Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Gerald Hill and the Tippit murder scene - Part 2


Continued from Part 1:

 
Aside from the problems with Hill’s claim that he travelled to the Tippit murder scene with Sgt. Owens and assistant Dallas district attorney William Alexander, there is also good reason to believe that Hill was never at the Tippit murder as he claimed he was. Hill told the Warren Commission that after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene, he commandeered the squad car which was assigned to DPD officers Joe M. Poe and Leonard E. Jez, and that he “…whipped around the block…went down to the first intersection east of the block where [Tippit was shot], and made a right turn, and travelled one block, and came back up on Jefferson [blvd.]… And met [Sgt.] Owens in front of two large vacant houses on the north side of Jefferson…” (WC Volume VII, page 48). In his book, Myers writes that after officer Charles T. Walker arrived at the Tippit murder scene; “[Officer] Poe gave Walker the suspect’s description. Poe’s partner, Leonard E. Jez, had been stranded at Tenth and Patton ever since Sergeant Hill had commandeered their squad car” and that “Officer Jez asked Walker if he could ride with him. [Walker] agreed, and Jez climbed into Walker’s squad car…” (With Malice, Chapter 6).
In his endnotes, Myers references the above claim to the testimonies of both Poe and Walker before the Warren Commission. Although it’s true that Poe told the Warren Commission that he had given an officer named Walker a description of the suspect; and that officer Jez got into Walker’s car, there are problems with this claim. First of all, when asked what the full name of the officer was, Poe remarked “I want to say C.T. [Walker], but I am not positive on that” (WC Volume VII, page 69). Secondly, there doesn’t appear to be any confirmation from Walker that he was given the description of the suspect from any officer in person. As a matter of fact, Walker told the Warren that he “…put out a broadcast on the air that there was a person fitting the description on the air that was seen running in front of the [Jefferson branch] library…” (ibid, page 36). Walker’s claim implies that he had gotten the description of the suspect when it was broadcasted over the DPD radio; and not in person from an officer.
The reader should also keep in mind that when Counsel Joseph Ball asked Walker what the description of the suspect which was broadcasted over the DPD radio was, Walker said that it was “A white male, slender build…had on a light-colored coat or shirt… About 30 years old, I think he said” (ibid). There can be little doubt that Walker was referring to the broadcast over the radio by Officer Roy W. Walker (WCE 705/1974). Furthermore, there is apparently no confirmation from Officer Jez that he had hitched a ride with Officer Walker. Myers interviewed Jez in the year 1996, but makes no mention of Jez telling him that he had become stranded after Hill allegedly commandeered the squad car assigned to him and Officer Poe, or that he had hitched a ride with another officer as a result of that. There also doesn’t appear to be any confirmation from Walker that an officer got into his squad car after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene. In fact, the only person Walker claimed that he had in his car after he left the Tippit murder scene was a “newspaperman” (WC Volume VII, page 36).
Given all of the above, Poe’s claim that Jez got into Walker’s car should not be considered credible. In fact, consider that during his testimony, Poe claimed that the first witness who told him that Tippit’s killer was wearing a “white” jacket was Helen Markham (ibid, page 69). However, in their supplementary offense report, Poe and Jez wrote that Markham claimed the killer was wearing a brown jacket (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 1, Folder 4, Item 5). None of these problems with Poe’s credibility (as far as giving the description of the killer to an Officer named Walker and Officer Jez then getting into Walker’s car are concerned) are mentioned by Myers in his book. This writer should point out that although the officer Walker to whom Poe was referring to could have been Roy W. Walker; there doesn’t appear to be any confirmation from Walker that another officer had hitched a ride with him after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene. Also, keep in mind that according to Poe, the officer named Walker to whom he was referring to, arrived at the murder scene after he did (WC Volume VII, page 69). However, the transcripts of the DPD radio communications reveal that Roy Walker arrived before Poe and Jez, and that Poe may simply have been confused (WCE 705/1974).
Suffice it to say, there is no direct corroboration (or any credible evidence for that matter) that Gerald Hill commandeered the squad car assigned to officers Poe and Jez after he allegedly arrived at the Tippit murder scene. It is also perhaps worth keeping in mind that, as researcher Steven Duffy has informed this writer, Judy Bonner writes in her book that Hill went back into Sgt. Owens car with Owens and William Alexander, and started searching for Tippit’s killer (Bonner, Investigation of a homicide, page 93). Hill told the Warren Commission that by the time he allegedly met Sgt. Owens in front of the two large vacant houses on Jefferson Blvd., Owens had information that “…some citizen had seen the [Tippit’s killer] running towards these houses”  and that “At this time Sergeant Owens was there; I was there; Bill Alexander was there; it was probably about this time that C.T. Walker, an accident investigator got there; and with Sergeant Owens and Walker and a couple more officers standing outside, Bill Alexander and I entered the front door of the house that would have been to the west – It was the farthest to the west of the two – shook out the lower floor, made sure nobody was there, and made sure that all the entrances from either inside or outside of the building to the second floor were securely locked” (WC Volume VII, page 48).
