In this article, I discuss the likelihood that Roy Sansom Truly, the superintendent of the TSBD at the time of President Kennedy’s assassination, was involved in the conspiracy to frame Oswald for the assassination. Although there are many researchers who will scoff at the idea that Truly was involved, there are many reasons to believe that he was.
First, let’s keep one important point in mind. The assassination of the democratically elected President was carried out in the most heinously arrogant manner. The conspirators decided to assassinate the President in full public view and in broad daylight. Furthermore, the sniper in the 6th floor window of the TSBD had stuck the barrel of the rifle out of the window and did not use a silencer/suppressor to mask the sound of the shots.
Now, the sound of the shots would have undoubtedly drawn the attention of many Police Officers and witnesses in Dealey Plaza towards the TSBD – which, of course, it did. The conspirators would surely have realised that many Police Officers could have almost immediately stormed into the TSBD and apprehended the assassin(s) on the 6th floor.
Therefore, the conspirators would have by all likelihood used someone as a diversion to identify the assassin(s) as employees should the Police accost any of them. Now, although the conspirators could simply have identified themselves to the Police as Secret Service agents, the fact that no genuine Secret Service agents were present in Dealey Plaza during the assassination could have lead the Police to realise the assassin(s) were not genuine Secret Service agents.
However, using someone such as Roy Truly (the building superintendent) to identify the assassins as employees of the TSBD, would have been much less risky to the conspirators. We know that immediately following the shots, DPD Officer Marrion Baker ran to the entrance of the TSBD where he was confronted by Roy Truly, who identified himself to Baker as the building manager.
As stated in my previous article, Baker and Truly confronted a man on the 3rd/4th floor walking away from the stairway. As I also stated, the description of the man provided by Baker in his affidavit to the DPD was similar to the description of the killer provided by assassination witness, Howard Brennan, in his affidavit to the DPD. If this man was a sniper (as he quite possibly was), then by implication, Roy Truly was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.
Let’s also take into account the fact that upon reaching the 5th floor of the TSBD on their way up from the 1st floor, Truly told Baker to take the elevator to the 7th floor, where they could reach the roof via the stairs (Truly admitted to telling Baker to take the stairs during his Warren Commission testimony). Quite curiously, the floor which they avoided was the 6th floor – the same floor from which shots were fired at the President.
Bear in mind that Lillian Mooneyham, a deputy district Court clerk viewing the motorcade from the Courthouse building on Houston Street, informed the FBI that approximately 4 to 5 minutes following the assassination, she observed the figure of a man standing behind boxes on the 6th floor of the TSBD (see here). Realising that one of the assassins was still possibly on the 6th floor of the TSBD, Truly would have deliberately told Baker to take the elevator from the 5th floor to the 7th floor, to prevent Baker from accosting the assassin(s) on the 6th floor.
It has always seemed incredibly odd that Truly and Baker would take an elevator two floors up after already having travelled five flights of stairs. No explanation was ever provided by Truly or Baker for why they had taken an elevator to travel up only two floors. Let me note that according to both Baker and Truly, Truly yelled up the elevator shaft from the first floor for someone to send an elevator down.
TSBD employee, Jack Dougherty, was standing near the elevators on the 5th floor, but claimed during his Warren Commission testimony that he didn’t hear anyone yell through the elevator shaft. Many researchers have argued that Dougherty was also involved in the assassination. I think it is quite possible that he was. Let me also note that the janitor of the TSBD, Eddie Piper, claimed during his Warren Commission testimony that he also heard Truly yell for an elevator. However, consider that if both Truly and Dougherty were involved in the assassination, then Truly would surely have known that Dougherty would not have sent an elevator down.
According to both Truly and Baker, Baker was checking the building for suspects on their descent from the 7th floor to ground level. Although it can be argued that Baker could have spotted the assassin(s) as they went down the TSBD, the fact that Truly and Baker skipped the 6th floor as they went up the TSBD, would have provided the assassin(s) remaining on the 6th floor sufficient time to escape.
