J.D Tippit. I will now discuss the likelihood that DPD Sgt Gerald Hill was attempting to plant the gun on Oswald inside the Theatre. By no means am I the first researcher to make the case against Gerald Hill. Researchers such as Duke Lane, and Lee Farley, have also discussed Hill’s complicity in framing Oswald. Although I don’t pretend to have proven Hill’s guilt, I nevertheless believe there is strong circumstantial evidence for his complicity.


According to the Official version of Oswald’s arrest at the Theatre, DPD detective Bob Carroll allegedly grabbed the revolver when he observed it pointing toward him during Officer Nick McDonald’s scuffle with Oswald, after Oswald struck him with his fist. However, like every other aspect of Oswald’s arrest, this story is also riddled with contradictions. The following is the excerpt from McDonald’s testimony regarding Bob Carroll and the revolver.

Mr. Ball 
What happened when you jerked the pistol free?

Mr. McDonald 
When I jerked it free, I was down in the seats with him, with my head, some reason or other, I don't know why, and when I brought the pistol out, it grazed me across the cheek here, and I put it all the way out to the aisle, holding it by the butt. I gave the pistol to Detective Bob Carroll at that point.

Note that McDonald claimed that he had given the revolver to Bob Carroll after he allegedly jerked it free from Oswald’s hand. Carroll, on the other hand, couldn’t tell who had the revolver when he grabbed it. The following is from Carroll’s testimony.

Mr. Ball
I mean, were Oswald and McDonald struggling together?

Mr. Carroll
Yes, sir; and then when I got up close enough, I saw a pistol pointing at me so I reached and grabbed the pistol and jerked the pistol away and stuck it in my belt, and then I grabbed Oswald.

Mr. Ball
Who had hold of that pistol at that time?

Mr. Carroll
I don't know, sir. I just saw the pistol pointing at me and I grabbed it and jerked it away from whoever had it and that's all, and by that time then the handcuffs were put on Oswald.


As we can see, Carroll couldn’t tell from whom he had taken the revolver. This could have been due to the lack of visibility inside the Theatre. Bear in mind that DPD Officer Thomas Hutson made the claim during his Warren Commission testimony that he couldn’t tell with which fist Oswald had struck McDonald, due to poor visibility inside the Theatre at the time.

From Hutson’s Warren Commission testimony:

Mr. Belin
Did you see who hit whom first?

Mr. Hutson
No.

Mr. Belin
You are shaking your head, no.

Mr. Hutson
No, I didn't.

Mr. Belin
Okay.

Mr. Hutson
The lights were down. The lights were on in the theatre, but it was dark.

Mr. Belin
All right.

Mr. Hutson
Visibility was poor.


Now If Hutson’s claim is accurate, then this would certainly explain why Bob Carroll was unable to tell who had the revolver when he allegedly grabbed it. This doesn’t necessarily mean McDonald was lying when he said he had given the revolver to Carroll. However, his lack of credibility (which I discussed in my prior posts) is certainly important to keep in mind.

It should also be noted that DPD Captain W.R Westbrook stated in his arrest report that Bob Carroll claimed that he had possession of the revolver (although he didn’t repeat this claim during his testimony). Several of the arresting Officers mentioned in their reports and testimonies that they heard someone shout out words to the effect “I have the gun” However, none of them were able to recognise it as Bob Carroll’s voice. What’s important to note, is that Bob Carroll made absolutely no mention of shouting out that he had the gun in his arrest report, or during his Warren Commission testimony!

So here we have the Officer who allegedly grabbed the revolver, and according to his fellow Officers, shouted out that he had it - but made no mention in his report and testimony of having shouted out that he had the gun. Unbelievable! Now although DPD Officers Nick McDonald, Bob Carroll, Gerald Hill, and W.R Westbrook agreed that Carroll had the revolver, Officer Ray Hawkins (who handcuffed Oswald) claimed in his arrest report and during his Warren commission testimony, that it was actually Gerald Hill who had the revolver!

From Hawkins’ report on Oswald’s arrest:

“Officer Hutson had entered the row behind the suspect, and grabbed him around the neck and held him up. Sergeant G.L Hill then took the gun.”

