I already gave my opinion about suspecting Captain Will Fritz as perhaps the most active player in framing Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) and killing him at City Hall. Fritz spent more time with LHO than anybody else during LHO’s final 45 hours on earth. He kept no notes – that’s a virtual confession of guilt. The central role that he played prompts me to suspect as a co-conspirator anybody who worked directly for Captain Fritz. That includes Detective C.W. Brown.
Let’s briefly review Brown’s WC testimony.
On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, Homicide Detective C.W. Brown, 38, was on duty, booking a prisoner at City Hall with Detective James Leavelle. About 1 PM, Lieutenant Ted Wells ordered Brown and his partner, Billy Senkel, to drive to the TSBD to help their boss, Captain Fritz, who had just arrived around 1 PM.
Brown and Senkel arrived at the 6th floor quickly, and reported to Captain Fritz, who eventually ordered them to gather up five specific TSBD employees, take them to City Hall and get thorough affidavits from them. He named Bill Shelley. He named Bonnie Ray Williams. He did not name any others, although Charles Givens and James Jarman were likely two more.
Brown was in the process of getting an affidavit from Bill Shelly of the TSBD at about 2 PM, when police officers brought LHO into the station. Bill Shelly exclaimed, “Well, that’s Oswald! He works for us. He’s one of my boys!” Bill Shelly couldn’t vouch for LHO’s location after the morning shift.
Detective Brown gave the arresting officers his own room in which to interrogate LHO, and just then Captain Fritz called Brown by phone for an update. Brown believed that Fritz called from the 6th floor of the TSBD. Brown told Fritz that police had just brought a Tippit suspect and Mr. Shelley identified him as his employee, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Brown testified that he said, “maybe we have the boy for the JFK assassination, too!” Captain Fritz said, “I’ll be right up in a few minutes.”
That evening Brown and his partner arranged a line-up for bus driver Cecil McWatters, of the Dallas Transit Company. McWatters identified LHO as the one who got on his bus, and he said, I gave him a transfer.” Later, however, McWatters went back on his word.
So, Detective Dhority showed McWatters a bus transfer from McWatters’ bus, that had allegedly been found in Oswald’s possession. Every bus has a unique punch marker. McWatters recognized the punch mark as his own, and had his puncher with him, and proved that the punches matched exactly. That settled the matter for the Dallas police.
Regarding the Tippit murder, Lieutenant Ted Wells got a phone call from Barbara Davis of Oak Cliff around 6:30 PM, stating that her young sister-in-law, Virginia Davis, had found an empty .38 caliber shell cartridge in their front yard.
Lieutenant Wells ordered Dhority and Brown to visit them. Mrs. Barbara Davis handed Dhority a spent hull at approximately 7pm.
They brought the Davis women to the station for affidavits and a line-up. At the 7:45 line-up, the two women positively identified LHO.
This covers the main participation of C.W. Brown in the saga of JFK and LHO while he was still alive. (Brown also drove LHO to Parkland Hospital after Jack Ruby shot him. Save that for later.) On the surface, it sounds innocent and professional, but when compared with the testimony given by Captain Will Fritz, we see inconsistency.
Mr. BALL. While you were there Mr. Truly came up to you?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; where the rifle was found [at 1:22 PM]. That was about the time we finished. Mr. Truly came and told me that one of his employees had left the building, and I asked his name and he gave me his name, Lee Harvey Oswald, and I asked his address and he gave me the Irving address.
Mr. BALL. How long did you stay at the Texas School Book Depository after you found the rifle?
Mr. FRITZ. After he told me about this man, almost, I left immediately after he told me that…I felt it important to hold that man.
Mr. BALL. Did you give descriptions to Sims and Boyd?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I told them to drive me to City Hall and see if the man had a criminal record and we picked up two other officers and my intentions were to go to the house at Irving. When I got to the City Hall, I asked…who shot the officer, and they told me his…full name…and I said…That is the suspect we are looking for in the President’s killing!” So, I then called some of my officers to go right quickly, and asked them about how much evidence we had on the officer’s killing and they told me they had several…real good witnesses, and I instructed them to get those witnesses over for identification just as soon as they could….
