Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Tippit murder: Unresolved issues - Part 1

I have previously discussed the likelihood that DPD Sgt, Gerald Hill, was attempting to plant the revolver allegedly used to murder Officer Tippit on Oswald inside the Texas Theatre (please see here). As I also explained, unlike the majority of conspiracy advocates, I believe the Ce143 revolver was indeed the gun used to murder Officer Tippit. In this article, I discuss the following controversial issues concerning Tippit’s murder:

1.      Why was Oswald of all things, walking near the vicinity of the Tippit murder scene, after allegedly murdering the President in cold blood

2.      Why Tippit was not in his assigned patrol district when he was killed, but instead in central Oak Cliff

3.      The approximate time of Tippit’s death

4.      The light gray zipper jacket which we were told Oswald discarded after allegedly murdering Officer Tippit

In some ways, the Tippit murder is more mysterious than the assassination of President Kennedy. Although the Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald murdered Tippit whilst “escaping”, there are many problems with the case against him. For example, the wallet found at the murder scene containing ID for Oswald and the fictitious Hidell name, which I discussed at length in this post. There are also problems with the credibility of the eye witnesses who identified him as Tippit’s killer (I will discuss the reliability of these witnesses in a following article). 

It’s important to note that lone gunman zealots such as Dale Myers, refer to the Tippit murder as the “Rosetta stone” of the case against Oswald for the assassination of the President. Of course, this is nothing more than desperation by these zealots to convict Oswald. There are several reasons why Oswald might have killed Tippit. Please refer to this post for my discussion of this issue.

Bear in mind that according to the Official story, Oswald returned to his rooming house at 1026 North Beckley Avenue after murdering the President. Oswald was seen entering his rooming house by his house keeper, Earlene Roberts, at approximately 1 pm. Roberts also testified that Oswald stayed in his room for about 3 to 4 minutes before leaving. She also informed reporters that she saw Oswald standing at a bus stop at the corner of Zang and Beckley streets after he left the rooming house.

The following is from Roberts’ testimony:

Mr. Ball
Can you tell me what time it was approximately that Oswald came in?

Mrs. Roberts
Now, it must have been around 1 o'clock, or maybe a little after, because it was after President Kennedy had been shot-what time I wouldn't want to say because

Mr. Ball
How long did he stay in the room?

Mr. Roberts
Oh, maybe not over 3 or 4 minutes-just long enough, I guess, to go in there and get a jacket and put it on and he went out zipping it.

In order to believe Oswald shot Tippit, one must believe the utterly ridiculous notion that after murdering the President, Oswald decided to walk away from his rooming house – instead of, for instance, boarding a bus which would take him out of Dallas. Yet, according to lone gunman zealots, this is exactly what happened. However, they have never provided a rational explanation for where Oswald was going when he was allegedly confronted by Tippit.

Many researchers - who believe that Oswald was Tippit’s killer, have argued that Oswald was heading towards Jack Ruby’s apartment, which was located to the south east of the corner of 10th and Patton streets, where Tippit was killed. In order for this scenario to be true, Oswald had to be walking east. However, many of the eye witnesses in the vicinity of the shooting observed Tippit’s killer walking west.

For example, William Scoggins, the cab driver who witnessed the shooting, stated in his affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s Office that the shooter was walking west, with Tippit’s car travelling east. Scoggins confirmed his observation during his Warren Commission testimony, but also mentioned that the man may have been in the process of turning around when he saw him. However, it should also be noted that Scoggins never claimed to see Tippit’s killer walk in front of him. Other witnesses, such as Jimmy Burt, William Lawrence Smith, and a Mr Clark, who was a barber on 10th street, indicated that Tippit’s killer was walking west (see here).