According to the transcripts of the DPD radio communications, just after 1:33 pm, Sgt. Owens advised the dispatchers that he and other officers “…are shaking down these old houses in the 400 block of East Jefferson right now” (WCE 705/1974). Although William Alexander implied during his interview with Ronnie Dugger that Hill was with him and Sgt. Owens when the two vacant houses were being searched, as this writer has pointed out in part 1 of this essay, Alexander was by all likelihood covering up for Hill’s demonstrable lie that he travelled to the Tippit murder scene from Dealey Plaza with Owens and himself (Alexander’s interview with Dugger can be read here). Therefore, it stands to reason that Alexander may also have been covering up for Hill’s (more than likely) untruthful claim that he was involved in searching the two vacant houses on Jefferson Blvd. The reader should keep in mind that contrary to Hill’s claim that Charles Walker was at the location of the two vacant houses, Walker made no mention of being there during his testimony before the Warren Commission. In fact, when Walker was asked during his testimony what he did after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene; he merely claimed that he “…started up cruising the area… [and] went up the street that runs north and south and faces the, runs into the library at Jefferson and Marsalis…” (WC Volume VII, page 36).
This writer should point out that former Dallas Morning News reporter, Jim Ewell, more or less claimed that during the time William Alexander was searching the two vacant houses on Jefferson Blvd., he spoke to Hill and asked him who the officer was that was shot. Hill allegedly told him that it was Tippit and that Tippit was probably “probably DOA [Dead on arrival]” (click here to read about Ewell’s claim). However, it is noteworthy that during his interview with author Larry Sneed, Ewell made no mention of having spoken to Hill during the time Alexander was searching the two vacant houses; and as this writer will explain in a follow-up essay, there is good reason to believe that like Alexander, Ewell was covering up for Hill’s (more than likely) untruthful claim that he was involved in searching the two vacant houses. Hill also told the Warren Commission that after he allegedly searched the second house, he asked Owens if he had received any information on Tippit from the hospital (WC Volume VII, page 48). According to Hill, Owens told him that the he was informed on channel two of the DPD radio that Tippit was dead (ibid).
According to the transcripts of channel two of the DPD radio communications, there was a transmission from the dispatcher, Gerald Henslee, at approximately 1:28 pm, where he stated that it was believed Tippit was pronounced dead at Methodist hospital (WCE 1974). Although this could have been the transmission Hill was referring to, we should nevertheless keep in mind that no transmission from the dispatcher specifically to Owens concerning Tippit’s death can be found in the transcripts of either channel one or two of the DPD radio communications. Hill told the Warren Commission that after Owens allegedly informed him that Tippit was dead, he returned to the scene of Tippit’s murder, at which time officer Joe Poe showed him “three spent jackets from shells” inside a Winston Cigarette packet, which were given to Poe by a “citizen” (WC Volume VII, pages 48 and 49). The “citizen” was eyewitness Domingo Benavides (WC Volume VI, page 451).
Although both Benavides and Poe confirmed that the spent shell casings were put inside an empty cigarette packet when they testified before the Warren Commission, the problem for Hill’s claim is that both Benavides and Poe claimed that there were two and not three spent shell casings inside the packet (WC Volume VI, page 450), (WC Volume VII, page 68). The reader should also bear in mind that Poe reported to the DPD radio dispatchers that he had “recovered” two spent shell casings at the Tippit murder scene (WCE 705/1974). During a filmed interview with Eddie Barker of CBS in 1967, Benavides claimed that he had actually picked up three spent shell casings (click here to view the interview). However, given the aforementioned evidence, it is apparent that Benavides had simply misremembered how many spent shell casings he had picked up. Hill also claimed that he told Poe to mark the spent shell casings and to then turn them over to the DPD crime lab “or to homicide” (WC Volume VII, page 49).