Now, although Truly and Baker did skip the 6th floor, it doesn’t necessarily mean Truly was involved in the assassination. However, consider the fact that it was Truly who reported to DPD Captain Will Fritz that Oswald was missing following the assassination. The following is from Truly’s testimony, concerning how he allegedly realised that Oswald was missing from the TSBD.
Did you make a check of your employees afterwards?
No, no; not complete. No, I just saw the group of the employees over there on the floor and I noticed this boy wasn't with them. With no thought in my mind except that I had seen him a short time before in the building, I noticed he wasn't there.
What do you mean "a short time before"?
I would say 10 or 12 minutes.
You mean that's when you saw him in the lunchroom?
In the lunchroom.
And you noticed he wasn't over there?
Well, I asked Bill Shelley if he had seen him around and he said "No."
As we can see, truly claimed that he had realised Oswald was missing after he failed to see him again following the alleged encounter in the lunchroom on the 2nd floor. Truly also claimed during his testimony and in his affidavit to the DPD that he had asked William Shelley (Oswald’s immediate supervisor in the TSBD) if he had seen him, to which Shelley responded that he didn’t. However, Shelley claimed in his affidavit to the DPD (here) that he had actually asked Truly if he saw Oswald following the assassination. Therefore, it seems that Truly was lying.
One of the most bizarre aspects of Truly’s testimony, was his response to the following question by Warren Commission member Gerald Ford.
When you noticed the police assembling the employees after the assassination, what prompted you to think that Oswald was not among them?
I have asked myself that many times. I cannot give an answer. Unless it was the fact that I knew he was on the second floor, I had seen him 10 or 15 minutes, or whatever it was, before that. That might have brought that boy's name to my mind--because I was looking over there and he was the only one I missed at that time that I could think of. Subconsciously it might have been because I saw him on the second floor and I knew he was in the building.
It is perfectly clear that Truly couldn’t provide a proper answer as to how he came to realise Oswald was missing from the building. In my opinion, Truly deliberately told Captain Fritz that Oswald was missing in order to incriminate him for the assassination. However, it’s quite bizarre that there was no APB (All points bulletin) put out on Oswald by the DPD Over the radio - despite the fact that there was one put out on Charles Douglas Givens, Oswald’s co-worker.
Finally, let’s keep in mind that it was Truly who had hired Oswald to work for the TSBD. As Occhus Campbell (the vice President of the TSBD) informed the FBI, Roy Truly was given the responsibility for hiring new workers (see here). Truly allegedly hired Oswald after he had received a phone call from Ruth Paine, where she supposedly asked if a position was available for Oswald at the TSDB. The following explanation was provided by Truly during his testimony, as to how he allegedly learned that Oswald wanted to work at the TSBD.
And from whom did you hear the name [Oswald]? Could you just relate to the Commission the circumstances, if you would, please?
I received a phone call from a lady in Irving who said her name was Mrs. Paine.
All right. What did Mrs. Paine say, and what did you say?
She said, "Mr. Truly,"---words to this effect---you understand---" Mr. Truly, you don't know who I am but I have a neighbour whose brother works for you. I don't know what his name is. But he tells his sister that you are very busy. And I am just wondering if you can use another man," or words to that effect. And I told Mrs.---she said, "I have a fine young man living here with his wife and baby, and his wife is expecting a baby--another baby, in a few days, and he needs work desperately." Now, this is not absolutely--this is as near as I can remember the conversation over the telephone. And I told Mrs. Paine that--to send him down, and I would talk to him--that I didn't have anything in mind for him of a permanent nature, but if he was suited, we could possibly use him for a brief time.
Now, the fact that Truly hired Oswald doesn’t necessarily mean he was involved in the assassination. However, consider that the conspirators would want to be certain that their designated patsy was present inside the building as the President is being shot at from the 6th floor. In fact, the last thing the conspirators would want is for Oswald to be absent from the TSBD during the assassination!