The Warren Commission ultimately decided that Tippit’s killer was walking east. This was based on the testimony of Helen Markham, who witnessed the shooting from the North West corner of the 10th and Patton Street intersection. However, Markham should not be considered credible since she became hysterical following the shooting. In fact, Warren Commission counsel Joseph Ball (who questioned her) once famously referred to her as “an utter screwball”. In any event, the weight of the evidence suggests Tippit’s killer was walking west.

If the killer was indeed walking west, then this destroys the notion that Oswald was walking towards Jack Ruby’s apartment. It also greatly undermines the case against him as Tippit’s killer – since Oswald’s rooming house was to the North West of 10th and Patton streets.

In my opinion, there is simply no reason to believe that Oswald was at the corner of 10th and Patton streets. Yet in spite of this, lone gunman zealots insist that Oswald was Tippit’s murderer.

Furthermore, if Tippit did stop Oswald because he thought he matched the description of President Kennedy’s assassin, then why didn’t Tippit radio the dispatcher to inform him that he had the suspect? It simply doesn’t make sense. In any event, why would Tippit or any other DPD Officer assume the President’s assassin(s) would be on foot, instead of driving out of Dallas? Surely, this is the last thing in the world any DPD Officer would think!

Now, besides Oswald’s presence at the corner of 10th and Patton, the one other question which has never been satisfactorily answered is Tippit’s own presence in central Oak Cliff. Each Patrol Officer in the DPD Patrol division was assigned a particular district (designated by a number) in which they would patrol. Tippit’s assigned Patrol district was number 78 – located to the South East of where he was killed. The district in which Tippit was killed was assigned to Officer William .D Mentzel, and was designated number 91.

According to the DPD channel 1 radio transcripts, at 12:45 pm, Tippit and another Officer named R.C Nelson, were ordered by the Police dispatcher, Murray Jackson, to move into the central Oak Cliff area. Quite shockingly, Jackson was never called before the Warren Commission to testify! However, Jackson stated during an interview with CBS (here) that the reason he had ordered Tippit and Nelson to move into central Oak Cliff was because “…we were draining the Oak Cliff area of available Police Officers…”.

Furthermore, Tippit’s supervisor, Sgt Calvin “Bud” Owens, informed the Warren Commission that Tippit may have been assigned to cover another district in addition to his own, and may even have been searching for the suspect. See below.

Mr. Ely
And could you tell us to which district or districts on that map Officer Tippit was assigned on November 22, 1963?

Mr. Owens
He was assigned to district 78. Now, I don't know whether we were short any squads that day or not, and if we were, he would be assigned to cover another district also. His call number would still be 78

Further on during his testimony:

Mr. Ely
So, you think Tippit might have been filling in for the people whom he knew had been pulled in to Elm and Houston?

Mr. Owens
That's what I think--not only filling in, but also looking for the suspect, because he heard about the shooting and the general description of the suspect, and not knowing which way he went, but he could have gone any way, then he is going to head downtown as soon as possible so if he sees someone answering that description, he can apprehend him.

Despite the claims by both Jackson and Owens, there are many reasons to believe that Tippit was never ordered to move into central Oak Cliff, and that the “order” was added into the transcript. First of all, consider that at least four of the witnesses in the vicinity of the Tippit murder scene indicated that Tippit was in the neighbourhood on a regular basis. Jimmy Burt, who at the time of the Tippit murder was living at 505 East 10th street, informed the FBI during his interview on 26/12/63 of the following:

“Burt Said he drove his car to the next intersection which is Denver and 10th Streets and turned west on 10th. He immediately saw a police car parked at the curb in the middle of the block. It was parked facing east on 10th Street. A police officer was lying on the street near the left front wheel. Burt later recognized him as being an officer who frequented that neighbourhood. This particular officer was known by the name "Friendly" to the residents of that area.”

As we can see, Burt recognised Tippit as an Officer who he had frequently seen in the neighbourhood. Another witness who indicated he frequently observed Tippit in the neighbourhood was cab driver, William Scoggins. Scoggins made the following claim during his Warren Commission testimony - when asked by Counsel David Belin as to what he witnessed at the murder scene:

Mr. Belin
Then what did you see?

