Now let's take an impartial look at the WC testimony of Dallas Deputy Buddy Walthers, a 36 year old plainclothes officer who had been working for the County Sheriff for 9 years. His WC testimony starts at noon, but continues into the evening of 11/22/1963.
Buddy Walthers was never inside the TSBD that afternoon, but in many ways, his WC testimony is the most interesting of all. Here is my approximate timeline:
CHRONOLOGY BY WALTHERS -- APPROXIMATE TIMES:
. 12:30 PM . Deputy Buddy Walthers was standing outside the Sheriff's Office around noon with the wife of his boss, Sheriff Decker, watching the JFK motorcade. Soon after JFK's limo went by, they heard gun shots.
. 12:31 PM . Walthers ran across Houston and across the park, followed by many Deputies. They jumped over the picket fence, and saw a lot of Police and people looking and finding nothing.
. 12:32 PM . Walthers began looking for spent shells on the grassy knoll in front of the picket fence.
. 12:35 PM . Jim Tague came up and said, "Are you looking for bullets? Because I think something struck me on the face."
. 12:40 PM . Walthers asked Tague to show exactly where he was standing, and he found a ricochet nick in the concrete, and Walthers concluded that the bullets came from either the TSBD or from the Dal Tex building. Walthers claims that he was the first one to recognize this.
. 12:45 PM . Walthers ran toward the TSBD, and shouted to Deputy Allan Sweatt, "All these Police are just running around in circles! The shots probably came from the TSBD!" Immediately, Sweatt helped Walthers organize all the Dallas Police to surround the TSBD and seal it off. Walthers takes full credit for being first to direct all Dallas Officers to surround the TSBD.
. 12:50 PM . Walthers stood outside the front steps of the TSBD and called all eye-witnesses of the JFK shooting to step forward, and then he personally escorted them to the Sheriff's Office to give formal affidavits. (Other Police soon followed his example.)
. 1:20 PM . Returning to the TSBD from the Sheriff's Office, Walthers learned that a Dallas policeman had been shot in Oak Cliff. Walthers feared that too many policemen were at the TSBD, and not enough in Oak Cliff, so he took two Deputies in a car and sped to Oak Cliff. Other Police followed Walthers, he said. When they arrived, they searched for a suspect.
. 1:45 PM . When police radio broadcast a suspect was in the balcony of the Texas Theater, Walthers sped to the Theater entrance, took his sawed-off shotgun up the balcony, and ordered the manager to turn the house lights on, and commenced a search upstairs.
. 1:47 PM . Walthers noticed several Officers downstairs were struggling to apprehend somebody. So he rushed downstairs to help in the struggle. At the end, B.K. Carroll got the suspect's pistol. Walthers thought he heard the suspect say, "Now, everybody will know who I am," or words to that effect.
. 1:50 PM . Walthers pushed the angry crowd out of the way as the DPD put Oswald into a car and drove him to the DPD station.
. 2:30 PM . Walthers returned to the Sheriff's office, and soon afterwards, Sheriff Bill Decker gave Walthers the address of Ruth Paine, where Oswald had reportedly been living. Walthers led Deputy Harry Weatherford and DPD Officers Adamcik and Rose to Irving.
. 3:15 PM . At the door, Ruth greeted them, saying, "Come on in, we've been expecting you!" Officer Rose started in with questions. Marina Oswald, babe in arms, could speak no English, so Ruth translated. Neither woman knew at that time that Lee Harvey Oswald was under arrest. (What, then, did Ruth mean when she said that she was expecting us, puzzled Walthers?)
. 3:30 PM . Although Ruth had volunteered that she stored Lee's belongings in the garage, the Officers spread out and searched every room. Walthers said they found a several containers with FPCC leaflets, as well as the blanket in which Oswald had stored his rifle. "You could tell a rifle had been wrapped up in it," said Walthers.
. 3:45 PM . Walthers said they found "six or seven little metal file cabinets" full of records of Cuba supporters, and a sinister photograph of Oswald with his rifle. Walthers confiscated it all, and put it in the trunk of his car to take to the Dallas Police Station.
. 4:00 PM . Then Ruth and Marina offered Walthers a phone number to call Lee Harvey Oswald in Oak Cliff. They said they didn't know where he lived, but this was his phone number. Walthers phoned Sheriff Decker with that number so they could urgently send Officers to that house.
