Now let's look at another suspicious Dallas Policeman, Sergeant Gerald Hill. What makes me suspicious of Hill's testimony of April 8, 1964, is that he is at all places where the JFK conspiracy took shape, yet his testimony is very short. Gerald Hill was the only DPD officer on the 6th floor of the TSBD when Dallas Deputies found the spent shells and the assassination rifle. Gerald Hill was at the murder scene of J.D. Tippit. Gerald Hill was at the Texas Theater when Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) was arrested for Tippit’s murder. Hill was inside the DPD car that took LHO to the station, holding the alleged Tippit murder weapon.
First, let's draw an overview of 11 basic points in his WC testimony. Then I'll delve into the dirty details.
1. DPD Sergeant Gerald Hill was at his desk in the Personnel office of DPD at City Hall, and he heard about the shooting over police radio. At about 12:42 Inspector Sawyer called for DPD officers to meet him at the TSBD. Hill asked his boss, Captain William Westbrook, for permission to allow him, Joe Fields, Jim Valentine and Jim Wells to drive there. Westbrook approved.
2. At 12:58 Gerald Hill met Inspector Sawyer at the door, and soon they saw Captain Fritz and his detectives (R.L. Sims and E.M. Boyd) arrive. Fritz said that he and his men would start at the bottom working up and told the other policemen there to start at the top working down.
3. So, Hill testified, he and his men went up to the 7th floor and searched and found nothing. Then they went down to the 6th floor and searched, and very shortly Deputy Luke Mooney announced that he had found spent shells. They all went to see, and Hill told everybody there not to touch anything until Lieutenant Day of the ID Bureau came and photographed the evidence.
4. Hill leaned out the window and hollered for the crime lab, but nobody heard him, so he went to the elevator to get onto a police radio to alert the crime lab, and at that moment Captain Fritz and his men were coming up, and Hill told them what happened.
5. As Hill went along to inform Lt. Day of the crime lab, Hill saw Day was just arriving, and Hill informed Day and escorted him to the 6th floor.
6. Then, Hill and his men joined a larger team to search for the rifle that shot those shells. By 1:12 pm, Deputy Boone announced that he found it.
7. Soon, everybody on the 6th floor got the news that Officer Tippit had been murdered in the Oak Cliff district. Inspector Sawyer sent Gerald Hill and Bud Owens to the area. They took Assistant DA Bill Alexander and Dallas Morning News reporter, Jim Ewell with them.
8. When they arrived, Tippit’s body was already gone, and all they saw was a pool of blood. Hill picked up the pistol hulls and examined them. The description from witnesses was: “white male, 5’10”, 160 pounds, a light jacket, dark trousers and brown bushy hair.”
9. They went searching the area and we found a light jacket thrown under a car in a nearby parking lot. After a false alarm at a library, they got a call to gather at the Texas Theater. Gerald Hill was among the Dallas Officers that arrested LHO.
10. When they placed LHO in the car, Bob Carroll handed Hill LHO’s pistol, they called in the arrest and drove LHO to DPD HQ. There in the car they took his wallet and found had picture ID with two different names, Lee Harvey Oswald and Alek James Hidell. The suspect wouldn’t explain it.
11. After they arrived at DPD HQ, Captain Fritz came in and said he was going to check out a man who was absent from his team at the TSBD, by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. Hill told the Captain, “We already have him!”
Now let's dig deeper by comparing his WC testimony with the testimony of Dallas police and Deputies that Gerald Hill named. I find lots of contradictions.
(1) DPD radio transcripts confirm that Inspector J. Herbert Sawyer requested general assistance at the TSBD between 12:41 pm and 12:43 pm. Gerald Hill testified that he asked his boss, Captain Westbrook, for permission to go to the TSBD, and obtained it.
(2) HOWEVER -- Captain William Westbrook told the WC on April 6, 1964, “Somebody in the dispatchers Office told us they needed more men at the TSBD Building, so I sent the men that were in my Office, which were then Sergeants Henry Stringer and Carver, and possibly Joe Fields and McGee.” Westbrook did not mention Hill here. Westbrook mentioned Hill only once; regarding the possession of LHO's pistol.
(3) DPD radio transcripts say that at about 12:48 pm, Gerald Hill told dispatchers that he and officer Jim Valentine were headed to the TSDB with lights and siren on. The distance was about 11 blocks and their speed was about 50 mph. Photos of Hill arriving in car 207 places their arrival about 12:51 pm.
