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in looking for other information, i came across this article posted by Jack written by Larry Howard, Jack's comment preceeds the info, who researched the Tipitt slaying, extensively, so here you are...thanks jack..

The late Larry Ray Harris was THE expert researcher on Tippit. I choose to believe
Larry instead of Myers, Posner, or the Warrenatti.

Here is one of Larry's Tippit articles:


November 22, 1963: The Other Murder - The Death of Officer Tippit Revisited by Larry Ray Harris

Thirty years later. a number of mis-conceptions about the John Kennedy assassination still linger in the public mind. One of the most enduring is that investigators compiled a virtual open-and-shut case against Lee Harvey Oswald in the slaying of a Dallas policeman named J.D. Tippit, who was abruptly gunned down on a residential street four miles from Dealey Plaza, less than an hour after JFK was shot.

The widespread public acceptance of Oswald's guilt is such that the Tippit murder has been virtually relegated to a historical footnote. This was borne out by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, whose 1979 final report devoted a scant three paragraphs to the policeman's death -- concurring with the 1964 Warren Report conclusion that Oswald was a cop-killer. More recently, attorney/author Gerald Posner's appalling new tome, Case Closed, glosses over the Tippit's murder case in just seven pages.

On the surface -- and certainly as depicted by Warren Report groupies such as Posner and Jim Moore - the case against Oswald appeared to be air-tight. But viewed objectively, thoughtfully and in its entirety, the record leaves little doubt that someone other than Lee Oswald was responsible for the death of a Dallas cop.

Let's take a look back at that other murder on Nov. 22, 1963.

The Warren Report said Oswald, afoot, left his rooming house in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas at 1:04 p.m. Police were notified of the shooting by a citizen using the radio in Tippit's squad car at 1:16 p.m. Therefore, Oswald had no more than 12 minutes to walk from his apartment to the intersection of Tenth & Patton - about one mile away.

BUT, Oswald's landlady told the Secret Service that she looked out the window "several minutes later" and observed Oswald standing motionless at the curb in front of the house. Therefore, "several minutes" after 1:04 p.m. Oswald was still lingering in the immediate vicinity of his rooming house. (Perhaps he was waiting on the mysterious police car which, according to the landlady's testimony, paused directly in front of 1026 N. Beckley while Oswald was in his room, honked its horn twice. and drove away.)

AND, contrary to the Warren Report's assertion that he "rushed' to Tippit's car and "promptly" notified police on Tippit's radio, eyewitness Domingo Benavides testified that when the shooting began, he crouched down in the seat of his pick-up truck and laid low for "a few minutes" because he was afraid the gunman would reappear and start shooting again. Thus, 'a few minutes' elapsed between the shooting and the time police were notified at 1:16 p.m. (Benavides first tried to aid the mortally wounded officer before climbing into Tippit's squad car and fumbling with the radio microphone, trying to figure out how it worked. Contrary to the Report, which wrongly credited Benavides, it was a bystander named F. Bowley who took the microphone from him and called the dispatcher. Bowley's Nov. 22 affidavit said he came upon the scene in his car, got out and intentionally looked at his watch to note the time: 1:10 p.m. - another indication that "a few minutes" - perhaps 5 or 6 - elapsed before Bowley called the radio dispatcher).

If Oswald was still in front of his apartment house "several minutes" after 1:04, and if the Tippit shooting occurred "a few minutes" prior to the 1:16 p.m. emergency transmission by Benavides, he could not possibly 'have been in a position to shoot the policeman. This was demonstrated by Commission staff attorney David Belin (the most passionate advocate of Oswald's sole guilt in both the JFK and Tippit murders), who retraced the accused assassin's 'presumed' route with a stopwatch. It took him 17 minutes and 45 seconds.

Moreover, the Warren Report said Oswald was walking east on Tenth Street when Tippit encountered him. But, contemporaneous written reports flied by the DPD, FBI and Secret Service stated that the pedestrian who shot Tippit was walking west on Tenth Street and continued west after the shooting. Oswald could not have been walking west on Tenth because he would have been coming back toward his rooming house from a point beyond the crime scene he could not possibly have reached in the established timeframe. (A resident in the next block named Jimmy Burt later told independent researchers including the author, that he noticed the man walking west on Tenth Street just moments before the shooting; Burt said he was certain it was not Lee Harvey Oswald.)

Finally, two witnesses (Butch Burroughs and Jack Davis) have said they observed Oswald inside the Texas Theatre as early as 1:15 p.m. - much earlier than the Warren Report timetable. (Burroughs, who was working the concession counter, remembered waiting on Oswald). If correct, their accounts provide additional corroboration that Oswald was nowhere near Tenth & Patton when Tippit's was slain.

Helen Markham was the sole basis for the Report's conclusion that Oswald was walking east on Tenth. She alone said Tippit's killer -- identified by her in a line-up as Oswald -- was walking east when the police car approached him from behind. Markham thus became a cornerstone of the case against Oswald. elevating her status to "star" witness for the DPD and the Commission. Hysterical and fainting, she is said to have picked Oswald from a police line-up -- even though she told the FBI the same day (Nov. 22) that Tippit's assailant was 18, red-complexted and had black wavy hair. (Oswald was 24, fair skinned and had receding brown hair. Descriptions of Tippit's killer broadcast over the DPD radio from the scene included references to black hair.)

Publicly, the Warren Report called Markham's bizarre testimony "reliable." But, behind the scenes, the panel knew their "star" witness was a walking, talking disaster. An unpublished Commission memo summarizing Markham's deposition warned, "This witness is very unsure of herself on most points." So unsure, in fact, that she earned the contempt of commission staff attorneys Joseph Ball - who complained that her account was "full of mistakes" and "utterly unreliable" - and Wesley Liebler. who dismissed her story as "contradictory" and "worthless." (Several years later Ball derided Markham publicly during a debate, calling her "an utter screwball.") Assistant counsel Norman Redlich's hear-no-evil response to his colleagues: "The Commission wants to believe Mrs. Markham and that's all there is to it."

William Scoggins purportedly picked Oswald out of a boisterous police line-up on Nov. 23, long after the suspect had been formally charged with the officer's murder. But a FBI report reveals that two days later, when FBI agents showed him a photograph of Oswald, Scoggins told them he couldn't be sure the person he observed on Nov. 22 was "actually identical with Oswald". Later, Scoggins sheepishly admitted to the Warren Commission that when the FBI showed him pictures of several different people (including the accused assassin), he picked out a man other than Oswald as the Tippit gunman!

Domingo Benavides was the closest person to the shooting -- he said he was in his truck a mere 15 feet away -- yet he was not taken to any of the line-ups to see if he could identify the man. His Warren Commission appearance elicited only a tentative identification: he could say only that a picture of Oswald he saw on TV resembled the man who shot Tippit.