At the end of chapter eight of his book, Myers notes that Hill told the Warren Commission that Poe had shown him three spent shell casings, but writes that Hill “referred to ‘two spent slugs we found at the scene’ during a CBS television interview recorded a few hours after the shooting” (With Malice, Chapter 8). Keep in mind that during his interview with Bob Whitten shortly following Oswald’s arrest, Hill claimed that “Oswald’s” revolver was fired twice, and that “…both shots hit [Tippit] in the forehead” (WCD 1210, page 6). In his book, Myers writes that Hill’s source for this belief could have been Helen Markham, who told researcher Mark Lane in 1964 that Tippit was shot twice in the head (With Malice, Chapter 8). During his interview with Myers in 1986, Hill claimed that the only way he would have known that Tippit was shot twice in the head was if somebody who had seen Tippit’s body told him this. On the other hand, Hill could have obtained this information from an Officer who was at the Tippit murder scene, such as Paul Bentley, and who was either told by Markham that Tippit was shot twice in the head or overheard Markham telling another Officer that Tippit was shot twice in the head.
During his aforementioned interview with Eddie Barker in 1967, Hill described a lady witness at the Tippit murder scene who could have been Helen Markham. However, as far as this writer is concerned, Hill never mentioned Markham (let alone any female witness) prior to his interview with Barker. In fact, when Hill testified before the Warren Commission, he only mentioned two male witnesses (WC Volume VII, pages 47 and 48). Therefore, it is entirely conceivable that Hill had learned about Markham sometime after he testified before the Warren Commission. If Hill had framed Oswald with the revolver used to kill Tippit, then it is reasonable to assume that Tippit’s real killer would have left behind the spent shell casings (after smudging his fingerprints off of them) in the hope that the DPD would be able to connect the spent shell casings to the revolver; and that Hill would have known that the killer would do this. If it had not been determined in advance how many shots Tippit’s killer would have fired at him, it is reasonable to believe that Hill may have guessed that only two spent shell casings were found at the scene by the time he was interviewed by news reporters on the day of the assassination. On the other hand, Hill may have been told by an Officer that only two spent shell casings were discovered in the vicinity of the murder scene.
We should also bear in mind that there doesn’t appear to be any corroboration from Poe that he showed Hill the two spent shell casings he received from Benavides, or that Hill told him to mark them and then turn them over to the DPD crime lab upon their arrival at the murder scene. Many researchers believe that after Hill observed the spent shell casings inside the cigarette packet, he reported over the DPD radio that “The shells at the scene indicate that the suspect is armed with an automatic .38 rather than a pistol.” Although both WCE 705 and 1974 show that Hill reported “The shell at the scene indicates that the suspect is armed with an automatic .38 rather than a pistol,” tape recordings of the transmission (which can be found here on John McAdams’ website) reveal that Hill did in fact report “shells” and not “shell”. During his testimony before the Warren Commission, Hill was asked by Counsel David Belin if he made the aforementioned transmission over the DPD radio. The transcript of the DPD radio recordings to which Belin was referring to was dubbed Sawyer deposition exhibit A (WC Volume VII, page 57). Hill denied that he was the officer who made that transmission, claiming that it was “probably” Sergeant R.D. (Henry) Stringer, who according to Hill, “quite probably” was using the same radio number (550 car 2) as he was (ibid).
But contrary to Hill’s claim, not only do the recordings of the DPD radio communications show that he (Hill) made the transmission, but the transcripts of the radio communications show that Sgt. Stringer’s radio number was 551, and not 550 car2 (WCE 705/1974). The reader should also bear in mind that contrary to what Hill told the Warren Commission, during his interview with Eddie Barker in 1967, Hill claimed that Officer Poe had picked up the three spent shell casings from the ground and that they were placed into a cigarette wrapper. However, Hill seemed confused as to whether or not they were given to Poe by somebody else. When Hill was interviewed by Larry Sneed, he claimed that after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene; “A man pointed out a spot and said, ‘There’s some hulls over here.’ At that time, nobody had given us information of what type of weapon had been used to shoot Tippit nor had we been informed that the suspect had stopped and reloaded. So, with four hulls on the ground, you had to assume at that point that [the gun used to kill Tippit] was an automatic…” (Sneed, No More Silence, page 295).
As the reader can see, Hill now claimed that there were four spent shell casings on the ground, and that he was not informed that the killer had stopped and reloaded his gun. Hill went on to explain that the DPD officers at the scene marked the area on the ground where the spent shell casings were found, and that after he (Hill) marked the shell casings, he handed them over to officers Joe Poe and Leonard Jez (ibid). This despite the fact that he made no mention of marking the spent shell casings, let alone that he had handed them over to officers Poe and Jez, when he testified before the Warren Commission. Furthermore, Hill told Eddie Barker in 1967 that he did not mark any of the spent shell casings found in the vicinity of the Tippit murder scene. Whilst one might believe the aforementioned discrepancies may simply have been the result of Hill misremembering what had transpired following his alleged arrival at the Tippit murder scene, let’s also take the following into account.