(4) Gerald Hill met Inspector Sawyer at the front steps of the TSBD for an executive overview. About seven minutes later, at 12:58 pm, Hill saw the arrival of Captain Fritz and his detectives, Sims and Boyd. He also saw the arrival of DPD officer Roy Westphal, "a couple of uniformed officers and a couple of Deputies."
(5) HOWEVER -- all those named testified for the WC, and none of them mentioned Gerald Hill. Sims and Boyd agreed that they took an elevator up the TSBD, floor by floor, with Captain Fritz, Lt. Jack Revill and Roy Westphal. Revill said he was there with Westphal, and detectives Brian and Tarver. Brian remembered Revill, Westphal, and Tarver. Westphal remembered Revill, Tarver and Brian. None mentioned Hill.
(6) Gerald Hill told the WC that he went up inside the passenger elevator at the *front* of the building with Luke Mooney and "another Deputy."
(7) HOWEVER -- In his report to Sheriff Bill Decker on 11/23/1963, Luke Mooney said he took a freight elevator at the *rear* of the TSBD, up to the 2nd floor, with two female TSBD employees. Then he climbed up the rear stairwell to the 6th floor. Mooney testified to this on March 25, 1964, repeating -- it was the *rear* entrance.
(8) Gerald Hill testified that he, Mooney and "one other Deputy" went directly to the 7th floor. Hill told Larry Sneed in 1996, “We went up the stairs to the 7th floor because no one had told us that the 6th floor was where the shots were fired from at the time.”
(9) HOWEVER -- Luke Mooney consistently reported that he proceeded up the rear staircase starting from the 2nd floor, and he stopped at the 6th floor to look around. Only afterwards did he move up to the 7th floor.
(10) Gerald Hill testified to the WC that when they arrived at the 7th floor, “There were the two Deputies and I, and one uniformed Officer up there.” (Counsel David Belin told Hill that the "other Deputy" was Eugene Boone.)
(12) HOWEVER-- in the middle of the 7th floor there was a ladder leading to a storage area. Luke Mooney reported to Sheriff Decker that on the 7th floor he helped Deputies Webster and Vickery. He “crawled into the attic opening and decided it was too dark and came down to order flashlights.” So, Mooney named even more people on the 7th floor with him -- again contradicting Hill.
(13) ALSO -- In 1996, Gerald Hill added detective Roy Westphal to his list of folks with him on the 7th floor. He told Larry Sneed, “A plain clothes officer named Roy Westphal, a uniformed officer whose name I’ve forgotten, Deputy Mooney, and another Deputy and I, all went toward the 7th floor as fast as we could.”
(14) ALSO -- Roy Westphal later reported, “Our reasoning was to search from the top downward...As we went up the elevator, I met Sergeant Don Flusche, and we were among other officers who got up in the attic looking for the suspect.” Westphal named W.C. Flowers as one of the "other officers." So, that's at least two more.
(15) Gerald Hill told the WC that he and two Deputies went down to the 6th floor. One of the Deputies yelled out “here it is!” So, Hill and the other Deputy ran over to look, and they saw three spent shells.
(16) HOWEVER -- Luke Mooney wrote to Sheriff Decker that he was *alone* when he went to the 6th floor and found the spent shells! He repeated this to the WC. He said that Deputies Webster and Vickery followed later.
(17) Gerald Hill told the WC that he “asked the Deputy to guard the scene” and shouted down to the street from an open window for the DPD crime lab to be sent up to the 6th floor.
(18) HOWEVER -- Luke Mooney informed Sheriff Decker and the WC that after he found the spent shells, he leaned out of a window and yelled down to Decker and Fritz below on the street, to send the crime lab. Chief Criminal Deputy Allan Sweatt also reported to Sheriff Decker that Luke Mooney stuck his head out of a window of the building and "stated he had found some spent cartridge cases.” Deputy Ralph Walters also wrote to Sheriff Decker that Luke Mooney had leaned out of a 6th floor window and shouted that he found spent shells. Deputy A.D. McCurley also wrote to Sheriff Decker that he was on the 6th floor when Luke Mooney “hollered” that he had found the spent shells.