The Dallas Police line-ups -- all four of them -- were a travesty. In the first two, the disheveled and bruised Oswald was paraded before witnesses (including Markham) accompanied by two detectives and a jail clerk who were neatly attired in slacks and dress shirts. The fourth and final line-up the next day (attended by Scoggins) was even more outrageous: Oswald, two teenagers and an Hispanic man! Further, throughout at least three of the line-ups Oswald was loudly and angrily protesting the unfairness of the procedure and demanding legal representation. One witness (William Whaley, a taxi driver) made the observation that "...anybody who wasn't sure could have picked out the right one just for that."

Three individuals not known to the Warren Commission later offered wildly variant accounts of the shooting and its immediate aftermath:
- Acquilla Clemons, a housekeeper, said she heard gunshots, went out to see what was going on and saw two men running from the scene in opposite directions.

Frank Wright, who lived in the next block, said he heard gunshots, went out to see what was happening and saw a man standing near a police car. He insisted the man ran and jumped in a gray car parked beyond the cruiser, and sped away west on Tenth Street.

Jack Tatum told House Assassination Committee investigators that he was driving west on Tenth and had just passed a police car when the shooting broke out; Tatum paused and watched the gunman walk behind the squad car and take careful, deliberate aim before firing one more shot into Tippit. ("This action," the HSCA Report noted, "which is commonly described as a coup de grace, is more indicative of an execution than an act of defense intended to allow escape or prevent apprehension. Absent further evidence -- which the committee did not develop -- the meaning of this evidence must remain uncertain.")

These seemingly irreconcilable accounts only add to the mystery, and serve to reiterate that official investigators and independent researchers don't really know just what transpired at Tenth & Patton that day.

Four bullets were removed from Tippit's body, and four empty shell casings were reportedly found at the scene of his death. Investigators' should have had no problem matching them up to indisputably establish Oswald's guilt.

BUT, the bullets taken from Tippit's body could not be traced to Oswald's revolver. According to an FBI exert, the barrel of the pistol which fired the bullets -- allegedly Oswald's .38 Smith & Wesson revolver -- had been modified, causing the bullets to pass erratically through the barrel thereby leaving inconsistent individual characteristics which made positive identification impossible. Years later in the late 1970's, the House Assassinations Committee also was unable to positively connect any of the bullets to Oswald's pistol -- even with sophisticated techniques not available in 1964.

MOREOVER, three of the bullets were manufactured by Western-Winchester, and one by Remington-Peters. BUT two of the shell casings were made by Western-Winchester, and two were made by Remington-Peters. The Report was unable to adequately explain this curious discrepancy -- which staff attorney, Melvin Eisenberg delicately described as "a slight problem" when he broke the news to the Commission's executive members.

In the final analysis, the four shell casings are the only tangible evidence linking Oswald's pistol to the Tippit murder; without question, they were fired in his .38 Smith & Wesson. When they were fired is another matter altogether, for there is reason to wonder if the shells turned over to the Warren Commission were the same shells found at the scene on Nov. 22.

The second description of the suspect broadcast over police radio that day said the gunman was "apparently armed with a .32 caliber dark finish automatic pistol."

A few minutes later, Sgt. Jerry Hill notified the DPD radio dispatcher: "The shell at the scene indicates that the suspect is armed with a .38 caliber automatic, rather than a pistol." [Note: There are only two types of handgun, automatic and revolver; both are pistols, therefore, Hill meant to say "automatic, rather than revolver."]

Was Tippit slain with an automatic handgun, as these two radio transmissions indicate? If so, Oswald was not the killer - for he was allegedly carrying a revolver, which fires ammunition of a different size and shape than that made for an automatic (which 'automatically' ejects the shells as the bullets are fired; revolver shells must be ejected manually). Anyone with a passing familiarity with handguns could distinguish between automatic and revolver ammunition at a glance. Would a seasoned police sergeant like Jerry Hill, investigating the murder of a brother officer, make such a misidentification?

Uncertainty about the Tippit ballistics evidence grows with the revelation that Dallas policeman J.M. Poe, who took custody of two shell casings on Nov. 22, was later unable to identify them. Patrolman Poe was instructed by Sgt. Hill at the scene to 'mark' two shells found by Domingo Benavides; Poe scratched his initials on them to establish a chain of evidence: But seven months later, FBI agents asked Poe to examine the four shells turned over to the Warren Commission. The FBI report told the tale: Poe "stated he recalled marking these cases... but he stated after a thorough examination of the four cartridges shown to him on June 12, 1964, he cannot locate his marks; therefore, he cannot positively identify any of these cartridges as being the same ones he received from Benavides."

All of this suggests the possibility of police tampering with evidence to prop up a hastily-contrived, shoddy case against a hapless suspect. Coupled with the utter lack of any other credible evidence implicating Oswald, it raises the specter of a classic police frame-up ....

Police found a white jacket on a parking lot behind a nearby gas station. The jacket eventually turned over by police to the FBI and Warren Commission was gray. The Warren Report flatly stated that this jacket, designated Commission Exhibit 162, belonged to Oswald and was discarded by him as he fled the scene of Tippit's death.

The few known references to the jacket that weekend, including the DPD radio transmission announcing its discovery, called it white. CE 162, the garment given the Warren Commission is officially a "gray zipper jacket." (I have held this jacket at the National Archives and it is gray; conceivably someone might call it 'light gray', but no one - least of all trained policemen - would call it white or even off-white.)

A commercial laundry tag stapled in the jacket was never traced to Oswald. Unpublished FBI reports disclose an investigation requested by the Warren Commission in which all dry cleaning firms in the Dallas/Fort Worth and New Orleans areas were contacted without identifying the one which laundered the garment. The Warren report didn't mention the laundry tag or the unsuccessful effort to trace it.

The same FBI investigation determined that Marina Oswald handwashed all of her husband's clothing (including two jackets) and that she never knew him to use a commercial cleaner. And, whereas CE 162 was size 'medium', all of Oswald's other clothing was size 'small'.

Dallas Police crowed all weekend about each new development - however circumstantial or tentative - in the case against Oswald. But they were strangely silent about the jacket. Nor is it mentioned anywhere in the dozens of police reports published in the Report's 26 volume appendix. A police captain was erroneously credited with finding the jacket - he explicitly testified he didn't find it - and there is no report from #279, the "unknown" officer who called the radio dispatcher to report his discovery. (In 1978 I identified and attempted to interview this officer, who responded angrily when I asked what color the jacket was. "That information might be something they don't want given out," he said tersely, terminating a brief conversation.)

According to a Secret Service report, Oswald "complained of a lineup wherein he had not been granted a request to put on a jacket similar to those worn by some of the other individuals in the lineup." Why would Oswald want to wear a jacket if he had discarded the one he was wearing when he shot Tippit? And why didn't police facilitate the identification process by making him wear the white jacket in the line-ups?

DPD, FBI and Secret Service reports detailing interrogations of Oswald do not mention a jacket; nothing in the official record indicates he was questioned about or confronted with the white jacket by his hosts (as he was confronted with the infamous 'backyard photos' of himself holding a rifle).

