A Review of Dale Myers’ With Malice
By W. Tracy Parnell Ó 2000
One aspect of the JFK assassination story often overlooked by conspiracy theorists is the alleged murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit by Lee Harvey Oswald. The late Warren Commission Attorney David Belin called it the Rosetta Stone of the assassination; that is, if you accept the fact that Oswald killed Tippit, it doesn’t require a huge leap of logic to find him guilty of the death of JFK as well.
In With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, Dale Myers provides the first in-depth study of the “other” killing in Dallas that fateful November day. Myers, a twenty-year veteran of the Radio and Television industry who has won three Emmy awards, succeeds in proving Oswald’s guilt in that crime beyond any reasonable doubt.
This fine book makes a powerful first impression. The hardcover volume is an oversize 10 and one fourth by seven inches. The beautiful dust jacket, designed by Myers, features a collage of important evidence with Oswald’s eyes watching in the background. The 702 page book contains 157 photographs embedded in the text as well as 16 color plates and 13 maps and illustrations. For documentation, Myers provides over 1,000 endnotes and 182 pertinent documents. With Malice also gives researchers a first look at the Tippit autopsy photos with the facial features tastefully (and properly) obscured by computer graphics. Also included in this researcher-friendly volume is a list of principal figures and an excellent chronology.
Myers begins his work by providing context and offering answers to the question of why so many people seem to doubt Oswald’s guilt in the Tippit killing. He then uses a short biography of Tippit to provide insight into this “quiet cop” and to humanize him. Myers also carefully follows Tippit’s last hours before the shooting.
In a book of this type, a thorough and accurate description of the crime and its aftermath is of paramount importance, and here Myers does not disappoint. Using Dallas Police radio transcripts, photographs, and his own computer-generated diagrams and interviews, Myers returns the reader to 1963 and places him/her inside the crime scene. Even veteran researchers may be surprised to learn something new. For example, I had never heard the story of Adrian Hamby, a 19 year-old student who nearly had a fatal encounter with police due to a case of mistaken identity. In a chapter called “Proof Positive”, Myers uses hard evidence to link Oswald to the crime. He carefully discusses the autopsy, murder weapon and ballistics evidence, fingerprints (Oswald lucked out here), and jacket.
In a section of the book sure to be of interest to conspiracy theorists, Myers discusses some of the allegations that have been made through the years by such theorists. In each case, Myers either debunks the allegation completely or casts sufficient doubt as to render it useless. The issues discussed are:
It is in this chapter that Myers probably breaks the most new ground. He first uses a technique developed by the Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI Academy to classify the Tippit murder scene as a disorganized one. The picture that emerges is a veritable blueprint of Oswald’s murder of Tippit. In such a crime scene, according to the FBI analysis, the following characteristics are found:
Additionally, the FBI found that the murderer of a disorganized crime scene was likely to be of below average intelligence and a high school dropout. He may also have a poor military record and employment history. The murderer was likely to use public transportation rather than drive a car and tends to be a sloppy dresser who enjoys solitary pursuits such as reading. He lives alone or with his parents and often has a physical handicap or speech impediment. Obviously, Oswald had many (although not all) of these characteristics. The remainder of this chapter continues in a similar vein, convincingly analyzing Oswald’s actions using both insight from experts and Myers’ own ideas in a fascinating and fresh manner.
In With Malice, Dale Myers offers the student of the JFK assassination an in-depth treatment of this vital aspect of the case. Myers pulls together and refines old information while providing new ideas and analysis in a readable and visually pleasing fashion. Whether you are a seasoned researcher looking for a comprehensive volume for reference purposes or a student who needs a solid introduction, this book fits the bill. Dale Myers is to be commended for writing what will be remembered as the definitive work on Lee Harvey Oswald’s culpability in the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit.