Detectives Sims and Boyd were the constant companions of Captain Will Fritz in Dallas on the day of the JFK Assassination. In this post I will document my opinion regarding conflicts in their WC testimony in the timing of JFK events. Sims and Boyd will sometimes agree with each other while they both disagree with Captain Fritz. I will also include sworn statements from other Dallas officials to make these points.
Sims and Boyd vs. Captain Fritz on Timing Events in the TSBD
Let’s start with the exact timing offered by Captain Fritz regarding his arrival at the TSBD with Sims, Boyd and Sheriff Decker, having sped there from Parkland Hospital. Captain Fritz said:
Mr. FRITZ. Well, sir; we arrived…at the Hospital at 12:45, if you want that time, and at the scene of the offense at 12:58.
Mr. BALL. 12:58; the Texas School Book Depository Building.
Mr. FRITZ. Yes.
That arrival time, 12:58 PM, matches the Dallas Police Radio Log, and is unchallenged by anybody else. It is a solid starting point. The problem begins as Fritz keeps talking.
Mr. BALL. Were there any officers there at the time?
Mr. FRITZ. …Several officers; yes, sir….
Mr. BALL. What did you do when you got to this building?
Mr. FRITZ. Some officer told us they thought…the man who did the shooting was in the building. So, we, of course, took our shotguns and immediately entered the building and searched the building to see if we could find him.
There Captain Fritz claims above that he and his men took their shotguns and “immediately entered the building and searched the building” to seek the active shooter. Oh, really?
Mr. BALL. Then what did you do?
Mr. FRITZ. We began searching the floors, looking for anyone with a gun or looked suspicious, and we searched hurriedly through most all the floors.
Mr. McCLOY. Which floor did you start with?
Mr. FRITZ. We started at the bottom; yes, sir. And, of course, and I think we went up probably to the top. Different people would call me when they would find something that looked like something I should know about, and I ran back and forth from floor to floor as we were searching…
Captain Fritz paints a picture of a rushed, heroic search for an active shooter in the TSBD – searching every floor, starting at the bottom floor and searching “hurriedly through most all the floors.” Yet even searching “hurriedly,” to cover a seven-story building takes a long time. Fritz added to this strenuous task by claiming that he was called “back and forth from floor to floor” whenever officers found anything interesting. Fritz eventually arrived at the 7th floor. He started at 12:58 PM. Let’s ask – how much time would Fritz need to cover a seven-story building; up and down floors again and again, as Fritz claimed? Even young men jogging, I estimate, would need at least 30 minutes. Yet, Fritz was 68 years old. He would need more time.
I note here that all other WC witnesses – even Sims and Boyd who accompanied Fritz, shotguns in hand, up to the 7th floor of the TSBD – disagreed with Fritz’s account of this heroic search for an active shooter.
I first saw this conflict by recording the timing as given by Lieutenant J.C. Day. As noted earlier, J.C. Day got a call from Dallas Police Dispatch slightly before 1 PM, directing him to the TSBD with his photography equipment. He said that he and Detective Studebaker arrived at the TSBD about 1:12 PM, and that Inspector Sawyer directed them to the 6th floor. They took the elevators to the 6th floor, and when they got there, Day said that Captain Fritz was already there.
But it only takes 2 or 3 minutes to take the elevators from the lobby to the 6th floor of the TSBD, and since Day and Studebaker arrived at the TSDB at 1:12 PM, then they arrived at the 6th floor sniper’s nest at 1:15 PM at the latest. And Captain Fritz was already there.
Let’s look deeper, with the testimony of Detectives Sims and Boyd on this same topic. Detective Sims does not dispute their TSBD arrival time of 12:58 PM. Here is his WC testimony:
Mr. BALL. When you went in the front door, who was with you? Mr. SIMS. Captain Fritz, Boyd, and I. Mr. BALL. Where did you go? Mr. SIMS. We went directly to the…main passenger elevator. Mr. BALL. It was a freight elevator, wasn’t it? Mr. SIMS. No, sir; I think the passenger elevator goes to about the 3rd floor and then the freight elevator takes over… Mr. BALL. And you went as far as it could go, did you? Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir. Mr. BALL. What did you do then? Mr. SIMS. Then, we caught the freight elevator… Mr. BALL. And where did you go from there? Mr. SIMS. Well, we got off on the 3rd floor and there were officers there, so we went all the way up. We started to the 7th floor…And there were officers on every floor as we went up… Mr. BALL. Now, you got, you said, up to the 3rd floor?
Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And where did you go then?