Only one of six witnesses shown the gray CE 162 stated positively it was the one worn by Tippit's killer; their descriptions of the gunman's jacket varied, and in several instances were significantly inconsistent with the Commission garment. Oswald's landlady could not identify CE 162 as the one he was wearing when he left his room at 1:04.

There was no credible evidence whatsoever that CE 162 belonged to Oswald and was abandoned by him near Tenth & Patton.

After 30 years, that remains a valid question in the estimation of this writer. The information set forth above is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Virtually every aspect of the official case against Oswald in the Tippit murder is tainted or flawed or outright undermined by the known facts, evidence and testimony. Other anomalies surrounding the policeman's death are too numerous to outline here. They include the circumstances which brought Tippit to the quiet residential street where he died, miles from his own patrol district; his activities in the hour preceding his murder; and an aspect of Tippit's personal life which -- had it been known to investigators in 1964 -- might have cast the officer's demise in a different light altogether.

Unfortunately, the truth about Tippit's death may never be known. Because of the unbelievably shoddy and dubious case concocted by the Dallas Police, and its endorsement by myopic government investigators, the record of J.D. Tippit's murder is inaccurate and incomplete. At least to those with open minds, the strange death of a policeman on Nov 22, 1963 seems destined to remain that date's other unsolved murder.

LARRY RAY' HARRIS of Dallas is co-founder of JFK Assassination Information Center. He is co-author with Gary Shaw of the book Cover-up. (1976)(1992) and was consultant to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. During his 17 years of active research on the JFK assassination Harris has been involved with numerous books, articles and films about the case.

a friend sent this photo below of j.d and his wife marie awhile ago..and a photo of the white jacket found by dpd shot by a newspaperman, i have been told..that was copied from a book...fwtiw.b

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for those interested here is a map of the Tippit killing and a page describing events at the Texas Theatre...Magda i cannot get the theatre page information to click on and enlarge, i will sent it to you, and perhaps you can enable it, thankyou much...b

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Thanks for that B.

That's pretty awsome in my book.

I met Larry Harris at the first ASK conference. While I missed his presentation, I did talk with him privately afterwards, and asked him about the Carl Mather/Collins Radio Connection, and he appeared genuinely surprised. He said he didn't mention it at all, and nobody asked him about it during the question and answer session.

And I have the same feeling about that article, as it is basically Tippit 101 and leaves out the best parts.

God bless Larry Harris,

where are these guys when we need them the most? Whose carrying their legacy?

Your welcome Bill, and imo you are one who has been carrying on with their legacy, perhaps they whisper in your ear every now and again...take care best b

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rich sent this to me some years

Autopsy Number: M63 352
Name: Tippit, J.D.
Age: 39
Race: White
Sex: Male
Admitted: 11/22/63 DOA
Autopsy date: 11/22/63 3:15 P.M.
Autopsy by: Earl F. Rose, M.D.
Coroner: Judge Joe B. Brown, Jr.
Restrictions: None
External Examination:
External examination reveals a well developed white male measuring 5 foot, ii inches in length and weighing an estimated 175 o 180 pounds. The hair is black, slightly wavy, very slight frontal balding. The irrides are blue, the pupils are equal at 5 mm. Rigor is not present. Very slight posterior mottled lividity and body heat is present. Oral hygiene is good. The neck is not remarkable. Hair distribution is normal, the penis is circumcised. Identification bands on the left wrist, right wrist, and left ankle.
There are four entrance type wounds. No. 1 is 4 ¾ inches from the top of the head and 3 ¾ inches to the right of the midline. This measures 3/8 x ¼ inches and is surrounded by a contusion ring. No powder tattooing is noted at the margins.
Wound No. 2 is 17 inches from the top of the head on the right chest. It is 4 inches to the right of the midline, above and slightly medial to the right nipple. It measures 3/8 x ¼ of an inch, surrounded by bruising. There is also some contusion.
Wound No. 3 is 21 inches from the top of the head, along the anterior lateral side of the right chest and is 6 inches to the right of the midline. This measures 5/16 x ¼ of an inch and is surrounded by a contusion ring.
Wound No. 4 on the left chest is 20 ½ inches from the top of the head, 1 ¼ inches to the left of the midline. The wound measures ¾ x 3/8 of an inch, is transverse and surrounding this is a ¼ x ¾ inch abrasion.
There is tanning of the arms. On the left arm there is a tattoo being "Tippit". On the dorsum of the left hand there is a crusted abraded area measuring ¼ x ¼ inch and a fresh abraded area on the dorsum of the right hand which measures ¼ x ¼ inch. The nails are quite well cared for although slightly dirty. Scar above the left knee, runs in an oblique fashion, crosses to the medial aspect of the knee, terminates on the leg measuring 7 inches. Poorly defined ¼ inch inoculation type of scar on the left deltoid region.
16 ½ inches from the top of the head, ¾ of an inch to the right of the midline of the back in the subcutaneous tissue a missile is recovered from this region. This is associated with Wound No. 3.
INCISIONS: The standard "Y" thoracoabdominal and intermastoid incisions are utilized. Examination of the wound of the right temple is made. T is found to enter in the right middle cranial fossa, pursues a course which is slightly upward, backward, and to the left. There is fracturing about the entrance and extensive fractures as it strikes the left occipitoparietal bone. It is recovered on this region, 3 inches to the left of the midline and approximately 1 inch from the top of the head. Examination of the brain is made. The brain weighs 1350 gm. The course of the missile through the brain is followed. It is found to enter the right temporal lobe, coursed through the brain transecting the brain stem, severing the cerebral peduncles surrounded by extensive hemorrhage, and found to exit from the brain substance in the calcerine gyrus to the left of the midline. There are penetrations of the meninges in the regions deseribed. (sic) Examination of the brain is otherwise unremarkable.
The abdominal measures up to 7/8 of an inch. The organs are in the normal position. Examination of the serous cavity is made. There is found to be extensive peritoneal hemorrhage, approximately 300 cc. In the right pleural space there is in excess of 1000 cc of blood.
THE COURSES OF THE MISSILES ARE FOLLOWED: The wound described as No. 2 is found to go between the second and third rib. The missile is found to penetrate the anterior edge of the right upper lobe. The bullet is found to go into the pericardial sac, there is extensive hemorrhage in the pericardial sac, approximately 4 ounces. Passes through the superior vena cava. It emits into the mediastinum, strikes the fourth thoracic vertebra to the left of the midline, courses in the substance of the vertebra and is recovered slightly to the left of the vertebra approximately 16 inches from the top of the head, having pursued a course very slightly upward, to the left, and backwards.
Wound No. 3 is found to penetrate the chest wall as externally described, is surrounded by hemorrhage, notching the dorsum of the sixth rib slightly lateral to the costochondral junction. It penetrates the anterior edge of the right lower lobe of the lung, the diaphragm, penetrates the liver, the entrance wound to the liver and laceration which is approximately 3 x 2.5 cm. It pursues a course backward, upward, and to the left and is recovered from the soft tissue of the back, 16 ½ inches from the top of the head and ¾ of an inch to the right of the midline. In its course it is also found to again penetrate the diaphragm after going through the liver and penetrates the posterior aspect of the right lower lobe.
Wound No. 4 is examined. It is found to be superficial and penetration of the rib cage is noted. There is hemorrhage beneath the abraded and bruised area adjacent to the wound. No missiles are present in this area.
LUNGS: The lungs together weigh 1200 gm. The penetrations of the lung have previously been described. There are areas of atelectasis and along the course of the bullet through the lung there is extensive hemorrhage.
LIVER: The liver weighs 1670 gm. The penetrations of the liver have previously been described. The cut surface of the liver is not remarkable.
PORTACAVAL SYSTEM: Not remarkable.
KIDNEYS: The kidneys together weigh 350 gm. The capsule strips quite easily and they are pale.
ADRENALS: Not remarkable.
SPLEEN: The spleen weighs 100 gm. The capsule is smooth. The cut surface is not remarkable.
HEART: The heart weighs 320 gm. There is an epicardial ecchynosis, anterior surface, left ventricle. This is at the apex. The coronary arteries are opened in situ. They are found to be of good caliber, free of occlusions. The valves are not remarkable. The myocardium grossly is not remarkable.
PANCREAS: Not remarkable.
INTESTINAL TRACT: The stomach contains partially digested food, approximately 5 oz. The duodenum is not remarkable. The small and large bowel are not remarkable. The appendix is present.
MUSCULO-SKELETAL SYSTEM: The musculo-skeletal system is not remarkable except for the previously described bullet injuries.
LYMPHATICS: Not remarkable.
Gunshot wound to the head.
Brain parenchynal damage and hemorrhage.
Gunshot wounds of the chest.
Penetrations of the right lung, superior vena cava, and liver.
Right hemothorax.
Peritoneal hemorrhage.
Pericardial hemorrhage with cardiac tamponade.
Gunshot wounds of the head and chest.