Mr. Scoggins
I noticed he [Tippit] stopped down there, and I wasn't paying too much attention to the man, you see, just used to see him every day, but then I kind of looked down the street, saw this, someone, that looked to me like he was going west, now, I couldn't exactly say whether he was going west or was in the process of turning around, but he was facing west when I saw him.

Scoggins statement that he “used to see him [Tippit] every day” is an indication that he frequently observed Tippit in the neighbourhood. Further confirmation of Tippit’s regular presence in the neighbourhood comes from witnesses Aquila Clemmons and Virginia Davis. During an interview with Mark Lane, Clemmons informed him that she saw Tippit “All the time” (see here). Clemmons is also well known amongst researchers for her claim that two men were involved in murdering Tippit. Not surprisingly, Clemmons was never interviewed by the FBI or called to testify before the Warren Commission.

Some researchers have pointed out that the two men Clemmons observed and thought were Tippit’s murderers were actually Ted Callaway and William Scoggins. After giving this some consideration, I agree that the men Clemmons saw were in fact Callaway and Scoggins. In fact, Clemmons description of the man with the gun being “kind of chunky” matches Callaway’s appearance.

Virginia Davis was a 16 year old living in an apartment house on the corner of 10th and Patton streets. Davis and her sister-in-law, Barbara Jeanette Davis, observed Tippit’s killer walk by them after shooting Tippit. The following is from Virginia Davis’s testimony.

Mr. Belin
Where was the police car parked?

Mrs. Davis
It was parked between the hedge that marks the apartment house where he [Tippit] lives in and the house next door.

Davis claimed Tippit’s car was parked near the house he lives in. However, Tippit did not live there. So why would she assume he did? The only logical explanation for why she would assume such a thing is if she saw him there frequently. Bear in mind that many researchers have pointed out that Tippit may have been having an affair with a married woman living in a house near to where Tippit parked his car. If this is true, then this certainly would explain his frequent presence in the neighbourhood.

Let me note that Virginia Davis apparently informed lone gunman zealot, Dale Myers, that she didn’t know why she had made the aforementioned claim. However, despite her latter claim to Myers, her initial statement to the Warren commission – along with the statements by Burt, Scoggins, and Clemmons, make it clear that Tippit was in the neighbourhood on a regular basis.

Given the obvious implication that Tippit was frequently near where he was killed, the DPD would not only have covered it up, but also concocted a reason for Tippit’s presence there when he was killed. This is precisely what I believe happened. I believe the order allegedly issued by the dispatcher, Murray Jackson, to Tippit and Officer R.C Nelson to “move into Central Oak Cliff area” at 12:45 pm, was added into the DPD radio transcripts to provide an excuse for Tippit’s presence in Oak Cliff.

Bear in mind that according to the DPD channel 1 radio transcript, Jackson asks Tippit at 12:54 pm: “You are in the Oak Cliff area are you not?” to which Tippit’s responds with: “Lancaster and Eight”. Jackson then instructs Tippit “You will be at large for any emergency that comes in”. During his interview with CBS, Jackson justified his instruction to Tippit by explaining that if there was an emergency in the central Oak Cliff area, there would be no Police units available to respond to it.

However, let’s take a look at all the reasons to believe this was a lie. First of all, as researchers such as Duke Lane have pointed out, no other district in Dallas was signalled out for any type as emergency (the only order to “be at large for any emergency that comes in” was issued to Officer Tippit). This is indeed a valid point to make. As Lane has also pointed out, Oak Cliff was not the only area being drained of Police resources. So why the heck was only Oak Cliff signalled out for emergency coverage as per Jackson’s claim?

