Buell Frazier's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Frazier was standing in front of the Depository.)
Mr. BALL - Did you see the President go by?
Mr. FRAZIER - Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?
Mr. FRAZIER - Well, I say, just right after he went by he hadn't hardly got by, I heard a sound and if you have ever been around motorcycles you know how they backfire, and so I thought one of them motorcycles backfired because right before his car came down, now there were several of these motorcycle policemen, and they took off down toward the underpass down there, and so I thought, you know, that one of them motorcycles backfired, but it wasn't just a few seconds that, you know, I heard two more of the same type of, you know, sounds, and by that time people was running everywhere, and falling down and screaming, and naturally then I knew something was wrong, and so I come to the conclusion somebody else, somebody was shooting at somebody and I figured it was him.
Mr. BALL - You figured it was who?
Mr. FRAZIER - I figured it was somebody shooting at President Kennedy because people were running and hollering so I just stood still. I have always been taught when something like that happened or anywhere as far as that it is always best to stand still because if you run that makes you look guilty sure enough.
Mr. BALL - Now, then, did you have any impression at that time as to the direction from which the sound came?
Mr. FRAZIER - Well, to be frank with you I thought it come from down there, you know, where that underpass is. There is a series, quite a few number, of them railroad tracks running together and from where I was standing it sounded like it was coming from down the railroad tracks there.
Mr. BALL - Were you able to see the President, could you still see the President's car when you heard the first sound?
Mr. FRAZIER - No, sir; I couldn't. From there, you know, people were standing out there on the curb, you see, and you know it drops, you know the ground drops, off there as you go down toward that underpass and I couldn't see any of it because people were standing up there in my way, but however, when he did turn that corner there, there wasn't anybody standing there in the street and you could see good there, but after you got on past down there you couldn't see anything.
Mr. BALL - You didn't see the President's car at the time you heard the sound?
Mr. FRAZIER - No, sir; I didn't.
Posner & Harris - Frazier's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
B.J. Martin's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Martin was riding a motorcycle to the left of the Presidential Limousine.)
Mr. BALL - When you heard the first shot, did you have any idea of the direction which the shot was coming from?
Mr. MARTIN - No, sir; I didn't. I couldn't tell which direction it was coming - any of the shots.
Mr. BALL - Did you look?
Mr. MARTIN - Yes, sir; I looked back to my right.
Mr. BALL - After which shot?
Mr. MARTIN - After the first shot.
Mr. BALL - You looked to your right?
Mr. MARTIN - I looked back to my right.
Mr. BALL - What did you look at?
Mr. MARTIN - At the building on the right there.
Mr. BALL - Is that the Texas School book Depository Building?
Mr. MARTIN - Yes; it is.
Mr. BALL - Did you see anything?
Mr. MARTIN - No, sir.
Mr. BALL - As you turned to the right, did you turn your motorcycle also, or did you turn your body?
Mr. MARTIN - I believe I just turned my body. I don't believe I ever turned my motor. I believe I kept my motor headed down Elm Street - west on Elm.
Mr. BALL - Did you take any notice of the President after the first shot?
Mr. MARTIN - Yes, sir; I looked at the President after I heard the shot and he was leaning forward - I could see the left side of his face. At the time he had no expression on his face.
Mr. BALL - Then did you hear some more shots?
Mr. MARTIN - Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL - How many?
Mr. MARTIN - Two more shots.
Mr. BALL - Did you see anything when you looked at the School Depository Building?
Mr. MARTIN - No, sir - just the building.
Mr. BALL - And were you able to tell - to determine or did you have any opinion, as to the direction from which the shots were coming - the last two shots - from which direction they came?
Mr. MARTIN - No, sir; you couldn't tell just where they were coming from.
Posner & Harris - Martin's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Bobby Hargis's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Hargis was riding a motorcycle to the left of the Presidential Limousine.)
Mr. STERN - Were you a part of the motorcade on November 22nd?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; I was.
Mr. STERN - In what position?
Mr. HARGIS - I was at the left-hand side of the Presidential limousine.
Mr. STERN - At what part of the President's car?
Mr. HARRIS. Well..
Mr. STERN - Front, or rear?
Mr. HARGIS - Oh. Rear.
Mr. STERN - Riding next to Mrs. Kennedy ?
Mr. HARGIS - Right.
Mr. STERN - Will you describe what occurred or what you observed as the limousine turned into Elm Street?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, at the time that the limousine turned left on Elm, I was staying pretty well right up with the car. Sometimes on Elm we get right up next to it on account of the crowd, but the crowd was out down here at the triple underpass, so, I was next to Mrs. Kennedy when I heard the first shot, and at that time the President bent over, and Governor Connally turned around. He was sitting directly in front of him, and a real shocked and surprised expression on his face.
Mr. STERN - On Governor Connally's?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; that is why I thought Governor Connally had been shot first, but it looked like the President was bending over to hear what he had to say, and I thought to myself then that Governor Connally, the Governor had been hit, and then as the President raised back up like that (indicating) the shot that killed him hit him. I don't know whether it was the second or the third shot. Everything happened so fast.
Mr. STERN - But, you cannot now recall more than two shots?
Mr. HARGIS - That is all that I can recall remembering. Of course, everything was moving so fast at the time that there could have been 30 more shots that I probably never would have noticed them.
Mr. STERN - Did something happen to you, personally in connection with the shot you have Just described?