Earl F. Rose, M.D.

The message

[[ posted on alt.conspiracy.jfk in August, '96 by: (Michael Parks) ]]=======================================================================Here are more tidbits from an article Oswald Planned to Ride byScene, taken from the Dallas Morning News, 11/28/63. Again, theearliest reports are the most accurate. All EMPHASES are myown.Up till now this story tells of Oswald's escape from the TSBD, the Tippit killing and him fleeing from the scene. I pick it up at this point. M.P.] -------------------------------- Oswald was reported in a used furniture store that occupies a tall,weather-beaten green frame building at 413 E. Jefferson. About thesame time, spectators at a service station further west up the streetsaw him run into a vacant lot, where police say the killer discardedhis newly acquired jacket and three pistol shells. (This makes yawonder just how many shell where found. If three were found hereand the Davis sisters found two and so did Benavides, that makesOswald carrying a seven-shooter. M.P.) Then followed a chase in and out of alleyways in theJefferson - Beckley - Cumberland - Zang area.About 1:45 p.m. Julie Postal, cashier at the Texas Theater at 231W. Jefferson saw a hurrying stranger rush past her into the theater.TO THIS DAY, SHE CAN'T RECALL WHETHER OR NOT HEBOUGHT A TICKET. "I was so upset listening to the radio aboutthe President and all," she said.(Brewer rushed up, Postal called the police and the storycontinues): The cashier immediately called police - who had justsped en masse to a false alarm at the Dallas Library branch onJefferson, further to the east. The police sirens wailed again. Oddly enough, it was at the library that McWatters -bus driver who, unknowingly, had Oswald as a passenger earlier -had his second brush with fate. HIS BUS PULLED UP AT THEINTERSECTION AS A SWARM OF 10 OR 15 POLICE CARS ZEROED IN ON THE LIBRARY."I couldn't imagine what was going on," McWatters said. "Littledid I know!" (Were the police expecting to find Oswald there whenthe bus arrived? M.P.) Police went in the Texas Theater to the machine-gunning clatter of a movie called "War Is Hell." They found theirman - HIDING in a middle-section seat. Three officers dragged him to a waiting unmarkedcar where two others had THE MOTOR GUNNING.Fifteen minutes later, the assassin of President Kennedy WASSAFE IN A JAIL CELL.------------------------- end ----------------------------------