. 4:15 PM . Then Michael Paine came over, though he lived in Grand Prairie. Walthers asked him why he came over. Michael replied that he was at work at Bell Helicopter, and after he heard about JFK, he decided to come to be with his family.
. 4:30 PM . Walthers didn't tell Michael that Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, but he asked if Michael knew Oswald, and he said, "Yes; he's a Communist. He tried to convince me it was a good thing, but I don't believe in it." Walthers then showed Michael some letterhead that he found in Ruth Paine's garage, among all the personal papers -- and Michael told him, "That's from the people he writes to in Russia".
. 7:00 PM . Eventually, all the residents at Irving were taken to the DPD station for interrogation by Captain Will Fritz. Walthers claims that he was the one who turned in all of the confiscated items from the Paine home to the DPD, and then he went home.
There is my summary of Walther's WC testimony. It was a busy day, by any measure.
Again, before I offer my personal opinion and interpretation, I will insert my standard disclaimer. As I name Dallas Deputy Buddy Walthers as a suspect in the JFK Assassination, I emphasize that I have no animosity toward him at all. He seems like a good family man and a patriot. I never suspect him of taking money for this crime. The JFK plot was planned and executed as an act of volunteer patriotism, according to those Dallas participants.
Just as Dallas resident, Ricky White, named his own father, Dallas policeman Roscoe White, in the JFK assassination, I believe that if anybody with material evidence can link Buddy Walthers to the John Birch Society, or to the Radical Right in Dallas, or even to Ex-General Edwin Walker, then historians and journalists would reward that person generously.
Now for my personal interpretation of Walthers' WC testimony.
First, Walther's breaks the pattern of location that we have seen in the previous four Deputies, namely: (a) Sheriff's Office; (b) railroad yard, parking lot, behind the picket fence of the Grassy Knoll; (c) TSDB 7th floor; and (d) TSDB 6th floor. Though Walthers directed all other Dallas Officers toward the TSBD, he himself never entered it.
Secondly, Walthers presented himself in his WC testimony in the unmistakable role of leadership: (1) He watched the JFK parade while standing with the Sheriff's wife; (2) he was the first one behind the picket fence; (3) he was the first to recognize that the shots came from the TSDB; (4) he personally ordered the TSBD to be surrounded; (5) he was the first to take witnesses to the Sheriff's office to give affidavits; (6) he was the first to speed to Oak Cliff; (7) he was the first one in the Texas Theater, and ordered the house lights on; (8) although Walthers was late into the scuffle with Lee Harvey Oswald for his pistol, he also touched that pistol, and he could name Officer B.K. Carroll as the one who finally got it; (9) he was the first to Ruth Paine's house; (10) he was in her garage when the famous backyard photographs and the rifle's blanket were found; (11) he was first to identify the phone number of Oswald's Oak Cliff address; and (12) he was first to confirm that Oswald was a hardened Communist.
That's a lot of first-place participation in the JFK Assassination saga. So, a quality of boasting permeates Walthers' WC testimony, and this inspires my interpretation of events, which I present in three Acts:
ACT ONE: DEALEY PLAZA
(A) Deputy Buddy Walthers, stood outside of the Sheriff's Office around 12:30 PM, along with the wife of his boss, Sheriff Bill Decker, watching the JFK motorcade. He knew very well that JFK was about to be assassinated, as he was a willing, unpaid volunteer in the JFK plot. He knew that his boss was his leader in this plot -- and his boss confided in him more than in the other Deputies.
(B) For example, Walthers knew that the Radical Right in Dallas, New Orleans and Florida had conspired to offer Lee Harvey Oswald double the price of his Manlicher-Carcano rifle if he would bring it to the outside of the TSBD that Friday morning, and hand it over to a trusted confidante. Oswald did not guess what the JFK plotters planned to do with this rifle.
(C) Like all the Deputies, Walthers took the JFK shots as a signal to run across Houston and across the park, jump over the picket fence, and find a lot of nothing.
(D) Walthers pretended to be busy looking for evidence around the Grassy Knoll, so he was surprised when spectator Jim Tague approached him with information about bullet fragments from the shooting.