During his interview with Dale Myers in 1986, Hill explained that he had assumed the spent shell casings were fired from an automatic because; “…we had found all the hulls in one little general area… If you find a cluster of shells – say a foot or foot and a half in diameter on the ground – you have to assume that they were fired from an automatic…” (With Malice, Chapter 8). When Myers asked Hill how he determined that the spent shell casings were 0.38 caliber, Hill explained that; “You can tell that from the shell. Thirty-eight’s stamped on the bottom of it. I looked on the bottom” (ibid). But as Myers and several conspiracy advocates such as Gil Jesus have pointed out, “38 AUTO” is traditionally stamped on the bottom of shell casings from a 0.38 automatic weapon; whereas “38 SPL” or “38 special” is stamped on the bottom of 0.38 special cartridges; which were allegedly fired from “Oswald’s” revolver (ibid). Myers then goes on to explain that the shell casings “…linked to Oswald’s revolver are clearly stamped, ‘38 special’” (ibid).
With the above in mind, if “Oswald’s” revolver was the one used to murder Tippit, then by implication, Hill lied when he reported over the DPD radio that the spent shell casings indicated that the suspect is armed with an automatic. We should also keep in mind that the Davis sister-in-laws; Barbara and Virginia, both claimed that they each found a spent shell casing which Tippit’s killer discarded as he cut across the front lawn of their apartment, which was located on the south east corner of the tenth and Patton Street intersection (WC Volume III, pages 345 and 346), (WC Volume VI, pages 463 and 464). Finally, as far as this writer is aware, no other Officer (or witness for that matter) who was at the Tippit murder scene has ever claimed that all four of the spent shell casings were found in one small area; as Hill eventually told Larry Sneed that they were.
In light of all of the above, it should be readily apparent that Hill was lying when he reported over the DPD radio that the spent shell casings were from an automatic gun (please see here for this writer’s explanation as to why Hill lied). Whilst Hill’s claim that all four of the spent shell casings were found in one small area casts further doubt that he was ever at the Tippit murder scene, it is nevertheless this writer’s belief that Hill stated this in an attempt to explain why he “mistakenly” believed that the spent shell casings were fired from an automatic gun. Although many researchers have used Hill’s transmission over the DPD radio as evidence that Tippit was killed by an automatic gun, as this writer explains here, despite all claims to the contrary; WCE 143 was most likely the gun used to kill Tippit.
Another factor to keep in mind with regards to whether or not Hill was ever at the Tippit murder scene is that as even Dale Myers more or less acknowledges in his book, no photographs taken at the murder scene show that Hill was there. However, a photograph taken by Dallas Times Herald photographer Darryl Heikes shows a man who does resemble Hill, as he is apparently walking from east to west whilst looking towards Heikes’ camera (see here). Like Hill, the man in question is wearing a hat and a suit, and appears to be overweight. But if this man was Hill, then surely Myers would have pointed this out to his readers, for not only does Myers identify the various Officers seen in the photographs taken at the Tippit murder scene. Suffice it to say, the reader will have to judge for him/herself whether or not the man seen walking west in the photograph taken by Heikes was Gerald Hill.
Hill told the Warren Commission that after he allegedly instructed Officer Poe to mark the spent shell casings, he went to a “church” (which was actually known as the Abundant Life Temple) located on the southeast corner of the Tenth and Crawford street intersection (WC Volume VII, page 49). According to Hill, he was “…preparing to go in when there were two women who came out and said they were employees inside and had been there all the time” (ibid). He then allegedly asked the two women if they had “…seen anybody enter the church, because we were still looking for possible places for the suspect to hide. And they said nobody passed them, nobody entered the church, but they invited us to check the rest of the doors and windows and go inside if we wanted to” (ibid). According to the transcripts of channel two of the DPD radio communications, Hill informed the dispatcher that; “A witness reports that [the suspect] last was seen in the Abundant Life Temple about the 400 block [of Jefferson Blvd.]. We are fixing to go in and shake it down” (WCE 705/1974).