(19) Gerald Hill testified to the WC: “Not getting any indication from the street that they heard me, I asked the Deputies again to guard the scene and I would go down and make sure that the crime lab was on the way.” So, Hill presented himself as the man in charge.
(20) HOWEVER – neither Luke Mooney nor anyone else testified that Gerald Hill was in charge. Deputy Harry Weatherford, actually, reported to Sheriff Decker that he himself had instructed Luke Mooney to “preserve the scene for the crime lab.”
(21) Gerald Hill suggested that he, Deputy Luke Mooney and Deputy Eugene Boone were the only three on the 6th floor when Mooney found the spent shells. Gerald Hill suggested that they were the only three on the 6th floor when Hill yelled down to the street to send the crime lab.
(22) HOWEVER -- Luke Mooney wrote to Sheriff Decker that after he yelled out the window, three Deputies: Webster, Vickery and McCurley immediately went to the spent shells to guard the spot.
(23) In 1996, Gerald Hill told Larry Sneed that after he “told all the other officers that were on the 6th floor not to touch anything, that we needed to get the crime lab.” "What other officers?" It is evident that Gerald Hill kept changing his story.
(24) Gerald Hill told the WC that on his way to the ground floor to alert the DPD crime lab, Captain Fritz and his men, Sims and Boyd, were coming up the stairs, and he told them about finding the spent shells on the 6th floor.
(25) HOWEVER -- Detective Boyd told the WC that Fritz, Sims and Boyd were already on the 7th floor when “someone” said the spent shells were found on the 6th floor! Detective Sims confirmed that, saying that "someone" called them down to the 6th floor to see.
(26) Gerald Hill testified to the WC that after he informed Fritz, Sims and Boyd about the spent shells as they were still lumbering on lower floors, he went outside to tell Inspector Sawyer. On his way, he noticed that Lt. Day and Bob Studebaker, the crime lab folks, had arrived. Hill claimed that he promptly told them that the shots were fired from the 6th floor, and then he informed Inspector Sawyer.
(27) HOWEVER -- Lt. Day of the crime lab testified to the WC on April 22, 1964, and he did not mention Gerald Hill. He said that Inspector Sawyer directed him to the 6th floor. His report to Chief George Lumpkin on January 8, 1964 says that he arrived at the TSBD at 1:12 pm with his assistant, Bob Studebaker. He verified the time formally. Day testified that the spent shells had been found prior to their arrival on the 6th floor. He never mentioned Gerald Hill.
(28) ALSO -- Inspector Sawyer’s WC testimony never mentions Gerald Hill at all. Sawyer says only that, “somebody inside the building” told him. Nor did he clarify any details about it. He didn't remember.
(29) After Gerald Hill sped to the Tippit murder scene, he made a DPD radio call at 1:40 pm and reported that the spent shells he collected there came from a .38 automatic pistol. Yet LHO had a .38 special, and the differences are very clear. For one thing, the .38 automatic bullets were standard equipment for the Dallas police. Both bullets are clearly marked on their base. WC Counsel David Belin pointedly asked Gerald Hill about this radio call, and Hill denied that he made it. But 22 years later, in 1986, Hill admitted to Dale Myers that he did make that call, and that the bottom of the shell said, ".38 AUTO".
(30) Bob Whitten of Sacramento, California, called Gerald Hill long-distance on the day of the JFK assassination, asking for an interview. Hill told him, “Oswald did admit in the interrogation awhile ago that he was an active Communist...he won’t admit anything other than he was a Communist...When we got down here and started to frisk him, the only thing Oswald said was ‘When I told you I was a Communist I told you everything I’m going to tell you!’”
(32) HOWEVER -- Hill testified to the WC that Captain Westbrook told him that, and that, “I did not hear this myself.” Westbrook did not confirm this. Nobody who interviewed LHO in his last weekend ever claimed that he admitted to being a Communist. He always denied it.
What can we rightfully conclude from all these contradictions within the testimony of Dallas Police Sergeant Gerald Hill?
First of all, the contradictions between the testimony of Gerald Hill and Luke Mooney stands out in sharp relief. In my opinion, this is largely a fight between two huge egos. Each man tried to portray himself in the most prominent role of the Dealey Plaza saga. Each man most likely exaggerated his heroism and valor. Each was the leader. Each was first in everything. Each was followed by all the others.