Furthermore, despite Officer Nelson also allegedly being sent into central Oak Cliff, Jackson only asks Tippit if he is in the Oak Cliff area. So why wasn’t Nelson also asked if he was in Oak Cliff? It’s also interested to note that at 12:52 pm, Nelson informs the dispatcher: “87 out down here”, and at 1:19 pm (following the announcement of Tippit’s death) asks Jackson: “I'm in my car here at Elm and Houston. Do you want me over there?” Jackson responds with the following: “87, report to 4340 West Davis at the service station for information regarding suspect on this Signal 19 of the President.” (West Davis Street is located in Oak Cliff).

Now, is there something not incredibly odd with the above exchange? If Jackson had really ordered Nelson to move into central Oak Cliff at 12:45 pm, then why didn’t he ask Nelson why he had disobeyed the order, and went to Dealey Plaza instead? Clearly, this is very odd.

Finally and perhaps most significantly, why did Jackson instruct Tippit to be at large for an emergency in central Oak Cliff, and not Officer William Mentzel - to whom, as mentioned above, the central Oak Cliff district was actually assigned to! In fact, at 1:11 pm, Mentzel was informed by Jackson to investigate an accident on West Davis Street. Yet, it is odd that Jackson would instruct Mentzel to investigate the accident – and not Tippit who was sent to Oak Cliff as back-up, and leave Mentzel to be large for a more serious emergency that may have occurred (for more information on this issue, be sure to check out this thread on the Spartacus education forum).

Based on the above, there is good reason to believe that Tippit was never ordered to move into central Oak Cliff- and that the “order” was added into the transcript by the DPD. Evidently, the person(s) who altered the transcripts did a very sloppy job.

As I stated previously, the DPD had to cover-up Tippit’s presence on 10th and Patton - to prevent any allegations that Tippit may have been involved in the conspiracy. Now, is there any rational person who honestly believes that the DPD would not cover-up Tippit’s inexplicable presence at 10th and Patton? I sure don’t think there is.

I believe that at 12:45 pm, Jackson had merely asked Tippit and Nelson what their locations were, to which both Tippit and Nelson responded. This was then removed from the transcript, and replaced with the “order”. I also believe that at 12:54 pm, Jackson had merely again asked Tippit for his location, to which he responded with: “Lancaster and Eighth”.

Let me just state that, although many conspiracy advocates believe Tippit himself was part of the conspiracy to assassinate the President, I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, Tippit was lured to 10th and Patton, and killed for the following reasons:

1.      To remove as many DPD Officers from Dealey Plaza as possible, and send into Oak Cliff where Oswald would eventually be apprehended

2.      To incriminate Oswald for the President’s assassination by leaving a mock up wallet containing ID for Oswald and the fictitious Alek James Hidell name (which was allegedly used by Oswald for the rifle and revolver purchases).

3.      To incriminate Oswald for Tippit’s murder, in order to portray him as a homicidal maniac capable of murdering the President (along with the Walker shooting).

4.      To create a strong bias against him by the DPD, to ensure they would incriminate him (which of course, they did).

Now, why was Tippit lured to 10th and Patton of all places? Well, since he was near that location frequently (as per the recollections of the aforementioned witnesses), then this would be a logical choice for luring Tippit to be killed. Think about it. If you’re going to kill somebody, the last thing you want is for that person to become suspicious and not turn up as planned. Hence, the conspirators would obviously pick a location with which Tippit was familiar with, and not one he wasn’t familiar with so that he wouldn’t become suspicious.

Also, Tippit’s killer was by all likelihood someone he had been briefly acquainted with and trusted. The question is: How could the conspirators have lured Tippit to 10th and Patton to shoot him? Evidently, Tippit was well known for disobeying his orders. Therefore, he was a logical choice as someone who could be lured to be shot and killed. Once Tippit had met with his would be murderer, he was most likely asked to get out of his patrol car to have a chat, and was then shot.

