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Thread: The Tippit Case in the New Millenium

  1. Default Acquilla's Lot

    So far I've been unable to locate the complete transcript of the interview conducted by Shirley Martin with Acquilla Clemons in 1964, but Myers' blog has this interesting snippet (footnote links omitted):

    CLEMONS: He went across that lot there, that’s all I know. He went across that lot, I don’t know which way… I don’t know which way he went after I seen him unloading and loading his gun. That’s all I seen…. I was afraid. He frightened me. To come out and see him unloading his gun and reload it. But, I didn’t pay no attention [to what he was wearing]. I just tried to get out of the way, because I thought he was going to shoot me… and I didn’t pay him any mind. I was getting out of the way… See, I was pretty close to him. [He was] between that telegram (sic) post and that tree, loading his gun... And I was on this side of the walk standing right there and I didn’t want him to be shooting me.

    Clemons' position "on this side of the walk" was at 327 E. 10th St. The only parcel in the area that might be described as a lot existed across the street at the SW corner of the intersection of Patton & 10th. In his procrustean way Myers crams the entire lot into the Davis' modest front yard at the SE corner, but this yard is not a whole lot. The phrase "that lot there" sensibly refers to the lot across 10th street, capably illustrated by Myers in the same blogpost.

    It's an important point, because this is the same lot referred to obliquely in Cimino's 12/3/63 FBI statement:

    She also advised a man had just shot a police officer and stated he had run west on Tenth Street and pointed in the direction of an alley which runs between Tenth Street and Jefferson off Patton Street.

    The "she" in this case was "a woman dressed like a waitress," i.e. Markham. The route from 10th Street to the alley traversed the SW corner lot.

    Perhaps more to follow but hoping someone can provide a link to the full transcript for the sake of research based on source material.
    Last edited by Milo Reech; 02-19-2019 at 01:51 PM.

  2. Default Yellow khakis

    Spartacus, quoting John Kelin's "Praise From a Future Generation," has this information from the Martin interview.

    Again, Mrs. Clemons would not commit herself. One man, she said, seemed to be talking to a second man, who was tall and wore yellow khaki pants and a white shirt. This tall man was on the other side of the street from the first man. But she didn't know if they were together, and she didn't know how the first man was dressed. He was the one with the gun, and Mrs. Clemons had been trying to hide from him.

    This is Clemons' other fugitive who ran east on 10th Street, whether the gunman's accomplice or local observer fleeing the scene cannot be determined. His identity is unknown, but he was not Frank Cimino despite standing in front of Cimino's residence. Clemons saw him take off while Markham was still at the corner, and when Cimino stepped outside "a woman dressed like a waitress was out in front of his residence." Cimino then proceeded west to the corner of 10th & Patton.

    Burt & Smith simultaneously approached the scene heading west on 10th from 505 a block away. Neither Burt nor Smith reported encountering anyone en route going in either direction, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Reported investigative subject matter was highly selective even when not cut from whole cloth. They preceded Cimino, who had not yet emerged from his house, to the intersection of 10th & Patton.

    Regretfully, the man in yellow khakis must be allowed to get away, at least for now, maybe forever.

  3. Default Asleep at the wheel

    It probably occurs to just about everybody familiar with the Tippit mise-en-scene that Benavides must have observed the entire exchange that took place between the two men Clemons saw, as it transpired before his eyes, if only he had been there.

    What's puzzling is the long history of acquiescence in the early curbside placement of his truck, at the time of the shooting, almost universal, despite a lack of corroboration.

    Weisberg tackled the issue in Whitewash. He was one of the few to reckon with Guinyard's contradictory testimony. Result: outright dismissal.

    These are not exaggerated samplings of the many Commission witnesses. The worst is yet to come. At the scene of the Tippit killing the same was true. For example, Sam Guinyard (7H395) saw the running man "knocking empty shells out of his pistol" and reloading it in a one‑hand operation, "rolling them (the bullets) with his hand -- with his thumb." Guinyard saw this from a half‑block away (7H397). Guinyard is in contradiction of the other witnesses on the route the man took and on the closest he ever was to this man, his estimate of ten feet having been measured at 55 feet (7H398). Guinyard also testified that after a short interval during which Ted Callaway started in pursuit of the fleeing gunman, they went to the next street and about a hundred feet down it to the scene of the Tippit killing. He was there, Guinyard swore, when the truck driven by Domingo Benavides "came up." "He came from the east side -- going west" (7H398). By the testimony of all other witnesses, including Benavides, Benavides had parked his truck across the street from the police car prior to the shooting.

    What other witnesses testified that "Benavides had parked his truck across the street from the police car prior to the shooting?" None to my recollection. Also, who besides Callaway said the fugitive ran down the west side of Patton all the way to Jefferson? Patterson told the FBI he ran down the east side, corroborating Guinyard.

    What about the radio tapes? Weisberg's analysis of the voices on DPD's radio transmissions went through some changes, possibly leading to the eventual conclusion that Benavides' voice followed Bowley's at 1:16. The content of this coda is "a police officer, 510 E. Jefferson," attributed by CE 705 to "some other voice." It is absurd to attribute this to Benavides who would have known the location was not E. Jefferson. Besides, assigning him to a post-Bowley transmission does not place him at the scene when the pre-Bowley murder occurred.

    Attached document (Item 16.pdf) from Weisberg's repository at Hood presents the argument. It is a difficult repository to navigate systematically, vast & sprawling, but nothing indicative of a subsequent change in his thinking turned up.

    To end on a happy note, "Missing Radio Transmissions," an article by William Weston, explains Hill's perplexing transmission about the ".38 automatic."