In his book, Myers claims that Hill did in fact make the aforementioned transmission over the DPD radio, and writes in his endnotes that the so-called witness may have been Jimmy Burt or William Arthur Smith, who according to Myers “…last saw Tippit’s killer in the alley immediately behind the Abundant Life Temple.” But as explained in part 1 of this writer’s review of With Malice, neither Burt nor Smith actually observed Tippit’s killer as he allegedly fled through the alley (this can be read here under the subheading; V: Search for a killer). Suffice it to say, the identity of the so-called witness, including the identities of the two women to whom Hill allegedly spoke with, are unknown. With that in mind, it is entirely possible that Hill was lying when he stated over the DPD radio that a witness reported that Tippit’s killer was last seen in the Abundant Life Temple. Readers should also keep in mind that Hill never mentioned the so-called witness during his testimony before the Warren Commission, and as far as this writer is aware, he never mentioned the so-called witness in/during any of his reports and interviews.
But if this was a lie by Hill, the obvious question is; why did he lie? Consider that if Hill was about to frame Oswald for Tippit’s murder inside the Texas Theater, it would be in his best interest to divert suspicion away from himself. After all, the last thing Hill would have wanted was for the DPD to suspect he was involved in the murder of one of his fellow officers. Therefore, he may have thought that by fabricating the story about a witness seeing Tippit’s killer enter the Abundant Life Temple, the DPD wouldn’t suspect that he already knew Oswald was inside the Texas Theater. Whilst some might believe that this is a ridiculous notion, as Hill would surely have realised that his fellow officers who had heard him broadcast the message over the radio could expose him as a liar, let’s bear in mind that on the day of the assassination, channel two of the DPD radio was used for radio communications concerning the President’s motorcade, and not for regular Police radio communications (WCE 1974). Therefore, if Hill knew this in advance, this could explain why he broadcasted the aforementioned message over channel two instead of channel one.
Now if Hill framed Oswald with the revolver which was used to kill Tippit, how (and when) did he obtain it from Tippit’s killer? Several researchers are of the opinion that Tippit’s real killer was hiding inside the Abundant Life Temple. Although this writer disagrees, it is nevertheless important to discuss that possibility. According to the transcripts of the DPD radio communications, at approximately 1:35 pm, Officer Charles Walker broadcasts over the radio that he observed the suspect running into the Jefferson Branch Library (WCE 705/1974). Bessie Munday, the head Librarian at the Library, informed the USSS on December 5, 1963, that the person who ran into the Library was Adrian Hamby (WCD 87, page 816). According to Munday, Hamby worked at the Library as a page, and ran into the Library because “…he had just heard the news of the President’s assassination” (ibid). Munday went on to explain that Hamby was seen entering the Library by “persons” and that these “persons” had called the DPD allegedly informing them that the “suspected assassin” had run into the Library; which then resulted in DPD Officers surrounding the Library (ibid).
The “persons” to whom Munday was referring to were probably the men whom DPD detective Marvin Buhk claimed were “Secret Service men” in his report to Chief Jesse Curry (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 2, Folder 7, Item 8). According to Buhk, one of the so-called Secret Service men claimed that “…the person [Hamby] who came out of the basement [of the Library] with the others was not the suspect and that he had already talked to him a few minutes previously” (ibid). Although detective Buhk referred to the men as secret service men, the fact is that no genuine secret service agents were in the vicinity of the Jefferson Branch Library at the time DPD officers had converged there. As many researchers have pointed out, on the day of the assassination, DPD officers Joe Marshall Smith and Sgt. David V. Harkness had encountered men in Dealey Plaza claiming to be secret service agents shortly following the assassination. The problem is that no genuine secret service agents have ever come forth identifying themselves as the men who had spoken to the aforementioned officers (please refer to this writer’s article on these so-called Secret Service agents here for more information).
By all likelihood, the men identifying themselves as Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza were actually conspirators. The possibility also exists that the so-called Secret Service men at the Library were involved in diverting the DPD’s attention away from the Abundant Life Temple, thereby enabling one or more of the DPD Officers involved in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder to obtain the gun from Tippit’s killer; in order to frame Oswald at the Texas Theater. Dale Myers interviewed Adrian Hamby in February, 1997. According to Myers, after Hamby parked his car at the Library, “…two plainclothesmen appeared out of nowhere and grabbed him” (With Malice, Chapter 6). Myers goes to explain that after one of the men asked Hamby what he was doing in that area, Hamby told them that he worked at the Library as a page (ibid). One of the two men then allegedly told Hamby to go into the Library and to tell the management to lock all the doors, as Tippit’s killer was on the loose (ibid).