(E) Based on his observation of the ricochet mark on the curb, and the blood on Tague's face, Walthers claimed that he was the first to guess that the shots came from the TSBD, and to order Dallas Officers to surround it. Rather than detective genius, I claim that Walthers already knew that the TSBD was the planned site from which to frame Lee Harvey Oswald.
(F) Walthers claims that around 12:45, he ordered all Dallas Officers to surround the TSBD. This claim, by the way, harmonizes with the WC testimony of Boone, Mooney, Weitzman and Craig, who said that either "some Deputy" told them to go there, or that they couldn't remember why they went there.
(G) It seems to me that insiders were waiting for Walther's order. Deputy Allan Sweatt supported him. It seems to me that Walthers was in charge of this part of the JFK plot schedule.
(H) Walthers claimed to be the first to stand outside the front steps of the TSBD and call all eye-witnesses of the JFK shooting to step forward, and personally escorted them to the Sheriff's Office to give formal affidavits. This, IMHO, was also planned in advance, so that all eye-witnesses could be registered and controlled; and so that the Deputies could carefully select which stories to share with the Press and with Washington D.C.
ACT TWO: CAPTURING LEE HARVEY OSWALD
(A) Walthers claimed to be among the first to lead Dallas Officers to Oak Cliff to search for the Tippit shooter.
(B) Of course, there was no plan for Tippit to be killed. Instead, the plotters in Dallas were waiting for news that Tippit had shot Oswald in Oak Cliff. That was the plan. Walthers was supposed to subsequently collect evidence from Ruth Paine's garage that Oswald was a Communist. Yet instead of Tippit killing Oswald in the street, Oswald killed Tippit in the street. So that part of the plot had backfired.
(C) Walthers rushed to control the situation. So, the Texas Theater episode was improvised. Since many more innocent Dallas policemen were also going to be present, it had now become impractical to shoot Oswald in the streets. The original plan had to be changed.
(D) It now became crucial to capture Oswald immediately, and keep him quiet, and to come up with a backup plan. Walthers claims that he played a leading role in the capture of Oswald -- and I believe him, because Walthers was aware of every step of the plan, and worked to control the events.
ACT THREE: CLEANING OUT RUTH PAINE'S GARAGE
(A) Walthers returned to the Sheriff's office, and almost immediately, Sheriff Bill Decker gave Walthers the address of Ruth Paine. The speed of the action suggests that it was planned in advance. I suspect that Walthers and Decker had a substantial conversation about the failure of J.D. Tippit to kill Lee Harvey Oswald in the street at Oak Cliff -- and Decker decided to proceed with the original plan to implicate Ruth Paine -- as long as they could keep Oswald quiet.
(B) Captain Will Fritz and Chief Jesse Curry would keep Lee Harvey Oswald quiet as far as possible, while they devised some other means of killing Oswald quickly. In the meantime, Walthers proceeded to Ruth Paine's garage, to collect all the incriminating evidence they expected. Marina and the Paines were to be arrested as Communist suspects.
(C) As further evidence I cite the illegal wiretap set up on the Paine residence shortly before 11/22/1963.
(D) Evidence was plentiful in Ruth Paine's garage because the JFK plotters in Dallas knew that Guy Banister and David Ferrie had thoroughly framed Oswald for the whole summer of 1963, to appear to be a gung-ho officer of the Castro-loving FPCC in New Orleans and Mexico City. Film footage of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans was long available to the inner circles of the Radical Right, coast to coast.
(E) Ruth Paine admitted to the WC that she worried when she heard news on TV that the shots came from the TSBD building. She knew Oswald worked there. That same month, the FBI had visited her twice, and her neighbor once, asking about Lee Oswald. That worried Ruth a great deal. Then, Ruth Paine heard that somebody had been arrested in a theater for killing a policeman, and that he might also be the JFK killer. She worried more.
(F) So, when Dallas Officers rang her doorbell about 3:15 pm, she was not very surprised. According to Ruth, the Deputies immediately told her that they had Lee Harvey Oswald in custody for shooting a policeman. Ruth, who was always civic-minded, promptly invited them in, even without a warrant, and quickly told them that all of Lee's things were in the garage.
(G) In Ruth Paine's garage, the Dallas Officers found lots of evidence from New Orleans to link Oswald with the Communist FPCC. (The fact that this was a Fake FPCC branch was unknown to them.)