Michael T. Griffith
@All Rights Reserved
Revised and Expanded on 3/12/2002
Did the Warren Commission's star witness against Lee Harvey Oswald in the Tippit slaying, Mrs. Helen Markham, really see Oswald shoot Tippit? Did she actually identify him as the killer at a police lineup?
Attorney Mark Lane testified under oath to the Warren Commission he had talked to Helen Markham, the Commission's star witness in the Tippit shooting, and that she had said the shooter was:
1. short,
2. a little on the heavy side, and,
3. his hair was bushy
Lane's report of his conversation with Mrs. Markham caused a furor because obviously the description she gave him did not fit that of Tippit's alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald. Mrs. Markham, however, denied she had ever even talked to Mark Lane, but it turned out she was lying. Lane had taped his conversation with Markham and turned the tape over to the Commission. In fact, at one point Mrs. Markham denied the voice on the tape was her voice! The tape, of course, showed that Lane did not pose as some kind of law enforcement officer.
Why is Mrs. Markham an importnat witness? Because she was the only person the Commission could produce who claimed to have seen Oswald shoot Officer J. D. Tippit. But did Mrs. Markham actually identify Oswald as Tippit's killer? There are doubts that Oswald was the man Mrs. Markham saw shoot Tippit, assuming she even saw the killing and was able to recall what the assailant looked like. Let us begin by considering the transcript of her phone conversation with Mark Lane.
Transcript start:
LANE. But, well, just, could you just give me one moment and tell me. I read that you told some of the reporters that he was short, stocky, and had bushy hair.
MARKHAM. No, no. I did not say this.
LANE. You did not say that?
MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: So a news reporter (Hugh Aynesworth from The Dallas Morning News) had interviewed Mrs. Markham and reported in a published article that she had described Tippit's killer as short, stocky, and with bushy hair. Now, whom should we believe, the reporter or Mrs. Markham? To put it another way, should we believe Mrs. Markham, who lied about having spoken with Lane, who falsely claimed Lane posed as some kind of a law enforcement officer, who denied the voice on Lane's tape was even hers, who indicated no one came out to Tippit for about 20 minutes (when in fact the ambulance came and removed Tippit's body within 5-10 minutes of the shooting), who said Tippit tried to talk to her (when all indications are that Tippit died instantly), and who said Tippit was still alive when he was placed into the ambulance (was this the same Tippit who was lying lifelessly in a pool of blood when seen by Benavides and Bowley?), or should we believe the news reporter? It's important to note that the newspaper journalist was not the only person to whom Mrs. Markham described Tippit's killer as having bushy hair. Mrs. Markham said the same thing to Officer J. M. Poe when he interviewed her shortly after the shooting (Dale Myers, With Malice, Oak Cliff Press, 1998, p. 118). Let's return to the transcript:
LANE. Well, would you say that he was stocky?
MARKHAM. Uh, he was short.
LANE. He was short.
Comment: Oswald was not really "short." At 5'9" Oswald was of average height, and one could say he was a "tall" 5'9" since he was sometimes taken to be 5'10" or 5'11". In fact, Oswald was taller than Mrs. Markham. However, some people would describe a 5'9" man as short (or perhaps "a little short").
LANE. And was he a little bit on the heavy side?
MARKHAM. Uh, not too heavy.
Comment: "Not too heavy"? Tippit's killer was "not too heavy"? In contrast, Oswald was almost skinny. In fact, many would say Oswald was slender. He was not heavy at all.
LANE. Not too heavy, but slightly heavy?
MARKHAM. Oh, well, he was, no he wasn't, didn't look too heavy, uh-uh.
Comment: Markham seems to have been waffling a bit here. In any case, while Tippit's killer might not have looked "too heavy," Oswald didn't look the least bit heavy. One can't help but wonder if Markham's description to Lane as "not too heavy" only proves that initially she did describe the man as being "stocky" or "kind of heavy," just as the reporter said she did. One wonders if Mrs. Markham was simply trying to back away from the description she gave to the reporter because she realized it did not match Oswald. On the other hand, in fairness to Mrs. Markham it should be noted that Officer J. M. Poe said Markham told him the killer had a slender build (see below).
LANE. He wasn't too heavy, and would you say that he had rather bushy hair, kind of hair?
MARKHAM. Yes, just a little bit bushy, uh huh.
LANE. It was a little bit bushy.
Comment: So Mrs. Markham said the killer's hair was "a little bushy." But Oswald's hair was straight. In fact, in photos taken of him at the police station, which was after he had scuffled with police at the theater, his hair appears fairly well groomed. One could say it was slightly uncombed on the front top side, but that's about it. I can't see anyone describing it as "a little bushy." Additionally, and this is an important point, Oswald's hair would not have appeared at all uncombed at the Tippit scene, assuming he was even there, which has yet to be established.
As mentioned, when Officer J. M. Poe interviewed Mrs. Markham, she told him Tippit's killer had bushy hair. She said the killer was "a white male about 25 years old, 5'10", slender build, bushy hair, wearing a brown jacket" (Myers, With Malice, p. 118, emphasis added). The jacket that the police claimed Oswald discarded after allegedly shooting Tippit wasn't even close to being brown in color. The police initially said the jacket they reportedly "found" was white. The jacket that was finally submitted as evidence was gray with a slight touch of blue.
Interestingly, Mrs. Markham was not the only witness who said Tippit's killer had "bushy" hair. When Sgt. Gerald Hill arrived at the murder scene, a witness came up to him and said the man who had shot Officer Tippit "had on a jacket and a pair of trousers, and brown bushy hair" (7 H 47-48; Dale Myers, With Malice, p. 117, emphasis added).
Let's skip ahead a bit as Mrs. Markham began to talk about her conversations with the Dallas Police Department (DPD):
LANE. Did you say that he was short and a little bit on the heavy side and had slightly bushy hair?
MARKHAM. Uh, no, I did not. They didn't ask me that.
Comment: The "they" here are the Dallas police. So the police didn't ask if the killer was a bit on the heavy side and had slightly bushy hair. This is not at all surprising, since, amazingly, they had already, somehow, ruled out all other suspects, as well as the need to look for other suspects. They had their man, though to this day no one can explain why the Dallas police would have legitimately wanted Oswald in the first place so soon after the assassination. It seems that certain elements of the DPD were tipped off about Oswald prior to the assassination.
LANE. And when you were there, did they ever ask you anything else about Oswald? About whether he was tall or short?
MARKHAM. Uh, yes, sir. They asked me that.
LANE. And you said he was short, eh?
MARKHAM. Yes, sir, he is short. He was short.
Comment: He was of average height. He was taller than Mrs. Markham. He was sometimes thought to be 5'10" or 5'11". Again, though, some people might call a 5'9" man "short." I don't think most people would do so, but some might view a man of that height as short.
LANE. He was short. And they asked if he was thin or heavy, and you said he was a little on the heavy side?
MARKHAM. And he was, uh, uh, well not too heavy. Uh, say around 160, maybe 150.
Comment: Mrs. Markham's weight estimates aside, note that she once again said he was "not too heavy." But Oswald, on the other hand, was not the least bit heavy. One can't get too much mileage out of her use of the phrase "not too heavy." The point is that Oswald was not the slightest bit heavy. He was, if anything, slender and almost skinny.
LANE. Well, did you say he wasn't too heavy, but he was a little heavy?
MARKHAM. Uh-huh.
Comment: Let's read that again, bearing in mind that the context of the question was what she had said to the police:
LANE. Well, did you say he wasn't too heavy, but he was a little heavy?
Comment: So Mrs. Markham admitted telling the DPD that Tippit's killer was "a little heavy." This contradicted what she reportedly told Officer Poe. Oswald was not the least bit heavy. It took Lane a while to get her to admit it, but he finally got her to acknowledge that she did tell the Dallas police that Tippit's assailant was "a little heavy." Did she just err in describing the killer's build when she spoke with Officer Poe, and did she in fact really believe the assailant was somewhat heavy?
Interestingly, another witness, Acquilla Clemmons, stated during a filmed interview that she saw two men standing near Tippit's car moments before one of them shot Tippit, and that one of the men was "kind of heavy" (Lane, Rush to Judgment, pp. 193-194).
LANE. You did say that?
MARKHAM. I did identify him in the lineup.
Comment: That wasn't the question. Lane didn't ask her if she had "identified" Oswald in the lineup; rather, he was just asking her to repeat what she had just said--that Tippit's assailant was "a little heavy." And notice that Markham apparently realized the conflict between describing the killer as "a little heavy" and then saying the killer was Oswald. When asked to repeat the statement she had just made that the assailant was "a little heavy," she avoided the question and replied that she had identified Oswald in the lineup.
Furthermore, as we can see in her Warren Commission testimony, Mrs. Markham's "identification" of Oswald in the police lineup was questionable. In fact, during her testimony she was hesitant to even say she had picked Oswald out of the lineup. She started off by repeatedly saying she did not recognize any of the men in the lineup. It was only after being led by Warren Commission counsel that she finally admitted to having "chosen" Oswald.
This leads one to ask: Why was Mrs. Markham so reluctant to admit she had selected Oswald out of the lineup? Was it because she knew she really did not recognize Oswald as the man she had seen kill Tippit? Did she know she had "chosen" Oswald only because it was obvious he was the suspect and because she knew the DPD wanted her to make the identification? Was she hesitant to admit to having "chosen" Oswald because she had been pressured into making her "identification"?