It is with little doubt that the so-called “plainclothesmen” who had spoken to Hamby were in fact the men whom detective Buhk claimed were “Secret Service men” in his report to Chief Curry. In an apparent attempt to dismiss Buhk’s claim that there were men claiming to be secret service agents at the Library, Myers writes in his endnotes that; “No documents were located that confirmed Detective Buhk’s report,” and that “It is possible, however, that the man referred to by Detective Buhk was one of the lawmen who originally detained Hamby, and sent him to secure the library doors.” But what Myers doesn’t mention to his readers is that there were also men in Dealey Plaza who identified themselves as Secret Service agents to DPD officers Joe Marshall Smith and David Harkness. Myers also neglects to inform his readers that Bessie Munday told the USSS that the men who had spoken to Hamby called the Police; despite the fact that he mentions in his endnotes that Munday was interviewed by the USSS on December 5, 1963.  
According to the tape recordings of the DPD radio communications, at approximately 1:34 pm, Officer M. Nick McDonald broadcasts the following over the DPD radio; “Send a squad over here to Tenth and Crawford to check out this church basement” (this can be heard here on John McAdams’ website). The “church” in question was undoubtedly the Abundant Life Temple. As stated previously, Walker’s broadcast about seeing the suspect enter the Library was made approximately a minute later at about 1:35 pm. In his book, Myers writes that Walker’s broadcast was made about a minute and nineteen seconds following McDonald’s request for a squad to be sent to the Abundant Life Temple (With Malice, Timetable of events). As this writer has explained previously, McDonald was probably involved with Gerald Hill in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder (see here under the subheading: When did Carroll mark the gun?). It is therefore possible that McDonald obtained the revolver used to kill Tippit from Tippit’s killer at the Abundant Life Temple (as researcher Greg Parker has claimed), and then handed it over to Hill prior to Oswald’s arrest inside the Theater.
But if McDonald did obtain the revolver from Tippit’s killer at the Temple, why would he ask for a squad to be sent over to search the basement of the Temple? Consider that if both McDonald and Hill were involved in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder, then perhaps Officer Charles Walker was also involved, and that Walker was involved with the so-called Secret Service men in creating a diversion at the Library using Hamby. Perhaps McDonald’s transmission over the DPD radio was meant as a signal to both Walker and the men pretending to be Secret Service agents (if somehow they were able to listen to the DPD radio) in order to initiate the diversion. Perhaps during the diversion, McDonald and Hill removed Tippit’s killer from the Abundant Life Temple, and obtained the revolver used to kill Tippit from him. In an upcoming essay on Larry Crafard, this writer will make the case that Crafard was Tippit’s killer, and that Crafard was arrested in the balcony of the Theater and taken out through the rear of the Theater, where he was then placed into a DPD jail cell.
The reader should bear in mind that if Bessie Munday’s claim that the “persons” had called the Police is accurate, then the transmission by Officer Walker was added into the recordings of the DPD radio communications; and therefore, Walker was not involved in creating a diversion (the transmission by Walker can be listened to here). The recordings reveal that as the transmission is made by Walker, car tyres can be heard screeching in the background. The implication of the screeching tyres is that Walker’s car was skidding. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the sound of the screeching tyres was also added into the recordings of the DPD radio communications. As for why the DPD may have added the transmission by Walker into the recordings, it may have been because the DPD wanted to silence rumours that the so-called Secret Service men were involved in creating a diversion, and that Tippit’s murder was a conspiracy which possibly involved DPD officers. 
When Walker testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that as he put the broadcast over the DPD radio about seeing the suspect entering the Library, there was a “newspaperman” in the car with him at the time (WC Volume VII, pages 36 and 37). As far as this writer is aware, the “newspaperman” who was allegedly with Walker inside his car has never been identified. However, if Walker’s claim is true, then it seems unlikely to this writer that Walker was involved in creating the diversion at the Library with the “newspaperman” as a witness. It is also possible that detective Buhk was in error when he wrote in his report that there were “Secret Service men” at the Library. However, it also seems unlikely to this writer that Buhk could have mistaken DPD Officers in plainclothes as being Secret Service agents, especially since he also wrote in his report that CID (Criminal investigation division) officers, who wore plainclothes, were also present at the Library. Another factor to keep in mind with regards to whether or not Walker was involved in framing Oswald for Tippit’s murder, is that in his report to chief Curry (and when he testified before the Warren Commission), Walker made no mention of Hill being involved in the scuffle with Oswald inside the Theater (Dallas Municipal archives, Box 2, Folder 7, Item 47).