It is also important to note that researcher Jim DiEugenio eloquently explains in his updated book Destiny Betrayed, that Ruth Paine was involved in framing Oswald for the President’s assassination. Bear in mind that it was in Ruth Paine’s garage where Oswald allegedly stored his rifle in a blanket. It was also Ruth Paine who “discovered” evidence against Oswald, such as the phoney backyard photographs of Oswald holding the rifle, and the so - called walker note which Oswald allegedly wrote for his wife.
For more information on why Ruth Paine should be considered a conspirator, I strongly advise all serious assassination researchers to purchase a copy of Destiny betrayed (the second edition). In my opinion, the Ruth Paine call to Roy Truly enquiring about a job for Oswald at the TSBD, was a charade orchestrated by the conspirators. Of course, in order to frame Oswald for the assassination, the conspirators had to of known by at least October 15th (the day Ruth Paine had allegedly called the TSBD to enquire about a job for Oswald) that the President’s motorcade would travel past the TSBD.
Let me also note that former TSBD employee, Edward Shields, informed HSCA investigators that 8 black employees had been laid off from working at the TSBD – just one day prior to Oswald being hired to work there! It is therefore incredibly odd that Truly should hire Oswald after having just laid off 8 employees, presumably due to redundancies. The transcript of shields interview with the HSCA investigators can be read here (page 16) on researcher Greg Parker’s excellent website.
In summary, Roy Truly had identified a man to Officer Baker who fit the description of the man Howard Brennan observed shooting from the 6th floor of the TSBD, as an employee of the TSBD. He was overheard by Dallas morning news reporter Kent Biffle informing Captain Will Fritz that Oswald was on the first floor when he and Baker first spotted him – but then in his affidavit on the following day, claimed that Baker had spotted Oswald in the 2nd floor lunchroom.
He told Baker to take an elevator from the 5th floor to the 7th floor of the TSBD as they went up the building – avoiding the same floor from which shots were fired at the President. He had informed Captain Fritz that Oswald was missing from the building, and provided a bizarre explanation during his Warren Commission testimony as to why he believed Oswald was missing. He had also hired Oswald in spite of the fact that 8 employees had been laid off from work - just one day after the 8 employees had been laid off.
Although there are many researchers who will reject the notion that Truly was involved in the conspiracy, in light of the above information, I believe that Truly had to have been involved! Otherwise, I very much doubt that the assassination of President Kennedy could have proceeded as it did. One obvious question is what was Truly’s motive for being involved in the assassination. As many researchers have noted, Truly was an anti-Kennedy racist who had opposed Kennedy’s policies on racial equality for African Americans etc.
Some researchers will argue that Truly wasn’t involved, since he claimed that he thought the shots were fired from the direction of the Triple underpass – and not from the TSBD. However, this is precisely what Truly would claim in order to divert suspicion away from himself (keep in mind that many of the TSBD workers standing in front of the building also claimed the shots were fired from the area of the triple underpass/grassy knoll).
Others will argue that Truly wasn’t involved, since he claimed during his testimony that Oswald was “quiet and well mannered” and made no derogatory comments against Oswald. Again, this is precisely the sort of claim Truly would make in order to divert suspicion away from himself (and would also make no derogatory remarks against Oswald).
However, it seems incredibly bizarre that Truly would tell Fritz that Oswald was on the first floor when he and Baker had run into the building following the assassination. Perhaps Truly thought that since Baker had spotted Oswald on the first floor, it would be best that he tell Fritz the truth – only to later help Fritz and the DPD change the location of the encounter to the 2nd floor lunchroom. I for one believe this was precisely what Truly was thinking at the time.
There is also no explanation for when and how Truly was recruited to participate in the assassination. However, the lack of explanation for when and how Truly was recruited does not in any shape or form exclude him as a suspect in the assassination. Let me conclude by stating that despite what involvement (if any) one might think Truly had in the President’s assassination, there is little doubt that Roy Truly is (with no pun intended) a truly interesting character.