Moreover, given the grossly unfair nature of those lineups, the fact that Mrs. Markham reportedly "picked" Oswald proves little. Even the slowest of witnesses could have readily discerned that Oswald was the suspect, and they could not have failed to notice Oswald's unflattering, contrasting appearance in comparison to the other men in the lineup. Also, Oswald was made to state his name and place of employment. By the time the lineups were held, most of the world had been told that Oswald had fired the shots from the building where he worked.
LANE. Yes, and did you say that the man who shot, did you tell the officers that the man who shot Tippit had bushy hair?
MARKHAM. Uh, no, I did not.
LANE. But, but he did have bushy hair you said, just a little bushy?
MARKHAM. Well, you wouldn't say it hadn't been combed you know or anything.
LANE. Yes.
MARKHAM. Of course, he probably had been through a lot, and was kind of tore up a little. . . .
Comment: Mrs. Markham went from saying the killer's hair was "bushy" (according to the reporter and to a police officer), to saying it was "a little bushy," to saying that Oswald's hair at the police station looked "combed" ("You wouldn't say it hadn't been combed"). Oswald's hair at the police station was only mildly uncombed, and even then only on a certain part of the top of his head. There is a big difference between saying the killer's hair was "bushy" or "a little bushy" and saying that Oswald's hair at the police station was "combed."
LANE. Have you told any reporters about anything?
MARKHAM. Well, one. They worried me to death.
LANE. I'm sure they are after you because you're a very important witness.
MARKHAM. Uh-huh.
LANE. Did any of the reporters, did you tell any reporter that the person that shot Oswald, shot Tippit was short, stocky, and had bushy hair?
MARKHAM. I did not.
Comment: Yet, she had just described the killer as "not too heavy," "kind of heavy," "short," and as having hair that was "a little bushy." Again, whom are we to believe, Mrs. Markham or the reporter? I'll take the reporter's initial version of the interview over Mrs. Markham's version.
LANE. You don't remember telling it because one of the reporters reported that in the newspaper.
MARKHAM. Yes, I read that.
LANE. You read that. What paper was that, do you recall?
MARKHAM. Uh, I believe it was in the "Herald."
LANE. The "Herald"?
MARKHAM. I believe, it might have been the "News."
LANE. It was one of the Dallas papers, uh?
MARKHAM. Yes, sir.
LANE. And, do you know what day that was?
MARKHAM. No, sir.
LANE. That was shortly after, though, wasn't it?
MARKHAM. Yes, sir. They gave my address, name and everything.
LANE. Yes, and they had you quoted as saying that he was short, stocky, and had bushy hair.
MARKHAM. Well, they are just not right.
LANE. But that's what they said, though.
MARKHAM. I know it. They can put anything in papers.
Comment: So we're supposed to believe the reporter got three major details wrong, that Mrs. Markham really didn't say the killer was short, stocky, and had bushy hair. Again, I'll take the reporter's initial recollection over Mrs. Markham's.
Now, let's consider Mrs. Markham's amazing account of her experience at the DPD lineup as she related it during her Warren Commission testimony. As we'll see, she repeatedly said she didn't recognize any of the men in the lineup, and she said the killer's coat didn't match the color of Oswald's gray jacket and that the killer's shirt didn't look like the shirt Oswald had on either! The Warren Commission counsel was Joseph Ball:
Mr. BALL. Later that day they had a showup you went to?
Mrs. MARKHAM. A lineup?
Mr. BALL. A lineup.
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes.
Mr. BALL. How many men were in the lineup?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I believe there were, now I am not positive, I believe there were three besides this man.
Mr. BALL. That would be four people altogether?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I believe that is correct.
Mr. BALL. Were they of anywhere near similar build or size or coloring?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, they were all about the same height.
Mr. BALL. Who were you in the lineup room with?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Who was I in the room where they had this man?
Mr. BALL. Yes.
Mrs. MARKHAM. Policemen.
Mr. BALL. More than one?
Mrs. MARKHAM. The room was full.
Comment: I'm sure this made for a completely objective, relaxed, pressure-free "identification."
Mr. BALL. It was. In this lineup room, the room was full of policemen. Weren't there just one or two men with you?
Mrs. MARKHAM. One or two with me, but I don't know who they were.
Mr. BALL. But there were other officers?
Mrs. MARKHAM. There were all policemen sitting in the back of me, and aside of me.
Mr. BALL. In this room?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir. They were doing something.
Mr. BALL. Before you went into this room were you shown a picture of anyone?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I was not.
Mr. BALL. Did you see any television?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I did not.
Mr. BALL. Did a police officer say anything to you before you went in there, to tell you--
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: Just bear in mind that Mrs. Markham also said she never talked to Mark Lane, and also denied the voice on the tape was hers even after it was played for her, etc., etc. One witness later admitted that the police told him that if he could make the "identification" it would "wrap up" their case against Oswald. Another witness said the police prepared his identification statement before he saw the lineup. Anyway, let's continue.
Mr. BALL. That he thought "We had the right man," or something of that sort? Anything like that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. No statement like that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. Did anybody tell you that the man you were looking for would be in a certain position in the lineup, or anything like that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: Again, given the evidence, Mrs. Markham's claim that she was not "helped" in her identification is open to question. And she was almost certainly taken to view the lineup before she was ready to do so (see below).
Mr. BALL. Now when you went into the room you looked these people over, these four men?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Did you recognize anyone in the lineup?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: What? What about her later claim that she would have known Oswald anywhere? That he stared in her eyes, and that she would "know him anywhere"? Let's read this exchange again:
Mr. BALL. Did you recognize anyone in the lineup?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, Sir.
Comment: So she did not recognize anyone in the lineup.
Mr. BALL. You did not? Did you see anybody--I have asked you that question before did you recognize anybody from their face?
Mrs. MARKHAM. From their face, no.
Comment: Notice the not-so-subtle hint from Ball: "I have asked you that question before," as in, "Hey, we already talked about this. Why aren't you coming up with the information we want?" Let's read the exchange again:
Mr. BALL. You did not? Did you see anybody--I have asked you that question before did you recognize anybody from their face?
Mrs. MARKHAM. From their face, no.
Comment: So Mrs. Markham said she did not recognize anyone in the lineup, and this time she specified that she didn't recognize any of their faces ("From their face, no"), yet earlier in her testimony she claimed Tippit's killer stared directly at her.
Mr. BALL. Did you identify anybody in these four people?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I didn't know nobody.
Comment: Notice Mrs. Markham's hesitancy to report that she identified Oswald in the lineup. Ball didn't ask her if she "knew anybody" in the lineup. He asked her a simple, straightforward question: "Did you identify anybody in these four people?"
Mr. BALL. I know you didn't know anybody, but did anybody in that lineup look like anybody you had seen before?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No. I had never seen none of them, none of these men.
Comment: This is nothing short of amazing. She specified that she had not seen any of the men in the lineup previously, even after Ball made it even clearer that he wasn't asking if she "knew" anyone in the lineup, and even when he simply asked her, "Did anyone in the lineup look like anyone you had seen before?"
Mr. BALL. No one of the four?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No one of them.
Mr. BALL. No one of all four?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: So twice more she said that no one in the lineup looked like anyone she had seen before--she had never seen any of the men in the lineup before. Yet, Tippit's killer supposedly walked toward her and stared straight at her and this haunting sight was supposedly burned into her memory!
Mr. BALL. Was there a number two man in there?
Comment: Hint, hint. So after having Mrs. Markham tell him several times that she hadn't previously seen any of the lineup men before and hadn't recognized anyone in the lineup, Warren Commission counsel Ball decided it was time for some more prompting. "Uh-hum, how about that number two fellow? You remember him?"
Mrs. MARKHAM. Number two is the one I picked.
Mr. BALL. Well, I thought you just told me that you hadn't--
Mrs. MARKHAM. I thought you wanted me to describe their clothing.
Comment: Ball had said nothing about "clothing." His questions could not have been clearer, and Mrs. Markham had just specified (1) that she didn't recognize any of the lineup men from their faces (so she obviously knew the question wasn't about "clothing") and (2) that she had never seen any of the men before. Mrs. Markham was obviously very reluctant to report under oath to a federal commission that she had "picked" Oswald. It's not hard to understand why: Because she knew she had not really "picked" Oswald of her own free will, because she knew Oswald was not the man she had seen shoot Tippit, or because she obviously didn't remember what the shooter looked like and therefore didn't want to pick anyone out of the lineup. Nor was Oswald the man Mrs. Markham described to the news reporter (or even to Mark Lane, for that matter).
Mr. BALL. No. I wanted to know if that day when you were in there if you saw anyone in there--
Mrs. MARKHAM. Number two.
Mr. BALL. What did you say when you saw number two?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Well, let me tell you. I said the second man, and they kept asking me which one, which one. I said, number two. When I said number two, I just got weak.
Comment: It's worth remembering that Mrs. Markham had to be taken to the first-aid room when she arrived at the police station because she was thought to be in a state of shock. Yet, shortly thereafter she was taken to view the lineup. Captain Fritz was "unhappy" that it was taking "so long" to arrange the viewing.
