I harbor strong suspicions about the four Dallas police officers who were on foot patrol near the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) at Dealey Plaza during the JFK motorcade. Each one claimed that he saw nothing unusual in the windows of the TSBD, before, during or after the JFK Assassination, yet, ten WC witnesses testified that they saw rifles, men, or men with rifles in the upper floor windows of the TSBD, only minutes before the JFK assassination.
First, let’s review the ten witnesses in Dealey Plaza who noticed suspicious activity on an upper floor of the TSBD starting about 12:15 PM until the JFK shooting at 12:30 PM. Here is an overview:
2 witnesses saw 2 men in a window, and a rifle:
(1) Arnold Rowland – 18-year old clerk, standing near the corner of Houston and Main, said that at about 12:15 PM he looked up at the TSBD, and saw two white men and a rifle in 6th floor window in the WEST corner. He couldn’t discern faces.
(2) Carolyn Walther – seamstress on the east side of Houston Street, about 60 feet south of the TSBD, saw two men and one rifle in a high, EAST corner window. She couldn’t discern faces.
2 witnesses saw 1 man in a window, and a rifle:
(3) Howard Brennan – 45-year old construction worker on the corner across from the front of the TSBD, saw one white man and a rifle in a high, EAST corner window.
(4) Amos Lee Euins – high-school freshman, facing the TSBD as the motorcade passed by, saw a white man and a rifle in a high, EAST corner window.
2 witnesses saw 1 man in a window, but no rifle:
(5) Ronald Fischer – 25-year old Dallas County auditor, was standing on the West side of Houston Street, opposite the TSBD with his friend, Bob Edwards. About 15 seconds before the first car came around the corner, Bob said, “Look at that guy up there in that corner window; he is staring at the Triple Underpass, and not moving a muscle.” They watched this white male about 15 seconds and then watched the parade.
(6) Robert Edwards – college freshman, was standing on the West side of Houston Street, opposite the TSBD, with his friend Ron Fischer. He saw a white man up in the corner room of the sixth floor, crowded among boxes. Light colored shirt, short sleeve and open neck. Waist up, only, average weight or thin, light brown hair, height inestimable. That was all.
4 witnesses saw a rifle in a window, but no person:
(7) Mrs. Earle Cabell – wife of the Mayor of Dallas, briefly saw some projection out of one of the windows in groups of twos, perhaps the 6th floor, the first window on the right.
(8) Robert Jackson – 29-year old news photographer in the motorcade, on Houston Street, about halfway between Main Street and Elm Street. After the last shot, he looked at the TSBD and noticed two Negro men in a window on the fifth floor, looking above them, and his eyes followed to the window above them and he saw a rifle, about half of the weapon, and it was drawn slowly back into the building. He saw no person.
(9) Malcolm Couch – 25-year old news photographer next to Bob Jackson, on Houston Street, about halfway between Main Street and Elm Street, responded when Jackson yelled, “Look up in the window! There’s a rifle!” He glanced up to the far right of perhaps the 6th floor, and saw about a foot of a rifle barrel brought back into the window. He saw no person.
(10) James Worrell – 20, was standing directly underneath the TSBD 6th floor window. He heard shots, and he looked up and saw the barrel of a rifle sticking out of a window over his head (in EAST corner window) about 5 or 6 stories up. While he was looking at the gun it fired again. He saw nobody in the window.
So, those are the ten witnesses at Dealey Plaza looking at the TSBD.
Now let’s talk about the four Dallas police on foot patrol, standing close to the TSBD, virtually next to these same ten eyewitnesses. Their names are: Sergeant D.V. Harkness, Edgar Smith, Joe Smith, and Welcome Barnett.
Harkness stood one block away from the TSBD, on Houston Street. Edgar Smith stood a half-block away on Houston Street. Joe Smith stood across the street from the TSBD on Houston Street. Barnett stood across the street from the TSBD on Elm Street.
I find it impossible to believe that ten eyewitnesses at Dealey Plaza reported seeing people and/or rifles up in the TSBD, but the four Dallas Police standing next to these ten people claim that they saw nothing suspicious at all.
Another point – if ten eyewitnesses were officially reported, we must ask how many others saw this and weren’t recorded. I ask because of the JFK Records Act fulfillment on October 26, 2017, when the US Government released the final batch of classified items related to the JFK assassination. Jason Ward shared a special item with me, launching this web site.
It is a special frame from The Bell Film – a photo of JFK’s limo next to the 2nd floor of the Dallas County Records building (across the street from the TSBD). Historians for the past half-century showed us this photograph of JFK’s limo by the 1st floor only. With the unclassified Bell Film frame, we can see two men with rifles in a window on the 2nd floor of the County Records building. Each is wearing a Dallas law enforcement uniform.
If (and only if) this film frame is accurate (as I expect since it was hidden from the public for over 50 years) then I ask why no eyewitnesses reported seeing these men in the Dallas Records window. I wonder if this was because Dallas law enforcement controlled all of the witnesses and evidence.
But if Dallas law enforcement held back data about riflemen in the 2nd floor of the County Records building, why would they release data about a rifleman in the 6th floor of the TSBD building? It now seems obvious – LHO was their scapegoat.