Mr. HARGIS - You mean about the blood hitting---
Mr. STERN - Yes.
Mr. HARGIS - Yes; when President Kennedy straightened back up in the car the bullet him in the head, the one that killed him and it seemed like his head exploded, and I was splattered with blood and brain, and kind of bloody water, It wasn't really blood. And at that time the Presidential car slowed down. I heard somebody say, "Get going," or "get going,"
Mr. STERN - Someone inside--
Mr. HARGIS - I don't know whether it was the Secret Service car, and I remembered seeing Officer Chaney. Chaney put his motor in first gear and accelerated up to the front to tell them to get everything out of the way, that he was coming through, and that is when the Presidential limousine shot off, and I stopped and got off my motorcycle and ran to the right-hand side of the street, behind the light pole.
Mr. STERN - Just a minute. Do you recall your impression at the time regarding the source of the shots?
Mr. HARGIS - Well, at the time it sounded like the shots were right next to me. There wasn't any way in the world I could tell where they were coming from, but at the time there was something in my head that said that they probably could have been coming from the railroad overpass, because I thought since I had got splattered, with blood--I was Just a little back and left of--Just a little bit back and left of Mrs. Kennedy, but I didn't know. I had a feeling that it might have been from the Texas Book Depository, and these two places was the primary place that could have been shot from.
Mr. STERN - You were clear that the sounds were sounds of shots?
Mr. HARGIS - Yes. sir: I knew they were shots.
Posner & Harris - Hargis is to vague to support or contradict either theory.
Lyndon Johnson's statement to the Warren Commission (back to the list of witnesses)
(Johnson was two cars behind the Presidential Limousine.)
As the motorcade proceeded down Elm Street to the point where the assassination occurred, it was traveling at a speed which I should estimate at 12 or 15 miles and hour.
After we had proceeded a short way down Elm Street, I heard a sharp report. The crowd at this point had become somewhat spotty.
The Vice-Presidential car was then about three car lengths behind President Kennedy's car, with the Presidential follow-up car intervening.
I was startled by the sharp report or explosion. but I had no time to speculate as to its origin because Agent Youngblood turned in a flash, immediately after the first explosion, hitting me on the shoulder, and shouted to all of us in the back seat to get down. I was pushed down by Agent Youngblood. Almost in the same moment in which he hit or pushed me, he vaulted over the back seat and sat on me. I was bent over under the weight of Agent Youngblood's body, toward Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough.
I remember attempting to turn my head to make sure that Mrs. Johnson had bent down. Both she and Senator Yarborough had crouched down at Agent Youngblood's command.
At some time in this sequence of events. I heard other explosions. It was impossible for me to tell the direction from which the explosions came.
Posner & Harris - Johnson's statement lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Clifton Carter's' affidavit to the Warren Commission (back to the list of witnesses)
(Carter was in the middle front seat of the Vice Presidential Limousine.)
The motorcade proceeded west on Main Street, made a right-hand turn onto Houston and then swung around to the left on Elm, proceeding slowly at about 5 to 10 miles per hour. At approximately 12:30 p.m., our car had just made the left-hand turn off Houston onto Elm Street and was right along side of the Texas School Book Depository Building when I heard a noise which sounded like a firecracker. Special agent Youngblood, who was seated on the right-hand side of the front seat of Vice President Johnson's car Immediately turned and pushed Vice President Johnson down and in the same motion vaulted over the seat and covered the Vice President with his body. At that instant Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough, who were riding in the back seat along with the Vice President, bent forward. Special agent Youngblood's actions came immediately after the first shot and before the succeeding shots.
I distinctly remember three shots. There was an interval of approximately 5 to 6 seconds from the first to the last shot, and the three shots were evenly spaced
Posner & Harris - Carter's statement lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
James Crawford's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Crawford was standing on the Southeast corner of Houston and Elm)
Mr. BALL - And just tell me in your own words what you observed after that?
Mr. CRAWFORD - As I observed the parade, I believe there was a car leading the President's car, followed by the President's car and followed, I suppose, by the Vice President's car and, in turn, by the secret Service in a yellow closed sedan. The doors of the Sedan were open. It was after the Secret Service Sedan had gone around the corner that I heard the first report and at that time I thought it was a backfire of a car but, in analyzing the situation, it could not have been a backfire of a car because it would have had to have been the President's car or some car in the cavalcade there. The second shot followed some seconds, a little time elapsed after the first one, and followed very quickly by the third one. I could not see the President's car -
Mr. BALL - At that time?
Mr. CRAWFORD - That's right; I couldn't even see the secret Service car, at least wasn't looking for it. As the report from the third shot sounded, I looked up. I had previously looked around to see if there was somebody shooting firecrackers to see if I could see a puff of smoke, and after I decided it wasn't a backfire from an automobile and as the third report sounded, I looked up and from the far east corner of the sixth floor I saw a movement. It was just barely a glimpse.
Mr. BALL - Which window?
Mr. CRAWFORD - That would be the far east window -
Mr. BALL - On the -
Mr. CRAWFORD - On the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. I turned to Miss Mitchell and made the statement that if those were shots they came from that window. That was based mainly on the fact of the quick movement observed in the window right at the conclusion of the report.
Mr. BALL - Could you give me any better description than just a movement? Could you use any other words to describe what you saw by way of color or size of what you saw moving?