(H) Walthers strove to exaggerate the alleged Communist evidence they found. They found FPCC leaflets, and photographic evidence of Oswald's shooting at Ex-General Walker in April, 1963. Also, Walthers told Eric Tagg that he "found six or seven metal filing cabinets full of letters, maps, records and index cards with names of pro-Castro sympathizers." Yet there was never any such material there. (Historians never located these alleged cabinets, either in any storage location or in any official list of Oswald's possessions. Actually, the official lists include a few hand-carried metal file folders containing FPCC materials, the Oswalds' personal correspondence to friends in Russia, and Russian language learning materials belonging to Ruth Paine, like college papers, record albums of folk music and so on.
(I) The Dallas Officers asked Ruth if Lee kept a rifle in his garage. Ruth answered what she honestly believed: No! Marina, however, asked Ruth what the police asked, and Ruth translated. Then Marina surprised Ruth by answering, Yes! Marina took the police directly to the blanket on the floor of Ruth Paine's garage where Lee Harvey Oswald had stored his rifle. Yet when the police picked it up, it flopped over. Ruth said that Marina "blanched" with astonishment -- and it was rare to see Marina show her true feelings. Finally, then, Lee Harvey Oswald had been successfully framed, even in the eyes of his own wife.
(J) Buddy Walthers said that now Ruth and Marina volunteered a phone number to call Oswald in Oak Cliff. They didn't know the address. Walthers forwarded that number to Sheriff Decker to cross-check with the phone company to get an address. In this way, Walthers claimed credit for finding where Oswald lived. (Yet Postal Inspector Harry Holmes would also claim credit for being the first to discover and report where Oswald actually lived.)
(K) When Michael Paine came to Ruth Paine's house, this was lucky for Walthers, because he was able to interview Michael, and confirm that Oswald was a Communist. (Actually, in his WC testimony, Michael Paine said that Oswald wasn't a Communist, but a faker.) Walthers was eager to accuse Lee Harvey Oswald of Communism, as if this would prove that Communists were guilty of the JFK Assassination.
(L) The Dallas Radical Right plan to frame the Oswalds and the Paines as Communists was taking shape. The interview with Michael Paine would help, since Walthers could twist his report in any way he liked. Yet because the "Lone Nut" theory of Lee Harvey Oswald became predominant for the US Government before the day was over, Walthers had to change his story. Thus, we see Walthers in the WC portraying Michael Paine as innocent and as helpful to the Dallas Officers.
(M) Eventually, the Dallas Officers took all the adult residents at Irving to the DPD station for interrogation by Captain Will Fritz. Walthers claims that he turned in all of the confiscated items from the Paine garage to the DPD, and then he went home.
CONCLUSION: I see Buddy Walthers very close to the JFK plot, behaving as a leader of many events. The events he originally expected to oversee were:
(i) rushing to the Grassy Knoll to control the confusion and to allow the uniformed shooters of JFK to escape;
(ii) allowing time for key Deputies to build a sniper's nest at the TSDB;
(iii) allowing Oswald to leave the TSBD;
(iv) directing all Dallas Officers to surround the TSBD starting at 12:45;
(v) setting up a witness-control system at the Sheriff's Office;
(vi) identifying the corpse of Lee Harvey Oswald at Oak Cliff, when shot by J.D. Tippit;
(vii) rushing to Ruth Paine's house to confiscate the Communist possessions of Oswald; and
(viii) arresting Marina and the Paines as Communist plotters.
Since Lee Harvey Oswald was quicker on the draw than J.D. Tippit, a backup plan had to be devised on the fly -- Oswald must be arrested and kept quiet until a new killer could be obtained. In my opinion, every word of WC testimony that Dallas Officers claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald spoke while in custody, must be placed under suspicion.
FINALLY -- a word about Deputy Roger Craig and his story about the Nash Rambler, which he had tried to link to Ruth Paine. Even if Craig had actually seen a man run from the TSBD into a station wagon driven by a dark-skinned man -- that was secondary. The crucial testimony is that Craig claimed that in Captain Fritz' office, Lee Harvey Oswald himself identified that car as "Ruth Paine's station wagon." That came out of the blue. All other WC witnesses denied Craig's story == yet it would have harmonized very well with Buddy Walthers' effort to link Ruth Paine in a Communist plot. So, I maintain Buddy Walthers gave Craig the story in the first place, and forgot to tell Craig to drop the story.