Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Tippit murder: Unresolved issues - Part 2

The approximate time of Tippit’s murder

Unlike the assassination of the President, the approximate time of the murder of Officer Tippit is open to debate. The Warren Commission placed the time of Tippit’s death at 1:15 pm. This was based on the DPD Channel 1 transcript, where a citizen informed the Police dispatcher that Tippit had been shot.

Despite the Warren Commission’s conclusion, the best evidence indicates Tippit was killed at approximately 1:06 pm (as I hope you will be convinced). Keep in mind that Oswald’s house keeper, Earlene Roberts, claimed during her Warren Commission testimony that Oswald had entered his room at the rooming house at approximately 1pm. Robert’s also claimed that Oswald stayed in his room for about 3 to 4 minutes before leaving. This would mean Oswald left at about 1:03/1:04 pm.

Let’s also keep in mind that according to Google Maps, the shortest route Oswald could have travelled from his rooming house at 1026 North Beckley to 10th and Patton was about 0.8 miles (1.29 km). So if Roberts’ recollection was accurate, and Oswald did leave at 1:03/1:04 pm, and the approximate time of Tippit’s death was at 1:06pm, then Oswald could not have been Tippit’s killer! Even if we take the earlier time of 1:03 pm (with the shortest distance of travel as 0.8 miles), Oswald would have been running at an average speed of 25. 8 km! This, of course, is impossible.

Many lone gunman zealots have claimed (not surprisingly) that Roberts was mistaken about Oswald leaving 3 to 4 minutes after entering his room – and that he had in fact left less than a minute after allegedly putting on a jacket, and grabbing “his” revolver.

I return to this issue further on in this article. Let’s first take a look at the evidence that Tippit was killed at approximately 1:06 pm.

Let’s begin with Helen Markham. On the day of the assassination, Helen Markham was on her way to the Eat well restaurant on Main Street where she worked as a waitress, when she witnessed the murder of Officer Tippit. Markham had left the washateria of her apartment near the corner of 9th and Patton streets, and was heading south on Patton Street towards Jefferson blvd. to catch a bus, according to her, at approximately 1:15 pm.

In her affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s department (here), Markham claimed that the time was “approximately 1:06 pm” when Tippit was killed. During her Warren Commission, however, Markham gave a somewhat bizarre answer when Counsel Joseph Ball asked her what time she thought Tippit was killed.

Mr. Ball
You think it was a little after 1?

Mrs. Markham
I wouldn't be afraid to bet it wasn't 6 or 7 minutes after 1

For some reason, Markham seemed to try and deny that Tippit was killed at approximately 1:06 pm, as stated in her affidavit. However, it is important to bear in mind that Markham noted the time was 1:04 pm when she left the Washateria of her apartment (see here, page 8). A re-enactment of Markham’s movements by the FBI (here), determined that it took about 2 ½ minutes to reach the corner of 10th and Patton from the corner of 9th and Patton (one block South). However, according to Google maps, it would take about 2 minutes to walk from the corner of 9th Street to the corner of 10th Street.

With Markham leaving her apartment at 1:04 pm, and with 2 minutes required to walk one block south from the corner of 9th and Patton to the corner of 10th and Patton, this places Markham at the corner of 10th and Patton Streets at approximately 1:06 pm - as she claimed in her affidavit! Is this Just a coincidence? I honestly don’t see how.

It should be noted that according to lone gunman zealot, Dale Myers, Markham was at the corner of 10th and Patton at 1:14 pm. However, this is simply ridiculous. As mentioned above, Markham informed the FBI during her interview with agent Robert Barrett, that the time was 1:04 pm when she left the washateria of her apartment.

Now, although Markham should be considered an unreliable witness (as I will explain in an upcoming article), there is very good reason to believe she was correct about the time of Tippit’s murder being at 1:06 pm. Barry Ernest, author of the book The Girl on the Stairs, interviewed a lady named Mrs Higgins who at the time of Tippit’s murder was living at 417 East 10th Street.