Mr. CRAWFORD - If I were asked to describe it, I would say that it was a profile, somewhat from the waist up, but it was very quick movement and rather indistinct and it was very light colored. It was either light colored or it was a reflection from the sun. When the gun was found, or when a gun was found, I asked the question if it was white, simply because if it was a gun I saw, then it was either white or it was reflecting the sun so it would appear white or light colored.
Mr. BALL - Did you see any boxes in that window?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes, directly behind the window, oh possibly three feet or less, there were boxes stacked up behind the window and I believe it was the only place in the building that I observed where boxes were stacked just like that.
Mr. BALL - Did you see any boxes in the window?
Mr. CRAWFORD - No, I didn't see any. There wasn't any boxes in the window.
Mr. BALL - Did you stay there at that point very long, the southeast corner?
Mr. CRAWFORD - No; as I said, I couldn't observe the President's car and I had no actual knowledge that he had been shot, so realizing that we should get the information almost immediately from the radio which had been covering the motorcade - we had been listening to it prior to going on the street - I thought our best information would come from that, so we went, Miss Mitchell and I, went back into the office. I have no way of knowing the time. I would say it was a minute or - I would say a minute.
Mr. BALL - After you heard the shots, did you return to the office?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes.
Mr. BALL - The movement that you saw that you describe as something light and perhaps a profile from the waist up, you mean it looked like a profile of a person?
Mr. CRAWFORD - That was - I had a hard time describing that. When I saw it, I automatically in my own mind came to the conclusion that it was a person having moved out of the window. Now, to say that it was a brown haired, light skinned individual, I could not do that.
Mr. BALL - Could you tell whether it was a man or woman?
Mr. CRAWFORD - I could not.
Mr. BALL - You made a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the 10th of January?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Before I ask you about your report, did you have any impression as to the source of the sound, from what direction the sound came, the sound of the explosions?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes; I do. As I mentioned before, the sound, I thought it was a backfire in the cavalcade from down the hill, down the hill toward the underpass.
Mr. BALL - You mean west on Elm?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes, and that was a little confusing and in analyzing it later, evidently the report I heard, and probably a lot of other people, the officers or the FBI, it evidently was a sound that was reflected by the underpass and therefore came back. It did not sound to me, ever, as I remember, the high-powered rifle sounding. It was not a sharp crack.
Mr. BALL - What caused you to look up at the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mr. CRAWFORD - The sound had to be coming from somewhere; the noise was being made at some place, so I didn't see anyone shooting firecrackers or anything else and I thought "this idiot surely shouldn't do such a thing," but if they were, where were they, and if they were shots, where were they coming from, and that caused me to search the whole area on Houston Street and in front of the Texas Depository on Elm Street and then up and that's how I happened to be looking up at the time, rather than observing things in the street, probably.
Mr. BALL - Did you ever see any smoke?
Mr. CRAWFORD - No, sir; I did not.
Mr. BALL - In your remark to Mary Ann Mitchell, did you say "If those were shots, they came from that window"?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes.
Mr. BALL - That is what you reported to the FBI agent, also?
Mr. CRAWFORD - Yes, I suppose; at the time, I was still not absolutely sure they were shots and that's why I said if they were shots. I was basing that, I am sure I was basing that mainly on the fact of this quick movement that I observed. In other words, If I were firing the shots, I would have jumped back immediately at the conclusion of them.
Posner & Harris - Crawford's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory, but the timing seems to favor Harris. Crawford did seem to think it was possible the shots came from the Depository, and he does not make any mention of the second shot sounding different than the first and third.
Mary Mitchell's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Mitchell was standing on the Southeast corner of Houston and Elm)
Mr. BALL - Tell me in your own words what you noticed and what you heard after the President's car passed; what did you see and what did you hear? Miss MITCHELL - Well, The President's car passed and, of course I watched it as long as I could see it but, as I remember, immediately behind it was a car full of men with the top down and quite a few of them were standing and I assumed they were Secret Service men, so after the car turned the corner and started down the hill, I couldn't see over the heads of the standing men for very long, so then I turned back to watch the other people in the caravan, whatever you call it, and probably about the time the car in which Senator Yarborough was riding had just passed, I heard some reports. The first one - there were three - the second and the third being closer together than the first and second and probably on the first one my thought was that it was a firecracker and I thought on the second one I thought that some police officer was after somebody that wasn't doing right and by the third report Jim Crawford had said the shots came from the building and as I looked up there then we realized that if the sots were coming from that building there was bound to have been somebody shooting at the people in the cars.
Mr. BALL - You heard Jim Crawford say something about if they were shots - what were his words exactly?
Miss MITCHELL - Well, I'm not sure that he said - I think he just said, "Those shots came from that building," just assuming that everybody could have figured out by then that they were shots.
Mr. BALL - Did you look at the building?
Miss MITCHELL - Yes; I did.
Mr. BALL - Did you see anybody in any of the windows?
Miss MITCHELL - I don't remember. I understand there were some porters that were leaning out of the fifth floor windows but I don't remember whether I saw them or not. I know where I thought he was pointing and where I was looking I couldn't see anybody so I never was sure which window he thought he was pointing to.
Mr. BALL - Was he pointing?
Posner & Harris - Mitchell's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory, but the timing tends to favor Harris
Robert Jackson's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Jackson was riding in the rear seat of the third press car, several cars behind the president)
Mr. SPECTER - All right. Will you now proceed to tell us what happened as you rounded the corner of Main and Houston , Please?