From Hawkins’ Warren Commission testimony:

Mr. Ball
What was Officer McDonald doing at that time?

Mr. Hawkins
I remember seeing him standing beside Oswald, and when I arrived where they were, both of them were down in the seat--Oswald and McDonald had both fallen down into the seat, and very shortly after I got there, a gun was pulled, came out of Oswald's belt and was pulled across to their right, or toward the south aisle of the theatre. Officer McDonald grabbed the pistol, and the best I can remember, Sergeant Hill, who had gotten there, said, "I've got the gun," and he took the gun and we handcuffed Oswald.


Further on during his testimony:

Mr. Ball
Did you see anybody strike Oswald with his fist?

Mr. Hawkins
No, sir; I didn't see anyone strike him. They had, as I said, they had gotten back into the seat and Officer Hutson had grabbed Oswald from behind and Officer Walker had him by the left arm and the gun went across and McDonald had grabbed him by the right hand and Sergeant Hill grabbed the gun and at this time I handcuffed his left hand. There were several officers shortly after that arrived at the scene.

Further on during his testimony:

Mr. Ball
And who was on the right?

Mr. Hawkins
McDonald.

Mr. Ball
And what about Bob Carroll, did he come in there too?

Mr. Hawkins
Well, I'm sure Bob was in there. I couldn't say where he was exactly or--I do remember Sergeant Hill being there, and I believe he said, "I've got the gun." I think I read an account of where Bob Carroll may have had the gun, but I was under the impression it was Sergeant Hill. I'm sure Bob was there, but I don't know exactly--it was all happening pretty fast.

As we can see, Hawkins was fairly adamant that it was Hill who grabbed the gun, and said “I’ve got the gun”. The sinister implication of Hawkins’ recollection is that Hill was in the process of planting the gun on Oswald. As you will see further on in this article, Hill’s actions following President Kennedy’s assassination are highly suspicious. It is also interesting to note that as Hawkins was handcuffing Oswald, one of the arresting Officers accidentally grabbed the arm one of a fellow Officer, and almost handcuffed that Officer’s arm. This incident was reported to the Warren Commission by Captain W.R Westbrook, during his Warren Commission testimony.

Mr. Ball
Were the handcuffs on him at the time you arrived?

Mr. Westbrook
They were putting the handcuffs on him--they had one handcuff on one hand and they were trying to find the other one, and they were having difficulty in locating it because there were so many hands there.

Mr. Ball
How many officers were there?

Mr. Westbrook
In fact--that was one of the only humorous things about whole thing--somebody did get ahold of the wrong arm and they were twisting it behind Oswald's back and somebody yelled--I remember that, "My God, you got mine." I think it was just an am that come up out of the crowd that somebody grabbed.

Researcher Duke Lane pointed out in this thread on John Simkin’s Spartacus education forum, that the Officer whose arm was accidentally grabbed was Gerald Hill. Lane also raised the issue of why out of all the DPD Officers who were trying to subdue Oswald, Hill’s arm was the one that was grabbed. Lane believes it was because Hill had the revolver in his hand! It makes perfect sense. If Hill did indeed have the revolver, then Ray Hawkins (or any other Officer for that matter) would instinctively grab that arm believing it belonged to Oswald.


According to the official version of Oswald’s arrest, Bob Carroll turned the revolver over to Hill inside the Police car in which they had placed Oswald into, following his arrest inside the Theatre. However, based on the contradictions between Carroll’s and Hill’s statements concerning the revolver, there is good reason to believe that Carroll never gave Hill Oswald’s so-called revolver. The following is Bob Carroll’s account of giving the revolver to Hill.

Mr. Ball
After you took the pistol, what did you do with it?

Mr. Carroll
The pistol?

Mr. Ball
Yes.

Mr. Carroll
After I took the pistol, I stuck it in my belt immediately. Then, after we got into the car and pulled out from the theater over there, I gave it to Jerry Hill, Sgt. Jerry Hill.

Carroll claimed he turned the revolver over to Hill inside the car - after they had pulled out from the Theatre. Carroll also mentioned in his arrest report that he gave the revolver to Hill whilst en route to city hall (see here and here). The problem is, this not what Hill claimed. According to Hill’s testimony, Carroll allegedly handed the revolver to him just as soon as he entered the car. Hill also made the same claim in his individual arrest report (see here).