This struggle for recognition appears often among the Dallas Police and Deputies. Who was there first? Who was also there? Naturally there was lots of fame to throw around -- there were dozens of police in Dealey Plaza on the day JFK was shot. Whose name would stand out? Few WC witnesses would remember Gerald Hill -- but Hill's story stands out boldly, 55 years later.
The key to understanding Gerald Hill is not in his ego struggle with Luke Mooney. Rather, the key is that Gerald Hill ensured that he really was near the center of the JFK/LHO action at all times of the day. Hill knew that he had to be on the 6th floor of the TSBD as soon as possible. Hill knew that he had to be in Oak Cliff as soon as possible. Hill knew that he had to arrest LHO as soon as possible. Hill made sure all that happened.
In my opinion, DPD Sergeant Gerald Hill, like Buddy Walthers, knew enough about the JFK/LHO plot in Dallas to ensure that he was at all the key locations at all the right times. He was an insider -- perhaps only three levels down from the top.
In my opinion, Gerald Hill knew very well that Dallas Deputies had constructed a one-ton sniper’s nest on the 6th floor. Gerald Hill knew very well that Luke Mooney would plant the rifle on the 6th floor, and plant the spent shells on the 6th floor near a window from where one of the shooters actually shot (as seen at a distance by multiple Dealey Plaza eyewitnesses). Gerald Hill knew very well what they would find in that search on the 6th floor of the TSBD.
In my opinion, Gerald Hill knew very well that when Tippit was unexpectedly reported dead, that he had to rush to Oak Cliff as quickly as possible, along with reliable assistants. This is because (in my opinion) the original JFK/LHO plot had planned that LHO would be shot on a Dallas street that day. LHO was already framed as a Communist by the Radical Right in New Orleans and Mexico City, as orchestrated by Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Gerry Patrick Hemming and their many allies.
The Dallas plotters knew all this. Yet something went terribly wrong. Instead of Tippit shooting LHO, the reverse occurred. The key to the success of the JFK/LHO plot now depended on a credible way to eliminate LHO as quickly as possible.
Sergeant Gerald Hill stepped up with Buddy Walthers to ensure this. Their first step was to capture LHO as quickly as possible. The plotters among the Dallas Police and Deputies knew that there was only one "suspect" to capture, namely Lee Harvey Oswald, and they concentrated dozens of police to that effort. They captured LHO within 90 minutes of the JFK assassination that they themselves had plotted.
They could not properly shoot LHO in the Texas Theater for two good reasons: (1) not every Dallas policeman was part of the plot, and they would be eyewitnesses to murder, and would testify honestly; and (2) there were innocent bystanders in the Texas Theater, and they would also be eyewitnesses to murder.
So, LHO had to be arrested, and had to be kept for two full days in almost total secrecy, as far as possible. In order to ensure that LHO appeared cool and calm as possible, the JFK/LHO plotters had to lie to LHO, assuring him that help was on the way, and that Guy Banister would protect him, and so forth. Phone calls to “John Abt,” whom LHO had never mentioned before – that was a nice touch from the Radical Right.
The answer to all their troubles was a Mafia hit man -- Jack Ruby -- a "Dallas Police groupie." They would coax Jack to kill this cop-killer, and to risk arrest, because his friends in the Dallas Police would assure him of a hero's parade, national fame, and a light sentence. The Carousel Club would skyrocket in popularity, they promised! Jack Ruby was tempted with everything the Dallas Police could muster. Jack took the bait.
Just as I don't believe anything that Captain Fritz, James Hosty or Harry Holmes claimed that LHO said during his final weekend, I also don't believe anything that Gerald Hill claimed that LHO said during his police car ride to Dallas Police headquarters. It's all too "pat."
In my opinion, anybody in a prominent role in Dallas relevant to the JFK assassination, who also claimed that LHO was a Communist, was a likely member of the JFK/LHO plot in Dallas. This includes Sergeant Gerry Hill.
I do believe Hill on one key point. Hill claimed that Captain William Westbrook told him that LHO was a Communist. I believe that. I believe that Westbrook was also a member of the Radical Right in Dallas. I will speak of him next.
WARREN COMMISSION HEARINGS AND EXHIBITS (1964)
WITH MALICE (1998) by Dale Myers
NO MORE SILENCE (1999) by Larry Sneed
JERRY HILL'S LIES (2016) by Bill Simpich