Mrs Higgins was watching TV when she suddenly heard shots being fired, and looked towards Tippit’s patrol car. When Barry Ernest asked her what time the shooting occurred, she stated it was at 1:06 pm. When asked how she was certain that the shooting occurred at 1:06 pm, she explained the following to Ernest:

“Well, I was watching the news on television and for some reason the announcer turned and looked at the clock and said the time was ‘six minutes after one’… He said it just like that, ‘six minutes after one.’ And you know how you always do, you hear the time and you automatically check your own watch. So I just looked up at the clock on my television to verify the time and it said 1:06. At that point I heard the shots.”

When Ernest further asked her if she was positive of the time, she responded: “Yes, I am. I’d bet my life on it.” Mrs Higgins assertion that the time was 1:06 pm when Tippit was killed is perfectly consistent with Helen Markham’s claim that Tippit was killed at approximately 1:06 pm! Furthermore, when Ernest asked Higgins if the man who shot Tippit was Oswald, she very reluctantly claimed that he wasn’t!

Further confirmation that Tippit was killed prior to 1:15 pm comes from T.F Bowley, who arrived at the scene of the shooting after Tippit’s killer had fled. Bowley was on his way to pick up his wife who worked at the telephone company at 9th and Zang Streets, when he observed Tippit lying in the Street. In his affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s Office on 2/12/63 (here), Bowley claimed he looked at his watch upon arriving at the murder scene, and noted that the time was 1:10 pm.

Let’s also take into account the statements by Domingo Benavides. Benavides was driving west along 10th Street when he heard the shooting. Startled by the shots, Benavides pulled his pick-up truck to the curb almost directly across the Street from Tippit’s patrol car, and ducked down inside his truck. He was by far the closet witness to Tippit’s murder. Benavides informed the Warren Commission during his testimony that he remained in his pick-up truck for a few minutes before exiting.

Mr. Belin
All right, after you saw him turn around the corner, what did you do?

Mr. Benavides
After that, I set [sat] there for just a few minutes to kind of, I thought he went in back of the house or something. At the time, I thought maybe he might have lived in there and I didn't want to get out and rush right up. He might start shooting again. That is when I got out of the truck and walked over to the Policeman, and he was lying there and he had, looked like a big clot of blood coming out of his head, and his eyes were sunk back in his head, and just kind of made me feel real funny. I guess I was really scared.

The significance of Benavides claim that he remained in his pick-up truck for a few minutes is that Bowley stated in his affidavit that when he arrived at the murder scene: “A man [Benavides] was trying to use the radio in the squad car but stated he didn't know how to operate it”. Bowley also claimed that he took the police microphone from Benavides, and informed the dispatcher that Tippit had been shot (although Benavides claimed during his Warren Commission testimony that it was actually he who contacted the dispatcher).

Note that Bowley’s claim the time was 1:10 pm when he arrived and took the microphone from Benavides is perfectly consistent with Tippit being killed at 1:06 pm, and with Benavides claim that he waited a few minutes to walk over to Tippit’s patrol car and attempt to call the dispatcher.

However, let me also note that Benavides claimed during an interview with CBS in June 1967 (here) that he “…Sat there [in the truck] for maybe a second or two…” before heading over to Tippit’s patrol car - and not for a few minutes as he stated during his Warren Commission testimony. However, are we to honestly believe his latter claim to CBS was more reliable than his claim to the Warren Commission – even though it makes much more sense that he would wait a few minutes instead of a few seconds to walk over to Tippit’s patrol car, with fear of being shot by Tippit’s murderer? Sorry, but I don’t think so.

If you want further evidence that Tippit was killed prior to the Warren Commission’s time of 1:15 pm, then just consider the fact that upon arrival at Methodist hospital, the time of Tippit’s death was noted as 1:15 pm! This was stated on an authorised permit for Tippit’s autopsy on the day of the assassination by justice of the peace, Joe Brown jr. Yet, according to the DPD channel 1 radio transcript, the Police dispatcher wasn’t informed that Tippit had been shot until 1:16pm.

I should also note that an FBI report dated 29/11/63 claims that Tippit was pronounced dead upon arrival at Methodist hospital at 1:25 pm (see here). However, are we to honestly believe an FBI report dated a week following the assassination, instead of the permit dated on the day of the assassination? I don’t think so. (In an upcoming article, I will explain why the FBI reports pertaining to Tippit’s murder are not to be trusted).