Mr. JACKSON - Well, as our reporter chased the film out into the street, we all looked back at him and were laughing, and it was approximately that time that we heard the first shot, and we had already rounded the corner, of course, when we heard the the first shot. We were approximately almost half a block on Houston Street.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you identify for me on Commission Exhibit 347, Precisely as possible, where your automobile was at the time you heard the first shot?
Mr. JACKSON - Approximately right here, I would say the midpoint of this building. Approximately where we heard the first report.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, will you mark a black "X" on 347 the spot where your car was at the time you heard the first shot?
Mr. JACKSON - Right here approximately. And as we heard the first shot, I believe it was Tom Dillard from the Dallas News who made some remark as to that sounding like a firecracker, and it could have been somebody else who said that. But someone else did speak up and make that comment and before he actually the sentence we heard the other two shots. Then we realized or we thought it was gunfire, and then we could not at that point see the President's car. We were still moving slowly, and after the third shot the second two shots seemed much closer together than the first shot, than they were to the first shot. Then after the last shot, I guess all of us were just looking all around and I just looked straight up ahead of me which would have been looking at the School Book Depository and I noticed two Negro men in a window straining to see directly above them, and my eyes followed right on up to the window above them and I saw the rifle, or what looked like a rifle approximately half of weapon, I guess I saw. and just looked at it, it was drawn fairly slowly back into the building, and I saw no one in the window with it. I didn't even see a form in the window.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you do next?
Mr. JACKSON - I said "There is the gun," or it came from that window. I tried to point it out. But by the time the other people looked up, of course, it was gone, and about that time, we were beginning to turn the corner.
Mr. SPECTER - Which corner were you beginning to turn?
Mr. JACKSON - Houston onto Elm.
Mr. SPECTER - I now show you a photograph marked as Commission Exhibit No. 348 and ask you if you can identify what that depicts?
Mr. JACKSON - This is the School Book Depository. This is the window the two colored men were looking out of. This is the window where the rifle was.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you mark the window where the rifle was with an "A" and would you please mark the window where you have identified the men below with a "B."
Mr. SPECTER - Referring to your mark of "A," the photograph will show that you have marked the window on the sixth floor with the marking being placed on the window on the westerly half of the first double window.
Mr. JACKSON - I am sorry. This window here on the very end was the window where the weapon was. I am sorry, I just marked the double - actually this is the rifle window right here.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate as to the time span between the first you heard and the last shot you heard?
Mr. JACKSON - I would say 5 to 8 seconds.
Mr. SPECTER - Can you give us a breakdown between the shots which you heard as to how many seconds elapsed between each one?
Mr. JACKSON - I would say to me it seemed like 3 or 4 seconds between the first and the second, and between the second and the third, well I guess 2 seconds, they were very close together. It could have been more time between the first and second. I really can't be sure.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you sure you heard three shots?
Mr. JACKSON - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your estimate of how many inches of the rifle that you observed?
Mr. JACKSON - I saw the barrel and about half - well, I did not see a telescopic sight, but I did see part of the stock, so I guess maybe 8 or 10 inches of the stock maybe. I did see part of the stock, I did not see the sight.
Mr. SPECTER - Eight or ten inches of the stock, and how much of the barrel would you estimate?
Mr. JACKSON - I guess possibly a foot.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you see anyone's hands on the rifle?
Mr. JACKSON - No, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, as best as you can recollect it, what exact words did you state at or about the time you made the observation of the rifle, if any?
Mr. JACKSON - I said, "There is the gun" and somebody said "Where?" And I said, "It came from that window" and I pointed to that window.
Mr. SPECTER - Mr. Jackson, at the time you heard the first shot, did you have any reaction or impression from the sound itself as to the source of the shot, point of origin?
Mr. JACKSON - No, sir; I didn't. it did sound like it came from ahead of us or from the general vicinity but I could not tell whether it was high up or on the ground.
Mr. SPECTER - When you say general vicinity, what vicinity did you mean?
Mr. JACKSON - We were sure it came from ahead of us which would be in a northerly direction, northwesterly direction. It did sound as though it came from somewhere around the head of the motorcade.
Mr. SPECTER - From the second shot, did you have any reaction or impression as to the source of this shot?
Mr. JACKSON - No, sir. Through all three shots, I could just tell that it was ahead of me and not behind me, that is it.
Mr. SPECTER - And the same impression then prevailed through the third shot as well.
Mr. JACKSON - Yes, sir. To me it never sounded like it was high or low.
Posner & Harris - Since both me believe there were shots from the Depository, Jackson's description of a rifle is consistent with both of their theories. Jackson's timing of the shots matches Harris and is inconsistent with Posner.
Malcolm Couch's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Couch was riding in the rear seat of the third press car, several cars behind the president)
Mr. COUCH - Because, I remember I was talking and we were laughing and I was looking back to a fellow on my - that would be my right - I don't know who it was - we were joking. We had just made the turn. And I heard the first shot.
Mr. BELIN - What happened - or what did anyone say?