Mr. SIMS. Well, let’s see…we stopped at the 2nd floor and went to the 3rd floor and some officer there had a key to a room and we made a hurried search of it and there was a bunch of officers on that floor and we went on to the 4th floor, and I don’t know if we got off or not, but anyway, we got off at the 7th floor. Each floor as we passed would have officers on it, and we hadn’t been on the 7th floor very long – for just a while, until someone hollered that they had found the hulls on the 6th floor, so we went back to the 6th floor…we went back down the elevator, as well as I remember…
Mr. BALL. And where did you go when you got off at the 6th floor?
Mr. SIMS. We went over to the corner window there…
According to Detective Sims, instead of “searching most of the floors” on their way up to the 7th floor, Sims portrays himself, Boyd and Fritz taking the TSBD passenger elevator up to the 3rd floor, getting off the elevator on the 3rd floor, looking around briefly, then switching to the freight elevator. The freight elevator was a metal cage through which passengers could see all floors as they went up. They saw many officers as they passed every floor, said Sims, and then they stopped on the 7th floor. Then, they were called back to the 6th floor.
That’s realistic. All that could realistically occur within a 15-minute time frame, even with a 68-year old in the group. OK, let’s review the WC testimony of Detective Elmer Boyd. Remember, it was 12:58 PM when the three arrived at the TSBD.
Mr. BALL. Now, when you arrived down here at the building, what did you do?
Mr. BOYD. Well, we went inside the building and we made two or three stops going up, you know, at different floors, and when we got up to the top floor – I believe it was the top one I think it’s the 7th floor, and someone called us and said they had found some hulls, rifle hulls, down on the 6th floor…
Mr. BALL. And you were with whom at that time?
Mr. BOYD. I was with Captain Fritz and Detective Sims…We went down to the 6th floor and found the hulls over on the southeast corner of the building and they had some…boxes of books stacked up back over there…
Mr. BALL. Did you see the hulls on the floor?
Mr. BOYD. Yes…
Mr. BALL. Now, did you see any pictures taken of the hulls, photographs taken of the hulls?
Mr. BOYD. Well, let’s see, Detective Studebaker and Lieutenant Day, I believe, came up there and they were taking pictures over there at the scene of the hulls…
Although Detective Boyd was less articulate than Detective Sims, his story matches Sims’ story very closely. Again, we get the impression of a quick journey to the 7th floor of the TSBD, and then a call that rifle hulls were found on the 6th floor, and so they came down to see.
Boyd added that Studebaker and Day “came up there” to take pictures. He didn’t say that they were already there. He said they “came up.” So, now let’s see what Sims’ WC testimony says about Studebaker and Day, with regard to the time frame.
Mr. BALL. What did you see?
Mr. SIMS. We saw the boxes stacked up about…three or four stacks high and found three empty hulls laying there next to the wall of the Elm Street side of the building…
Mr. BALL. Did you take a picture of those hulls?
Mr. SIMS. Lieutenant Day did, I believe.
Mr. BALL. Was he there right at the time?
Mr. SIMS. No, sir; he didn’t get there until a few minutes later.
Sims didn’t mention Studebaker – but the Crime Lab supervisor was Lieutenant Day, and “he didn’t get there until a few minutes later.” So, Boyd and Sims agree – the Crime Lab boys came later. Now we want to know, how long was Captain Fritz on the 6th floor before Lieutenant Day arrived? Sims says “a few minutes” and that could mean a lot of things. Let’s be economical and say that it was only 3 minutes. Now – Lieutenant Day and Detective Studebaker arrived at the TSBD at about 1:12 PM. Let’s review that WC testimony:
Mr. DAY. The Texas School Book Depository, I believe is the correct name on it.
Mr. BELIN. Did you go there?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; I went out of my office almost straight up 1 o’clock. I arrived at the location on Elm about 1:12.
So, let’s estimate. Going straight to the elevator from the TSBD front door, hauling their cameras and other equipment to ride the passenger elevator to the 3rd floor, and then move to the freight elevator to ride to the 6th floor, might take 3 minutes. If so, then they arrived at the sniper’s nest at 1:15 PM.
So, here’s my easy way of remembering these estimates. I propose that Fritz, Sims and Boyd arrived at the 6th floor to see the rifle hulls at 1:12 PM, at the very same minute that Day and Studebaker arrived at the TSBD front door. As Day and Studebaker took 3 minutes haul their equipment to the elevators, they arrived at the sniper’s nest at 1:15 PM. That means that Fritz, Sims and Boyd were already at the sniper’s nest for 3 minutes before Day and Studebaker arrived.
I am taking Sims and Boyd at their word – and marking time for the them and Fritz to take 14 minutes from the time they arrived at the TSBD until they time they arrived at the sniper’s nest at 1:12 PM. They took two elevators, they looked around the 3rd floor a little and they looked around the 7th floor a little, and then they were called to the 6th floor. Fourteen minutes.