It’s easy to spot the differences between Brown’s story and Fritz’s story.
(A) Fritz never mentioned any phone call to Detective Brown.
(B) Brown had said that Fritz called from the TSBD building after 2 PM, when LHO had entered City Hall in handcuffs. Fritz said he left the TSBD “almost immediately” after getting LHO’s name and address from Roy Truly – shortly after 1:22 PM. To explain the loss of 38 minutes, we need the WC testimony of Detectives Sims and Boyd. They said that before they drove Captain Fritz to City Hall, they first drove him to the County office of Sheriff Decker. They waited for Fritz for about 30 minutes. So, if (and only if) Fritz did call Brown around 2 PM, then he called from Sheriff Decker’s office.
(C) Fritz said that he was the one who first realized that LHO was the killer of both Tippit and JFK. Brown claimed to be the first. Somebody is speaking falsely. Yet, why would anybody ever lie about a topic like this?
(D) Fritz was willing to focus all of his personal resources on LHO – and even rush to Paine’s Irving address, personally, on the silly fact that LHO had left the TSBD early that day. This is unlikely. It is more likely that Captain Fritz began a preplanned manhunt, and that Fritz already knew ahead of time that LHO was the only "suspect."
(E) But what about Detective Brown? In my opinion, he helped Fritz by holding LHO at City Hall with tainted evidence. Look at the evidence supplied by bus driver Cecil McWatters of the Dallas Transit Company. McWatters had identified LHO as the one who got on his bus, and he said, “I gave him a transfer.” Later that same night, however, McWatters went back on his word.
A careful reading of the WC testimony explains why. McWatters did not come to the police station on his own free will. Instead, around 6:15 PM, the police had gone to fetch him, because of Mary Bledsoe.
Her story is needed for background. LHO had rented a Dallas room from her during the first week of October. After one week, Mary told LHO to move out, because she didn’t like him. So, he did.
Seven weeks later, Mary Bledsoe was riding in McWatters’ bus around the time JFK was killed. Someone in the bus with a transistor radio exclaimed that JFK was shot! Upon hearing this, one young man laughed about it. Mary Bledsoe was shocked by his laughter, and complained to the driver. The driver made the boy sit behind him and be quiet. Later that afternoon, Mary Bledsoe saw LHO’s picture on television and she recognized his face. She exclaimed to her son that this it was the same man who had rented from her! She became so excited that she told her son that LHO was the “laugher” on her bus ride that day. Her son rushed her to the police station to report this.
Evidently Mary Bledsoe still had her bus transfer, because the Dallas police quickly identified her bus route and driver – Cecil McWatters. They rushed McWatters to the police station. McWatters gave in to their pressure, and at first he picked LHO out of the line-up. Later, however, McWatters changed his mind. It wasn’t LHO. Besides, Mary Bledsoe’s story about the “laugher” was false, because McWatters knew the name of that boy who had laughed about JFK being killed. That boy was a regular on his route! So, McWatters would not agree.
Eager to get a positive identification and not to lose Mary Bledsoe as a witness, Detective Dhority showed McWatters a bus transfer from that exact date and time – claiming that he had found this bus ticket in Oswald’s possession. McWatters examined it and confirmed that it was his own transfer, from his own, unique, personal puncher.
That settled the matter for the Dallas Police, the FBI, the WC and evidently for US History. Yet, I find it more likely that this bus transfer came from Mary Bledsoe – the original source of the “laughing LHO” story. (In my opinion, such clever tricks were typical for police who were in a hurry to convince a witness; whenever they felt certain that a given suspect was guilty.)
(F) Now for the testimony of Virginia Davis and her sister-in-law Barbara Jeanette Davis, who lived in Oak Cliff.