Mr. COUCH - As I recall, nothing - there was no particular reaction; uh - nothing unusual. Maybe everybody sort of looked around a little, but didn't think much of it. And - Uh - then, in a few seconds, I guess from 4 - 5 seconds later, or even less, we heard the second shot. And then we began to look - uh, not out of thinking necessarily it was a gunshot, but we began to look in front of us - in the motorcade in front of us. And, as I recall, I didn't have any particular fears or feelings at the second shot. By the third shot, I felt that was a rifle. Almost sure it was. And as I said, the shots or the noises were fairly close together, they were fairly even in sound - and - uh, by then, one could recognize, or if he had heard a high-powered rifle, he would feel that it was a high-powered rifle. You would get that impression.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember where you vehicle was by the time you heard the third shot?
Mr. COUCH - I would say we were about 50 feet from making - or maybe 60 feet - from making the left-hand turn onto Elm.
Mr. BELIN - Did you hear more than three shots?
Mr. COUCH - No.
Mr. BELIN - Had you heard any noises, what you'd describe like a motorcycle backfiring or firecrackers, prior to the time that you made your turn north on Houston?
Mr. COUCH - Well, way uptown on Main Street, a motorcycle did backfire right behind us - and we all jumped and had a good laugh over it. And the three shots sounded, at first - the impression was that this was another motorcycle backfiring.
Mr. BELIN - Now, between the first and the second shots, is there anything else you can remember doing or you remember hearing or seeing that you haven't related here at this time?
Mr. COUCH - Nothing unusual between the shots. Uh - as I say, the first shot, I had no particular impression; but the second shot, I remember turning - several of us turning - and looking ahead of us. It was unusual for a motorcycle to backfire that close together, it seemed like. And after the third shot, Bob Jackson who was as I recall, on my right, yelled something like, "Look up in the window! There's the rifle!" And I remember glancing up to a window on the far right, which at the time impressed me as the sixth or seventh floor. And seeing about a foot of a rifle being - the barrel brought into the window. I saw no one in the window - just a quick 1-second glance at the barrel.
Mr. BELIN - What building was that?
Mr. COUCH - This was the Texas Book Depository Building.
Mr. BELIN - At the corner of Houston and Elm in Dallas?
Mr. COUCH - That's right.
Mr. BELIN - You said it was the sixth or the seventh floor. Do you know how many floors there are in that building - or did you know at the time?
Mr. COUCH - No; I didn't know at the time.
Mr. BELIN - Did it look like to you he was on the top floor or next to the top floor or the second to the top floor - or -
Mr. COUCH - It looked like it was the top. And when you first glance at the building, your thrown off a little as to the floors because there's a ridge - uh, it almost looks like a structured added onto the top of the building, about one story above. So you have to recount. Of course, at the time, I wasn't counting, but -
Mr. BELIN - You just remember to the best of your recollection, that it was either the sixth or the seventh floor?
Mr. COUCH - That's right.
Mr. BELIN - And when you say, "the far right" -
Mr. COUCH - That would be the far east.
Mr. BELIN - The far east of what side of the building?
Mr. COUCH - The south side of the building.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember whether or not that window at which you saw the rifle, you say, being withdrawn - first of all, could you tell it was a rifle?
Mr. COUCH - Yes, I'd say you could. Uh - if a person was just standing on the - as much as I saw, if the factors that did happen, did not happen, you might not say that it was a rifle. In other words, if you just saw an object being pulled back into a window, you might not think anything of it. But with the excitement intense right after that third shot and what Bob yelled, my impression was that it was a rifle.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see anything more than the steel barrel of a rifle?
Mr. COUCH - No.
Mr. BELIN - Could you tell whether or not the rifle had any telescopic sight on it?
Mr. COUCH - No.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see any of the stock of the rifle?
Mr. COUCH - No.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see any person pulling in the rifle?
Mr. COUCH - No.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember whether or not, if you can remember, the window was open or halfway open or what?
Mr. COUCH - It was open. To say that it was half or three-quarters open. I wouldn't say. My impression was that it was all the way open - but that was an impression.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see anything else in the window that you remember - any boxes or anything like that.
Mr. COUCH - No; I didn't
Mr. BELIN - You didn't notice whether there was or was not - or do you definitely remember that you did not notice any.
Mr. COUCH - No; I didn't notice anything.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see any other people in any other window in the building?
Mr. COUCH - Yes; I recall seeing - uh - some people standing in some of the other windows - about, roughly, third or fourth floor in the middle of the south side. I recall one - it looked like a negro boy with a white T-shirt leaning out one of those windows looking up - up to the windows above him.
Mr. BELIN - There is a statement as to the time sequence - that you heard, first, two loud noises about 10 seconds apart. And you related here that it would have been 5 seconds apart or less. Do you remember whether or not at the time you gave your first statement to the FBI you said 10 seconds or would you have said about 10 seconds or would you have said less than 10 seconds - or could this be inaccurate, as sometimes happens?
Mr. COUCH - I don't recall now. Ten seconds is not a reasonable time; even if I said "about 10 seconds." I know a little bit more about timing than that. We have to time our stories pretty close - and that's a long time.
Mr. BELIN - And what's your best recollection now as to the amount of time between shots?
Mr. COUCH - Well, I would say the longest time would be 5 seconds, but it could be from 3 to 5.
Mr. BELIN - And would this be true between the first and the second shots as well as between the second and the third - or would there have been a difference?
Mr. COUCH - As I recall, the time sequence between the three were relatively the same.
Mr. BELIN - When you saw the rifle being with withdrawn. About how much of it could you see at first?