    I have placed Hill's examination of the shells at 1:22 because this matches the sequence of events given in his interview with Larry Sneed. [30] Furthermore, he could not have been identifying shells at Tenth and Patton, if he was preparing to shake down the church at Tenth and Crawford. He probably did not report the automatic shell information at 1:22, because the radio traffic was too heavy and he himself was too busy. The reason he chose to mention it at 1:42 was to correct what he perceived as an error. At 1:41 Patrolman H. W. Summers said that he had a witness at the scene who said that the suspect was armed with a .32 automatic. Hill called the dispatcher to inform him that the shells at the scene indicated it was a .38 automatic, not a .32.

    Simple & sensible, article worth reading in full.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. Default Weisberg's muddle

    Attached Item 01.pdf dated 5/7/76 (postdates Item 16.pdf 3/29/76) expresses Weisberg's contradictory opinion, "This also supports my analysis of when Bowley (I presume) broke in after BENAVIDES."

    This conclusion is inexplicable unless Weisberg mixed up the names, although his desire to afford precedence to Benavides may have warped his judgment. One suspects another pitfall that befell his analysis may have been ignorance of Benavides' "lost" DPD affidavit. It disappeared for a reason, probably because its content precluded subbing him in for Bowley when the LN planners worked out the details of how to dupe the WC. IOW it said little more than indicated in Leavelle's Supplementary Offense Report: "Another witness who saw the officer lying in the street, but did not see suspect, was a Domingo Benavides, 509 East Jefferson, WH 2-0559." Surely if Weisberg had read this he would have realized how foolish it was to attribute the 1:16 "a police officer, 510 E. Jefferson" transmission to Benavides, but it was no less foolish to reverse names and attribute it to Bowley.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. Default Arraignment

    DPD arrest/arraignment papers at Hood, Benavides is not listed as either witnessing Tippit's killing or recovering evidence. His name does not appear in the document.

    Bowley's there:

    Can testify that he came up on the scene of the shooting just after it happened. He helped load the officer in the ambulance and used the police radio to call in to the dispatcher about the shooting. Gave affidavit. [p.119]

    Davis & Davis are there:

    Saw officer Tippit killed-recovered evidence. [p.112]

    The only remaining Benavides detail open to interpretation is the color of his pickup that arrived when Guinyard said it arrived. I was under the impression it was bright yellow but read somewhere it was blue. So be it.

  6. Default 'Pataphysics

    From the Hood archive, a curious instance of Benavides keeping his FBI handlers informed of developments:

    BENAVIDES said that on or about 2/7/1967, he received a long distance phone call from a man who identified himself as JOHN BERENDT, a reporter, for Esquire Magazine in New York. BERENDT stated that he wanted to speak with BENAVIDES about a man called IGOR VAGANOV.

    Berendt's Esquire article:

    Apart from the obvious implications of Benavides' persistent FBI relationship, the item of particular interest is his disclosure to Berendt that the red Ford he saw on 10th Street had a white top, matching Vaganov's Thunderbird, pointed out by William Weston in "Was Jack Tatum an Eyewitness of the Tippit Shooting?" [The Fourth Decade v6 #1]

    There is, however, a major flaw in his story. It is significant enough to cause the whole thing to come unglued. The problem lies in the paint of Tatum's Ford Galaxie. As mentioned earlier in this article, Tatum was driving a car that was painted entirely red. But the car that Domingo Benavides saw was a red Ford with a white top. This fact does not appear in Benavides' testimony. It is found in a 1967 Esquire article relating the story of an unsavory character named Igor Vaganov, a 25-year old Latvian-born immigrant and Nazi ideologue.

    Benavides' intelligence was passed onto Gemberling, but FBI analysis fell down on the job. This critical detail did not make its way to Moriarty, a pataphysician (scientist of imaginary solutions) whose pataphor ("That which occurs when a lizard's tail has grown so long it breaks off and grows a new lizard") produced a solid red lizard where one with a white top was requisite.

    The only serious issue left concerning the BVT trio is whether Vaganov was the tall man wearing khakis on 10th Street observed by Clemons. Superficially he fits, nothing exists in the way of refutation, but there is no corroboration.

  7. Default


    I assume you think that Benavides was not there?

    What is the purpose of him saying he was then?

  8. Default 10th & Patton

    An enlightening read gentlemen. What an interesting & informative thread.

    That said, lest those reading along aren't already privy to Tippits' last remaining minutes of life, exemplary research has borne out from credible sources that he was beside himself trying to connect with a party(ies) unknown.

    From his initial position at a gas station 1.5 miles from the assassination site, parked in such a manner as to keep a watchful eye on the passing traffic leaving the downtown area; to his frantic, yet unsuccessful telephone call at the Top 10 Record Store; and, ending with his high-speed, bizarre chase and nearly ramming of an insurance executive's car (which came to an abrupt stop, startled at the behavior of the erratic driven police cruiser behind him, not to mention the oddly curious search of his car for something or someone), Tippit's behaviour was indicative of a man in a panicked state. Why?

    We may really never know, but--in spite of officialdom's contrived script about he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time simply doing his duty, his behaviour is more telling than the watered down script spoon-fed to the general public.

    For those of you with some time on your hands, here's an interesting read connecting the dots ----> Here to something much more sinister than a patsy fleeing from justice... (one of my favourite gems from this rather interesting exchange was the keen insights into Hill & Westbrook, and their special-assignment beginning in October). Kudos to the exemplary research of Mr. McBride as well.


  9. Default Short answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio View Post

    I assume you think that Benavides was not there?

    What is the purpose of him saying he was then?
    Safe assumption. Per Leavelle, Benavides "did not see suspect."

    Purpose was to satisfy the FBI who subbed him in for Bowley.

  10. Default

    You mean because he was an informant and would change his story?

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