This means that although Sims, Boyd and Day agree – it also means that Captain Fritz clearly exaggerated his trek to the 7th floor to make it sound like a seven-story manhunt. Even so, there are important parts of Fritz’s story that agree with Sims and Boyd:
All three agree that when they entered the TSBD, nobody mentioned that rifle hulls had just been found on the 6th floor.
All three agree they as they traveled up the TSBD elevators, floor by floor, observing Dallas police on every floor up to the 7th, nobody mentioned that rifle hulls had just been found on the 6th floor.
All three agree that their original destination on the elevators was the 7th floor.
All three agree that after some time (they don’t say how long) looking around the 7th floor, they heard news about rifle hulls found by a window of the 6th floor.
All three agree that any announcement to them of the discovered rifle shells, occurred only after they had already arrived at the 7th floor.
Deputy Luke Mooney vs. Captain Fritz on Timing Events in the TSBD
Now, before we dwell on these facts, let’s let Deputy Luke Mooney, weigh in. After all, he found the rifle hulls. Here’s that part of Mooney’s WC testimony:
Mr. BALL. Were there any other officers on the floor? Mr. MOONEY. I didn’t see any at that time. I assume there had been other officers up there. But I didn’t see them…And the minute I squeezed between these two stacks of boxes, I had to turn myself sideways to get in there that is when I saw the expended shells…So, at that time, I didn’t lay my hands on anything, because I wanted to save every evidence we could for fingerprints. So I leaned out the window, the same window from which the shots were fired, looked down, and I saw Sheriff Bill Decker and Captain Will Fritz standing right on the ground. Well, so I hollered …I whistled a time or two before I got anybody to see me. And yet they were all looking that [other] way, too, except the Sheriff; they weren’t looking up. And I told him to get the crime lab officers en route, that I had the location spotted…
Here Mooney claims that as soon as he found the rifle hulls, he stuck his head out of that 6th floor window, and he saw Captain Fritz and Sheriff Decker on the sidewalk below, and he shouted out to them that he had “spotted the location,” and to “send the Crime Lab.”
We have the time that Fritz, Sims, Boyd and Decker arrived at the TSBD. It was 12:58 exactly. Suddenly, upon a report that the active shooter was still inside, Fritz, Sims and Boyd took their shotguns out of their car and hurried into the building. So, Fritz and Decker were together on the sidewalk below the 6th window for perhaps less than a minute.
Insofar as Luke Mooney stuck his head out of the southeast window of the TSBD 6th floor, and saw Captain Fritz and Sheriff Decker below, then the time was obviously 12:58 PM because in the next minute, Fritz, Sims and Boyd would be inside the TSBD. That matches the Dallas Police Radio Log as well as the testimony of Lieutenant Day – he was called around 12:58 PM.
Luke Mooney said that when he stuck his head out of the window and shouted, he suspected that only Sheriff Decker had heard him. Yet the TSBD was full of officers at that hour, so anybody else could have heard Mooney shouting out, and called the Police Dispatcher. We have WC testimony from Sergeant Gerald Hill, for example, that he also stuck his head out of the same window and called for the Crime Lab, but nobody heard him. So, Hill went downstairs to call the Dispatcher. Obviously, the Dispatcher called J.C. Day right away, who arrived with Studebaker at 1:12 PM. (Hill also claimed that he escorted Day and Studebaker to the 6th floor. They never said that.)
Therefore – we may surmise that Fritz, Sims and Boyd failed to hear Luke Mooney. As they entered the TSBD, nobody told them that there were shells on the 6th floor. (I recall here that Sergeant Hill testified that he saw Captain Fritz on his trip up the elevators, and Hill told Fritz about the shells on the 6th floor. However, as we have seen, nobody remembered that Hill was even present in the TSBD that day. Perhaps his rank was too low and he was merely ignored.)
In any case, even the WC testimony of Deputy Mooney agrees with Sims, Boyd and Day. Everybody agrees with everybody else – except Captain Fritz.
We might presume that Captain Fritz was just another 68-year-old Captain who took personal credit for anything his men did. Giving Captain Fritz a little generosity for his advanced age and his large ego, we seem to have answered our doubts. Even more, Captain Fritz later calmed down and agreed with everybody else. Here is what he said:
Mr. FRITZ. …It wasn’t very long until someone called me and told me they wanted me to come to the…corner window; they had found some empty cartridges.
Mr. BALL. That was on the 6th floor?
Mr. FRITZ. That is right; the 6th floor, corner window.
Mr. BALL. What did you do?
Mr. FRITZ. I told them not to move the cartridges, not to touch anything until we could get the crime lab to take pictures of them just as they were lying there and I left an officer assigned there to see that that was done, and the crime lab came almost immediately, and took pictures, and dusted the shells for prints.