Also, notice Mrs. Markham's comment that the police "kept asking me which one, which one." This calls to mind an image of a bunch of anxious Dallas police officers pressuring a woman who was in no shape to be viewing a murder-case lineup in the first place.
Mr. BALL. What about number two, what did you mean when you said number two?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Number two was the man I saw shoot the policeman.
Mr. BALL. You recognized him from his appearance?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I asked--I looked at him. When I saw this man I wasn't sure, but I had cold chills just run all over me.
Comment: This is hardly what one would call an ironclad identification. As Sylvia Meagher said, "Reading this testimony about the 'identification' on which the Commission relied, I feel a few cold chills too" (Accessories After the Fact, p. 256).
Mr. BALL. When you saw him?
Mrs. MARKHAM. When I saw the man. But I wasn't sure, so, you see, I told them I wanted to be sure, and looked, at his face is what I was looking at, mostly is what I looked at, on account of his eyes, the way he looked at me.
Comment: Oswald could not have "looked at her" from the lineup. He was behind a one-way nylon screen and could not possibly have seen her. Mrs. Markham continued:
Mrs. MARKHAM. So I asked them if they would turn him sideways. They did, and then they turned him back around, and I said the second, and they said, which one, and I said number two. So when I said that, well, I just kind of fell over. Everybody in there, you know, was beginning to talk, and I don't know, just--
Comment: So after repeatedly saying she didn't recognize anyone in the lineup and that she had never seen any of the lineup men before, she then said that after they had Oswald turn sideways and then back around, she then recognized him as the man who had shot Tippit. And exactly how did she recognize him? Just a moment earlier she had said it was "on account of his eyes, the way he looked at me." She said she wasn't sure, so she told the police she wanted to be "sure," and so she looked at his eyes. Once she looked at his eyes, she apparently became "sure" it was him, "on account of . . . the way he looked at me." But, as mentioned, Oswald could not have "looked at her." Or, did she recognize him only after he was asked to turn sideways and then back around? Or did she "recognize" him by the way he looked at her after they had him turn sideways (even though he could not have looked at her)? It's impossible to tell from her seemingly conflicting testimony on this point.
Mr. BALL. Did you recognize him from his clothing?
Mrs. MARKHAM. He had on a light short jacket, dark trousers. I looked at his clothing, but I looked at his face, too.
Comment: So now we learn that it was also Oswald's clothing that she recognized. But this claim only creates more problems, as we'll soon see.
Mr. BALL. Did he have the same clothing on that the man had that you saw shoot the officer?
Mrs. MARKHAM. He had, these dark trousers on.
Mr. BALL. Did he have a jacket or a shirt? The man that you saw shoot Officer Tippit and run away, did you notice if he had a jacket on?
Mrs. MARKHAM. He had a jacket on when he done it.
Mr. BALL. What kind of a jacket, what general color of jacket?
Mrs. MARKHAM. It was a short jacket open in the front, kind of a grayish tan.
Mr. BALL. Did you tell the police that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, I did.
Comment: But the first police radio report on Tippit's killer, which was supposedly based at least partly on Mrs. Markham's description, said he was wearing a white jacket (CE 1974; Meagher, Accessories After the Fact, p. 272). In fact, three minutes after this report went out over the air, a police officer, who remains unidentified to this day, radioed that he had the killer's white jacket in his possession. It would have been very hard to mistake Oswald's gray jacket for a white jacket after holding it and having a chance to look at for even just a few seconds. To add to the confusion, one of the witnesses, Barbara Davis, said Tippit's killer was wearing a black coat. Is it not odd, and in fact astounding, that the "policeman" who allegedly "discovered" the killer's coat has never been identified (see Meagher, Accessories After the Fact, pp. 276-279; Lane, Rush to Judgment, pp. 203-204)?
Mr. BALL. Did any man in the lineup have a jacket on?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I can't remember that.
Mr. BALL. Did this number two man that you mentioned to the police have any jacket on when he was in the lineup?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, sir.
Comment: Hold it! First she said she couldn't remember if any man in the lineup was wearing a jacket, but then, a couple seconds later, when asked if Oswald had a jacket on, she said he wasn't wearing one.
Mr. BALL. What did he have on?
Mrs. MARKHAM. He had on a light shirt and dark trousers.
Mr. BALL. Did you recognize the man from his clothing or from his face?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Mostly from his face.
Mr. BALL. Were you sure it was the same man you had seen before?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I am sure.
Comment: Perhaps it was just a matter of loose phrasing, but notice that Mrs. Markham did not say she was sure about her identification at the time of the lineup, but that "I am sure." So she went from saying she didn't recognize any of the men in the lineup and that she had never seen any of them before, to saying she was now certain of her identification, yet she avoided saying (or failed to say) she was certain at the time of the lineup that the man whom she had selected was the man she had seen shoot Tippit.
Mr. BALL. Now, what time of day was it that you saw this man in the lineup?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I would say it was four, a little after.
Mr. BALL. That was four in the afternoon?
Mrs. MARKHAM. I was so upset I couldn't even tell you the time. In fact, I wasn't interested in the time.
Mr. BALL. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask just one question?
Mr. BALL. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. You referred to his eyes; they were rather striking. Can you give any impression of how his eyes looked to you? I realize that is a very vague question.
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes. He looked wild. They were glassy looking, because I could see--
Mr. DULLES. He had no glasses on?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No. When we looked at each other, he just stared, just like that. I just don't know. I just seen him--I would know the man anywhere, I know I would.
Mr. DULLES. Thank you.
Comment: If she would have "known the man anywhere," why, then, did she start off by repeatedly saying, in the clearest possible terms, that she had never seen any of the men in the lineup before? Can you imagine what a defense attorney could have done with Mrs. Markham's testimony in a trial?
And which man was Mrs. Markham "sure" she would have known anywhere--the man she described to the news reporter and to Officer Poe, or the very similar man whom she described, on tape, to Mark Lane (short, a little heavy, and with hair that was either a little bushy), or Oswald?
Mr. BALL. I have here an exhibit, Commission Exhibit 162, a jacket. Did you ever see this before?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No; I did not.
Mr. BALL. Does it look like, anything like, the jacket the man had on?
Mrs. MARKHAM. It is short, open down the front. but that jacket it is a darker jacket than that, I know it was.
Mr. BALL. You don't think it was as light a jacket as that?
Mrs. MARKHAM. No, it was darker than that, I know it was. At that moment I was so excited--
Comment: This is most interesting: Apparently Mrs. Markham was positive ("I know it was") that the killer's jacket was darker than Oswald's gray jacket. Two early police radio alerts on the killer said his jacket was white. On the other hand, one can interpret Mrs. Markham's statement to mean she was saying the gray jacket was darker than the killer's jacket. It is hard to tell from the transcript. If this interpretation is correct, it makes it all the more interesting that the killer's jacket was initially said to be white. Either way, Mrs. Markham was saying the killer's jacket did not look like the jacket the Commission claimed Oswald was wearing when he allegedly shot Tippit.
Mr. BALL. I show you a shirt here, which is Exhibit 150. Did you ever see a shirt the color of this?
Mrs. MARKHAM. The shirt that this man had, it was a lighter looking shirt than that.
Mr. BALL. The man who shot Tippit?
Mrs. MARKHAM. Yes, sir; I think it was lighter. (3 H 310-312, emphasis added)
Comment: So not only did Oswald's gray jacket not look like the jacket worn by Tippit's killer, but Oswald's shirt was darker than the killer's shirt. What kind of an "identification" is this?
I really don't blame Mrs. Markham for lying under the circumstances. I fault those who undoubtedly put tremendous pressure on her to do so. I think in her own way she was trying to slip in some of the truth, or else she just wasn't very good at sticking to the story she had been fed. I don't doubt that the news reporter accurately relayed what Mrs. Markham had told him, that Tippit's killer was short, stocky, and had bushy hair. She had to back away from that description because it did not resemble Oswald.
I seriously doubt a competent prosecutor would have dared to put Mrs. Markham on the stand if Oswald had lived to stand trial. The problems and contradictions that I've pointed out in the above-quoted segment of her Warren Commission testimony are by no means all of the problematic statements and claims that she made. Under even halfway competent cross-examination Mrs. Markham's story, or stories, would have been destroyed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael T. Griffith holds two Associate of Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and is awaiting the awarding of a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. He is also a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training School in San Angelo, Texas. He has earned instructor certification from both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He is the author of the book Compelling Evidence: A New Look at the Assassination of President Kennedy (Grand Prairie, TX: JFK-Lancer Productions and Publications, 1996). His articles on the assassination have appeared in several journals that deal with the subject. In addition, he is the author of four books on Mormonism and ancient texts.
JFK Assassination Web Page
JFK Assassination Web Page 2
JFK Assassination Web Page (Old)