Mr. COUCH - I'd say just about a foot of it.
Mr. BELIN - And in what direction was the barrel pointing at the time you saw it being withdrawn?
Mr. COUCH - Approximately a 45 degree angle westward - which would be pointing down Elm Street.
Mr. BELIN - Down Elm Street as it goes into the expressway there?
Mr. COUCH - That's right.
Mr. BELIN - And when you say a "45 degree angle" would that be up or down, or are you referring to the angle of incline - or the angle of west and south?
Mr. COUCH - The angle of incline - from a horizontal position.
Posner - Couch's testimony is very consistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - Couch's testimony does not support Harris's theory.
Tom Dillard's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Dillard was riding in the front seat of the third press car, several cars behind the president)
Mr. BALL - Did you hear something unusual as you were driving north on Houston?
Mr. DILLARD - Yes; I heard an explosion which I made the comment that I believe, in my memory, I believe I said, "My God, They've thrown a torpedo" and why I said "torpedo", I don't know. If you wish, I'll go ahead -
Mr. BALL - Go ahead with your story.
Mr. DILLARD - Well, then I later estimated, immediately later, estimated, oh, 4, about 3 or 4 seconds, another explosion and my comment was, "No, It's heavy rifle fire," and I remember very distinctly I said, "It's very heavy rifle fire."
Mr. BALL - How many explosions did you hear?
Mr. DILLARD - I heard three - the three approximately equally spaced.
Mr. BALL - What is your best estimate of the position of your car with reference to the turn at Main and Houston when you heard the first explosion?
Mr. DILLARD - Perhaps, oh, just a few feet around the corner and it seems we had slowed a great deal. It seems that our car had slowed down so that we were moving rather slowly and perhaps just passed the turn when I heard the first explosion.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anyone in your car say anything?
Mr. DILLARD - Well, after the third shot I know my comment was, "They killed him." I don't know why I said that but Jackson - there was some running comment about what can we do or where is it coming from and we were all looking. We had an absolutely perfect view of the School Depository from our position in an open car, and Bob Jackson said, "There's a rifle barrel up there." I said, "Where?" I had my camera ready. He said, "It's in that open window." Of course, there were several open windows and I scanned the building.
Mr. BALL - Did you see anything in the windows?
Mr. DILLARD - No.
Mr. BALL - Did you see a rifle barrel?
Mr. DILLARD - No.
Mr. BALL - But you did see some figures or forms in the window?
Mr. DILLARD - Only in the windows which was the windows below?
Mr. BALL - How many forms did you see in the window below?
Mr. DILLARD - I saw two men in the windows, at least the arched windows. I saw them in my picture. I was making the picture my eyes were covering.
Mr. BALL - You saw them as you were taking the picture?
Mr. DILLARD - I may have; I don't know.
Mr. BALL - Do you remember if you saw two or three figures?
Mr. DILLARD - I don't remember.
Mr. BALL - But you did see some figures and you can not be accurate?
Mr. DILLARD - Right.
Mr. Ball - Do you have any idea or an impression as to the source of the explosions - what direction it was coming from?
Mr. DILLARD - Yes, I felt that, at the time, I felt like it was coming from a north area and quite close, and I might qualify I have a great deal of experience. I am a gun nut and have a great number of high-powered rifles at home, so I know a little bit about guns.
Mr. BALL - You have had experience with rifles?
Mr. DILLARD - Yes, I have shot a great deal, so I am familiar with the noise they made in that area. We were getting sort of reverberation which made it difficult to pinpoint the actual direction but my feeling was that it was coming into my face and, in that I was facing north toward the School Depository - I might add that I very definitely smelled gun powder when the car moved up at the corner.
Mr. BALL - You did?
Mr. DILLARD - I very definitely smelled it.
Mr. BALL - By that you mean when you moved up to the corner of Elm and Houston?
Mr. DILLARD - Yes; now, there developed a very brisk north wind.
Mr. BALL - That was in front of the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. BALL - Yes, it was very close - the corner is rather close. I mentioned it, I believe, that it was rather surprising to me.
Mr. BALL - Who did you mention it to?
Mr. DILLARD - Bob, I'm sure.
Mr. BALL - Bob Jackson?
Mr. DILLARD - Yeah, Bob and I were talking about it.
Mr. DILLARD - There was never any question, in my mind that there was more than or less than three explosions which were all heave rifle fire, in my opinion, of the same rifle. The same rifle fired three shots.
Posner - Dillard's testimony is very consistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - Dillard's testimony does not support Harris's theory.
James Underwood's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Underwood was riding in the front seat of the third press car, several cars behind the president)
Mr. BALL - From the time you turned, tell me what you observed after yo made the turn at Main and Houston to drive north on Houston.
Mr. UNDERWOOD - After we turned onto Houston Street, the car I was in was about, as far as I can remember, about in the middle of the block or a little bit north of the center of the block, which is a short block, when I heard the first shot.
Mr. BALL - Between Main and Elm?
Mr. UNDERWOOD - Yes; between Main and Elm, closer to the Elm intersection, Elm and Houston intersection, when I heard the first shot. I thought it was an explosion. I have heard many rifles fired but it did not sound like a rifle to me. Evidently must have been a reverberation from the buildings or something. I believe I said to one of the other fellows it sounds like a giant firecracker and the car I was in was about in the intersection of Elm and Houston when I heard a second shot fired and moments later a third shot fired and I realized that they were by that time, the last two shots, I realized they were coming from overhead.