Whilst the notion that the false alarm at the Library was meant as a distraction certainly has merit, it is nevertheless this writer’s belief that Gerald Hill picked-up Tippit’s killer somewhere to the west of the murder scene using DPD squad car 207, and then dropped him off at a location near the Texas Theater. According to the transcripts of the DPD radio communications, at approximately 1:26 pm, Hill reports that; “I’m at 12th and Beckley now – [I] have a man in the car with me that can identify the suspect if anybody gets one/him, the one” (WCE 705/1974). The same transmission by Hill also appears in the transcript dubbed Sawyer Exhibit No. A, and dated December 3, 1963 (WC Volume XXI). Although the wording of Hill’s transmission varies between the transcripts, all three transcripts nevertheless show that Hill informed the dispatchers that he was at the intersection of 12th and Beckley Streets, and that he had a man (witness) in the car with him who could allegedly identify Tippit’s killer.
Many researchers, such as Dale Myers, claim that the witness who was with Hill in the car was Harold Russell. Russell, along with Warren Reynolds, B.M. (Pat) Patterson, and L.J. Lewis, had observed Tippit’s killer as he made his way down Patton street, and then as he turned West onto Jefferson Blvd. (Russell Exhibit A, WC Volume XXI). When Russell was interviewed by the FBI on February 23, 1964, he (allegedly) told them that; “…while at the [Tippit murder] scene some police officers asked [Russell] if he had seen who had [shot Tippit] or if he knew anything about the shooting, as he told them about seeing [Tippit’s killer] running down [Patton] street with the pistol. [Russell] stated the officers, whose names he did not know, put him in a patrol car and had him point out the area where he had last seen the man with the pistol. Russell stated at this point he left the officers and went in a nearby drug store…” (WCD 735, page 270).
However, it is important to keep in mind that this is not what Russell (allegedly) told the FBI during his initial interview with them on January 21, 1964. According to the report of that interview, Russell claimed that “…approximately five minutes later Dallas police officers arrived [at the Tippit murder scene], at which time [Russell] informed them of the general direction in which the person apparently responsible for the shooting had gone and also the fact that Warren Reynolds and Pat Patterson, employees of Johnny Reynolds Used Car Lot, had attempted to follow the individual as he headed west on Jefferson Street” (WC Volume XXI, Russell Exhibit A). As the reader can see, Russell made no mention of being put into a DPD patrol car by officers. Let’s now take all of the following into account as well.
As this writer has pointed out previously, Hill told the Warren Commission that after he arrived at the Tippit murder scene with Sgt. Owens and William Alexander, he commandeered the squad assigned to officers Joe M. Poe and Leonard E. Jez (car 96), and that he then “…went down to the first intersection east of the block where [Tippit was shot], and made a right turn, and travelled one block, and came back up on Jefferson [blvd.]… And met [Sgt.] Owens in front of two large vacant houses on the north side of Jefferson…” (WC Volume VII, page 48). Not only did Hill make absolutely no mention of searching for Tippit’s killer with a witness during his testimony, but as far as this writer is aware, he made no mention of searching for Tippit’s killer with a witness in any of his reports/interviews. A search of Google Maps reveals that the intersection of 12th and Beckley is to the southwest of where the two large vacant houses were once located on Jefferson Blvd. Yet Hill also made no mention of being in the vicinity of 12th and Beckley when he testified before the Warren Commission, or in/during any of his reports and interviews.
Readers should also bear in mind that during his interview with the FBI on February 23, 1964, Harold Russell allegedly claimed that he was in a DPD with officers (plural), whereas Hill indicated during his testimony that he was the only officer inside squad car 96 after he allegedly commandeered it from officers Poe and Jez. If Hill’s transmission that he was at 12th and Beckley with a witness is to be believed, then why didn’t he ever mention this when he testified before the Warren Commission? In this writer’s opinion, it is because the man Hill had in the car with him was Tippit’s killer. But if this was the case, why would he inform the dispatchers that he had a man in the car with him, and also provide them with his current location? Consider that Hill may have thought that one or more of his fellow officers (and witnesses) had seen Tippit’s killer enter the squad car driven by him, and that out of concern that this was the case; he reported over the DPD radio that the man in the car with him was a witness. In other words, Hill was probably covering his backside.
As for Harold Russell, it is this writer’s belief that he was coerced by the FBI into claiming that he had been put into a squad car, as they had reason to suspect that the man in the car with Hill was Tippit’s killer. For those who doubt that Russell could have been coerced by the FBI, consider that during his initial interview with the FBI on January 21, 1964, Russell stated that after he heard the shots fired at Tippit he “…observed a young white man running south on Patton Avenue carrying a pistol or revolver which the individual was attempting to either reload or place in his belt line” (WC Volume XXI, Russell Exhibit A). But during his interview with the FBI on February 23, 1964, Russell (allegedly) stated that he observed Tippit’s killer “…coming down Patton Street and, while hurrying down the street, [he] was ejecting some shells from a revolver which he had in his hand” (WCD 735, page 270). The problem with Russell’s latter (alleged) claim is that there is no corroboration for it from Warren Reynolds, L.J. Lewis, B.M. (Pat) Patterson, Ted Callaway, and Sam Guinyard; all of whom allegedly witnessed Tippit’s killer heading south on Patton Street after Tippit was shot.