Let’s now discuss each of the above reasons I have cited for why Tippit was killed. As far as point as point 1 is concerned, researchers such as Duke Lane have pointed out that following President Kennedy’s assassination, the DPD would eventually search the vehicles in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza for any other guns used in the assassination. As Lane has explained, for this reason, the DPD had to be diverted away from Dealey Plaza – and that only the murder of a fellow Police Officer would ensure that (which it did).

Following the dispatchers announcement that a Police Officer had been involved in a shooting in Oak Cliff, more than a dozen of the DPD Officers in Dealey Plaza left almost immediately, and headed towards Tippit’s murder scene. The only problem I have with Lane’s reasoning is why the conspirators would wait for over half an hour (since Tippit was killed after 1pm) to divert the DPD’s attention to Tippit’s murder? Nevertheless, I believe Lane’s reasoning is valid.

Furthermore, and more importantly in my opinion, Tippit’s murder would lead the DPD into Oak Cliff, where Oswald lived, and where he would eventually be apprehended inside the Texas Theatre.

As for point 2, I have discussed this issue at length in this article. Suffice it to say, there is every reason to believe that a mock-up wallet containing ID for Oswald and the fictitious Hidell name was planted by Tippit’s killer to frame Oswald.

Point 3 is significant because framing Oswald with the mock-up wallet would obviously portray him as a homicidal maniac capable of murdering the President in cold blood. As we are all aware, this is precisely how the DPD, the FBI, and the Warren Commission – along with its staunch defenders, have bolstered Oswald’s guilt in the President’s assassination.

Point 4 is also significant because undoubtedly the killing of a Police Officer by Oswald would enrage his fellow DPD Officers, and almost certainly ensure they would manufacture evidence against him for the assassination of the President (and as countless researchers have demonstrated, there is every reason to believe this was the case). Please see here.

As I stated above, I don’t believe Tippit himself was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President. However, I firmly believe Tippit had to be killed for the reasons cited above! There has been much debate about whether Tippit was waiting for Oswald at the Gloco service station to apprehend and kill him. However, as Duke Lane has explained, there is very good reason to believe that Tippit was nowhere near the Gloco station as claimed.

In part 2 of this article, I discuss what the approximate time of Tippit’s death most likely was, along with the light gray jacket which Oswald allegedly discarded after killing Tippit.


After reading through the Armstrong Baylor file on the barber, Mr Clark (here), Clark claimed that he observed Oswald walking west in the morning, whereas the Tippit shooting occurred after 1:00 pm in the afternoon. Therefore, it’s apparent that he shouldn’t count as a witness to the Tippit shooter walking west.


  1. Hasan,

    Good stuff!

    The factor that convinces me that J D Tippit was not simply an innocent victim is the Wes Wise - T F White - Carl Mather allegation.

    Mather was a close friend of Tippit. While descriptions of individuals and events are highly subjective, car registration numbers aren’t.

    The El Chico restaurant sighting indicates that someone strongly resembling Oswald was in the neighbourhood and acting in a suspicious manner.

    Any conspiracy that viewed Tippit as expendable would also have to be sure where and roughly when he would turn up. Identification of the resident(s) at 410 East Tenth seems crucial in finding out exactly what happened.

    There must be doubts concerning at least three witnesses – the Davis sisters-in-law (whose phone number was written in Larry Crafard’s notebook a fortnight or so before Nov 22nd) and Warren Reynolds, with his connections to General Walker.

    1. Thank you for your comments. I agree with you about the whole Carl Mather and T.F White incident. It is just one of many pieces of evidence of a conspiracy behind the assassination.

      As far as what role Tippit had in the whole affair, I think his only purpose was to be killed; so that Oswald could be framed. I discussed the issue of the wallet found at the scene of the Tippit shooting containing ID for Oswald and Hidell in a prior post on my blog.

      I also discussed the likelihood that DPD Sgt Gerald Hill was involved in framing Oswald for the Tippit murder. I haven't ruled any other role which Tippit might have had, but I don't think he had a role other than to be killed.


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