Mr. BALL - You realized they were coming from overhead and that would be from what source?
Mr. UNDERWOOD - That would be from the Texas School Book Depository Building.
Mr. BALL - It sounded like they were coming from that direction?
Mr. UNDERWOOD - Yes sir; the last two. Now, the first shot was just a loud explosion but it sounded like a giant firecracker or something had gone off. By the time the third shot was fired, the car I was in stopped almost through the intersection in front of the Texas School Book Depository and I leaped out of the car before the car stopped. Bob Jackson from the Herald said he thought he saw a rifle in the window and I looked where he pointed and I saw nothing. Below the window he was pointing at, I saw two colored men leaning out there with their heads turned toward the top of the building, trying, I suppose, to determine where the shots were coming from.
Mr. BALL - What words did you hear Bob Jackson say?
Mr. UNDERWOOD - I don't know that I can remember exactly except I did hear him say words to the effect that "I saw a rifle" and I looked at that instant and I saw nothing myself. If he saw a rifle, I did not.
Posner - Underwoods's testimony is not inconsistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - Underwoods timing could be used to support Harris, but he says the shots came from the Depository.
Billy Lovelady's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Lovelady was standing in front of the depository)
Mr. BALL - Did you stay on the steps
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Were you there when the President's motorcade went by
Mr. LOVELADY - Right.
Mr. BALL - Did you hear anything?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir; sure did.
Mr. BALL - What did you hear?
Mr. LOVELADY - I thought it was firecrackers or somebody celebrating the arrival of the President. It didn't occur to me at first what had happened until this Gloria came running up to us and told us the President had been shot.
Mr. BALL - Who was this girl?
Mr. LOVELADY - Gloria Calvary.
Mr. BALL - Gloria Calvary? Mr. LOVELADY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - Where does she work?
Mr. LOVELADY - Southwestern Publishing Co.
Mr. BALL - Where was the direction of the sound?
Mr. LOVELADY - Right there around that concrete little deal on that knoll.
Mr. BALL - That's where it sounded to you?
Mr. LOVELADY - Yes, sir; to my right. I was standing as you are going down the steps, I was standing on the right, sounded like it was in that area.
Mr. BALL - From the underpass area?
Mr. LOVELADY - Between the underpass and the building right on that knoll.
Posner & Harris - Lovelady's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Mrs. Robert Reid's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Reid was standing in front of the depository)
Mr. BELIN - What did you see and hear and do?
Mrs. REID - Well, I was naturally watching for the car as the President came by. I looked at him and I was very anxious to see Mrs. Kennedy, I looked at her and I was going to see how she was dressed and she was dressed very attractive and she put up her hand to her hat and was holding it on, the wind was blowing a little bit and then went on right by me and that is the last as far as the parade, I mean as far as they were concerned.
I did see Johnson, and that was it. I can't even tell you any more about the parade because after the shots I didn't know any part about that.
Mr. BELIN - What did you see and hear and do after that?
Mrs. REID - Well, When I heard - I heard three shots.
Mr. BELIN - You heard three shots?
Mrs. REID - And I turned to Mr. Campbell and I said, "Oh, my goodness, I am afraid those came from our building," because it seemed like they came just so directly over my head, and then I looked up in the windows, and saw three colored boys up there, I only recognized one because I didn't know the rest of them so well.
MR. BELIN - Which one did you know?
Mrs. REID - James Jarman.
Mr. BELIN - Before you turned and went back into the building did you - did Mr. Campbell say anything to you?
Mrs. REID - He said, "Oh, Mrs. Reid, no, it came from the grassy area down this way." and that was the last I said to him.
Mr. BELIN - All right. When he said "this way" which direction was he pointing?
Mrs. REID - Well, I hope I get my directions. In the direction of the parade was going, in the bottom of that direction.
Posner & Harris - Reid's statement lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
William Shelley's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Shelley was standing in front of the depository)
Mr. BALL - You were standing where?
Mr. SHELLEY - Just outside the glass doors there.
Mr. BALL - That would be on the top landing of the entrance?
Mr. SHELLEY - yes.
Mr. BALL - Did you see the motorcade pass?
Mr. SHELLEY - Yes.
Mr. BALL - What did you hear?
Mr. SHELLEY - Well, I heard something sounded like it was a firecracker and a slight pause and then two more a little bit closer together.
Mr. BALL - And then?
Mr. SHELLEY - I didn't think anything about it.
Mr. BALL - What did it sound like to you?
Mr. SHELLEY - Sounded like a miniature cannon or baby giant firecracker, wasn't real loud.
Mr. BALL - What happened; what did you do then?
Mr. SHELLEY - I didn't do anything for a minute.
Mr. BALL - What seemed to be the direction or source of the sound:?
Mr. SHELLEY - Sounded like it came from the west.
Mr. BALL - It sounded like it came from the west?
Posner & Harris - Shelley's statement lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Welcome Barnett's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Barnett was standing on the corner oh Houston and Elm.)
Mr. LIEBELER - Now the motorcade made the turn onto Elm Street from Houston Street, and you were standing at approximately in position No. 9, and you indicated before that you heard the shots fired; is that right?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many shots did you here?
Mr. BARNETT - Three.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there any echo in the area from where you were standing?