Although Sam Guinyard told the Warren Commission that he observed Tippit’s killer “knocking empty shells out of [his] pistol”, his testimony implies that he observed this as the killer was cutting across the yard of the apartment house located on the intersection of Tenth and Patton Streets (WC Volume VII, page 397). Furthermore, as discussed in part 1 of this writer’s review of With Malice, there is good reason to doubt that Guinyard ever observed Tippit’s killer (see under the subheading VII: A bird in the hand). Should the reader remain unconvinced that Russell could have been coerced by the FBI, then consider that during his own initial interview with the FBI on January 22, 1964, B.M. (Pat) Patterson allegedly remarked that he observed Tippit’s killer “…carrying what appeared to be a revolver in his hand and was obviously trying to reload [it] while running. When the individual reached the intersection of Patton Avenue and Jefferson Street, he placed the weapon inside his waistband and began walking west on the north side of Jefferson Street” (WC Volume XXI, Patterson (B.M.) Exhibit A).
But during his interview with the FBI on August 25, 1964, Patterson now (allegedly) told them that he “…remembers [Tippit’s killer] was carrying a revolver in his hand and was obviously trying to reload the gun. [He] stopped still, ejected the cartridges, reloaded the gun, and then placed the weapon inside his waistband” (ibid, Patterson (B.M.) Exhibit B). On the following day, Patterson allegedly told the FBI that after “Oswald” ejected the spent shell casings from the revolver, he crossed over to the North side of Jefferson Blvd., thus implying that Tippit’s killer had crossed over to the south side of Jefferson Blvd. after coming down Patton (ibid). However, we should keep in mind that none of the aforementioned men ever claimed that they observed Tippit’s killer cross over to the south side of Jefferson Blvd., let alone that they had seen him stop still and then eject spent shell casings from the revolver.
With all of the above in mind, it is apparent that both Russell and Patterson were coerced into claiming that he had observed Tippit’s killer eject spent shell casings from the revolver. As explained in part 2 of this writer’s review of With Malice, this was done in order to help explain why three of the bullets removed from Tippit were of the Winchester Western brand, whereas only two of the spent shell casings were of that brand, with the remaining bullet and two spent shell casings being of the Remington Peters brand. Alternatively, the FBI may simply have altered what Russell and Patterson told them during their subsequent interviews with them, to make it appear as though they had seen Tippit’s killer remove spent shell casings from the revolver. But if Russell was coerced by the FBI into claiming that he had been put into a DPD squad car with Hill, why wasn’t he coerced into claiming that there was only one officer in the car with him? In this writer’s opinion, it is entirely possible that the FBI were under the impression that there was another officer in the car with Hill. On the other hand, it could simply have been a typing error.
Could Hill have forgotten that he was looking for Tippit’s killer with a witness, and that he had travelled to 12th and Beckley? Given that he evidently had no problem remembering that he had commandeered squad car 96 from officers Poe and Jez; and all of the other details of his alleged activities on the day of the assassination, it seems highly doubtful to this writer that he did. But regardless of whether or not one believes that Hill had Tippit’s killer in the car with him, the fact remains that Hill never mentioned the so-called witness when he testified before the Warren Commission, and as far as this writer is concerned, never mentioned the so-called witness in/during any of his reports and interviews. Also, regardless of whether or not one believes that Harold Russell was coerced into claiming that he had been put into a DPD squad car, the fact remains that he made no mention of this detail when he was first interviewed by the FBI on January 21, 1964.
My appreciation once again goes out to researcher Greg Parker for generously taking the time to proof read this essay prior to it being published on this blog.


Addendum:

Researcher Steven Duffy has informed this writer that Nick McDonald wrote in his book that he met up with Hill on Jefferson Blvd., and that Hill took McDonald’s rookie partner, T.R. Gregory (McDonald, Oswald And I, location number 1286 on Kindle). However, as far as this writer is aware, Hill never mentioned in/during any report or interview that he met up with McDonald on Jefferson Blvd.; let alone that he took Gregory with him. With this in mind, there is no good reason to believe that McDonald was being truthful. This writer’s appreciation goes out to Steven for providing this information.

 
 

 

No comments:

Post a comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.