As we can see, the best evidence indicates Tippit was killed before 1:15 pm – and most likely at 1:06 pm as per the recollections of Helen Markham and Mrs Higgins. But do lone gunman zealots mention any of this? Not a word - which only goes to show their dishonesty, and their desire to convict Oswald at all costs. Instead, lone gunman zealots rely on the accuracy of the DPD transcripts. Yet, as I explained in my previous post, the transcripts are not to be trusted in regards to Tippit’s murder.

It’s also very interesting to note that between 1:09 and 1:11 pm, there are no transmissions on Channel 1 of the DPD radio. This would have been the approximate time at which Bowley called the Police dispatcher, to inform them that Tippit was shot. In my opinion, the DPD altered the transcript and placed Bowley’s call at 1:16 pm to ensure Oswald would have had sufficient time to murder Tippit.

I know there are those who will disagree with my reasoning above, but think about it carefully. With the President assassinated – and with the entire United States (and the entire world for that matter) anxiously waiting to learn who was responsible, the DPD would have been in a State of panic to find the assassin(s) and charge them with the President’s murder.

With Oswald arrested inside the Texas Theatre, they had a viable suspect. He had left the TSBD shortly following the assassination. He was arrested inside the Theatre allegedly carrying a revolver, and had punched officer McDonald after allegedly shouting “This is it” or “Well, it’s all over now” (Please refer to my previous posts for further discussion of these issues). But more importantly in my opinion, unlike the DPD, Helen Markham, Mrs Higgins, T.F Bowley, and justice of the peace Joe Brown Jr, had no reason to lie.

It should also be noted that according to lone gunman zealot, Dale Myers, Tippit entered the Top Ten records shop at 1:11 pm. This was allegedly based on information from store owner J.W Stark, and one of his employees, Louis Cortinas. However, in order to believe that Tippit was at the shop at 1:11 pm, we must believe that Helen Markham, Mrs Higgins, and T.F Bowley were all mistaken. Completely ridiculous! Furthermore, as explained in this article, Cortinas should be considered an unreliable witness.

Incidentally, at approximately 1:02 pm, the dispatcher asked Tippit for his location, but received no response. It is therefore quite likely that Tippit was in the Top ten records store at this point in time.

On a further note, in the aforementioned article it is claimed that the driver of the ambulance which took Tippit to the Methodist hospital (Clayton Butler), informed the HSCA that Tippit arrived at the hospital at approximately 1:23 pm. However, this is contradicted by the authorisation permit for Tippit’s autopsy signed by justice of the peace, Joe Brown jr, who as mentioned above, placed the time of death at the hospital at 1:15 pm on the day of the assassination.

Let’s now return to Earlene Roberts, Oswald’s house keeper. As previously stated, Roberts claimed that Oswald entered his rooming house on 1026 North Beckley at approximately 1 pm and remained there for about 3 to 4 minutes before leaving. Lone gunman zealots such as David Von Pein have claimed that Roberts was mistaken, and that Oswald left almost immediately after allegedly putting on a jacket and taking “his” revolver, and didn’t wait at the bus stop on the corner of Zang and Beckley Streets.

Although this is nothing but wishful thinking, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Oswald left almost immediately. With the time of Tippit’s murder at 1:06 pm, this would give Oswald approximately 5 minutes to travel from his rooming house to 10th and Patton. This would mean Oswald had to be running at an average speed of 15.5 km/h – still impossible for Oswald to reach the corner of 10th and Patton in time to have been Tippit’s murderer.

To summarise, the best evidence indicates that Tippit was killed at 1:06 pm. If Oswald did in fact arrive at his rooming house at approximately 1:00 pm as Earlene Roberts claimed, then there is absolutely no way Oswald could have walked the shortest route of 0.8 miles to 10th and Patton and shot Tippit!

The “Oswald” Jacket

Let’s now briefly discuss the light gray coloured zipper jacket which Oswald allegedly discarded after he fled the Tippit murder scene. This jacket was designated Ce162. See below.

Before discussing its discovery, it’s important to first explain the escape route taken by Tippit’s killer.

After Tippit was shot, the killer went down Patton Street, where he was seen by Cab driver William Scoggins, the Davis sister-in-laws, and by Harris bros. Auto sales employees Ted Callaway, and Sam Guinyard. Once the killer reached Jefferson Blvd. he turned West onto Jefferson and was seen by Warren Reynolds, B.M Patterson, L.J Lewis, and Harold Russel, who were standing at the parking lot of Johnny Reynolds’ used car lot.