Mr. BARNETT - What do you mean by echo? You mean another sound besides the shots?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. BARNETT - No; I didn't hear any echo. The whole sound echoed. The sound lingered, but as far as just two definite distinct sounds, when each shot was fired, that one sound would linger in the air, but there would be nothing else until the next shot.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you see any of the shots hit the President?
Mr. BARNETT - Well, when the first shot - I was looking at the President when the first shot was fired, and I thought I saw him slump down, but I am not sure, and I didn't look any more then. I thought he was ducking then.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now when you were standing up there in position No. 9, you were in a spot where you could look right down Elm Street and see the railroad tracks down here which pass over the triple underpass?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you see anybody on the railroad tracks?
Mr. BARNETT - One or two officers. Two officers, I believe.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there anybody else, as far as you can recall?
Mr. BARNETT - That is all I saw.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have an opinion when you heard the shots as to where they came from?
Mr. BARNETT - Yes sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you think about them?
Mr. BARNETT - When the first shot was fired, I thought it was a firecracker, and I looked across the street. In fact, I scanned the whole area to see where people would jump or move or make some action.
Mr. LIEBELER - You couldn't tell specifically where it had come from?
Mr. BARNETT - Not the first one, but I thought it was a firecracker. But none of the people moved or took any action, whereas they would have if a firecracker went off. And when the second shot was fired, it sounded high. The sound of the second one seemed to me like it was coming from up high, and I looked up at the building and I saw nothing in the windows. In fact, I couldn't even see any windows at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - In the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. BARNETT - No, sir; because I was standing to close, was the reason. And I looked back again at the crowd, and the third shot was fired. And I looked up again, and I decided it had to be on top of that building. To me it is the only place the sound could be coming from.
Posner - Barnett's testimony is relatively consistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - Barnett doesn't give a time estimate, but he looked at the building and then at the crowd between the second and third shots. That would be a lot to do in 1.5 seconds. Barnett also though the second shot was high, According to Harris the second shot was actually fired from a much lower location than the first and third.
Eugene Boone's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Boone was standing in front of the Sheriff's office on Main St.)
Mr. BALL - What happened there?
Mr. BOONE - Well it was approximately 1 o'clock when we heard the shots. The motorcade had already passed by us and turned back to the north on Houston Street. An we heard what we thought to be a shot. And there seemed to be a pause between the first shot and the second shot and third shots - a little longer pause. And we raced across the street there.
Posner & Harris - Boone's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory, but the timing tends to support Posner.
Luke Mooney's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Mooney was standing in front of the Sheriff's office on Main St.)
Mr. BALL - What happened, as you remember?
Mr. MOONEY - After that few seconds elapsed, we heard this shot ring out. At that time, I didn't realize it was a shot. The wind was blowing pretty high, and, of course, it echoed. I turned my head this way.
Mr. BALL - You mean to the right?
Mr. MOONEY - To the right; yes, sir. We were facing more or less south. And I turned my head to the right.
Mr. BALL - That would be looking towards Houston Street?
Mr. MOONEY - Looking towards the old court.
Well, when I turned my head to the right; yes, sir. I would be looking west. And there was a short lapse between these shots. I can still hear them very distinctly--between the first and second shot. The second and third shot was pretty close together, but there was a short lapse there between the first and second shot. Why, I don't know. But when that begin to take place after the first shot we started moving out. And by the time I started running--all of us except Officer Ingrain he had a heart attack, and, of course, he wasn't qualified to do any running.
Posner & Harris - Mooney's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory, but the timing tends to support Harris.
Eddy Walthers's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Walthers was standing in front of the Sheriff's office on Main St.)
Mr. LIEBELER - The motorcade .came down Main Street and made a wide turn into Houston Street and went back down Elm Street; isn't that right?
Mr. WALTHERS - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - After the motorcade turned onto Houston Street, what did you do?
Mr. WALTHERS - After it turned onto Houston and most of the motorcade went by, I turned to talk to Mrs. Decker and asked her if she was ready to go back inside and I proceeded to help her back up the steps and then we heard the shots.
Mr. LIEBELER - You actually were still standing over on Main Street around the corner from Houston Street when you heard the shots?
Mr. WALTHERS - Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - You actually didn't see any of the shots take effect or anything like that?
Mr. WALTHERS - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many shots did you hear?
Mr. WALTHERS - I remember three shots.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you clear about that?
Mr. WALTHERS - Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you do after you heard the shots?
Mr. WALTHERS - Well, I was facing her and I told her that sounded like a rifle and I ran across here [indicating] and there is a wall along in here and I hopped over it.
Posner & Harris - Walthers's testimony lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Clyde Haygood's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Haygood was riding a motorcycle several cars back from the President)
Mr. BELIN - Did you hear any shots at all?
Mr. HAYGOOD - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Where were you when you heard the shots?
Mr. HAYGOOD - I was on Main Street just approaching Houston Street.
Mr. BELIN - How many did you hear?
Mr. HAYGOOD - Three.
Mr. BELIN - Were the three spaced equally distant?
Mr. HAYGOOD - No.
Mr. BELIN - Go ahead.
Mr. HAYGOOD - No.
Mr. BELIN - Was one more close than the other one?
Mr. HAYGOOD - The last two were closer than the first. In other words, it was the first, and then a pause, and then the other two were real close.
Posner & Harris - Haygood's testimony lacks detail, but the timing is more consistent with Harris than Posner.