Virginia testified three times that after they heard shots, they ran to the front door to see Mrs. Markham screaming for anybody to call the police, so they called the police. Then after this police report, they saw LHO running across their front yard, unloading his pistol. Attorney David Belin asked her three times, because it made no sense that they had time to go back inside their house, call the police, make their report, hang up, and then watch LHO run across their lawn. It makes no sense to anyone.
As for Barbara Davis, let’s look at her testimony:
Mr. BALL. Was he dressed the same in the lineup as he was when you saw him running across the lawn?
Mrs. DAVIS. All except he didn’t have a black coat on when I saw him in the lineup.
Mr. BALL. Did he have a coat on when you saw him?
Mrs. DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. What color coat?
Mrs. DAVIS. A dark coat.
Mr. BALL. Now, did you recognize him from his face or from his clothes when you saw him in the lineup?
Mrs. DAVIS. Well, I looked at his clothes and then his face from the side because I had seen him from a side view of him. I didn’t see him fullface.
Mr. BALL. Now answer the question. Did you recognize him from seeing his face or from his clothes?
Mrs. DAVIS. From his face because that was all I was looking at.
Mr. BALL. I see…I have a jacket, I would like to show you, which is Commission Exhibit No. 162. Does this look anything like the jacket that the man had on that was going across your lawn?
Mrs. DAVIS. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. How is it different?
Mrs. DAVIS. Well, it was dark and to me it looked like it was maybe a wool fabric, it looked sort of rough. Like more of a sporting jacket.
All other WC witnesses confirm that LHO was not wearing a black or dark-colored wool coat on that day, at any time. Yet, Barbara Davis’ testimony stood for the Dallas police as a positive identification.
Strangely, in the Davis sisters’ testimony, we learn that Dallas police helped them in their search of their lawn. Yet, Dallas Police had possession of LHO’s pistol for five hours before the Davis sisters were brought to City Hall. Five hours is plenty of time to take a pistol to the police shooting range, fire three shots, pick up the shells, and take them to Oak Cliff to direct the Davis sisters find them on their lawn.
To hold LHO they used anything that came in, and fudged any shortfall. They would exaggerate and exploit the affidavits of the bus passenger (Bledsoe), the bus driver (McWatters), the taxi driver (Whaley), the Davis sisters, and the hysterical Helen Markham. A motley crew, yet it seems the Dallas police were preferring quantity over quality in this case. LHO must be held.
SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW:
In my opinion, LHO was an unwitting accomplice in the plot to kill JFK in Dallas. He was cooperating with a different plot run by Guy Banister in New Orleans – a plot to kill Fidel Castro. Banister and his crew were not CIA agents, but they lied and told LHO that they were, and they promised LHO a permanent job in the CIA if he cooperated. So, he did. They helped LHO pretend to be a left-winger for the FPCC. They drove LHO to Mexico City and they drove him back to Dallas. In his final hours, LHO behaved as if he still trusted them with his life.
Ex-General Walker, James Hosty, Will Fritz, Bill Decker and Jesse Curry were members of this coven of Radical Right extremists in Dallas. LHO was unaware that these men were working with Guy Banister.
LHO took no bus or taxi to his rooming house; he drove there with Right-wing accomplices. The police car that stopped briefly outside his rooming house, honked twice and then moved on (as testified by his landlady, Earline Roberts) was driven by Right-wing accomplices. LHO was told that J.D. Tippit was another accomplice – so he was surprised when Tippit went for his pistol.
Plan A was J.D. Tippit killing LHO in Oak Cliff. Instead, LHO outdrew Tippit and killed him. So, the Dallas police needed a Plan B. They became desperate to gather evidence to hold LHO on the Tippit shooting, without bond, while they hatched a Plan B.
In my opinion, Detective Brown as a willing accomplice in this part of the JFK/LHO Dallas plot.