Reynolds and Patterson followed the killer from a safe distance behind him, and saw him turn right into the Texaco Service station on Jefferson Blvd, owned and operated by Roger Ballew. A mechanic employed at the service station named Robert Brock and his wife, Mary Brock, saw the man go into the parking lot behind the station. It was here where the DPD discovered the jacket.

On page 175 of the Warren report, credit for the discovery of the jacket is given to Captain W.R Westbrook. However, this was an outright lie. During his testimony, Westbrook denied discovering the jacket and instead claimed that the jacket was pointed out to him. See below.

Mr. Ball
Did you ever find some clothing?

Mr. Westbrook
That was before, Mr. Ball.

Mr. Ball
When was that?

Mr. Westbrook
Actually, I didn't find it--it was pointed out to me by either some officer that--that was while we were going over the scene in the close area where the shooting was concerned, someone pointed. out a jacket to me that was laying under a car and I got the jacket and told the officer to take the license number.

In fact, not only did Westbrook deny discovering the jacket, but he wasn’t even sure if the person who identified it was an Officer! What’s truly bizarre is that Westbrook claimed the jacket was discovered after the false alarm at the Jefferson branch library (this was when DPD Officer Charles Walker observed a man later identified as Adrian Hamby run into the library).

However, according to the DPD radio transcripts, an unidentified Officer broadcast over the radio at 1:25 pm that the jacket had been found at the parking lot behind the service station. Charles Walker’s broadcast of seeing the suspect run into the Library on the other hand, was at 1:34 pm.

Furthermore, the Officer who discovered the jacket has never been identified, which would explain why the Warren Commission lied about Westbrook having discovered it. There are some researchers who believe the jacket was never found at the parking lot, because the chain of possession of the jacket was never properly established. However, there is film footage of an Officer holding a jacket at the parking lot (see here).

If Oswald was really Tippit’s killer, it’s a mystery as to why he left the jacket behind as evidence. Nevertheless, lone gunman zealots argue that since Earlene Roberts observed Oswald leave his rooming house with a zipper jacket, and since Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theatre without a jacket, then he is obviously guilty.

Although this certainly sounds logical, Roberts’s identification of Ce162 as the jacket Oswald was wearing when he left his rooming house was nothing short of a disaster. The following is from Roberts’s’ testimony:

Mr. Ball
I'll show you this jacket which is Commission Exhibit 162---have you ever seen this jacket before?

Mrs. Roberts
Well, maybe I have, but I don't remember it. It seems like the one he put on was darker than that. Now, I won't be sure, because I really don't know, but is that a zipper jacket?

Mr. Ball
Yes---it has a zipper down the front.

Mrs. Roberts
Well, maybe it was.

Mr. Ball
It was a zippered jacket, was it?

Mrs. Roberts
Yes; it was a zipper jacket. How come me to remember it, he was zipping it up as he went out the door.

As we can see, the best answer Roberts could give concerning the jacket is that she might have seen it. She also claimed the jacket she saw Oswald with seemed darker than Ce162! In fact, the only thing she was sure of was that the jacket Oswald was wearing was a zipper type jacket.

Now if the jacket discovered at the parking lot wasn’t Oswald’s, then there is the distinct possibility that Oswald went to the Texas Theatre with a jacket. Otherwise, it may have been taken from him as he was escorted to the Theatre by the conspirators. The purpose of taking the jacket from Oswald could have been to plant it at the parking lot by the actual killer. However, there is no reason to believe the jacket belonged to Oswald.

If the jacket was found at the Theatre following Oswald’s arrest, then obviously the DPD hid that fact to ensure Oswald would be convicted for the murders of Tippit. The distinct possibility exists that the jacket Earlene Roberts actually saw Oswald wearing was the blue zipper jacket which was allegedly found more than a week following the assassination at the TSBD. Oswald may have taken this jacket off inside the Theatre before being arrested, with the DPD contriving the story that it was actually inside the TSBD.