Here Fritz agrees with the more realistic time frame. He agrees that he, Sims and Boyd were already at the sniper’s nest, looking at the rifle shells on the floor, before “the Crime Lab (i.e. Day and Studebaker) arrived. He said, “almost immediately,” so we won’t be far off by calling that 3 minutes of waiting for the Crime Lab. Now even Fritz’s timing agrees with everybody else. That man-hunt story was just an old man on a boast. Case closed, right? Wrong.
The REAL Problems with the Testimony of Captain Fritz
As we saw last week, a serious problem arises when Captain Fritz contradicts Officer C.W. Brown. Brown said that Fritz called Brown about 2 PM for a status, and Brown said that they caught the man who killed J.D. Tippit, and then suggested to Fritz that it might be the same as the JFK killer. Fritz ignored that story, however, and insisted that Fritz himself was the first one to guess that LHO was the killer of both JFK and J.D. Tippit. Let’s review:
Mr. BALL. How long did you stay at the Texas School Book Depository after you found the rifle?
Mr. FRITZ. After he [Roy Truly] told me about this man [Oswald] almost, I left immediately after he told me that.
Mr. BALL. You left almost immediately after he told you that?
Mr. FRITZ. Almost after he told me about that man – 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 City Hall, I asked…when I got to my office, who shot the officer, and they told me his name was Oswald. And I said, “His full name?” And they told me, and I said, “That is the suspect we are looking for in the President's killing!”
I will resist the temptation to conclude that Captain Fritz is still boasting like an old man here. Two important conflicts arise.
Firstly – Captain Fritz testified that he left the TSBD after Roy Truly gave him LHO’s contact information – around 1:30 PM, and that he arrived at his City Hall office at 2:15 PM. Yet City Hall was only 5 minutes away from the TSBD. What about those 45-minutes? Was Fritz just a forgetful old man?
Not at all. I now believe that Captain Fritz was putting on an act. In the old days this was called, “crazy like a fox.” Fritz was play-acting the forgetful old Captain. Fritz deliberately omitted talking about that unexpected and crucial meeting with Sheriff Decker over at County Jail (which lasted anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes). That meeting was almost immediately after the Dallas Police Dispatcher announced that J.D. Tippit had been shot dead in Oak Cliff.
If not for Detectives Sims and Boyd, history could have supposed that Captain Fritz went for a drink under the circumstances, and just moved on. But Sims and Boyd – without knowing it – let the cat out of the bag.
Secondly – Captain Fritz boasted (and so virtually admitted) that before anybody told him LHO was under arrest for the Tippit killing – that Fritz was already looking for LHO as the killer of JFK. He had only heard that LHO was missing from a roll-call at the TSBD, but Fritz was determined to personally arrest LHO in the JFK killing – to the exclusion of all other suspects at that time!
Then, suddenly, after the killing of J.D. Tippit, Fritz decided that LHO was the killer of Tippit as well as JFK! Fritz’s confession in his own WC testimony that he came to an instantaneous conclusion that LHO was surely the JFK killer – only one hour after the JFK killing – with almost no evidence at all, is in my opinion solid, material evidence that Captain Fritz was part of a plot to frame LHO for the killing of JFK.
If LHO had been shot dead in the streets of Dallas instead of J.D. Tippit, then the City of Dallas would have produced ample evidence that LHO was a Communist – a defector to Russia, a friend of Fidel Castro, an officer of the FPCC, who held a secret meeting with a wanted Russian spy in Mexico City. The City of Dallas (thanks to the John Birch Society) had it all on film from New Orleans, Louisiana taken during the summer of 1963. Also, in Mexico City they had witnesses there who would place LHO with the Communist Party at the Cuban Consulate and the Russian Embassy. The City of Dallas had proof that LHO was a Communist, and he killed JFK, because his rifle was found on the TSDB 6th floor, along with rifle hulls belonging to that rifle.
LHO killed JFK and LHO was a Communist. Therefore, the Communists killed JFK, and so the USA had every right to invade Cuba and depose Fidel Castro – exactly as the John Birch Society had advised for years.
We can now surmise with confidence the content of that meeting between Sheriff Decker and Captain Will Fritz. It was about LHO, their patsy, who had escaped his well-deserved shooting in the streets of Dallas. Instead, LHO outdrew Tippit and fled.
He wouldn’t get far. Dallas policemen were hot on his trail in Oak Cliff. He could no longer be shot in the street, or in a public movie theater. There were too many innocent Dallas policemen there – and too many innocent bystanders – that would be eyewitnesses. LHO had to be arrested quickly and hauled away quickly, before he could speak with anybody at all.
In my opinion, any words from LHO that the Dallas police later reported are 90% fake. We don’t know what LHO really said during his final 45 hours of life. We only know what Captain Fritz and a few others claimed that LHO said – but we really have nothing more than their word. Yet their word isn’t enough anymore. There are far too many obvious contradictions when we are willing to doubt the Dallas Police and to look closely at their WC testimony.