Mr. Hill
As he [Carroll] started to get in the car, he handed me a pistol, which he identified as the one that had been taken from the suspect in the theatre.

Mr. Belin
When did he identify this to you?

Mr. Hill
I asked him was this his. He said, "No, it is the suspect's."

Mr. Belin
When did he do that?

Mr. Hill
As soon as he handed it to me.

Mr. Belin
When was that?

Mr. Hill
Right as I sat down in the car, he apparently had it in his belt, and as he started to sit down, he handed it to me. I was already in the car and seated.

As we can see, both Carroll and Hill were consistent in their recollections of when the revolver exchanged hands. However, they are not consistent with the recollections of each other! Apparently, the Warren Commission were also aware of this discrepancy between their statements. When Carroll was called before the Warren Commission six days following his April 3rd testimony to identify the Ce143 revolver as the one he handled, Carroll was again asked when he had handed the revolver to Hill. He confirmed his previous claim of handing the revolver to Hill after they pulled away from the Theatre. See below.


(Please note: During Gerald Hill’s CBS interview with Eddie Barker, he claimed that Carroll handed him the revolver inside the Theatre! Hill not only contradicted Carroll during his CBS interview, but also contradicted his claim in his arrest report and during his Warren Commission testimony. Whilst lone gunman zealots will argue that Hill simply misremembered, it’s hard to imagine how an Officer who was under the age of 40 at the time, could have been mistaken about when he received this important piece of evidence relating to the murder of one of his fellow Officers ).


Mr. Carroll
After leaving the theatre and getting into the car, I released the pistol to Sgt. Jerry Hill.

Mr. Belin
Sgt. G. L. Hill?

Mr. Carroll
Yes, sir.

Mr. Belin
Who drove the car down to the station?

Mr. Carroll
I drove the car.

Mr. Belin
Did you give it to him before you started up the car, or after you started up the car, if you remember?

Mr. Carroll
After.

Mr. Belin
How far had you driven when you gave it to him?

Mr. Carroll
I don't recall exactly how far I had driven.

Another discrepancy between Hill’s and Carroll’s statements concerning the revolver is when Hill opened the revolver to inspect the inside of it. Carroll claimed during his testimony that Hill opened the revolver inside the car and removed the bullets inside the cylinder – although he wasn’t certain if Hill had actually removed the bullets. Hill on the other hand, claimed he removed the bullets at City Hall. See below.

Mr. Hill
This is one of the shells which is a .38 special-shell that was removed from the suspect's weapon, removed from the weapon that was taken from the suspect at the time of his arrest.

Mr. Belin
When was it removed?

Mr. Hill
They were not taken out of the gun, as I recall, sir, until we arrived at the station.

Based on the above information, Hill not only contradicted Carroll concerning when Carroll had given him the revolver, but also when he removed the bullets from the cylinder to examine them. Now obviously, both of their recollections cannot be correct. In my opinion, the most logical reason for the contradictions is that the entire story of Carroll handing Hill the revolver is bogus. Lone gunman zealots, such as Dale Myers, tell us that Bob Carroll was photographed outside of the Texas Theatre holding “Oswald’s” revolver. Carroll was indeed photographed outside the Theatre holding a gun. However, his testimony suggests that the gun he was holding was not the one allegedly removed from Oswald. See below.

Mr. Ball
I mean, were Oswald and McDonald struggling together?

Mr. Carroll
Yes, sir; and then when I got up close enough, I saw a pistol pointing at me so I reached and grabbed the pistol and jerked the pistol away and stuck it in my belt, and then I grabbed Oswald

Carroll claimed he “stuck” the gun into his belt, and made no mention of removing it from his belt as he was outside the Theatre. Gerald Hill also indicated during his testimony that the gun was inside Carroll’s belt as Carroll allegedly handed it to him inside the car. In any event, why would Carroll remove the revolver from his belt prior to handing it to Hill? (I return to this issue in part 2 of this article). Below is the famous Stuart Reed photograph of Oswald being dragged out of the Texas Theatre, with Bob Carroll (circled in red) holding a gun in his right hand.




To be continued in part 2



 

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