Lone gunman zealots also use the dubious statements by Marina Oswald as “proof” that Ce162 was the jacket owned by Oswald. From page 175 of the Warren report:

“Marina Oswald stated that her husband owned only two jackets, one blue and the other gray. The blue jacket was found in the Texas School Book Depository and was identified by Marina Oswald as her husband's. Marina Oswald also identified Commission Exhibit No. 162, the jacket found by Captain Westbrook, as her husband's second jacket.”

Countless researchers have exposed Marina Oswald as being anything but credible. Bear in mind that this is the same Marina Oswald who refused to identify the MC rifle as being Oswald’s when it was shown to her at City Hall on the day of the assassination - but then identified it as being Oswald’s rifle during her interviews with the FBI.

Also keep in mind that Marina’s story of how many backyard photographs she allegedly took of Oswald holding the rifle kept changing over time. Marina also initially denied knowing that Oswald ever used the name Alek James Hidell as an alias, but then told the Warren Commission that she learned of the name during Oswald’s radio debate with Ed Butler – even though the name was never mentioned during the course of the debate!

Most importantly, however, Robert Oswald (Lee Harvey Oswald’s older brother) claimed during his Warren Commission testimony that the FBI had implied that they would deport Marina back to Russia if she didn’t co-operate with them! (For example, see here).

There are many other dubious stories which Marina Oswald told, such as Oswald’s alleged attempt to assassinate Richard Nixon – which the Warren Commission didn’t even believe. As a matter of fact, the HSCA wrote a 29 page report questioning Marina’s credibility. Yet despite all the problems with Marina’s credibility, it is truly amazing how lone gunman zealots continue to defend her as being a credible witness.

Returning to the light gray zipper jacket, following its discovery at the parking lot, DPD Sgt H.H Stringer radioed the following information on Channel 2 of the DPD radio.

“The jacket the suspect was wearing over here on Jefferson bears a laundry tag with the letter B 9738. See if there is any way you can check this laundry tag.”

In a written report by Captain W.R Westbrook (here), the jacket is described as a “gray mans jacket with “M” size in collar, laundry mark 30, and 030 in collar.” Oswald, however, only wore small sized clothing - and the FBI was unable to locate any cleaning establishment from which the laundry tag B 9738 originated from. Therefore, other than the unreliable statements by Marina Oswald, there is no reason to believe the light gray zipper jacket belonged to Oswald.

Many researchers have constantly argued that Oswald never used any type of cleaning establishment for cleaning his clothes. However, as author Ian Griggs explains in his excellent book No Case to Answer, there is an FBI interview with a man named Leslie Lawson who informed them that Oswald had used his establishment for having a tie, white shirt, and a black pair of pants cleaned. The interview can be viewed here.

For more information on the jacket, be sure to check out this informative discussion on Gil Jesus’s website. However, suffice it to say, it remains a mystery why Tippit’s killer discarded his jacket.

In the following article, I discuss the reliability of the eye witnesses who identified Oswald as Tippit’s killer.


According to Warren Commission exhibit 705 (here, page 48) the actual time the DPD dispatcher had called out over the DPD Channel 1 radio; immediately following T.F Bowley’s transmission that Tippit had been shot, was 1:10 pm! This is perfectly consistent with Bowley’s claim that the time was 1:10pm when he arrived at the murder scene, and then looked at his watch. How any lone gunman zealot can state that this was merely a bizarre coincidence, is truly beyond me. Also, be sure to see page 3 of this Armstrong Baylor file.


  1. Please note:

    According to the testimony of William Scoggins, he had learned from his supervisor that the time he allegedly reported the shooting to his cab dispatcher was 1:23 pm.

    Although this seems to support the notion that Tippit was killed at 1:15 pm, are we to honestly believe it took Scoggins a full 8 minutes to inform his dispatcher of the shooting? I don't think so.

    Besides, this time is contradicted by Helen Markham, Mrs Higgins, TF Bowley, and the autopsy authorisation permit by justice of the peace Joe Brown Jr.

  2. Nice post but I'm pretty sure you misunderstood Helen Markham's testimony on one point. When she said “I wouldn't be afraid to bet it wasn't 6 or 7 minutes after 1”, she was confirming rather than denying her original estimate. The use of the double negative in that sentance was just an example of her generally inarticualte manner IMHO.

    1. Hi Martin,

      Nice to meet you. I've followed your posts on the education forum, and consider you to be a pretty good researcher. Please feel free to leave any other comments you may have.



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