Also, it bothered me for decades that citizen eyewitnesses told the Dallas police about seeing riflemen in the windows of the TSBD within minutes of the JFK shooting – yet it took Dallas law enforcement another half-hour, to climb to the 6th floor to look around, and an extra twelve minutes to find the sniper’s nest – 1:12 PM.
My suspicions should now be crystal clear. So, now let’s meet these four Dallas policemen on foot patrol at Dealey Plaza, and let’s review their WC testimony.
DPD Sergeant D.V. Harkness: Harkness was on foot patrol on the west side of Houston at Main Street. He had a good view of the TSBD from one block away – he easily saw all the windows. After the shots, he testified, he mounted his motorcycle and sped to the TSBD. When he arrived, a black, high-school freshman named Amos Euins ran up to him, telling him about seeing a man and a rifle clearly sticking out of a TSBD window. Harkness asked other officers what to do about this report, and he was told by ranking officers to route the boy directly to the Sheriff’s office to write an affidavit. After that, Harkness escorted other eyewitnesses from Dealey Plaza to the Sheriff’s office, to write affidavits.
DPD Officer Edgar Smith: Edgar Smith was on foot patrol, about 150 feet south of the TSBD, on the east curb of Houston. He thought the shots came from the Grassy Knoll, so he pulled out his gun and ran over there. He saw nobody up there except other policemen. So, Edgar Smith returned to his post to direct traffic for the rest of the day.
DPD Officer Joe Smith: Joe Smith was on foot patrol on the east corner of Houston and Elm, across the street from the TSBD. He was busy watching the crowd traffic on the sidewalk and street, but he glanced up at the TSBD windows occasionally, but never saw anything suspicious. After the shooting, one lady rushed up to Smith and shouted, “They shot him from those bushes!” So, Smith ran to the Grassy Knoll area to look around, and he saw a man there in plainclothes. Smith stopped him to question him, but the man calmly showed Smith a Secret Service badge, so Smith let him go. Smith then checked the bushes for clues, shells, weapons, anything, and found nothing. Smith later regretted letting that man go. Then, Smith joined other officers behind the picket fence to search inside the cars in the parking lot. After a half-hour of searching, finding nothing, Smith was assigned to screen ID’s of people entering and exiting the TSBD. At 2:30 PM he went home.
DPD Officer Welcome Barnett: Barnett was on foot patrol at the corner of Elm and Houston, directly in front of the TSBD main entrance. At about 12:20 PM he looked up at the windows of the TSBD and saw nothing unusual. At 12:30 PM he heard shots, and he says that he suspected that the shots came from the top of the TSBD, and that the shooter would run down the fire escape, so he ran up Houston street to the back of the TSBD, and carefully watched the back door and the fire escape for signs of anybody climbing down. About three minutes later, Sergeant Howard ordered him to the front of the building to get its name; so, he did. Barnett rushed back to tell Sergeant Howard the name of the building, but on the way a witness stopped Barnett to report that he had seen a rifle sticking out of a high TSBD window. After reporting the name of the building to the Sergeant Howard, officer Barnett escorted this witness to the Sheriff’s office down the street, to give an affidavit. Barnett did not remember the name of the witness. Then, Barnett returned to the TSBD front door to stand guard until 3PM.
I simply don’t accept their claim that they saw nothing, while ten witnesses standing exactly where they were standing, reported seeing people and/or rifles in the TSBD upper windows. Especially given the recently released Bell Film showing two Dallas law enforcement officials with rifles on the 2nd floor of the Dallas Records building; it doesn’t seem realistic that these Dallas officers saw nothing.
As for the eyewitnesses, they could see Dallas Police on the streets with them, so they told the WC that they simply assumed that the Dallas Police saw them, too, and so these people with rifles must have been Secret Service or other law-enforcement officials, protecting JFK.
So, now for my conspiratorial opinion.
In my opinion, every one of the Dallas foot patrol was an active or passive accomplice of the Dallas plot to assassinate JFK at Dealey Plaza. They all knew that Dallas law enforcement officials – in uniform – had Dealey Plaza surrounded with armed officers. They all saw the men and rifles in the 6th floor windows of the TSBD, as well as in the 2nd floor of the Dallas Records building, as well as behind the picket fence of the Grassy Knoll (which was a parking lot for Dallas Deputies and other County officials – always locked with a padlock).
They all played dumb. After the JFK shooting, they all avoided the TSBD and Dallas Records building, and they ran behind the picket fence, the parking lot, the railroad yard, or behind the TSBD. They all saw what they expected – other Dallas law enforcement officials in full uniform.
David Lifton once wrote that he could not accept the premise of a Grassy Knoll shooter, because it implied that the shooter “vanished” when quickly sought by a large crowd. I say that the shooters did not “vanish,” but didn’t need to run at all – they were wearing Dallas law enforcement uniforms – the very best camouflage in Dallas. In my opinion, many of the Dallas officers at Dealey Plaza knew exactly what was going on. But they would never break ranks with their fellow officers.