Did Mrs. Markham REALLY see the Tippit killer ?
Bullets, Curry not proven that bullets LHO gun shot Tippit.
Revolver Bullets
Four bullets were recovered from the body of Officer Tippit. In Nicol's opinion one of the four bullets could be positively identified with test bullets fired from V510210 revolver, and the other three could have been fired from that revolver. In Cunningham's opinion all four bullets could have been fired from the V510210 revolver, but none could be positively identified to the revolverthat is, in his opinion the bullets bore the revolver's rifling characteristics, but no conclusion could be drawn on the basis of microscopic characteristics. Cunningham did not conclude that the bullets had not been fired from the revolver, since he found that consecutive bullets fired in the revolver by the FBI could not even be identified with each other under the microscope. The apparent reasons for this was that while the revolver had been rechambered for a . 38 Special cartridge, it had not been rebarreled for a . 38 Special bullet. The barrel was therefore slightly oversized for a . 38 Special bullet, which has a smaller diameter than a . 38 S. & W. bullet. This would cause the passage of a . 38 Special bullet through the barrel to be erratic, resulting in inconsistent microscopic markings.
Based on the number of grooves, groove widths, groove spacing, and knurling on the four recovered bullets, three were copper-coated lead bullets of Western-Winchester manufacture (Western and Winchester are divisions of the same company), and the fourth was a lead bullet of Remington-Peters manufacture. This contrasts with the four recovered cartridge cases, which consisted of two Remington-Peters and two Westerns. There are several possible explanations for this variance: (1) the killer fired five cartridges, three of which were Western-Winchester and two of which were Remington-Peters; one Remington-Peters bullet missed Tippit; and a Western-Winchester cartridge case and the Remington-Peters bullet that missed were simply not found. (2) The killer fired only four cartridges, three of which were Western-Winchester and one of which was Remington-Peters; prior to the shooting the killer had an expended Remington- Peters cartridge case in his revolver, which was ejected with the three Western-Winchester and one Remington-Peters cases; and one of the Western-Winchester cases was not found. (3) The killer was using hand-loaded ammunition, that is, ammunition which is made with used cartridge cases to save money; thus he might have loaded one make of bullet into another make of cartridge case. This third possibility is extremely unlikely, because when a cartridge is fired the cartridge case expands, and before it can be reused it must be resized. There was, however, no evidence that any of the four recovered cartridge cases had been resized.

NARA Record Number: 124-10371-10120

"It was never conclusively ascertained that the bullets in Tippit's body came from Lee Oswald's pistol.."..

Jesse Curry: JFK Assassination File: 67......CD 774


Within these two dpd file boxes there is further tippit information..and showing documents.fwtw

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