Now I will voice my opinion about Police Captain William Ralph Westbrook during the time of the JFK Assassination in Dallas. Captain Westbrook is high on my list because as a Dallas Police Captain, he supervised the manhunt and arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald (hereafter LHO) in Oak Cliff.
One key reason that I find the Warren Commission (hereafter WC) testimony of Captain Westbrook to be suspicious, is because he appears at the TSDB, at the Tippit murder site, and at the Texas Theater where LHO was arrested -- yet his testimony is too short – only nine pages.
Westbrook offers few details and he omits some urgent issues that appear in the testimony and interviews of other Dallas Police. For example, LHO's wallet was found at the Tippit murder scene – and we have videotape of Captain Westbrook handling it. We have admissions of an FBI agent conversing with Westbrook about it at the Tippit murder scene. Yet Westbrook never mentions that. Then, another Dallas Officer claimed that he took that wallet from the pants pocket of LHO at City Hall.
Something is not right here.
Let's set out the WC testimony of Dallas Police Captain William Westbrook, regarding the JFK assassination, the murder of J.D. Tippit and the arrest of LHO. Here are the 15 main points of his WC testimony as I read them:
1. Captain Westbrook was at the DPD Personnel office at City Hall, doing his normal desk duty, when the DPD radio broadcast that JFK was shot at about 12:30 PM.
2. Around 12:45 PM, the DPD radio broadcast a call for help at the TSBD. Captain Westbrook allowed his men to go there and help.
3. Around 1:00 PM, Captain Westbrook realized that he was all alone in the office, so he decided to casually walk eleven blocks from City Hall to the TSBD.
4. When Westbrook arrived at the 6th floor of the TSDB, the murder rifle was already found -- so, the time had to be after 1:22 PM.
5. Yet at 1:18 PM, the DPD radio broadcast that Officer Tippit was murdered in Oak Cliff. This news came to the 6th floor at about the same time that Westbrook arrived at the 6th floor.
6. Captain Westbrook now sprang into action. He quickly gathered a team of Police to speed to Oak Cliff.
7. When they arrived at Oak Cliff, they received a DPD radio broadcast of a suspect at a nearby library, so they sped there.
8. It was a false alarm.
9. Captain Westbrook then recognized that there was no Command Center in Oak Cliff, so he established a Command Center by ordering all Dallas Police in the area to report to him.
10. Westbrook then led a manhunt for the suspect, first down an alley, then at the Texaco station, then at a nearby parking lot.
11. Westbrook ordered photographs of the area.
12. Westbrook's men found the suspect’s light-colored jacket under a car. They photographed it.
13. Then Westbrook's men returned to the Tippit murder scene, and they got a DPD radio broadcast call for help at the Texas Theater.
14. They sped there, and Westbrook supervised more than a dozen Dallas Police there as they arrested Oswald.
15. Westbrook ordered his men to immediately speed LHO to City Hall, letting nobody talk with him until he arrived in the custody of Captain Fritz.
That's the WC testimony of Captain Westbrook. On the surface, it's a heroic story. Although Captain Westbrook was a personnel office bureaucrat, he appeared at all the major events of the JFK/LHO drama that day. He was at the 6th floor of the TSBD to see the spent shells and the murder rifle. He was at the Tippit murder scene conducting a manhunt. He was at the Texas Theater directing the arrest of LHO. All that -- yet his short and sweet testimony provides very little detail.
Furthermore, when we add the WC testimony of other Dallas Police, we get several surprises. Here are just a few of the problems we encounter with Captain Westbrook's actions that day:
A. The main problem is videotape of Captain Westbrook holding LHO's wallet at the Tippit murder scene. This wallet contained LHO's ID and the fake ID of Alek Hidell.
B. In addition to the videotape, we have interviews of other eye-witnesses, that they also handled LHO's wallet and conversed with Captain Westbrook about it.
C. DPD reservist Kenneth Croy said "somebody" in the crowd had handed the wallet to him, and then he gave it to Captain Westbrook.
D. FBI agent Robert Barrett said that Captain Westbrook looked through the wallet, and asked Barrett two questions: "Have you ever heard of Lee Harvey Oswald?" And, "Have you ever heard of Alek J. Hidell?" Barret replied that he had not.
E. FBI agent James Hosty confirmed that FBI agent Robert Barrett had told him personally about Captain Westbrook's handling of LHO's wallet.
F. In WC testimony, DPD officers who drove LHO to the police station, claimed to question LHO about the two ID's, and asked which one was fake. Did Captain Westbrook hand LHO's wallet to the arresting officers? Why did nobody testify to that? What about the chain of custody?
G. Westbrook wrote no report about finding and handling LHO's wallet -- although this was crucial evidence.
H. At DPD headquarters, polygraph chief Paul Bentley claimed that he found LHO's wallet inside LHO's pants pocket. Bentley claimed to be the first one to question LHO about his two ID's.
I. Did another officer pass LHO's wallet to Bentley, who then pretended to find it in Oswald’s pocket? The chain of custody is broken for LHO's wallet.
J. Videotape demonstrates that Captain Westbrook is at the center of this broken chain of custody of LHO's wallet.
In my next few posts, I'll dig deeper into the known documentation about LHO's wallet. Then I'll offer my opinion about the real role of Captain Westbrook in the Dallas JFK/LHO plot.